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Long range on limited gear

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Unread 08-26-2008, 12:34 PM
ATH ATH is offline
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
Posts: 827
Long range on limited gear

Taking sort of a survey on this....

Having been a member here for years, I've read up on all the long range shots some of you have been making. Many of you use a pretty significant amount of gear to stretch it out....tripods, Kestrels, exbal, ang-cos indicators, levels, Leicas rf, etc. For various reasons, including the inability to actually hunt anything but coyotes with a rifle here and limited opportunity to shoot past 400 yards, I've remained academic on most of it with the exception of 300+ yd kills on whitetails with my ML.

So this year I have a Montana elk trip and "may" have the opportunity to shoot far (the shots presented will determine that). With everything I need I can't afford the full range of gear to have a complete long range setup, I need to leave some things out. I am interested what each of you would consider your effective range with a setup like mine rather than what you have:

- Rem700 Sendero 300WM - factory all the way (a notebook full of 0.5 MOA groups at all ranges)
-Nikon Tactical scope (4.5-16X I believe)
-200gr Accubonds with a 3000 fps MV
-scope level
-Bushnell 1500 ARC (800-850 yds reliably, 900-950 with a few tries at nearby objects)
-Harris bipod

Wildcard - exbal on a Palm is a possibility though without a windmeter I feel the value is lessened, the altitude compensation is a known factor I can control for without it. The rangefinder gives the angle and I can carry a cosine table for that.

So no windmeter or tripod setup allowed...

Assume ample practice at whatever ranges you want to shoot.

I'll withhold my plans until some comments come in.
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Unread 08-26-2008, 02:30 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
Posts: 675
Re: Long range on limited gear

I would definetly take a windmeter. Mine only measures wind and is about the size and weight of a cigarette lighter. If you are taking a long shot knowing what the wind is doing where you are is very important.

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Unread 08-26-2008, 03:11 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088
Re: Long range on limited gear

Ditch Exbal and ditch the PDA.

Use Google Earth to find the elevation that you will spend most of your time hunting at. Find the average early morning temperature for that elevation for the time you will be hunting. Run those conditions in JBM and then change the elevation by increasing it 1000 feet and run it again. Change the elevation by decreasing it 1000 feet and run it again. From these three runs you will know the approximate change in bullet path for a 1000' elevation increase or decrease. Now do the same type of thing with temperature by changing it up and down 10 degrees Fahrehiet and you will have information that tells you the effect of a 10 degree change in temprature. If you are inclined to ponder the more important mysteries in life google up "adiabatic lapse rate" and make it your friend.

When you have done all of that you should print out your drop chart for the "expected conditions" and print something like this at the bottom.

@1000 yards -
10 Degrees = 0.1 inches drop
1000 ft elevation = 0.2 inches of drop

Take the money I have saved you and send me half and take the rest and buy a Cabelas shooting stick. It has a thread that will fit the Bushnell rangefinder and you can get about 300-500 more yards out of it in range once it is real steady. Take the money I have saved you for not having to buy a Swaro and send me half. Take the remainder and get a windmeter as advised.

Use the Cabelas Shooting stick to steady your binoculars also and out of gratitude for actually being able to see an elk at 1K once your binoculars are steady, come and pack out my elk for me being as you are young enough to pack out two and not complain.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Unread 08-26-2008, 04:06 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,876
Re: Long range on limited gear

Exactly/Precisely what Buffalobob said.

I'd recommend the cabela's brunton wind meeter for about 70 bucks.

The wind meter tells you what the speed is where you are. If you watch the wind meter, trees, grasses and weeds you'll catch on to what its doing way over there.
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Unread 08-26-2008, 04:29 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Posts: 239
Re: Long range on limited gear

ATH, sounds like you've got it covered to me. I'm guessing that your Nikon tactical scope is a mildot and thats why the notebook with the .5moa drops.

Here's my setup, very similar to yours, although I don't need to bother with the notebook or a drop chart, and its allowed me to take numerous deer and elk including a 32" buck at 742yds and my biggest 6pt bull at 879yds. -

Remington 700 Sendero in 300RUM
Leupold VariX111 4.5-14 with dots put on it by Premier Reticle out to 1000yds for the loads I'm shooting.
Scope Level
Leica1200 rangefinder
Harris bipod (swivel type 13-27")
Binocs (Crooked Horn bino harness)
Fanny pack (license,food,water,knives,etc)

With this setup I can go as far afield as I want and hunt on foot without carrying alot of weight.

All my hunting is in mountainous country so I find that the tallest bipod is the most useful one, eventhough most all my shots are in the laying down prone position. Its oftentimes kind of hard to find a flat piece of ground where you can still see your animal while laying prone. It seems like I'm always on the edge of a ridge looking down and the longer bipod works great hanging over the edge while I'm laying right at the edge looking down on my intended target. Plus sometimes it comes in handy to shoot in the sitting position over tall grass or sagebrush.

This year I just put together a lightweight Rem700 in 7mmSTW, it will be set up with the same scope and dot system, and will replace the heavy 300RUM as my walking around gun. I also just got a new 338Edge (15-16lb. and a Wild military rangefinder. This setup I'll use at camp or a few other select spots for my LONG range setup -my mule will be packing these, bless her little heart. This long range gun will also be setup with a dot system for out to 1200yds for the loads I'm shooting. So actually I'll have two completely different setups depending on what kind of hunting I want to do that day. I'm still planning on getting a Kestral in the near future and will have a drop chart handy nearby. I think I can bypass the exbal and the palm pilot as I always hunt the same areas and elevations and the temperature doesn't vary that much the last season. Another reason is for my LONG shots I'll be shooting a spotter shot before I line up on my intended animal so I can adjust with the target turrets accordingly.

Hope this helps, so far its worked for me quite well.
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Unread 08-27-2008, 09:03 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arkansas (Home of Record)
Posts: 1,946
Re: Long range on limited gear

As stated, get a wind meter. Midway has the Caldwell on sale for $19.99. I have one and it tells wind speed and temp. Now that is your best bang for your buck. I also usually carry a GPS and it tells altitude. I have had exbal for about 9 months and haven't got it running yet (Palm problems...lots of them). I do as BB said, Google Earth! I print off mulitple drops for different conditions for my area. With the GPS and Google you can make routes and what not.
To answer your question about what range I would consider max. Nosler recommends a minimum of 1800fps for the Accubond. Without changing the altitude/temp/or conditions on JBM it says around 800yards when your load is punched in. I personally would set that as my max, maybe more if your conditions changed the ballistics for the better. If I couldn't practice that far I would set my max range as the furthest range I had to practice on. When you get to Montana take some shots to check your drop as the conditions may change the path of the bullet.
Now, so not to start any debate. Will a 200gr Accubond kill at velocity lower then 1800 fps? Yes! But according to the manufacturer the bullet may not deform enough to have sufficient tissue damage for a fast kill.
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Unread 08-28-2008, 10:02 AM
ATH ATH is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lizton, IN
Posts: 827
Re: Long range on limited gear

Now I'm leaning toward taking what I would have spent on exbal and getting a Kestral 1000. I know some suggestions of cheaper wind meters have been given, but I am at a place where I'd rather suck it up and get a good piece of equipment that will last over something that may need replacing in a year or two, and I've heard good things on the Kestrals while the reviews on the others are somewhat mixed.
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