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Long range shooting advice

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 13:30
dw0229 View Drop Down
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I am new to long range shooting for deer. I typically have set up for 10 to 100 yd. shots. But am now looking at up to 500 yds. I know that scopes have come a long way these days in regard to long range shots. Do I simply need a ballistic reticle ? or is there more to it than that ? I hear of apps for reticles. Also what power range ? 308 caliber or 7mm-08. Would like to be under $500.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 14:17
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First and foremost, what is your marksmanship ability? Do you shoot at the range at 500 yards? Can you, consistently and under adverse conditions, hit a target the size of deer vitals at that range? If the answe is "no", you are going to cause an animal to suffer and die very poorly, and do so purely for the sake of your amusement.

I very seldom advocate long shots. I have seen things go very, very badly because someone's confidence far exceeded their ability, and an animal pays dearly for that.

Am happy to help, want to be sure all cards are on the proverbial table at the beginning.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 14:24
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Well stated, RC. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 18:43
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Definitely what RC said.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 19:08
dw0229 View Drop Down
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I don't have the equipment to shoot long ranges other than the rifle. I would assume I need to be equipped as a prerequisite to shooting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 19:27
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Originally posted by dw0229 dw0229 wrote:

I don't have the equipment to shoot long ranges other than the rifle. I would assume I need to be equipped as a prerequisite to shooting.

This forum and it's members historically/typically aren't fans of long distance shots on big game animals.
500 yards is a LONG shot on an animal that you could potentially sentence to a long, slow death from an errant shot. And for what?? 

You ask for advise? Use your stalking skills to get as close as you need to to make a reasonable/ethical shot on an animal. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 19:27
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This is not trial and error in the deer woods. I must prove my self before any attempts at animals would be made. But there has to be a starting .point
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 19:37
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Assuming you will do your homework and do plenty of practice before you tackle shooting a deer at 500 yards (not a practice I generally recommend, but to each his own), here are some suggestions.

1) Time of flight is a big deal for a situation like this and so are trajectory flatness and energy.  While both 308 and 7-08 will do, I would consider a gun with a bit more pop.  7mm Rem Mag for example or 7mm WSM or 300 WinMag, etc.

2) Within 500 yards, with modern scopes I would lean toward using the reticle.  It is ultimately a faster way of doing and 500 yards is not that far.  A well designed "Christmas Tree" style reticle in a FFP scope is your best bet.  

However, such a thing does not exist in a $500 price range. If you can stretch your price range a bit, consider Bushnell Long Range Hunter 3-12x44 which runs right around $1k.  It has a reticle well suited for what you want to do.  An alternative would be to use one of the Burris Eliminator III scopes which have a built in laser range finder, so it can help you with range estimation.  It also retails for more than $1k, however.

If you absolutely can not stretch your budget, that you shoudl be looking for the least expensive quality FFP scope with a ranging reticle, which happens to be SWFA SS 3-9x42 with Mil-Quad.  With this scope you can either use the reticle for holdover when the wind is not too significant, or to dial elevation and hold for wind using the mrad-scale.

With a reasonably flat shooting cartridge your wind holds will likely stay within 1.5mrad at 500 yards and if the wind is sufficiently strong to require larger wind  compensation, I suggest you do not take the shot and get closer.  Wind is tricky.

ILya


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 21:13
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There is no substitute for trigger time. Magnums aren't necessary for southern deer as a 243 with 105 AMAX's will flatten the schitt outta them. Another suggestion regarding round selection is that as recoil goes up.....trigger time goes down. Shooting several hundred rounds behind most anything magnum gets old real quick. The 260 Remington is another great round for LR hunting with tons of high BC bullets available.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/24/2015 at 21:36
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I feel I'm fine on the choice of a 308 or 7mm-08. They both have good ballistics. I need practical scope advice. The more simple the better.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2015 at 09:21
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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Take a look at the SWFA SS 3-9 w/ a mil dot reticle. The less clutter the better for someone starting off, IMO. Depending on your sight in range or PBR hold, a mil dot is simple to use.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2015 at 15:29
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Thanks Roy. I will look into that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2015 at 16:59
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The reason I am posting this is to give you an idea about different ways to skin a cat. This guy can be a menace but he absolutely knows his stuff about LR shooting. Here he is using a bone stock Kimber Montana in 7 WSM with a fixed 6X duplex Leupold scope. Point being twisting turrets is another option using a drop chart.

Barrel break in
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2015 at 17:21
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Never gets old watching his stuff. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/25/2015 at 17:30
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My favorite line......Harmonic barrel oscillations.....
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2015 at 23:32
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7mm08 is a better caliber than .308 imo because of lower recoil and better external ballistics and it would be fine for deer up to ~500 yds. You can often stalk an animal to get much closer, but to have the capability to shoot beyond where 95% of your shots will normally be taken and be well aware of your limits is a good goal to have as a hunter imo. 
To answer your question, there is more to it than just getting a ballistic reticle, but something like a Zeiss conquest with rapid Z600 would match well with a 7mm08. So would a Leupold LR duplex. You need to take the time to understand and test and verify your rifle's ballistics. Honestly I don't think you need a FFP scope for only hunting within 10-500 yds. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/28/2015 at 23:35
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Agreed on the 7-08. Very sleek bullets available for the 7mm.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2015 at 10:00
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

Originally posted by dw0229 dw0229 wrote:

I don't have the equipment to shoot long ranges other than the rifle. I would assume I need to be equipped as a prerequisite to shooting.

This forum and it's members historically/typically aren't fans of long distance shots on big game animals.
500 yards is a LONG shot on an animal that you could potentially sentence to a long, slow death from an errant shot. And for what?? 

You ask for advise? Use your stalking skills to get as close as you need to to make a reasonable/ethical shot on an animal. 

Respectfully submitted. 

I agree completely. I have a little rangefinder with which I've measured distance to various points visible from my yard. One of those objects is a little shed on a neighbors place and the wall is exactly 291 yards from a fixed point, every time I've ever measured it. There are other objects at known 400+ and 500+ yard distances.
Most of my hunting rifles will easily make a 300 yard shot without any sort of holdover and 300 yards isn't considered by many people to be a long range shot.
The point I'm making is this: I look at that shed wall every now and then, to remind me just exactly how far away an object is at 300 yards and what I would have to do to make a shot at that distance. The 536 yard object? Hmmm...
Many factory hunting rifles are advertised to shoot 1.5" groups at 100 yards, if the shooter does his part. It takes a great deal of developed skill to make one of those rifles shoot a 1.5" group. That same rifle at 500 yards would be shooting somewhere within a 7.5" circle, with a perfect shot by the rifleman, without allowing for wind, elevation, or the animal's movement.
I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, just musing about shooting at distance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2015 at 13:51
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Beautifully stated, my friend. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/29/2015 at 18:27
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

First and foremost, what is your marksmanship ability? Do you shoot at the range at 500 yards? Can you, consistently and under adverse conditions, hit a target the size of deer vitals at that range? If the answer is "no", you are going to cause an animal to suffer and die very poorly, and do so purely for the sake of your amusement.

I very seldom advocate long shots. I have seen things go very, very badly because someone's confidence far exceeded their ability, and an animal pays dearly for that.

Am happy to help, want to be sure all cards are on the proverbial table at the beginning.


Rancid Coolaid, My hat is off to you SIR, for respecting and teach others to respect our wild life. 
Too many wanted be idiot long range shooter out there.

Thank You Sir.




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2015 at 02:24
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Out of ignorance I have taken a few long shots in my day. That is past 350yds. Fortunately I either missed completely or downed the buck.
My rifle was a standard hunting rifle and scope, with the 1 or 1,5 MOA accuracy.
 
With what I know today I would never attempt those same shots with a standard hunting rifle. I own a very accurate target rifle and I know its ballistics very well etc. This accurate rifle has taught me a few lessons about my own capabilities, the effect that wind has on a bullet etc. I also now know how difficult it is to make a first shot hit beyond 350yds never mind 600 yds. So throw into this mix an inaccurate rifle and the long shot becomes impossible. Yes, a 1 or 2 MOA rifle is inaccurate in the long range game.
 
So bottom line, unless I am within my rifles capabilities range, I will not take that shot.


Edited by 8shots - June/30/2015 at 02:37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2015 at 07:23
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To be well aware of one's limits comes with extensive target shooting and being honest with yourself about you and your rifle. For some, 200 yds on a windless day is an irresponsible shot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: June/30/2015 at 20:57
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Think I would go with a used Zeiss Conquest from Samplelist. I prefer a scope that has a max power in the 14 to 16 ranifge to go higher you give up too much on the low end. The Rapid Z800 is a great reticle and the on line balistic calculator helps but one has to verify what you get on a known distance range. Wind can be a big factor at long range. Important to realize that with second focal plane scopes the balistic reticle always appears the same size while field of view appears wide at low power and narrows at higher power. So your. Zero distance say 200 yds would be true at 4x or 10x or 14x at any power. But the reticle marks will show correct hold over at only one specific power. For my rifle its 10x. The second way to go is a FFP scope like A 3-9 SS with custom engraved knobs from Kenton Ind. This is true at every power with First Focal Plane scopes.
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