VeeMIL & VeeMOA Targets
Introduction (Instructions Below)
One of the most pressing issues with any kind of long range marksmanship is being able to actually shoot at long range. Often times, distances we encounter are 100-150 yards if we are fortunate and 25-50 yards if we live in a more urbanized area. Although there is some merit to shooting at shorter ranges, we tend to lose the ability to operate our optics to their full potential beyond simply zeroing it in.
To this degree, we often have to think much harder than we need to when the opportunity does arise for us to dial in extra elevation and windage on our scope turrets. Which way do we turn the windage dial for 3 MOA left? What about compensating for distance beyond zero and we have to hold 1.5 mils high? What about the functionality and repeatability of the turrets? As important as it is to add windage and elevation to your reticle, it is just as equally important to return to zero when finished.
This is where TriStar Targets VeeMIL & VeeMOA targets allows users to Think Beyond Zero. Each of these targets in the Vee Series will allow the shooter the benefit of not only checking zero, but adding and subtracting from Point of Aim (POA) and witnessing a movement in Point of Impact (POI). Even though the VeeMIL and VeeMOA targets are designed to be used with either a Minute of Angle (MOA) or milliradian (MRAD/MIL) type of rifle scope, they are functionally the same and therefore will be referred to simply as Vee Target.
In designing the Vee Target, care was taken to ensure that the entirety of the target served a functional purpose. Each corresponding circular target on both Vee Targets is exactly 1.5 MOA in diameter, which at 100 yards is 1.57 inches. The reason for this number is that 1 MOA at 100 yards is 1.047 inches. While many sources will cite 1 inch at 100 yards, 2 inches at 200 yard, in reality, this small discrepancy adds up to 0.47 inches at 1000 yards (10.47 inches vs the standard 10). That may not sound like much, but when the key to shooting long range is consistency, we need to factor in as much data as possible when we can control it. We can't control the wind, temperature, or human interference, but we can control our calculations.
The same principle is applied to the grid in that the 1.5 MOA targets are laid upon. For the VeeMOA target, each grid is 3 MOA in height and width. We could have gone with a 1 MOA grid, but quite honestly this would have cluttered up the target. This is also where the VeeMIL Target differs. Here the grid is laid out in 1 MIL increments in both height and width. Much like the decision to use the actual value of MOA for the circular targets, we decided to use the vale of a mil at 100 yards; 3.6 inches based on the standard of 1 MIL being equal to 1/6238.18 (as opposed to 1/6400 that some in the military may be more familiar with).
Looking at the Vee Targets, you will also see a Cold Bore Shot along with a Zero Check. Each 1 MOA colored target is super imposed onto a 1.5 MOA gray target. This is intended to check that your rifle is not only accurate for that first round at 100 yards, but that you have returned your optics to your base zero when closing out the range session.
Instructions for use
Both the VeeMIL and VeeMOA targets are intended to be used in the same manner. The only difference is whether you will use MIL or MOA when adjusting your Point of Aim & Point of Impact (POA/POI).
As discussed in the Introduction, those of who must shoot at ranges with limited distances are often not able to fully practice with either the elevation or windage controls. The Vee Targets give the shooter the ability to simulate engaging targets at range and under varying wind conditions.
The concept of the Vee Target is farily strait forward: Aim at 100 yard zero through out the entirety of the range session if you are intending to practice elevation and windage changes. You can set your target closer to the shooter or further away, but will need to adjust your math to compensating for the angular/distance change.
Place your target at 100 yards. If this is a returning range session and you have good data, start with the green Cold Bore Shot (CBS) on the left hand side of the target. This will test your ability to make that “one shot, one kill” placement after your rifle has been stored away. You will need to compensate for wind, temperature change, humidity and the like. Think of it as a gut check: are you as good as you say you are?
Once the CBS has been established and your zero is good to go, aim at the 1.5 MIL gray target at the bottom vertex of the Vee. This is your POA for the target. Now add 2 (or any amount) MOA or MIL to your scopes elevation. Again, aim at the bottom vertex target as your POA. Fire and check that your POI has indeed impacted the correct target. If not, check your scope, your shooting position or anything else that may have caused your POI to not shift as expected.
If you are satisfied with the shot placement, fire again. Windage changes are done the same way. Add left or right, POA at the vertex, POI at your turrets indications. Keep in mind too that the gray targets are not the only places to have a POI. Since the grid is laid out in a know and equal fashion, shot placement can and should be placed anywhere within the gird area. The only reason for the layout of the gray targets is to keep the entirety of the target from becoming cluttered.
Practicing with only moving the reticle as opposed to the turrets is also an excellent way to simulate range and windage changes in a quick manner. This will require a bit more discipline from the shooter though so that you are not actually “aiming” at the desired target, but the Vee vertex instead. To do this, look down range and pick a target, ie 3 up and 2 left. Assuming the reticle is of a more traditional cross hair design with MIL/MOA marks of some kind, you will need to place your POA in what you think is the appropriate position. Hold your POA at the vertex target, fire and check your POI.
This is actually much more difficult than using the turrets as many of us will need to hold the reticle in free space and not on the target we are intending to hit. This will take some practice, but that's what the target is for!
Another example of the usefulness of the Vee Targets is to test the repeatability of the windage and the elevation turrets. Some may have seen or heard this referred to as a “box test.” The basic idea to ensure that no matter how much either turret is moved, it will always return to zero. This is an excellent way to determine if your scope has any inherent variations in it or that it may be damaged. Doing this kind of testing is very similar to POA/POI shooting. You will want to dial enough MOA/MIL onto the scope to make sure that a small variation shows up. A small change in elevation value, such as .5 MIL may not be indicate a variance in value, whereas dialing in 5 MIL will more than likely show errors, if any are to be found. Simply add 5 MOA/MIL and shoot at zero. Now return to 0 MOA/MIL. Your POI should now be back to zero within the accuracy of you and the rifle.
When you are finished with your range session, return your rifle scope to your 100 yard zero setting. Now you want to make one last shot on the Zero Check target on the right. This is to ensure that when you return the range, you know that you are starting out at 100 yard zero.
Something that you may want to incorporate into shooting either of the Vee Targets is a spotter/shooting buddy. This spotter, in concept, would call out shots for the shooter to increase pressure on the shooter to react quicker to simulated changes in elevation and windage conditions. As you increase your experience with Vee Targets, you will most likely envision several different methods of using these targets to increase your proficiency.