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Extreme Long Range Competition

Old 04-24-2024, 07:20 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,907
Default Extreme Long Range Competition

I'm not sure how much interest there may be on this site, in general, but I thought I might share some info, experiences, and musings in a thread here as I start my 2024 ELR Competition Season. I'm still considering myself predominantly a PRS competitor (among many other hats I wear each week/month), but I live only 1hr from Spearpoint Ranch in Kansas, which hosts one of, if not THE, most pre-eminent ELR competition series' in the United States. Starting in March, they shoot a monthly match until Sept, with targets as far as 4300 yards. I shot last season to test the waters with someone else's rifle, a 33XC on a Defiance Deviant single shot action with a Bartlein barrel in a Manners F-Class stock, and I was immediately hooked. It took me 14months from the first part I had ordered to complete my rifle - everything was ordered between November of 2022 and January of 2023, but it took almost a full year to get my Manners stock laid up, and then another 2months to get the smithing and bedding done to get the rifle into my hands.

Rifle Details:

In many aspects of my life, I find myself at least once a month, if not once a week repeating: "the fastest way to become successful is to emulate what is being done by those which are already successful." So when it came to building my ELR Heavy Class Rifle, the choices I made were guided by what is winning matches all over the country.

Bat Model L single shot action 1.75" Octagon with CT boltface (extractor removed)
Bartlein 1.75" tenon tapered barrel, 36" long with 1:8" twist
Manner LRT Gen 2 stock with Prism Bridge (removed for now), bag rider, adjustable buttstock and comb riser kit, and front picatinny rail
Mirage ULR 18" 40moa picatinny rail
TriggerTech Diamond flat shoe trigger set at 6oz
Terminator T5 Brake
Ryan Cheney ELR Airfoil rear bag
Accutac WB4 bipod with Ski-Feet
Peterson 9.5x77 (375 Cheytac) brass
H50BMG powder
Federal 215M Large Rifle Magnum Match Primers
Cutting Edge Bullets 400 grain Lazers
Hawkins 1pc 34mm mount 1.5" height
Vortex 34mm bubble level
And for now, I have a Bushnell XRS2 4.5-30x50mm scope on top (scope which won King of 2 Mile 2018 and was 2nd in 2019 for Robert Brantley), which will be replaced with a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm which I realized was damaged when I attempted to mount it to this rifle.

The rifle was completed only about 10 days prior to a class I had the great fortune to take, offered by Team Manners, 6 of which I was going to be out of state for work, and with the wind and rain on the available days, I had only one day to shoot to begin breaking in my barrel (really just fouling in) and complete a cursory load development ladder. Unfortunately, during that range day, I discovered that my picatinny rail was slipping loose every ~5 shots, which negated my ability to shoot groups or confirm a good zero. My elevation was dead on, but the flat bottomed rail on the flat top face of my octagonal action allowed the scope to swing left and right when it came loose each time.

Fixing the mount torque issue the night before the class (and generously applying blue loctite), I knew my zero was going to have unknown windage when it came time to check it at the class. I spoke with the instructors the night before, and when it came time for me to zero, I ended up picking a knot hole on the plywood backer, beneath the other targets, and told my spotter/instructor to watch +/-2mils left or right of the hole. Sure enough, the shot struck 2 mils to the right. I measured and dialed the correction, then moved up to my assigned POA on the zero target array - the 3 shot group was 0.82MOA. We made a slight adjustment to my rear bag tracking and I sent 6 more at my second POA on the board, and put all 6 into a .69MOA cluster. I slipped my dials to zero my optic, then rotated off of the line.

When my turn came on the line again, I hit 3 of 3 shots at 1400 yards - my first shot was at the top edge of the target, so we dialed down 2 tenths (conservative) and sent another shot. We immediately saw that the second shot was almost exactly 2 tenths below the first, and still 2 tenths above center - above where I was aiming - so we dialed off another 2 tenths, and sent a 3rd, which hit perfectly on the waterline of my reticle. We trued my muzzle velocity in my calculator to align my CDM to my impact, and I packed it up for the day - spending the rest of the afternoon spotting for other shooters. On the second day, we started with a match-style stage, shooting 5 shots each at 2 36" square targets, 1669 subtending 2.1moa and 1860 subtending 1.8moa. I hit the first 3 shots at 1669, dropped 1, then hit the 5th. I transitioned to the 1860 target, hit the first 4 shots in a row, and slipped under the target on the last shot. Rotating back for the second stage, the targets were a 36" square at 2073yards, subtending 1.7MOA, and a 48" square at 2913yrds, subtending 1.6MOA, 7 shots each. I hit 5 out of 7 on the 2073yrd target, hitting the first 2, missing 2 downwind, then correcting back onto target for the final 3. I hit my first and last shots on the 2913 target, with the wind speed and angle (jumping 8-12mph from 3:30 to 6:30) causing 3 of my misses to dance upwind and downwind, plus 2 of the 5 misses centering for wind, but flying high over the target. Having my Garmin Xero C1 chronograph on the line, I was able to see that my 2 high shots were at the high end of my speed range, flying 3070 and 3072fps, above my 3052fps average - I was glad to have that knowledge on the line, otherwise I may have taken out a few tenths of elevation and ended up sinking my other shots below the target when my velocity was running closer to my average instead of at the top of my range. The wind was wreaking havoc on a lot of the folks in the class that day - the varying angle of the wind accounted for almost 4 target widths, and the wind speed variability at its highest value angle was also 3-4 target widths, with those changes happening back and forth multiple times during the 6min stage time.

For reference, the time of flight (ToF) for my 400 grain Lazer at 3053fps was 5.5 seconds to reach the 2913yard target, and my elevation correction was 35.5mils, which means I was technically aiming 310ft 3in above the target to make those shots. Since my scope only has ~31.5mils available dial from 100yrd zero and I was shooting without any additional prism device, I had dialed 30.5 on the turret and was holding 5mils in the reticle.

I have a match coming up this Sunday, shooting in Rookie division, at the same range, so I'm hopeful that the weather and my load cooperate the same as during that class, so I can place well during the actual match. We're expecting wind and rain this weekend, but I'm hoping it will be over and done by Sunday before I shoot. I failed to hit the 2913 yard target last season in the match I shot, so I'm REALLY hoping to redeem myself this weekend to pick up one of the Challenge Coins offered by the match director for making impacts. I also did not yet earn a "silver" Challenge Coin for going 5 for 5 on any of the distances, so I'm looking forward to trying to earn at least one this weekend. My sub-2000yrd performance from this rifle has been amazing so far, so I'm hoping I can clean one of the targets in the first stage this weekend (most likely the 1860 target, since I may need the 1669 target to find my wind call). But rain or shine - literally - I'm excited about the chance to get out and put a lot of air under bullets this season with this new rifle.​​​​
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Old 04-25-2024, 01:37 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Eastern wv
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good deal, have fun man sounds like and awesome time.
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Old 04-30-2024, 04:42 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Best laid plans worked out last weekend, even despite terrible conditions. On the drive to the match on Sunday, I only had ~1/2 mile visibility, which, for a match which was meant to shoot out to 1.7miles, that was a problem. So much to the point the match director eliminated the farthest target, 2913 yards, and changed the course of fire to engage the 2203 target with all 10 rounds for the 3rd stage, instead of only 5, with the remaining 5 meant to chase the 2913. We delayed for almost an hour, hoping the fog would burn off, but it persisted too long. We even got a little wet at one point when the fog hung a little heavier and drizzled on us for about an hour. But despite the poor visibility, I was able to push through and score enough points to come home with the Win in the Rookie Division. My score would have been enough to push me to 4th overall against the rest of the field firing that day. Saturday's Heavy Rifle match had much better conditions, so the scores were much, much higher than anyone on Sunday, but I'm looking forward to graduating into the fray of Heavy Division next season to see how I hold up against the wider field. Another Rookie Division match next month, hoping to push myself into the lead before the Finale in September.
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