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Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

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Old 07-24-2012, 04:51 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

Me and my brother are looking to get into soem long(er) raneg hunting, specifically groundhog. Between 300-600 yards. We have a savage model 11 .243. With a Laminate wood stock, bipod and a BSA Platinum 6x24. We are shooting Federal Power Shok 80 grain soft points. We can shoot .75 MOA at 100 yards with this setup easily. We took it out and shot 300 yards today and couldnt get consistent groups. We put 14 shots on a 1' wide by 2' high target, No misses, but about a 1' spread. I have all of the math and calculations pretty much figured out, the way it SHOULD be, of course the gun probably wont hold true to the theoretical ballistics but we should still be able to get good groups right? So at this point I dont really know what to do because we can't check the ballistics out to 600, or even at 300 because we cant get groups. Shooting conditions today, 10mph gusting wind going from 5 o'clock to 11 o'clock, accounted for as quarter value. Didn't make much of a difference because the shots didnt group, as I mentioned, although it was gusting, so that could be some of it. Other factors shouldnt matter much because we re-zeroed it at 100 before shooting the 300 yd target but here they are anyway, 93 degrees out, 29. 72 in of Hg pressure. 80% humidity. Shooting off of the bipod with a log as the rear rest in prone. on the same zoom as the 100 yd target(24x), so that shouldn't have affected it at all. Any thing that could be causing the inaccuracy (besides the shooter, my brother is a VERY good shot, and I'm pretty confident that it wasn't him, escpecially with the amount of support he had in that position) Gun not accurate enough for this? should we try different ammo? (we have tried a few different loads before but the savage seems to like the power shoks) Just keep shooting and see how it goes? Optics? Any responses are appreciated as well as general advice on getting started, or shooting tips or anything really. Thanks
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:25 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,090
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

0.75 MOA @ 100 and 4 MOA vertical @ 300 doesn't make sense. Distance in and of itself should not change consistency. Environmental conditions not considered. . .

Some considerations:

  • solid rear bad/rest - not hand or fist. A good sand bag.
  • Consistent cheek weld - same every shot. Not possible without good rear rest.
  • If using a springy Harris type bipod, y the bipod is loaded consistently. Same shoulder pressure every shot.
  • Keep you had off of the forearm. Use the off-hand to control the rear bag.
  • Shoot @ 100 to confirm previous results. Then move to 300 using the same setup, load and shooter.
  • As a final check, let the girl next door shoot it.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:43 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

We have a custom made, also home made, added cheek piece to give a more consistent cheek weld. It's not a pretty set up, and it's nothing fancy, but its stable and it raises the stock so that you can look properly down the scope, no parallax, with a solid, sturdy cheek weld, obviously with the exception of the solid rear support. As for the rear support, I'm sure a better one wouldnt hurt. Not quite sure what you mean with the bipod, it does have springs on it to allow it to fold up forward. It has been shooting good at 100 before, we just checked the zero because upon researching LRH we realize that weather conditions at the time of Zeroing matter and we had no clue what the conditions were the last time it was shot. So it shouldn't be a problem, but we can deffinitely try it again to be sure. Thanks for the suggestions, we will make sure to take them into account.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:31 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Back in the south -NW FL..
Posts: 1,142
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

I made a rear bag out of kidney beans in a sock that i leave in a stand i shot out of -shot some good groups with it.

Read what this guy has to say about bipods .
Bugholes from Bipod

Also look down a couple of thread areas there's a beginners area ,and welcome to LRH to you and your brother.
Keep working at it -Rome wasn't built in a day.

One important word HANDLOADING..
AIPAC for president !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:48 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 110
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

i have had some handloads do well at 100 but open signifigantly at longer ranges due to inconsistant velocity. this may be a good time to try and reload. however you can try different ammo, perhaps cor bon. they make some decent match type ammo. also like previously posted an inconsistant hold (grip especially) has huge effects on velocity and precision. when i use a harris i take a rock or hammer and smash a couple dimples in the dirt to drop the feet into. this allows me to preload the bipod to help with a consistant hold. don't get too frustrated and keep shooting. i haven't been in the long range game as long as many others here but after 15 years i am still learning and constantly changing technique. if the gun is shooting 3/4 min it should be 3/4 min at 300 yards too, this of course depends on the quality of the ammo.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:54 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

You need a better rear rest, a better scope to reach to 600 yards, and better ammunition. That ammo just isn't made for shooting long distance, and any factory ammunition probably isn't going to perform like you want at 600, especially since choices are somewhat limited in 243. Shooting on a calm day is also a much better option.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:18 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Re: Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

Thanks for all of responses and advice guys. In respond to the recommendation for a better scope, I wanna say first of all, I meant a 6-24, specifically 6-24x44. I didn't write that properly the first time didn't feel the need to look at the scope to see the exact specs but i knew it was a 6-24, not a 6x24 I just wasn't thinking that it could be misunderstood if I didn't write it out properly. So anyway, that being said, is there still a need for a better optic or was it a miscommunication. We do have handloading equipment available to us, but it isn't ours, our great grandfather's actually. Neither of us know how to reload, not that we couldn't learn, but obviously my great grandpa could, and definitely would make some loads for us. Should I just get him to teach me to load right away or let him do it for now? I suppose either would be better than factory loads but still......
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