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  HPG Forum  Discussions  Firearms and Sk...  Close Range Sighting Test
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New Post 10/3/2012 10:49 AM
  evanhill
1100 posts
1st Level Poster


Close Range Sighting Test 

This morning we gathered some data to try to get a handle on which sighting system makes the most all around sense for a practical (or "scout") style of rifle. We've got a reasonably good handle on how different sighting systems behave at longer ranges, but we hadn't ever tested systems at "danger close" range. Here was this morning's methodology:

  • Standard silhouette target @ 7 yards
  • round chambered, safety off, from the low ready
  • 5 rounds delivered to the head. We went with a head hold to emphasize a "shoot no / no shoot" mentality rather than a center of mass mentality. In actuality, I don't think it made much difference.
  • Plenty of daylight, desert environment
  • Shooter one shoots a given optic system, then Shooter two shoots the same optic system.

Here are the systems we tested (in order of testing):

  • T-1 RDS mounted forward of the receiver on a Mauser bolt action
  • XS ghost ring rear and bead style front on a Mauser with a 16" barrel
  • 1.5x illuminated Leupold scope mounted with an almost conventional scope placement on a Ruger Scout
  • 1.5x non illuminated Leupold scope mounted with an almost conventional scope placement on a Ruger Scout
  • 2.5x Leupold scout scope mounted with the rear edge of the scope even with the front edge of the ejection port on a Mauser
  • Second run with the RDS to account for difference in cold versus non cold run. In actuality, this didn't make much difference. More later.

Here are the results in order of "effectiveness" for each shooter, and then composite:

Shooter 1 Rankingavg splitgroup size
Ghost Ring2.071.5
RDS2.076252.25
2.5x 2.1552.5
1.5x no illum2.21752.5
1.5x illum2.271
averages2.157751.95
Shooter 2 Rankingavg splitgroup size
1.5x no illum1.79752
RDS1.988752
2.5x1.94253.25
Ghost Ring2.03252
1.5x illum2.0233333333
averages1.9569166672.45
Composite Rankingavg splitgroup size
1.5x no illum2.00752.25
RDS2.03252.125
Ghost Ring2.051251.75
2.5x2.048752.875
1.5x illum2.1466666672
averages2.0573333332.2

Some judgement calls were made in the order of listings above - you can see where slightly slower times beat out faster times if the group size was noticeably smaller.

Here are a few conclusions that the data suggest:

  • At least in these lighting conditions, there isn't any practical difference between the aiming systems where the split time differences are mostly measured in hundredths of a second.
  • On average, split time differences have more to do with accuracy standard than sighting system. You can see this when you look at the shooter one overall averages, shooter two overall averages, and composite overall averages.
  • We expected overall speed to increase with each successive run as the shooters warmed up. When you look at the raw data (not shown), Shooter 1 didn't see any change, and Shooter 2 got a little faster over time. Again, the speed up in both cases was also strongly correlated with decreasing accuracy standard.
  • RDS is in position 2 for both. We expected it to be in position one for both of us. Interesting that for each of us there was a sighting system that beat out RDS (if only slightly) and that it was different in each case.
  • 1.5x illum is in position 5 for both. We expected illuminated to beat out non-illuminated and it didn't.
  • It looks like Shooter 1 is well served with a 2.5x that maybe gets pulled off from time to time in favor of the irons.
  • It looks like Shooter 2 is well served with the variable 1.5-5x as a primary for all conditions. At least based on this test, the illumination is of questionable value.

Both shooters preferred the perceived ease of using the RDS at this range, even though the numbers don't place its performance substantially better than other options.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post 10/3/2012 10:51 AM
  evanhill
1100 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 
Modified By evanhill  on 10/3/2012 11:53:50 AM)

And the raw data, just because:

Optic12345avgtotalgroup
RDS Shooter 1 Run 11.372.052.122.392.172.182510.11
RDS Shooter 2 Run 11.912.392.062.332.392.292511.081
composite     2.2375 1
RDS Shooter 1 Run 21.551.981.921.822.161.979.433.5
RDS Shooter 2 Run 21.171.81.51.71.741.6857.913
composite     1.8275 3.25
delta - faster bolt(?), less precision     0.41 -2.25
RDS 2 run composite     2.0325 2.125
         
GR Shooter 11.882.032.052.13bolt stick2.0712.061.5
GR Shooter 21.222.061.782.052.242.03259.352
GR composite     2.05125 1.75
         
1.5x illum Shooter 11.682.392.132.142.422.2710.761
1.5x illum Shooter 21.142.24bolt stick1.921.912.02333311.613
      2.146667 2
         
1.5x no illum Shooter 11.52.182.342.242.112.217510.372.5
1.5x no illum Shooter 21.312.221.681.681.611.79758.52
      2.0075 2.25
         
2.5x Shooter 11.672.132.142.022.332.15510.292.5
2.5x Shooter 21.161.852.121.931.871.94258.933.25
      2.04875 2.875

bolt stick on GR Shooter 1 - Mauser doesn't like SA milsurp. Going back to west German milsurp fixed the problem.

bolt stick on 1.5x illum Shooter 2 - Ruger doesn't like the factory metal magazine, plus extremely strong ejector tension inhibits smooth cycling.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post 10/3/2012 11:56 AM
  hansford
143 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

 Thank you for doing this.  It satisfies some questions I have had.  

I think you are correct that in different lighting/environmental conditions, more of a difference might be noted.  When can we expect those numbers? ; )

So how is Shooter 1 feeling about that 2.5x fixed these days?

 
New Post 10/3/2012 12:04 PM
  gm2011
48 posts
No Ranking


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

 very interesting! thank you for compiling and sharing this study. It's good to see data backup well known truths about accuracy and speed. Some initial perceptions of mine that have a large chance of being incorrect or at least unhelpful:

1. RDS Run 2 - much faster individual and average time splits, as well as  much larger grouping.  I would have to wonder if the optimum operational time split for mausers and RDS would not only be slower to maintain accuracy at close distance, but better to develop timing and muscle memory for longer range shots. Perhaps a split time of around 2-2.2 seconds (As if this is some variable or 'knob' you can adjust, hah) would allow you to become consistently more accurate (1" groupings) at longer distances such as 50 yards. 

2. 1.5x illum shooter 1 seems uncharacteristically slow when compared to the 1.5x non-illum or 2.5x, albeit with fantastic grouping (new, different rifle as the culprit?). I wonder how low-light operation at longer distances might change the outlook on the data if the test were done again at 50 yards in different lighting. Because that illumination really doesnt seem to help much for speed or accuracy during the day. 

3. From your conclusions- would the shooter 1 take off the 2.5x in favor of irons at random or would it be in sequence with preparing to shoot short distance at threat or something? I can see the advantage of having good backup irons, and having practice with them, but i think I would want to decide on a capable system for both close range and long range, and then keep it up and ready. But then again shooter 1 was faster with the same accuracy with the 2.5x when compared to both 1.5x runs. 

It would also be an interesting comparison to line up someone with an .308 AR (or M1A) platform against the bolt guns above to compare times and accuracy for both 7 yards and 50 yards. The results would obviously be that the semi autos could pump out more lead faster and (potentially) more accurately, however it would be advantageous to be able to quantify 'just how much' speed you gain at shorter and medium distances (10 shots in under 5 seconds at 7 yards, under 8 seconds at 50 yards possibly?). This might help folks in the determination for whether to carry an imposing AR, a heavy semi auto or a compact and 'grey' bolt gun

thanks again 

-GM

 

 
New Post 10/3/2012 12:26 PM
  evanhill
1100 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

Hah!... "shooter 1" is feeling like 2.5x is plenty good at close range. Still have to figure out why first round hits at 390 yards from military prone aren't enough performance from the 2.5x at long range. In answer to the question about taking the scope off in favor of irons -- if I have a rifle in the tent at night, I prefer to have the scope off because I know there won't be any condensation issues with irons. Other than that, I'd prefer the scope around camp in general in all lighting conditions because I'm not giving up anything of substance at really close range, and am gaining quite a bit at what is typically "edge of the clearing" range. The one scenario where I might have taken the scope off before is to put it beside my bed inside of a house at night. This testing makes that a less likely course of action, but doesn't argue against it.

Regarding illumination, if you haven't done so, you need to look through a magnified (if only very low power) scope into an area illuminated by a tac light at night. The crosshairs really pop! When you think about a backcountry scenario, it isn't very likely that you will be in a situation where you want to avoid using a weapon light.

The comparison data for a larger caliber semi-auto would be interesting. Maybe someone can run this same test with, say, a 6.8 AR.

7 yards is really close, designed primarily to highlight the perceived deficiency of the 2.5x. That was the initial impetus for the whole test. 25-50 yards is a very interesting range where I would mostly expect the ghost rings to drop off in efficacy but everything else to remain neutral.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post 10/3/2012 12:56 PM
  gm2011
48 posts
No Ranking


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

 I have no doubts as to your proficiency with the 2.5x at any distance, haha. My perceptions were just that- perceptions. Especially since i have never really  trained for speed with anything but my handgun and AR. Bolt guns to me have always been pretty slow moving, highly precise tools. Something i need to work on for sure.

Thanks for clarifying with the situations you would be removing the optic- that makes good sense. And for low light illumination- agreed; using a light makes up for no illumination. The scenario i was thinking of was low light predator hunting, where you dont want to shine the spot light just yet. Lots of times ive wanted to take a shot at a coyote or hog late at night but couldnt quite make out my crosshairs at distance, but didnt want to shine the spotlight yet. Or even taking a dusk shot at a whitetail would be easier and more confident if the reticle was illuminated. Both situations wouldnt work out nearly as well if you turned on the weapon light, nor were wanting spot light. 

seems like your test for proving your scout rifle at 2.5x (and up past 390 yards, i suppose) turned out with exactly the result you wanted  :)    Any shooter with ample practice with any of those weapon systems is to be respected to handle any job presented, backcountry, hunting, or home defense. If you cant handle a situation with a bolt gun shooting 2" groups within 10 seconds at medium range (backcountry, hunting, or defensive), then I'm not sure a semi auto .308 or full-auto AK would solve your problem anyway. 

 
New Post 10/3/2012 1:11 PM
  Bushcraft
68 posts
No Ranking


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

Interesting test guys.

I'm curious, how different were the cheek welds, LOP, etc., between the Mauser (I'm assuming they were both nearly identical in configuration) and the Ruger?

Allen

 
New Post 10/3/2012 1:12 PM
  scothill
1181 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

My suspicion is that the issue with the 1.5 vs 1.5 il is that the shooters are pausing to find the dot instead of just crucifying the head and breaking the shot.  I don’t know this for sure, but I think that is what I was doing. 

The Mauser is definitely a smoother action to run at this point, and we both had a couple of sticking issues with the RGS.  Then again who know how many thousands of rounds the mauser has through it.  I plan to spend some time in front of the TV running the bolt on the RGS to smooth it in. 

There is definitely a correlation between the group size and speed.  It basically hinges on how long you pause to confirm the site picture.  We purposely didn’t give a precise aiming point, and after the first run I was just centering and breaking the shot as soon as I centered.  This lead to a decrease accuracy. 

I would be very interested to just see some split times for a .308 autoloader.  I was left wondering if they would really be that much faster due to the recoil of the caliber, but without a timer you wouldn’t know. We don’t have access to a 308 autoloader so someone will have to loan us one or post some data.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post 10/3/2012 1:25 PM
  evanhill
1100 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

Bush, identical length of pull - 12.75". No noticeable difference in cheek weld. Bolt throw on the Mauser might be longer than on the Ruger. We'll have to check that.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post 10/3/2012 3:01 PM
  WEG
130 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 
Modified By WEG  on 10/3/2012 4:03:22 PM)

I would think the bolt throw on the Ruger would be longer compared to my compact and the various Mauser actions I have handled/had. I never looked at both of  them side by side though. In fact the Ruger action was the longest of all my short actions I compared it to.

 
New Post 10/3/2012 8:34 PM
  SLG
24 posts
No Ranking


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

 Scot,

 

Without getting into some of the other variables that might skew a test like this, I'll say that the .308 autoloader (at least the 2 that I have) is MUCH faster shot to shot at that distance/target.  No contest, if that matters.  What do you need to shoot twice in the head with a .308 at 7 yards? :-)

 
New Post 10/3/2012 11:38 PM
  Bushcraft
68 posts
No Ranking


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 
Modified By Bushcraft  on 10/4/2012 12:38:33 AM)

Ha!  Excellent point Simon.  That said, I don't think Evan and Scot were measuring 5 shot times in 2ish seconds with their bolt guns.

If that was in fact the case, I will be signing up...pronto....for whatever class(es) they attended to learn how to do that.  ;)

Allen

 
New Post 10/4/2012 7:06 AM
  scothill
1181 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

The impetus for this test was trying to figure out the limitations of the various sighting systems one can use for a general purpose rifle up close.  Based on eye relief if you are running stripper clips you are even more limited.  Evan felt like the 2.5 was a definite limitation at closer range, and my response was without testing we just don't know.  Testing in this case meaning both first round on target and target reaquisition after each shot, and that is the reason for 5 shots.  We also decided that we would limit to the head on a target so we wouldn't have the benefit of an aimming point like using a 25yd pistol target and also would be shooting for a smaller target instead of just minute of torso or Metal on Meat as some folks like to put it.   Ideally, we would repeat this test over the course of multiple days and mutiple weather and lighting conditions.  We will probably do some of that. 

As far as a semi 308 the closet we have are a couple of RDS sighted AKs. We will throw in one of those soonish to give us some kind of comparison. 

Simon I should have clarified, I was thinking of a similarly set up and similar weight semi.  Not something like a Predatobr or OBR, etc.... with a muzzle break.  With that provision I still really wonder how much faster the times would be for the same shooter with say a Predatar.  Might be interesting for someone with access to one to repeat the test with that and of course hopefully a bolt gun or two to provide a baseline for comparison because of course the shooters capabilities makes a big difference in this one.

Bush are you suggesting that a 5 shot string with a 308 semi in 2 seconds is doable?  If so what is your basis? Or are you saying that 2 second splits are the goal, in which case we did that several times in the drill. 


Co-Owner Hill People Gear"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post 10/4/2012 7:32 AM
  Take-a-knee
160 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 
Modified By Take-a-knee  on 10/4/2012 8:33:42 AM)

When I attended Cain's Practical Rifle class, I had the only forward telescope (2.5X Leupold) on the line.  My Steyr was usually the first rifle to go bang on most of the drills, EXCEPT at 7yd.  I don't consider this a serious limitation, but it is one nonetheless.  SLG has opined that not a single 3-gun shooter runs a forward telescope.  Cain is of the opinion that, apart from the stripper clip issue, a  1-4x is about optimal for a general purpose rifle.  Cooper favored the fixed 2.5x due to the frequent scope failures he saw in his classes.

John Barsness knows more about optics than most of us ever will.  He gets 'em in the mail to test and wrings 'em out for a living.  He is partial to a fixed 6X for western hunting, mainly based on its reliability.

Scout scopes simply don't work for everybody's eyes.  You need to find out if they do for you, before you sink 2K into a rifle .  They work great for me.  My Steyr MIGHT get a 1-4X, I would really like a 1-6X but they are quite expensive currently.  My backup however, will be the fixed 2.5x Scout Scope.

 
New Post 10/4/2012 8:35 PM
  scothill
1181 posts
1st Level Poster


Re: Close Range Sighting Test 

Evan reminded me that we had done some comparison shooting before, and I was able to find the data. However, my data is basically just the raw data and the notes specific the course of fire and what happened during the shooting aren't available.  If memory serves this was a test run to see which was fastest to get into action and consisted of low ready, safety on, and then three rounds center of mass at 10 yds, but to be honest I am a bit hazy.  I also seem to remember, and the data supports it that we ran each rifle twice.  The data group on the left is an average of all of our runs with a given rifle while the group on the right is an average of each of our fastest times with a given rifle.  What it does do is show the difference between lever actions in 3 caliber, AKs with 2 different sighting systems, and a FAL (DSA short gas system) with two different sight systems.  The bolt gun would be my Remington with either a leupold 2.5 or a burris 2-7 set at 2, I can't remember, and you can see we have both marlin and winchester 30/30s represented. 

Fastest All times Total timeSplit TimeFastest  Best Times Total TimeSplit times
AK with Scout 3.930.965Fal with Circle Dot 3.760.845
AK with T1 4.050.846667Fal with Duplex 3.7851.275
Fal with 1.5 Circle Dot 4.0683330.916AK with Scout 3.9050.965
Fal with 1.5 Duplex 4.0816671.648AK with T1 4.050.86
4570 with Scout 4.811.524570 with Scout 4.811.52
.44 Marlin Fast Fire 5.1651.48.44 Marling Fast Fire 5.1651.48
30/30 Marlin Irons 5.671.60530/30 Marlin Irons 5.671.605
30/30 Win Irons 5.6751.6130/30 Win Irons 5.6751.61
4570 Ghost Ring 6.7452.0654570 Ghost Ring 6.7452.065
Bolt with Scout 6.8252.3Bolt with Scout 6.8252.3

Based on this a semi 308 can be expected to be twice as fast as a bolt gun and a lever gun is also faster.  What is also represented here is that a levergun with an optic is faster than irons.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear"If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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