A Quick Walk with Ruger American 6.5 Creedmoor and Ruger M77 African in 375 Ruger

OK, it’s August and it is time to get the cobwebs out of my Gun Safe.  My two most accurate rifles for the price are the Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor ( around $400 retail) and my Ruger African M77 in .375 Ruger ($900 retail). Today I am about to shoot them when I met fellow rifleman Joe Chicarello shooting his bull barrel .22 Long Rifle. I am sure he was having a great time and nearly done shooting when I arrived at our club range. Joe was easy to talk to and we resonated on shooting and safe handling practices. He has a Browning .223 that he has yet to shoot due to a scope ring issue. I hope you get the rings soon Joe! I invited him to check out my Ruger Rifles. He has never shot any of them so after putting a round down range in the larger bullseye at 50 yards off the Caldwell bench rest with the 6.5, I invited him to try it. I said, it does kick a bit more than the .223 so my bullet hit the center target just off the dead center by a half inch. I put three rounds in the clip with an open bolt and got Joe ready to try it, again at 50 yards, but to shoot a smaller target in the upper right corner. The scope was my Leupold VX-3, a superior hunting scope ready to hunt anywhere in the world

So he shot and I put  my binoculars on it and grinned. Joe it is dead center in the bull, I said excitedly. Kicks more than I expected, he exclaimed. So I put a neoprene pad on his shoulder and he fired again. Just that one hole there, I observed. How did the pad work? I asked. Much better, he added. You’ve got another shot left Joe. So he took aim again and fired. He said, “maybe I wiggled on that one!” Accordingly, I observed that same one hole there. Lets take a look Joe  and see what’s up. The range was made cold and we walked to the target.

Arriving at the target, here we are looking for strays but when we looked close enough there was one tri-cloverleaf hole in the upper right target. All the time Joe said, I’m a bit shakey.  I assured him that was not the way the bullets saw it,and congratulated him on such fine shooting.

In my testing this rifle a year ago, I shot 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with other hand loads in the Ruger American and was thinking these were hand loads too but not so. They were right out of the Hornady Precision hunter box which features ELD-X™ bullets (Extremely Low Drag) that I used this past summer in a different rifle where I popped 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards at the NH Sig Sauer Academy with my son Jason.

Then I shot a .375 Ruger light hand load (2200 fps) of speer 235 grain heads out of the stone cold gun and it hit 1 7/8 high from the dead center. I invited Joe to try but he said he was done. Perhaps a bit fearful, I dunno. Doesn’t kick any more than my T/C Encore muzzleloader with 100 grains of Pyrodex I said. Nope, Joe wasn’t ready.

So I proceeded to put 2 more shots in the center bullseye using the same aiming point. If you look close you can see my first shot from the 6.5 in the center bull as well.

All said and done that was a nice short walk in the park (range) and made a new friend I too. I asked his permission to use his name in this article. Of course, he said.

Good Shooting!

© 2017

Memorial Day, the Mystic Precision MPOD Bipod, and the Leupold Gold Ring Competition Scope for F-T/R Match

First, a reminder for this Memorial Day weekend, which is likely to be full of barbecues, parades and perhaps a frosty beverage: Never forget!  Just a reminder dad, I will never forget.

Image courtesy of Associated Press

My kids and I are looking forward to the parade this Memorial Day weekend to honor our soldiers, but it means so much more than that.  I did not serve, but my father along with the rest of my family, has a rich history of putting on the uniform for this country since the American Revolution.  I take these holidays seriously, as that was how I was raised.  With my kids, I do my best to explain the meaning of remembering those that, when their country called on them, ran towards harm instead of away from it.  Some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.  It’s because of them that I get to punch holes in paper for fun and nothing is headed back in my direction.  Thank you, thank you, thank you dad and those who have served this country.

Mystic Precision MPOD Bipod

Load testing will continue with the Nosler bullets, but in the mean time, I have a match coming up this weekend and will be using my current match load of the Sierra 175 TMK’s which I have to use up.  I started long range rifle competitions using my standard Harris S 6-9″ Bipod.  It worked well to start out, but one of the downsides to using this basic bipod was that you couldn’t track your shots and the bipod would often sink into the position (dirt/grass/sand) which lead to fighting elevation changes in the middle of a string of fire.

I decided that it was time for an upgrade for future competitions. 

After a lot of research on F-Class bipods, I settled on an economical lightweight design from Mystic Precision.

It’s a Canadian company, but the bipods are actually manufactured right here in the USA,  at Evolution Gun Works in Quakertown, PA.  I have my first match this weekend.  I will report back on what the differences are with this bi-pod.

From Mystic Precision’s website:

MPOD Design:  Make a super light bipod with the stability and tracking of a pedestal rest

A winning design: Winner of the 2013 Individual FTR World Championship used the MPOD.  Multiple NRA records in Team and Individual set.  Several Members of the US National FTR team currently shooting with the MPOD

Improved geometry to reduce the effects of torque during recoil for consistent tracking and follow through despite the chambering. Has been successfully used on larger caliber boomers including the 50BMG

Easy to operate with large range of movements to account for varied terrain.  The lowest height is 4 1/2 inches suitable for bench work and raised berms when shooting prone. At full elevation, you have 7 3/4 inches to the mounting lug.  This range is wider then the Harris 6-9 bipod.

Cant feature is now added for quick leveling on uneven ground.  And the Cant will not shift during recoil as is common with most other bipods.

Easy to install and remove – Solid with great repeatability and accuracy potential.

Stability increasing with increased pod height which is opposite to a number of designs.

Keep finished weight as low as possible – 12.8ozs installed, yet strong enough to support heavy rifles and big boomers.  Easily supported rifles weighing 50lbs.

I’ve also mounted and plumb leveled the Leupold Gold Ring VX-6 7-42 X 56mm scope with 34mm tube for it’s first test.

I am excited to have the target fill up more of my scope at the higher magnifications.

I’m used to no higher than 25X magnification and First Focal Plane reticles that obscure the target more than necessary, so this should be a real treat.

Having that much magnification can be a real benefit if mirage isn’t too bad.  Local range conditions for the match look good, mid 60’s and 2 mph winds from the south.  We’ll see if that holds; field conditions could be completely different.  I’m going to re-zero and confirm my come-ups for dialing to 600 yds the morning of the match.
I will post my scores for this weekend’s match, share a few thoughts, and post a few photo’s of the bi-pod and scope mounted at the range.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!

See you at the range.

© 2017


Testing Begins Soon On The Gold Ring Leupold VX-6 7- 42 x 56mm Scope

OMG, This Leupold Scope, created in part by competitive long range shooters, is worth more than any of the hunting rifles I own and designed specifically for long range such as F-Class Competition with ultra precision.

MSRP is $2700 but I have seen it advertised for just under $2000. Is it worth the price?

At NH Rifleman Magazine we are serious about testing it.

If you are serious about winning Long Range Competitive Rifle shoots, this is one may likely bear your attention.


A superior scope is an investment in winning. A simple fact of Competition, that superior equipment and attention to detail is essential. The VX-6 product line is based on the Zoom ratio of 6 to 1. A turn of the dial takes you on an optical ride from 7 power and zooms you to 42 power magnification in just a twist.

Its 56mm Objective lens allows mega amounts of light inside and it is transmitted by its very large 34mm tube for maximum image quality.

It has shipped from Leupold yesterday and should be here soon.

Look for more on this scope soon…

Good Shooting!

What is all the Hubbub in Variable Riflescope Choice – First or Second Focal Plane

Up to just recently, you and I have heard little about this. Why? Because the choice in hunting scopes has always been made by the manufacturer as second focal plane in the rear of the scope after the erector lens’ where the reticle (crosshairs) does not magnify or shrink with the image as you turn the magnification dial, only the target enlarges.

See Images and website below by looking for images of first vs second focal plane.


Second Focal Plane works to the advantage of many hunters that are shooting small targets such as distant prairie dogs or exacting long range bullseyes at known distances in competition like F- Class because the crosshairs do not thicken and cover the bullseye center.

The downside is that the reticle crosshair hash marks in Mils or MOA lose their true meaning unless set at a specific power setting but for F-Class or game that has been ranged with a rangefinder, who cares, we know the distance.

If the reticle (crosshair) is put in the front of the scope ahead of the erector magnification lens system, called first or front focal plane, the lens will magnify/enlarge the crosshairs as the magnification dial is turned and the hash marks are accurate at any power in Mils or MOA. The benefit in holdover on a target with unknown distances can be seen in that way as your mil/MOA marks are accurate like in a moving shooter situation and unknown distances such as tactical situations. Below is a great discussion by Leupold at GunTalk.TV.

Hope that helps! From a scenario such as a long range hunter with a laser rangefinder or F- Class then shooting Second Focal Plane makes sense. If you shoot tactical and unknown distances and need the hash-mark to be accurate and don’t care if your crosshair gets larger then shoot First Focal Plane.

Good Shooting!

Skinner Bog Maine Russian Boar Hunt:TC Pro Hunter with Nosler E-Tips and a Leupold Scope by Ed Hale

It was Monday February 6th, 2017 at near noon when I left for my Maine Russian Boar hunt. It took me a bit over 3 hours to get to Dixmont, Maine, were Skinner Bog Hunt Park is located. I promised my friends at Nosler that I would “take” a Russian boar with Nosler E-Tips and gave me a chance to shoot the TC Pro Hunter Single shot rifle in 30-06 Springfield with my favorite scope, a Leupold VX-6 3-18 x 44mm

Skinner Bog Hunt Park


Skinner Bog Hunt Park is owned and operated by Jeremy Bilodeau who has a passion for hunting Whitetail deer as well as his hunt park operation which has game animals such as the Russian Boar, mixed wild boar breeds, Red deer, Sika deer, Fallow deer and Elk. Give Jeremy a call at the website if you want more info or to book your own hunt.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Jeremy at the main camp and taken to my bunk area where I spread out my gear and relaxed before dinner.

Here is a shot of the living area wall back at camp with all of the family whitetails taken.

All deer on the walls were taken by Jeremy and his 2 sons. Food and drink was provided for by the lodge and was treated to a first night steak dinner and some grilled wild pig along with Asparagus and Scalloped Potato. The wild pig was a cross breed from the park and delicious.

I was to hunt the larger 400 acre park in the morning for a long standing wild group of very wary Russian boar. We got out to the park on his large side by side 4 wheeler. Temperatures were hovering in the 12 to 16 degree range so we bundled up. I was shooting the TC Pro Hunter Single Shot in 30-06 Springfield with Nosler E- Tips, the E is for Expanding. An all gilding copper bullet that Expands on contact and stays together.

I thought I was well prepared until we started “still hunting” on a fluffy 3 inches of new snow on frozen compressed ice snowpack underneath, except I was not very still. My boots were not able to grip the snowpack and it was like I was on an undulating skating rink where I slipped and fell many times. Just a week earlier Jeremy and his client put up a nice Russian boar in the same area we were hunting, hoping to cut fresh tracks. We covered many acres of what should have been prime bedding area and came up with not one new track. But there are at least 25 animals in the half square mile park. Of course we could see where the animals had been just days before, but you can’t eat tracks as my dad used to say.  Jeremy suggested we take a break, concerned for my slipping and sliding and I said directly; “I’m fine…don’t need a break.” I was determined to not let the slipping get the best of me and continued our hunt in hopes seeing new sign. My pride was perhaps bruised more than I was.  We stopped off at the deep woods guest cabin that sleeps 6,  to see inside it and make sure the scope was still on.

Sure enough it got banged enough to shoot 9 inches to the right, at 100 yards. A few adjustments and we were back on target.

Ok, nuf’-o-that,  we decided to have some lunch and shift gears to a different spot in the park. Jeremy rustled up a pair of Trex™ Ice traction slip-on’s (below), and that did the trick.

Trex™ Ice Traction Device (05831)

Renewed and refreshed Jeremy led me to a different area. It wasn’t long as we pushed through the spruce, we could see legs of animals ahead of us. Jeremy said “Red deer” as they melted into the backdrop. I heard them but did not see them.  As we moved along we heard a grunt, then another; a parade of Wild boar, both large and small were moving away at about 50 yards. Jeremy, earlier stated that several Russian  boar are here as well as mixed breeds. I wanted a Russian boar to write about and serve to my friends and family for dinner!

Jeremy and I followed from a safe distance and the boar began to root around oblivious to us. We got into position for a shot in the first available opening but all we could see was the back end of the boar. Then the big Russian swapped ends and headed straight at us. We froze momentarily in hopes it would not see us, then like a dart the boar went left quartering away at 35 yards but the smaller boar were milling around, and the equally large boar was nearby making a shot impossible.

Then, two more small inquisitive boar came up behind us so we gave them plenty of room, knowing we would end up in a better shooting position anyhow.

The smaller boar were bold as all get-out, not sure what they would do, so we move away.

Finally in the thick spruce the Russian boar was alone and we were in  position just 15 yards away and was broadside. Jeremy whispered; “Clear!” I was already aiming and ready. Boom! I could see the tissue tight behind the boars shoulder give a puff and ran away to the left and down an opening where, in just 30 yards, it collapsed. Perfect Shot Ed!, said Jeremy! We high fived a few times as she collapsed just 30 yards down a small hill. It was a mad house of all the boar grunting that stood around it and in a protection circle and the other big Russian was popping his teeth as a warning.

We stayed at a distance to ensure the boar was indeed dead for a few minutes and then went into recovery mode back at camp with a 4 wheel vehicle and a plastic toboggan. We got the big Russian all loaded up and away from the other boar and found a spot for a photo shoot with the boar, my TC Pro Hunter Rifle, Leupold VX-6 Scope and the Nosler 30-06 with 168g Copper E-Tips that brought this Russian boar down in a hurry.

Now the process of skinning and quartering is underway below. Look at all that fat!

Here is where the Nosler E-Tip, (E for expanding) all copper bullet did on entrance. The bullet encountered the thick skin on the shoulder called the “shield” and the E-Tip opened (expanded) on the shield as it punched through the ribs with a quarter size hole on entry. The bullet shredded the lungs and took a chunk from the heart and exited with a golf ball size hole. And not a trace of the copper to be found!!! Wow! Now that is a bullet! I will be feeding some of this to my little grandkids and feel confident that there are no lead fragments as it is all copper and resists fragmentation.

Jeremy suggested we leave the halves to cool in the 16 degree weather.

I used a power reciprocating saw with a new blade they call the Ax. Did a fine job cutting bone! Look at that fat marbling will ya!

It is Thursday, I killed the boar on Tuesday afternoon.  I cut up half of the boar during the Northeaster Blizzard we were having here in New Hampshire. In the blizzard I heated up the grill and barbecued these puppies in Balsamic and Fig Vinegar, salt and pepper till crispy and about 140 or so internal temp. Look at those snow flakes!

So after all those  driven miles, all the falls in the snow and slick ice woods at Skinner Bog in Maine, here is the dinner I created;

Grilled Balsamic Russian boar chops with Broccolini , Crisp Apple and Bread Stuffing and Newfoundland Partridge Berry /Blueberry Jam on the side. Wow! And a Stella Beer to wash it down. Magnificent!!! The fat was blackened and crispy, meat tender and very flavorful and non gamey. Restaurant quality!

Thanks so much Jeremy, It was a blast! I will be back!!!

A big hat tip to my friends at Nosler and the E-Tip, Thompson Center for such a fine rifle and Leupold for its famous VX-6 3-18x44mm scope.

Good Hunting!

Copyright © 2017






Sight- In with Leupold VX-6, Nosler E-Tips and TC Pro-Hunter for Russian Boar

I moved my best scope, Leupold’s Gold Ring VX-6 3-18x44mm to the TC Pro Hunter using Weaver Grand Slam style bases and a quick detach ring.

Shooting in very cold weather created a situation that I could not control with the levers as they were hard to tighten and became loose at the range at 15ºF, and could be banged loose on branches in the heavy woods.

Accordingly, I went to my NH  Bass Pro shop and found Warne Scope Mounts in Steel (Made in the USA) for a 30mm scope tube. It was almost impossible to find out of regular hunting season… but I did.

It is a split ring in right and left halves.

Product Details

The directions were great as I already had a Wheeler Fat Wrench with a T-15 tip. All I had to do was set the torque to 25 in-lbs for the screws and I was done. Cost $59.00 but I did not shop around as I wanted them now.

What I had not purchased for the VX-6 was scope covers, so I went ahead and fitted the scope in the BassPro store with Butler Creek Flip Open Scope Covers. The front 44mm lens took a 53.3mm cover.

Butler Creek Flip-Open Objective Scope Cover, Size 31 (1.998-Inch, 50.7mm)

and the rear lens took the 42.2 mm lens cover with the red lever.

Product Details


I have had great success with all  my other scopes with Butler Creek covers but it is best to bring your scope with you and fit it right there.

I tested the E-Tips, Scope, Mounts and Covers today at the range and was shooting off the shelf Nosler E-Tips at 100 yards. I was  pleased as punch shooting between one and two inch groups. At 50 yards, where most of my shots at Boar should be, I wasn’t gonna burn more powder and bullets to split hairs.


If you get snow in your barrel, what then? Use a single piece of elect tape to cover your barrel muzzle or buy latex finger cots at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Like a small condom for your rifle barrel.

Method #2 bring a bore snake in your backpack if you have to clean the bore in the field due to mud or snow.

My TC all Rigged up

Bring on those ornery Russian Boar tuskers…

© 2017



New Hampshire Rifleman Magazine winning Ruger, Hornady and Leupold Combination by Ed Hale

New Hampshire Rifleman’s winning combination is the Ruger American – Predator Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor winning Hornady bullet and winning Leupold VX-6 3-18x 44mm CDS scope.

The Rifle

The rifle that won my value driven pocket book is the Ruger American for under $400 dollars yet shoot sub-Minute of Angle at 100 yards as my Test Rifle. Not long ago it took a few thousand dollars to shoot groups like that. Adjustable Trigger, floating barrel and so much more that you have to read the spec sheet below. http://ruger.com/products/americanRiflePredator/specSheets/6973.html

In particular I have tested two of the rifles, one in 243 Winchester and the other in 6.5mm Creedmoor in the Predator series. Both shot sub MOA out of the box and both were in the $400 price range. Exceptional performance from these rifles was uncanny. I bought them both but later sold the .243 as recoil was similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor and it delivered more energy punch hands down. Wow! Accuracy? We got it!

The Cartridge

The 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge is just slightly smaller than the .308 Winchester yet with a 143 grain bullet at 1000 yards it beats the long standing military champ .308 or 7.62 NATO in both trajectory and wind deflection. As a first time 1000 yard shooter, I was able to break 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards. If you couple that with an Extremely Low Drag Bullet you have a fabulous combo for Target, as that was the original intent of the cartridge, but what about Hunting? The 6.5mm Creedmoor can handle a wider array of big game bullet weights than the 6mm/243 Winchester. I suspect the 6.5 will in time overshadow the 6mm at least as a big game hunting round as it delivers a bullet in the .270 Winchester class with the mild recoil of a 6mm. Of course bullet velocities are a bit slower. The .270 Winchester is still a faster bullet as is the 7mm Remington Magnum but at a higher cost of recoil as well.

The Bullet

Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ in 143 grain with new Heat Shield™ Tips Patent Pending with AMP® Advanced Manufacturing Process. Mushroom design as low as 1800 fps and stays together out of the barrel. ACCURATE-DEADLY-DEPENDABLE

In testing by Hornady, the Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X™ Extremely Low Drag Bullet has a very impressive G1 Ballistic Coefficient of .625/ G7 BC .315 for hunting at any distance within the delivered Energy Envelope for the game hunted such as 1000 ft-lb for deer 1500 ft-lb for Elk size game. Click the video below.


The Target


The Scope

Leupold VX-6 3-18x44mm Side Focus CDS see the VX-6 video below


The most expensive item was the scope. The VX-6 is unparalleled in quality and zoom and has dual erector springs that are vital in a far off hunt. This scope raises the bar in optical quality. You can spend more, but you will likely not get more dollar for dollar.  It is a scope for all time, near or far it is my best scope to date. It’s versatility, reliability was nearly unimaginable just a few years back.  Retail $850 to $1430 and worth every penny. Leupold Scopes are All American Made!

A perfect 10 combination for a big game hunter for deer, elk and African Plains game with low recoil. And my grandkids can shoot it!

Put a Ruger American-Predator Rifle Combo under your Christmas tree!

Good Hunting!

© 2016





TC Encore Pro-Hunter Muzzle Loader with Leupold VX-III 2.5-8 initial shots by Ed Hale

Below this article is the detail Physical Exam on the T/C Encore Pro-Hunter Muzzle Loader.

In this article:

This afternoon, I went to the range to get the rifle and Leupold VX-III on paper. I tried a shot with the 300 grain Hornady sabot bullets at 25 yards to see if it was on paper, it was far away from the bull in the lower left. Accordingly, I chose to bore sight the rifle as the easiest way. So I took out the Speed Breech plug with just my fingers and a flip of the wrist and I could see through the bore and the scope. Nice! I dialed in the scope and two more shots later I was near the dead center but a half inch low. I moved the target to 50 yards, dialed up the vertical adjustment 16 clicks, approximately 2 inches, figuring some drop, and chose a 1 inch square in the lower right to aim at… and I hit it. “Guess I figured well. Wow! I thought,  ok now lets shoot at 75 yards with no further drop adjustment but I ran a bore snake in the barrel once before I shot.”  The first shot was an inch high. The second shot was way left as I likely pulled the shot for a myriad of possible reasons but the heavy trigger and newness to the rifle are likely reasons not the rifle itself or the scope.

I let that go and concentrated on the next shot and place that round within an inch of the first 75 yard shot which was just an inch high.  See the target below.


This was impressive but more shooting at 100 yards will tell more and for a three shot group. I pulled the Breech plug, wiped it clean and ran the bore snake in just a few minutes, ready for the next time. The Fox Tactical Butt Stock Cheek Rest pouch worked great to store the long jag.


Until then,

Shoot Straight, Shoot Often!

© 2016

Leupold RX-1200i TBR Wind Compact Digital Rangefinder – Review by Ed Hale

The Leupold RX 1200i TBR-W (True Ballistic Range® -w/ Wind) DNA Digitally eNhanced Accuracy is super jam-packed rangefinder with features for the serious hunter/shooter.  It weighs in at a mere 7.8 ounces. Wow! DSC_0009

with this rugged case below with Quick Reference Card inside that includes tables to set your bullet performance info (see more on this later). A manual is included that provides all the details.


Looking through the eyepiece;it has rubber sleeve  that can fold over for those with eye glasses.

Below is the battery compartment which takes a CR2 Nuon  see image of battery below where you lift the lower half-ring and turn clockwise to open it.



Laser and Objective lens below.


This housing of the electronics is a sealed waterproof machined aluminum rubber armored rangefinder and will deliver years and years of great service if cared for.

Once you have read the instructions (I had to read them a few times) it is a easy-to-use comprehensive MODE packed laser rangefinder for both bow and rifle. It incorporates a 6×22 monocular and will range deer size game from 5 to 800 yards, inanimate objects to 900 yards and reflective targets to 1200 yards. The greatest feature besides the orange OLED Display, and the True Ballistic Range (that takes angle into account) perhaps is Scan mode ( I tested it and works great) when you hold the laser button on wild game you can hold the button down and move the crosshairs from animal to animal or an object to see the distance without taking your eye off the monocular.

Here is a rifle cartridge example below that sets the correct footing for the rangefinders 800 yard deer max;

A 300 Winchester Magnum shoots a 165 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip at about 3150 fps. Wow, that is fast for the 165 grain head! A look at what happens at 800 yards is that it runs out of ethical killing energy of 1000 ft-lbs beyond that, even though its velocity is 1654 fps. The wind component is 6 MOA or 51 inches at 90º with a 10 mph wind.  You have to shoot “a lot of gun” to go beyond 800 yards and kill deer size game and know the wind too drifts your bullet 51 inches, more than a deer length. A nearly impossible shot under those circumstances. So perhaps 800 yards is a great benchmark distance after all. 

Back to the Rangefinder: The RX1200i has reticle choices too with a simple cross hair called Plus Point™ ideal for small game or very distant targets, Duplex® with Plus Point™ and Duplex® without Plus Point™ which is more like a rifle scope reticle. MSRP is around $519 but prices have come down to below $375 making it a really great buy for this big game hunting season!

The bright orange OLED display is far superior in display than black LED especially in low light… a fabulous feature only a hunter at dawn or dusk can appreciate.

Image of OLED Plus Point


The new Wind feature can only be used when you enter your rifle velocity/caliber from the table provided in the manual or the Quick Ref Card for modes such as HOLD, MIL and MOA where your cartridge data is entered too because without velocity and bullet data a wind calculation is not possible. The wind calculation portion will provide a fixed 10 mph value at 90º  to the muzzle. Accordingly, if the wind is quartering at 45 or 135 from east to west you must half the wind value in MOA, HOLD and MIL modes when the wind feature is turned on. Example: Wind in MOA mode may say 2 for a 375 yard shot. (being 2 MOA and assumes a 10 mph wind so if it were 5 mph then “half the value to 1” or if the wind were quartering at 10 MPH it would also “half the value” If the wind were 15 mph from 90 degrees you would add 1/3 more to the value and use 3 MOA and adjust your scope accordingly

The hunter/shooter can switch between modes (modes in red are my most used modes with BAS being the easiest without bullet info) such as:

BAS Mode -Ballistic group and sight in distance. Part of TBR (True Ballistic Range) This default mode displays the equivalent horizontal range which takes angle into account. As a rifle hunter the BAS mode will perhaps be the most used mode who simply wants the horizontal distance ± to the animal and takes angle already into account and the hunter has already knows the drop table for the caliber and load like me. Wind deflection function cannot be turned on here because it does not  know your projectile velocity etc.

BOW Mode –  works with TBR (True Ballistic Range) to find the horizontal Range ±1/10th yards. Arguably the most used mode for the bowhunter.

HOLD Mode– will display the amount of holdover to use in inches or centimeters and takes into account your cartridges ballistic path in table settings provided for hunting calibers and can turn the wind feature on.

MIL Mode – will display the amount of holdover in milliradians. Most helpful for those with Mil Dot reticles and know how to use them. Mil Dot reticle scopes are becoming increasingly popular for very long distance fans and military.  Can use Wind feature. 

MOA Mode – will display the Minute of Angle adjustment for your target which is based on your cartridges ballistic path you choose in a later mode to select the cartridge or group based on what you are shooting with a bullet path height and with sight-in range of 200 yards. (see the Quick Reference Card) This is helpful to the target shooter and hunter who works in MOA mode and you can turn the wind feature on. Most hunting rifle scopes out in the field today are set-up in MOA increments so this mode can be very helpful for a long range hunting and target beyond MPBR (Max Point Blank Range). 

TRIG Mode -calculates both the true vertical and horizontal distance components such as the height of a tree. A once in a while use feature.

LOS Mode – Provides straight line distance to the target without taking angle into account. A least used mode, I think.

Last Target Mode – for TBR/ W only displays the farthest distance between two objects measured.




Battery: CR2 Nuon seen below.

From the website: https://www.leupold.com/hunting-shooting/rangefinders/rx-rangefinders/rx-1200i-tbr-with-dna-digital-laser-rangefinder/

“All RX-1200i Compact rangefinders are completely weatherproof and feature multi-coated optics, selectable reticles, measurements in yards or meters, and fold-down rubber eyecups to accommodate users with or without eye glasses. Pocket-sized and packed with features, Leupold’s new RX-1200i TBR with DNA makes all other rangefinders dim in comparison. Product includes Cordura® holster, lanyard, battery and complete instructions.

The RX-1200i is covered by the Leupold Golden Ring® Electronics Limited Two-Year Warranty.”

Most hunters that are going to use this rangefinder have a much higher level of long distance shooting skills. 

Many retailers are less than MSRP and less than $400 for this rangefinder making it a top choice for hunter who know value when they see it.

I give it a solid A grade for the value, price, ruggedness and accuracy and of course it’s a Leupold.

In a Leupold review it was said that an elk hunter lost his rangefinder and later his outfitter/guide found it and sent it to him. It wasn’t working so he sent it to Leupold who said they could not fix it but will gladly send him a new one! You can’t beat that! 

Good Hunting!

© 2016





Reach for 1000 SIG SAUER Academy with Savage M12 LRP and Leupold Scope VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm by Ed Hale

July 19, 2016 I arrived at the Sig Academy and met up with son Jason. Below is the Pro Shop. A beautiful summer day shooting with son Jason is all I could ask for!


An inside look.


We headed to our classroom where Chris Cavellaro our Instructor known as “Cav” gave us an intro as what to expect from the day which started at 8:30 AM and lasted technically till 5 PM but we shot till 6 PM.


Cav went around the room with 5 students in attendance to see where they were from and their expectations of the course.

Five is a very manageable size for the type of shooting we are doing. I was performing Test and Evaluation of the Savage Model 12 Long Range Precision Rifle as well as the Test and Evaluation of Leupold’s newly introduced Scope VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Custom Dial System. You must select a cartridge for using the Custom Dial System and have a CDS dial made. I chose not to test the CDS feature.

Below is all my gear for the Class “Reach for 1000”.


Our set-up to check zero at 100 yards.  Sig gave us shooting blankets to use. Below is top is Jason’s Rifle and my Savage Model 12 Long Range Precision rifle and Leupold VX-3i Scope with a shade attached.IMG_1023

Below is my 100 yard group shooting Hornady Precision Hunter 143 grain (Extremely Low Drag) ELD-X bullets with the first shot called a cold shot 1 1/2 inches high.

hornady ammo Precision Hunter


The rest of the shots grouped a bit less than 1 inch as the barrel begins to warm up. Initially, I was not really comfortable and relaxed because I set my bi-pod lower to see if it made a difference, it didn’t feel comfortable.  I reset the bi-pod higher and got my large rear sand bag and was comfortable again. the tight group of three to the left happens when this bull barrel warms a bit. Cold shots are important to understand when you need to make that Precision shot the first time.

Cav shared a shooting technique to look through your scope then close your eyes, relax your head and open them to see if the crosshair moves. If it does, you want to move your body left or right till that crosshair remains on center. Emphasis on relaxed muscles. Secondly, Cav emphasized the focus on the crosshair more than the target. In fact the target may even blur but the crosshair is your focal point in the aiming process. No mention about breathing during the shot sequence was done. I am happy with my breathing sequence.

Emphasis on trigger pull as a steady force rearward till the trigger sear breaks and the rifle fires.  All said and done the shooter should not be tense at all and the trigger finger does all the work. My Precision trigger is set at 2 pounds for target shooting, See photo below.


Below is the 200 yard shooting area center. Targets were again paper.


Below we are set up at 300 yards and about to shoot steel targets with white circles so we can see/hear the impact.



Below are my 300 yard shots, Top three inch circle has all five hits in the white while the bottom circle grouping was very tight indeed with all 5 shots three dead center and 2 at 6 o’clock in the white. Whoa! Nice! I said to Cal; “I have read that many precision bullets seem to stabilize at longer ranges.”  “Yes they can”, Cal added.


Below is Jason’s 300 yard group.


The three hundred range also is the 750 yard range to the right in the photo below. Look above the scope turret. It looks tiny doesn’t it. Sooo far away that even the targets are difficult to see without  a scope which was set to 14x. I should have dialed to 20x but still shot quite fine hitting a 10 inch white square after a few minor adjustments. Cav had a Kestrel wind meter with barometric pressure. Wind was coming from our backs most of the day making wind drift a small concern.


It was here that I discovered that I ran out of elevation adjustment but it was not due to the scope. The 20 MOA picatinny rail was on backwards. Cav had field tools so we unmounted the scope turned the rail 180 degrees, remounted the scope and in 15 minutes and I was back in business for 1000 yards. Hmm, the Leupold 20 MOA rail had no markings on it for direction.

Below shooters finishing the 750 yard targets



Below is 1000 yard targets with a large 4 foot steel plate with a 10 inch white square in the middle. The same target we shot at 750 yards but repainted. One at a time we made adjustments to hit the 10 inch white square. To the left and right are steel human silhouette tagets which we engaged once we could put rounds in the 10 inch square. But now for the balloon shoot at 1000 yards. There were strings of 8 and 6 inch multi-colored balloons to shoot. I was able to take out three of these balloons at 1000 yards.


Below, Jason and I are taking aim at a 8 inch balloon at 1000 yards. We added 1 minute in windage for bullet spin drift (book says 1.2) I took out three balloons to Jason’s one. Not bad for an old fart, eh with at test Savage Model 12 LRP and a Test Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm scope and store bought ammo. Not bad at all…and I teased him in good humor too.

IMG_1058 IMG_1061

In a few days Sig will email a course evaluation. I was elated with the skill and laid back nature of our Instructor Cav. He had a very consistent demeanor all day. At the end of the course we had a debrief and there I gave my grade for Cal who I gave an A+ grade.

I could have used a two gallon thermos of cold water. My Camel bak Hydration back pack worked great but the water got warm faster than I wanted. Could have added more Ice to it. Need lots of cold water when I do this again.

There is a follow-up to this course which goes into detail on Wind doping and Mirage and Calculators for MOA or Mil adjustments.

We all received a Certificate of Completion of the “Reach for 1000 training”.

Ratings for the Model 12 LRP Rifle are easy I give the Rifle an A grade. It never let me down.

The Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20 x50mm was just fantastic and I could see and pop 8 inch balloons at 1000 yards using 20x. The balloons were clear and sharp with great color.

The 20 MOA rail was terrific once we had it pointed in the right direction and the 143 grain Hornady Precision Hunter ELD-X bullets were excellent and Match Grade.

I had a great time learned a lot and recommend the rifle, scope and the training to all my friends.

Good Shooting!

© 2016