November 13th, 2015

Calibrate Your Clicks with Tall Target Test

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.

CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF)

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

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November 13th, 2015

Proposed Law Would Allow CMP to Sell Vintage U.S. Army Pistols

NCAA CMP m1911a1 Pistol US Armny surplus milsurp handgun

A proposed change in Federal law would allow the U.S. Army to transfer vintage M1911A1 pistols to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for resale to the public. This would please collectors while saving the U.S. Government $200,000 per year in storage fees. An amendment to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a plan to transfer the U.S. Army’s remaining stock of .45 ACP M1911A1 pistols to the CMP, including 100,000 highly collectable handguns that predate 1945. The CMP would them inspect, grade, and sell these pistols in the same manner it currently sells M1 Garands and M1 Carbines. The CMP might receive other vintage firearms also.

The amendment allowing transfer of the Army’s vintage pistols was proposed by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Alabama). Rogers said this “is a common-sense approach to eliminating an unnecessary cost to the Federal government while allowing the very capable CMP to handle the sale of these vintage firearms that otherwise would just sit in storage. This amendment is a ‘win – win’ for the taxpayer… at a cost of roughly $2.00 per pistol per year to store these weapons, we were spending $200,000 a year in perpetuity. This sensible change will save the taxpayers millions over the years to come, as well as aid a great organization [the CMP] that serves the public.”

Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses NDAA Amendment Authorizing CMP Pistol Sales

The amendment to the NDAA (if it becomes law) would authorize the CMP, currently limited to selling .30-caliber and .22-caliber rifles, to receive and sell more types of surplus military firearms. The Army pistols are currently stored at the Anniston Army Depot, located right next door to the CMP’s regional warehouse and store. NOTE: This proposed change in current Federal law would NOT would not apply to surplus handguns now held by the U.S. Navy, USAF, USMC, or federal law enforcement agencies. For more info visit and

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