Monday, June 07, 2010

I saw it on the television...

I watched History Channel's Top Shot last night and was pretty impressed. I'm not much for reality shows, having never actually watched one before, so the whole "voting people off the island" thing was kinda new to me. I guess they play up the whole high school drama thing ('I like you. Do you like me? Circle "Yes" or "No" and tape your milk money here.') for ratings, though, because I reckon audiences dig on it.

For those of you who watched it and haven't much experience with old rifles, an interesting factoid is that the v-notch battle sight on the M1903 Springfield is set at 547 yards, the theory being that, if you hold on the belt buckle of an enemy soldier standing anywhere between 100 and 547 yards, the bullet will hit him somewhere between his hat and his trouser fly. (And if you hold dead center on an 8" bull 100 yards away, your POI is going to be... er... a little high.)

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was disappointedto see it's in a 'Survivor' format, which I don't care for; less drama and more shooting, please (although I do like the idea of voting someone off the island with one shot from a Beretta).

The trouble with this format is they have to show the drama in order to stretch the show to more than about a week; the hour they took last night could have probably been shown in half that, without all the interpersonal drama.

I'd like to watch it, but will probably do so on DVR, where I can forward through the crap and see the
actual shooting.

Matt
St Paul

JeanC said...

We are recording it, haven't watched it yet. We seriously dislike the usual reality show format and we were hoping that they weren't going to go that way. Sorry, show us the cool stuff and leave all the angst/conflict/bitchfest crap on the cutting room floor.

We'll see how the first episode goes and see if there is enough good stuff to keep watching after we zip thru the crap.

Anonymous said...

And on the 1903...the back sight is usually fuzzy if you are focused on the front blade. Better to flip the ladder up and zero using the peep sight in the ladder base. Avoid vertical stringing.
Very thin front post. Easy rifle to shoot badly. Spotters were useless, nobody thought to watch bullet trace.
This is going to be fun to watch though I could find 16 shooters this good with ease.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

With Survivor format there might be more crying.

DirtCrashr said...

It would be most cool if the shooty contestants would show some brass stuff and didn't play-into the whiney bitchfest of reality shows -- but how else did we wind up with rapid prone starting from prone itself, and having the standing-to-prone part taken out? Wasn't that because somebody special was having a knee or sciatica that was pitching a fit and demanded a rule change?

It would be even cooler if they all were assigned to descend onto the Big Brother House and start shooting those assholes and ending the series - with paintballs of course...

Fred said...

Yeah... even my '03A3 is about 8 inches high at 100 yards, even set to 100. But I know that and can adjust for it...

Joel said...

The History Channel is running "reality" shows now? Sheesh. They finally run out of Hitler documentaries?

Chris Byrne said...

At first I was willing to give the producers the benefit of the doubt... Everybody has bad days where it seems like you can't hit anything after all.

Then I saw the video I linked here...

I can believe not hitting 5 or 8 or 10 times for a shooter not experienced with the rifle; 30 times, on a calm day in good light, with a shooter who knows the rifle well enough to at least qualify with it at 100 yards... that seems a bit much.

It looks more like a rig up job to me at this point.

I mean it comes down to who I believe more. Was Mike Seeklander lying in the video (posted several months ago... though I don't know if it was made before Top Shot), or were the producers of a "reality" TV show setting things up to produce more drama... Hmmmm......

Standard Mischief said...

What? so it does not matter how well you can shoot, or patch a "scratch rifled" dueling pistol, or identify the early style M14 rod that needs to be replaced, or knowing how to crack a bullet loose from it's sealing compound before firing ball ammo downrange to avoid "Maggie's drawers", or reassembling a ma deuce while blindfolded, hanging upside down from your ankles without your morning caffeine?

It's how everyone else "feels" about you as a person?

Well if armed society is polite, they're going to have a tough time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if he was that high at 100 yards, just think how high the first shooter on his team was (Andre IIRC)! So the first shooter would have told Monkey Butt Boy, "hey, I held 17 feet low so at 100, hold 16 feet low."

Oh, wait, that didn't happen either.

And he was hitting all around, low, high, left, right, the target because . . .

A) Wookies were shooting back at him and he was using his Jedi powers to deflect the shots.

B) He was not used to this type of slingshot.

C) In order to do $cience we need to adjust facts until they fit the theory.

D) All of the above.

E) Both B and C are correct, but the monkey butt on his face impacted proper stock fit and lessened his excuse making abilities.

Shootin' Buddy

Jayson said...

Some of the people talking about this show sound like sociopaths (NO PEEPUL! MOAR BOOOLEEEETS!!), and/or have never ever competed in anything at a high level. The second observation is from all the "Kelley is arrogant/has an attitude!" comments I've read. To be a shooter on the US National Team, you have to be very confident and very competitive. The higher the level, the more those things are ratcheted up. That goes for racing, sports, shooting, everything.

Anonymous said...

They practiced with all the rifles used in the contest. That should have given them the hold required to hit their targets. Why else practice? That much I don't understand.

To fill the hour, they could have shown the actual shooting in real time. Instead, they edited the snot out of the shooting and put in more of the drama. If I wanted to watch a soap opera, I'd watch a damned soap opera.

Given that that guy couldn't hit his 100 yard target with the '03, I have to assume he wasted his practice session on it.

If you're not hitting the target at 100, I doubt any bullet trace is going to be visible. t least I've never seen trace that close in. What you can do is bracket. Aim high, aim low, aim at 3:00, aim at 6:00. You'll find it that way. If you hit the target and the distance from the one bullet hole to your center target is within your accuracy, take the same exact shot again, etc.

I don't understand why they couldn't tell us the target sizes. What caliber was that Rem 700? Inquiring minds want to know. We have to try to guess based on fast edits that might give a short glimpse of the cartridges.

More actual shooting process in real time, a tad bit more technical info, and less drama, please.

That kid is going to smoke the others in long distance shooting. I was impressed, but then again we can only guess at the target sizes. -- Lyle

Tam said...

"More actual shooting process in real time, a tad bit more technical info, and less drama, please."

Lyle, you (and I) are not necessarily the target market, here. :)

Anonymous said...

I have had my share of WTF moments shooting quals, IDPA, ATA and hunting but I don't think I strung 30 of them in a row.

On camera.

On network TV.

I just might have fixed bayonet and charged.

Gerry

Jayson said...

I await the highly-anticipated Targeted Coffee Fling, where Caleb will pwn everyone on the show.

Fred said...

"I await the highly-anticipated Targeted Coffee Fling, where Caleb will pwn everyone on the show."

Thankfully my mouth was not full of coffee when I read that...

Darrell said...

If I could've had one wish, if there was a redhead female shooter, it would've been Tam, or course. Honest, I'm not trying to suck up...

Tam, if you'd had the chance, would you have been on the show?

jimbob86 said...

" What caliber was that Rem 700? Inquiring minds want to know. We have to try to guess based on fast edits that might give a short glimpse of the cartridges.
"
^^^

That. "A foot and a half left windage" didn't get him even onto the target holder? It wasn't like those range flags were doing more than flutering ... At 400 yards, IIRC? Expert long range shooter? 600 isn't even "long range" for someone who takes "long range" rifle competition seriously. That guy was making smiley faces at what? 200 yards? Hitting a pie plate 3x as far isn't much of a trick.

I don't like the "Survivor" set-up.

To much room for a "set-up"...

Have them all shoot, reactive targets, real time.

Tam said...

SB,

"Wow, if he was that high at 100 yards, just think how high the first shooter on his team was (Andre IIRC)! So the first shooter would have told Monkey Butt Boy, "hey, I held 17 feet low so at 100, hold 16 feet low.""

Bzzzt!

Go get your protractor, triangle, and graph paper and do the trig again. ;)

Anonymous said...

Pffft, lower/higher, I care not, the offset would have been visible at 50 yards.

The guy who shot at 50 yards did not have the same problem. Of course, he did not have a Monkey Butt.

Shootin' Buddy

LabRat said...

We may or may not have taken to referring to the lady as "NoTam".

We were entertained. The vodka probably had something to do with it. We watch the technical shows expecting to see technicality and science and competition, and reality shows expecting to see circus.

Tam said...

SB,

"The guy who shot at 50 yards did not have the same problem."

You and I went to the same Appleseed clinic. Would you like to borrow my notes? ;)

Firehand said...

If I remember correctly, the reason the 1903 wound up with 547 yard battlesights was the change from a 220-grain round-nose bullet to the 150-grain spitzer; for deity-knows-what reason they didn't recalibrate the sights for the different trajectory.

Or so I've read.

One of the more complicated rear sights around, two notches and an aperture...

WV: 'relly'!

Anonymous said...

Just as I predicted for a sheeple show. "So-so"

You are experienced and can not hit a pie plate at 100 yds. with a Mosin...after a full clip?
You have GOT to be kidding me
Please tell me you are kidding me

Wish I was in that there competition. I would smoke me a few ameteurs!!

Gewehr98 said...

Learned that using my own M1903A1 in High Power and John C. Garand matches. I usually flipped up the rear ladder and used the peep. Methinks his spotter wasn't offering much in the way of corrections, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the show, but agree that more shooting and less "reality" would be better. I ate my humble pie in private a few months back after I shot in my first competition and finished...(drumroll)....third from last. My pulse was wayyy up there with just a few bystanders...can't imagine what it would be like in front of a camera crew recording it for national publication....I will keep watching,with the comforting knowlege that I have VFTP bookmarked and that Tam's comments and those of her readers will be much more entertaining than the show. Tom From Lake McQueeney

mostly cajun said...

The rifle in the video (on Chris Byrnes' site) is an 03A3. I have one. It has a peep sight mounted on the receiver bridge and with M2 ball I can worry the daylights out of the ten-ring on an NRA SR target at 200 yards from sitting or prone. And in sitting, that's in the rapid-fire string, so there
is the whole "standing to sitting" exercise plus shooting the ten rounds with one reload.

That's without "cracking" the bullets as Standard Mischief says, above.

And I'm an old fart, not an "expert", so I'm thinking that "taffy is being distributed" here.

MC

Tam said...

"I would smoke me a few ameteurs!!"

I can shoot 1/4 MOA with my keyboard all day long!

Tam said...

G98,

"Methinks his spotter wasn't offering much in the way of corrections, IMHO."

In fairness, a Hubble Telescope of a spotter can be hard to get on an 8" bull under pressure, and that scrub-heavy berm probably didn't offer much visual info for corrections if you were off paper.

mdrewrankin said...

I like you. Do you like me? Circle "Yes" or "No"...

I heard about those. Never got one. Might have something to do with being pug trugly.

Thanks for the info on the Springfield 1903. The CMP is out of 'em, it looks like. Too broke right now anyhow.

Ed Foster said...

Firehand: According to Col. Whelan, they did recal the ladder for the 150 grain flat base bullet, but at 2,700 fps, the original (1903) 30-06 load.

The M-1 loading (the cartridge, not the rifle) came about in the early '20's, and had a 173 grain copy of the Swiss Schmidt-Rubin bullet at 2,655fps, which actually was quite close to the 1906 load's trajectory out to 800 yards or so, but a lot flatter after that.

At a thousand yards, the Perry boys all needed their dope books to transpose from ladder to actual.

I had a chance to shoot a National Match '03 a while back. It was instant love. Prone with a sling, I fired a fouler and asked my spotter where it went. He asked me for two more, to see if I got a group. He then told me I shouldn't mess with the sights.

Three pinwheels, all just about touching. And the rifle hadn't been fired since before WWII.

Of course I went ahead and messed up anyway. I was well into one of the best matches I've ever shot, when I stopped hitting anything at all. I hadn't tightened the little knob, and the ladder walked right down to the bottom.

I alibied, quickly cranked it back up to somewhere that looked about O.K. and finished the match, but skunked at something like 350 points or so.

God what a perfect rifle. Gorgeous wood, great ergonomics, sweet trigger, and one of those really pretty blue jobs they were doing during the depression, before they reparkerized everything. If it hadn't been a family heirloom, I'd have made an instant offer.

As for the show, I'll probably watch the first one on HuLu because it has guns in it, eventually, but the basic sociopathy behind the idea of making friends only to stab them in the back as soon as possible is just too Jerry Springer for words.

I'd rather open up one of the sports channels and watch the Raid Gauloise people fight their way over mountains, rivers, and jungles, with an entire team disqualified when they lose any one of their members.

It's called teamwork, and loyalty. It's the basis of civilization, which is probably why it doesn't sell as well to shallow, self obsessed bitches of either sex.

Montie said...

Tam,

I already had some comments on TOP SHOT over at both Roberta's and Caleb's sites and I agree that there should be more shooting, but I think that going with the "Survivor" type format will draw in non-shooters for some exposure to shooting sports that may get them interested enough to try their hand at it.

Using Colby Donaldson as the show's "emcee" is also a good draw for reality show addicts (I only know who he is 'cause my ex made me watch the first couple of seasons of "Survivor").

I was rooting for Mike as he is a local shooter on staff at teh awesome United States Shooting Academy. He is hell on wheels with a handgun, but obviously had problems with the '03.

Chris Byrne,

If you look at Mike's "video of redemption" as I like to call it, you will see that he is shooting a 1903-A3 not an '03 or '03-A1 (the only difference is the stock on the A1 is pistol-gripped instead of straight). The significance of this is that the 03-A3 has peep sights like all modern U.S. military rifles such as the Garand, M1 Carbine, M-14, M-16, M4 (when they have iron sights), etc. Mike has experience on peep sights from his USMC days.

The complicated v-notch/ladder sight of the '03 has a tiny peep with the ladder up but it is wayyy down there not up by your eye so it's hard to use effectively.

I already emailed Mike about the video you linked to and called bullshit on the use of the peep sight and offered a loaner 03-A1 for a re-do.

Still though, Mike's a great guy and very talented. I was shocked to see him go down first.

Montie said...

BTW,

Mike is a local Tulsa guy. I have talked to him a couple of times when I have been at USSA for cop events (SWAT competitions, etc.) so I was rooting for him. Not that I wasn't also rooting for Caleb (since I read his blog every day), but I hardly saw any of Caleb this first show. Hope he gets more exposure later on.

Oh and tell us Tam, has he confided any details as to how he did at any of the local blogmeets there?

Les Jones said...

Thing is, Mike's first shot was on paper, high and left. If he had walked it down and left he would have hit the target in two or three shots.

Granted, he may not have known he hit the paper from 100 yards and the spotter may have missed it. But that rifle was as capable of hitting at 100 yards as it was at 50.

Lewis said...

Thank you Ed! You have enunciated (can one enunciate on a keyboard?) the very reason I have never seen minute one of any episode of Survivor. I remember when I first heard the vague outlines of the show, I thought, "Great, that's wonderful!" Then I realized it was about winnowing out the herd and being the last man standing.

That's not a recipe for surviving, it's just a recipe for surviving a few minutes longer than the last loser. I'd say Survivor should be renamed Savage, but that would be an insult to the cooperative savages throughout our history.

Les Jones said...

down and right that is.

Zendo Deb said...

I watched about 15 minutes of this, and then it just became too much like Survivor. Or Design Star.

Anonymous said...

As I type this I've just finished watching this episode as it plays in rerun.

All I have to say is that it seems that popular culture has devolved to the point that, no matter what the discipline and no matter the quality of the talent and the individuals involved, we have to find a way to demean and defile them to the basest levels of adolescence and coliseum-spectator savagery.

The saddest thing for me is that the shooting skill is completely irrelevant to the purposes of this silly little circus. Pathetic.

AT

Kristopher said...

Monte: The 03-A1 usually has a pederson device cut on it as well ... and they tried to correct the ladder sight.

They still got the ballistics wrong for the .30-06 cartridge, however, so their correction made the sights incorrect for both the .30-03 and the .30-06 rounds .... heh.

Montie said...

Kristopher,

Dang, I hate to get in an argument on this here but... The addition of the type C stock (pistol- gripped)in 1929 resulted in the designation 1903A1, well after the Pederson Device modification of WWI. The actual designation of rifles modified for the Pederson Device was 1903 Mark 1, not 1903-A1. The army actually considered any '03 fitted with a Type C stock an '03-A1, so any arsenal rebuild fitted with a Type C would be called an '03-A1, and after parts changing during rebuilds you can find Pederson slots on rifles with any type stock.

Montie said...

Kristopher,

I also wanted to mention that the Mark 1's are so designated on the receiver. -A1's have no markings as such.

Also C stocks can be found on some '03-A3's and many 03-A4's (no iron sight, upside down stamped, Remington produced, sniper rifles) but on them the stock makes no difference in the designation..all quite confusing which is why collectors love those things.

Kristopher said...

Thanx for the info ... that also explains the ladder sight on the pederson cut rifle I owned ... although it did have a 1918 dated barrel on it as well as a semi-pistol gripped stock.

Not sure if the stock was arsenal equipped or something someone slapped on. Wood fit was good at least.

Tam said...

Here's my '03 Mark I-cum-A1, with a nice Oleg closeup of the rear ladder sight.

Firehand said...

Ed, thanks for the info.

And looking at my '03, I realize I'd forgotten just how complicated the rear is: there's actually THREE notches and one aperture...

Tam said...

Yeah, the Buffington rear sight is a wonderful tribute to the Camp Perry mafia.

Just what every soldier wants atop his rifle in a muddy trench: A frickin' slide rule that should come with an instructional DVD. Or you can leave the rear sight flat and try and align that teeny nick of a battlesight with the razor blade front and try and guesstimate hold-under @ 100. Is it any wonder that so many Springfield front blades show signs of attention with a file and a bottle of cold blue?

ExurbanKevin said...

All I know about "Top Shot" is this": It's the first shooting show that my wife has sat down and watched with me, ever.

And I record the Outdoor Channel in it's entirety every Wednesday night.

Maybe it was the Survivor-esque elements, maybe it was Colby (I do believe I heard her say "Rawr rawr" at least once during the show), but she watched the whole thing. If that gets her watching "3 Gun Nation" with me when it debuts on Versus next month, I may have another shooter in the house.

And I'm cool with that. Until she shoots better than me, that is. ;D

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the history portion was a total screw up. The Mosin has a longer in service life and the only thing left of a Remington 700 after the Marines get done is the Receiver. This is more of a disappointment to me than the failings of a spotter. For heaven's sake it's THE HISTORY CHANNEL.

Tam said...

"For heaven's sake it's THE HISTORY CHANNEL."

At least they weren't talking about the history of the sex lives of Nazi bigfoot UFO ghosts, like they usually do.

I generally just tune out the weapons-specific parts of any History Channel programs; their layers of editorial oversight need to be buried under layers of peat moss.

8Notch said...

Like everyone else, I dislike the Survivor format that makes it a social depravity show, but it does have a redeeming feature. As ugly as voting someone off is (and especially shooting their name), they are voting for two people, and then they have a chance to redeem themselves in a shoot out. It does not change the fact that Kelley got shafted by his team, but he was able to "shoot his way out of trouble".

Mad Saint Jack said...

Well the Mosin hit the 100 yd target just fine.

(Duck and cover.)

Tam said...

The tangent sight on the Mosin 91/30 has a true 100m setting without flipping up the slide rule or resorting to the battle sight and New Math. ;)

Gewehr98 said...

I've seen many a 1903/1903Mk1/1903A1/1903M front sight replaced with a taller version to get point of impact down inside 547 yards (aka, 500 meters) Lyman sold that taller front sight blade, and it was a common fix when you didn't want to send a bullet over Bambi's spine and/or didn't want to dial in that much hold-under at closer ranges. The U.S. Krag series of rifles wasn't much better, as far as that went. My 1903A1 showing the much-maligned windage-adjustable rear ladder sight:

http://mauser98.com/1903a1-3.jpg

Note the "C" stock, which can also be found on the 1903A4, my own specimen seen below:

http://mauser98.com/03a4bench.jpg

The latter should've been the rifle Mike used, but I suppose a 3/4" Weaver M73B1 or 7/8" Lyman M73 would be considered cheating on that television show.

Kristopher said...

OK ...

500 meters = 547 yards.

500 yards = 457 meters.

Which explains why I see both figures ( 547 and 457 ) in odd and often inappropriate places ...

It a conspiracy, dammit. I blame French cartographers.

Tam said...

If God wanted us to use the metric system, he'd have given us ten finger and ten toes, dammit!

"The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets twenty rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I likes it!" :D

David said...

This show will totally destroy my concept of the "survivor" type TV show. All those guns will ruin everything.

If TV really wants to produce a survivor show they need to find a deserted island. Plant about a thousand hidden cameras all over the island. Then drop 20 volunteers off on the beach with just the clothes on their backs and tell them: "We will be back in three weeks. Whoever meets us on the beach - wins."