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Although to many it would seem that these cards offer all the ballistic "dope" you need for shooting, you still haven't fine-tuned your elevation enough for long-distance "threading the eye of the needle." I recommend that you turn that 3x5 card over and jot down at 25-yard increments all the distances from 50 yards to 1,000 yards, then at each 25 yards enter target knob settings or BDC fine-tuning. This will become especially important past 500 yards, where you begin to see considerable elevation variance from each hundred-yard distance to the next.

For example, notice on the target knob card that at 700 yards you set the elevation at 8 MOA and, just 100 yards later, at 14 MOA. Thai's a 6 MOA variance, 24 clicks in just 100 yards! I think you'll want to know exacdy where to set the elevation knob for a 765-yard shot, given that at this distance 1 MOA equals 7 inches. Through practice on known-distance ranges or in open country where you can accurately laze your target, you can build up this kind of point-of-aim/point-of-impact verification until you have all those 25-yard blanks filled.

Still another style of ballistic data card was taught to me by Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Cooper, founder of Accuracy International. Working with the 22nd SAS, Malcolm had helped design a graph with arcs. The graph's left side was measured in 1/4 Minutes of Angle, while the bottom was distance-to-target at 25-meter increments. Every time an SAS sniper fired practice, he put a dot where he'd confirmed his dope at an exact lazed distance. In between these confirmed points, the sniper drew a line to "connect the dots" and fill in the other distances and MOA settings. Eventually he had a complete arc, with dots all the way to maximum range, and all he had to do was look at his card to see what his elevation should be in MOAs at any given distance.

Taking even that a step further, Malcolm explained, he showed the SAS snipers how to plot a second arc on that same graph, this representing another round with a different trajectory that he might have need to fire. Now here's what's important to remember: this second arc began by noting its 100-meter zero, relative to the zero for the sniper's normal round,

Say our sniper normally fires MU8 Long Range—that would be his "hard" zero—and perhaps the second round is the Longbow .308 frangible. With the Ml 18 zero on his rifle, the sniper fires and adjusts his knobs to zero for the Longbow ammo—but he doesn 'i loosen and rotate the target knobs! He simply jots down where that Longbow zero is, then likewise develops Longbow elevation settings at 25-yard incre-

CheyTac's ballistic program incorporates dozens of variables to enhance extreme-range shooting.

merits and jots these down, too. He posts these Longbow settings as dots on his card alongside the Ml 18's dots and develops a second arc, which, likewise, will tell him what his MOAs of elevation must be at any distance. And ai any point he can switch back to his original Ml 18 ammo without re-zeroing because it's all based on the Ml 18's zero. Think of it—he can now track with great precision two different rounds, off the same graph.

Using this system of arcs, Malcolm told me, some SAS snipers keep track of the elevation settings for up to three different rounds. Malcolm may be gone, but his brilliant mind and his AW rifles are still helping snipers around the world.

The Nightforce ballistic program offers settings and corrections as MOAs, mils, and centimeters per hundred meters.

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

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Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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