This is my first post. I will say right up front that I am one of those other hunters, you know the ones that think you should always try to get as close as possible. My hunting values where instilled into me by my grandfather, who told me, always reduce as many variables as possible even if that means not taking the shot. He said, there will always be another opportunity, but you can never take back a bad shot.
Having said that, I do not condemn anyone for what you do. I know that most everyone here is an ethical, disciplined, responsible hunter as the next. So here it is, I want to have all the experience and understanding of what you do before I make up my mind one way or another. I have always been interested in long range shooting, and I am thinking of getting into F-class. If I get hooked like so many seem to, then maybe, just maybe, long range hunting will make more sense to me (again not passing judgement). What I want to know is where to start. I have a Ruger hawkeye ss 308 that shoots 1 1/8" at a hundred yards with factory Remington umc 150grn. Can I build an F-class from this rifle (I bought it new only 4 months ago)?, or would it be cheaper to sell it and start somewhere else? I want to shoot a lot but don't want to upgrade later, so do I need a different caliber? I have owned a Remington Sendaro 300 wm. I now like the 300 wsm and have thought about getting something in this cal. My main passion is elk hunting when I hit the hills. All input is appreciated as well as any advice to something I haven't asked.
Here is your chance to convert someone new into your camp!
"My hunting values where instilled into me by my grandfather, who told me, always reduce as many variables as possible even if that means not taking the shot. He said, there will always be another opportunity, but you can never take back a bad shot."
Sounds to me like you Granpappy was a sensible man. Believe it or believe it not these are the very same "principles" these fine gentlemen have taught me here on this forum. Trying not to be obtuse, but longrange hunting isn't about Oh look theres one at 750yds BOOM oh sh*t I think I wounded it or missed! those kinda activities are for the forums labelled Cowboys, I'm sure they got them some where on this www dot thingy but hey... NOT HERE!
Longrange anything is a skill that has to be taught and learnt and the very act of putting a bullet in the right place at a considerable distance takes skill and knowledge just like shooting in F Class. As you practice on the range, your knowledge and experience grows and your skills improve.
You are fortunate, in the USA you have people who can teach and guide you. If I were you I would try and get someone to mentor you and take you under their wing and show you the ropes and explain what you need eqpt wise to do this effectively. Repesect them also, just like your Grandpappy said; listen, absorb, be polite and contribute where you can to the costs of teaching you.
I applaud you wanting and seeking first hand experience of what we do before you make the judgement call as to whether or not LRH is for you. Too many times people formulate an opinion on nothing more than complete bullsh*t and then run with it, your not doing this and so I for one, welcome you here.
Be humbled by the generosity of the people here, their non judgemental approach to your wanting to learn and their desire to welcome you and support you in whatever way they can and I guearantee it will be a fantastic experience and you will learn from the true experts in their fields.
Vegetarian is an old Indian word for lousy hunter!
Welcome aboard Straitshooter , I think that you will find that the guys here are very understanding of everybody elses oppinions , for the most part , and generaly don't pass judgement against anybody.
F-class shooting is a great place to start shooting long range , as it allows you to practice fighting one of the biggest factors thats the wind , the range is known so thats generaly not to worried about. As for your gun , well 1.5" groups at 100yds surely won't cut it in any kind of match. I personaly don't care for Ruger action and like them less and less evry time I work with one (insert bad words about front action screw) but they can be made to shoot as well as any other action. Unless you had a fondness of this gun I'd sell it and either put that money toward a custom action and build from their or start with a known accurate rifle like the Sendero serries from Remington , the BVSS from Savage and a couple other of the heavier barreled rifles from other makers. Right now Savage is making a rifle specificaly for the F-class crowd chambered in 308 and 6.5-284. It has a 30" heavy barrel. I think that the 308 would be a good place to start with this rifle as its slower velocity will make your respect the wind and ranges more , that in turn will helop you out in the LR area , its also cheaper to shoot , has a very long barrel life and several ammo makers offer match quality ammo for it if you don't reload yet. Another good thing about the 308 in this gun is that once you get better at shooting and range estimation a simple rechamber job and swap out the bolt head and you can step up to the 300 WSM or other 30 cal wildcats and take better advantage of that 30" barrel. I think these guns are selling for under $1000 now and all of them that I have heard of will shoot in the 1/2" range , I know guys that spend 3 times that amount on full custom rebuilds and strugle to get close to 1/2" groups.
When you think about guys shooting long range and how risky it is think about this , your rifle shoot 1.5" groups at 100yds , alot of the guys here shoot groups like that at 600yds!! so your shooting at the same size target and your rifle goups just as well but ours is 5 football fields further away. I agree with getting closer if it possible especialy on animlas like elk that are harder to kill than the smaller deer.
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I know that as in any large group of people, it only takes a few bad seeds to give the selected activity a bad name. I am not saying that long range hunting has a bad name, but I have heard some traditional hunters bashing on the long range guys, and just wanted to say that there are some bad seeds in that group also. I know that any pure long range hunter is skilled at what they do, and that takes a lot more time and dedication than probably 95% of all other hunters are willing to put in.
I want to get into F-class just to learn. I would like to get to know the people and take my shooting to another level. I don't want to pretend at being a sniper, I just love shooting! I know I will need a very accurate rifle scope combo, and so far I have only worked up hunting accurate. Free floating, bedding, and hand loads is all that I have ever needed, so I do need some help on where to step first. The only thing I would like is to start with a rifle I could use on my elk hunts also. A 30" barreled action seems to be a bit cumbersome. If that is what I need then so be it. I don't need anything top of the line or pretty, just functional. If someone has something used at a good price I am willing to go that route also.
I would like a mentor, I know how much time that can shave off the learning curve. I live in Las Vegas, so if there is a long range guy in my area and is willing to take someone under his wing drop me a line (I am willing to listen and learn). Again thanks for the warm welcome and all advice so far. Looking forward to meeting you all out at an F-class one day! Keep the suggestions coming.
Last edited by straightshooter; 12-16-2007 at 04:35 PM.