Well it seems like I've found a place where I can get some questions answered by people who've been there and done that, but first, a little background:
I recently acquired a new Savage 12FV 22-250 with a Simmons 4-12x40 scope. It's the first rifle that I've owned that is designed to be used for accuracy at long ranges. I qualify 38/40 on BRM so I fancy myself to be a decent shot with iron sights, but I'm not experienced with a scope beyond what I've read (which is quite a lot).
Here then are my questions: 1) What is the distance being addressed when the term "long-range" is used? 300+, 500+, more? 2) How can I accurately simulate extra distance between myself and my target (optically) by shrinking the target? Is there a formula or table that I can use? 3) Where in eastern Washington/western Idaho can I find some varmints? 4) What is the typical range involved with varmint hunting?
I know that I'm forgetting a bunch of questions that I'll remember 5 minutes after I post this.
1) I think how far 'Long range' is depends on the catridge in question more than anything (I would say a long shot with a .22 is 250y-300y, where a long shot with a .300 Ultra Mag might be 1200y) But generally i would say 600y+
2) Not sure, but if your using a 12"x12" target with a 2" bullseye at 200y, a 6"x6" target with a 1" bullseye would look simler to the origanal target at 400y. Or try winding you scope power back a bit.
3) Sorry can't help there
4) Going from my own experiance with .22 centerfires around 200-350 yards
Hope this helps [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
[ 05-17-2004: Message edited by: IceSniper ]
Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs & cackling "You're next". They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.
I fairly new here myself. There are a great bunch of guys on this forum, and I think you'll find just about every question you have answered here.
I agree with IceSniper. Long range is whatever taxes the ability of the shooter and the capability of the rifle. I LOVE hunting the little Sonoran ground squirrels on my property with a .22 rimfire. 75-100 yards on one of those four inch tall suckers is definitely long range. Here in the desert, I rarely take a shot at coue's deer inside of 300 yards, and have dropped several at much longer distances. We regularly set up on prairie dogs at 400+ yards as a way to keep practicing fun and challenging. In short, there are no criteria. What seemed like long range yesterday will be an easy shot tomorrow if you keep working on improvement.
The NRA has played the smaller target for simulated long range game for a while. It still isn't real. I don't have any practical solution to trying to simulate distances. Form be damned, the difference between a good long range marksman and a great marksman lies in the ability to read the wind. You don't get that up close with a smaller target.
As for long range varmints - I know people who sit back and try to shoot prairie dogs at 1000 yards hoping to bag one and join the 1000 yard club. I would rather hit 100% of the dogs at 400 yards than an occasional dog at 1000, but that is just me.
I agree too. I just don't think you can really accurately simulate the enviromental effects etc unless you actually shoot in them, that's the biggest drawback I see. Shooting with a 22LR at LR is the closest thing you'll find to "simulation" at relatively close range and what I'd recommend, it is very unforgiving.
Once you get out past 400-500 yards in a good wind, even with the faster cartridges and high BC bullets you can start to get a good feel for the wind, 600-700 and you are increasing your difficulty quite a bit, out past that will help you with the closer in shooting tremendously and you will definitely learn quickly that controling vertical with the load/tuning, judging wind and noting all other things that are much less critical at closer ranges become pure necessity.
I think enviornmental conditions and type or quality of rest you're using at that moment determines if it's LR. From a bipod 500 yards is not very difficult in mild conditions with some practice. 600, 700, 800, 900 etc each require more and more skill in the fundimentals of LR shooting than the previous range.
One thing that is VERY important to learning the most you can with the least amount of time and ammo consumed is to TAKE EXCELLENT NOTES... EVERY SINGLE GROUP/ROUND YOU SHOOT... They must be in a log book, and not missing pertinant information here and there that you will need to review later on. The log must be well organized and complete. You must be able to actually READ QUICKLY and still UNDERSTAND it 1/5/10 years later, and you can't do that with half a$$ed notes on paper here, there and every where... And you won't remember nothing close to what is useful down the road if you don't wright it down, just forget it, there's way too much to keep track of.
Excellent suggestions! I didn’t think to mention the notebook. I keep a book on every rifle I shoot. I keep targets with load data noted on them, chronograph data, and every other note I can think to make on each outing. Keeping the book like a journal will definitely teach you to pay attention to what is going on when things go well, as well as which variables seem to cause the most problems for you and your setup.
I tell all my friends that the best way to learn to shoot high-powered rifles well is to master the .22LR at 100 yards. Those little, slow bullets are very unforgiving of any shooter errors. They are in the barrel long enough that the shooter’s faults AFTER the trigger is squeezed are really accentuated. Go hang out at, or participate in, .22LR 100 yard prone matches. You will pick up a lot of tips that apply to all shooting, and it won’t cost a fortune while you hone your skills.
I'd have to agree with Chessman. Long range isn't really a fixed number it's more of an evolution of skills. When I got hooked on the long range stuff (not that long ago) I thought it would be great to be able to hit things 300 to 400 yds. away. Now I'm fairly proficient inside 400 yds (under 1 MOA)and now I'm thinking it would be great to hit things 500 to 700 yards away. Hopefully, with lots of practice, by the end of the summer I can get respectable results at those ranges then move out some more.
I guess the point of all this rambling is that nobody starts out putting them all in the bullseye at 1k it's a series of little steps.
Ignorance can be treated with education, sadly there is no cure for stupidity.