I Drank The Form Kool-Aid.

yycyak

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
51
This is a post for no one in particular. Maybe it will blow up in my face. Maybe it will work out to be a stroke of genius. Who knows. But I'm recording it here for future reference. Will add updates as they occur.

TLDR: Bought a Tikka 223 and SWFA 10x scope per @Formidilosus. Am hoping to learn to shoot competently to 600m on that platform.


The Background.
I'm CJ. I live in Western Canada. I used to be cool and do cool shit in the woods. Then I became an office weenie, started a business, got married, and have some new babies in my life. I now have no free time to pontificate or wax poetic on the hunting forums for hours a week like I used to. My hunting wants/needs get put last these days, because, well, life. So the precious little time I do get to spend on shooting and stomping around the woods, needs to deliver.

Because of the above, I have limited trigger time these days. This is a personal failing on my part. I also had the mindset that I'd never shoot past 300m on a hunt anyway, so why bother to learn to shoot past 300. I also realised this was also a personal failing on my part. Which lead to some friction, as I'm a believer in the "Competent Human". In other words, I feel I should be generally competent (though not an expert) at certain things.

After some thinking, I conceded to myself that a Competent Human who backpack hunts Rokslide-style should probably be able to shoot competently to 600m. He/She should also be able to generally score more than a few hits at 1000m. After some self-reflection, I had to acknowledge that I am not presently able to meet this standard.

So I did what anybody these days does to solve a problem: Off to The Internet!

The Research.
The important thing to know here is I have a terrible track record with The Internet. The Internet, in my experience, has led to many, many, errors in life. Too many times I have found myself looking at some random forum print-out in one hand that says "`X` is possible". I then attempt "X", and then have the real-life result showing that "X" is actually not possible. (Pro-tip. Car forums are excellent at producing these results.) When this is mentioned to the original OP, it is then mentioned by the OP that OP never actually attempted it in real life...

This track record has made me skeptical of a lot of things that The Internet says is possible.

This skepticism, combined with my lack of time to screw around with hunting/shooting research (babies don't care about the ballistic coefficients of a 6.5 ogive), led me to attempt what every MBA grad learns about: The 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule says you can accomplish 80% of what you need using 20% effort. Or something like that - I don't have an MBA. But the point here is I don't have time to screw around and figure out the various nuances of stuff. I desired a simple, straightforward solution to my problem of not being a Competent Shooter. I didn't want to review the full 80% of results on The Internet. I figured if I cherry-picked the relevant 20%, I could resolve this with little headache.

The 80/20 Result
I won't bore you with the details here. The short version is that shooting to 600+m requires an optic. And any optic thread I came across mentioned SWFA scopes. Researching SWFA lead to some dude named @Formidilosus posting in some forum threads. This guy posted a lot of stuff. And some cool pictures.

I had no idea who this guy was, or what he did, or if he was legit. But he did say that if you want to get good at something, you need trigger time. And trigger time is more easily attainable if it's (1) cheap, and (2) the rifle is fun to shoot. I'm inherently lazy, so I try to set my environment up to enable success with the least amount of effort. Cheap + Fun always produces good results, so I decided to read more.

This guy also occasionally detailed a "system" on various forums, and this same system was mentioned over and over (the only thing that appeared to change over the years was the ring recommendations):

- Tikka T3X Lite 223in stainless, 1/8 twist;
- SWFA SS 6x (or 10x) scope (quad mils);
- SportsMatch T078 rings;

Bam! 80/20 rule. My brain liked this. I decided I would try it. (Did I mention he also had a bunch of cool go-fast pictures?)

The Kool-Aid
So Rokslide, I am here to confess I drank the @Formidilosus kool-aid. I have ordered a Tikka T3x in 223, some SWFA scopes (these are a bitch to get in Canada, FYI) and some rings. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I will report the results here. (I can't promise it'll be decent reading.)

My hope in all of this is to provide an 80/20 solution to becoming a Competent Human in the backpack hunting/shooting field that Rokslide users are known to be interested in.

Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't. Stay tuned.
 

KNASH

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
91
I'm about 5 days ahead of you on this path, and so far have learned Lesson #1: I'm a much worse shooter in reality than in my imagination. On to lesson #2..... Practice makes Improvement.
 

Marbles

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Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
325
Location
Anchorage, AK
I don't think you got any Kool-Aid, rather a solid foundation to build from at about the lowest price it can be had. Many of us (myself included) would have done well to do the same. It is easy to focus on the gear rather than the activity, that to me is drinking the Kool-Aid (I've taken a few more sips of it than has been good for me). What Form offers is really the antidote to it, but like an addict I have a hard time making my actions match up to that knowledge.
 

Castle Rock

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
50
Yep, I wish I had all the money I would have saved from not buying underperforming American made rifles and scopes, I could probably buy a nice truck with the proceeds
 

VernAK

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
1,151
Location
Delta Jct, Alaska
Shoot that rifle and shoot it some more!

After getting familiar with the basics of the rifle........consider fit.......do you have a full view in the scope without moving your head? Move the scope in the rings if needed or pad up the comb. Mount the scope as low as you can.

Learn the capabilities of your rifle. Most hunting rifles are capable of more than the shooter.
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,852
Location
North Central Wi
What mount and tripod is that
Thanks
That’s a rrs anvil year on a Hogg saddle carbon fiber tripod. Couldn’t afford a full rrs setup at the time. Works well, not as stable as an rrs tripod though, eventually I’ll upgrade.

The anvil head takes 1.5” dovetail or picatinny, I have a 2” chunk of picatinny in front of my mag well for tripod attachment, mcmillan did this for me but they unfortunately won’t anymore.
 
OP
Y

yycyak

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
51
++++Update - 13 Aug 20+++++

I wanted to add some prices/costs, for anyone who wants to try this.

  • I'm in Canada. SWFA scopes are not available to us here (can't import from the US is my understanding. Maple syrup and plaid = terrorist?) We Canucks have to go abroad to buy these. I used an outfit in the UK. After factoring in Forex and shipping, an SWFA SS 6X cost me $715CDN ($540US) $749CDN edited to add sales tax on import.
  • SportsMatch rings were $50CDN ($38US)
  • Up here, a new Tikka T3X lite stainless 223 is $1,170 ($887)
Total cost = $1,969CDN ($1,486US)

***

One thing I was pondering last night: I don't know if this setup will have enough elevation to do 1000m shooting (Literally, I'm clueless and don't know.) A guy may need to get some sort of extra-MOA base, but I haven't confirmed this yet.

Carry on.
 
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Lawnboi

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Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,852
Location
North Central Wi
You can see what you can get out of the turrets before going with a 20moa base and rings. I can tell you if your not hot rodding it 1000 yards with a 223 is pretty lackluster. Spotting impacts is very hard to impossible due to lack of energy on target, your bullet is also going to be going trans to subsonic depending on what you are running. My 223 with 73g eldm was something like 39 moa at 1000 and left a speck on the target that you could barely see. I normally try to take it no further than 6-700 depending on load, to keep the bullet supersonic, and so I can spot shots.

If more travel is what’s needed there are plenty of 20moa bases available and then rings, this setup with be more expensive, and will likely require some modification to the cheek piece to raise the comb.
 

mxgsfmdpx

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
1,199
Location
Northern California
++++Update - 13 Aug 20+++++

I wanted to add some prices/costs, for anyone who wants to try this.

  • I'm in Canada. SWFA scopes are not available to us here (can't import from the US is my understanding. Maple syrup and plaid = terrorist?) We Canucks have to go abroad to buy these. I used an outfit in the UK. After factoring in Forex and shipping, an SWFA SS 6X cost me $715CDN ($540US)
  • SportsMatch rings were $50CDN ($38US)
  • Up here, a new Tikka T3X lite stainless 223 is $1,170 ($887)
Total cost = $1,935CDN ($1,466US)

***

One thing I was pondering last night: I don't know if this setup will have enough elevation to do 1000m shooting (Literally, I'm clueless and don't know.) A guy may need to get some sort of extra-MOA base, but I haven't confirmed this yet.

Carry on.
Hey not to discourage you... But get going and confident at reasonable yardages before you even start to worry about long pokes. For shots at 1,000 yards you’ll need to have a cartridge that your rifle really likes or hand loads. You’ll need to chronograph so you know your real world velocities so you can properly calculate hold over and windage at that kind of range.

Slow down and have fun.
 
OP
Y

yycyak

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
51
I just try to not think about it.

What blew my mind and started this crisis was a random comment, along the lines of:

"If your rifle is .5 MOA, you should be able to set up multiple .5MOA targets and any distance, and hit them every single time on demand."

Suddenly my ".5MOA" rifle wasn't a legit .5MOA rifle anymore.

In the past, I had always followed the usual "shoot a 3-shot group" like the gunrags tell us. One of these groups showed a .5MOA, and I had happily settled into the conclusion that I had a sexy .5MOA rig. The gunrags were right!

But that quote hit me like a ton of bricks. I read it, and re-read it. I mean, think about it. Assuming that I'm the best, most-consistent shooter it the world (I'm not), there is absolutely no way that the rifles I have will do .5MOA consistently, every single shot, every single day. 1.2MOA, sure. (I can't shoot that well myself these days, but a couple rifles I think could do that.) Throw in shooting from a field position with a pack on, and the OutdoorLife/Field & Stream propaganda reality I was living in shattered.

Which then led to the "10-shot groups vs 3-shot", statistical variance analysis, and a giant rabbit hole that basically destroyed everything I thought I knew about practical field shooting.


I don't think you got any Kool-Aid, rather a solid foundation to build from at about the lowest price it can be had. Many of us (myself included) would have done well to do the same. It is easy to focus on the gear rather than the activity, that to me is drinking the Kool-Aid (I've taken a few more sips of it than has been good for me). What Form offers is really the antidote to it, but like an addict I have a hard time making my actions match up to that knowledge.
 
Last edited:
OP
Y

yycyak

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
51
I'm trying to ignore this fact. It hurts to think about.

Yep, I wish I had all the money I would have saved from not buying underperforming American made rifles and scopes, I could probably buy a nice truck with the proceeds
 

wrhoads

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
43
Location
AR
I have the same setup (with a 6x) and it's awesome. One in 223 and one in 243 that is about to get a 6.5 barrel. For me the best part about it is finally having confidence that my gear works and will work regardless of how I treat it. I had to prove this to myself by dropping the rifle from shoulder height and shooting it to confirm it held zero (and it did). I wouldn't have ever done that with one of my vortex scopes.

I'll also say it's been a relief to finally realize what a realistic group size looks like. I would say drinking the Kool-aid is expecting a production rifle to shoot sub-moa and chasing after that. I'm perfectly happy now to put 10 rounds in 1".

Last thing I'll say is shooting couple deer with 75gr gold dots made me realize how effective and efficient 223 is.
 
OP
Y

yycyak

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Messages
51
My goal with this whole project is the following:

1. Be able to competently shoot decent-but-realistic groups inside 600m;

2. Consistently ring steel gongs out to 1000m;

I don't mind shooting a heavier rig/heavier bullets if necessary, but if I can accomplish these two items with a 223 I would prefer that. The 223 is cheap to shoot, and doesn't recoil much. Which means I can get some decent, focused practice in.

The hope is this extra practice will then translate over to my heavier hunting rifles.



You can see what you can get out of the turrets before going with a 20moa base and rings. I can tell you if your not hot rodding it 1000 yards with a 223 is pretty lackluster. Spotting impacts is very hard to impossible due to lack of energy on target, your bullet is also going to be going trans to subsonic depending on what you are running. My 223 with 73g eldm was something like 39 moa at 1000 and left a speck on the target that you could barely see. I normally try to take it no further than 6-700 depending on load, to keep the bullet supersonic, and so I can spot shots.

If more travel is what’s needed there are plenty of 20moa bases available and then rings, this setup with be more expensive, and will likely require some modification to the cheek piece to raise the comb.
 

406Smith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
330
Careful what you ingest from the internet, there are some questionable floaters in that punch bowl, LOL.
 
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