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A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

 
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:39 PM
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A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

Let me summarize here and say that Im pretty new to the long range shooting aspect. I have been shooting and hunting all my life, but never really shot at anything (target or animal) past 200 yards until today. My rifle that I bought for my jump into long range shooting is a off the shelf Rem 700 SPS-V in .300WSM. I put it in a HS Pres. A2 style stock. It has a Nightforce 20moa base and has a Nightforce NSX 5.5-22X50 scope mounted on it. There has been nothing else done to the rifle. I have shot this rifle off a bench at 100 yards to work up my handload the best I could and at 100 yards I thought I had a pretty good load figured out. Well today I decided to go out and shoot some distance (prone off a bipod) with my rifle and see what I could do.

Let me say this:
1. Ive never shot at anything past 200 yds until today.
2. Ive never shot prone off a bipod off the ground before...ever
3. Ive never tried to "mil" anythign with my scope until today.

Well I get out to my lease and I set up my target frame in a highline clear cut. I put a 12"X12" target up with a bullzeye on each corner and the large on in the middle. I travel back across a canyon and get on top of a hill and using my LRF I get 397 yds to my target so I park the ranger and get my stuff set up. First I set my rifle up on the ground and try to get comfortable with it since Ive never tried to shoot prone before. It was a lil different, but not too bad. I noticed right off that my 6"-9" Harris Bipod was too low even at the 9" setting. I get my bags in place and turn my scope up to 22X and attempt to mil the target knowing that its 12" tall. I get my mil and use my ballistic calculator to get my distance and it came out to 388 yards so I was pretty damn close since the LRF put it at 397. I was pretty happy about that.

I plugged in some numbers into the ballistics calculator to find my elevation but since I dont know exactly what my load is shooting FPS I really just had to guess. I guess at 2,850FPS and it gave me a drop of 13 inches which told me to dial up 4.25 moa for my shot. Figured this would get me on paper.

I got ready and as comfortable as possible and took my first shot. It hit about 5.5" high and .5" to the left. I adjusted accordingly on my elevation and fired my second shot. It hit about 2" low and dead center so I made one more adjustment and fired the 3rd shot and it was pretty close. I got up and wen to the target so verify my shots. I returned to the rifle and got ready to fire my next 3 shot group. I did this same sequence 4 times in a row just getting used to shooting the rifle and the recoil from the prone position.

I was not very happy with my shooting overall. You can see my last few shots on the target below. Two of the shots are right in the bullzeye, but the others are scatterd out over several inches. I feel like this is mostly contributed to me and my shooting form since two of the shots are in the center. If I hadnt hit close to my POA on any of the shots I could maybe wonder if I needed to do more work with my load or make adjustments to the rifle, but since a couple were right were they were supposed to be I feel like its mostly my fault and its pretty dishearting to be honest. I thought I was better than this.....or I guess my ego thought I was better than this.

My load is Win brass, Fed 215 primers, 63grns of H4350, 210grn Berger VLD's seated very deep at a COAL of 2.824. Ive palyed with this load a bunch on the bench at 100 yds and it was shooting cloverleafs almost after my last adjustment to it from 64grns to 63grns.

Anyway Ill post the pics from today and Id appreciate any comments or suggestions. I know 400 yards aint **** to most of you folks on here, but its a start for me. I know that I need to get a taller bipod so that im comfortable in the prone position, I know I need to prcatice on my form obviously, and just get more time behind the rifle overall.

Thanks for your time guys,


Last edited by trevor73402; 12-17-2009 at 07:43 PM. Reason: a
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:49 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

I don't shoot super far either. I've been shooting regularly to 300 yards, a little on silouettes out to 600 (meter) rams; working on getting setup for longer ranges.
Anyway, that looks okay for nearly 400 yards; you're inside 1MOA for the group. That's a dead critter right there...
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:51 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

Trevor, you have to start somewhere, and you picked a pretty good place to start.

Keep practicing and remember to follow thru with your shots. Staying on the gun and not lifting your head or such that may affect the shot. You didn't mention your trigger pull weight, as this can be very detrimental in LR if the pull is excessive.

Keep practicing, if your wondering about your load/rifle combo, find a reliable shooter to fire a LR group and see if his results look good, then pick his brain about form and follow thru, and practice.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:30 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

I think you're being way too hard on yourself. Your first time shooting 400 yds, first time prone, first time off a bipod, I would say those shots are pretty good. I would get the rifle bedded and the trigger adjusted, then keep practicing.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:38 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

Looks like a nice rig, that will help your form having a rifle that naturally want to put you in position. One thing that I found of the bipod, if your not already doing it, is to load the pod. I found at 1015 yrds I get a 10in POI change if I don't load the pod.
Don't get down about things, it really screws with your form and you start breaking shots poorly cause you think it won't matter anyway. Looks like things are going to get fun to me, soon you'll be cranking out drop charts and trying to hang iron on things to ring.
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:17 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigngreen View Post
Looks like a nice rig, that will help your form having a rifle that naturally want to put you in position. One thing that I found of the bipod, if your not already doing it, is to load the pod. I found at 1015 yrds I get a 10in POI change if I don't load the pod.
Don't get down about things, it really screws with your form and you start breaking shots poorly cause you think it won't matter anyway. Looks like things are going to get fun to me, soon you'll be cranking out drop charts and trying to hang iron on things to ring.
Load the pod?? I assume you mean apply forward pressure to the gun/bipod while shooting? I try to keep the rifle setting so that the legs are free from tension in a "neutral" like state so that nothing is torqued or twisted applying any pressure anywhere. Is this wrong??
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:34 PM
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Re: A day of "firsts" for me and my shooting. Please comment.

Trevor,

That doesn't look bad at all to me for your first time out in field conditions. That looks like about a .8 MOA group there. First, I would recommend doing your load work at 200-300 yds if at all possible. 100 wont tell ya much. Also, I might be wrong, but I would be surprised if you're getting 2850 fps with 210 Bergers and H4350, especially if you backed off a grain. My max for RL17 and 210 Bergers seated out to the lands with the bullet only catching 2/3rds of the neck was 2935. My max with 180 E-Tips and H4350 was about 2995. Not that your velocity matters all that much, but it might help you work up more accurate drops if you know what you're really getting, or close to it. and it sounds like you need to get the next size larger bi-pod.

I think the idea of finding someone whio is experienced to shoot your rilfe in the same conditions just to campare the results is a real good idea.

Anyway, I think you're off to a good start. Any bucks within 600 yards of you should be worried and with a little work, you should easily get to 800-900 yds, which IMO is about the max hunting range for that cal.

Cheers,

Mark
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