Rifle Scopes How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

hairy spotter

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I didn't mean for that thread title to sound like some joke, 'cause it's not.

How do you more experienced long range shooters spot your hits at long range? I have used a bushnell spotting scope, but that was ancient and died in the bush one day from a gun shot wound. That thing could not see .30 cal holes beyond 300 yards, even at 45x.

My shooting partner/spotter bought a top end USO spotting scope, and despite their excellent quality and reputation, and the high price, we still cannot see the holes in paper outside of 600 yards come hell or high water. In any light, under any atmospheric conditions. We can see vapor trails moving towards the target, sometimes some debris flying, but NEVER the holes.

Which scope do I actually need to be behind so I can actually see the holes in paper at 600, 800, 1000yards or further? With my rifle scope, I can see holes in white paper up to 600 yards or so on rare occasions.
 

doc76251

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

The only way I know to see holes in paper 800+ yards is a remote video system. I am unaware of any spotting scope that will allow you to see .30 holes much beyond 400 let alone 800. That being said I did see a

Unertl 100mm team scope for sale in the latest Precision Shooting magazine for $3,500, Felix 425-374-3637.

There was also an add for a video system for $1,499. www.prosecuritywarehouse.com/target.html

Cheers,

Doc
 

hairy spotter

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

Have you ever seen this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpRHdjBj5ZI&feature=related

These guys are shooting at a target in the 2000+ yard range. Spotting it with a Swarovski spotter it would seem. And the spotter is giving detailed info on the location of the hit. Is this just TV or is a 3000 dollar scope from a company who makes crystal butterflies and dolphins and wine glasses the thing to get?

And how are hits called at a match?


 

hairy spotter

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: abersfelderami</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Let your shooting partner/spotter hold the target and have him report back. </div></div>

Lol, great idea. Do you wanna come spot for me tomorrow?
wink.gif
 

300sniper

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

shooting paper at a match beyond 300 yards is most likely going to have a crew in the pits scoring/marking the targets with larger spotters. other than that, steel is pretty easy to score a hit/miss out to any range. a scope powerful enough to see 30 cal holes at long ranges would probably be worthless because of mirage.
 

steve123

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

Food for thought,but...Buy some steel and paint them white.You can see the splat marks out to 1300-1400 yards.This is the best way of getting immediate feedback and the dongggg sound of a bullet hitting steel is for some reason incredibly rewarding.As far as spotting scopes go.The new Kowa 883-4 Prominar,Zeiss tactical spotter,and Pentax PF-100ED are really good scopes.

Steve
 

Tyler Kemp

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

You can see dust being thrown up a long ways past where you can see holes. And splats on a target show up excellent.
 

krw

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Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

Eat more carrots, Lots more carrots!
laugh.gif
 

Bacarrat

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hairy spotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Have you ever seen this video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpRHdjBj5ZI&feature=related

    These guys are shooting at a target in the 2000+ yard range. Spotting it with a Swarovski spotter it would seem. And the spotter is giving detailed info on the location of the hit. Is this just TV or is a 3000 dollar scope from a company who makes crystal butterflies and dolphins and wine glasses the thing to get?

    And how are hits called at a match?


    </div></div>

    When watching through a spotting scope you can see the bullet move through the air.
     

    bcjolly

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    I use a Kowa TS-821 scope for spotting. On occasion, late in the afternoon when the air is very still and there is no mirage I can make out 30 cal holes at 1000 yards. When I'm shooting these kind of distances I use lime green poster paper for the backer and place a 4 inch diameter orange paster for the target (aim point). If you are trying to see holes in a black target, it is very difficult even at 300 yards unless the sun is behind the target and a little light shines through the hole. Don't expect to see holes at long distances on every outing--just when conditions are excellent.
    Barry C Jolly
     

    sawgunner2001

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Back in my Army days, we had our spotters watch the trace of the bullet to determine hit or miss when we weren't shooting steel. In my experience (with no formal B4 training...those of us that shot expert repeatedly got informal sniper training at the BN level because our Commanders didn't want to take us off the roster and send us to school) we were reliably able to call hits or misses on paper/plastic targets about 60-70% of the time using this method. The other 30-40% of the time we'd ask our spotter and he'd say, "uh...I don't know if you hit it or not".
     

    desertHK

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: steve123</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Food for thought,but...Buy some steel and paint them white.You can see the splat marks out to 1300-1400 yards.This is the best way of getting immediate feedback and the dongggg sound of a bullet hitting steel is for some reason incredibly rewarding.As far as spotting scopes go.The new Kowa 883-4 Prominar,Zeiss tactical spotter,and Pentax PF-100ED are really good scopes.

    Steve </div></div>

    Agree with Steve. Steel is the only way you are going to see a bullet impact at 800+ range. My set up gives me the capability to spot out to about 1 mile. (steel target with a Nikon Monarch 80 mm scope-- I am very happy with it.). I can assure you that there is no spotting scope at the present time can spot a 30 cal bullet on paper at 800 + yards. I have looked through a Swaro with 60 mm and 80 mm objectives and compare to mine lowly Nikon Monarch. On the best day, without mirage, I can see a bullet hole out to about 500 yards easily with any of the three scopes. Once the heat start to kick up a bit, the mirage becomes too much to see. And that goes for the $2000 + dollars Swaro (80 mm). For that money, you can buy alot of AR500 steel targets, get a <span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold">decent</span></span> spotting scope and you are GTG.
     

    buckythebrewer

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: steve123</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Food for thought,but...Buy some steel and paint them white.You can see the splat marks out to 1300-1400 yards.This is the best way of getting immediate feedback and the dongggg sound of a bullet hitting steel is for some reason incredibly rewarding.As far as spotting scopes go.The new Kowa 883-4 Prominar,Zeiss tactical spotter,and Pentax PF-100ED are really good scopes.

    Steve </div></div>

    +1 If your on target and you can hit it.

    Also, dare I say rocks or ledge.

    Hitting some ledge rock at 800 yrds was very visible thorugh my 8-32X signature burris at just about any power setting from what I can remember.I might havehadto bump up the power someto see the impacts(I can't remember for sure).

    Swinging steel is the best.You can see a 2' square steel plate painted white with just your naked eye at 800 yrds easy.With decent optics you can see the impacts quite well.

    Again though,,You have to be somewhat near ON TARGET to get this doneandtobe safe.
    At least somewhat calculate( Or guess like me
    wink.gif
    ) your holdover somwere near in order to have a prayer of hitting something.
    You can have someone spot with any cheap spotting scope when doing this.just look for impacts around the target(that is if there is something that will show you the impact like ledge rock,sand,etc,etc...
    This has always been my budget,backyard,redneck method with my friends
    grin.gif
    .
    Just be sure(for fact) of whats down range and were your misses are going.
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    This is a factor of magnification ratios, objective diameters, exit pupil diameters, optical alignments, lens reflectivity and transmission coatings, as well as the specific health of the particular eyes in question. Moreover, atmospheric conditions can render the most effecrtive optics totally ineffective.

    When I worked for the NASA subcontractor and was involved in crafting the Apollo Spacecraft Command Module windows; the folks in the rear half of the Yardney-Razdow Laboratories building were constructing the telescopes for the NASA Solar Optical Tracking Network, one at a time. These were 800mm Spectroheliographic Refracting Telescopes going for about $250,000.00 a pop in 1969. We built a few dozen. Now that was some superbly impressive optics.

    I suppose what you're asking for could be done, and maybe is even done frequently.

    But not by anything I can afford out of petty cash, or any other account to which I might have access. Ask John, Sir, at USO.

    Greg
     

    SpotcheckBilly

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    There was a series of long threads on this subject over on the 6mmBR.com site. Quite a bit of very interesting info posted by some optics experts/long range competitors. The consensus was that while it's extremely difficult to spot bullet holes at very long range with conventional spotting scopes it can be done but atmospheric conditions play a crucial part. These guys have resorted to using astronomy scopes for the best results. Specific makes, models and lenses are discussed. Check it out for yourself.

    Bullet trace isn't at all difficult to see using conventional spotting scopes. Set the focus slightly off and you might be surprised how easy it is.
     

    pepperbelly

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    I really hate to sound dumb, but I am good at it.
    Every once in a while the History Channel has a show on about Extreme Marksmen. They show an Army Sniper Team shooting at 1000 yards. The spotter is looking through a spotting scope and correcting the shooter's hits.
    Is he just watching the vapor trail, or is he actually seeing the hits? He seems to be telling the shooter where his hits are and correcting for elevation and windage.

    Jim
     

    TOPO-sniper

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Proficiency at reading trace is just another tool in the toolbox; at ranges or conditions when you can not physically see the holes a spotter with this skill can put and keep you on target. I am fortunate as my shooting bud JeffVN can read trace like a madman, this ex-Army shooter reluctantly gives props to the Jarhead :)
     

    Bullseyelr

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    STEEL IS DEFINATLY THE WAY TO GO WITH WHITE PAINT. THE BULLET WILL HIT AND LEAVE A BLACK MARK WHERE THE PAINTWAS AND THE "PING" IS GREAT TOO
     

    Sterling Shooter

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pepperbelly</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I really hate to sound dumb, but I am good at it.
    Every once in a while the History Channel has a show on about Extreme Marksmen. They show an Army Sniper Team shooting at 1000 yards. The spotter is looking through a spotting scope and correcting the shooter's hits.
    Is he just watching the vapor trail, or is he actually seeing the hits? He seems to be telling the shooter where his hits are and correcting for elevation and windage.

    Jim</div></div>

    I personally know the spotter you are referring to. Although his eyesight is truly amazing, he cannot see bullet holes at 1000 yards. He can however see the trace to understand exactly where the bullet should be.
     

    300sniper

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: oldgrayone</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Get you one of these. The run about 1K and you can see the craters on the moon with them.

    </div></div>

    when looking at craters on the moon, you usually don't have as much mirage as you do when looking for bullet holes a few feet off the ground in the day time
    grin.gif
     

    hydro556

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Greg Langelius *</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is a factor of magnification ratios, objective diameters, exit pupil diameters, optical alignments, lens reflectivity and transmission coatings, as well as the specific health of the particular eyes in question. Moreover, atmospheric conditions can render the most effecrtive optics totally ineffective.

    When I worked for the NASA subcontractor and was involved in crafting the Apollo Spacecraft Command Module windows; the folks in the rear half of the Yardney-Razdow Laboratories building were constructing the telescopes for the NASA Solar Optical Tracking Network, one at a time. These were 800mm Spectroheliographic Refracting Telescopes going for about $250,000.00 a pop in 1969. We built a few dozen. Now that was some superbly impressive optics.

    I suppose what you're asking for could be done, and maybe is even done frequently.

    But not by anything I can afford out of petty cash, or any other account to which I might have access. Ask John, Sir, at USO.

    Greg </div></div>

    We can freaking see galaxies 1,000,000 light years away, by God, I want to see where that last flyer went at 1K!!!

    LOL, I love the way you put things Mr Langelius.
     

    Luke

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Once when the light was just right I was able to see holes in a paper plate at about 740 yards with a Bushnell spotting scope. The odds of that happening consistently however are pretty much non-exsistent.
     

    kombar

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    You could always get an NP127is APO. It has a .91 arc second resolution, which translates to... oh let's see... a .30 cal hole at about 1900 yards. Sure, it may be $7000, but I'd wager it's a little better than a spotter 60.
     

    300sniper

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Kombar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You could always get an NP127is APO. It has a .91 arc second resolution, which translates to... oh let's see... a .30 cal hole at about 1900 yards. Sure, it may be $7000, but I'd wager it's a little better than a spotter 60. </div></div>

    i don't know much about optics but will that resolution magically make it able to see through mirage?
     

    Triggerhappy

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bullseyelr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">STEEL IS DEFINATLY THE WAY TO GO WITH WHITE PAINT. THE BULLET WILL HIT AND LEAVE A BLACK MARK WHERE THE PAINTWAS AND THE "PING" IS GREAT TOO </div></div>

    +1 on the steel idea, that's what I use and can see my rounds hit through the scope.
     

    bh-ltr

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Wonder how far a baby monitor would go... If you're using it out in the woods it wouldn't need to compete with a lot of other electronic devices.
     

    afd77

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    The box that my baby monitor came in said it was good out to 100 feet. In fact, I've carried it out to get my mail (about 70 ft.)and start losing the picture. I think the 100 ft. is if there are no obstructions, like the walls of a house. Maybe I just have a crappy monitor.
     

    Grump

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Is he just watching the vapor trail, or is he actually seeing the hits? </div></div>

    Yes.

    IME, the bullet trace (even in 12% humidity = about no "vapor" at all) appears to disappear about 3 MOA above the actual point of impact. Windage is spot-on, of course, when the spotter is straight behind the shooter. Some experience at each distance is needed to parallax correct for being 3 ft to one side of the shooter.

    As stated above, hits on steel are quite easy to see. They are BIGGER and radiate out from the impact point. Rocks give a more irregular and unreliable mark, and usually a smaller one. Best indicator is the gray cloud of bullet dust--read about the center of it if the rock face is close to vertical.

    Dirt is another matter. Most people tend to call the impact at about the center of the first little round "cloud" that pops up, but it's really down at the bottom if there's any slope at all at the impact point. Often, I will see a small "V" of dust at the bottom when the cloud geysers up, and the impact is down somewhere between the very bottom of that "V" and about 1-2 inches above there. That's not much compared to the entire puff, especially at longer distances.
     

    Grump

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    If you want to see the *holes* in *paper*, use a thin target backer and shoot in the mornings or afternoons towards the sun.

    Otherwise, your atmospherics muck it all up. Where I shoot, mirage usually prevents any hole spotting past 300, and can even wash it all out at about 150.
     

    buckythebrewer

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bh-ltr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Wonder how far a baby monitor would go... If you're using it out in the woods it wouldn't need to compete with a lot of other electronic devices.
    </div></div>
    NOPE,But I did look into RC helicopter type cameras and stuff like it.
    From what Ive read(and can remember) its possible to hook up some electronics that would transmit 1000 yrds buts its in the upper hundreds if I remember correctly(maybe more).its been a while
    Most security,baby monitor type stuff only goes 100yrds tops.
     

    bh-ltr

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    I just found some remote transmitters that run 200 to 300 dollars. Couple that with directional antennas (dish or yagi based) for 100 bucks a pop max. Then you're looking at 500. Then you can add a cheap crappy camera and a small TV for 100 bucks each mega tops and you've got something that will work for a full mile! (just make sure you put it far enough away that you don't shoot it)

    You can see some options here: http://www.vfmstore.com/tr24.htm

    You can easily increase the values here by quite a bit if you buy some adapters and some cabling to mount an antenna such as this onto them:
    http://www.vfmstore.com/antyg2412c.htm

    You can easily get a better price for those antennas (or even make them) I've got a few at home already that I've built for other reasons. I may even give this a try... Its a hell of a lot cheaper than the 1500 dollar pre built systems I've seen.
     

    Clark

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    If I have no trouble seeing a .264" hole in the white at 100 yards with a 10X rifle scope, then at 1000 yards a .308" hole should be visible with 85X.... if the air didn't get in the way.
     

    Jeffvn

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Use a shoot-n-see covered target... I have from 1,250 yards and been fully capable of seeing 7mm holes through my 5-25X USO SN3. If you start putting them close together they blur through the scope into a single optic yellow blob, but early one the give good feedback.

    Jeffvn
     

    Greg Langelius *

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Actually, my Sept 2008 issue of <span style="font-style: italic">Sky and Telescope</span> has a review on p36 of Orion's Star Blast 6-inch Dobsonian Astronomical telescope that is very impressive for a $279, 23lb product, and even comes with a dot-scope aiming capability. Set up on a base about 16" in diameter. One of the two provided Plossl eyepieces allows about 75x magnification, and as serious beginner's telescope, I consider it to be a damned good value. Remember, reflectors usually depict their images inverted, but erectors can be obtained aftermarket. The other 25mm Plossl eyepiece allows 36mags over a field of 1.7 degrees (or 102 minutes of angle), and the 75 mag has a field about half that size.

    Maybe good enough for 30cal bullet holes at 1000yd, maybe not, but way more precise than most spotters, and at an attractive price; mucho less than the Celestron products.
     

    ewoaf

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    shoot steel, I like white or red paint...the splash is easily seen on the steel with the rifle scope and you can listen for hits.
     

    ssgp2

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    WiFi camera, booster, patch antenna and an Ipod touch.
    Good for 1000yds +
     

    Grump

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Yup, air's the problem.

    I laugh at the TV shows that fade from a satellite image to a direct-vertical aerial image shot from maybe 2,000 feet or less, wanting us to believe that the clarity seen is available from orbit.
     

    Jumper

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ssgp2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">WiFi camera, booster, patch antenna and an Ipod touch.
    Good for 1000yds + </div></div>

    Where does one acquire the booster and patch antenna?
     

    Xterminator

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Here is the WiFi set-up that "ssgp2" is talking about

    Complete set-up is carried in this tool box


    Powerpack in the tool box


    The omni antena is mounted on the box (omni=850y range, YAGI antena=1600y range)


    IP camera with booster. you will need a booster with either omni or YAGI


    The router is plugeg in the truck to receive the signal, this way you always have power and its protected from the weater at the same time


    You can receive the signal from any capable WiFi device (Laptop, ipod, Palm Pc) On this picture I used my ipod in a jogging arm band, very practical in a shooting position. On this picture the target was at 850y


    I am curently working on some modification to use 15 cameras with the same transmission equipment (15 shooters, 1 antena)The system will be tested this sunday, if you guys are interested I can keep you posted.

    ps: sorry for my spelling mistakes my english is not perfect
    wink.gif
     

    19Scout77

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    YES We are interested! Please keep us posted.
     

    outofbounds

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    look like it works great
    please keep us updated\
    tia
     

    USAF1A8

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    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    I would love to put a system like this together, please keep us posted.
     

    bra260

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    0
    Lubbock, TX
    Re: How to spot .30cal holes half a mile away

    Can you lay out the specs for the existing setup, what equipment / mods did you use? I would like to build one.