Long talk

in Outdoors and morelast year

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“The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.”

Claude Levi-Strauss

You'll know I've been a shooter for over thirty years if you follow and read my posts. I'm good at it, I won't lie. I hope that doesn't seem immodest; it's just a fact. I'm good at it because I'm trained, because I train and practice and because I do it a lot. Shoot.

I'm often running-and-gunning on the range working on speed and accuracy, movement, shooting and moving, draw and target acquisition among other various things required to operate effectively. I'd say safety here but I don't need to, that's intrinsic to who I am and happens without thought.

My true love is the long gun though, my long-range rifle systems which I operate with great effectiveness, accuracy and speed at great distance; sixteen hundred metres and more - The real number shall remain off the blockchain.

Banging away on my long guns is pure to me; the combination of many things coming together all at one instant to ensure an effective shot - that is - a round on target, in the intended spot on the first shot. It's joyful...But you'll not get it unless you do it, or know and appreciate the many elements that come together to make it happen. I don't just mean aiming and pulling the trigger. There's a long list of elements from making the ammunition [I make my own] to rifle-system set-up, equipment quality, reading the environmental conditions and many other factors. Science is involved and without it the result is not possible - A simple fact.

The talk

Last week I spoke to a young chap, [thirty is young] who knew I was a shooter but had never discussed it with me. He asked about long-range shooting [he called it sniper shooting] and I'll admit in my head the thought was, here we go G-dog, another fool that want's to tell me about all that firearms knowledge he learned on PlayStation. I settled in for the long talk but,hmm, what is this? intelligent questions? What madness is this?

The chap wasn't interested in what I kill or have I've killed. Didn't spend much time on my longest or most difficult shot. He didn't want to see pictures of my rifle-systems nor did he tell me about the Barret M82, SSG 69, Arctic Warfare Magnum by Accuracy International, SAKO TRG 42, R93 Tactical by Blaser Jagdwaffen, SSG 3000, McMillan TAC-50, the CheyTac M200 Intervention rifle or any other weapon-system or platform preferred by snipers, and there are many. Nope...He asked not told and the words PlayStation didn't come up once. Ok young fellow, you have my attention now.

We had a great conversation about the science of long-range shooting in which he asked about the effects of altitude, humidity and temperature upon the trajectory and how the shooter reads it, adjusts and accounts for it. In this case I talked about how I combine those three things into a single measurement called Density Altitude and how that is applied through my ballistics solver and then to the rifle-system itself via the scope elevation and windage turrets.

That brought up then the Coriolis force and Eötvös effect on shots taken due East or West force upon a projectile sent at long-range - The turning of the earth. A bullet in flight isn't subjected to the Earth's movement whist the target [if on the ground] is. I went into some detail on how the shooter accounts for it, calculates speed of the target, angle of movement and therefore where the round needs to go to eventually meet up with the target. More science.

I spoke about aerodynamic jump which can effect shot placement. It's the effect of a bullet fired into cross-wind which causes the bullet to yaw in an attempt to align with airflow. The resulting gyroscopic action will cause it to nose-up or nose-down marginally which will change the point of impact if not accounted for or understood.

Questions kept coming

Muzzle velocity and effect of inaccurate measurement, uncalibrated scope-clicks - 0.1 MRAD not being 0.1 MRAD all the way through the scope adjustment, headwind, tailwind, incline [slope angle] and inaccuracies in those calculations, light conditions, mirage, wind-calling, parallax and correct adjustment of it, station pressure, barometric pressure and their differences, spin drift, bore temperature, reloading techniques, neck-tension, load development, different powders and primers, projectile weight and shape, drag-models G7 and G1 [ballistic coefficient], scope height from the centre of barrel, MRAD and MOA, rifle-system zeroing. There's more, and more with each thing effecting the end result in some way. That effect means a miss down range if not considered.

All of that without talking about equipment, set-up, shooter-technique, gaining DOPE [data on previous engagements] and other elements that go into a long range shot.

What struck me was the excitement on this blokes face as I explained the concepts, even as basically as I was doing. I could tell he was interested in the science which is rare to be honest; most just want to shoot guns.

Towards the end I told him how impressed I was with his questions, the interest he showed and the fact he was clearly after more. Don't worry little fella, there's more. Way more. He never once mentioned going shooting with me but asked if he could ask more questions some time. Of course I said yes and suggested it would be easier to show and explain than simply explain. He was up for it. That means he'll get to shoot.

It was a cool long talk and I was happy to represent a thing that is often misrepresented in society these days. It was nice to demonstrate that firearms are nothing to do with getting drunk on a case of beer and shooting watermelons in the back yard.

So, that's about it I guess, although I felt inclined to share a few of my other posts on various topics around firearms. If you're keen you can click some links below. I always try to write in a very basic, non-technical, fashion so most should be able to follow them.

Send it
Size matters
Going long
The grain
Weighed and measured
Box test
Levelling up
Get fingered
Cold bore DOPE
Anti-reflection device
Get measured

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Discord: galenkp#9209

Image is mine


I was going to ask how do you measure distance, then I realized it might be easy, considering there's a scope
but now I want to ask... is the scope really reliable? does lighting play a role in estimating a target's distance?

Here's a post on my range-finder. The scope isn't often used to to measure distance, although it can be and I have done it many times. Technology rules the day these days. https://peakd.com/hive-139358/@galenkp/going-long-y-all-a-post-about-long-ranging

The scope is primarily used for other things, seeing at distance and target acquisition.

So, is the the scope reliable. Yes. Of course, one needs to spend the right sort of money for reliability.

I use the Kahles 624i 6-24x50 with the SKMR3 reticle. Here's what that reticle looks like, an image from my ballistics solver.


It's important that the optics lets enough light in as it's a certainty that the shooter will shoot in low light and night time conditions. The turrets, elevation and windage must also track correctly. The post below explains that. It essential means that each click of 0.1 MRAD is indeed 0.1 MRAD all the way through the elevation and windage range.


Scopes also have to be robust enough to handle the field and various environments it will be used in. Generally you get what you pay for with a scope and going cheap is a bad way to go as it will render a solid rifle-system useless. The scope I mention here is almost $5,000 to purchase. A cheap scope would be about $500. Is my scope, as mentioned, that much better? Absolutely.

Anyway, this just a basic answer to what can be a very complicated question. I hope it helps.

Technology rules


you get what you pay for

You might consider it basic, but it covers everything I wanted to know about this in the modern day. Thanks! I wonder how snipers back in WW1 used to accurately measure distances, due to their scope' lack of tech.

They did it by eye and off charts based on typical things like a human, human head, car, etc. Fixed sized things. You say accurately. It wasn't really done accurately in the way we understand it today. Rangefinders can measure to the metre or less. Old-school snipers also didn't have scopes all the time, just iron sights. Not always, but often. It wasn't until World War One that scopes began to get used and developed.

Really cool the distance you can shoot!

What made you interested in learning to shoot?

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I had various reasons that caused me to need to learn. The long range stuff came a little later and it wasn't long before I realised I was good at it, had some talent for it and the elements around it.

I love sniper in games I play but also like to play rush some time but I haven't shot a gun in real life though

I've never been much of a gamer so am not sure what it's all about. I played Ghost Recon on PC more than a few times though and so understand what's involved. It was not even remotely realistic when compared to the real thing, not even close. Maybe one day you'll get a chance to shoot in real life if you're inclined to do so. Thanks for you comment.

I'd say racing simulators are better at teaching racing skills than shooters are at teaching shooting. I'm no great marksman, but if you want to get good on a budget, consider a quality .22 and learn to make it sing at 100 yards. With proper fundamentals, the skills you learn will apply toward larger calibers and longer ranges.

And if you want to make it interesting, set up some cheap plastic soldiers at 100 yards. If you can reliably hit them with a .22, you're doing well.

It was nice to demonstrate that firearms are nothing to do with getting drunk on a case of beer and shooting watermelons in the back yard.

Booooo... Everything was going well in your story up until this point. Now you've lost me.

Speaking of being lost.. remind me to never get lost in the woods within 1600 meters (or more) of your general vicinity.

Lol...There might be a watermelon or two, but that's unconfirmed. Same with the beers.

Depending on the distance and target, I can imagine that you're not just "sittin here, drinkin beers" all day. It sounds like there's a lot of mental gymnastics throughout the process and I'd suspect a boatload of patience to make sure you're measuring everything up as expected. This is something I haven't thought about doing, but sounds like an interesting hobby to learn -- applying motor skills + math .. that's definitely within my list of interests!

Exactly, distance and target. Alot of the work happens well before the shot and there's tools to assist with the FFS (field firing solution) like range finders and ballistics solvers. I never use a wind meter though, I call it manually. A few clicks here and there and accurate rounds go down range. Clearly there's more than that, but I'm trying to say that a lot of the work, set-up, is behind the scenes, not in the field.

It's a great thing to know, for me anyway, and brings confidence. Motor skills and math...Yep, a really good way to put it. I wish I could take you for a shoot. I know you'd be hooked.

I am sure that I'd be hooked. With any luck, we will hang out one day and grab a beer - and maybe a shooting outing!

Sounds like fun...We'll need some watermelons.

A shooter, interesting. I'd never actually ask those questions, it takes someone more informed on basic things surrounding it to ask such questions and not even mention at any point if he could go shooting with ya.

My first question would prolly be the impact and effect of shooting, how it exactly affects who's shooting, like some typa risks a novice would be exposed to.

I get it and to be honest the young lad didn't frame his questions as I have talked about here as he didn't know the words so my post probably makes him look more knowledgeable than he is. He essentially asked the questions I've outlined, just differently.

Your question is a good one.

The risks are minimal if properly instructed and firearms and ammunition is in good condition. When I instruct the very first thing is safety, a lot of it. Then familiarisation with the firearm, what is does, what parts do which things and I also explain how ammunition works and the process of firing, including recoil. From there the shooting starts.

With this process novices begin to feel more comfortable and they relax a little; I always watch the safety aspect so risk is very low.

I hope this helps.

Cool, I totally understand the aspect of putting out his questions with more professional terms.

However, safety, that's always my concern, I guess having the right instructor is the most important aspect of it all, since a lousy one would prolly endanger his students.

I won't be handling a gun anytime soon, since I'm not really dancing towards any field of studies related to it, but it's sure nice to get a response.

  1. always treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  2. never point a gun at anything you do not intend to shoot.
  3. keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire. Booger hook off the bang switch!
  4. keep the gun on safe until you intend to shoot, but never trust mechanical safeties more than the safety between your ears
  5. Be sure of your target and know what is beyond it. Don't take a shot unless you're sure conditions are right.

Those 5 rules cover pretty much everything. The rest is specific to the firearm in question. It's a lot simpler than driving a car, but it is a new skill with equally dire consequences for carelessness.

This are all helpful tips, thanks :)

Safety is always the number one priority although one of the areas that is most abused. Yes, a good instructor is critical although there are many bad ones. I'm a good one though, careful, patient and thorough.

You're welcome to the reply; I always reply to comments.

There is at least some watermelon shooting though yeah? It's just sitting there.

There's always watermelon shooting...But Shhh.

I spent a lot of time on ranges in the 80's and 90's - far less frequently these days. I am a decent shot, I am no expert. The mention of the Coriolis force and Eötvös effect caught my attention, because as the Devil's Advocate for the flat earth I am discussing this topic of imaginary forces regularly. If any experiment has ever successfully validated the inclusion of these variables into equations, it was missed by thousands of people scouring the internet for evidence of just such a thing. Anonymous neighbor: "If you're on an airplane moving..." or "When you fire a cannonball towards...", then a refresher in elementary school math and science, and a reference to experiments from the 1800's or before. Scientific data collected daily: whether you fly NY to LA or LA to NY it will take the same amount of time. The cannonball experiment has been repeated many times and the results don't support an earth in motion. Specific to long range shots: you will never need to do the math for the earth's rotation, no matter what direction you are facing. Factoring anything your senses don't experience into your shot is a mistake.

Thanks for your comment.

Your opinions are very interesting, however I, and those around me, will continue to do it our way I think.

I never suggested you change your methods, which by now are masterful and instinctive, only offering you an alternative way of thinking about them. I offered no opinion - just a story and an observation.

There's always more than one way to skin a cat I guess. I appreciate your comment and perspective as with all others who take the time to read and respond, which is to say, not many. Thank you.

Great post as normal. Speaking of trajectory shifts and environmental factors, I'm very curious to see if and how much change there is for me at the new location. My previous altitude was definitely thinner air, and we could tell when cooking, etc. We were previously in Colorado at about 5,800-6,000 ft. elevation above sea level, now we are "down" in the hills of Vermont at only 660 ft altitude. There is a HUGE difference in humidity as well. I'll be very interested to see if my rifles are at the same zero, (I'm sure it's shifted a bit), and interested to see how much it changed. I haven't found a long distance range to shoot at yet here, only the 150 yards on the property. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd have to project that it's less than an inch difference at that distance, probably more like a quarter to half inch or less. But as many people have said before, "Let's experiment"!

I just ordered some target hangers today, they are fairly inexpensive portable models that come in a DYI kit and use some inexpensive electrical conduit for legs. I've heard some good things about this kit from others. I'll do a post on those once they arrive. https://www.yankeethunder.com/

Thanks mate, I appreciate it. I try to represent well.

You use StrelockPro right? Throw in some environmental factors suiting your current locale and see what happens. I spend a lot of time messing with Density Altitude values in SP and it's always very interesting to see the changes in elevation requirements.

Those targets sound the way to go. What calibres would you be using?

Yes, love the Strelok Pro. I have used the altitude parameters in the past, but haven't really played with the others much at all yet.

Calibers? lol, well let's see:
.22 PCP pellet
.30 PCP pellet
.35 (9mm) PCP pellet

.22 LR rimfire pistol
.223 Pistol
.9mm Pistol
.45 Pistol
.44 magnum Pistol
.460 Rowland Pistol

.22 Short rimfire rifle
.22 LR rimfire rifle (High Velocity and sub-sonic)
.223 Rifle
.22-250 Rifle
7mm Magnum Rifle
.338 Lapua Magnum Rifle

I've trimmed down quite a bit having gifted many to my kids (and since having lost most in that horrible boating accident) but that'll do as a starter.... I've bolded those that I'll be playing with the most. I was finally able to gather all the components to reload the .22-250 (even though only enough for a couple hundred rounds) and really excited to see what that Sako rifle is capable of with custom ammo.

Hmm, I'm sure you'll have enough to go on with based on the list above. Lol.


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I know right?


Why you downvote me

Because your post in my community didn't follow the community guidelines. Also, you're spam posting single images which I just noticed, so I gave you some more. Make some more effort and you'll get upvotes. It's a pretty simple concept.

Ok sorry for that if I post in wrong place I will improve my work plzi m new so don't downvote me

The rules on my community are displayed upon the front page along with a posting guide which I suggest you read. It is below.


Also, you should make peace with the fact you'll get downvotes as people in the community exercise their right to upvote or downvote as they see fit. It is a part of the community and you 'll need to get used to it I think. Most people will get downvoted at some stage.

What is your community name ?? I used dbuzz this one is your community??

This is my community, as is THE WEEKEND where you posted the post I downvoted. Dbuzz posts will never get upvotes from me. No matter what.


Good post

Good comment.

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