In the field: Current ballistic workflow

carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    Hi everyone. I shoot prairie dogs from a swivel bench or a tripod out to 600 yds. I am thinking of upping my game and want to know other people’s ideas and workflow, especially during UKD hunting.

    My goals here are to increase my first round hit % and to minimize physically writing out dope cards for 3-5 rifles.

    Currently we use two LRF binos (a Fury 5000 and Leica 15x Geovid-R) with the 15x replacing the spotting scope and the shooter uses the Fury. My iPhone 13 Pro Max (with Strelok on it) is used for filming the hits on a spotting scope that’s co-witnessed with the spotter’s LRF binos.

    For dope display I use a Cole Tac Cheat Sheet strapped on my scope. StrelokPro generates that dope for factory Hornady ammo in 204, 17 Hornet, 22 Hornet, and for rimfire I use CCI 22 LR segmented subsonic.

    I really don’t like handwriting extensive dope for 3-5 rifles onto those small (but excellent!) Cole Tac dope cards. See below:

    32EE086D-3ECF-4430-AC42-FAA73DECEA2A.jpeg


    Yes, 350/400yds for 17 Hornet is optimistic. I know.

    My research has pointed me towards these general directions below. Keep in mind the spotter will remain using the Leica 15x LRFs and the following describes the shooter’s gear:
    1. The Full Monty: Kestrel 5700x on a tripod with the wind vane, LRF binos (Fury 5000 AB, Sig 10k, or Leica 3200 Pros) linked to the Kestrel, firing solution displayed on a Kestrel HUD mounted on the rifle. Or maybe some binos will display the Kestrelized solution within their display? Then I could skip the HUD.
    2. The Pretty Good: I estimate the wind, inputting that into a new Fury 5000 AB which shows me the firing solution. Or maybe I get the Sig or Leica.
    3. The Cheap-ish No Writing A: I buy an E-Dope display and stick that on the Cole Tac. I believe one can have multiple cards in an app to pass to the unit.
    4. The Cheap-ish No Writing B: buy a cheap wind meter and pair it with Strelok and use its HUD (a feature I recently discovered)
    5. The Dirt-Cheap No Writing: I don’t buy anything except clear badge holders that I affix to the Cole Tac. I print out dope either before the trip (estimating temp etc) or haul a portable printer out to the motel and print there. I drop the dope into the badge holder and done.
    They all have pros/cons of course.

    #1 is $$$, more involved to set up, and I have to move the HUD to each gun (unless I can use the in-bino solution). But I suppose this solution may be the most effective.

    #2 is moderately expensive and has me estimating wind, although I could use a cheap wind meter and just look at it. Wind at target is probably different anyway. The good thing here is the Fury AB gets me localized weather info. Not sure how involved it is to input wind into the Leica or Sig, and don’t think either measures the weather.

    #3 has me moving the E-Dope from gun to gun but no writing! I could use a cheap wind meter and just look at it. Can’t get real time wind into Strelok as my phone (with Strelok) is attached to the spotter.

    #4 has me dealing with my phone in the field. Kinda hard to see in bright light, battery issues, and then I need to find a high quality replacement for filming the hits. $$$

    #5 has no moving anything from gun to gun, and is cheap. Again, I could use a cheap wind meter and just look at it (phone on spotter).

    Anyway, what are your thoughts? Are my analyses correct? What do you use? What’s the state of the art?
     
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    6.5SH

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    If using a bench or tripod seems no need to move a device from rifle to rifle.
    A cheap Android phone with big battery and no cell service isn't much more expensive than the DRS E-Dope (Ex; Moto G Power). A usable old phone you may have and an external battery pack if needed is another option. A cheap kickstand phone case or one of the cheap little folding tablet stands to hold it at a viewable angle on the table. A battery holder and clamp can attach to your tripod or optics mounting platform and easily holds most phones.

    Given your iPhone is tied up for video tasks is something to consider.
     

    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    If using a bench or tripod seems no need to move a device from rifle to rifle.
    A cheap Android phone with big battery and no cell service isn't much more expensive than the DRS E-Dope (Ex; Moto G Power). A usable old phone you may have and an external battery pack if needed is another option. A cheap kickstand phone case or one of the cheap little folding tablet stands to hold it at a viewable angle on the table. A battery holder and clamp can attach to your tripod or optics mounting platform and easily holds most phones.

    Given your iPhone is tied up for video tasks is something to consider.
    Thanks for that.

    How do you calc ballistics in the field?
     

    6.5SH

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    I prefer the workflow in Strelok Pro. I have a Kestrel 5700 Elite but primarily use it for environment and wind. The ballistic calculator function is my alternate in case there is a problem with the phone. I'm also starting to use a Calypso mini for wind, is supported in Strelok and doesn't require being dead nuts level in a wind vane.

    My laser is not integrated into this though, so manual entry there. It would be nice if more of these devices integrated with each other in a less cumbersome way.

    Most of my shooting is matches or practice for same. It's tough to get away from writing something down (.mil style range card, stage card etc.) and/or using a multi target function such as built into Strelok, BallisticArc, AB Mobile, Kestrel Link Ballistics, Genesis, FFS etc.

    Given you are going after fleeting targets and likely flat terrain I'd think the speediest thing is a .mil style range card with visible mounds, bushes, large rocks etc. ranged and heading noted to talk you onto the target quickly and a rough idea of range. Exact range can be entered on the phone and current wind captured or viewed live in Strelok.

    a0015.jpg
     
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    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    It's tough to get away from writing something down
    Don't worry, even if I use a Kestrel HUD or E-dope, I will definitely have something written down, if only for backup. I just don't want to manually write the 4 columns and up to 11 rows of info (44 cells) of info on a little piece of tape for up to 5 guns (220 cells). And that's only for 5 and 10 mph wind holds…if I include 15 and 20 mph then double the whole thing (two Cole Tac cheat sheets per gun or 440 cells max, but let's just say 350 due to some rifles not needing as much info).

    What a pain in the ass!

    That's where a printing solution comes in. To print dope that will stay on the gun's cheat sheet, I am looking at tiny travel photo printers like the Fuji Instax, Canon SELPHY and the like. Some of the prints are even waterproof (supposedly).

    Btw, as I am not a competitor nor a military guy, I have never used a range card like you displayed. I like that. Where I shoot is pretty darn featureless, but we identify certain PD mounds and fenceposts (and argue a lot! Like, "No, the mini-cactus patch that looks like lettuce to the left of the big brown volcano-like mound, three fence-posts from the double post!"). Groan.

    Having some notebooks in which we draw the same map for each other to reference would really make life easier!

    Backup or primary, I think the printing solution has to happen regardless. I might buy a Calypso mini, that thing is cool.

    If I still feel like blowing $2k+, after looking a little closer on some online vids of the Vortex Fury AB, Leica Pros and Sig 10k, the latter is definitely the winner for me (see here for the vid I think is best). If it works with your wind meter, it would be a one-button press = range & elev/wind solution! And I could store a whole bunch of gun/ammo profiles in that thing. I now can see why people are exited about it.

    And then there are the Garmin watch-like things that can interface with some of this stuff. Jeez. I have seen a Garmin on @lowlight 's arm (I think it was Frank). Maybe Frank can let us know what he suggests, or point us in a direction or post that I may have missed. I have a lot to learn, for sure.

    But if anyone else has any ideas or wants to share their way of doing things, I'm all ears.
     
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    6.5SH

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    The gun MPH method for wind can greatly cut down on number of columns and simplifies doing wind values that fit into brackets in your head.
    Obviously a measured and calculated wind hold from a meter right NOW is going to be best.
     
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    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    The gun MPH method for wind can greatly cut down on number of columns and simplifies doing wind values that fit into brackets in your head.
    Obviously a measured and calculated wind hold from a meter right NOW is going to be best.
    ahh, I see. That area I have not yet ventured into. I obviously am a paid member so I should look into that. I just knew there was a reason I saw these very sparse dope cards on people's rifles and wrists.

    I recently figured out that wind from the left pushes the bullets I shoot .2-.4 mils down vs the same wind from the right. That's why I was inexplicably missing some shots on my last trip (I think). Anyway, my ballistic journey is unfolding.
     

    carbonbased

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    The gun MPH method for wind can greatly cut down on number of columns and simplifies doing wind values that fit into brackets in your head.
    Obviously a measured and calculated wind hold from a meter right NOW is going to be best.
    So I've found these posts on gun MPH. Any favorites among these or others? There seems to be a ton out there that Frank has done.






     

    6.5SH

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    I can't really say I have a favorite, I've learned or reinforced something from each of them.
    Same goes for any of the @Jack Master articles such as:
     

    Jack Master

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    Ohh Man!! The P-dog Shooting! I love it. This is where my Long range shooting journey started. Wacking and Smacking!!

    There is no Reason to go expensive at this game for a couple P-dogs. If you learn the ballistics and wind wind calling methods you can be just as effective as fancy electronic options. Even if you aren't as effective you can spend more money on Ammo, miss a couple then hit and have way more fun! Yes, I have a kestrel, and phone apps and ballistic binoculars and... yada yada yada... to shoot rifle matches with, but the old school methods while hunting are still the best in my opinion.

    The Ballistic Display: - Printed Dope Cards on the bench or Cheat Sheet.
    I really enjoy the coletac Cheat sheet. I use printed ballistic cards, laminate them in packaging tape and stick a piece of Velcro on the back to mount them. I don't use thier plastic board, I print my own. Here is a Screen shot of what the card looks like. Its the same size as a business card. I can try to get a real picture of this on the rifle tonight.

    1662996844084.png


    Or I place my full ballistic table on the edge of the bench and use a binder clip to hold it on. (because its windy) This is half of a piece of paper (5.5 wide x 8.5 tall) Its also laminated to it won't blow the paper around.

    1662996973358.png


    1663000906246.png


    Ballistic Solutions
    For most p-dog shooting rifles, I have have found, that with in thier effective range the changing environmentals do not have enough effect to change the Dope. (204 out to 3-400yds, 22-250 out to 4-500 yds, 6.5 creed out to 600yds) At these ranges going from 50 degF to 90 degF will change your drop solution about 1/10th of a mil. If I write my data cards out for the middle of this range (70ish degrees) then the change is only half of a tenth. Inside thier effective distances I am not worried about temp, pressure, hum, elevation. Out to these distances I use what is on the printed dope card and don't worry about the minutia. If I push past those distances I might start referencing a ballistic program. Its usually on my phone but lately have done more with the Fury 5000 ABs and its has been very effective.

    Aero Dynamic Jump - Yes this can effect you ballistic solution, and the smaller bullet you go to the worse it can get. 223 or larger I will add or subtract 1/10th for each 10mph cross wind. For smaller than 223 I will add or subtract 1/10th for each 5mph. This is something I do manually to avoid having to run a ballistic program on the bench. P-dog shooting can be very windy, but I rarely find myself adding or subtracting more than 2/10ths, and that is 2.75 inches at 400 yards so I like to hold top or bottom of Dog to account for it when needed.

    Ballistic Tip - Dope your rifle to distance. Don't just trust a ballistic calculator. Take the time to shoot your rifle to distance and know what the bullet will drop. no guessing here. Then true the ballistic program to what your rifle and your ammo do. check out Weapoized Math to do this efficiently.

    Wind Solution
    Gear
    - I like to use a simple wind meter and a wind flag. For a wind flag, we have a fiberglass fence post used for electric fencing with a ribbon on it. This gets staked out at each shoot to show the wind direction. We also use a simple $20 wind meter to measure the wind speeds. I take a 1-2 min wind speed sample and note the High, Low and average wind speeds. I use this information to make a wind speed estimate while shooting. Most P-dog shooting areas are very flat and open, so I assume the wind speed will be very consistent from me to the p-dog. I have tried and tried to find a way to get real time wind information through electronics and I have failed to find it. Some of the things I have used made the process to cumbersome and slow to make it applicable.

    Amazon Wind Meter

    I think there are 2 easy ways to get a wind solutions here (Holds).

    1. Learn the Gun Mile per hour system. Its by far the fastest and easiest way to dope your rifle. This system is difficult to understand and grasp the first time but once you get it, its really easy. You can see in the ballistic charts above I don't have a lot of wind information because I use the Gun MPH system. You have already posted the best sources of information for it. Message me if you have questions.
    Here is a graphic "Jist" of it.

    1663000837462.png



    2. Large printed wind dope sheets. Just make one sheet and laminate it for each rifle, you could also clip this sheet to your bench or incorporate it into your large format data sheet. Something like this.

    1662998359573.png


    For either of these 2 solutions above you will need to use a wind rose to turn the raw wind speed and direction into a cross wind speed. The modern wind rose it the best thing for this. Read this article to understand what this is and how to use it.
    https://www.snipershide.com/precision-rifle/the-modern-wind-rose/

    Then if you want to combine that and Gun MPH system you can read this article
    https://www.snipershide.com/precision-rifle/gun-mph-wind-bracket-rose/

    Wind Tip - We have had way more success shooting dogs further away when we upped our bullet weight and diameter. A 6mm will have half the wind call of a 204. 6 arc or 6br will have similar recoil to a 204, plus you can add weight to the gun if needed. We even started to go heavy on the 22-250s with 88gr bullets from 1/8 twist barrels.

    So what is my work flow on the dog-town?
    1. Scan the dog town to make sure its worth shooting on.
    2. Set up bench and wind flag. Rifle, ammo, water
    3. Shoot the close dogs, inside 200-250yds
    4. Take a 1-2 min wind speed and reading direction.
    5. find and range a farther dog
    6. Look at drop sheet for distance and dial it on.
    7. Find P-dog in scope
      1. while doing this note the wind direction and start to feel the speed
      2. Is this speed high, low or average?
    8. Glance at the wind rose (or use memory) to get the cross wind speed
    9. Do the gun MPH calculation in my head for distance and cross wind speed - hold wind call
    10. Final adjustment for aerodynamic jump (if needed)
    11. Send-it and create a red mist of glory.
    This list looks long and slow when you first read it. The more you do it the faster it will get. I have had many 1st round kills outside 400 yards and uncountable 2nd rounds kills.

    The deep truth about ballistic solutions and wind calls is that; we think there should be an "easy button" scientific solution that can be given to us. and its just not that way. I have spent Months and years searching for it to no avail. Wind reading is a lot of practice and intuition to get it dam close. I have found this to be more reliable and get better results than trying to get the scientific solution.

    Out typical setup
    1663000543265.png


    1663000600401.png
     

    carbonbased

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  • Jul 26, 2018
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    Ohh Man!! The P-dog Shooting! I love it. This is where my Long range shooting journey started. Wacking and Smacking!!
    Ok, you are now my official hero lol

    I am nestled deep in confusion after watching a couple of Frank’s MPH vids, which is to be expected I suppose.

    I will be returning later with some concrete q’s as I’m busy at work.

    This makes me excited for hunting next year’s Pdogs! And it’s always nice to find people that don’t just hunt steel or larger game (or other) animals. Pdogs for the win(d)!
     

    carbonbased

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    @Jack Master are those home made swivel tables? Pretty cool.

    And what sort of Velcro are you using on the back of those small laminated cards? There seems to be a zillion different types. Maybe it doesn’t matter but it’s gotta stick well to plasticy stuff.
     

    Jack Master

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    @Jack Master are those home made swivel tables? Pretty cool.

    And what sort of Velcro are you using on the back of those small laminated cards? There seems to be a zillion different types. Maybe it doesn’t matter but it’s gotta stick well to plasticy stuff.
    Yes. My neighbor and I built custon swivel benches.

    2"wide self adhesive velcro. Got it Menard I think. Nothing special about it.
     
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    carbonbased

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    I have tried and tried to find a way to get real time wind information through electronics and I have failed to find it.
    Hey Jack, not sure if this counts as “real time” but if you wouldn’t mind, read my post here about this vid describing a remote DOF change (manually). Works with Strelok plus either the Calypso or Weatherflow meters. (I’m the OP, it’s the first post).

    Seem like either combo doesn’t auto update the DoF, but at least it doesn’t require one to get up and reorient the windmeter.