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#6470701 - 09/27/16 12:43 PM A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11272
Please provide a little insight for the rest of us.

How did you become proficient at making long range shots, and what do you do, if anything, to stay proficient?

For example, did you make any improvements to your rifle, invest in a better scope and/or equipment needed to make ballastic adjustments, just to name a few? And how often do you practice at making long range shots?

Thanks in advance.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6470724 - 09/27/16 12:58 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
Dave3575 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 1020
Loc: Plano, TX
a gun capable of the shot (i'm not going to get into that since those threads turn into trainwrecks) with great optics and a good ballistic solver to help you generate your dope... when you start shooting longer distances things like the DA matter, being within +/- a few mph on the wind matters, know how the wind is reading in the first 3rd, 2nd 3rd and last 3rd of your flight path is important.... but it all boins down to practice.

velocity is consistent
your BC is known
gravity is consistent


Do some math (or use a ballistic solver like a Kestrel with AB) and all that's really left is the external forces (wind, spin drift) and how those forces cause a change in trajectory. for example a crosswind from 3 to 9 will not only cause horizontal wind deflection but it will also cause vertical deflection.. up or down depends on the barrel twist. the longer you go the more impact some of these things have. it all comes down to practice and making sure each round you send tells you a story and you learn from it. otherwise your just lobbing lead.

Here is a video of a 338 norma shot a some distance.
http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5989315/Wyoming_Elk_Hunt_and_338_Norma

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#6470742 - 09/27/16 01:07 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Dave3575]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11272
Originally Posted By: Dave3575
a gun capable of the shot (i'm not going to get into that since those threads turn into trainwrecks) with great optics and a good ballistic solver to help you generate your dope... when you start shooting longer distances things like the DA matter, being within +/- a few mph on the wind matters, know how the wind is reading in the first 3rd, 2nd 3rd and last 3rd of your flight path is important.... but it all boins down to practice.

velocity is consistent
your BC is known
gravity is consistent


Do some math (or use a ballistic solver like a Kestrel with AB) and all that's really left is the external forces (wind, spin drift) and how those forces cause a change in trajectory. for example a crosswind from 3 to 9 will not only cause horizontal wind deflection but it will also cause vertical deflection.. up or down depends on the barrel twist. the longer you go the more impact some of these things have. it all comes down to practice and making sure each round you send tells you a story and you learn from it. otherwise your just lobbing lead.

Here is a video of a 338 norma shot a some distance.
http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/5989315/Wyoming_Elk_Hunt_and_338_Norma


Thanks for the reply.

This leads one to believe that trying to make a 400 or 500 yard shot with only a common rifle and scope and no other assistance is sheer foolishness.

At what distance should the hunter recognize that wind or other factors must be taken into consideration? Granted, this is probably different for different calibers, but even knowing those differences would appear necessary.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6470745 - 09/27/16 01:13 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
1st- Practice with good gear that works! Good gear meaning a good 3 part "system"- good rifle, scope and ammo. I see often guys try to turn a low end $200 bolt gun into a 1K yard rifle with low end ammo. Not a good start. Also, long range to me is anything 600 yards and further. To some people, 300 yards is a long shot. When someone says long range, I immediately think beyond 600 yards.

You can have a decent rifle, and upgrade your scope for better glass you can dial with in moa or mils, and be on your way to having a decent rifle and scope set up. After the rifle and scope, comes the ammo. 308 Win has some good match grade ammo on the market that should shoot well. But if you have a 270 Win, and want to use 130 grain Rem Core Lokt, it may not be the best choice for long range shooting. Low BC (more drop and more wind drift), very high extreme spreads in velocity, lower quality bullets. But, take a custom hand load in 270 Win tuned with a Berger VLD, and you may be on to something with a 270 Win. I learned to shoot long range with a 270 Win, and then upgraded to a Sako TRG 42 in 300 Win Mag as my long range and competition rifle for years. The 300 Win Mag is still my favorite caliber to shoot. Now days, a 6.5 Creedmoor is a great choice for low recoil, higher speeds, high BC bullets, and good ammo, as well as 7mm-08 and 308 Win.

To get proficient at anything, you have to practice. Practice is shooting at longer ranges and learning how dial and to hold for wind. Most shooters can dial for elevation, but often miss due to a bad wind call, or not trying to call the wind. I try to call my wind within 1 mph and figure out the correct wind angle. This allows for more first round hits, instead of shooting a spotter round and adjusting for your second round. I usually go to an 800 yard range once a week. I try to take a personal rifle to play with, but often just shoot customers' rifles instead. I shoot my 308 Win with my 168 A-max BULK ammo more than anything. It shoots good, is consistent for bulk ammo, and is cheaper to shoot.
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#6470746 - 09/27/16 01:13 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
Dave3575 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 1020
Loc: Plano, TX
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan

This leads one to believe that trying to make a 400 or 500 yard shot with only a common rifle and scope and no other assistance is sheer foolishness.

At what distance should the hunter recognize that wind or other factors must be taken into consideration? Granted, this is probably different for different calibers, but even knowing those differences would appear necessary.


Nothing is foolish, you just need to see what your equipment and you are both capable of. As to your second question it's all about bullet weight, BC and velocity...

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#6470757 - 09/27/16 01:19 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan
At what distance should the hunter recognize that wind or other factors must be taken into consideration? Granted, this is probably different for different calibers, but even knowing those differences would appear necessary.


That's always up to the shooter. I taught a good friend of mine how to kill a hog at his 320 yard feeder with my ammo in 270 Win by using his standard duplex reticle and holding over at a certain spot on the reticle. Once we practiced it at the range, he killed several pigs at that feeder with one shot each. Before that, he was guessing his hold over and would miss, often high.
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www.DallasReloads.com
Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

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#6470781 - 09/27/16 01:39 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
LandPirate Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 10919
Loc: Buda
I mainly learned rifle skills when I was sent to various sniper and marksmanship schools as part of my role as sniper on my SWAT unit. I was always decent with a rifle but never had the confidence to push shots out to 400 or 500 yards until I went to these schools. Once I learned what it took and what was needed, I felt the confidence. Now I routinely shoot to 600-ish yards frequently. For hunting purposes I will not shoot beyond 500 yards, unless it's a coyote, hog or javelina. My longest shot on a deer was 408 yards from a very stable, elevated platform. And it happened to be on my personal biggest buck to date. Because of my practice and consistency, I felt very comfortable and confident in taking that shot.

Don't scrimp on scopes, ammo or rifle. Buy nothing but the best. You have to know your ballistics. You have to know the distance exactly. And then you have to practice, practice, practice. Once you feel accomplished and confident at a given range, push it beyond until you become confident at the new distance...continue and repeat. You'll get there.
_________________________
Mike
Buda, Tx
Hunt near Freer

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#6470840 - 09/27/16 02:11 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
Creedmoor Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Originally Posted By: Texas Dan


This leads one to believe that trying to make a 400 or 500 yard shot with only a common rifle and scope and no other assistance is sheer foolishness.


NO !!!! It's anything BUT foolish.

Before I go farther, I'll say this: There are folks out there that couldn't make a 500 yard shot with a competition rifle and handloads. They just aren't good shooters. I've seen it. Guys come to some of our shoots that thought they could "buy" the competition. But their personal skills wouldn't allow it.

The great philosopher Clint Eastwood once said ..... "A man has to know his limitations".

So you have to ask yourself ..... Am I personally capable of making shots at those distances? Is your cheek weld, trigger manipulation, and technique consistent? If not, you can forget it.

If you have the time and range available, and can be taught (or teach yourself) how to shoot properly it is not as difficult as you may think. You'll need a gun that is capable of the required accuracy, of course. And you'll need consistent ammunition. Unfortunately, factory ammunition can be woefully inconsistent. If you can handload it will dramatically increase your odds. Quality glass is obviously required, and that doesn't necessarily mean expensive. I can routinely hit a 12" plate at 500 yards with a Tikka rifle that is stock off the shelf and wears a $400 Nikon scope. Caliber comes into play also, but that doesn't mean BIG. I shoot a 6.5 Creedmoor as well as a 7mm-08. The bullets are "long for caliber" and have very high ballistic coefficients. This makes a difference in trajectory control and the amount of wind drift.

Also remember that there is a huge difference between shooting off a bench with a rest vs sitting on the ground and using a set of shooting sticks or your backpack for support.

There are many books on the market about long range shooting. Amazon is loaded with them. If you have a Kindle you can download several for less than $20. Do some research, read a lot, and ask a lot of questions BEFORE you start.

Do you already own a gun/scope combination that you are considering using?
_________________________
.
There's a fine line between BRAVE ... and STUPID.


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#6470894 - 09/27/16 02:47 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Creedmoor]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11272
Originally Posted By: Creedmoor
Do you already own a gun/scope combination that you are considering using?


No, my shooting skills will ever take me to the level where shots require any holdover or ballastic compensation.

I just appreciate being aware of the knowledge and skill that it takes to get to that level of shooting performance. But I'm sure there are others here who might like to take on the challenge.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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#6470942 - 09/27/16 03:19 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
skinnerback Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
I'm not a very competitive person. I've never entered a hunting or fishing tournament, or a shooting match.....until now. I'm planning on entering my first long range rifle competition next month with a few huntin' buddies, AR Class. Not sure if I'm entering in the 223 or 30 cal class yet, targets up to 800 yrds. I'm an avid shooter, and consider myself a pretty good shot but have ZERO long range experience. Have a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. I'm just doing this for fun, and something I've always wanted to do. This otta be interesting. roflmao Something tells me that I may get hooked on this though. grin
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#6470972 - 09/27/16 03:50 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: skinnerback]
Creedmoor Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
800 yards with a 223 is TOUGH. It can be done, because I know several who do it. But that's WAY out of my talent pool.

DAN, your shooting skills can be honed if you want to work at it. If you have a rifle capable of MOA accuracy with a good trigger you can go out and have a ton of fun with it. As long as your scope has enough power so as to not handicap you it's something you should try. If you aren't interested in competition or taking game at long distance you can still enjoy the challenge.

I'm a perfectionist (sometimes to a fault) and I want my firearms to be as accurate as possible within reason and what personal economics will allow. I'm picky with my hand loads and go to pains that a lot of folks wouldn't see as necessary. It's a hobby that I enjoy. My wife says I'm obsessed with it, and she's probably correct to some degree. Get out there and shoot at longer ranges. It's fun.
_________________________
.
There's a fine line between BRAVE ... and STUPID.


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#6470988 - 09/27/16 04:01 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Creedmoor]
skinnerback Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
Originally Posted By: Creedmoor
800 yards with a 223 is TOUGH. It can be done, because I know several who do it. But that's WAY out of my talent pool.


Yessr, and to make things even tougher I'm told several of the longest range targets have a thick brush background so you can't see bullet impact to correct. My buddy entered this match last year and took 1'st in the 30 cal class, (shooting 7.62 X 39), but he used to shoot comp back in the day and has some knowledge. My other buddy entered 223 class (first comp/green horn) and took 2'nd. I was told there were LOTTTTS of misses. roflmao I'm about to get a crash course.
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#6470993 - 09/27/16 04:03 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
Creedmoor Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 695
Loc: Soon to be Hudson Oaks
Just remember to have fun. It's healthy to laugh at yourself sometimes.
_________________________
.
There's a fine line between BRAVE ... and STUPID.


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#6470998 - 09/27/16 04:05 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Texas Dan]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Here's a video of us having fun at the range. The challenge was to get one round on target from 200-700 yards without dialing or touching the scope. We video'd my first attempt, and made all my hits out to 700 without dialing. These are the games we like to play. Rifle was 308 Win shooting my 168 A-max bulk ammo.

here
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www.DallasReloads.com
Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

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#6470999 - 09/27/16 04:05 PM Re: A question for those who consider themselves proficient at long range shots [Re: Creedmoor]
skinnerback Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 10697
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
Originally Posted By: Creedmoor
Just remember to have fun. It's healthy to laugh at yourself sometimes.


That's what it's all about to me, I laugh at myself all the time. grin
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