My biggest problem was a lack of rear sand bag. Due to the fact I was seriously over the airlines weight allowance I purposely left out a rear bag intending to purchase one from the local sports store. Unfortunately none were available so I used a rolled up piece of material. This allowed a small amount of “bounce” as I experienced approximately .25 MOA extra elevation divergence from that observed on the “F” class ranges in Australia.
My testing for accuracy and come ups was carried out at the local big bore range. This factor caused me the greatest grief as all misses were in elevation – either just over or just under the rabbit engaged.
Remember that a rabbit body at 1000 yards is approximately .25 MOA. To shoot a .25 MOA group at 100 yards is no great thing with the quality of rifles; barrels and projectiles these days. To shoot .25 MOA at 1000 yards is entirely another ballpark!! I would say that the majority of shots fired on this day were in a 5 – 6” group. Not small enough to hit regularly. Earlier testing had shown consistent .25 MOA 3 shot groups out to 800 yards.
A Harris swivel bipod with Pod Paws were employed to allow easy scope levelling and consistent footprint on the lunch table used as an impromptu bench.
The Leupold Mark 4 spotting scope proved to be as useful as originally planned.
This spotting scope has the Tactical Milling Reticle - or more commonly known as the TMR. These are fine hash marks on the vertical and horizontal lines delineating half a mill radian. With these reference marks my spotter was able to give exact corrections rather than “guesses”! This fine spotter has a magnification range of 10 – 40X and the reticle is in the first focal plane.
Therefore the reticle appears quite small on the lowest setting of 10X but is quite useful from say 25X and up. This is because first focal plane optics with multi powers maintain the same gap / measurements at all power settings. I could not have undertaken this shoot without a spotter and this person requires very good optics to be of help.
A final comment is the degree of difficulty in hitting such a small target at these distances is exacerbated dealing with live targets. Every shot was at a different distance requiring individual solutions for elevation. This is much more difficult than say 1000yard target shooting because with this game the distance is constant.
I grew up on a 40,000 acre property in Australia and began shooting at 8; shot IPSC competition; sporting clays and hunted feral pigs here in Oz plus half a dozen trips to Africa. Current interest is long range rabbits on annual trip to NZ plus Cape York pig hunting each year. Beginning to compete in "F" class to help read wind. Join the discussion of this article with the author HERE at the Article Discussion Forum.