Re: need advice for first long range attempt
Today I went shooting. I put a Hoppes full size deer target on a plywood board (I attached the plywood to a real-estate sign frame, worked well!). I placed it at 400 yards.
If you recall, my idea is to shoot prone from the back of my Suburban with the tailgate down so I can stay warm during the late doe season.
I positioned the Suburban along a line of brush/weeds that separates two crop fields. The distance was 410 yards.
I haven't had too much time to work up the perfect load for the SST's, but a load of 53grains of IMR4350 with a Fed 210M primer yielded about 1.2 inches at 100. Jumping to 54 grains opened things up a bit so I left well enough alone. I hope to see if a max load of 55 grains shoots. I know this isn't great accuracy but we are talking about a stock Ruger 77 here. velocity was 2780. I wished the hotter load would have grouped because the velocity isn't great, but what the heck.
Anyway, my first three shots were dead on elevation wise. one was within .25 inch of the aiming point (the center heart zone on the target)! Another was a lung shot about 4 inches from the first. Unfortunately, the third shot was about 7 inches right of the aiming point. That shot would have been behind the lung area and not likely to a “classic vital zone” kill.
Generally, three shot groups were around 7 inches. Not great, but it was interesting. The wind was a brisk 15mph from the NW. I was shooting dead North to South so I had a quartering wind, which my software indicated would result in 6 inches of drift which did work out.
At any rate, it was a very interesting experiment. I'd like to say it was a no brainer and I could have kept the shots in a six inch circle all day long, but hey, it's the real world.
My yardage is to the furthest edge of picked soybean field against a tree line. My experience is that the deer wander out a good 50 yards into the field at first light. I'm pretty confident that I can ethically make a clean kill at 350 based on my practice session today at 410 yards.
Thoughts from the Gurus?
P.S. I'll try and post some pics. tomorrow.