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Your tips for shooting out to 400-500
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Picture of Buglemintoday
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Looking for any tips you have on shooting game animals out to 400-500 yards...something I have never done before. I plan on booking an Aoudad hunt in the next year or so and would like to put in for Coues as well. I have a Mule Deer hunt in Far West Texas this year and they are stating sharp angle long range shooting is something on the norm for bagging one.



My local shooting range I am a member of goes out to 300 yards only. Would swapping to a smaller target or a smaller caliber (223?) be better to help with the longer distance? I have a 2 hour drive out to a field I can shoot out to 1k but I don't think I have ever shot at a whitetail or large sized game past 300 yards.


I plan on bringing my Rem 700 7mm STW on the Mule Deer hunt. It has a VX3 6.5-20x50 shooting 160gr Sierra Gamekings. Cut myself short on time to try and bring something else and would rather get in a few practice sessions before then instead of load development for another caliber.
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would suggest practice is the best approach. If you can consistently range and hit a similar sized target with a suitable projectile in practice, then an animal would be no different.

Practicing with a smaller bullet or target at shorter range would help with reading wind, but you still need to be confident in your hunting setup and yourself before shooting game that far, IMO.
 
Posts: 776 | Registered: 13 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with jpl; if you want to shoot at game at 500, practice at 500.

That said, I just shot my .223 (55 gr) at 300 yards sitting with a sling; wind was left to right. My .223 required about 2 MOA wind hold; my .308 was half that, so to some extent shooting a lesser caliber might help, especially if a .223 at 300 had the same drift as your STW at 500.

Honestly, if you have not practiced at 500 much, I think you are better off shooting at 300 at your range in windy conditions. Kind of surprised living in WT you don't have a place to shoot at longer range...


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
http://forums.accuratereloadin...821061151#2821061151

 
Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Appreciate the responses, this weekend we are going to set steel targets out to 700 at the deer lease so I can get a feel for how much the wind moves the bullet along with drop. Not planning on shooting that far while hunting but since this is all new to me it doesn't hurt to dip into it and see what it's like.
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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getting out there and pulling the trigger is your best bet.
the more the better.
you'll also want to have a way to mark distance and the dial ups on your scope.
then use the two together in the field.
I would rather hold a little for wind than try to guess drop inches through a scope at 500 yds.
 
Posts: 3018 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Range or in-field practise at the ranges you want to shoot to is key in developing the confidence in your ability to do it. Shooting game at 400 yds, my personal limit, is quite doable with the right cartridge in a good factory load or handload. I won't shoot further as other factors start to complicate the picture and for me 400 yds is a long enough poke anyway, plus I keep my shooting gear fairly simple. However, have witnessed some incredible longer range shooting by guys with rigs dedicated to the discipline. But even with this hi tech gear regular practise make a difference.


Hunting.... it's not everything, it's the only thing.
 
Posts: 1014 | Location: New Zealand's North Island | Registered: 13 November 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You really need to know where the rifle/cartridge combo you will be using shoots to at those ranges.

Ballistic charts only give you a rough ideal, but until you know for sure, the perfect, rock steady hold is all for naught, if your bullet is dropping more or less than the theoretical, or your windage adjustment is not correct for longer ranges.

BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When you go to that deer lease, try and estimate the wind based on the mirage. I use my spotting scope and move it so that the focus is right in front of me, then slowly rotate out, looking for mirage. I watch it for a few minutes to get the feel. I also have a lightweight shock corded shooting stick that I plunk into the dirt or in a bush in front of me that has a piece of fishing line with a cotton ball on it, but it isn't nearly as good as the mirage. This morning I shot at 800 and 1190; my string was barely moving but I could see the mirage was clearly right to left. Just before I shoot, I double check doing the same thing with the side parallax adjustment on my scope. I knew that mirage was a 1 MOA hold (spin drift is about 1/2 MOA at 800, so the same wind the other way would have been 2 MOA). My Stiller Lapua hit the 3 inch circle at 9 o'clock. Switched to my Savage, but obviously I now have a good idea of what is going on. But, the wind had clearly picked up, so I held my 2 MOA wind line on the left side of the other circle. Hit about 2 inches left. At 1190, the mirage was even more obvious. Held 1.5 MOA (different angle to the wind and it had died a bit) after dialing up to 32 MOA (200 yard zero) and hit 1/2 MOA low but perfect windage.

One other trick: if the mirage isn't obvious but you know there is a wind quartering at your position, aim 90 degrees away and see if the mirage is obvious. If it is, you know the direction (I find winds in my face or from behind a lot harder than one at 90 deg simply because it doesn't take a huge shift to go from a 50% full value left to a 50% full value right (difference between a 7 o'clock wind and a 5 o'clock wind). At 300 yards it won't matter unless a gale, but at long range ANY wind has to be accounted for.


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
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Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamar:
you'll also want to have a way to mark distance and the dial ups on your scope.


I've tried and owned a variety of scopes over the years, and the only turrets I would trust with dialing in a hunting situation are nightforce. All of the others I've used, I would zero then leave untouched in the field. Most of the "1 click = 1/4MOA" hunting type scopes can't be trusted, and the last vortex I had with long range turrets would track true enough, but would stick when cold. This happened when unscrewing the elevation turret, which is exactly what you would do when "dialing" elevation for a long range shot on a cold morning.

So my point is, you may be able to simply use the reticle to hold on targets inside 500yards. This gives you one less variable or point of failure. If you do have a good scope with accurate and reliable turrets, then practice using them. Remember to return them to zero, and practice checking them before taking a shot. I have seen many times in competition where a shot is wild because the shooter didn't dial for the range, or didn't return the turret to zero, or was off a full rev from a previous stage that was long range.
 
Posts: 776 | Registered: 13 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jpl:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamar:
you'll also want to have a way to mark distance and the dial ups on your scope.


I've tried and owned a variety of scopes over the years, and the only turrets I would trust with dialing in a hunting situation are nightforce. All of the others I've used, I would zero then leave untouched in the field. Most of the "1 click = 1/4MOA" hunting type scopes can't be trusted, and the last vortex I had with long range turrets would track true enough, but would stick when cold. This happened when unscrewing the elevation turret, which is exactly what you would do when "dialing" elevation for a long range shot on a cold morning.

So my point is, you may be able to simply use the reticle to hold on targets inside 500yards. This gives you one less variable or point of failure. If you do have a good scope with accurate and reliable turrets, then practice using them. Remember to return them to zero, and practice checking them before taking a shot. I have seen many times in competition where a shot is wild because the shooter didn't dial for the range, or didn't return the turret to zero, or was off a full rev from a previous stage that was long range.


You can say that again JPL; Nightforce is totally reliable, and their turret set screws, unlike Leopold, never come loose.


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
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Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with jpl, inside of 500 yards with a flat shooting rifle, I've been able to shoot deer and elk easily by simple holdovers. With your flat shooting STW, I'd look at between 250 or 300 yard zero and go from there, probably look something like 10" low at 400 and 24-28" at 500. I try to keep midrange trajectory less than 4" high.


Shoot straight, shoot often.
Matt
 
Posts: 1080 | Location: Wisconsin | Registered: 19 July 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you everyone for the sound advice. I am going to adjust to a 250y zero and try 300 and 400 yards with this to see what the drop is this weekend. 4 weeks until Game time so I need to try and get my adjustments done now. If I could get where I could hold on fur for a good distance I would be pleased with this. Not trying to break any records but not wanting to blow an opportunity. The rancher said if an elk or Aoudad comes out they are fair game as well...time to get excited.

Justin
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Buglemintoday:
Thank you everyone for the sound advice. I am going to adjust to a 250y zero and try 300 and 400 yards with this to see what the drop is this weekend. 4 weeks until Game time so I need to try and get my adjustments done now. If I could get where I could hold on fur for a good distance I would be pleased with this. Not trying to break any records but not wanting to blow an opportunity. The rancher said if an elk or Aoudad comes out they are fair game as well...time to get excited.

Justin


One more thing: your scope subtends 2.5 MOA or 15" from the crosshair to the duplex post at 600 yards; if you zeroed at 200, the post would be 7.5" at 300, which is close to the drop of 6.7" or 2.1 MOA.

Assumes you are getting 3000 fps and a 200 yard zero and your scope is at 20X.

After 300, it becomes tricky and you may want to click. If you do, make sure your set screws are TIGHT on your elevation turret after you adjust the elevation so it is zero at 200.

If you do dial up, you can use the horizontal subtension for wind, but I gotta tell you, if you haven't shot in the wind much at LR, you will feel weird holding off significantly - that is where shooting constantly really gives you confidence - when you see a certain mirage, you feel totally confident, because you know the bullet is going to drift "x" amount in that wind.

Also, you didn't state if your rangefinder corrects for angles. Some of them just adjust for the "horizontal distance" but that doesn't give you perfect results; one like the BR7, where you input ballistic data, does. Steep angles are pretty rare; it might look steep, but it probably isn't as steep as you think.


Don't Ever Book a Hunt with Jeff Blair
http://forums.accuratereloadin...821061151#2821061151

 
Posts: 7259 | Location: Arizona | Registered: 28 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by AnotherAZWriter:
One more thing: your scope subtends 2.5 MOA or 15" from the crosshair to the duplex post at 600 yards; if you zeroed at 200, the post would be 7.5" at 300, which is close to the drop of 6.7" or 2.1 MOA.

Assumes you are getting 3000 fps and a 200 yard zero and your scope is at 20X.


I'm fairly confident that the scope is a Leupold # 66575 with the Fine Duplex, Where were you able to find the MOA to the duplex post? That is great information to know since this doesn't have a BDC or similar.

My rangefinder is a Leica Rangemaster 1200 but I plan on upgrading it to a new model that addresses the shooting angles.

Thanks for the info

Justin
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Was able to spend a few hours shooting Sunday with a few rifles. Got my Sako L461 sighted in, shot some warm-up .308 shots out to 200 then worked on the STW at 300 and 400 yards.

400 is tricky off of my Stoney Point steady sticks. I don't think I can pull that off without a lot more range time or a rest for the rear of the stock as well as a stable front rest. Hopefully I can keep the shooting around 250y and I should be able to share some Mule deer photos in the upcoming weeks.
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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