Stretching The Envelope
Central Texas boasts two outstanding long-range shooting assets in Stan Jarosz-Rafter J Shooting Sports of Crawford, TX and Larry Cohen of Waco. Both are long-time National Match High Power shooters with much experience in Metallic Silhouette shooting, Long Range Black Powder Cartridge Rifle shooting to 1,000 yards and distance work with the 1903 Springfield. Both are Camp Perry veterans.
The men were enthusiastic about the new rig and their interest grew when they saw the Vudu optic with its Horus M59 MRAD reticule. We shot the rig at 600 and 1,000 yards under ideal conditions employing a portable Legacy Shooting Bench as well as equipment to telegraph hits on targets over half a mile away. This included a two-way radio suspended behind the standard E type steel target and a Magneto Speed T1000 strobe to flash wildly when the metal homunculus clanged from a hit.
The Hornady on-line ballistic resources program provided a useful trajectory chart and is recommended for comparing downrange performance from various cartridges. The scope comes with a separate manual which does an excellent job of demystifying the mil-radian system for those of us who think in terms of inches, fractions of inches and and minutes of angle. It explains the MRAD reticule, its reciprocals in meters and inches and its use in Stadiametric Rangefinding.
The remarkable collusion of the rifle/scope/mount package and the low-drag match ammunition enable the use of the 8 and 9 mil stadia visible at the bottom of the reticule with the magnification at 18X (or slightly below). The shooter can choose between using the reticle at 100-yard zero or going to the external elevation adjustment to sight the primary crosshair at 1,000 yards. Raising the elevation to the 8.5 or 9.1 on the dial does the same thing for our two loads as selecting the same-numbered stadia with the 100-yard zero.
At extended range it quickly became evident T/C, with co-development assistance by the Smith & Wesson Performance Center, has fielded a well-vetted product of excellent quality. Both Stan and Larry had enormous fun putting the system through its paces and were impressed by the rifle and scope.
Groups at 600 and 1,000 yards hovered around the 1 MOA mark for all three of us with three or four of each five rounds at — or below — 1/2 MOA in most cases. This is likely a more accurate predictor of the rifle’s baseline accuracy than the full five rounds and the likely interjection of human error.
Nevertheless, Stan’s subsequent load development with the same ELD bullet is closing in on 1/2 MOA across the board.
While many shooters have limited access to extreme range shooting, such venues are becoming more available. In any case, a soundly engineered and extremely accurate rifle is always its own excuse for being and the Performance Center T/C LRR certainly meets the criteria. The MSRP? A very reasonable $1,211.