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Posted: 6/1/2008 12:47:56 PM EST
I took the precision-rifle class at FBMG last weekend. Teacher was John Wester, a veteran of Afghanistan, currently in the National Guard. He lectured brilliantly in the Friday night class and distributed excellent documentation.

Saturday morning, James Bunten, FBMG president and senior trainer, arranged for us to shoot at the quarry above Lehi. When everyone was zero'd at 100 yards, John moved us to 300 yards, read the wind and told us to come up four minutes and left three minutes. I did what he said and was able to immediately deliver a group in the center of mass of the torso target. Even though he taught us how to make the calculations, it seemed like wizardry to me.

When the wind stopped, I fired another group without returning to zero and they all missed the target. Because I am a beginner, I was surprised at the effect of the wind. I now know what to do about it. The other main thing that I learned is the importance of being able to return to zero by marking dials.

I was shooting 168-grain match ammo from a DPMS .308 carbine. I don't think that I want a 26" barrel, however I do want a 20" .308 AR with a 10-power fixed scope with mil dots. At 300 yards, twenty inches is better than sixteen. And 10 power is better than 3 power for my 52-year old eyes.

John was an energetic and expert teacher. James was a good host.

Link Posted: 6/1/2008 4:15:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/1/2008 4:17:49 PM EST by Manlaan]
Thanks a lot for the info. I've been thinking about taking some of the FBMG classes for a while, but didn't want to waste my money and couldn't find any outside references to say how good they were.

I do have a few other questions, if you dont mind.

How many people were in the class?
Did you feel it was time well spent/learned a lot? (If you could rewind the clock and had the option to do it all over again, would you?)
Would you recommend it to others?
Would there be anything to learn/benefit from taking it a second time?
Have you taken any other classes from them? Opinions on those?

I''d also be very interested in hearing about any other classes people have taken from them or others in the SL area.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 5:31:47 PM EST
Manlaan there were four people in the class. I would do it over again. I recommend it to folks who have not been trained in precision rifle. You asked about other classes. I tried to take the AK armorer class at FBMG but it was canceled because I was the only one who wanted to register.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:22:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:37:55 PM EST
Medicmandan: Check out this site for optics www.swfa.com/c-231-super-sniper-rifle-scopes.aspx. John Wester recommended it. I ordered a 10 power with mil dots for $300!
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:43:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 9:29:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By medicmandan:

Originally Posted By Freeway:
Medicmandan: Check out this site for optics www.swfa.com/c-231-super-sniper-rifle-scopes.aspx. John Wester recommended it. I ordered a 10 power with mil dots for $300!


I was looking at getting a Super Sniper but most people said I would end up wanting a variable power scope. I need to get it sorted out soon as I hadn't planned for irons on this build. Now I can't shoot it until I get a scope and a Larue SPR mount.


I had thought that too.. But after talking to the Chief and looking at the mission of my long range rifle, I decided that a fixed power scope would work the best. If i planned on hunting or something, I could see the advantage of a variable power scope. According to Chief, the mil-dots on a 10x scope are the most accurate for range estimation.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 4:01:54 AM EST
I have many scopes and my US optics fixed 10 is one of my favorites. Nice thing about a fixed 10 mil dot is it is easy to do range estimation and adjustment.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 5:55:12 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 11:47:39 AM EST
I've always liked the variable scopes better myself. I just find it a lot easier to find my target and zoom in to the point I'm comfortable with.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 6:32:58 PM EST
Mil dots only work at 10 power. So the variables with mil dots have to be set to 10 in order to actually use the mil dots.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 10:03:41 PM EST
I do not understand the statement mil dots only work at 10x. I think many second focal plane scopes may be setup for 10x for range estimation but definitely not all are set for 10x. If you buy a first focal plane scope you can range estimate at any magnification.

Here is one of my favorite articles on scopes:

http://demigodllc.com/articles/intro-long-range-rifle-scopes/

If you are looking for an inexpensive variable scope many people at the hide like the Falcon Menace. I thought about getting one but after getting a Nightforce I want Nightforces everywhere!!



Link Posted: 6/3/2008 5:43:14 AM EST
I am in the middle of my 6.8 SPC build and will definitely that this class if it is still given when my rifle is done.

MadDog
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 11:28:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 11:30:50 AM EST by Manlaan]

Originally Posted By Freeway:
Mil dots only work at 10 power. So the variables with mil dots have to be set to 10 in order to actually use the mil dots.


I may be completely off in the deep end here, but the way I understand the way mildot works on variable scopes is there two different types.

First, the mildot that adjusts as you change the focus. I've never seen one of these myself, but in theory, the mildot should be able to be calculated with the default formula for distance at any zoom level. (est height * 1000 / mildot height = distance).

The second type is one where the reticle doesn't change with the zoom power. This is the type I've seen most scopes use. On this type with mildots, there is usually a marked level in which to use the standard formula. For example, it looks like Bushnell is based on 12x. (Bushnell mildot instructions). The way it'd have to work is the reticle is sized for that zoom level to calculate the range. There is no reason I can see that it'd have to be set at 10x, as long as 1 mil = 1 mil.

One benefit for using a variable power scope with mildots is you can always change the zoom level and multiple the distance by (zoom / default mildot zoom) in case you have issues finding a height reference point.

The only scope I have with mildots is a 7-21x, with a marker at 14x. Based on tests at the range, it is working as intended at the 14x zoom level.

I may be completely wrong in all this though. If I can, please explain in more detail why it has to be 10x.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 4:51:18 PM EST
Manlaan, It was John Wester who told us that since mil dots only work at 10 power, a variable might only confuse the operator. Your message shows me that the topic is more complicated than I realized.

BTW, I had to cancel my order for the Super Sniper scope because they emailed me that they are out of stock. So I have just slapped an old Leopold fixed four-power compact on my AR-10 to tide me over until I do more research based on your post.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 4:59:16 PM EST
If you are looking at a fix power 10x you may also want to look at the Bushnell 3200 fixed 10x. It comes with Mildots. Can be had for about 175 locally and has a pretty good rep for what it is. I started with that before I got my Nightforce.



Link Posted: 6/3/2008 5:08:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 5:14:52 PM EST by Manlaan]
Speaking of scopes, have y'all checked out Sample List? I believe its run by SWFA to get rid of either trades and/or demo units. In looking through it, they do tell you about any marks, etc. Haven't bought anything from them myself, but considering it for my upcoming 308 to save a few $$. Granted that they aren't new, but as soon as you put em on rings, they aren't new anyway. If I do get something, I think I'd get it from one that has a lifetime guarantee, unconditional of the owner just to be on the safe side. Every time I look at the page (about once a week), there are always new items.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 5:34:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 5:39:27 PM EST by Manlaan]

Originally Posted By Freeway:
Manlaan, It was John Wester who told us that since mil dots only work at 10 power, a variable might only confuse the operator. Your message shows me that the topic is more complicated than I realized.

BTW, I had to cancel my order for the Super Sniper scope because they emailed me that they are out of stock. So I have just slapped an old Leopold fixed four-power compact on my AR-10 to tide me over until I do more research based on your post.


I think if anything, he was probably just giving the 10x as an example of the mildot zoom level on a scope. I was just very curious as if there's actually a reason for the 10x, as I always like to learn new things.

I always have a hard time with zoom levels also. Some people have all these magic formulas and all that, but I think it really just comes down to what you're going to be using it for.

A hunter (potential moving target/target needs to be searched for) wouldn't care quite as much about the magnification, where if you're shooting paper, a higher magnification cant hurt, and actually might even help by letting you see the holes. (Instant feedback vs spotting scope and/or clear range and walk down)

I definitely like the higher powered scopes for target shooting. Afterall, aim small, miss small. Now if I was going to shoot at something moving, no way would I be zoomed in to 20x at 100yrds. That would just be insane to try to follow it. Thats kinda why I like the variable powered scopes. I can use it at the range for that precision shot, or I can use it for hunting, all with out removing the scope. I've always been told that part of practice is repeatability, which if you're practicing at the range and changing scopes to hunt, kinda wastes all that practice adjusting to a new scope.

Link Posted: 6/3/2008 6:03:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 6:04:52 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:06:09 PM EST



If you are looking at a fix power 10x you may also want to look at the Bushnell 3200 fixed 10x. It comes with Mildots. Can be had for about 175 locally and has a pretty good rep for what it is. I started with that before I got my Nightforce.



Thanks UtahCyberCowboy, I just ordered one. Smokin' deal.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:08:12 PM EST
Medicmandan, You always have to call or go into FBMG to know the exact class schedule and to register. They don't have web registration.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 7:15:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 11:02:00 PM EST
A new website is on its way.

in the mean time visit our forum at www.fbmg.yuku.com
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 11:49:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/3/2008 11:51:24 PM EST by Manlaan]

Originally Posted By medicmandan:
I thought their old website used to list classes and schedules. I used to get down there every couple of weeks but with the new job this year I don't get let out of the office much.


I've been pretty much waiting for their web site to come up as well before I moved forward on taking a class. Not so much that I would order it online, but more so I know whats available, how much and how long, what to expect from the class, and what equipment is required. It would be nice to at least have the basic info on the forums, but I couldn't find anything there either. I just dont like to have to bother people for information I can (used to) be able to find myself. I figure that if they wanted people to take the classes, they'd let people know about it. The lack of any website/info on their forums for the last 3 months+ just gave me the impression they didn't do the classes anymore and dont really care about the internet side of things.

Link Posted: 6/7/2008 1:05:23 AM EST
Mildot info can be found here - http://shooterready.com/ - pretty good training program for the money. Bushnell 3200's 10X's - I have 2 I have used quite a bit over past 3 years. They are built as compact scopes and are light and short. IMO an excellent value for the 1/5 the money of the Leupold. The 3200 glass is clear and bright and have a lifetime warranty. Nikon also has a good varible midrange mildot scope for about $350 with good optics. The 6.8 SPC will be a challenge for long range precision rifle shooting - I use 115 gr. OTM match and 110 VMax's and they drop quickly after 250 ish. However it is an enjoyable (fun) caliber to shoot.
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