June 30, 2007
We planned our annual ATV-fishing trip to Wyo, Lander and Dubois areas. This year i had to make several stops to deliver some rifles, both were 338 Snipe-tac's. One to a guy in Casper and the other to Lander. Jim in Lander wanted some help sighting it in and some instruction on long range shooting. The rifle was a single shot, stainless action, ABS carbon bbl 30" long, twisted to 9.4"
100% carbon fiber stock, "Lone Wolf". 5.5-22 nightforce scope, 40moa base. Loads were 142grns of H-BMG50 300SMK bullet, aver velocity 3229 fps.
We got an early start as we also had a fishing trip planned for that afternoon. We drove out east of Lander and found a nice flat area with a long two track sizmagraphic road to shoot down, darn thing went for miles, dead straight. We loaded up all the gear in a tandum trailer: ATV for target checking, plain round table to shoot from, lawn chairs, ect. We set up on the trailer for a shooting platform, worked better than i expected.
Here is the set up for shooting. Jim's hunting partner Bob is watching.
We started at 100yds to get a dead sightin. Jim was surprised the rifle did not recoil all that much, total weight was 15#. We took the ATV and 4 gallon milk jugs with water, put them out at various yardages, 400, 717, 970 and 1500yds. We also set up a target at 1000 for fine tuning and group measurments. I made up a drop chart for Jim on Exbal, 1500yds is as far as i printed it out to, i wish i would of did the 2000yd setting. The print out said 3.5moa for 400yds, Jim clicked the scope, Boom....Milk jug went 30 feet in the air, plastic shrapnel scattered through the sage brush. Bob was amazed at the power of the rifle.
Next test was the 717 jug, Exbal said 9.25moa correction, Jim adjusted the scope, Boom...dirt to the right several inches. The wind was from the left lightly, looked to be on for elevation. I told jim to aim at the left center of the jug, Boom...Jug gone! Dead center hit, the whole bottom half of the jug was gone.
Time to clean the rifle and take a ride to pick up the pieces.
Jim wanted to take a shot at the 1500yd Jug, i said well ok but dont be disapointed if you dont hit it, its a long ways and not a very big target, about 8". Exbal says, 29.75 for 1500yds...Jim closed the bolt and let one go down range....Dirt cloud about 10" right of jug, Jim didn't take into account the wind has come up. I asked him if he held to the left of the jug, NO he said, opps i forgot. So he dropped in another shell, fired...the Jug tipped over, not a hit but very close. Bob said, "i didnt think you would even get that close, that would of been a dead elk!"
Time to clean the rifle and take a ride out and see just where the impact was. First shot was 12" to the right, second shot hit dead center about 3" low. Back to the truck.
After cleaning Jim wanted to see what the grouping was at 1000yds. He fired two shots, both shots looked low by the dust clouds, i jumped on the ATV and had a look, nope...both hits were 8" high, 4" right of center (2.5" apart). Exbal said 16moa for 1000yds,but that seemed to be just a bit high. Once again Jim didnt allow for any wind. We lowered the scope .5 moa, adjusted it one click to the left. I told jim to fire three shots and we can see the grouping. All of this is from a Bi-Pod and rear sand bag. After firing we rode out to see how the correction went.
The group was on the vertical line, still about 1/3 moa high, about 3" to center. Group looked very nice, all i had was a tape to measure with, just under 4".
When we got back to the ranch, the calipers said just over 3.8" you should of seen the grins on those two elk hunters. Jim wants to take it for a longrange antelope hunt, says he can watch the real big ones out past 1200yds, with this rifle he feels it should be no problem.
Jim's current rifle he has been using is a 300H-H improved i built 30 years ago. Only a 2-7 scope limited him for longer shooting.
Bob's rifle is an Enfield, customized to 300 H-H mag. Most of the shots these guys get are under 300yds, but they consistantly see the big boys out past 1000yds.
Hope to hear some good news later on this fall.
It was a very fun shooting trip, and i never fired a shot!