Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Texas, the Dark Continent!

Yes, I was more off-grid in southwest Texas than in Africa! No cell...not enough Internet to upload the podcast (SORRY!)...miles and miles from the nearest venison jerky stand...

Was there at the amazing FTW Ranch for a precision rifle class from the Sportsman's All-Weather All-Terrain Marksmanship instructor Doug Prichard, retired SEAL and sniper instructor, said, "Eight and a half weeks of sniper school crammed into 4 days."

We were there to wring out the Ruger SR762 and the brand new Burris XTR-II 4-20X mil-dot scope in harsh, real world conditions, from 100 out to 1000 yards.

I'll write a long post tomorrow, but lemme say this...the staff at FTW are among the finest instructors I've every worked with...they were just wonderful.

The guns were out of the box with...challenging...triggers; the scopes the first in the country.

And how did it go? Well, the last drill of the four day class consisted of 10 12-inch plates scattered across the hills and canyons of the 12,000 acre ranch...cross-canyon shots, steep angle shots, awkward shots of all kinds. Distances varied from the "close" plate of 363 yards to the far plate of 750 yards. The drill was got 3 shots at each plate. A spotter gave us wind direction and speed in MPH, and we did the mil conversions.

I got all 10 plates -- 4 on the first shot; 5 on the second shot; 1 (at 600 yards) on the third shot. I could have wept when the spotter called the 750-yard plate! 

More's airplane time!


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the great shooting Michael. Safe journey to the SHB

Steve Price

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an amazing experience I can't wait to hear more

_DonWorsham_ said...

You did film this for SG didn't you?

Michael Bane said...

Nope...this wasn't for filming, although Marshal andI did some video stuff for DOWN RANGE TV.

I would argue that those shots were among the best I've every fired in my life. The trigger pretty much sucked. Loved the scope, especially after they finally hammered mil-dots into my hard head.

The training in context was incredible. Finding targets across the canyon, using dope, fighting the wind...much better learning experience that a square range.

I decided to return my T&E SR762 and buy the one I shot for 4 days. Marshal bought his as well. Hell, I've got a debugged range card of it ! 168-grain Hornady A-Max Match ammo, BTW. As soon as it comes home, I'll put the Gieselle single stage trigger in it.

Assuming SG is renewed, I'm thinking of going back to FTW with Sarah Ahrens to do the precision marksmanship course with bolt guns, probably Ruger Guide Guns. I'd like to go to Africa for buffalo in 2015, and i was thinking of the Guide Gun or Hawkeye African in .416 Ruger, which I've shot before...


Sheepdog1968 said...

If you go back for SG, it would be nice if you filmed more than one shooter there with different platforms such as BLR lever in 308, a Rem pump in 308 or 30-06, and a bolt. I think all would work well and it would be nice to see the diversity of platforms.

ELIMN8U said...

This would be a great SG episode, if SG isn't renewed there is definitely something amiss in the universe.

Rastus said...

Burris XTR-II...dang, a new product. I just ordered a Bushnell G2B/mildot in FFP and may have tried the new Burris product.

It is interesting to see that Burris has a 34mm tube....I liked the step up to 30mm from 1". What do you think about the 34mm tube vs the 30mm tube as I suspect the clicks are more precise across the range???

Anyway....with the cost of glass these days I like that Burris and Bushnell are producing FFP scopes at reasonable prices.

Did you use a "one piece" ring...I am assuming you did since it was on an AR style, or did you have two rings mounted separately?

Michael Bane said...

Rastus...I liked the 34mm tube, especially on the 1000 yard shot (on an 18-inch plate) where we had to dial it all the way and still hold over 3 mils, and the 750 yard 12-inch plate, where I dialed up something like 7-8 mils. Precise even at the end of the range.

I dialed for elevation and held off for wind.

BTW, we all did a 100 yard zero, then dialed up .6 mil for 200. Zero was verified at 300, 400 and 500. 100 zero was reverified every morning and before the "competitions."

Unfortunately, Burris didn't have their superb PEPR AR mount (my favorite AR mount, BTW) in 34mm yet, so we used high conventional rings. I think the PEPR mount would have put the scope a little bit lower, which I'd have preferred — although given a gun/scope that shoots this darn good, the only things I'll change is the trigger and an extended charging handle to make it a little easier to cycle.


Rastus said...

That's good to hear about the zero verification...that pushes me over the hump to order one to replace a tired old Leopold. Also, your comment about the PEPR mounts being great mounts is spot on….especially for the modest amount of money it takes to acquire one.

By the way...(here it comes) if you have some swing with Burris...please consider taunting them to make an MTAC variable scope that has 1 power on bottom with the larger objective to gather light. The 1.5x6 is great for light gathering with the 42MM objective...but it would be so much better to be incarnated as a 1 x 6 with that 42mm objective to use up close. The 1x4 power with a 24 mm objective is cool but...that's not a lot of light and I think (OK…here comes my 2 cents again) that these are great price point scopes that could really shine for sales for the DMR platforms...the 1.5 mag is workable but detracts from it's ability to mimic a dot because of the extra magnification. I’m just sayin’… I used the 1.5 x 6 at a Vickers class out of Gainesville, TX, in November and it was good enough up close to use the dot and perform well…but I had to work at it….and then it really shined when we got out to 200-300 yards where having those stadia for 200 & 300 yards really allowed me to smoke the other guys in class under bright and low light conditions.

Anyway, thanks for the observations on the positive clicks and zero ability of the new Burris line.

Bill Lester said...


You keep saying things like "if SG is renewed." It's as if you're trying to tell us something that you really can't tell us about. And you're worrying me.

Ok, here's to the channel executives: If Shooting Gallery and The Best Defense aren't renewed, I and many, many other fans will have little reason to watch the shows that remain. Advertisers won't be as likely to advertise. I'd hate to see such a scenario played-out but it very well could if Shooting Gallery and The Best Defense aren't renewed.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to what Bill Lester said regarding the the renewal of SG and TBD!!

Unknown said...

I have one Ruger SR762 and i really enjoy shooting target from this gun. It have good shooting range and accuracy.