Currently, there are no affordable handheld rangefinders that will offer reliable ranging capabilities out to where the 338 AM and 375 Allen Magnum will reliably and consistantly reach.
The Swar is the best of the lot. By affordable I mean under $1500 for a rangefinder. There are some military units that are in the $8 to $11K range that are amazing, I just can not justify spending that amount of money if I plan on staying happily married!!! LOL
For example, last fall before pronghorn season, I was doing the final testing on my 338 Allen Magnum which was loaded with the prototype 265 gr AT RBBT to a velocity of 3465 fps.
For the final test, I set out 6 clay pigeon targets at ranges from 980 to 2200 yards. I allowed myself 2 shots at each target.
The targets were places on bare, steeply angles hill sides where good reange measurements could be taken. It was a slighly overcast day and the Swari ranged every one even out to the farthest which I believe was 2189 yards. It would not get this measurement every time but I got several exact readings at this level.
Of all 6 targets. 3 total were broken on the first shot at each target. None of the first shots missed by more then 1/2 minute at the respective ranges. Two of the remaining targets were broken on the second shot for that target. the only target that was not broken was the 1340 yard target and that was because the wind got me on the second attempt. Still the first shot missed by 4" low and the second shot missed 5" to the right due to the wind. No shot would have missed a big game animal and to be honest, more then likely, no shot would have missed a coyote size target.
That said, that was with accurate KNOWN ranges. While pronghorn hunting. My max range was limited to 1500 yards at best and generally in the 900 to 1000 yard range. Not because the rangefinder was limiting my reach but because of the lay of the land and just not being able to get a read on a pronghorn on flat terrain in relation to my position. IF I could get elevated over the targets, I could get a better ranging angle for the lazer to work at farther ranges.
Right now, out limiting factor is ranging equipment that even the serious long range shooter can realistically afford.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Lets see, you fired 12 shots and broke 5 4in clay pigeons at ranges of 900+ to 2200yds? That one at 2200yds was about .18 moa which is a whole bunch better than any rifle Ive ever seen do consistantly even at 100 yds. in dead calm conditions. A five ft/sec deviation in the velocity from one shot to the next would yeild about a 5 in spread in POI. If you misread the wind by 2mph over that 2200yds. you would miss the little clay pigeon by about five ft. Please tell me I misread this, although I read it a couple of times. I know Im new here and maybe should not throw the BS flag. I dont mean to be disrespectful and I understand that these rounds in question are the top of the food chain;however they are not immune to the laws of physics. If you can do this as advertised you are probably the only man on earth who has accomplished this and will almost certianly the last. Im not a rocket scientist and I may have misunderstood something in the post and the math could be off a little, if so please forgive me. If I have stepped over the line here let me know and I will ride on down the road.
I've been trackin' this fella's shooting accomplishments for awhile now. I find some of the accomplishments a bit hard to comprehend from my personal view point. Not hard to believe but hard to comprehend. Please recognize that my view point is from pretty low in the valley, maybe even in the fog.
There is a clearing a few miles north of the North Fork of the Salmon river that has became affectionately known as the Kirby Clearing as it is 2300+ yards from the 'shooting spot'. About the same distance that Kirby bagged the rock chuck that got him the award from Varmint Hunter magazine.
It was very hard to "comprehend" making a kill shot on an elk at that distance let alone a chuck on a rock. Hell, I can't figure out how he even spotted in the first place.
I could easily hold the reticle on the kill zone even on 14X. I could drop the hammer on the empty chamber and the reticle stayed perfectly steady on the target. To actually "send one" in that direction, that far, was incomprehensible to this old fella.
Short version though is If he said he did it, he did it. Just ask Roy. No, not this Roy.;)
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
Well, I have checked and the moon is not full so I guess it is the impending lunar exclipse that is causing these kinds of posts.
Im not a rocket scientist
Yes, thats obviuos.
Secondly, you forgot to mention being lazy.
You could have gone back through his posts and found out something about his skills with a rifle and then you wouldn't be sitting in the corner next to Weda with the pointed hat on your head.
Finally, there are three types of people here on the forum. The people who actually manage to get animals killed at longrange, people who just want to be better prepared if the opportunity arises a little further away than they commonly shoot and finally the people who don't really ever do anything but type on their keyboard. Kirby's reputation is made and safe from people like you, however you are now establishing you own reputation.
You would be well advised to go back and edit out your post and not act like Weda.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Last edited by Buffalobob; 02-12-2008 at 08:14 AM.
First off, you are correct, you are new here. That is not a bad thing, there was a time when we were all new here.
I would like to comment on the equipment I was using on that shoot. One of my 18.5 lb Xtreme Heavy Sporters chambered in my 338 Allen Magnum shooting prototype 265 gr Aluminum tipped RBBT bullets from Wildcat Bullets. These bullets, at the velocity I am running them to in my Allen Magnum require me to use a BC of 0.960 which was developed from actually shooting the bullets from ranges of 500 yard out to 3000 yards(actual range was 3008 yards). That was after an entire spring and summer of testing this bullet, testing, confirming, retesting, adjusting, retesting, tweaking and finalizing on the ballistic data used for this range test and also throught the big game season.
In the end, I found that a BC of 0.960 with my 3465 fps velocity was perfect for predictable, impacts within 1/2 moa of POA for the first two shots out of this rifle out to ranges past 3000 yards.
I am not sure what rifles you are working with but I would guess they would be a bit short of this level of performance, maybe not but I would guess that.
Also, I was just making a point that the current rangefinders are the limiting factor for making precision hits on targets at long and extreme range. IT is no longer the rifle technology.
As such, I saw no need to include every detail about that range test but just for you I will. The wind was dead calm. Not only dead calm at my location, it was dead calm at all targets as well. A rare thing but something that is a MUST for confirming zero at long range and something I wait patiently for for long range testing. I know this because at every location I have a strip of survey tape that is roughly 2 feet long tied to a stick that is roughly 3 feet off the ground. I am lucky to have the ability to do this where I shoot as I have a good relationship with the land owners.
The tapes were hugging the sticks on all shots fired, not a one was moving in the least except for the second shot on the 1340 yard target.
Actually, 4" is around 0.174 moa at 2200 yards. Also, you have no idea what happened at 2200 yards. I commented that no shot missed the target by more then 1/2 moa at any of the ranges. At 2200 yards, that means a 13.5" radius around the center of that clay target. Or more clearly, a 27" circle around the center of that clay target including the 1/2 moa radius and also the radius of the target itself.
The first shot at 2200 yards landed roughly 12" high. I made a hold adjustment using the NP-R1 reticle which was set on 22x for 1 moa spacing between each line. Roughly speaking, I lowered my hold half the distance from the center crosshair and the first line above the crosshair. Pulled the trigger and the bottom edge of the target broke off........
You need to read the details a bit more if you want to start an arguement like this. No where did I say I was holding 1/8 moa at 2200 yards. I said I broke a clay pigeon at 2200 yards with two shots. Am I saying or have I ever said I could do this every time at this range, NOPE, again, if you had read moreof my posts you would know this. Again, do not really care to as long as my shots land within a 1/2 moa radius of the POA.
Anyway, I already admitted that at 1340 yards I pulled two misses. First shot was 4" low so it missed the center of point of aim but roughly 6", a bit less then 1/2 moa at this range. Second shot landed 5" to the right or 7" off the center of the target, a hair over 1/2 moa. So I guess your right, my comment was wrong, I did miss by more then 1/2 moa in this case.
For the shots at 980 and 1070. I will only say that until you shoot a rifle like this you simply can not understand how easy it is to hit this size target at this range. Shawn Carlock told me after he got his personal 338 Allen Magnum up and running that shooting small targets at 1000 yards was like kicking your dog, thats how easy it is. I would never disagree with that. And he was using the 300 gr SMK which is still head and shoulders above all others as far as ballistic performance and the load I was using was dramatically superior to that load ballistically.
On the 3 targets that were broken on first shot attemps, there was no follow up attemped, no need to, this was a drop test to confirm the rifle for big game hunting, not for shooting groups. All I really care about is the first shot and possibly the second shot. After that your pretty much done at long range either with a dead critter or a miss.
The three one shot breaks were at 980, 1070 and 1530 yards. The first two I could never say were luck. With a rifle I had put this much time into testing, I would have been very unhappy with the first shot landing much off 1/2 moa of the point of aim. Again, at this range, roughly 5" radius which a clay pigeon pretty much fills a good amount of this area circle that big at these first two ranges. AT 1530, sure, there is a bit of luck involved here but I was not surpised to see it break in these conditions I was shooting it. The other shots I took the first shot and in every case, the shot landed roughly within a 1/2 moa radius of the target. Using the reticle for poa adjustment, its very easy to make precision adjustments on small targets. Two of the second shots hit the targets, one of the second shots did not because there was a slight breeze that carried it a bit to the right. The reason I missed was because I did not pay attention to the wind flag before the second shot. Pure and simple.
Again, I have and will never claim I can shoot 1/2 moa in all shooting conditions at all ranges. That is silly and if you knew me better you would understand this. I also do not claim 1/2 moa groups at these ranges. Again, I am only concerned about first shot impacts and possibly second shots out of a cold barrel. Could give a rip about three or 5 or 10 shot groups. Many feel this is the only way to get a true idea of how the rifle shoots, so be it. For me, its meaningless and only a way to waste barrel life. If I can precisionly place a first shot within 1/2 moa of my point of aim I am happy, no matter what range it is. With a properly tuned rifle and ammo, this is totally possible.
I also do not shoot at big game at these extreme ranges, YET. Why, generally the conditions do not allow it and that is the determining factor. I hunted over 2 weeks on my pronghorn hunt, passing up several dozen shooter bucks just for the right morning to take my buck at 1300 yards with this same rifle. When the chance came up with good conditions and a known range, I hate to say it but making that shot seemed pretty easy.
Is that bragging, HARDLY, its preparation period.
Again, I will use one of Shawns comments, if you are presented with a shot that you would be absolutely dumbfounded if you missed the shot, its within your shooting range.
If you have to think about if you can make the shot, its to far for you to shoot. In ideal conditions, with that rifle set up how it was after shooting it all spring and summer, I would easily take a 1 mile shot on big game in ideal conditions. If there was a 5 mph wind, I would limit my shooting to no more then 1000 yards at most and possibly less depending on the terrain and the ability to read the wind. In 10 mph wind, the rifle would not even get unpacked for shooting long range.
Again, before you get all twisted up, realize what I actually said and you will realize that your holding my comments to a much higher standard then what actually occured.
Is there some luck involved with breaking targets at these ranges. To some degree, certainly. Is there luck involved in placing your shots within a 1/2 moa radius of the target, NOT AT ALL. There are dozens of shooters on this board that could easily do this with their rifles right now.
It would amaze you how quickly you can get a person hitting relatively small targets at ranges even out to 1000 yards even if they have never shot anywhere near that range. Top quality gear is a must. Ability to shoot properly, another must. Match grade ammo, another must. Accurate ranges, a critical must(That was my entire point of the post by the way that you seemed to miss out on), intimate knowledge of the trajectory of your projectile, also a critical must.
When you have all these things, planting a bullet within a 1/2 moa radius of a small target at any range the bullet stays consistant to is not all that much of a feat.
Anyway, hope this clears things up. Thanks for calling me out on this. It has been done many time before so no problem explaining things to you.
By the way, at 3008 yards. I fired three, 3 shot groups at a single target that was roughly 16" x 22". All nine shots landed within 1 moa. Remember that 1 moa at 3008 yards is just shy of a 32" circle. I hit the rock 4 times. Three of the shot smears I could have touched with a single spread hand. In my case, thats roughly 9". Thats less then 1/3 moa for those three shots at 3008 yards but I would never claim I can hold 1/3 moa at 3000 yards ever. I am happy with impacts within 1/2 moa of the point of aim.
Again, hope this clears things up for you.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Augustus, first let me welcome you to LRH. Since you have only been here since last month, it may be reasonable to assume that you haven't had time enough to read a lot of older threads that have been posted over the years. However, if you lurked around awhile before you joined and have read of some of 50's exploits and guns he has built and you still want to raise the BS flag, then you are not as smart as you think. Like Bob and Roy I know Kirby, have been to his shop several times and have talked at length with him about many subjects, not just long range shooting. A finer person with more integrity you will never find. He is most willing to educate and inform anyone about his passion, as he has demonstrated here for YOU! Please take this as reminder to not jump to conclusions before you know the facts. He amazes me too, quite truthfully, but I never doubt him. Have a good day and God Bless.