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Data book entry

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Data book entry
« on: February 29, 2016, 04:18:00 PM »
 

OKJK11

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Well I shot my first match yesterday. It was a local match here in Oklahoma.  Jeff's roadtoprs blog comes to mind with my day, but hey I had a blast. And it defiantly wasn't good for my addictive nature.

Spent most of the day when I wasn't shooting observing and trying to figure out what I needed to work on as I had no idea what to expect showing up yesterday morning. During the course of the day I didn't keep up with any data book entry on my shots, spent the 2 1/2 hr drive home reflecting on what I did wrong and what I needed to work on. Once home and unloaded, I took my data book out set at my reloading bench and try to fill in as much of it as possible off off my memory which pretty much sucks. So to boil it down, I basically just recorded as much as I could from each stage and what I needed to work on from each stage and made sure I had my round count accurate to tack on to my accruing rounds for the rifle.

My question for the group is do you guys keep up with a data book when shooting a match, do you try to keep it up during the course of the match or do you guys just do like I did and summarize it and keep track of your round counts?

Any info is greatly appreciated and I don't mind being pointed in a different direction if need be.

Thanks
Luke
 

Re: Data book entry
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 05:01:50 PM »
 

Jeff M

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An excellent question!  I think you picked the right section, too - "Getting Started".  Definitely sounds like a question that would be beneficial to all new guys, right?

As to your question...  For me, there are two different types, or styles, of books.  The first, that you said by name, is a "Data book".  In my admittedly still-relatively-newbie mind, when I think "Data book", I immediately picture military shooters from a couple decades ago - no electronics, have to work out their shooting solution the old fashioned way.  So, in that book, you would have sketches of the surroundings, distances to various objects, sizes of various objects, etc.  You would also have recorded the environmental data for each and every shot taken, as well as distances for those shots, as completely and as accurately as possible.  Building this type of "Data book" would then allow them to short-cut future shooting solutions by being able to look through their data book.  "Ahh, I see here that I took a shot in similar conditions, at similar altitude and temperature, at only 5 yards difference from this shot.  Here's my shooting solution for this engagement."  That's what DOPE is, and it's why it is usually written as capital letters - it's actually an acronym - Data On Previous Engagements.  For all I know, modern military marksmen still do keep records like this, in that level of detail.  That would be a question for them, and something I won't speculate on.

NOW - having said all that, do I keep a "Data book"?  No, I don't.  I simply keep a log book.  The difference, for me, is that a "log book" simply summarizes things.  My log book entries are brief, and consist of the date, time of day, location, muzzle device (I have several), that days round count, and an updated running total round count.  *IF* I encounter something that doesn't go as expected (drop data is wrong, impact high/low, whatever), then I also make note of things like DA, temp, and what the observed issue was.  I also keep track of when the rifle has been cleaned, and note that in my log book.

I don't know that one way is right and the other is wrong.  In my mind, it's just two different styles of data recording.  For me, since I rely on laser rangefinders and electronics like my Kestrel and Applied Ballistics to give me my shooting solutions, it doesn't do me any good to write down what they were.  The electronics will give me a new solution faster than I can look it up anyway.  Since my life and the lives of others does not depend on me coming up with accurate shooting solutions, I'm ok with staking my ability to come up with a correct solution by relying on those devices.  They can do it faster than I can look it up in a book, and more accurately as well.  In addition, it seems to me that given the variety of DA and temperatures and barometric pressures encountered across the country in matches, as well as varying target distances, combined with the relatively short barrel life the cartridges competitive shooters use, I don't know that you would ever be able to get a true "Data book" complete enough to be of any significant value before you burned out the barrel and had to start over again.  The "Data book" I reference above would be something that is kept for a 308, in my mind.


YMMV, just my $.02, it's worth what you paid for it, etc etc etc.
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Re: Data book entry
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 07:41:02 PM »
 

OKJK11

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Thanks for the reply Jeff, I've always keep "data books" on my nicer rifles as I've always just shot for fun and that's what I taught myself. The point about not being able to put together enough info for a true data book is well taken as I have a few data books on different rifles with relatively small data entries due to limited round counts and shots through them. I think you have help me realize my "data book" is going to be both. A data book for my practice seasons and a log book for my matches to keep all info in one journal so to speak. I guess I did right by what I did. I'm new to this and everything was moving relatively fast, I couldn't see how I would have track everything in a data book as the stages progressed through and not pissed anyone off being slow between stages.

Thanks
Luke
 

Re: Data book entry
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 10:44:32 PM »
 

MONEY

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It's a little redneck but I learned the system from pics of Ryan Hey and Wade Stuteville iirc.

Usually if the masking tape I buy isn't junk or it's not 2000% humidity at CORE or raining cats and dogs, I take a piece about the length of my forearm and write the stage info with target shapes, yardages and notes on them. Actually most of the time I write it on the roll so i wont sweat off the adhesive waiting on my turn.

When you get done with the stage you just put the tape with the info in a tally book or match book and all your notes are there waiting on you for review. Sometimes you will find dope errors you transposed or can think of simpler ways to articulate your stage notes.  You can practice doing this off old matchbooks and going through them to figure out how you like to organize your info.  In new places I sometimes write in landmarks or orientation info since finding targets in new venues can be hard.  Of course you could buy a sidewinder but the cards are a little small. I personally dont like the QB sleeves guys wear. I've had a bunch of them and end up taking them off. They do however serve as a super backup if you lose your dope, wipe stuff off, write down the wrong crap, or SHTF since you default page in the back will likely be a range card with default wind values.
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. - Voltaire
 

Re: Data book entry
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 08:28:27 AM »
 

OKJK11

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Thanks Money, that's a good suggestion.