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Mill ranging limits

 
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  #1  
Old 07-23-2009, 10:31 PM
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Mill ranging limits

Hey guys,
I've been trying to get into the long range scene for a long time, and simply dont have the money to do it all at once. Over the last couple years I've read a ton of material on and off this site, and have purchased equipment accordingly. I have a .338 RUM shooting 300grn matchkings topped with a Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14 mill dot with M1 turrets. I have a wind meter and a bipod, ect... but I dont have a decent range finder. Mine will only range out to about 350 regularly and 550 in absolutley perfect conditions. My goal this year is to take a whitetale doe beyond 500 yards. I have practiced alot with mill-ranging, and plan to practice more. My question is this: How far can I range with my reticle before it becomes inaccurate? there are alot of veriables, the biggest being the variation in target size (what if that doe isnt 18" belly to brisket).

Should I not even try ranging with my reticle and just wait till' next year when I can get a decent range finder? The other option I have is going out to my area in scouting season and ranging landmarks by placing a peice of white board or maybe tin by the land marks. I would like to be more versitile than this but you gotta play the cards givin.

Lets say that if you have never used your reticle to range targets that you engaged, please do not post. thanks guys. Im totally open to being limited to 400 yards, but I can always hope.
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2009, 11:31 PM
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Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
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Re: Mill ranging limits

1st off, the limits lay with the shooter and not the reticle. The math will not lie to you. Only miss-judgements of the shooter's eyes in relation to the object being sized up.

That said, the reliable distance will vary from shooter to shooter. For me, I do very well out to about 800 yards. I say well because I can typically get with in 25 yards at that range which sounds really good but even with my 338 Edge, 25 yards off is enough error for a 12" off the mark miss. At 1K it is really bad. A 12 yard error at 600 is managable but 25 yards at 800 is not.

My advice is to field practice this. you can take a peice of steel or any target backer, measure it, drive it out somewhere, mil range it and shoot it. Youll learn pretty quick what your limits are.

Once you are good at that, then you need to learn how to judge animal sizes. Knowing averages help but you need to see the game in question next to other critters to judge if they are smaller than average or larger than average.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broz View Post
Please just answer one very simple question. Why would anyone shooting long range load a low BC , low SD 168 gr offering in a 300 win???????

My answer to this is. The only reason is to make the 7 RM look good. There is no other reason.

Jeff.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2009, 04:23 PM
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Re: Mill ranging limits

thanks michael. I know that the math wont lie, thats why I love math so much! the tricky part is, like you say, judging the size of the target. I will be practicing in the field alot before hunting season starts. Its nice becuase my basment sweet is on a chunk of corn field, so there are deer, black bear and coyotes out there just about every day. I'm stoked to hear that if i do my part i can ethically try a shot at my goal. thanks again for the response. I find black bears hard to judge the size of, simply because they vary so much.

JM
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2009, 11:36 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Kalifornicated
Posts: 333
Re: Mill ranging limits

If you know the size of the target and break the mills down to 1/10 th. or even better 1/20 th. mill dots are very accurate. The issue is you must know the size of the target. If you assume a deer is 18" from top to bottom of the chest and you are off by 2" you are already more than 10% wrong. When using mills you want to use the largest part of the target that is available. Try to find out how long deer are from butt to chest; it will give you more room for error.

No doubt the 338 RUM is a fine cartridge and the 300 SMK is a great long range bullet; but for your application I would want a lot flatter trajectory. When you get a laser range finder the 300 SMK will be the best choice, but for now you want as flat as trajectory as possible to make up for an errors in your range estimation (which is your primary limiting factor) Your best bet is probably something in the 200- 225 gr. range with as much velocity as accuracy will permit. If you run ballistic tables of a 300 SMK at around 2800 vs. a 200- 225 BT at 3100-3300 fps. you will see how much flatter the 200-225 gr bullets are at the ranges you want to shoot, 600 and less.

And yes, I have a little experience with mill-dots.
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2009, 11:47 AM
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Re: Mill ranging limits

Thanks Marine Sniper,
I thought that using a bigger target size would help with target size error, but i thought that everyone used the belly to brisket because it didnt vary as much from deer to deer. but that was my inexperience talking. I have another load with 225 hornandy interlocks for 450yard and under that I can use to 600 until I get a reliable range finder. thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.

thank you even more for your service to your country, as mine doesnt always step up to the plate (usually when the liberals are in).
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2009, 11:50 AM
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Location: Kalifornicated
Posts: 333
Re: Mill ranging limits

I took a quick peak:

300 SMK at 2800 sighted in for 100

300 -11.9 in.
400 -26.2
500 -46.7
600 -74.2

215 Gr Sierra GK at 3200 sighted in for 100.

300 -9.2 in.
400 -21.1
500 -39.0
600 -63.7

Wayyyy.....back when I was still in the Marine Corps I had a 340 Weatherby I put a 30 in barrel on and shot 225 gr. Hornady Boat tails. That load would kill deer like they were struck by lightning.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2009, 03:07 PM
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Re: Mill ranging limits

I also had a .340wby shooting 225 hornandy spbt. I only ever shot one deer with it, and lots of black bear. Didnt matter what I shot, It always made short work of them (especially since most were at 200>). The buck I shot at 165 actually came clean of his feet!DRT.

JM
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