Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > The Basics, Starting Out


Reply

the half mile shot

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-19-2009, 02:24 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
the half mile shot

Im new to LRH and have a few questions.
1st. Is the 308 capable of reaching deer and smaller animals at a half mile? If not, what caliber should i look at? I want a caliber that isnt a barrel burner and ammo that is cheap and plentiful to shoot.

2nd. Barrel options. Should i stick with the stock stainless steel barrel? Or should i upgrade to a thick varmint barrel? And, muzzle brakes?

My gun of choice will be a Savage in left hand. Since i am new to this sport i want a gun that is cheap to purchase and cheap to shoot until i feel comfortable enough to upgrade.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-19-2009, 06:34 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,953
Re: the half mile shot

Hello Huntin Junkie and welcome to LRH,

The question of range is dependant on a lot of variables. The short answer to your question is that 880 yds (half a mile) is a bit far for a standard 308 shooting typical bullet/load combinations.

First thing to consider is bullet performance. Most "hunting" bullets expand down to a velocity of 1800 fps. Some a little higher and some a little lower. I dont tell anyone else how to hunt but I use the performance limitations of the bullet as my hunting range limitation in most cases, especially on larger game.

From there it is only a matter of running the numbers on a ballitics program. The main factors that will affect the range of the bullet are BC, velocity, elevation and temp. Temp can also affect velocity by affecting the burn rate fo the powder. Barrel length will also affect velocity and every rifle will shoot different than another.

So if we look at a typical 308 shooting a 165 Nosler AB with a BC of .475 and a generous MV of 2900 out of a 24" factory barrel @ 1000' elevation, you can get as far as about 630 yds with 1800 fps of velocity. If you use a 168 AMax, you can push that out a little becuase it opens at lower velocities, but with those weight bullets you are also running low on energy and momentum. If you jump up to 5000' you can stretch it out another 90 yds.

Some powders might get you a little more velocity, one of which is RL17 which works well in 308's and a lot of other cartridges. I have seen boosts of 200 fps using RL17 in a 300 WSM and a 25-06. So with the right bullet, in the right rifle (26" barrel or longer) and the right powder, you just might be albe to stretch to a half mile, but it all has to come together.

Being interested in LR, my choice in the 30 cal would be the 300 WSM. The rifle will cost the same for the same model. The differnce in reloading costs will be very minimal and you can shoot higher BC bullets faster. The difference in range will be about 200-300 yds. And the 300 WSM will last a long time.

The draw back is that it will have more recoil, but there are trade offs and costs to pay for performance.

I personally dont like brakes, but that's a personal choice. If you're looking for a carry rifle, you'll need to get your ear plugs in before shooting, so quick offhand shots will be very difficult.

Hope that helps and good shooting,

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-19-2009, 08:37 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central Washington
Posts: 491
Re: the half mile shot

Quote:
Originally Posted by huntin_junkie View Post
Im new to LRH and have a few questions.
1st. Is the 308 capable of reaching deer and smaller animals at a half mile? If not, what caliber should i look at? I want a caliber that isnt a barrel burner and ammo that is cheap and plentiful to shoot.

Wow! Don't we all want a caliber that isn't a barrel burner and ammo that is cheap and plentiful!!!

Capable of deer? With perfect shot placement, yes. BUT shooting a .308 out to 880 yards and expecting perfect shot placement...well, that's a stretch. NO WAY is a .308 a capable deer rifle at 1/2 mile in my book.

2nd. Barrel options. Should i stick with the stock stainless steel barrel? Or should i upgrade to a thick varmint barrel? And, muzzle brakes?

Personally, I like muzzle brakes, but practicing with them can be difficult, because some ranges don't like them. If it is a hunting rifle, carrying a thick varmint barrel around will be a pain for deer. They are fine for varmints, where you generally pick a spot and then stick with it.

My gun of choice will be a Savage in left hand. Since i am new to this sport i want a gun that is cheap to purchase and cheap to shoot until i feel comfortable enough to upgrade.

That new Savages are great guns for the price, and very accurate. They make a good choice for LRH, but make sure you pick a reasonable caliber if you intend on hunting at 880 yards or more! The .308 isn't it!
Bill 7mm WSM
__________________

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

Thomas Jefferson

http://waitesandbalances.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-19-2009, 10:01 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,263
Re: the half mile shot

308 on varmints...no problem. If you can see 'em, sling one at 'em. I've killed groundhogs with my 308 out to 810. My 308 1k Rifle - The Evolution Continues!

308 on deer...700 yards is going to be about the max.

For deer to 880...300wsm is a good suggestion.

This year I will start building what I consider to be a great three rifle battery....

260rem
280rem (have one of these already - My 280 - Updated!)
300wsm
__________________
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-20-2009, 01:37 AM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: McLean, Virginia
Posts: 985
Re: the half mile shot

If you ignore shooter induced variables. say perfect weather conditions and rifle free-recoiling, take the shooter out of the equation. A .308 with 28-30" tube shooting 200gr sierra gamekings (expansion velocity >1500fps) using VV-N540 the .308 can maintain 1000ft/lbs of energy to 750yards. But a .308 is far from ideal for deer at that kind of range, as a do all starter gun, it works pretty well. A .308 was my first gun and i loved it, used it for deer, hogs, steel, and paper. The recoil isnt too punishing and reloading for it isnt all that expensive, meaning you can get out and shoot more.

BTW .280fan we seem to be posting on all the same threads XD i just looked over all the sub forums for threads that interested me and now im going through them posting. Your 3 gun setup sounds awsome! im planning on something like that. mine will be: custom .308 for f-class (being built right now), 7WSM, .284win or 7Dakota, and a 25-06 or 6.5-06 AI. Still a lot of opitions but im sure ill have decided long before i have the cash to make them a reality.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-20-2009, 05:04 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Re: the half mile shot

Now that you all have changed my mind about the 308. Would you recommend a 300 win mag with a stock 24" or 26" stainless steel barrel for the time being until i find some more dough to get a new barrel?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-20-2009, 05:18 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,873
Re: the half mile shot

YES on the 300 WM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: the half mile shot
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for Scope for 22-250 for better half:) Aldon Long Range Scopes and Other Optics 1 07-14-2010 06:55 AM
90% of the performance, half the price? bwaites Long Range Scopes and Other Optics 49 11-17-2009 07:27 PM
It's Half the Price! telkev Humor 0 05-26-2008 12:05 AM
100,000 rounds of ammo in one half hour! Ian M General Discussion 2 12-20-2004 12:06 PM
1 mile shot jbubb Long Range Hunting & Shooting 15 02-05-2004 11:51 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC