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Just starting, need help.

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Old 07-07-2009, 10:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 242
Just starting, need help.

I know this is a tricky question, but here goes anyway. Want to get started in long range shooting. I bought a Rem 700 in a 300 mag. Put a HS stock on it, and took the rifle to a gun smith to put a compensator on it, and lighten up the trigger. I topped it off with a Leupold 4-.5-14 with the BC lense. I would like to be able to shoot a buck out to 500 yds.

Now the question is does all of this = a 500 yd rifle, and can this bee done with factory Federal 160gr NP ammo. If not what do I need to do to get there.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,253
Re: Just starting, need help.

You've got a great platform from which to start. Your choice in caliber will certainly take a deer at 500 yards (really, it has capabilities to 1k and maybe beyond - on deer)

My suggestions for you....

1. Take the rifle out and determine its accuracy potential. If you think it can do better, you might want to consider bedding the action.

2. Ammo choice - 160grain bullet is a bit light for the 300mag. Find a 175 or heavier bullet with a good ballistic coefficient. The heavier bullet will carry more energy at long range and is less affected by wind.

3. practice, practice, practice - while you have equipment with the capability to shoot long range, it's no better than the guy on the trigger. So practice shooting at 500+ (preferably longer than 500, because that will make a 500 yard shoot seem easy). Intially, settle down and take your time with the shooting. Once you become more familiar with your gear and proficient with the distance, add some pressure to the shooting in some way. Remember, when the buck steps out, you won't always have the luxury of a lot of time to take the shot.

4. Other equipment
Range finder - get one that can range the distance accurately.
Spotting Scope - quality glass is always a good thing
Weather Station - Kestrel makes great equipment, Caldwell makes one that is sufficient
Ballistic Software - exbal, JBM - plenty of choice you can buy or use free on the internet.

Have fun and enjoy the addiction!
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 242
Re: Just starting, need help.

Thanks for the reply. Is getting into reloading worth the cost for what I am looking for? Or are factory loads going to cut it?
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,099
Re: Just starting, need help.

The 300 win mag is very capable for deer at 500 yards and farther depending on the load and shooter. Donít know anything about your choice of loads.). Exbal shows the energy for a Federal 165gr NP to be good at 500 yards so if you can consistently hit a 10Ē target at 500 yards you should be good to go.

As suggested by 280fan the heavier bullets are a much better choice when using the 300.

If you like to shoot and being accurate is important reloading is definitely in your future.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. Einstein
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,954
Re: Just starting, need help.

Howdy Firearrow, welcome to LRH!

The 300 WM (assuming you mean the Win Mag by 300 mag) is easily a 500 yd deer/elk killer. Whether or not it's accurate enough is another story, which is something you can figure out at the range. I have a 300 WSM that is nto accurate enough and a 300 RUM Sendero (haven't fired it yet) that supposidly shoot's 1" groups @ 350 yds with factory ammo - it is definitely accurate enough.

The HS precision stock is a good one. There are a few other things you can do to accurise your rifle if you need to.

On factory ammo selection... You might find it hit and miss to find a load for good accuracy to 500 yds. The NP's are great bullets, but not a great LR bullet. They have a relatively low BC and their soft lead points are easily deformed, but they may work well to 500 yds. You might start with the Winchester 150 E-Tips and if they dont work look at the some of the other Winchester offerings. Normally I would suggest a heavier bullet for LR hunting, but if you're only going to 500 yds, the 150 E-Tip has a good BC for a 150 gr bullet and will be flatter than the heavier bullets to 500 yds. another benefit with Win ammo is that win brass is fairly good brass in case you keep it and decide to start reloading. If you hang out at this site very long, you will likely want to stretch your legs a little and get the most out of your 300 mag, which will require handloading. Federal makes good ammo, but not so good brass.

Spend some time reading as much info in here as you can. You will learn a lot like I have.

Good shooting,


Last edited by MontanaRifleman; 07-07-2009 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:56 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Near Helena Montana
Posts: 650
Re: Just starting, need help.

What you have set up will handle 500 for deer/elk no prob.If you want to do lots of off season shooting start reloading,if not buy a bunch of ammo,get it dialed in on a range out to 500 and go find that buck!
If it is not fairchase its foul
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pueblo, CO
Posts: 286
Re: Just starting, need help.

Originally Posted by Firearrow View Post
Thanks for the reply. Is getting into reloading worth the cost for what I am looking for? Or are factory loads going to cut it?
Hard to tell until you do some shooting with em'. The trouble with starting out is that you are ill equiped to evaluate where your sources of inaccuracy actually are. The all important question is whether you are capable of shooting your rifle so that you approach the capability of the rifle. Hopefully you have some sort of mentor that might be able to evaluate your equipment for you.

I can tell you that as I've progressed in this game, I've discovered that a great deal of my group size when shooting off a bipod, sandbags or field rest has been a result of operator error. And that's true if it's a factory rifle or a fully blueprinted custom. And to make things worse I think that the inaccuracies of the rifle and the inaccuracies of your ability to shoot it are not additive, they're probably exponential. For instance if you have a 0.5 MOA rifle being shot by a 2 MOA shooter on the given rest, the group will probably be significantly greater than 2.5 MOA even at relatively short ranges, and especially at longer ranges.

This complicates matters quite a bit because a newby to the discipline probably doesn't have the equipment available to him to properly evaluate his shooting iron seperately from his shooting skill. This fact makes it nearly impossible to evaluate either the equipment or your skill.

Most quality factory rifles with good ammunition will be able to shoot between 1-2 MOA. Probably a significant percentage of those are capable of shooting significantly better than that. However, if you are not absolutely sure that you can shoot relatvely close to the rifle's potential during your testing, you're not gonna have any idea whether that 3" group at 100 yds was due to you, the inherent accuracy of the rifle or some weak link within your system such as poor fit, loose bases/rings, bad scope etc. The only solution to that problem is to have a mentor who has the equipment and the skill to evaluate your equipment for you.
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