Eve Progress Check

It has been just a few days over a year since my last progress check in Eve Online. I almost made this post last week, but wanted to wait for one more skill to reach level 5. In the last year, CCP has introduced T3 destroyers, which is a whole new skill set. They have also removed clones which I believe may be the reason for my Science skill count having dropped. Either that or when I put .59 last year, it should have read .06 which would have matched the previous year. During this year I used my first neural remap. Yes, I should have done it long ago. But I didn’t so too bad… Also this year I have been doing a bit more PvP and using cheap jump clones which severely hinders skill training while in them. This year, I have also come to love a new (to me) ship. The Ishtar. It has been whacked with the Nerf bat twice this year and it is still a great ship. Hopefully CCP leaves it alone for a bit and takes their stupid bat home for a while. But I am not counting on it, because it is still a great ship. This year I have trained into Interdictors, Interceptors, Electronic Warfare ships, HACs, HICs, Strategic cruisers, and probably something else. It’s been a great year full of shiny new ships.

I am still with Diamond Command. We played around in faction warfare for a bit. And we kind of quit playing PvP in Null and started spending more time in wormholes. We set up a POS in a wormhole that I think is only regularly used by one person. We got a bunch of new guys and lost a bunch of those new guys. We really have about 7 or 8 core members. The rest come and go. I think we are just too small for them. I still like the smallness of it, but I admit, it hampers some activities unless you want to go play with other groups. There is rarely enough people online when not a scheduled fleet night to run a C5 wormhole for instance. As for my progress in the Diamond Command doctrines, I finished them all long ago. I have still not completed the old Brave Newbies DPS doctrine so I am still using that as a supplemental benchmark. I say supplemental, as I am not trying to complete it, it just happens to be getting completed as I do whatever tickles my fancy.

So since July 24th of 2014 to July 27th of this year, here is the breakdown of my skills:

Skillset 7/27/15 SP (millions) 7/24/14 SP (millions)
Gunnery 8.56 5.30
Engineering 4.87 3.08
Drones 5.71 3.74
Spaceship command 8.12 4.05
Armor 2.19 2.19
Shields 2.68 1.61
Navigation 3.29 1.61
Electronic systems 1.41 0.78
Missiles 4.24 2.11
Production 0.37 0.30
Trade 0.21 0.21
Rigging 0.68 0.53
Targeting 1.37 0.58
Resource processing 0.9 0.89
Neural enhancement 0.16 0.16
Science 0.47 0.59
Social 0.04 0.04
Scanning 1.68 0.45
Leadership 0.37 0.05
Subsystems 0.04 0.007
Planet management 0.07 0
Corporate management 0 0

I still have no skill points in corporate management as I have no interest in running a corp.

And here is how the skills are distributed by level:

Total skills 228 188
Skills at L5 63 36
Skills at L4 63 68
Skills at L3 81 60
Skills at L2 12 17
Skills at L1 9 7

Goals for the upcoming year:

Get better at solo PvP. Get to where I can clear a C3 site solo. FC a small fleet. Kill a real character with a Proteus, not just NPCs.

Upgraded the glass on the .300 Win Mag

So Vortex quit making the 35mm Razor HD riflescopes in favor of their new Razor HD Gen II 34mm scopes. These are silly expensive scopes that I have always considered out of my comfort zone on what I want to pay for glass. Without a doubt they are both amazing scopes. But I always figured I am not good enough to justify such an expense. And even if I was good enough, the thought of spending the $2500 – $3200 that these cost, just made me nauseous. It is a weakness I have. I have a lot of experience in machining and manufacturing on an OEM scale and therefore I know what things cost to make and what they should cost to buy. Or at least I have a very good idea. And when things fall outside of what I think they should, the thought of spending that much money on them makes me nervous.

That gives you some background so you can see where I am coming from. As I am sure you have already figured out, I broke down and bought one of these amazing examples of precision glass and fine craftsmanship.

A couple months ago, I went to the range with a friend of mine in from out-of-town. I was testing out the wife’s gun for reasons unrelated to this story, but my friend brought his gorgeous AR-10 with a Vortex Viper PST FFP. I don’t remember if it was the 4-16×50 or the 6-24×50 variant. But regardless, the glass was impressive. I have the regular Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 on one of my rifles and I have always liked it. However, his PST FFP was in a whole other range of quality. I figured that would have to be my next purchase once I had a need for a $900 scope. Well, all my guns had scopes. Their price/quality levels range from $80 – $900. BTW, the $900 one is a Leupold that I used to think was great until I looked through my friend’s PST FFP of the same price level. Anyway, once that range trip was done, I kept an eye on those PST’s waiting for the price to drop.

Vortex Razor HD 5-20x50

Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50

As luck would have it, Vortex decided to quit making the Razor HD and their prices plummeted accordingly. Of course, you had to find one in stock somewhere as more could not be ordered. And I happened to find one for less than ½ the MSRP. I couldn’t say no. This opportunity would not come around again anytime soon. So I pulled the trigger (pun intended) and bought the Razor HD 5-20×50 MRAD with the EBR-2B reticle. As a side note, Vortex only lists a 10 MRAD per rotation turret for this model. But my packaging shows 5 MRAD. According to a video on Vortex’s site, the difference between the scopes is just that each rotation makes a larger adjustment with the 10 MRAD, but the overall amount of travel is the same. So mine will allow for finer adjustment, but will take longer to make large adjustments. I’m cool with that since paper targets wait as long as I want them to.

5 MRAD turrets

5 MRAD turrets

Even the packaging is fancy. I wonder if this stems from the Japanese origin of it.

Even the packaging is fancy. I wonder if this stems from the Japanese origin of it.

Even comes with a bubble level, sun shield, and honeycomb filter thing

Even comes with a bubble level, sun shield, and honeycomb filter thing

The Razor HD is FFP, or first focal plane. My understanding of this is that it scales the reticle accordingly as you increase magnification therefore allowing you to range targets the same regardless of magnification. One thing I found really cool with FFP, especially with this EBR-2B reticle, is that as you zoom out (decrease magnification) the reticle is so fine that it almost looks like a fine duplex reticle, but as you zoom in all of the other busyness becomes apparent. The Nightforce reticles are a bit finer, but honestly, I think they are a bit too fine at times. Depending on the background it can be hard to see them. And the Vortex reticle is still very fine.

Love this color

Love this color

The Razor HD compared to the PST has the premium HD extra-low dispersion glass where the PST has their XD extra-low dispersion glass. I was reading about HD glass versus other glass on a benchrest shooting news site and it has something to do with the wavelengths of light it lines up covering all wavelengths rather than just most of them or something along those lines. I would look into it further for you, but what is important, is that it is the best you can get in riflescopes. Yes, there are other things that set some apart from others, but what HD is designed for, it is the best at. Most other differences between the two are aesthetics and ergonomics, save for a couple more things. The tube is 35mm diameter, which has a much smaller selection of available rings to choose from. Also, The Razor HD is made in Japan rather than the Philippines.

Side parallax adjustment. Nothing special, but there it is.

Side parallax adjustment. Nothing special, but there it is.

Now onto my use for this baby:

The obvious choice for gun to install it on is my .300 Win Mag Remington 700. This gun has the Bell & Carlson Medalist Style 2 stock, a Rifle Basix trigger, a Shooter’s Ridge bipod, and EGW 20 MOA Picatinny rail. And now, the Razor HD scope and Vortex high mount rings.

The B&C Style 2 stock is black with grey webbing. It has a nice pronounced palm swell and an aluminum bedding block in it. It also has a Pachmayr Decelerator pad, a nice wide forend, a vertical grip, and a high comb for easier cheek weld. The Rifle Basix trigger is a drop-in trigger assembly for the Remington 700 that has a nice crisp break with no over-travel, and it is set to about a pound of trigger pull weight. Smoove like butta. The EGW Picatinny rail is the 20 MOA variant which means it mounts the scope heading up-hill a bit for long range use. I pulled it off and applied some Loctite and torqued the screws to 20 in-lbs prior to installing the Vortex, per EGW’s specifications. The Bipod is a Shooter’s Ridge 6-9” pivoting model. It has been great. I have not liked the Harris bipods I have used in the past, and even though this has a similar design, it seems to work better and for 1/3 the price. The scope rings are Vortex 1.26” high 35mm precision matched rings. I hear they are made by Seekins Precision, which makes a few components I chose for my latest AR-15 build. And looking at the rings Seekins offers, they do look identical other than the logo cut into the top of them. These rings are expensive, but then again, so is the scope. They are matched to +/-.0005 tolerance. They don’t specify which dimension this applies to, but I have an idea 😉 BTW, the rings are torqued to 18 in-lbs in a cross pattern as specified by Vortex. Now this gun just needs a barrel. The stock one has performed well. But it looks so dinky. But that is not in the budget just yet.

Remington 700 by me :)

Remington 700 by me 🙂

Remington 700 by me :)

Remington 700 by me 🙂

Remington 700 by me :)

Remington 700 by me 🙂

I have been loading 200gr Sierra Matchking bullets for this. My magic load that gives me the best accuracy is 66gr of Hodgdon 4350 powder with Magnum large rifle primers with an OAL of 4.513. This is not the fastest I tried loading, but was by far the most accurate for me. Like ½ the group size of any other load. I will be developing a new load however using Hodgdon 4831 as it seems this powder is more suited for the heavier bullets I am using and also, the 4350 has been very difficult to find around here, but I have been able to obtain plenty of 4831. I may try the 210gr bullet as it ups the B.C. from .565 to .645. Or, I may just go the Berger VLD 200 as it has a B.C. of .624 which is significantly better than the Sierra 200, and almost as good as the 210, but may be able to fit in my detachable magazine better.

66gr Hodgdon 4350, LRM primers, Sierra Matchking 200 gr

66gr Hodgdon 4350, LRM primers, Sierra Matchking 200 gr

As always, click the pics for bigger versions. And as usual, sorry for the slow progress on this blog.