1. Less can be more – and often is
The desire to fully realize the long range potential of loads we push through our rifles can lead to a tunnel-vision-like approach where only bullets with the highest ballistic coefficient loaded to screaming velocities that push the edge are considered valid candidates. After all, more is better right? Not so. Accuracy and consistency are the goal. Hotter loads are often less consistent compared to those that are backed off a bit. And just because a bullet has a BC you drool over on paper, doesn’t mean it’s going to shoot well out of your rifle. Now don’t take this as trivializing the significance of using bullets with high ballistic coefficients. It is important. However, we ultimately need to remember, as long as the bullet is arriving where it needs to every time you squeeze the trigger, neither you or it should care what numbers are attached to it. In other words, it’s not the size of your BC, it’s how you use it. So you might dial a few more clicks – big deal.
2. Trust the bullet and yourself
I had a buddy who broke up with his long-time girlfriend by saying, “It’s not me, it’s you”. This isn’t just mildly humorous – unless you were that girl – but applicable to shooting. How so you ask? Think of it like this. Just as he was trusting his gut and experience to make the call he and his female cohort weren’t destined for the alter, you can trust yours to conclude your bullet impacts are hitting where they are for reasons that have nothing to do with you, your trigger squeeze, rifle cant, form, or anything else you rack your brain trying to adjust. The facts are, often times, you aren’t the problem. Here’s an example: I was engaging a steel plate at 1,000 yards during a rifle competition. There wasn’t a breath of wind at our location. Perfect conditions for the shot. Three misses later with all impacts in the same spot about 1 foot right of the target, I packed up for the next stage. Only when I rounded the corner did the reason for my misses hit me. The answer my friend, was literally blowing in the wind. Once you’ve sorted out it’s not you and trust yourself, you can start investigating what the real culprit is…It’s probably the wind, that F@#%ing wind.
3. Fast tracking a dang close – if not spot on – dope chart
Let’s face it. We’re all looking to save time and streamline aspects of our lives. In some ways, I’m even hesitant to throw this tip out there, because there are few shortcuts to getting reliable dope. However, from experience, I can tell you this works pretty damn good. And, all it takes is more gear and a little bookwork.
You’re going to need a “good, reliable and accurate chronograph.” Notice I didn’t just say “chronograph.” The MagnetoSpeed fits the bill. Next, you’re going to want to use a tested BC number by Bryan Litz. These tested BC’s and velocities oftentimes won’t match what’s listed on the ammo manufacturers website, but plugged into your ballistic calculator with the other necessary variables, you’ll get a ballistic chart you can dang near take to the bank. We highly encourage you take it to the range instead though.
— by Mark Boardman