Jul 9, 2014

"In the zeroes"

I'm not a true precision shooter. Never have been. Probably never will be. Things like rail guns just don't appeal to me. From a mechanical standpoint, they're amazing pieces of work. From a shooter standpoint? They have no soul. (Say what you will. Sometimes the rifle and the shooter just click. Those rifles? They have souls.)

I may fine-tune a load for the Savage. I expect I'll spend more time reloading each round for that than I have on any other cartridge I've done, because the rifle can use that level of detail. I may well sort bullets and cartridges by weight. I don't foresee myself doing things like turning cartridge necks. I wandered off when the guys at my club's F-class match started discussing the pros and cons of trickling an entire powder charge vs dipping and trickling to final.

That said, there's an article I have read repeatedly over the years that is unlike anything I've found in the gun rags in the last decade. It was printed in 1993 by Precision Shooting, in a "special issue". The article was titled, "Secrets of the Houston Warehouse". It has been reprinted (reportedly with permission) in various places.

It literally was a benchrest shooter’s dream come true, the Camelot of shooting ranges. Here, the breezes never blew, the mirage never shimmered, the sun never set and the rain never fell. Even the harshness of the weather, either heat or cold, was moderated by the insulating properties of the walls and steel roof.
And so began perhaps the most insightful, revealing experimentation into practical rifle accuracy ever conducted. Over a period of six years, the levels of accuracy achieved in the Houston Warehouse went beyond what many precision shooters thought possible for lightweight rifles shot from sandbags and aimed shot-to-shot by human eye.
“Day after day, week after week”, Virgil recalled “it would NOT shoot a group in the warehouse bigger than .070".

There is a text-only version here, and a reconstructed pdf here (pictures are not the same). Read the whole thing if ballistic witchcraft is your thing. It's fascinating stuff.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I've seen some of those .03 groups... I don't have the patience...