There have been many thoughtful statements written in this post.
Another thing about making posts, is that we (me) sometimes fail to write everything we should becasue of either time, forgetfulness, or assumptions believing certain things should be a given.
For me, anyway, I have pretty much set for myself that I would use a spotting shot at ranges at 700 or so yards. Shot presentation (broadside) or very slight quartering are a given for me. Typically, I hunt cows not bulls (even though I have taken several).
My typical 2-3 shot group with no first shot @ 600 yards on paper to dope wind is in the 2.5-3.5 inch range shooting in filed conditions (prone with bi-pod). To date my vertical would be in the kill zone everytime. since I know there is a huge difference between 700 and 1k, hence the spotting shot for me.
I believe in verifying drops with actual field shooting at the distances I intend to potentially shoot at.
My longest shots on elk have all been with a 7mm primarily and out beyond 400 with a 30 cal.
In a specialty handgun my old 284 win XP had the performance of a 7-08 rifle when using a 140 Partition (2750 fps). With it I have taken a number of elk and including 2 bulls at ranges just shy of 550 yards.
in fact @ 540 yards my old 284 had an impact velocity of 1967 and energy was 1203.
My current elk thumper is a 7mm Dakota XP shooting 200 grain Wildcat's at 2706. At 1k in the conditions where I typically hunt elk my impact velocity is 1915 fps and energy is 1629. BC with my rig is right at .800.
When the aluminum tipped bullets come out I expect that to jump higher all things being equal.
I would expect that when it comes to wind drift that I am right up there if not better with many using rifles using name brand standard bullets: Nosler, Sierra, hornady, Speer. Even with the use of VLD's I am still pleased.
I am continuing to better myself at the discipline, as I feel one can't stop when it comes to bettering oneself in a area where this is much emotion and differing convictions.
Probably more needs, to be said, but like I mentioned before time is of the essence