Monday, June 6, 2016

Critical Thinking in Practice, Not Predisposition.

Every once in a while I'll have a rough time overcoming preconceived notions and generally accepted knowledge used as fact. Take for instance my day's endeavor. I've been working on load development for a very odd rifle. Proof research barreled Remmy long action in 300 Win Mag. I've been told be several people that those barrels like heavy bullets, and I favored the heavy bullets, loading a full set of them for my daily grind at the range. I did this in deference to the findings of my last outing with the same rifle where I used 168 grain Sierra Match Kings to break in the barrel and do the zero work while breaking it in. As soon as I felt the barrel was ready to start grouping, I switched to 190 SMK's and the groups opened up a bit. I did find a narrow node where it would shoot 1/2" groups with 190's, but for the most part, the 168's shot better.

Given my predisposition, I loaded a bunch of 208 Amax's for the outing, in total opposition to the findings of my first trip. The results were less than stellar. 1.25" groups all day. I jut happened to also take another 300 win mag I built years ago for F class competition. The ammo it uses is a 175g zooming at 3185 FPS. I decided to swap ammo and shoot the faster 175's. They are 60-70 FPS faster than the 168's I used to break it in. Guess what- 3/8" 5 shot groups.

We often times take the intelligence out of the equation and interject our own untested facts into our decisions when we have solid, verifiable evidence that they are false. Allowing your feelings to get in the way of sound decision making can be a catastrophic tragedy. Luckily today it only cost me about 60 bucks in fuel, ammo and some shoulder abuse. Making a decision without any solid evidence to support it is also a fool's chore. It's like picking a wife or husband based on what their favorite color is. Start studying your choices, be critical of your past choices. "Because that's the way we've always done it" isn't an acceptable reason to continue that behavior. Critical thinkers not only solve issues, they also find inefficiencies and assist in process streamlining.

Questioning your choices can be a humbling experience, but also enlightening. Having a peer or family member review your logic can also help establish a baseline for you to follow when questioning your decisions. For instance, if you tend to over spend on amazon while sipping on a frosty beverage, start limiting your exposure to either the brew or the shopping website and see what the outcome is. Ask yourself why you made the choice you did and learn from it's success or failure.  It's tough adulting some times, so don't take criticism personal. Learn from it, embrace your shortcomings for the lessons they teach you. Take command of the decision making process and become wise from your mistakes as much as you do from your successes.

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