Go to triangular compass
Left arrow

Skill vs Tech – High Speed Low Drag Shooting Rigs

Mammoth Sniper Challenge
Mammoth Sniper Challenge
Gear + Kits
Gear + Kits
April 29, 2024
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Linkedin
Copy Link

Stay Up to Date on American Grit

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Mammoth Sniper Challenge II concluded last month, with high scores and high spirits. Despite the intense nature of the competition, most of the shooters I saw and all that I spoke with expressed that it was an excellent test of skill and endurance, as well as attention to detail. Something that stood out to me as someone who has worked with firearms for decades was the price tags of the rifle set ups on the firing line. They say gear doesn’t make you a good shooter… But it doesn’t hurt.

In the spirit, lets cover a few of the pricier accessories on the list, and how they can affect the performance of a marksman.

Vortex Impact 4000 Ballistic Rail Mounted Laser Range Finder

Don’t let the sticker shock fool you, there were quite a few of these mounded above the scopes of this year’s competitors. With a max range of 4000 yards, on board sensors for temperature, pressure, and humidity, and a host of other features, this ballistic computer all in one takes a lot of the math out of your head and puts it right in front of your eyeballs. If one of these fell off of a truck and onto my rifle, I would say a thank you to the appropriate deity and hit dead center all day. Provided I didn’t get cocky.

On the other hand, I work on a government salary, so I opted for an affordable handheld model. Not as fancy, but still has the Vortex warranty, and I was less worried I’d bonk it on something during a course of fire. That’s the poverty in me, though, so take it with a grain of salt. 

Do you need it? No, Marines have won wars with iron sights alone. Do you have to be good at quick math, ballistic charts, and reading the weather without it? Absolutely, as Match Director Chris Andrews says, “It doesn’t need to be easy, it just needs to be possible.” 

Vortex and Nightforce Rifle Scopes

There were a lot of different models of these scopes to choose from, but they were the most common brands. My scope is a Nightforce, and I’ve never had a complaint. In the area of ‘do I need it’, the answer is yes. How expensive and fancy is up for some discussion. Unless you have the eyes of a hawk implanted by a wizard, hitting something human sized 1000 yards away is going to be difficult even with a good piece of glass. 

The expression I was taught early on in my shooting career is “buy once, cry once.” Don’t buy cheap glass only to have to pay more to upgrade (or replace) later. So far, that advice has proven itself true. My scope cost more than the rifle, chassis, parts, and magazines together… But I can hit a person hiding 650 feet away like he’s close enough to throw the rounds at, so overall the price was commensurate with the quality. 

Shooting Sock

Okay, so this one doesn’t really qualify as high tech, but we should discuss shooting socks. Not to be the old man in the room, but back in my day, you filled a sock with sand or beads or rice, then tied a knot, double bag it and you’re done. That sock goes in your off hand under the buttstock of your rifle. Need the barrel to go down? Squeeze the sock. Need the barrel to go up? Release pressure on the sock. Simple.

Now there are all sorts of snazzy Cordura shooting socks with ergonomic shapes and silicone non-stick coatings… Are they necessary? Not even a little. If the same results can be achieved by scavenging a care package and some dirt, paying $50 for a fancy copy seems ridiculous. 

Then again, what’s $50 when your shooting rig is over $10,000?

At the end of the day and all jokes aside, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of technology, but skill and following the fundamentals are still the backbone of a well-placed shot. All the tech in the world can’t replace feeling yourself perfectly lined up, pinched and sweating while your friends make jokes only to hear the distant ‘dingggggg’ when you hit your target right in the five ring.

send a letter to congress
Adds section
Next Up
Defending the Homestead – The Best Weapons for Home Defense in 2023

Defending the Homestead – The Best Weapons for Home Defense in 2023

November 22, 2023
In a time when the world seems to be falling apart, the government is saying
Road to Mammoth 2024 EP 1

Road to Mammoth 2024 EP 1

October 27, 2023
Clay registers for the Grunt Style Vortex Optics Mammoth Sniper Challenge 2024