Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ballistics 2019

Ballistics 2019

Couple events over the past decade or so prompted me to evaluate gun, barrel, sights employed for deer hunting: (1) one deer at which I "looked" with my eyes instead of looking down the barrel through the open sights (this was presumably because I had been practicing instinct shooting with recurve for many weeks leading up to the shot), (2) one deer at which I fired a shot during legal shooting hours but right at dusk (hit, followed blood trail to neighboring property, not allowed to continue into said property; I think a better shot - maybe one in which I could have better drawn my eye to a more focused target on the obscured deer body - would have put the deer down in closer vicinity).

As such, this year employing the rifled barrel (already had it) and a red dot scope by Sig Sauer (Romeo 5).  Required some set up; notes below.

Just to get on the paper I put the scope on the barrel, removed barrel from gun and set on a pillow at home.  Sighted down the barrel and adjusted the scope to eye-balling center of a target.  Wasn't sure how well this would work.  Not great, apparently.  First shot at the range at 25 yards was pretty far down and left.  The second shot was after clicking right 6 inches and up eight inches (did not have this effect as evidenced in photo).  Repeated the adjustment - right 6, up 8 inches.  Closer.  Up 8 inches, looks good.  These increments of "inches" are described as how much the sight will move at 100 yards, so there was needed an iterative process just to see what it would do at 25 and then at 50. 

Once on paper, next step was to move out to 50 yards and then shoot several different sabot types, with varying velocities.  A friend indicated that on the "not expensive" guns (like my own Mossberg) the slower slugs often shoot better.  I was hoping that the federal sabots would be good but they were all over the place.  The hornady was not tight either.  The slowest sabot I tried - the Winchester 1350 FPS - was the best: three shots dead on, two slipped just a bit likely because of my own error.  I had to undertake this same exercise with the smooth barrel years back; it is critical to determine what ammo shoots best out of each barrel.  Too bad on the federals as they are $6 for a box of 5.  The Winchesters are $12 for the same count.  With numerous variables in play, it is possible that I should not yet give up on the federals; I may just shoot one more box to study further.

Went back a couple weeks later with my son.  Thinking I'd be locked in and shooting all the paper out of that heart.  First shot, the red dot scope fell off the gun.  Good reminder that introducing new variables and gadgetry basically means that more shit can go wrong.  I'd have been in a tougher spot if I'd been in the stand.  Guy next to the shooting range was in his garage and he loaned me allen wrench.  Remounted scope.  It was no longer holding its center, as evidenced by the first three shots that are all left/low with sticks in them.  Executed some clicks and got back on; next three shots very good at 50 yards.  The three shots with no sticks in them are by the kid, who was shooting rifled slugs through smooth bore, with only a bird bead on end of barrel.  Little high at 50yards but still killing shots.  At 25 yards he is in a 2-3 inch group.  Most of the shots in bluff country are 15-35 yards.