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Learning

 
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  #1  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Learning

I am a newbie (you tired of hearing those words yet?) and I am curious as to where I can learn a lot of this information. I mean, I have read lots and lots of the articles on this website, I have been shooting for years, huting coons and coyotes and such. But I live in Illinois where if you are using a rifle, it is probably for a coyote, and around here, you just grab what you got, hop in a truck and go. Well I have very much gotten into yote hunting this last 18 months or so, and I would like to be able to take those 500 plus yard shots. My problem is, instead of just going out and spending money, I should do now what I should have done a few years back. Where do I start with the basics? I don't mean as far as breathing, holding, etc (although those stickies had some good info in them), I am more interested in learning about calibers, ammmo, MOA, etc. I would like to be able to make educated firearm decisions, instead of going and spending 2 grand and wondering why I can hit anything at 300 yards. So I was just curious if there were books, dvds, whatever it may be to get? Thanks for your help in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2011, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: OREGON
Posts: 782
Re: Learning

Do you handload? If not I would start there with a complete kit from RCBS or other and you will be amazed on what follows. The more you know about how a firearm works the better you will know what you want. Ask lots of questions to anyone who will listen. There are no dumb questions just dumb answers...
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2011, 11:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 8
Re: Learning

I do not handload, I would like to, but am worried I am not smart enough. I have a few buddies who do, and they all said they would do it for me, but I am one who would rather do it myself and learn. Just always worried I am going to mess something up. And I'm sure if you give it time I will have plenty of dumb questions . Thanks for the answer though, you were the first answer to my first post.... Hopefully someday I will be the one answering.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2011, 11:42 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 2,228
Re: Learning

i shot a coyote friday at 419 yards. i can tell you what you need for coyotes at 500 yards plus . a rifle capable of very small groups at that distance. handloaded ammo. a very good scope. a very good range finder. a kenton knobb or equivalent. some targets or coyotes.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2011, 02:21 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Inland Empire, CA
Posts: 44
Re: Learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by bboock View Post
I do not handload, I would like to, but am worried I am not smart enough.
It doesn't take 'smarts' to safely and properly reload. It only takes responsibility and maturity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bboock View Post
I have a few buddies who do, and they all said they would do it for me.
That would be a dumb move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bboock View Post
but I am one who would rather do it myself and learn.
That's the spirit!!!!

If you're responsible and mature enough to handle a firearm, then you're responsible and mature enough to reload your own ammunition. Having 'buddies' or anyone else roll ammo for you to shoot in your weapon is a very bad idea. Have a bit more confidence in your abilities.

To add to the answers here, I recommend you first get a hold of some books regarding ballistics (specifically external and terminal ballistics) required to drop the game you intend to kill at long range. That will help you decide on which caliber. Get a hold of some books dealing with the basics of long range shooting. One I can recommend is The Ultimate Sniper by Major John Plaster. That book has everything you need all in one book necessary to get you your understanding of long range accurate shooting.

I would recommend buying decent factory loads for you new rifle and save your brass. Practice, practice and practice. Then....practice some more.
Once you've acquired a few hundred spent casings, you can start learning about and gathering some reloading gear.

Good luck.
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Run as fast and as long as you can... my little friend will catch up and set you free.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2011, 10:56 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Searcy, Arkansas
Posts: 700
Re: Learning

Bboock,

For "how to" video's you might check out Shawn Carlock (Defensive edge). The gear shop on this site sells some of his videos. Darrell Holland may have some videos available too. Shawn's "A how to guide for long range hunting" has quite a bit of useful information for someone starting out, as well as his "Send It" hunting and shooting videos.

You specifically stated your goal is coyotes at 500 yards or so. I will make some suggestions based on that goal. I am more into big game at 1000+ and if you decide you want to play that game, the requirements will be much different.

Ok, yotes at 500: I suggest something along the line of a 7mm rem mag, or short mag (not ultra mag), a 260 rem is also a good choice, as is a 25-06. A 243 is not a bad choice either. I like the 7mm because of the heavier higher BC bullets available which will give much better performance in windy conditions than smaller calibers. Many yotes have been killed with 22-250s, 222s, and 223s. They are good rounds, but the small .22 cal bullets get pushed around by the wind pretty bad at the longer ranges.

For an off the shelf rifle, you probably cannot beat the heavy varmint barrel Savage. Remmington, Tikka, Sako, are also good ones to consider. you don't have to have custom rifle, but you need one that will shoot 1 moa out of the box. 1 moa at 500 yards is 5" (close enough anyway) and that is all you can have and still make dependable hits on a yote at that range.

You will need a range finder that is rated to at least 1000 yards. (most will range critters at about half the distance they are rated) Bi-pod and or shooting sticks, rear bag (bean bag) Practice in your living room learning how to get steady in a variety of shooting positions. Just remember when you learn how to get steady, having the crosshairs steady on your target is just the way it is....... if you can't get steady, you don't take the shot. Practice prone with a bipod and rear bag, and sitting with the shooting sticks. Find the best ways for you to sit and position your legs and elbows to give you a good solid bone to bone lock up (elbows on knees). Go ahead and dry fire your rifle when doing this (it won't hurt it) you can get a "snap cap" if you are worried about dry firing damaging the firing pin.

You will need a reasonably good scope, something that will adjust up to 12X or so with some type of a multi-line reticle. You can go with a "dial up" scope but you are looking at spending $1,200 to $2,000 for a good one, and cheap ones generally do not track well and will drive you crazy. I suggest the multi-line reticle for your first long range scope.

Others have mentioned handloading. Yes, you need to handload and generally speaking you should use the heaviest bullets available for your particular caliber. Remember, ballistic coefficient (BC) is what counts not speed.

Someone mentioned the book the "Ultimate Sniper" it is a good book although it has a lot of military related stuff in it that will not be really useful for hunting yotes, but still worth the read. "Handloading for Competition" by Zedicker (or something like that) is a really good book on handloading, "Applied Ballisics" by Bryan Litz (sold in the gear shop) is a good book as well.

A ballistic program (you can download one for an Iphone or Droid) is very helpful both in the field and for learning what your particular load / rifle is capable of doing and how conditions (wind, temp, humidity) affect things. A chronograph is also almost a necessity when using a ballistic program. You can get a cheap one from Cabela's for about $100 and it will work just fine for your initial needs. It like just every other piece of equipment will need to be upgraded if you get into longer range shooting.

Others may have some other suggestions, but those are my basic reccomendations based on your beginer level and your distance and varmint criteria. Long range shooting can be addictive, and you may want to move on out as your get profficient at 500 yards. Keep in mind as you start looking at longer ranges, your equipment and handloading will have get much more precise, (more expensive!) but the above reccomendations should get you going without having to spend too much coin

Good luck and have fun!
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2011, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
Posts: 2,228
Re: Learning

RDM- Bboock said "500 yards plus" . i agree he need a rifle that will shoot 1 moa at 500+ ( at 600 that would be 6 inches) . i shootin matches all the time at 500 and 600 yards. beside the senderos which come in large big game calibers there are only a few factory rifles i know of that will come close to a 5 inch 5 shot group or a 6 inch group at 500 and 600 yards repectively. a rem 40x. a savage fclassin either 6mm br or 6.5-284 or a savage lrpv in 22-250 with a 9 twist. i am not the savage wagon but,i shoot against them all the time. those three with proper ammo and scope will shoot . i shoot a remington with krieger barrel . sendero witha krieger barrel. they will do it . on a calm day . starting with an sps varmint .243 is a good start if that is what the budget allows.
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