If you train or have a military background, you should be well aware of what a drop chart is. Drop charts are an easy to understand tool used when teaching or studying hold over or under.
The common misconception often attributed to television and movies is that bullets travel in a straight line. As such, you see movie snipers always placing the crosshairs on the head of a target that is highly magnified at a mile away.
Those of us who have taken long distance training courses or maybe have a long history in the woods will know this is not realistic.
Rifles are sighted in at a specific distance. Often the max distance of your local range limits this distance. Tactical, Home Defense or Personal Defense guns are often sighted in for much closer distances such as 25 yards.
Understanding dope charts, drop charts, hold over or hold under are essential then in real world scenarios that exist outside your sighted distance. Understanding your likely range of engagement goes a long way in determining the proper distance to sight your rifle. Ammunition types will further affect these metrics as bullet weight, and different powders will change your drop rates.
In the Marines, as an example, the units will zero at what is called a 36/300. The bullets because of the arc effect will POI (point of impact) inline with POA (point of aim) at both 36 yards and 300 yards.
Many civilians will use 50/225 as their zero mark. Regardless of what zero you pick you will need to either holdover for longer shots and hold under between your zero distances. Knowing how much to hold over or under at varied distances is something that takes training or access to a quick reference sheet.
Alex Hartmann, a former Marine Scout/Sniper and the Director of Training for Combat Performance Group knows all too well how difficult it is training civilians and military members alike to understand hold over and under. With experience fighting across the large open danger areas of Helmand Provence, he created a quick reference card that would be affixed to the Soldiers stock for them to look at when unsure of their hold.
So the KillKard was born. With such a huge success, it was no surprise when my initial order for the card was back ordered. Speaking to Alex it was clear while he understood the problem shooters faced he underestimated how widespread the issue was and how large demand would be for his product.
The KillKard was eventually renamed to the SureShot in an effort to cater to a more litigious-minded demographic.
The card is made of UV and chemical resistant laminated vinyl. It has a self-adhesive back and is designed to be placed on the comb of the stock for quick reference by the operator.
The material holds up to rain, sweat, grime dirt and abuse without issue. Mine has been on my stock now for 6 or 7 sessions including an all day class and it still looks great. It will not irritate your face or affect your cheek weld.
Sureshot cards are offered at 25, 36/300 and 50 yard zeros for a number of calibers. While they have a limited selection on the site right now, expect to see big changes in available offerings moving forward.
We have been testing the chart using a 50 yard zero M855 in a 14.5-barrel. With no surprise, we have found that the marked hold over and holdunder are on par with military specifications and allow for precision shots out to 300 yards. We had thrown these cards on the stock for our testing of the Geisselle trigger we just published, and those results speak for themselves.
While the laminate on these cards has held up incredibly well, we are not in the sandbox, and we did not beat up our guns outside of normal use. The cards will not hold up to a knife or even being dragged along sharp rocks. However, we have not seen the cards get beat up in regular daily use. For those using these at the range or in a self-defense, gun your going to find that for $4.99 you’re not going to get a better investment.
After having used these some time, we realize that looking back to your stock before you shoot is only going to work on the range. It is not practical in a real world-fighting situation. However since the vast majority of people reading this blog are doing so from a comfy chair Stateside don’t see an issue with using these. In fact getting you to think about hold over and regularly see the effects on your stock is a great way to burn those fundamentals into your head.
Anything that gets you thinking and shooting is a good tool in my opinion. I am excited to see the other products that Alex has in the works. Chances are we are going to see some very cool things coming down the pipeline from CPG in the near future.