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Your tips for shooting out to 400-500
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Picture of Kyler Hamann
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Bugle,

Your honest approach to stretching your ethical distance is EXTREMELY refreshing. You’re doing the work – testing your gear… and your skill… and most importantly you’re being HONEST about your limitations. That is SO ridiculously rare these days that it’s painful.

All the time I’m seeing guys in controlled conditions not hit a target until their fourth, fifth or sixth shot and then after their one hit proclaim that they’re ready to hunt at that distance. Or worst, practice shooting at targets the size of a car hood, and then somehow make the great leap that they’re ready to hunt game with an 10” to 14” vital area because they can hit a 3 FOOT by 3 FOOT plate.

You’ve gotten some great advice here and you’re going about it the right way. In my opinion you may not have given yourself enough time to learn enough to consistently stretch your distance considerably before this upcoming hunt, but from what you’ve written here your ethics seem solid enough to make that judgement for yourself.

I’ve been setting similar goals for myself over the past 18 months or so. Although I’m a few pricey rifles, Nightforces, ½ MOA 500 yard groups and many days of practice out to 1,000 yards later - I can’t honestly say I’m real comfortable ethically shooting past 300 yards on game – especially with much wind.

I can shoot circles around my friends and get first shot hits on 8” plates at 500 and 600 yards pretty often, but I still can’t do it at a high enough percentage on my first shot to convince myself that it’s the right thing to do on game animals in hunting conditions.

If, like me, you’ve focused most of your past shooting practice from 100 to 300 yards then you’ll find that we’ve never really learned to build a proper field rest - sufficient for longer distance shooting. Maybe I just don’t have the technique yet, but I don’t have much confidence in shooting sticks past 300 yards. I want a more solid bipod, log, rock or something other than just crossed sticks as the front rest. And a solid rear rest (or technique) becomes really important at longer range.

Keep up the great work - and more importantly the terrific ethics - and you’ll achieve your shooting goals.

Best of luck on your hunt.

Thanks,
Kyler


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May the wind blow softly on your face during all your travels and never blow so hard as to rip your hair out in big clumps.
 
Posts: 2344 | Location: Central Coast of CA | Registered: 10 January 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Wstrnhuntr
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quote:
Originally posted by Kyler Hamann:
Bugle,

Your honest approach to stretching your ethical distance is EXTREMELY refreshing. You’re doing the work – testing your gear… and your skill… and most importantly you’re being HONEST about your limitations. That is SO ridiculously rare these days that it’s painful.

All the time I’m seeing guys in controlled conditions not hit a target until their fourth, fifth or sixth shot and then after their one hit proclaim that they’re ready to hunt at that distance. Or worst, practice shooting at targets the size of a car hood, and then somehow make the great leap that they’re ready to hunt game with an 10” to 14” vital area because they can hit a 3 FOOT by 3 FOOT plate.

You’ve gotten some great advice here and you’re going about it the right way. In my opinion you may not have given yourself enough time to learn enough to consistently stretch your distance considerably before this upcoming hunt, but from what you’ve written here your ethics seem solid enough to make that judgement for yourself.

I’ve been setting similar goals for myself over the past 18 months or so. Although I’m a few pricey rifles, Nightforces, ½ MOA 500 yard groups and many days of practice out to 1,000 yards later - I can’t honestly say I’m real comfortable ethically shooting past 300 yards on game – especially with much wind.

I can shoot circles around my friends and get first shot hits on 8” plates at 500 and 600 yards pretty often, but I still can’t do it at a high enough percentage on my first shot to convince myself that it’s the right thing to do on game animals in hunting conditions.

If, like me, you’ve focused most of your past shooting practice from 100 to 300 yards then you’ll find that we’ve never really learned to build a proper field rest - sufficient for longer distance shooting. Maybe I just don’t have the technique yet, but I don’t have much confidence in shooting sticks past 300 yards. I want a more solid bipod, log, rock or something other than just crossed sticks as the front rest. And a solid rear rest (or technique) becomes really important at longer range.

Keep up the great work - and more importantly the terrific ethics - and you’ll achieve your shooting goals.

Best of luck on your hunt.

Thanks,
Kyler


Well said. I see posts about hunting @ 2000 yds and I dont even look. 400-500 is far more practical, and not nearly as easy as the internet would have some think. Ive been mulling over the LRH thing quite a bit and Ive concluded that my goal is pretty much the same as the OP's. I also dont want to mess with turret adjustments or adjustable objectives, I see that as impractical in the field as well. Been there, done that, fine for punching paper but it sucks for hunting! I have the rig I want. An accurate, flat shooting, low recoil, hard hitting hunting rifle with 24" tube, bipod, 3-9X mil dot scope. Very capable of exceeding 300 yds ethically. Time to get some trigger time and see just how far I will be comfortable with it.
 
Posts: 9610 | Location: Tooele, Ut | Registered: 27 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Charlie64
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.

Wstrnhuntr - what caliber is that rifle that you describe in the last post ? Out of interest.

.


"Up the ladders and down the snakes!"
 
Posts: 1491 | Location: South Africa & Europe | Registered: 10 February 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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many also forget that distances seem a lot further than they really are in the field.
a snap judgment on distance is generally waay over estimated.

it isn't easy to look across open space and figure in foot ball fields with any kind of accuracy.

just being on the range and looking at 100-200-300 yard targets of the same size will let you get a good feel for how far it really is.

my deer this fall was across one hill side to the other.
I eyeballed the shot to be close to 325 yds.
the range finder showed 286 to the closest bush to [in front of] the deer.
as soon as I put the 12 power scope on him it didn't look even that far.
I was off almost 30 yards.
at 500 that could have been 50 or more causing a miss high or low.
 
Posts: 3018 | Location: soda springs,id | Registered: 02 April 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamar:

I was off almost 30 yards.
at 500 that could have been 50 or more causing a miss high or low.


Actually 30 yards error at 500 would be enough to cause the majority of your shots to be high or low, even with a 180 gr Nos AB at 3250.

At 500, there is zero tolerance for range estimation error.


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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Picture of Tyler Kemp
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As others have said, practice.

And to be honest, if you practice to 700, 500 will be cake. Most importantly you're going to need a positive way to hold or dial, no guessing with standard crosshairs.

Also, know when it's ethical. Windy conditions and 500 yard shots on game don't add up to a good time. Check the wind at the target too, it's not always blowing the same direction or speed.


Love shooting precision and long range. Big bores too!

Recent college grad, started a company called MK Machining where I'm developing a bullpup rifle chassis system.

 
Posts: 2596 | Location: Missouri | Registered: 29 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dialing is way more accurate then hold overs
 
Posts: 225 | Location: North Texas | Registered: 08 May 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Mike_Dettorre
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1) Use a range finder

2) Have either dial turrets or a reticle with lower hash marks or mildots, no what your actual yardages are for those marks/dots given your load

3) use a rest for the rear of the stock - jacket for prone, bipod buddy for sitting, or second sticks for standing

4) a bullet with a BC @ 450 or greater, velocity north of 2800

5) have a stock chart as a quick reference for both windage and elevation

6) know what a 10 vs 15 mph wind feels like

7) practice


Mike



What I have learned on AR, since 2001:
1. The proper answer to: Where is the best place in town to get a steak dinner? is…You should go to Mel's Diner and get the fried chicken.
2. Big game animals can tell the difference between .015 of an inch in diameter, 15 grains of bullet weight, and 150 fps.
3. There is a difference in the performance of two identical projectiles launched at the same velocity if they came from different cartridges.
4. While a double rifle is the perfect DGR, every 375HH bolt gun needs to be modified to carry at least 5 down.
5. While a floor plate and detachable box magazine both use a mechanical latch, only the floor plate latch is reliable. Disregard the fact that every modern military rifle uses a detachable box magazine.
6. The Remington 700 is unreliable regardless of the fact it is the basis of the USMC M40 sniper rifle for 40+ years with no changes to the receiver or extractor and is the choice of more military and law enforcement sniper units than any other rifle.
7. PF actions are not suitable for a DGR and it is irrelevant that the M1, M14, M16, & AK47 which were designed for hunting men that can shoot back are all PF actions.
8. 95 deg F in Africa is different than 95 deg F in TX or CA and that is why you must worry about ammunition temperature in Africa (even though most safaris take place in winter) but not in TX or in CA.
9. The size of a ding in a gun's finish doesn't matter, what matters is whether it’s a safe ding or not.
10. 1 in a row is a trend, 2 in a row is statistically significant, and 3 in a row is an irrefutable fact.
11. Never buy a WSM or RCM cartridge for a safari rifle or your go to rifle in the USA because if they lose your ammo you can't find replacement ammo but don't worry 280 Rem, 338-06, 35 Whelen, and all Weatherby cartridges abound in Africa and back country stores.
12. A well hit animal can run 75 yds. in the open and suddenly drop with no initial blood trail, but the one I shot from 100 yds. away that ran 10 yds. and disappeared into a thicket and was not found was lost because the bullet penciled thru. I am 100% certain of this even though I have no physical evidence.
13. A 300 Win Mag is a 500 yard elk cartridge but a 308 Win is not a 300 yard elk cartridge even though the same bullet is travelling at the same velocity at those respective distances.
 
Posts: 9238 | Location: Loving retirement in Boise, ID | Registered: 16 December 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Wstrnhuntr
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quote:
Originally posted by Charlie64:
.

Wstrnhuntr - what caliber is that rifle that you describe in the last post ? Out of interest.

.


280 Remington.
 
Posts: 9610 | Location: Tooele, Ut | Registered: 27 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I agree with what has been emphasized by prior posters. And keep records of every shot--one's memory can easily "forget" or discount those several shots it took to get the first hit.

I had an opportunity to shoot at the CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega, AL recently. The drill is that newcomers need to qualify at 100 yd. before getting on the 2-600 yd. range. My first shot was an "x"; I was allowed to move on. 200 and 300 shots were all in the "10" and "x" rings, even when the wind started to pick up. I took pictures of the screen with my phone. When I moved to 600 yd., the wind had picked up considerably and was gusting and letting off. Needless to say, I didn't keep them in the "10" ring, and my shooting confirmed to me that my accurate range at game is likely in the 3-400 yd. range.
 
Posts: 269 | Location: Hill Country, TX | Registered: 26 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Buglemintoday
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Weather is getting nice in my neck of the U.S..went to the range over the weekend. Had the LabRadar out and really enjoyed messing with it. Still a little bit more learning to do as a few times I did not get a reading...but I had 20mph winds and I think I had an issue either aiming it or arming it.

Painted the 300y gong and shot the 7mm STW with 160gr Sierra Game King. G1 Coefficient = 0.455. Sighted the rifle in 2" high at 100y and started swinging the steel gong. Was able to keep my shots inside 4" at 300 pretty easily. I was happy. I wanted to shoot to 500y but had a few range members camped out on that range and I didn't want to wait.

LabRadar showed the 160gr moving at 3,380fps. I was excited. The aftermarket barrel cleans up very nicely. Much easier than the factory barrel would have been.

Going to try to get out there during the week and shoot some more when less people are out there. I have a Bergara in 6.5 Creedmoor that I set up for long distance and I want to see how it does.

Both the 300 RUM and STW were a lot of fun hitting the steel. Tried the Nikon Spot-On calculator when I got home with the LabRadar data and now want to get back out there and try the BDC reticle out at a further distance. Need to start planning an Aoudad hunt...
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Buglemintoday:
Weather is getting nice in my neck of the U.S..went to the range over the weekend. Had the LabRadar out and really enjoyed messing with it. Still a little bit more learning to do as a few times I did not get a reading...but I had 20mph winds and I think I had an issue either aiming it or arming it.

Painted the 300y gong and shot the 7mm STW with 160gr Sierra Game King. G1 Coefficient = 0.455. Sighted the rifle in 2" high at 100y and started swinging the steel gong. Was able to keep my shots inside 4" at 300 pretty easily. I was happy. I wanted to shoot to 500y but had a few range members camped out on that range and I didn't want to wait.

LabRadar showed the 160gr moving at 3,380fps. I was excited. The aftermarket barrel cleans up very nicely. Much easier than the factory barrel would have been.

Going to try to get out there during the week and shoot some more when less people are out there. I have a Bergara in 6.5 Creedmoor that I set up for long distance and I want to see how it does.

Both the 300 RUM and STW were a lot of fun hitting the steel. Tried the Nikon Spot-On calculator when I got home with the LabRadar data and now want to get back out there and try the BDC reticle out at a further distance. Need to start planning an Aoudad hunt...


Try taking the tube from a ballpoint pen or a straw and placing it in the groove on the LR; use that to "aim" the LR at your target, and you will see a lot less failure to register. Also, if it says failed to register, hit the check mark button anyway and you will often see it did pick up the initial velocity.


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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Lots of great advice already given.

I'll echo what other have said: Nothing beats proper practice, nothing beats a good rest (one you'll use while hunting), nothing beats knowing your limits, NOTHING BEATS KNOWING WHEN NOT TO SHOOT!

Keep up the good work,

Zeke
 
Posts: 1357 | Registered: 27 October 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Buglemintoday
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Thanks AZ for the hint on the LR...I'll give that a try.

Rain is in the forecast the next few days, hopefully it clears up by Thursday or so.
 
Posts: 2884 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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