Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by powderburner » Fri May 07, 2021 9:24 am

It really depends how good your spotter is and if you shoot with him a lot.
Mostly i like to call the shot , try to read conditions and adjust sights. However with twichy winds shadeing is faster and at times you feel a shift just before you break the shot.
So a mix of both depending on the outside influences
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Kurt » Fri May 07, 2021 9:55 am

semtav wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 7:48 am
Paul is hinting at what i was looking for.

Simple scenerio:
800 yd octagon, your spotter just called your shot 4 o'clock just out of the white.

What do YOU do next?
I keep my fingers off that idiot knob and shoot again. :D
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by bpcr shooter » Fri May 07, 2021 9:55 am

In BPCRTR, finding the set or more of flags that are telling the truth me sometimes a challenge. I try and find two or more that are doing the same or are coming up after each other,along with watching the line flag/spinner. I haven't shot with many people so its really hard for me to say what I like and dislike. If my spotter likes to call a 4 o'clock 8 and move me up a 1/2 and left a 1/2 I'm good with that, or letting me make the decision and just saying the wind is the same as the last shot, Im good, I can move my sights. I typically leave it to the spotter and what they are comfortable with, instead of trying to make them do more or get out of their routine, therefore causing a miss-call. Without a spotter, our game gets really hard, really quick, so making it easier for them, seems to me better in the long haul. Now If I could just hold center better and control my position better :lol: :lol:

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by DeadEye » Fri May 07, 2021 10:25 am

Zack mentioned that without target details he was at a loss. I would be too. I said that I use the knobs, I do but only if I have a grid reference. I have a set of the Quigley targets in .pdf that I just tried to attach but it won't let me. They give me distance, size and gridlines in 2 moa increments. I'd be lost without them.

Brian, to answer your 800 yard question if I had the diagram of the target with gridlines I would dial it up and left but without that info I would likely try to 'shade' it.

Here is my target from the Buffalo at Big Hill the last time the virus let me shoot there. Eight shots, no sighters, seven (7) for score, range 823 yards across a mini grand canyon. Shooting the 45-90 with scope. Shots one and two are at 9 o'clock on the yellow with a center hold so I moved the hold to 3 o'clock on the yellow and that produced those to the right of center, one of those is doubled. Then the wind kicked up and I moved to 9 o'clock on the yellow and that is the head shot. Then the wind dropped and I didn't catch it and that is the one off the nose. Fun ain't it?
Big Hill Buffalo copy.jpg
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Aero » Fri May 07, 2021 2:00 pm

There is far more to being a good spotter than making wind calls. And if you're playing a game that is a team sport (shooter/spotter) and you are not listening to what your spotter is telling you, then why are you playing a team game with a spotter?

The best teams in the BPCR games are the ones that shoot together regularly and work well together. Some are nearly unbeatable. From a BPTR standpoint, there is no reason both can't be watching conditions and deciding together what corrections need to be made. Same is somewhat true for gong shoots and I think less so for Silhouette. Honest shot calls are a must. If the shooter never breaks a bad shot, then team shooting probably isn't what they should be doing.

For my money, the best system for a shooter/spotter/wind coach is the shooter doesn't need to know anything more than hit or miss in the steel games and and he will be able to see the placement of the previous shot when the target comes back up in a paper match. Elevation should be on the Shooter and windage on the spotter. In the games I play now, during team matches the shooter doesn't even touch the sight and mostly has no idea where shots are landing on the target. Simply load the rifle and be ready to deliver the next shot when told. After the shot in BPCR, the shooter should be doing the same, whatever needed to get ready for the next and after correction information, should concentrate souly on delivering as good a shot as possible and call where it went after following through on the shot. Or wait as the conditions might call for in a paper match.

This all assumes you went to the match with the idea of doing well and maybe even winning. If that wasn't your intent and you are just there to socialize and throw lead downrange, then none of this matters and you should concentrate on having fun, but that certainly doesn't mean you can't have fun by taking a more serious approach to the shooter/spotter thing. Some of my best memories in BPTR matches was as a spotter, waiting for a condition change to stabilize, making a bold wind call and having the target come back up with a nice fat 10 or X marked.


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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by charlie young » Fri May 07, 2021 2:51 pm

Brian, if I am shooting scope at say 1000, if I am hitting steel but am not centered up I will shade, if I miss the target I will generally turn knobs and hopefully get on, to me there is to much slop on a scope doing elevation adjustments, I always correct coming up, so if I need to come down I will drop lower than I need and then come back up. If I am shooting irons I will turn knobs no matter what. Another plus for gong matches as has been mentioned before is get in a line with great shooters, I have my spotter watching all their hits or misses while I am settled on the rifle, and will correct accordingly again depending on scope or iron.

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Woody » Fri May 07, 2021 4:16 pm

I agree with everything Eron posted. I don't need to repeat it. As for shading vs cranking, my preference is to crank. They put the knobs on a scope or iron for a reason and a quality scope or sight will adjust precisely. Saying that, I have when conditions warrant, shaded, but it is not my preference.

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Woody » Fri May 07, 2021 4:31 pm

Continuing this discussion.

As a shooter, I don't need a weather report. I want short, brief, and timely information and recommendations from my coach/spotter. I want him/her to mark the spotting board and place it where I can see it and leave it there. It's for me not him. When I say spotting board, I mean whatever you use to plot the shot placement. When I have turned the rifle around, I let the coach/spotter know I'm ready for his input. When it is given, I repeat it back so that they know I understood. Now I concentrate on breaking the best shot I can. After the shot, if it was not a perfect break, and many are not, I let my coach know where I broke it. Finally as a coach/spotter, I don't always make the perfect call. If I screwed it up. Take the blame and move on. Learn from each call and enjoy the challenge.

Finally, BE BOLD!!!! Don't waffle, make a call and own it.

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Gamerancher » Fri May 07, 2021 5:39 pm

I thought the idea of this thread was to ask what folks do, not what is best?
I shoot monthly gong shoots with the BRAA, as well as silhouette and paper shoots elsewhere.
In silhouette, I find a spotter that can read wind and mirage and make good calls on fall of shot an absolute must to achieve good results. In 2019 at the Nationals in Raton, I finished in the top ten for Irons ( 8th ) and also in the 2- gun, ( 9th ) all thanks to having an excellent spotter in Aaron Farmer. I should point out that he had never shot or spotted in BPCR before but his experiences in the past, ( he was in the Marines for 25 years and shot on their competition teams ), meant he could read wind, mirage and see hits on target. Once he understood how these affected a big, fat, slow moving bullet, he had me dialled in.
With the gong shoots, I understand the part about shooting "dirty" targets where the impact of your shot cannot be seen. We also have a lot of trouble at our matches with mirage making shots impossible to see. BUT, I still appreciate an accurate call on a shot if it can be seen.
If I make a good shot and it is called as a hit in the back leg of our buffalo target @ 800 yards, trust me, I'm making an adjustment. When the shot hits there and it isn't seen by a spotter, your next shot will more than likely miss.
The only paper target matches I've been shooting in the last couple of years have been with the muzzleloader under MLAIC rules. ( It's all Gullo's fault, he made me do it! )
Under those rules there is no spotter/coach allowed in the individual competition, it's up to you to work it out. I recently won the Australian Championships @ 500 yards for both M/L and BPCR with a 48/50 and 46/50 respectively - without a spotter, just the indicator on the target. I scored better with the M/L than the cartridge rifle as I shot the M/L with jacket and sling and the cartridge rifle prone off my elbows, cross-sticks weren't allowed.
I might add that in most of the shooting I do, you don't get time to wait for conditions to suit, you have to shoot when called ( Just like the "Q" ), due to the nature of the shoots. ( Low numbers, minimal targets, time constraints to get through the shoot, etc. ) Of coarse silhouette is a timed event as most of you know. These comments are all pertaining to iron sights, we don't have the numbers to shoot scope as well.
Like Cody said earlier, it's all fun.
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by J.B. » Fri May 07, 2021 5:53 pm

All very good points and I'm jotting a few down as I read them. I know I like to have a dedicated/ designated spotter when I shoot and I'd like to be able to return the favour but more often than not( like ..always) ..that just doesnt happen in our club matches. We have not the numbers and no partners to assist. A range officer, a scorer and a spotter for the whole line and sometimes two jobs are being held by one person and it just doesnt cut the mustard. I still maintain that spotting/ calling is the hardest job ( if you do it well ) on the line and so often I just have to say 'nothing seen'. I've only ever had an allocated spotter when shooting in the U.S. ..and in Aus at the one silhouette match I competed in some years back. The caller at that time was very good and kept me on steel more often than not. Gamerancher was spotting for the whole line ( a standard job down here ) at our last shoot and
did his best to keep me on the plate but I've a tendency to zone out when trying to get that sight picture right. You know... that 3-5 seconds that the mirage or wind change ? ...Yeh...that time. :roll: One of our ranges down here is notoriously hard to see fall of shot and in the warmer months, even
seeing hits on the plate are next to impossible. Seeing and spotting misses at this range tend to be much more productive than scoring unseen hits. I enjoy shooting both steel and paper but we shoot the latter so rarely down here as it requires more facilities and manpower. It does return more feedback though and, with the benefit of sighters generally returns a satisfactory..if not match winning result. We introduced some smaller steel diamond targets ( Kurts favourites I hear ? ) about a year or so ago and they are proving to be very good. We also try to paint more often. No one wants to do it...but everyone wants it done. Thats another common malady unfortunately. Interesting the smaller targets at the Q often return the higher score tally. Work just that little bit harder to centre your shots...but once its grey on grey... I'm at a loss unless I dont blink for the actual moment of impact.
.. as has been said " fun aint it " :?: :wink:
.. regards.. J.B.
ps. ...I'm trying for a paper match Dan.. honestly :D
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Gamerancher » Fri May 07, 2021 5:56 pm

I know you are J.B, I'm also doing all I can to get our "parent" association to put one one but am getting nothing but resistance. :roll:
Out in western NSW where it don't rain much.

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by John Bly » Fri May 07, 2021 7:34 pm

I've never shot a gong match, only BP silhouette and target. I've worked with quite a few spotters in 29 years of shooting and the best I've worked with is Glenn Davis aka SSShooter. He has taught me a lot and I probably would have never made Master in silhouette with out his spotting/coaching. Like Woody, we don't give weather reports, we tell what to do about it. We don't chatter about stuff that is not important. If we see a slight condition change that won't take the shot off the animal we don't even mention it. Mostly we prefer to shoot in the same condition but that is often not possible. When the shooter has reloaded and is ready the coach(whether it is him or me) gives his call on conditions and what to do. Sometimes we make bad calls and as Woody says you just have to own it and say that one was on me. This has worked well for us and I hope we can continue for more years to come.
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by mdeland » Fri May 07, 2021 7:47 pm

I think for me calling wind and mirage correctly is nearly as satisfying as breaking the shot. One of the ones I really remember was a wind/mirage reversal I caught in a .22 silhouette match on the rams that gave my shooter a couple of hits that the rest of the line missed. That was a confidence builder and eye opener for both of us because before that day I would have doubted the need ,in rather mild conditions, for a wind call at a measly 200 meter shot.

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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by Gamerancher » Sat May 08, 2021 6:41 am

So my take on the example that DeadEye gave with the shots plotted is:
After the first two shots, a 2 minute correction to the right and no further adjustments would have produced two central hits, the "doubled" shot would have been just to the right of the yellow , the next would have been just to the left of the yellow and the last even after "missing" the wind change would have still scored. That's 8/8 in my book. :D
Of coarse, all of this relies on the shooter being honest with themselves and "owning" a bad shot. :oops:
I also agree that I get a lot of satisfaction in spotting well and getting and keeping someone on target. Whether it is one on one with a partner, or a whole line as we do down here, I'm just as satisfied to make a call that puts the shooter on target as I am to shoot well myself.
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Re: Spotter vs wind coach --- gong vs paper

Post by semtav » Sat May 08, 2021 7:14 am

800 yd Target 48 in square
Sighter was in the white, first shot for score was one ball on at 3:no apparent wind change .
what adjustment do you make

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