Author Topic: The Value of KD: A Confession  (Read 424 times)

Offline The Wolfhound

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The Value of KD: A Confession
« on: September 13, 2017, 09:03:48 AM »
The Value of KD, A Confession

When one is anointed as a Senior Instructor, you feel there is a certain expectation on your ability as a shooter.  It is therefore difficult to admit that I shot poorly at KD in Ramseur.  But, I did shoot poorly and I find that the experience was exceptionally valuable.  For a number of years I have shot almost exclusively .22LR.  None of the ranges we use for Appleseed in Virginia have the option for true Known Distance shooting.  A trip to a KD shoot was something I needed to do.  Ramseur was the closest place and that would be my remedy.  I have had a rocky relationship with my AR.  The issue has never been the rifle but has been the optic that came on it and my aging eyes.  I have been using readers for about 15 years.  For the 9 years I have owned the AR I have found it difficult to shoot with the precision with which I shoot scoped rifles. My AR has a holographic red dot.  I have a slight astigmatism. This is not a good combination. I was seeing not a red dot, but a red crescent.  I as a result, I did not practice with my AR.  I should have.  (Lesson one!)  I have been using a reader type corrective lens in my shooting glasses for a while and thus equipped, my AR and I journeyed to Ramseur.  On the 25 meter range I refined my groups and mistakenly thought I was properly zeroed.  I should have been more critical on my zero. (Lesson Two!)
I migrated over to the full distance range and shot my first full distance AQT.  I realized (confession time) that I had actually never shot my AR standing or kneeling; all my previous shooting with it had been either bench or prone.  I should practice all positions.  (Lesson Three!)  I had decided to go with the holdover/hold under concept and made no changes to my sight for elevation.  The height of each group was perfectly acceptable.  Surprisingly my standing at 100 yards, holding about the bottom of the V ring, is not a shambles, 9 hits out of 10.  Transition to sitting time: Now this, WAS a shambles!  Mechanically, I did OK but my kneeling position collapsed.  I had always shot kneeling (my back will not do sitting) wearing stiff boots.  In my haste in packing for the trip I had forgotten them.  Practice positions in different apparel. (Lesson Four!) Shooting results: terrible!
Transition to rapid fire prone, 300 yards. Results tolerable: 8 out of 10.  For some reason (later to be discovered) all shots were to the left.  I had not yet caught on to the problem.  Slow fire prone time, 400 yards, holding near the top of the head.  The group was about 8 or 10 inches across but was far enough off to the left to not score but a couple of hits!?!?!? 
I was sore enough that one attempt was enough for me; KD takes some serious amounts of time.  What had I learned about KD and me? First a 25 meter zero and a 300 yard zero for my 16 inch barrel, really are pretty much the same.  Yeah, you read about it but it feels different to see it work out that way.  I was shooting M855 penetrator to hold to the concept of “Standard Ammunition”.  I had purchased some boutique 69 grain Match grade stuff but decided to go with the M855.  My group size, prone, at distance was well within 3-4 MOA as it had been at 25 Meters.  I am not sure with a 1MOA red dot, the rifle would show much improvement with the Match ammo. 
The final piece of the puzzle requires a fast forward of a couple of weeks.  Back on the local range at 25 yards.  Still shooting the M855.  3 MOA group 2 and a half minutes of angle to the LEFT! Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 2 MOA group, (I was focusing better this time) 2 and a half minutes to the LEFT!  Brain time: 2 and a half minutes at 400 yards is 10 inches! Just about the exact distance I was off to the left when I shot at Ramseur.  I had clearly accepted my zero in error.  The rifle shoots where it is pointed and the shooter determines whether the rifle and sights are pointed in the same place. This was a “fail” on my part.  I offer to anyone concerned a clean Redcoat target as evidence that I have corrected this failure.  THIS “old dog” can learn from his mistakes.
I recommend to all, shooting at full distance.  It will reveal your strengths and weaknesses.  It also proves our concept that with good technique a Rifleman can score hits out to 500 yards.  What we teach works and works well.  It is how well we apply it that makes all the difference.  Oh, and Ramseur? Look out, I am coming back.  We have some unresolved issues.
Sincerely,
"The Wolfhound"

Offline navybowhunter

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 10:30:28 AM »
Good stuff Wolfhound!

Few comments:

- Red dots and me don't work well either.  I too have an astigmitasm, and am unable to even use the lit reticle feature on my scopes because I need it to be so bright to see it, and that causes a HALO effect.  Which does not do well for me on the target.

- M855, that stuff is awful.  But I get your point of "rack grade/surplus".  Maybe use those 69's....or better yet a 75 grain.

There are other options, and ways for you to practice KD shooting.  Appleseed wise you are correct, there are not many opportunities in our area.  Consider shooting a High Power event.  There are 3x6 matches that are all shot at the 600 yard line, 60 rounds all done in slow prone.  That is an excellent way to practice and no Gucci gear needed.  XTC matches are another way.  I'd be willing to loan you some of my gear to allow you to shoot one of those matches. 

Zeroing at 25 meters on a Redcoat or squares is perfectly fine for an acceptable level of accuracy.  However, having true come ups for the different yard lines can make all the difference in the world.  Especially if your skills are not at a high level, meaning the error will be less if you are using different comeups for each yard line.

I applaud your honesty Sir!  It is refreshing to see this.

Some honesty from me?  I have yet to AS KD qual with my Garand.  I was using HXP ammo, and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn (size of our KD targets) at 300 or 400 yards.  Milsurp ammo is what I have chalked that up to.  I now handload for my Garand, or use match grade commercial ammo.

MILSURP ammo, is typically ammo that the military has rejected for one reason or another.  It could be that concentricity was unacceptable, primers were not sealed properly...etc etc.  I do not have the specs for LOT acceptance testing, but I do know that 855 stuff is one of the least desirable (ballistics wise) for any sort of competition.

Anyways, offer is always there if you would like to shoot a match or two with me.  We will get that AR dialed in properly. 

I have a post, in rifle knowledge bank, on the ideal setup for a scoped AR.  From memory, 1.3 inches from center or bore to center of optic, 3 inch offset (get the optic eyepiece 1 inch at least FWD from the charging handle).  Lots of info in that post, if you care to read it, that will explain what CMP/NRA competitors have found to work excellently since scopes have been introduced to our firing lines.  FWIW, no less than 8 National Records have been broken this past year with scoped service rifles.  Think they have figured out what works, and works very well.

Here is the link to my post on Optics for the AR15:

https://appleseedinfo.org/smf/index.php?topic=50014.0

R/
Chris

« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 10:54:40 AM by navybowhunter »

Offline navybowhunter

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 10:37:38 AM »
Another note on this.  Dry fire practice....

I BLEW an opportunity last weekend at the DE state HP match, when I crossfired a 10 in standing (miss for me).

What happened?

In prep I dry fired, first sighter was a low 6, next one a high 7!  WTH!!??

Then I got determined, 1st shot for record, 8, next one 9, then the crossfire.  After the crossfire, high 6, low 6.  AWFUL!

I did make points back in second string of standing, and all the way back to 600, finishing in the middle of my classification (Expert).

Point is this...., I had not practiced the week prior to the match at all.  When I practice (dry fire), typically a week leading up to a match....GOOD STUFF happens!

When I do not....bad stuff happens, typically at 200 yards standing and seated.  Prone has always been my strong point.

It is a DIMINISHING skill, one may have the fundamentals memorized.....but the application of them, that is a diminishing skill.  I need to practice (dry fire) and do it often to place high scores.

R/
Chris

Offline Laredo

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 11:50:41 AM »
I really dislike red dots. 

I suggest going irons or scope.  Spend some time setting up your AR.  I have padding to increase my cheek weld.  For my scoped AR I have a cantilevered mount so the scope is forward enough for my eye relief.

I also have used readers for years.  I think it sucks getting older - but it has not affecting my shooting.  All I have to see is the front site post or the reticle. 

In my opinion, KD just magnifies our opportunities for improvement.  I know ammo plays a role... but I don't believe its a show stopper.   I have shot Rifleman with AR's many times (KD also) and have never shot anything better than PMC or Wolf Gold.  Matter of fact, nothing better than that has every gone down any of my barrels.  call me cheap!  lol

I think you nailed it when you mentioned you shoot 22 exclusively.  You probably just need more time on the line with the AR (and ditch the Red Dot!!) 

My recommendation - spend a Saturday setting up your AR for you.  Then shoot an AQT every time you get a chance... even if at 25M. 

...and rejoice you have a reason to shoot!!!  lol
April 21-22, 2012 - 1st
Oct      6-7, 2012 - 2nd
April 20-21, 2013 - 3rd
Sept     7-8, 2013 - 4th - Rifleman!!

"The cost of a thing is the amount of life required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run. When one has obtained those essentials necessary for well-being — food, shelter, warmth, and clothing, there is an alternative to struggling through steel jungles for the luxuries. That’s to adventure on life itself, one’s vacation from humble toil having commenced.” -Townsend Whelen

Offline Monkey

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 12:49:01 PM »
I've grown to dislike red dots for the style of shooting we do at AS for several reasons - parallax, fuzziness, the halo/fireball effect (or whatever you call it).  Red dots are useful for many other applications, but take a back seat to other more effective sighting systems in KD.

Having known The Wolfhound for a few years now, I'm pretty sure he's aware that there are better methods of sighting that suit both our style of shooting and his eyesight.  I'm also pretty sure that his Rifleman's persistence keeps pushing him to make this configuration work before he moves on.

For me, I have yet to prove out my home defense AR15 at KD.  Have zeroed it to a few different ranges (backup irons at 25, red dot at 50), but as mentioned previously, there aren't that many venues for KD near Richmond or the Hampton Roads area of VA.  However, my Obamarifle (Bushmaster that I bought for a ridiculous price on December 24, 2012 by direction of the boss) has validated, roughly, that the comeups we discuss are valid, but only in a limited theory-to-practice event (i.e. zero at 25, fired at 100 after MOA adjustments immediately after zero).

At the end of the day, we all know to be true that KD amplifies your errors at 25.

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Offline The Wolfhound

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 11:37:59 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  Chris, I may take you up on the invitation.  Laredo, Monkey had me right on my own cussidness being a factor.  The sight (Eotech 552) came on the rifle and I am determined to make it work.  In a SHTF scenario, it should be a great choice for rapid shots.  My eventual plan is to set up a 20 or 24 inch barreled upper with a nice long fore end (mine is terribly short).  I already have a good scope waiting for it.  So equipped, I should be better off.   I really do want to succeed with the "rack grade rifle" (mine is pretty close to stock) and "standard ammunition".  I was actually favorably impressed with my Federal M855 loads.  It did not seem to be a factor in my shooting.  Once I corrected my zero, I was keeping within 2MOA using them.  I have been of the opinion that my rifle does not like the 55 grain M193s.  I will revisit this theory.  The 1 in 9 inch twist SHOULD play nice with them.  In this configuration, it IS a carbine , not a precision rifle.

Offline VAshooter

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 01:31:28 PM »
Wolfhound,

I have a couple ACOG's in my safe. Lots of military rifles have them too. If you will bend your rules a little bit I'd be glad to loan you one of the ACOG's for your rifle.

It's one thing to want to work with the sight on the rifle but the problem isn't the sight. If your vision was compatible with it you would be KD qualified now. Why not try one of my ACOG sights and that coupled with what you have learned will help you shoot the KD score your capable of.


Offline The Wolfhound

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Re: The Value of KD: A Confession
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2017, 11:25:55 PM »
Doug, I will be happy to take you up on your very kind offer.  "Dangerous Cook" tried my Eotech and suggested burning it!  ;D  I very much appreciate your confidence in my ability.  I will give the Eotech at least one more try at distance.  After a long and difficult relationship, I feel I have come to a point where it is working well enough for me.  I will call you to set up a visit to try the ACOG.