I guess this is an appropriate time to tell the story being as we have been through the sniper school thread and it is the jumping off place for this shot. I had talked my fiancé first into marrying me and second into moving to the Rockies from Alabama. After a couple of years in Utah, I discovered elk hunting. Then I discovered that there were always more elk on the far ridge than on whatever ridge I was on. I knew what I had seen my snipers do and the ranges that a 308 could reach and the far ridges were easily closer than that.
I was not a bench rest shooter and knew no one who would even think about shooting over 500 yds, so I had no one to turn to for advice and had to just do the best I could. All I had was a reloading manual that gave energy and drops and wind out to 600 yds. These were the day before PCs and when programmable calculators had just arrived. Engineers worked with slide rules and graph paper. I bought a brand new Ruger number one in 7 Rem Mag because I had a #1 in 25-06 that I had been successful with out to 450yds so I reasoned that with more horsepower I could go the distance with a #1 action. I took this to Shilen and had it rebarreled in 7mmWby with a 26 heavy sporter barrel. I drove from Salt Lake City over to Denver where a gun shop had a 6x-18X Redfield Accutrack scope and bought it.
I then bought some 168 SMK, some Hornady 162 HPBT and some Nosler 160 Partitions and went to the range. The SMK and Hdys had equal groups at 100yds so I took some of each and shot penetration tests on newspaper. They all penetrated about 11 inches with the partitions edging out the match bullets by maybe an inch. There were some details of the penetration tests that I observed and wrote in my note books such as retained weights but being as I had never done penetration tests before I did not know what these things meant and just relied on total depth as the criteria.
With groups and penetration being equal the compelling factor became the Hdy HPBT match bullet BC of 0.625 and so I selected it as the bullet to go with. With a little load development to shrink my groups down I was ready to dial the gun in. I got out my graph paper and curve templates and began a graphical analysis of he flight of this bullet out to 1400 yds. This is an extremely complex analysis if you should ever be tempted to try it. The analysis that took me hours and hours to do can now be done with any of the ballistic calculators in about 2 seconds depending on your internet connection speed. I dialed in the gun at every hundred yards with five shot groups out to 1200 yds where I ran out of clicks on my scope and then estimated out to 1400yds with the cross hair plexes. I practiced relentlessly and the story of the twice shot rabbit up above was such a practice session.
Skipping some details I simply will say time passed and it was elk season. Opening day no elk were seen by me and my partner. Second day came and I saw nothing in the morning but the afternoon saw me watching a valley with water and a meadow that ran up to the ridgeline. The day was bright and sunny with no wind. As the sun set a cow came out on the far ridge. I got into prone with my #1 resting on my rolled up towel which was resting on my pack. I ranged the cow and tried to grow horns but none would grow. After a little two more cows came out of the aspens and stated feeding. From the look of the aspen leaves on he far ridge I believed I had about a 2 mph evening thermal wind starting up. The cotton dangle on my rifle barrel confirmed what I could feel which was abut 2mph on my side. At that moment another head began to show on the far ridge and it had some spike s sticking up. As the clock ticked it finally grazed up over the ridgeline and joined the cows to where I could see it clearly. A young spike bull. I ranged it as I had the cows and I corrected for body size and I compared that to the diameter of the aspens on the ridge and everything said 1100yds dead on. I rolled over on my side and pulled the gun back and dialed the scope to 1100 yds and began putting the gun back when I noticed a bird flying from the far ridge to my ridge. I watched the bird for any sign of an unusual wind and saw none. I checked my range card for 2mph wind and put the cross hairs right on the spike's guts. Oh that felt bad to hold for a gut shot and believe the wind would drift it into the chest, but I had to believe and so I kept the cross hairs there. I watched the spike as he grazed and saw he would walk a couple of steps and stop and get a bite and then walk a few more and get another bite. So I decided that I would shoot the next time he took steps right as he stopped. He was directly broad side to me. As he took the next steps I eased my finger to the trigger and as he stopped I fired.
Watching through the scope I clearly saw the dust fly from the hide directly on the shoulder. I had struck maybe six inches from where I wanted but it was still straight into the shoulder blade. A dark spot appeared on his shoulder and as the sound echoed across the canyon he took off in a run down the slope quartering way from me. The dark spot grew larger but he never went down and made 300yds to the dark timber at the head of the canyon. It was maybe 15 minutes till full dark and there was no way I could get over to the dark timber and do any tracking that night so I went on back to camp.
The next morning me and my friend went down in the canyon and tracked him across the meadow. We found two drops of dried blood in the meadow and then in dark timber we tracked him until he got mixed in with other elk tracks. Search patterns we ran did not find him.
A couple of weeks later I found out what had happened with the elk. I shot a mule deer at 30 yds with the same bullet and the Hdy match just blows up. The strike on the elk’s shoulder blade had caused the bullet to splatter on the bone without breaking it and without penetrating through it. The retained weight issue that I had not understood from my newspaper penetration test was important after all. The bullet construction was great for flying through the air but worthless for breaking elk bones.
A few months later I left the Rockies and came east and put the Ruger in the cabinet where it has stayed for a long time.
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Too bad they did not make Accubonds or even Ballistic tips then huh? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
"Weatherby was too long so I nicknamed it "Bee""
Jimm I have seen a few great shots and made a pretty good shot I'll tell of mine first.A friend and hunting and shooting buddy called one evening and asked if I would like to go shoot some deer out of a farmer friend of his fields as they were eating his crops before they could mature.After inquiring whether the farmer had proper permits to kill said deer and being assured that he did I joined my friend at his dads place to fire a round or two.We had a target at 250yds and we both made a hit or two looking tight on target and headed off to kill the deer.Well this little venture is taking place at night to my suprise!My friend says to bring plenty of ammo but I figure we will not shoot much but to be on the safe side I bring a case guard 50 full of 6/06 A.I. 55 gr BTs going 4195fps.My buddy brings his .338/300 RUM and plenty of ammo mostly 250gr SGK so I figure there must be something to this!We arrive at the farmers and are greeted by he and his wife and load our rifles and other stuff in the back of a duelly with a big tool box on back which we sat on.We proceeded to a field near their house and by this time it was dark,they got out two hugh spotlights I don't know what candle power but they would light up the world!Any way the first deer I shot was running straight away about 100yds broke its back and the 'ol farmer goes over to it and cuts its throat.We travel a little farther and there is a hugh field and it is full of deer didn't take an actual count but plenty standing all over munching on the fellows crops.We were shooting deer one right after the other and I got to looking at ny buddy aiming at this one deer and thought why doesn't he shoot but I soon discover why he isn't shooting there is another deer moving into position behind the deer he's aiming on and as soom as they lined up he dropped the hammer and two deer started turning flips, yes he killed two with one 250gr SMK.I was aiming at a deer running down the side of a narrow but long bean field and my buddy said hey wait it will stop in a second but I spoke up and said he's fixing to stop at which time I shot and the deer must have tumbled for 10 yds or so the range was better than 350 yds. my best shot ever.We killed many deer that night, probably 30+ each easily,now we didn't kill ever deer we shot at but a very high percent.
Probably the best or I should say luckiest shot I ever witnessed was with a shotgun, a 12 ga with a slug a friend of mine shot a duck with a slug it was over 100yds and the duck was flying at the time of his demise!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Yes sounds kinda far fetched but another friend now farms the same land and an 'ol man that lives on the farm told him he couldn't eat with a good stomach for two weeks after we killed all those deer as we weren't allowed to remove them! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]