I think a little differently than most people. It gets me into trouble sometimes, but my analytical, somewhat critical view of the world defines how I approach everything I set my mind to. Instead of looking at what others do, I simply figure things out for myself, and that generally leads to new ideas.
I was drawn to long range shooting because it is purely a mental challenge. Hidden within friendly competition, travel, and outdoor sport lives a deep world of physics, statistics and critical decision making that begs to be mastered.
My new life began in 2014 when my wife inherited a collection of rifles, including a Springfield 1903. Guns are just fascinating. With such a simple mechanism, a bullet can be launched so accurately so as to hit something smaller and further than you can see. I had to understand how that is possible, and see what the capability of this rifle was.
After googling "ballistics" and giving myself a crash course in the basics, I went to our local 1000 meter range armed with 8 different boxes of 30-06 ammo from Canadian Tire. I planned to shoot at 100 meter increments, recording the elevation at each distance to determine which bullet was most accurate and had the flattest trajectory.
I made it as far as 300 meters when I ran into Daniel Chisholm (the owner of Silver Mountain Targets). He happened to be testing some e-targets, and after flooring me with that technology, he let me fire a 1/2 moa group at 600 with his Millenium target rifle. As it turns out, competitive long range shooting is a thing people do!
That summer I bought a 308 Savage Model 12 FTR, Sightron scope, and all the reloading gear. Throughout 2015, I fired about 2000 rounds in testing and 1500 in competition. I won a few matches, and shot the Canadian Nationals which was an incredible experience, especially for wind-reading.
In 2016, I started over with the rifle in the header image at the top. It's a Barnard P action, and I modeled the stock myself, which I plan to discuss in a future blog post. This rifle is an incredible shooter. With only a few days at the range, I found a load that led me to victory at the F-class provincials in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and the Atlantic Championships. I also had a good showing at the Nationals as well, coming 23rd overall (ahead of the 33% shooters who were on my relay).
I also did quite a bit of work with Silver Mountain Targets. I told Daniel, "you don't even have to pay me, I just need to be involved." So he pointed me towards the software interface, and we rebuilt it into what you see today. I didn't experience pulling targets until recently, but now I understand why you all despise it so much. We use this system for all our local matches, and whenever I test beyond 100 meters I use my personal G2 system. If you haven't had a chance to try it, shooting electronically is the future.
The Auto-Trickler was the turning point for me, where the hobby became my career. The unexpected success of this idea showed me that if I apply myself properly, I can make a living doing what I love. In this day and age, it's nearly impossible to choose a field where one person can make a difference. Competitive shooting is a growing sport, and there is still plenty of opportunity.
As I look ahead, I have many goals. The 2017 F-Class World Championship in Ottawa is my focus for the summer, and I remain committed to building and supporting the Auto-Trickler and Two-Box Chrono. With this blog, I hope to share my thoughts related to three main topics: