King of 1 Mile and 2 Mile Learnings.
King of 1 Mile and King of 2 Mile ELR competitions in France provided a great learning experience. Today we shall tell you more of that as well as discussing some things we saw and learned during our week in France with some amazing shooters. Preparing for France took us about 2 months and we did another 4 trips to Sicily to get all our kit in order. As with many Europeans, ranges where to try out these rifles are not so available so many European shooters have to get creative to find places where they can test these rifles. Special thanks to Benjamin Gineste who assisted us when we had some questions.
Below overlooking the zeroing ranges at Canjeurs and Marco Been with his custom built 375Cheytac by Warner Tool Company in the US. Marco is a very avid Fclass shooter and handloader.
In this article I will also include some insights I gathered from King of 1 Mile and King of 2 Mile in France where we participated and scanned the scene for the options shooters had gone for. Although we do not have exact statistics, we did take pictures to note what was used and thereafter discussed with some shooters why they had opted for those solutions. Competitions have a special place in placing kit and competitors to their limit. This is where you will find your faults and where you can improve, both the selection of kit used as well as your performance.
Driving into France from Italy was amazing, some beautiful coastal towns and if you have time I suggest making it down to the popular hot spots and treat yourself, either before or after the match.
The food and the wine is better than the shooting. 🙂 This Canjuers range is located about 2hours away from the south of France, one of the most beautiful regions to be where the well-to-do get to spend their holidays.
I’ll say that again, the eateries are amazing and we get to spend most of our time in Italy which competes very well with the French cuisine but I’ll leave that to you to check out.
The range is one of the largest in Europe and is a military range with active cannon fire that can be heard all around on certain days even into late night.
Range at Ko1M and Ko2M
We drove to the zeroing range which had numerous lanes and a few boards were A4 sized targets would be mounted. On each board there were about 5 paper targets.
If you had an offset zeroing system, it would be tricky to check here since others would be shooting above the target where you are sighted in. In an offset zero, a shooter would sight in his rifle to hit say 12″ high at 100m to be zeroed at 800m and then dial out from there. This means that most of his scope’s travel is not ‘wasted’ on the close up targets which he will never shoot. Remember your first target is at 1140m so you can zero your rifle at 1000m with an offset zero system and dial out from there. With some cartridges, scope combinations and angled base, an offset zero system enables shooters to dial out to almost 3200m plus some hold over. However if you are shooting with an offset zero, make sure to bring your own target here or wait till the others have shot.
Ko1M and Ko2M where on two different ranges a few minutes apart from each other. You would have to call someone who is shooting there to find out on which shooter they are on if you were shooting both events that is. This could be improved if this was communicated from the organisers so that one could know when to move to the other range.
Ko2M France Targets.
The targets were as seen below. They had a colored strip so you could tell on which target you’re on. If you end up in that grass however, you will never see that splash, no matter how good a bullet you’re shooting. During the Ko1M event, seeing impacts on the 1600ish and 1820m was tricky and we lost some points in that regard.
The King of One Mile competition and its variants are an important competition that brings many long range shooters to extend their limit from 1000yard (915m) disciplines to twice that. This year’s final Ko1M France target went past 1800m which actually exceeds the 1640m of the 1 mile threshold.
300Meter Load testing the Hornady 250Atips produced a tight 5 shot group less than 3/4inch.
It shot amazingly well when tested at 600m and with some bullet seating depth tests, I got it grouping at just under 2″ of vertical and I stuck with this load. It was a very consistent load which gave me a good feeling going there.
Me and Rob awaiting our turn in pouring rain in Canjuers for the 1 Mile Qualification. Thankfully we only dropped one point here which saw us into the finals. It was a special moment. Confidence in the kit is very important.
This rifle has been with me for 4+ years, the barrel already settled in so tuning it was easier.
Just a glimpse of our hotel room over night. Below you can see the amount of gear carried through airports to get there. That wasn’t much fun. :0 Next time large pick up truck, American way.
Pushing the boundaries is healthy
It pushes the envelope and ferries the shooter and spotter into a new realm. It’s one of the few events where shooters really get to stretch out their rifles to their full potential in great company. IF you have a rifle that can do these distances, do yourself a favor and go shoot a competition with a friend, it will be the best experience you’ll do this year. Next year who knows… Next one is 4-8 October in Sicily, Italy.
New ELR Realm: At these ranges, most optics are probably at their elevation limits, bullet about to go in transonic, cartridge performance pushed to it’s limit, spotter skills on test, shooter communication and optical clarity is challenged, ammo ES matters, optics readability and features is put in the spotlight. It also made us aware of how important it is to earn points early on. If you can shoot and nail every target in the qualifying round, it places you in a very good spot for day 2- but don’t get too comfortable, some rebounds made were impressive. Also the pressure put on gunsmiths to deliver the guns on time for an international competition, paperwork and all that jazz was on.
Below: Testing my ko2M Setup in Sicily. I didn’t drive all the way out to this range ahead of France so I had only tested the ammo at 300 and 900m, I didn’t do any trajectory validation. This was a mistake but time was tight.
Below: Your’s truly with Harry Drescher, same guy who put my Desert Tech together together with Giulia Trevisan, one of the few female competitors from Italy. She did well. checkout her video below.
Giulia’s Trevisan qualifying round at Ko1M
Extreme Shot Italia III from 4-8 October will see targets from 500-1300m on day 1 and 1400- 2000m on day two with .338 calibers, known in the US as ELR Light.
Most One Mile competitions start around 300-500m for the first target and quickly leap to 1300 m for the first round. If you can shoot and call wind, these will be very interesting targets for you. Once you engage the 1400m target and further out you will start feeling the pressure and challenges of ELR where a slight wind now feels like it’s kicking your bullet, where impacts not always are what they seem, where the trajectory starts becoming howitzer like and where corrections may go from feet to yards out. Excited? Hang on voodoo is about to be cast on you.
375Cheytac at Ko2M – Robert Aquila
2 Mile Experience
When me and Rob shot King of 2 Miles this year for the first time, it felt like being thrown in the ocean while on a cadet sailor class. We had never been on this range and we were both running new ELR rifle setups, a 375 Cheytac custom built on a BAT action and a 37XC barrel in Desert Tech SRSA2 setup. I received my barrel just 3 weeks ahead of the comp and Rob about a month earlier from UK and had to scramble to Sicily to work up a load. We went there 3x in 3 weeks for the weekend ahead of our week in France. That was a little crazy. Thankfully our police force is very efficient in processing our import paperwork and the gunsmiths we work with did their best to get them out on time. I had a big package with many barrels including 33XC, a 37XC, a 300NM and a 6.5creed seen mounted below.
This is more or less the story of many other shooters in Europe who may spend months awaiting bits and bobs especially from the US. Attending the comp was the best thing that could have happened to us. We started grappling with the realities of proper ELR while under a clock ticking away. Spotting targets, and everything else you learned about shooting over the years is magnified. Winds throw you out by a car’s width and your form and shooting drill will be tested – severely.
But you will really learn what matters in those 9 minutes. How you cycle your bolt, move your head, wear your reading glasses, and dial your scope matters. You will leave your comfort zone. Nonetheless, we landed in the 11th position on the first run at Ko2M, not a bad start and we left with a to do list that will see us coming back for more 🙂 We knew we lost alot of time and that cut us out from going to the 2mile target.
Below: Sicily, Getting four rifles tuned up for competition and carrying 4 rifles in 2 airports was another bit we were not ready for, but the journey was fun and a great learning curve.
If you would like to learn more about the 37XC follow this article.
Modifications required before KO2M
The Desert Tech required some work on, it was too light at 10kg all in. I had to make a weight that affixes to the forend by means of a quick detach throw lever to add on another 3.3kg for a final of 13.3kg. I also made a new butt pad which was lower than the factory one so it would not recoil into my collar bone and then slapped on a softer thicker rubber pad to nicely cushion the more impulsive kick from the 37XC. The gun did not move with the 33XC and the 300gr at 3200fts but with that 400gr bullet, the difference could be felt. I think making an even longer barrel together with a longer weight to which I could fit the bipod would bring it to a 15kg point which would be optimal. At 15kg, the gun barely moves with each shot.
The March Genesis ELR 6-60×56 on top weights about 1.6kg all in with its mounting setup. This was the travelling setup, both scopes were removed for travel. The Eratac Quick Detach mount is amazingly repeatable. I checked this while I was still in Sicily and the scope does not move even if you remove it and mount it again, perfect zero. Below you can see the rifle and scopes being tested for their zero when removed from the rifle. Don’t take anything fore granted, test it as Bryan Litz says.
Notice the MOAB by Warner Tool Company – an amazing muzzle break built for Big Bore rifles. Dan put a lot of time and testing into this and the finish is the best i’ve seen to date.
The Desert tech SRSA2 above (left) in 37XC has similar performance to the 375Cheytac (right) both shooting a 400Gr cutting edge bullet, with the 37XC doin 2930ft/s while the Cheytac was around 3000ft/s. The 37XC can do those numbers easily but with the lack of primary extraction from the bolt, it would mean hard bolt and no extraction of the round in this type of rifle. In a conventional action however it can be done easily. Rob’s rig on the left was built by dolphin gun company and weights 15kg while the Desert tech with custom Bartlein 1.7 twist 34″ barrel and Warner tool company Muzzle Break was made by Solid Solution Design in Holland.
TPM Balle made me some very nicely made custom made dies shown below based on my fire formed cases.
Below, testing with the 37XC at 1082yards/992m shows how tight the loads are and the potential of this round at much longer distances with and ES of just 8ft/s over 5 rounds
The 37XC brass is prepared using tools from Chris at ARC Ballistics in the UK. This load shot very well wtih N570 at 20 Degrees Celsius but in warmer weather when tested it at 30 degrees Celsius, it was up 35ft/s and with the lack of primary extraction of the DT system, I could not open the bolt so it will need to be tuned down to stay around 2900ft/s with a 400gr bullet.
@rifletalks.com Get a #375Cheytac performance from your #338Lapua boltface with the #37Xc by #Davidtubb Easily does 2920-3010ft/s with a 400grain #cuttingedgebullets #deserttech #deserttech50cal #408cheytac #50cal #416barrett #sniperteam #ammunition #ammo #barrettrifles #handloading #bartleinbarrels #rifleshooting #kingof2mile #extremesports #extremeshot #longrangeshooting #marchscopes #nightforceoptics #leupoldoptics ♬ original sound – Rod@rifletalks.com
You can also see another competitor that shot the 37XC: Goran from Slovakia from OpticsTrade.eu in a Ritter and Stark Rifle. His was doing over 3000ft/s.
Competitors pictures from Ko2M.
Here are some beautiful moments that I noticed during the matches and some amazing rifle builds for Ko2M. The amount of time, energy and money invested in these 2 mile rigs is quite remarkable.
Most 2 mile rigs are very dedicated builds that weigh close to 18 kg/39lbs. They are really built for competition and almost all in single shot format like a huge Fclass rifle.
There is a strong movement out there to keep rules from changing year on year as this may invalidate some of the very expensive kit that shooters have built and tuned for these events.
Which optics setup were shooters using for Ko2M in France?
Based on what we’ve seen at King of 1 and 2 miles, I want to give some further info about the optics setup competitors were using. The usual big names in optics were visible on the firing line including ZCO, Schmidt & Bender, Nightforce, Zeiss, Hensoldt, March, Leupold, IOR, Athlon, Tangent Theta, Sightron and a few others.
However what I was more interested in understanding the way users coupled optics setup for ELR especially past 2400 meters where most scope adjustments start running out even with very high adjustment scopes like the new Zeiss LRP s3 with a staggering 160MOA of adjustment or the March High Master 5-42 with 138MOA.
Offset method for ELR shooting
The offset is basically a zero at 100m that shoots about 12-16″ high. This means gun is zeroed around 900m so you only have to start dialing from 900m onwards to enable you to shoot to about 3000m dead on, then you may need to hold over depends on ballistics and atmospherics. In high up altitudes, you may get enough to shoot 2 miles dead on. Normally a shooter will have a 50-70MOA inclined base, an eratac mount to enable him to maximize the entire elevation of the scope turret. He then zeroes at 100m and should hit say 16″ high. He measures that and inputs it in his kestrel or ballistic app. This amount will be deducted from the correction so that instead of showing you a correction of 130 MOA elevation, it will now read 115MOA deducting that offset from the correction.
– Offset requires you check and verify with live firing on a range where you can measure offset. You have to accurately input it in a ballistics calc. Small errors can be huge at distance.
– The targets we were presented with for zeroing at KO2M where not ideal for offset as there were numerous targets on the same backer.
- Ensure you bring your own target if you use an offset and find a slot where you can shoot a target without any other shooter around as you may get confused if multiple shots are fired by other shooters during zeroing
Ryan Cheney whom we have interviewed on here shoots with an offset system.
The offset system has a lower barrier to entry due to fewer appendices involved, but you may need to work out what works for you. Like anything else, train using this system.
Shown above in full 200MOA adjustment just to show you what it is capable of. Most users will likely dial 100-120MOA on the base and dial out the difference from then on.
We have reviewed this adjustable mount with a turret like adjustment knob that sits horizontally giving you 0-200MOA or equivalent in Mils.
Harry Drescher from Solid Solutions Designs was using it and placed 3rd. He used it as an eratac or inclined base meaning having a base amount of adjustment dialed in the Ivey before he starts shooting plus dialing the scope elevation turret only during the match so that he doesn’t have to click the horizontal turret such as the Ivey has. This enables shooter to basically have an inclined base with up to 200MOA, that’s how the Ivey Mount is best used.
I believe Harry Drescher dialed around 30mils on Ivey and the rest on scope. It’s a heavy mount though it’s 1kg alone.
You have to set it up so that you only need to adjust the Ivey before your first shot then you dial the scope from then on.
You will know what target distances you will start out at on day 2 so you can work out the best solution the night before the match.
Eratac adjustable mount 0-70MOA or 80-150MOA.
+ Plenty of them around. Still the most reliable system out there in my view.
+ Very repeatable mount when removing and mounting especially when travelling. I have 3 of them as well as the quick detach version which is absolutely superb, repeatable and very reliable.
+ Eratac make a 0-70MOA one and also a 80-150 MOA version.
With these and most high elevation scopes you’re covered to 2 miles with a conventional scope setup. The latter mount is not very well known but it is available.
+ Many set them up before engaging first 2400m target so they are good to go for 2700ish and 3200ish target.
eg. let’s say you are using the March 5-42×56 with 138MOA of vertical. You have a 40MOA base on your rifle.
You zeroed the gun and you have 130MOA left on your scope.
With my 37XC, shooting 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer at 2920ft/s, I can shoot to 2600m (125MOA) using just the turrets on this scope.
I would shoot day one dialing the scope turret only. For day 2, when engaging from 2400m onwards, depending on which ERATAC ADJUSTABLE MOUNT I am using, I will i) spin my eratac to 70MOA if I am using the 0-70 MOA version. Then dial out the difference (105MOA – 70) =35MOA on the turret for target 1 at 2400m. Like wise for target 2 at 2700m and so on for 3200m (197.7MOA -70)=127.7MOA on the scope’s turret.
If you were using the ERATAC ADJUSTABLE 80-150MOA model, you will likely need to have a flat base on the rifle with zero angle since you already have 80MOA on the base and this may just mean you will start with an offset zero as your 100m zero maybe high by 10-30MOA depending on your gun alignment/ setup. If you do have an offset because your scope won’t allow you to dial in a perfect 100m zero, just measure the offset and input it into the kestrel or which ever app you use. If you have a 20MOA high impact at 100m, you will have a 20 MOA offset meaning kestrel will deduct 20MOA from your dope at all distances since you already have an offset.
In this case my 3200m shot which normally needs about 197MOA will require only 177MOA with a 20MOA offset. I have 138MOA on the scope. If I dial my Eratac adjustable mount to 100MOA, I will dial out the remaining 77MOA on the scope. Which ever method you are using you need to test it out. I strongly suggest you setup the gun before the match and just write down the difference you need to dial to keep it simple during the match.
Scope options for Extreme long range shooting
There is a very simple way to know how far you will be able to shoot your rifle setup with your scope and existing mount.. Mount the scope on your rifle. Remove the bolt from the rifle. Look through the barrel and align it to a close by object say 50 or 100m. Now look through your scope. Can you see the same image, in other words is your rifle bore sighted? If not, adjust the scope to ensure the reticle meets the same view you see through your bore. If you cannot move the reticle further down, your barrel is pointing upwards and will shoot high during your 100m zero. In this case you have a positive offset.. Remember, when you dial UP your scope elevation, the reticle is actually moving downwards and when you are dialing DOWN, the reticle is moving upwards.
The advantage of having a scope mount that is adjustable is that you will be able to add or deduct angle to your scope according to what you really need.
Once your scope view and barrel view is the same, count how much elevation is remaining in your scope from your bore sighting zero. This is basically what you can dial with that scope/mount setup with that rifle and can tell you how far you can shoot with that setup without firing one round.
You don’t need to go to your rifle range to find out what setup you need. If you are visiting your gunsmith, take your scope and ERATAC Adjustable Mount with you and you can test this out in the workshop. 30-40MOA Picatinny rails tend to be a good starting point but unless you try, you will not really know. The ERATAC is forgiving and allows you to setup more freely. Others choose to have 60MOA or even more on the rail but these are permanent setups and may or may not work for you.
Some shooters order more than one base to have an option to swap between a 30MOA or a 60MOA. Others are also opting to have high rails that are about 1-2inches high. This enables the scope not to interfere with very long barrels. You will also need to adjust the cheekpiece if you do.
Hard to take a picture with a phone through the barrel but this is somewhat you should be seeing through your barrel and scope when they are aligned.
Dutch long arms Hyperion mount.
This is a mount used like an Eratac built on a half circle mount with a quick detach release to enable a close zero and further zero eg. 0 moa on near zero and 90MOA on further zero. Once you move it to that predefined setting, it stops, you tighten the QD lever and then you just dial your scope. I’ve not tried it yet but I like the concept because as I am learning, the less moving parts for this sport the better. You only move it twice and then lock it. Keep it as simple as you can because during comps something breaks or you forget to do something.
March Genesis 4-40 or 6-60×56 MOA
We have already written in detail about the March Genesis in this article about the Best Extreme Long Range Scope as well as a March Genesis dedicated review of the one I own. I had this scope on my ELR rifle for KO2M.
Here are some points about the March Genesis
+ Becoming more popular, counted about 8 of them at the match
+ Superb image quality
+ 50 MOA per turn of elevation knob!
+25 MOA per half turn of the windage turret! Amazing.
+ Very precise hold with higher mag brings the best from your rifle setup accuracy wise
+Fast system to dial for competitions without having to worry about other appendices, rails etc.
Below is a picture through the March Genesis at 1 mile left on low power and 3200meters on the right at high power.
Genesis Good to know.
- Bulky better suited to larger ELR rifles
- Externally moving tube means you cannot grab the scope by the objective bell as some shooters do. It places immense leverage on the internal mechanism especially with heavy ELR rifles.
- Keeping track of large volume of click/turns in competition can present its own challenges, gets better with training.
- Large bolt may touch windage turret on some rifle setups
- May require you to add the higher mount for these longer barrels of 40inch
- Most shooters have a large down base picatinny rail which is some 1 inch high and built in angle. This is not ideal for mounting a genesis as it eats up travel from the scope. It’s good to mount a 5-42×56 High Master scope though pictured below.
Below: When mounted with my 6.5creedmoor setup the scope is bulky which tilts its use to a more dedicated ELR rifle.
The setup can also be rather costly and a few readers have asked me what other options would you suggest for setting up an ELR rifle. Some I have already explained above.
The Nightforce wedge is as simple prism device that is mounted to your picatinny rail with predefined built in amount of elevation 50 and 100MOA. Before KO2M France, my spotter Bobby Aquila bought one for his 375Cheytac setup with 100MOA built in.
During load development we left no stone unturned. We tested and measured everything to check our kit was upto scratch. We wanted to make sure that the distance and adjustment the scope and optics cover was actually what was stated on the wedge.
It really takes a lot of effort to setup ELR rifles properly to ensure every bit of the system has been thoroughly checked and works to your satisfaction. We didn’t have the chance to try it out on actual 2Mile target before we got to the competition but the tests we did gave us confidence in the setup.
This type of system allows you to invest in your kit slowly adding as you go along. Given the amount of powder you burn on every shot, as well as the expense of these rounds and barrel life, testing has to be meaningful with specific objective in mind.
– Make sure you run your own checks before you go ahead to competitions.
+Check both elevation and windage when mounted.
+ Quick clip on is easy
+ Lower barrier to entry and cost
+ Various adjustments are now available to suit the setup you have
Charlietarac ELR prism
The Charlie TARAC is a periscope that optically shifts your target image higher so you aim higher to compensate for bullet drop similar to the Nightforce Wedge above. The Charlietarac actually preceded the Wedge system.
The result is an optical, not mechanical, elevation gain to shoot beyond your scope’s travel.
Targets that exceed your scope’s travel, return to zero, deploy the Charlie, and dial the difference. For example, if you max your scope at 30 mils, but your target requires 45, return to zero, add the Charlie TARAC calibrated at (say) 30 mils, and dial the remaining 15 mils (30 + 15 = 45 mils).
• Micro* | Fixed elevation 0-40-mils
• Macro | Adjustable elevation 0-250 mils
When ordering a Charlie TARAC, either:
1) Match the scope’s total usable elevation. For example, if your scope has 33 usable mils, order a 33 mil Charlie to prevent range gaps.
If a target exceeds your scope’s travel, return to zero, deploy the Charlie, and dial the difference. This example yields 0 – 66 mils (33 mil Charlie + 33 mil scope).
2) Select a multiple of ‘5’ or ’10’ for simple arithmetic. For example, if your scope has 33 usable mils, order a 30 mil Charlie to prevent range gaps and having to dial at the edge of your glass, or a 35 mil Charlie and use your scope’s reticle to get a little more top-end. Ordering a 40 mil Charlie (in this example) increases the gap so if you have a target between 33 and 40 mils, you will not be able to dial it.
+Tried and tested system
– Always check any system you pick.
-Adds weight to your system, may need longer picatinny rail
-Can be expensive as any dedicated system