When I first took on the endeavor to become a competent (and I’m still working on it) long range precision shooter I was told by Billy Butler to get a DOPE book. The first thing that popped into my head was, “I don’t do drugs” then after listening to him I quickly understood what he meant.
My first D.O.P.E. book was just a collection of paper notes, it seemed I was always writing on something different and stuffing them into my drag bag. Sometimes I would remember to bring a pen and paper, other times I would be using a receipt I pulled out of my wallet. Every once in awhile I would collect the notes and try and put them together. I never really gathered solid information in an organized manner so I could utilize it later. I wasted a bunch of .300 Win Mag. Mk 248 mod 0 rounds by not carefully recording each round. I did get time behind the rifle and learned a lot through trial and error so it wasn’t a total loss.
I knew I was hooked so I took the next step and bough a $3 school note book and kept it with my rifle so when I was out shooting I could record information. This worked well for me at first. Just having the book with me would remind me to do my best to record the shooting conditions. When I got up in the morning I would print off weather information from the nearest zip code to where I would be shooting. The information would often come from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway or the Jean Airport. From there I would fill in as much DOPE as I could and take on new challenges like range estimation, angled shooting and anything else I would need to know. The goal was to hold my own in tactical precision rifle matches.
The notebook was working well until it got loaded up with information and I found myself constantly flipping through pages littered with coffee stains, sweat and whatever else. The really important stuff I would cover with sealant tape to protect it from moisture. I would also include reminders, tutorials and notes for different techniques, loads, conversions and anything else I deemed useful to a rifle shooter. The book started becoming less of a dope book and more of an instruction manual.
I knew the books were around, I would see them as prizes for the first 3 finishers of Kurt Stone’s Tactical Precision Rifle Match(www.lvsteeltargets.com). For some reason I kept putting it off and when I finally won a match in September 2010 I ended up taking the 1 oz silver coin because I always had my eye on one. Not long after that I met Mark at one of the matches. I found him to be a very approachable, informative and always willing to do what he can for his fellow rifle shooters. I knew I had to get one of his books and lucky for me Christmas 2010 was near!
I ended up getting the 6 ring modular book with desert brown Cordura cover. The book included tutorial pages for range estimating with a Mil-dot reticle, reading mirage, dope’ing angles and even examples of drift and elevation for common rounds like 5.56x45mm, .308 Win and .300 Win Mag. The book has specific pages for recording cold bore shots, stationary long range targets, movers and more. Every section has an area to record light, wind, and atmospheric conditions so you can meticulously document what your rifle/load are doing. The book came as a kit that also included a pen, note book, dope cards and a very useful CD-ROM which contains instructions and targets to match your data pages.
I have transferred all the information from my instruction manual school note book to my new well kept, well organized Storm Tactical Data Book. Having organized information along with weather conditions during the time the shots were made has helped me correlate atmospheric variable to specific shooting situations. This all adds up to aid myself in nailing those long range targets with my cold bore or clean cold bore shots!
Oh I almost forgot to mention the book is done with “write in the rain” paper so it is unaffected my moisture, coffee and sweat! I moved the pages so I don’t have to flip around to find something. I already know where it is. I keep the blank cards in the back so I have them when I need them. The Cordura cover has handy spaces for pens and note pads. I keep a sextant for angles dope’ing and simple calculator handy in mine.
Storm Tactical is a huge asset to our community. Mark and his guys are very active in charities and matches not only locally but nationally. They are a big supporter of AmericanSnipers.org which is an organization that helps our snipers deployed overseas. Mark and Storm Tactical have been very good to me and afforded me opportunities that would otherwise out of reach.
Thank you Mr. Hartwell we appreciate everything!