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shots out to 400 yards

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 22:28
muleymaddness View Drop Down
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On shots at deer out to 400 yards, what is your opinion, and experience with using some sort of ballistic reticle or not.  I figured you could zero the rifle at 200 and be okay, but you'd still have some hold over at 400.  And what if your a bit nervous and or out of breath and your cross hairs are not 100% steady - would it be easier to try and use a hold over dot / ballistic reticle or regular cross hairs.  Personally, I think the ballistic reticle would be the best under ideal situations, but what about real experiences?  Is the ballistic reticle advantageous on shots from 100-400 yards in hunting situations?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 23:30
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You really need some kind of reference to make consistent shots like that.  Kentucky windage will never be consistent.

Dialing in or a hold over reticle is really the best way to get good hits once you are past your point blank range.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 23:34
Rich Coyle View Drop Down
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Originally posted by muleymaddness muleymaddness wrote:

and experience -400 yards in hunting situations?
 
400 is a long way for the vast majority of hunters.  Too far.  You need lots of practice and learn to dial the elevation for distance.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/27/2010 at 23:53
trigger29 View Drop Down
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X = 180 Y = 90 (X+Pyro)+(Y-Pyro) = ?

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I think if you put your time in, and learn your equipment, they work great. I use a rapid- z800 for targets out to 800 yards, then limit myself to 500 on game. But you can't just buy a ballistic reticle, and think you can shoot 400 yards either. You'll have to practice at the ranges you intend to shoot.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 01:20
Ernie Bishop View Drop Down
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Originally posted by muleymaddness muleymaddness wrote:

On shots at deer out to 400 yards, what is your opinion, and experience with using some sort of ballistic reticle or not.  I figured you could zero the rifle at 200 and be okay, but you'd still have some hold over at 400.  And what if your a bit nervous and or out of breath and your cross hairs are not 100% steady - would it be easier to try and use a hold over dot / ballistic reticle or regular cross hairs.  Personally, I think the ballistic reticle would be the best under ideal situations, but what about real experiences?  Is the ballistic reticle advantageous on shots from 100-400 yards in hunting situations?


MM,
What cartridge and load are you using?

My early LR hunting was all done with ballistic reticle (Burris Ballistic Plex).
Now, I either dial or use a MOA reticle (Holland's ART or Vortex's MOA reticle).
I do have a couple of scopes with MIL reticles, but prefer the MOA over MILs.

I prefer using the MOA reticles over dialing as it keeps you from rotational errors that are common to dialing.
You can and will make mistakes using reticles as well, but the one I use the most has the MOA internally listed (etched glass reticle) every 3 MOA.
The point is you need to be using it enough in field conditions to get used to it and make some of the mistakes while practicing, instead of taking a new system into the field hunting.

After load development, chronographing, zeroing, I confirm the drops to make sure they match Exbal. 
This needs to be done from field positions. 
In fact, once you get your load developed/chronoed and your scope zeroed, you should stay off of the bench and do your practicing from field positions.
Get a wind meter, and practice in nasty wind conditions.
I typically shoot prone with a Harris BR bi-pod (swivel with pod-lok that has notched legs).
If I need more height, I shoot over my pack.  if, even more, I pull out my shooting sticks.
If, I know I am going to be in high cover, I can bring a tri-pod and use "The Claw."
My point is, that you need to be real steady to ensure good shot placement.

Once you learn your system (whatever it is), then up your game by getting your heart rate up (135-150), and then set-up and see how accurate you are.  Put your self under some time pressure for a quick shot and notice how quickly accuracy changes.
In other words, learn your limitations. 
You may surprise yourself and do better than you think or you may be humbled by your shooting.
You max distance under ideal conditions may be shorter or further than 400 yards.
Regardless of the outcome, you will have starting point to build from.

The past two hunting seasons I have taken big game at 420 yards, 496 yards, 600 yards, and 1037 yards.  The 420 and 1037 were antelope, and the other two distances were Muley bucks.
I dialed for two of them and used the Holland's ART reticle for the other two.
7mm WSM, 6.5-284, and 6.5 Leopard (WSM) were the cartridges I used. 
Bullets were Berger and A-Max.  Optics was Leupold and NF.
I am lucky since I live close to a private range that has steel every 100 yards from 200-1200 yards.
Confirming and reconfirming my drops in different conditions will give you a lot of confidence and sometimes humility when practicing.
Ernie
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 07:51
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope
Mil-Dot SWFA SS 3-9x42 Tactical Riflescope
Stock # - SS39X42
  • Matte
  • First Focal Plane Mil-Dot
  • 30mm
  • OK for .50 cal
  • 0.1 MRAD
$599.95
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 08:36
muleymaddness View Drop Down
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Thanks for the tips so far.  There are some good comments made.  I agree with the practice and it is no intention of mine to not do so, it's only fair to the game.   To add, I currently have a ballistic style reticle that I've practiced from quite a bit.  What made me start thinking is the last time I was practicing.  I'm great out to 400+ yards shooting prone laying down over a backpack.   But yesterday, I was shooting off sticks at 200 and my cross hairs bounced around pretty good.  So good that it wouldn't have made a difference if I was using line 2 or line 4, the scope was moving too much.  That's when I asked the question, are these reticles going to be useful in hunting conditions.  I guess the answer would be yes, as long as I can get prone over a backpack.  Otherwise (off of sticks), no, for me, they wouldn't any my effective range would be much less than the reticles are good for. 
 
Where I hunt, and where I plan to hunt again, majority of shots are going to be off sticks.  The sage brush is just too high to get prone in most places.  So as I type this, I think I've come to the conclusion - I need to practice off sticks and sticks only! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 09:11
SouthernStar View Drop Down
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A leupold VX-3 wit hCDS is easy, zero rifle, tell leupold about bullet and velocity, they send you a dial, turn the dial to "4" and aim dead on
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 09:45
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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the bigger problem is what is the distance?? Its a two edge sword-- the more exact your method of shot placement -- the more the exact distance must be known. When talking about shooting 500 yds plus, the conversation usually assumes a whole bunch of stuff about each of the readers/shooters ability, equipment up to the task etc. It just ain't so. Bullet drop is nothing, hold off is everything.
Shooting off sticks is just below using a sling. In both cases the wind will affect you more than the bullet. Best to use the brush to get as close as you can.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 10:14
jonoMT View Drop Down
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Either walk 50-100 yards closer so you can use a simple scope with a max. PBR zero. (Much cheaper, less worry about wind). Or be prepared to cast aside all this BDC BS and make the investment in time, money and equipment to become capable of making long distance shots. I enjoy pursuing the latter (most of the time) but it's a commitment. (And half of us pursuing it should be committed).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 11:16
Rancid Coolaid View Drop Down
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Originally posted by muleymaddness muleymaddness wrote:

I figured you could zero the rifle at 200 and be okay, but you'd still have some hold over at 400.


With that statement alone, I recommend against any shot over 200 yards.

Never take a shot on game at a range for which you do not have a reliable and real-world zero.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 11:19
muleymaddness View Drop Down
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Rancid Coolaid - I think you took my comment incorrectly.  What I meant was, you could zero the scope at 200 and the drop wouldn't be too bad at 300.  400 and you'd be having a hold over over the animal.  Apparently you didn't read all the posts where I said that I did practice, and do know what my bullet does out to 400.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 11:54
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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RC is just saying that the probability of a good hit increases exponentially with distance and not linearaly.
edit to say decreases-- still working off the Scotch.

Edited by Dale Clifford - November/28/2010 at 16:34
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/28/2010 at 12:46
Ernie Bishop View Drop Down
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Here is the Claw I spoke about:
This is a rest system that allows you to be accurate at distance and not be prone.
http://www.thegunclaw.com/how.html
I have used this in a tactical match and on rocks at distance.
http://www.thegunclaw.com/how.html
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