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Old 06-08-2020, 02:34 PM
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Default Taking long rifle shots

Did a little look into what can happen when making those long distance shots and what evil lurks to make us look bad.

On one site, they had four loads that were tested in a .223 rifle at 100 Meters and they grouped at 2.2 to 9.7" overall.

They then tested loads from a 55gr to a 77gr bullet and received groups that went from .98" to 3.98".

A site on target shooting had a rifle with a four power scope shooting at 500 yards, no big thing, right?

Lets now toss in the added problem of the human Heartbeat.
We all have a heart beat, some mild and some heavier, if we just walked or jogged a short time ago.

We've got problems.
We got big problems, here in River City............
Those cross hairs start jumping from a light 7.9" and can hit 111.4" at the apex of the scopes movement.

Just thought that I would toss this out there...........
tight groups.
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Old 06-08-2020, 03:04 PM
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Long-range rifle shooting under safe, controlled conditions on a range is a lot of fun! But, when one considers the time it takes for a rifle bullet to travel 500-yards, or more, and how quickly game animals can move around with absolutely no way to predict that or assure it won’t happen, much less consider the effects of wind and everything like that, I fail to see how people justify extreme long-range “hunting.” It just doesn’t seem to fit in with the “hunting” word.
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Old 06-08-2020, 03:10 PM
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A wiser man than me once said, "a man has to know his limitations". I think, if your .223 or any cal. rifle/pistol is inconsistent at any range, you shouldn't take the shot at game. Could be the ammo, the firearm, the weather conditions or you. It doesn't much matter. No responsible hunter should take the shot unless they're as certain as possible of the result. Your info is interesting as it should serve as a cautionary perspective as to what can go wrong. BTW, when I say "you" or "your", I am not referring to Nevada Ed.
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Old 06-08-2020, 03:21 PM
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I agree - long range shooting has three uses:

1. Competition
2. Challenging your personal skills
3. Military sniping

It has no fair chase value in hunting wild game. Assuming you can make the shot doesn't mean that you should take the shot. It's not hunting if an animal is so far away that it is totally unaware of your presence and cannot reasonably expect to become aware of your presence. If you don't have to hide then it's just killing.

That has nothing to do with the OP; he's just pointing out the obvious, but it's a general editorial aimed at all rifle hunters.

And, BTW, I really like Nevada Ed's photos!!!!
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
I agree - long range shooting has three uses:

1. Competition
2. Challenging your personal skills
3. Military sniping

It has no fair chase value in hunting wild game. Assuming you can make the shot doesn't mean that you should take the shot. It's not hunting if an animal is so far away that it is totally unaware of your presence and cannot reasonably expect to become aware of your presence. If you don't have to hide then it's just killing.

That has nothing to do with the OP; he's just pointing out the obvious, but it's a general editorial aimed at all rifle hunters.

And, BTW, I really like Nevada Ed's photos!!!!
I love shooting at 500 meters. Just for fun, never could see a critter that far away in the rain forest we hunted in.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:06 AM
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I’m “not” an avid long range shooter, but do have a rifle that could be “pressed into action” (but not for game) out to around 1200 yards if need be! My hunting rifle has accuracy (sub 2” @ 300 yards) energy, and “decent enough” trajectories/wind drift capabilities to go out to 800+ yards on elk/ moose sized big game .....however my personal limit is 600 yards with perfect or near perfect shooting conditions. This is not a heavy long range dedicated rifle....9 pounds 1 ounce scoped, loaded and slung! I have one and “only” one hunting rifle....all game from deer/antelope to elk/moose/bear. My personal desire is to never shoot game beyond 100 yards, though that rarely happens.....but that’s just me! memtb

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Old 06-09-2020, 10:39 AM
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Can't speak to hunting but back in the day the USMC KD (known distance) Course included shooting 10 rounds from prone position at 500 yards. For a lot of guys (me sometimes) it was the easiest 50 points to score. That was with the M16A1 with open long range sight flipped up.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:58 AM
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I think since most people hunt with scopes they are shooting beyond practical range of their rifle. That deer at 200yds looks just as clear through a 3x9, whether on a 30/30 or 300mag. We they miss or make a bad hit they blame it on the rifle. Anyway this extreme long range stuff is not hunting it is shooting.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:52 PM
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Being a Gunner's Mate in the Navy (small arms) I got to clean a LOT of weapons and also learn to take them apart and fix them as well as learn
how well they shoot, from the 1911 .45ACP, M-1, M-14, M-60, BAR, Grease gun, 81 mortar and a 3.5 Rocket launcher.

I had a few times with the 308 and 30-06 with open sights at 500 yards but was usually "Behind" the shooters, making sure things were kept in order and safe.
I will admit that there is nothing better for good shooting ability's, than.....
young strong muscles and eye's of an Eagle that see everything !!

I also learned as a member of the Ski Patrol, to only ski as fast as your skills with trees in the area!!
Same goes with shooting.
Have a great day.

Oh; you like pictures .......
Do you see a deer?


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Old 06-09-2020, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by robrossk View Post
Can't speak to hunting but back in the day the USMC KD (known distance) Course included shooting 10 rounds from prone position at 500 yards. For a lot of guys (me sometimes) it was the easiest 50 points to score. That was with the M16A1 with open long range sight flipped up.
In a good stable prone position, you are correct that a good shot can hit a 20 inch bullseye 10 out of 10 times with irons sights. I still take a lot of pride in the fact that i can still shoot better with irons than a lot of folks with irons vs their shooting with scopes. Anymore I shoot mainly smallbore, rather than centerfire. I do shoot some centerfire............
The target is one I shot at 50 yards with iron sights using a Winchester 52D. The target is a A23.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:36 PM
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I agree with Nevada Ed, long range hunting should be defined by the skill level of the shooter and the known accuracy of his weapon. Hunting is the art of taking game, mostly for food, but then again there is varmint hunting, which is usually long range shooting. I have been hunting and playing with scoped rifles attempting to hit targets at long distances for over 50 years now. It appears that some here would criticize some of my shots but I knew my rifle and my abilities. Several whitetail deer have been taken in excess of 300 yards, the longest was 685 yards, the only Elk was shot at 425 yards. these shots on game in the field were taken knowing the bullet would impact in the correct spot, that comes from thousands of rounds down range over decades of shooting. Decades ago, I spent my vacations in the prairie dog towns of the great American west, shooting small targets at long distance in the wind. When you learn breathing control and know the exact moment the trigger will trip, your skill level at long distance goes up dramatically. To me on a personal level, I do not want to be close to the game I take, no challenge in making a killing shot. I have not wounded a game animal and let it escape in over 30 years now. Like Elmer Keith- use enough gun and learn your weapon. You guys have a problem with Elmer and his killing deer at 200-400 yards with is side arm? He knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger, no guessing.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:59 PM
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I have rifles and scopes that are capable of shooting and hitting game at long ranges, probably 500-1000. Not sure that I am capable of taking said rifles and hitting the said game animals at those distances. The thing that I take to this very day is how my father taught me how to stalk the animals to get the good shot. I much prefer the stalk over the shot. To have both is the ultimate. I have passed this onto my son's and hope that they value the stalk just as much as I do and their grandfather did.

My older son's first buck pronghorn was a fantastic stalk that ended in a belly crawl. We couldn't get any closer because he had surrounded himself with his harem. All of the does were looking in a 360 around him. In order to shoot the buck without the grass blocking his sight he had to use my butt and a rest. Shot was about 300 +/-. I remember holding my breath so that it would not move the rifle. Then I was holding my breath until I heard the tell tale sound of the bullet striking its intended target. Never forget any of it.

I admire the long range shooters but, don't envy them.

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Old 06-09-2020, 04:16 PM
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Being once a “dyed in the wool” New England deer hunter we had to use hunting skills to get within clear range of our Whitetail deer in our deep woods where shots avg about 50 yds...30-30 or 35 Rem were my weapons of choice..some liked the Rem pumps in 30-06 and 308, Savage 99 as well. Whitetails just don’t sit around as Mule Deer do out here...if the Whitetail catches your scent or sees any bit of movement, they’re gone and you might as well call it a day.

Jack O’Connor would be rolling his eyes seeing today’s long range hunters appearing to be more like military snipers with their scope magnifications powerful enough to map the craters of our moon. ATVs today also...I still admire the Western hunter of old riding horseback with their 6x scoped 270 Win strung over their shoulders in pursuit of Mule, Antelope, etc...now that was traditional and a real pursuit of our hunting pastime.

...I’m old and I’m sticking with it! Love ya all!

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Old 06-09-2020, 08:44 PM
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I have never hunted anyplace where I needed to take a shot beyond 100 yards, and mostly somewhat less. I guess if I lived somewhere in the Rockies or Alaska, long distance shooting proficiency would be more important. Just for fun shooting at targets I usually shoot at 100 and 200 yards, although I can go out to 500 yards on my range. Just too much effort to trot 500 yards one way to change targets.
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:36 PM
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Elmer shot a mule deer at 600 yards with an iron sighted 44 magnum, so he said.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:01 PM
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Default Long Range Shooting

I grew up and spent much of my youth in Colorado and Wyoming. While mule deer and antelope are often shot at long range, I never had to shoot one much beyond 150 yards and most shots were less than 50 yards.

That said, I love shooting at long range with anything from 45/70 Trapdoors to 30/06 match rifles (aperture sights) and I have won my share of metal at Palma matches and long range high power matches. In the Army I used several types of sniper rifles over the years and it is absolutely amazing what you can do with one; although hits often depend on a good spotter for wind calls and ranging.

The key to long range shooting is a stable position and the proper use of a sling or bi-pod. After that it is knowing the trajectory of your round and thus the come ups for your sights, either iron or scope. Wind will play a huge part on where your bullet hits out yonder and with practice your brain's integral computer will usually make a good estimation of how many minutes (or milradians with mil dot scopes) of deflection that you'll need.

While I'm not into shooting big game at longer ranges, I have worn out barrels shooting prairie dogs up on the high deserts of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
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Old 06-09-2020, 10:32 PM
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300-350 yard prairie dogs.................
Now that I can live with !!

Mostly if you can see the bullet going down range in a spotting scope, on a "Kill" !!

Red mist and flying chunks, are fun to see, if you get a chance.

The ranchers in Nevada hate them, due to holes that can put up a steer or horse. Many will open their gates to you to clean out a village or two
before the grass gets too high.

However a BC of .490 or higher never hurts, past 500 yards.


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Old 06-10-2020, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
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In a good stable prone position, you are correct that a good shot can hit a 20 inch bullseye 10 out of 10 times with irons sights. I still take a lot of pride in the fact that i can still shoot better with irons than a lot of folks with irons vs their shooting with scopes. Anymore I shoot mainly smallbore, rather than centerfire. I do shoot some centerfire............
The target is one I shot at 50 yards with iron sights using a Winchester 52D. The target is a A23.
The Bar Stool Experts are many. Telling you what they can do with blaster X at 100yds, one ragged hole. I don’t know how many times I’ve herd this. Then you get them out to shoot and they would pass out if they had to stand up and shoot offhand without a scope. These guys hate LV rifles because even with scope you have to judge drop. Also distances tend to be over estimated.
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:11 PM
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Cool Long range?

My son-in-law is a paraplegic, and a successful hunter. He bought a 300 WSM, because "The figures were the best". He is an educator. Regularly saying" Well, I missed a coyote at 465 yards, or 435, or 395"... Right! He has too much gun! And, he has a marvelous 270 gathering dust in his closet.
In my non-humble opinion, only those who have passed rigorous training, and shown acceptable accuracy for distance should be allowed to even try something like that.
Not sportsmanlike, and results in wounded game. They deserve more respect than that! BUT...that's not the American Way! Let someone buy a Remchester Death Ray Loudenboomer, and mount a Sky Sweeper scope on it, and voila' he/she is a Long Range Landscape Killer!
Oh well...rant over...common sense cannot be legislated or recommended. (Sigh!)
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Old 06-10-2020, 01:46 PM
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As mentioned in some previous posts, accuracy (both shooter and rifle) energy, wind drift, and bullet travel time. Add to this.... type of bullet, animal location and time of day, all of these factors should play into the equation of what is an acceptable long distance shot on big game. With my self-imposed limit of 600 yards, these are all taken into consideration! My cartridge has the following factors at 600 yards....energy - 2500ft/lbs, impact velocity - 2120, drift in 10 mph wind @ 90 degrees - 22”, and bullet travel time - 0.70 seconds. These numbers are taken from chronograph and a ballistics program. The rifle/cartridge combination is capable of much longer shots ( both in velocity, energy, and drift).....I have my personal, ethical limits! memtb

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Old 06-10-2020, 01:51 PM
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You can take all your old rifles and put them in the basement closet.......

In these modern times all you need is a...............

"Black" Creedmoor or Grendel to do your work for you.

Anything will fit on these baby's.
Nuff said.
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Old 06-10-2020, 02:31 PM
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Gentlemen and ladies, very enthusiastic exchange here. Before I add my two cents, let me establish my qualifications. Before becoming disabled, I earned my NRA Master classification with service rifles shooting the 600 yard matches, and Sharpshooter classification on the long-range matches. What I am not hearing speaks volumes!

When trying to shoot longer distances, you need an appropriate rifle with the proper profile and twist with a load matched to the rifle. Typically, you want a varmint profile barrel with a fast twist, the thicker the barrel, the less the harmonic vibrations caused by bullet movement in the barrel contribute to larger groups.

Using the 223 Remington cartridge:
1:9 twist can launch up to a 69gr bullet accurately up to about 500 yards
1:8 twist can launch up to a 77gr bullet accurately up to about 600 yards
1:7 twist can launch up to an 85gr bullet accurately up to about 900 yards
1:6.5 twist can launch up to a 95gr bullet accurately up to about a thousand yards.

This information requires that the bullet remains supersonic at the target. The higher the velocity at the target, the tighter the group. When I use the term accurately, I am looking at establishing a load that shoots 1 minute of angle, if I am using iron sights, sub MOA if I am shooting with a scope.

I have tried for about 3 years to develop a thousand yard 223 load, but with my 26" 1:7 barrel, I just can't keep it supersonic enough past 980 yards. That is why I am putting together an upper in 224 Valkyrie so I can shoot thousand yards with an AR in a traditional prone position.

My 7mm Rem Mag which I use for thousand yard F class prone currently has a slow twist 1:9.25 that is limiting me to 168gr HPBT bullets.

Using traditional whisp profile hunting barrels are not conducive to tight groups much beyond a hundred or so yards.

Bottom line, when shooting longer distances, you need the right equipment!
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Old 06-11-2020, 12:29 PM
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Bottom line, when shooting longer distances, you need the right equipment!

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My last long shot on a deer was back in the 70's when I was young a full of P & Vinegar and thought that I could do no wrong with my Winchester, bolt action .270 with a super hot hand load.

On one outing, three units were going past a mountain range on the way to one of our favorite hunting spots and we stopped to glass for deer in the area.
We did spot a heard of deer but they were at quite a distance and no one in the party could put a horn on any of the animals, that were grazing.
However, being the youngest in the group, I spotted a Buck and that there were horns in the heard. They all said I was crazy and that they were all flat heads. I guesstamated the Nevada open range to be around 500 yards.

That is when I went and got my rifle, cranked in a round and said, " Watch this".
At the crack of the rifle a deer that was not mortally wounded, started to go in circles on the hill side.
Now things got interesting as four other rifles joined in to put the animal down. I finally got my third shot to hit the lung area, which put the animal down but I did feel very bad about not putting that animal down with my first shot and having it suffer.

I found out that the yardage was farther than I estimated, causing the bullet to drop over 7" from where it was aimed and a light breeze pushed the bullet to the leg, shoulder area.

From then on my shots were cut to 300 yards and I had a view finder scope added to the rifle that helped get the range on a deer size animal, for added insurance, so this would not happen again.

If you ever hear a deer that was gut shot.............
you will never take a bad shot again in your lifetime, after hearing what a wounded animal goes through. I witnessed this with a friends bad bullet placement on a trotting deer, that was only 75 yards away.

That shot really ruined my day, and I will never forget it.

Good shooting.
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