You are correct. "Long Range Hunting" is subjective. There are people reading this for whom long range is 100-300 and others for whom 2000+ yds is common.
As such, it's often helpful to qualify your position especially when posting a discenting opinion.
There are also varying circumstances. There is no rifle for which 25-500yds is point blank range, ...unless you're ok with walking your shot in to the target. That may be fine for ground hogs. But as a general rule, most guys here are trying to make a first round cold bore kill.
The whole point of this website is to educate people to the fact that LRH has evolved to the point where Kentucky windage, guessswork, and blind luck are no longer required for precision shooting at increasing distances.
I still think there's room for rule's of thumb, short cuts, and manual systems for when technology fails. But, it's a mistake to lead folks to beleive that those should take the place of utilizing proper methods for making a calculated first round hit.
When armed with the proper knowledge, those who choose to "wing it" do so as a conscious decision. When doing so unprepared or having been lead to beleive that slop is acceptable, it's just out of ignorance. The latter being what this website seeks to overcome.
There are some amazing experts here. Read and learn. I have and do. And, sometimes I push them to explain or justify their position. But, let's not frustrate them into silence lest we miss out on a huge opportunity to learn for free what we may never have the time or dollars to figure out on our own.
Thanks for sharing and for reminding me that I need to be careful how things so that it's taken in the correct context as few people here really know my qualifications.
Thank you, I agree with you about being able to calculate for precision shooting. Proficient shooters need to make room for all styles and capabilities.
I have been shooting a 300 win mag for 40 years. The gun has never failed me while hunting. I used the velocity / flat trajectory to acheive my requirements. I have recently sold my last 300 win mag, and am changing over to shoot a 308 winchister and a 22-250. I no longer must have the flat trajectory to reach my needs. Range finders, varmit graticles, and dial in turrets have changed that. And, yes inexpensive chronographs as well.
The new guns have less kick and use less powder. I know the .264 bullet has the better BC but i like a little bigger diameter bullet when hunting.
I will be making custom ammo for my guns from now on, fire formed and necked sized. I haven't gone to the custom barrels but that will depend on how far i wish to shoot. I live in the city and long range shooting is a logistics problem .. not a proficiency problem.
The methods involved in shooting uphill and downhill can be placed in five categories
1. Do nothing and compensate for nothing. The least accurate of all methods but acceptable for ranges under 300 yards or so for deer and larger animals where you have an accurate rifle and a clear shot.
2. The Riflemans’ method which involves measuring the distance and the angle and multiplying they cosine of the angle times the distance and then looking up the drop and for the modified distance. A significant improvement over doing nothing for the intermediate ranges.
3. Improved Riflemans’ method which involves measuring the distance and the angle just as before but this time look up the drop and for the measured distance and then multiply the cosine times the drop and use the modified drop. A significant improvement over the rifleman’s method and requires no more math and nor more steps and no more time to perform. Increase in accuracy of the method over the older Rifleman’s method is about 50% depending on range, cartridge and angle.
4. The Sierra Bullets method which is reasonably as accurate as most of us can shoot and see the results. “Load” ran the numbers out for us so you can go back and look at his numbers.
5. Good ballistics programs such as JBM, Exbal, Whatever Bryan Litz did, Gustavo’s program which I believe is called Loadbase, and some others which I am not familiar with. But not all ballistics programs are worth having and you should be sure you are getting a rigorously correct calculation with your particular program. These programs may or may not use the Sierra method.
In summary, the Riflemans method is less accurate and no faster and no simpler than the Improved Riflemans method. You get increased accuracy for the same amount of work by working with the drop instead of distance.
A couple of years ago my son was home for Thanksgiving and we went deer hunting with the 40X in 308 that he has used many time in shooting 1000 yard F-class competition. The rifle will shoot groups ranging from 0.19 to 0.4 MOA all day long and average of about 0.35 (I’m not a great shot myself). A six point buck showed up at a range of 265 yards and a angle of perhaps 20+ degrees. The lower half of the bucks chest was obscured by a limb so he had only a 2.0 MOA target. I gave him no correction for angle as it was simply not needed with his skill, the accuracy of the rifle and load and the range and the size of the target. The morale of the story is I have hunted a long time and there is a time to compensate and different ways to compensate and we have to understand our rifles behave accordingly.
Two other points for the first time readers.
Shooting uphill and downhill is different for two reasons.
1. For long range shots, the air density will change with altitude and affect the resistance the bullet incurs.
2. Gravity is real and only works in one direction.
Both of these effects are small but I often will use them to ridicule the internet experts.
In conclusion I will say that while I still love my fellow man, my tolerance of stupidity has decreased in direct relationship with the amount of hair I still have left on my head.
Thank you Buffalo Bob,,, i needed to smile.. I bought new Lapua brass, and i will most likely be shooting the Berger VLDs. I have been using the Berger ballistic calculator.. I do go to the range and shoot 400 & 500 yds at metal targets. I haven't had any problems hitting them, consistently. I just bought a new .308 waiting my 10 days.
I did shoot the metal with my 22-250. The calculator seemed to be on target.. I have a Leupold 4.5 x14 - 40mm Long Range Varmit graticle scope on a savage rifle, bull barre, Bell and Carlson Medalist stock. The specifics on the scope gave the drop for each graduation at two known magnification settings. One for light bullets and one for heavier bullets. I slowed the bullets up or down to match the graduation marks. Zeroed at 200 yds.
The scope is quick and dirty for shooting up to 500 yds. It has 10 and 20 mph wind corrections .I haven't proved them out yet.. But i 'm sure they will be good. I have the Leupold range finder to go along with the scope.
I am trying to decide which scope i will buy for the .308. It is also a Savage WW.. I wanted to buy American..No competition barrels yet. I'm using a combination of Redding and Hornady dies.
The varmit reticle is quick for typical hunting distances.. I am finding it hard to go to the dial settable reticle. What is your opinion if you have both.. I may need to buy a target scope just to try the style out.