Between the actual classes on the range and the online training section of the forum, we field a lot of questions about setting up a new rifle. Particularly about gathering our dope and settting up a ballistic computer. Most people tend to work backwards, opting to use the computer first, but then as the distacne increases and the data starts to deviate, they wonder why things are not linining up.
Here is online training lesson that speaks to my process and how I put everything together. Regardless of what new whiz bang high speed software I have, I am still working my dope the old fashion way. Have I, and I Do use my computer first when I don't know the data, yes of course. I tend to work things a multitude of ways so I can assess and understand the limitations. Attacking a problem from every angle I can better speak on the solutions.
The Rifle, Shooter, Scope, and Ammo is a SYSTEM that all must work together
We can all work trial and error, and I am not advocating a trial and error approach, as much as one that involves a plan and has a purpose. If you are coming at the question from a vacuum, you have to understand the limitions to your solutions. TRY DOPE as I put it, was originally gathered from manufacturer data. That data was designed to get the shooter on paper, not much else. They understood you would plot your strike, make a correction, and they record your dope based off the group. Today with ballistic computers, even when fed garbage, people want 1MOA accuracy at distance. Completely unrealistic, especially when you are winging some of the details. If you don't own a chronograph and you filed your muzzle velocity from something you read on the internet, how can you expect it to work. Hitting paper back in the day was a 6 x 6 NRA target board.
I have a lot of data memorized, as well I understand the ballistics involved, for me it's easy to wing it and still hit the target. However it's not always about the hit, sometimes that hit needs to be finessed. When gathering data we want to find the center of our group. Two shots on a piece of steel hardly constitutes a group. So make sure you shoot enough to locate that center.
Garbage In = Garbage Out !
There is no better truism out there. We only feed our ballistics computers a limited amount of information. If that information in not verified, it's considered suspect.
The only way to true your computer is to shoot it and then verify. This is why I like to shoot it first and line the computer up later. It's less of a distraction. People dive into their smartphone and never pull there heads out. Solid shots on targets are more important than what your smartphone says. A pencil and paper can save you a lot of heart ache.
When you shoot it first and verify your dope on target you're including everything, all the drifts and drop variations are in that one number. If you need 7.4 Mils to hit that target, you know 7.4 is right, it's not 7.4+ the outside effects.
We have produced online training lessons since 2009. We have a bunch of videos that address all aspects of precision rifle shooting. The average lesson is 10 minutes long with several topics being covered by multiple lessons. Recoil Management is 45 minutes worth of video as an example.
A Sniper's Hide Premium Account gives you access to all these lessons.
It's pretty simple, we have a private forum where we can exchange questions and answers outside the public domain. As well all the videos are listed there so you can find everything in one place.
Use your DataBook
Even though we have ballistic software, I still back up my Dope with hard copies. That is where your databook comes in. I always physically record my details in some fashion. It's cheap insurance.