Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Horse Had It Coming, Right?

























Seems the topic of marksmanship, particularly long-range, has come up again over at WRSA . You should go read it, for reference.

A hip pocket lecture on the topic commences:

Actual shooting time in the best .Mil sniping courses of instruction is such a small component because while important, it’s probably less than 10% of the requisite skills, and consists of what is, at that point, merely the icing on that cake.

 And at that, upper-tier physical fitness is assumed.

That’s because if you couldn’t find, identify, and approach the target in such a way as to be able to hit it and then get away, you’d never get to the point of putting any lead on the target to begin with. At least not twice.

The only reason they pick the best basic shooters to attend is because they already know the fundamentals, and probably have the right mindset of listening to marksmanship instruction, along with being above-average intelligent and self-motivated (there won’t be a helpful instructor along to kick you in the ass once it’s for real) so it’s mainly a weed-out. The fact is you can turn most any shooter into a mil-spec sniper, it’ll just take longer, and the .Mil doesn’t like to spend extra time on slow learners.

Once you get someone to that level of performance, the caliber is interchangeable. (And I daresay, largely pointless.)

Evidence in support:

Simo Häyhä: stock iron sighted Sako in 7.62×53
Vassili Zaitsev: Mosin-nagant in 7.62x54R with PU 3.5x optical sight
Carlos Hathcock .30-06 Win 70 variant with Unertl 8x fixed power glass. Also an M2 .50BMG on single shot, with a scope mounted.
Chuck Mawhinney: Rem M700 7.62×51 w/ Redfield 3-9x scope
Adelbert Waldron: M21 7.62×51 w/ART 3-9X scope
gazillions of .mil since then: 7.62×51 from Rem M700s and M-21s in .308/7.62×51, with multiple glass combinations, then .300 WinMag, and even .50BMG
LE by the ton: primarily .308 under glass, because the Fed Match 168grBTHP and 175gr offerings are bog-stupid repeatable out of the box, with all the relevant numbers in all respects available to anyone, anywhere.

And on and on. Multiple combinations; same results: DRT.

All of the above, and many more, shoot better than most shooters can or will ever take advantage of.
6.5 helps a little, with one aspect.

You will not become One Shot Paddy with it, or any other cartridge, without significant amounts of regular training.
I repeat, significant amounts of regular training.
Everything else is secondary.

TL;DR:
Take what you have, and learn to hit with it in any weather and wind, any time of day or night, at any practical range. On the first cold shot.
That means keep a log book, and learn your rifle/sight/round combination backwards and forwards.

{Hint: You would do far better shooting 1 round a day for 1000 days in a row at various random ranges than shooting 250 rounds four days in a row from a few standard ranges.}

 Duh.

But that’s hard, and most people want easy.
Suture self.

Carpenters build things that don’t fall apart by building lots of things.
What hammer (or nail gun) and nail combination they use is a matter of relative indifference.

And the odds that we’ll get a new sniper caliber, and machineguns to match, and get everyone in NATO to go along, are long and slim.
We shoot 7.62×51 (and 5.56×45) weapons because the calibers are standard.
Good luck getting one army, let alone 29, to flip to a new cartridge that is standard nowhere in any of them.

You will likely see phased plasma rifles in the 40W range adopted first.
And then some jackass will pop off with the opinion that the 45W is a better man-stopper than the 40, and we’re off to the dead-horse-beating lab, again.

And if you can’t hit man-sized targets with well-used iron-sighted AR platforms in 5.56 out to 500Y routinely, like thousands of kids, some with only GEDs, do every week at two MCRDs, with a modicum of common sense and the tender instruction of Marine PMIs, you’re already a NO GO at the riflery station.

That’s basic numbnuts marksmanship, BTW.
Long range starts at >500Y. Period.

Best unfuck yourself.

20 comments:

Roger said...

As someone that holds two rifle master classifications and has hit a target at 1000 yards more than once, Your statements and opinion are absolutely dead on target.
There is a huge difference between clanging a steel target at whatever range and hitting a 'designated' target when someone can and will shoot back, that is if you are lucky or good enough to get close enough to try the shot. ("Oh SHIT! I didn't see that hajj - - - - - -.)

The Gray Man said...

For civilians wondering where to get this type of training, try the Appleseed Project. Last I heard, they are still training people to hit 500yd man sized targets with whatever iron sighted rifle you bring to their seminar that weekend.

Ned2 said...

Most of the "festivities" will be conducted at less than 200 yds.
Talk about ballistics is redundant. Any rifle you're competent with will do.

Anonymous said...

Hey where can I get me one of those super fancy 7.62x53 or 7.62x53r rifles, asking for a friend.

Eric.

Unknownsailor said...

The chances your average rifle toting partisan will be able to take a 500 yard shot are infinitesimal. The enemy will not be standing still long enough to take one. As the USMC found out, to their detriment, Camp Perry oriented KD marksmanship programs are not useful or germane combat training. This includes the Appleseed Project. Good formal marksmanship training that has almost zero actual combat applicability.

mobius said...

Ha! Ford's better than S'heavy.😜

Spoilsport. What do you mean I can't buy skill?

Real good advice.

G Russell said...

Could not disagree more with you.

Aesop said...

@Eric:
You can get a 7.62x53R rifle by getting a Finnish Sako variant of the Russian Mosin-Nagant.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.62%C3%9753mmR
You have outsmarted yourself.

Me listing Zaitsev's rifle as the same cartridge was an error on my part, and should have read 7.62x54R. It was corrected.

Now, really, was that the best use of your time?

RSR said...

I think you're complaining about something that's already in motion/been decided...

6.5 Creedmoor is already in use by USSOCOM for precision, as is 6.8 SPC. FN also released a version of their minimi (Mk 48 Mod 2) in 6.5 Creedmoor due to a USSOCOM request.

The main benefit of 6.5 Creedmoor as I see it, is that it's nearly ballistically identical to .300 win mag for precision use.

Close ranges 6.5 CM is similar to heavy .243 Win in ballistic performance (but less hard on barrels) and similar recoil, and past .300 yards it's superior to .308 Win/7.62 NATO in all types of ballistic performance (but at substantial weight savings and reduced recoil -- reduced recoil also allows for lighter weapon systems than what .308 would require since less wear and tear).

And the US Military is currently seeking a 6.8 caliber round for it's next generation SAW and ammo is supposed to reduce weight through standard or cased-telescopic POLYMER cases... For instance, the 6.5 mm CTA they've been testing weighs 35% less than 7.62 NATO -- there's a decent slide presentation from some point last year from the military discussing various weights and benefits for the weapons being solicited by the US Military.

RSR said...

Also, this: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/meet-super-saw-machine-gun-and-why-us-military-loves-it-45357

"In testing in 2017, special operators shooting rifles modified to fire 6.5mm Creedmoor were twice as likely to hit their targets compared those using control guns in the existing 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Special Operations Command also evaluated .260 Remington and collected data on the performance of all three types of ammunition in the FN Mk 20 Mod 0 Sniper Support Rifle, the Knight’s Armament Company M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS), and Heckler and Koch M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS).

The testing also showed that the 6.5mm versions of the weapons have 40 percent greater range and less recoil than their 7.62mm counterparts. The round was 30 percent less susceptible to wind drift, as well, making it more precise at those distances."

RSR said...

Unknown @ June 2, 2019 at 8:49 PM: Max Velocity has a great post on a .308 Rifle Squad having overmatch benefits in ambush and combat against troops w/ 5.56 or lesser calibers.

It's now behind a pay wall, but you can find it on the waybackmachine's internet archive if curious to read.

Main point is that for irregular/insurgent warfare by civilians, you don't fight in the same manner as would conventional military, so larger caliber provides advantages and reduces ballistic injuries when you likely won't have access to modern medical facilities to treat...

Also, for everyone concerned, China's general-issue 5.8x42 is actually much superior to 5.56, and our team should have rounds to over-match.

Regardless, in a fight with a near-peer where we don't have sole and uncontested control of the skies, seas, and tech realms, as well as dominating in with armor and artillery on land, infantry tactics, maneuver, and small arms will become MUCH MORE important. Same applies to any irregular warfare that might occur by civilians protecting the home front.

So in sum: caliber does matter, and sniping at range has major psychological and behavioral impacts on the enemy, and range is tremendously important for survivability.

https://maxvelocitytactical.com/2015/03/17/the-citizen-unconventional-rifle-squad-arming-with-308/

Domo said...

Opinion ( not mine, weapons mans I think)
Single shot rifles are the best way to learn, if you have to reload after every shot, you dont waste a shot.

Facts, not my facts, actual facts, see link for actual scientific studies
https://defencewithac.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-great-internet-calibre-debate-part.html

Infantry rifles are about the least lethal thing on a battlefield, HiEx & shrapnel thereof are the cause of the vast majority of deaths.
In combat conditions, marksmanship training is essentially worthless, experienced soldiers shooting at fleeting targets whilst under fire do no better than day 1 recruits.
Casualties are essentially random
Fatality determinates are number of hits, location of hits, caliber of hit, in that order.

Aesop said...

@RSR
SOCOM will do what they please.
That tail wagging the entire military procurement dog, let alone 28 other NATO countries, is not very likely. Doubly so when there's the initial requests for weaponry, then considerations about mountains of stockpiled war surplus ammo, spare parts, etc.
If the US military sees a new standard caliber this century, I'd be rather surprised. Not shocked, but it's not where I'd put my imaginary chips.

Also, 7.62/.308's only use/utility isn't for anti-personnel effect when sniping.

.308 (and .30-06 before it) has been turning cover into concealment for over a century in US service. You can hide in bushes, and a twig will deflect a 5.56.
Conversely, there's not much found on the average city block that will stop 7.62x51 rounds.

So, how does 6.5, 6.8, etc. do at shooting through tree trunks, brick walls, vehicles, sandbags, etc.? I really don't know, but not, I suspect, as well as 7.62x51 does.

I started out carrying a solid M4gery on the border. Then came the day the cartels came within about 2 minutes of cutting through the border fence, and running a convoy of trucks with concrete-filled steel pipe bumpers and tires filled with Fix-A-Flat to get their load of dope into the city, and I realized none of us were carrying anything that could stop an @-hole in a truck, by taking out either the spinning pieces under the hood, or the nut behind the wheel.

The following week, I had a shorty M-1A.

And if I'd had the means and the option, I would have humped something in .50 BMG, and not have been over-armed.

There are some advantages for new rounds, for some missions.
But the number of new calibers and great gee-whiz rifles etc. that died stillborn is in the mid-teens now, just since the 1980s.

And Big Green makes actual jackasses look pliable and easy to lead by comparison.
Army's mascot is not a mule for no reason.

RSR said...

Aesop -- I've got nothing against .308 and am someone who generally prefers 7.62x39 to 5.56 w/in 300 yards. (The 7mm UIAC would be a good compromised -- Chris Murray who designed the 6.8 SPC designed this round, based on the Czech's 7.62x45 cartridge found in VZ52 rifles...)

300 yards/meters is important -- beyond that range is where 6.5 Creedmoor ("6.5 CM") is intended to shine (M4 carbines and M249 SAWs prioritized w/in the 300 yard/meter envelope) and where the separation from .308 Win/7.62 N begins to become apparent.

Insofar as capability against cover, .308 should have greater momentum but with reduced sectional density 6.5 CM should be a better performer against most intermediate barriers -- given equivalent bullet construction between the two and equivalent velocities. In brief, don't know the full answer, but 6.5 CM should penetrate roughly equivalent to 7.62x39, which has proven roughly equivalent to 7.62 N in turning cover into concealment from everything I've seen. Good discussion of these attributes here, over my attention span right now, but I'd say .308 win and 6.5 CM is pretty much a draw: https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Hunting/EHU/Momentum-KineticEnergy-ArrowPenetration.pdf

The point regarding 6.5 CM and .300 Win Mag is that the latter can adequately fulfill a greater role/energy needs if needed w/o having to train on a more difficult caliber. .338 lapua's trajectory is also quite similar to .300 win mag, and such would apply similarly too. The "good enough for gov't work" cross training allows a pretty comprehensive stable of options before reaching for a .50 bmg anti-material rifle (really only critical against armored targets -- both .300 win mag and .338 lapua have AP rounds available). And on the .50 front, M2's are already in common defensive and vehicle-mounted use -- there's not a lot of benefit to adding that caliber in a precision role, especially considering air and artillery assets that can be deployed against targets at range.

The draw of 6.5 CM is that it appeals to not only the ballistic criteria but also to the supply/logistics and physical limitations of soldiers -- effectively a net 20%+ weight savings (weight minus kinetic performance %s). That savings in weight saves fuel, wear and tear on vehicles, allows for add'l rounds to be carried at same weight, provides potential for some reduced load and later medical burden to soldiers, etc.

Insofar as caliber -- an intermediate caliber projectile in 6.5-7mm seems to be a topic of general agreement as it is a ballistic sweet spot against human+ sized game. What we end up with and in what type of weapon system, I have no idea. But I have nothing against incremental change -- and as I'm sure you know 7.62 NATO came out of the same procurement boondoggle that gave us the short-lived M14. The FN-FAL was originally configured in the intermediate .280 British (actual .276 and 7mm), rather than the full caliber 7.62 NATO...

Finally, regarding 5.56 performance -- M855A1 w/ its EPR has better penetrative performance against steel than does M80 ball. Not sure what load you were carrying in your M1A1, but considering most modern cars have aluminum blocks that are far weaker than steel, I think M855A1 is sufficient to throw a wrench in the works if you will -- especially in light of the military caliber discussion here.

Aesop said...

This is an old story.
The M1 Garand was originally designed for .276 (7mm) as well.
Nonetheless, the organizational inertia (the same then as now) pushed it into service as a .30-06.
Those same forces will be pushing against anything that isn't 7.62x51 or 5.56x45 now.

Tailoring weapon selection because of performance at range is also a poor idea.
The .30-06 and .308 are vastly superior to 5.56 for range and penetration, but vastly inferior for quantity of ammunition carried per pound, and of dubious worth in a venue where the average engagement range is 100Y or so. Like a sub-tropical rainforest.

That doesn't make the 6.5 and 6.8 choices bad or good, but they're merely underlining the same truth as you had with pistols: TANSTAAFL.

9mm vs .45 (11mm) gave you the intermediate compromise 10mm: .40S&W.
Bigger bullets and more punch than 9MM, but less bullets than 9mm, and less punch than a .45.
The reality is all will work adequately for the implied task, and at that point, with a pistol, reliability and shot placement is key. Not caliber or platform.

So now we're looking at a 7.6mm rifle/cartridge, and a 5.6 (rounded) rifle cartridge, and folks are slipping right don the middle with 6.5mm and 6.8mm options.
Same results apply.

The problem is the same: every tradeoff gets you something, and costs you something.

But adopting a (currently) non-standard cartridge costs you a huge supply chain problem, both with ammunition, and spare part and aftermarket accessories.

The exact same considerations in the early 2000s, amidst two hot war theatres, and a crushing ammunition shortage, led to the conclusion that the US .Mil wouldn't be making any rifle/cartridge changes, probably anytime for 50 years, because pointless in the long run, and logistically crippling in the short-term.

As for accuracy, people want to point to special sauce 6.5 choices.
Fair enough.
But I can get the same performance if allowed to make special sauce 5.56 or 7.62 choices, rather than artificially going with the mil-spec options.

Which brings the exact same logistical/ammunition shortages in the long run the 6.5 does.

Like it would.

There is no work-around for physics nor logistics.

Claiming that any caliber is or could be "inherently" more accurate, as the OP leaned towards, is cherry-picking poppycock.
(cont.)

Aesop said...

(cont.)
Take 20 such weapons, and hand them to 20 people who never fired a weapon before, and let them shoot the same course.
I'll bet dollars to donuts their shooting would suck ass, because they are incapable of applying the fundamentals they never learned, to achieve the native accuracy potential of the weapon/cartridge combo described over at WRSA.

In short, it's training, not tools, that makes marksmen.
Now, you take those same 20, teach them the fundamentals on any current platform, and then hand them a cherry-picked rifle with special sauce ammo, and they might do as the article noted.

Suggesting there's a shortcut to weapons proficiency through tool selection, however, is fluent bullshit, no matter who does it.

People who don't know how to shoot will demonstrate, with any weapon/cartridge choice, that they don't know how to shoot.
People who do know how to shoot will demonstrate the ability to make anything work accurately enough to get the job done.

So knowing that, the questions are what weapon will be the most ubiquitous, familiar, simple to operate, reliable, and logistically supportable with commonly available stores and stocks.

That question is settled, and will remain so, on this continent.

Notwithstanding that SOCOM and DevGru, etc., will play with all the exotic crap they chose to.

But there are an estimated 13-16M AR-15 variants in use and service, most in 5.56, which makes the numbers for other weapons pale into insignificance on this continent.
Only the AK series worldwide surpasses this for a modern combat rifle, and that entirely being an overseas phenom.
The K98 and Mosin-Nagant are bolt actions with greater numbers in total, obsolescent though serviceable, and hardly practical for serious consideration unless the alternative is pointy sticks and spears.

And the fact that we couldn't even keep .22LR in stock a few years ago points out that choosing non-standard cartridges is a poor long-term strategy.

Somebody wants to plonk down the cash for their fave 6.5 etc., go ahead on. It's a free country. But they are pickles in a vanilla and chocolate world.

I'd rather spend my cash on additional ammunition and practice with the standard weapons I already have.

And FTR, M855 was not in widespread availability at the time I was down south.
M80 equivalent was. I was frankly planning more on taking out the drivers than the engine blocks if the need arose, because that was a higher percentage target, with a much better instant effect.

Historian said...

Aesop:

I'll repeat this one more time.

This is not about buying shooting skills. You cannot. I agree with your point.

What you *can* buy is a commercial off-the-shelf rifle and ammunition system that is capable of sub MOA performance out to 1000 yards and beyond, with less recoil, less wind drift, and better penetration than the .308 175 HPBT.

With these rifles, you don't need to find a custom smith to build your stick, and pay $5000 or more for a blueprinted action, custom stock, bedding and all the rest. To feed these rifles, you can go buy commercial off the shelf match grade ammo that is capable of single digit SDs and groups sub-MOA, sometimes less than half an MOA. You don't need to spend years learning how to reload match ammo to meet these specs.

This saves a lot of time and money, and allows people who are interested in learning to shoot long range to do so in a relatively short amount of time. That is a game changer. If you already have all the skills needed to do that, great. Not everyone does, not even folks who shoot competitively a lot. Accurizing rifles and loading really good ammo are skills that take time and practice to learn.

As far as standard ammo is concerned, the 6.5 Creedmoor, now 12 years old, is becoming dominant in the long range shooting area, for good reason, and ammo is readily available through commercial channels. Now, if something bad happens and you cannot buy ammo, you can still reform any of the .308 family cases into 6.5 Creedmoor and roll your own. Or, if you have some foresight, change the barrel on your stick to .308 and live with the loss of long range capability, increased recoil, increased wind drift, etc. Or buy a few cases of good chow for your stick, probably the simplest option.

As regards accuracy, I've run .308 sticks out to a thousand yards. My loads have SDs right around 9 or 10, and I get 5 shot groups consistently around 5/8" with 10 shot groups sub MOA at 100 yards. Out to 600 yards there is not much to choose between the .308 and any of the 6.5s (Creed, Lapua, .260 Rem, or even the Swede). Go much past that even with match ammo (FGMM) and drift and drop/ranging become increasing issues. The fact is that the 7.62 x 51/.308 drifts more and drops more than the 6.5 calibers do, because to get equivalent ballistic coefficient, the .30 calibers would have to push a 225 or 230 grain bullet, which the .308 cannot do. That translates, in real world shooting situations where there are fickle winds and ranges are uncertain, to an increasing loss of ability to make hits at long range, and especially to make first round hits. Commercial .308 runs around 1 1/2" to 2"+ and Nato ball runs around 2 to 3 inches, depending on maker and brand. Federal Gold Medal Match is better, running around an inch, sometimes less. 6.5 Creed does better, and with custom loaded rounds will shoot bench rest grade groups. Fact, not opinion. Check out Brian Litz' books on the subject for detailed analyses on hit probability.

It is absolutely true that the military utility of long range rifle fire (>600 yards) has been small in the past. But in an era where soft and hard armor is becoming increasingly common, being able to deliver first round headshots reliably at, say 300-500 yards plus is likely to have some utility. But you will not get that level of performance from M80 ball; you will have to have "special sauce" ammo, ideally custom fit to your specific stick to do that, and even then, having spent the effort to make accurate .308, or the money to buy a few cases of Gold Medal Match, you will still be at a disadvantage compared to the 6.5s. If you have to source special ammo to gain capability, does the caliber matter? The cost of Gold Medal Match and 6.5 Creed are roughly equivalent. Now the cost of precision sticks are more or less equivalent, and the Creed has the advantage for precision shooting.

(cont.)

Historian said...

(Cont.)While we are on the topic of ammunition availability, during the Great .22 Shortage, some folks had no trouble feeding their .22; they had bought ahead. I saw 6.5 Creed and other 'oddball' calibers on the shelf, too, BTW; when sale of .22, (and even 9mm hollowpoint ammo) was rationed, you could buy the oddball calibers all day long. So I am not sure that the argument about non-standard calibers being unavailable is supported by the evidence, although I tend to prefer 'mainstream' calibers mainly for cost reasons.

Lastly, please let me, again, reiterate what I have consistently said on this topic from the beginning- Owning an accurate rifle system will not make you a long range shooter, and being a good long range shooter does not make you a sniper. What the 6.5 Creedmoor system brings to the table is the capability to shoot accurately at long ranges in a COTS product. Whether or not the owner can USE that capability is up to him, but a system that makes it so much easier to learn those skills is a Good Thing.

Now, with all that said, if you decide that you do not need such precision, so be it!

With regard to all who seek the Light,

Historian

Aesop said...

Historian,
I heard what you were saying.
Each time.

Most won't.
And when the 6.5 Magic Stick doesn't shoot (for them) any better than the .308, or anything else, because they suck, not the weapon, they'll drop it too.

Oddball calibers were available under normal circumstances because few ever want them anyways.
When all ammo is short, they'll be equally unavailable, and twenty times harder to self-roll, because you'll be looking for a salmon in a catfish pond.

See the whole board.

Can a well-trained rifleman wring a smidge more accuracy out of a 6.5 long range weapon with special sauce ammo than the same guy with .308, .300WM, or .338Lapua, among other choices?
Probably.

The problem isn't a dearth of accuracy though.

It's a dearth of well-trained riflemen with any decent weapon, and enough ammo (and related logistics) of any caliber to use it over a long haul with zero COTS resupply, who must first have seen the need to know that and do that to begin with.

In short, you're not preaching to the choir, you're preaching to the choir director.

The problem is getting people in the pews.

Your efforts and info, commendable as they are, are about nine steps beyond the fundamental problems to be solved.
The colloquial inside-baseball term "arcana" thus comes to mind.

It's all well and good to have a Special Forces SOTIC Course.
But rather pointless if your recruiters can't even get any people to join your army.

Nobody anywhere is saying "if only my guys could get their 900M groups down to 1/2MOA".
They're saying "If only I could get 5-10 guys to show up for anything, at all, consistently, or even just once."

Crack that nut, sir, and the eight others between having nobody, and hitting a headshot at >600M on the first shot, and I'll subscribe to your newsletter and march in your parade.

You can even instruct at the long-range course if you like. ;)

Historian said...

The issue of getting folks to participate in learning valuable skills is certainly one I know all too well, Aesop, and I have no magical solution. Part of getting people to engage in and commit to any volunteer activity is to persuade them that the proposed activity is (in no particular order):

1) enjoyable
2) useful
3) possible for *them* to do well at
4) affordable in time and money

With regard to learning marksmanship skills, if you can engage folks while they are young, get them interested and involved in .22 shooting, then you have a chance to keep them engaged in shooting and develop other relevant activities as well. (I got my interest in shooting as a young man while reading Robert Heinlein's works.)

Doing this is more difficult for adults who come upon shooting later in life, and who have already developed other interests and habits that conflict with things like learning shooting, something that takes lots of time. Most pernicious is television and/or smart phones. I myself watch no tv and do not own a smart phone, but I do spend too much time on the internet, and too much time reading books. (wry grin) I do encourage my circle of acquaintance to avoid television, with some success, and smart phones, with virtually no success.

Lowering the barriers to entry for any new activity is likely to make it easier to get folks interested in it; long range shooting as a sport is benefited by making it easier to get into, hence my interest in recent developments in that field. I am actually encouraged by the fact that there were competitors in the recent match I observed who did not do well, many of those younger adults who brought their SOs with them.

Those folks cared enough to spend basically an entire day out in the wild, and about $75 of ammo from an expensive rifle ($2000) to learn something about wind reading, field positions, and various other esoterica. Will these folks drop out? Possibly, or their competitive streak may kick in and nudge them to develop the skills to get better. One thing I have learned, if you really want to encourage people to participate in something, make it a game. If folks can compete and gain status by engaging in an activity, then they are more likely to do it. Look at the Precision Rifle videos on YouTube (!!)

At the end of the day, Aesop, just as we write for Nock's Remnant, activities like long range shooting are never going to be as popular as Saturday Night Live. And I'm OK with that.

Lastly, while I do instruct in various shooting disciplines, when it comes to long range, I am a student, and decidedly NOT qualified to instruct. I have a great deal to learn there, one reason I take classes, and spent one of *my* precious days out in the wild watching experts shoot, and with trepidation asking questions about reading wind, holds and positions, and other esoterica. I know enough to know how ignorant I am, and how much I have to learn.

With regard to all who serve the Light,

Historian