For northeast hunting, I prefer a lower power, such as my VX III 2 x 8 40mm and VXII in 3x9, but I could not resist thinking that someday a long range hunt will come knocking at my door. The turret on the 4x14 has hand adjust windage and elevation that you can see, hear the ¼ MOA clicks, and feel.
F Class target where my bullet holes were taped for a second shooter.
So having such good luck at the bench at 100 yards, I took nearly 20 hand loaded rounds to a local Fish and Game Club’s 600 yard range to give it a long range test, and turned the elevation dial up 59 clicks. I used a ballistics calculator to determine how many up clicks and predict the effect of wind, elevation and temperature.
Removing the wind from the equation, the Leupold, Ruger, and Nosler AccuBond combination gave me excellent groups. The first group measured 31/8 inch vertically from AccuBond to AccuBond for 8 rounds and the second group measured 31/2 inches vertically from bullet to bullet for 6 shots with one flyer in the bunch. In group 2 I also waited for wind lulls. A 7 mph wind can blow a bullet 22 inches at 600 yards.
Laterally my shots for the most part stayed in a 6 to 12 inch lateral spread. With 14 power, I could see the x-ring on an F Class Long Range Target! The delivered energy to the target was 1500 ft-lb, good energy for elk, deer or black bear. Note: I used Simms Limbsaver anti-muzzle-jump recoil pads and shoulder pads to keep my shoulder from harm. It worked like a charm. I do not recommend shooting game at that distance unless you are well practiced and know from experience what the wind will do to your bullet. Any cross wind above 10 mph will make your shot extremely difficult. When shooting at game I have never had to shoot more than 275 yards thus far. But if you are on a mule deer or pronghorn hunt, expect as much as 400 yards or so and you will be prepared. A rangefinder is just the ticket to get your distances too. Good Hunting!
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