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need advice for first long range attempt

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Old 12-21-2001, 09:30 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
need advice for first long range attempt

I love this site! This is a bit long, but please bear with me....


Getting prepared for a 400 (not long range for this board!) shot for late doe season here in NE. Will be my first shot of more than 175 yds for a deer.


I am an experienced handloader and prairie dog shooter. My batter includes a cooper 21VE in .223, a Ruger Varmint in 22-250 accurized by John Lewis at Carolina Precision, and a .257 Roberts AI built on a Sako long action with a 26" 1.25 diameter bbl., fluted, with 0 taper. the cooper is the most accurate, with a load of 27.5 gr. of H335 behind 40gr. BT's consistently under .4 inches at 100 yds. for 5 shots.

The ruger is a little less consistent, but a MOA gun. The .257 is a problem child, and the only load with good accuracy (better than MOA) is a 75gr VMAX even though the twist and throat were spec'd out for the 100gr. BT.

All guns have Leupold 6.5-20 Target scopes.


with the 22-250, even with the Barnes 53gr. XCL FB I am worried about low down range energy and wind drift.

with the 75 gr. V-max I'm leery of the bullet construction.

My other choice is a plane jane Ruger 77 in .270. Only accuracy is a 2.5 lb crisp trigger. It's accuracy is OK--3 shot groups around 1 to 1.2 inches at 100 yds with factory ammo. I have some 130 grain BT's, some 140 gr. Hornady SPBT's, and some 130gr SST's in inventory I could work up loads for. I've never handloaded for this gun because it has been plenty accurate with factory stuff for the typical deer ranges.

The setup will be a prone shot with a Harris Bi-Pod. I will be in the back of my Suburban with tailgate down (staying warm!).

My shot will be North to South, which means on most days no crosswind. I will only attempt shots on day with less than 10MPH winds. I use a laser range finder.

SOOOOOO, after all that, what advice would you guys have for me? Besides build a 6.5-284, which might be down the road...

Thanks all you long range gurus!

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: rogerinneb ]
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Old 12-21-2001, 11:33 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Lock Haven P.A.
Posts: 1,071
Re: need advice for first long range attempt

Rogerinneb.What I would do if I were you and were shooting under 500 yard's.Is to work up a good load for your 270 with the SST's.Make a good drop chart and go get some deer.The 270 should do quite well at that range.If you plan to shoot farther I would invest in a bigger caliber.A buddy of mine killed a big doe with my Sendero in 300 Rum this year at 728 yard's and she might just as well been hit by a Mack truck.I'm sure Darryl or somebody else will add some idea's too.This is a good place to learn.

[ 12-21-2001: Message edited by: Boyd Heaton ]
Boyd Heaton...
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Old 12-22-2001, 10:35 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 256
Re: need advice for first long range attempt

Your 257 AI with 120 grainers would have enough out to 5 or even 600 hundred if you could get it shooting.
The 270 would be even better. The 130 SST would be a good one to start with. At 400 yards, even if you can only group 6 inches, that is plenty good enough for a whitetail.
Merry Christmas
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Old 12-22-2001, 11:52 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
Re: need advice for first long range attempt


I've loaded up some test loads with the SSTs for the 270 tonight. I'll check them for accuracy tomorrow and then work out some approximate elevation numbers based on the velocity data.

If all goes well, then...

I have mounted a full size deer target on a piece of plywood and will do a full blown practice session at the actual hunting spot. I'll be able to let it sit for over 10 days before the late doe season starts.

I'll be very interested to compare "real world" drop compared to the software apps. and charts!

Ho Ho Ho!

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Old 12-23-2001, 01:36 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
Re: need advice for first long range attempt


Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately the wind is steady at 20mph today with gusts up to 30. So no shooting today. Tomorrow's forecast looks better.

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Old 12-23-2001, 02:05 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 5,852
Re: need advice for first long range attempt

Speaking of forecasts, here is a website that forecasts wind direction and velocity for 4 times each day out about 36 hours into the future.

This is for North Platte, don't know just where you are in NE.

Intellicast.com (windcast)

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Old 12-24-2001, 12:54 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: need advice for first long range attempt

Don't worry about calibers, just get yourself prepared and go do it. Confidence is a major factor, sounds like you will be more than able to make your shot. After you have heard the boom (rifle discharge), pause (bullet flight time) and whack (as the bullet does its job) you will be hooked and will never look back. Relish every moment!

Look forward to hearing about your hunt. Good luck and have fun.
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