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Practice and field routine for LR

 
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  #1  
Old 03-21-2012, 08:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Practice and field routine for LR

Hi all,

I have only been shooting long(er) range for a few months with a .308win I setup for this purpose. I am running 168amax at around 2700fps. I have yet to take it hunting (deer) but am planning to next month. Probably realistically limiting myself to 600m at this point.

I was wondering what people would recommend as a good practice routine to make sure I am confident of cleanly taking an animal within the selected range?

Also, when in the field (hunting), do people normally re-check their zero and take a few trial shots prior to the hunt? Is the ´line up on a rock at x range and let off a shot´ a good approach, or does this merely confuse things?

Cheers,

Matt
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:30 AM
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Re: Practice and field routine for LR

Quote:
Originally Posted by earplay View Post
Hi all,

I have only been shooting long(er) range for a few months with a .308win I setup for this purpose. I am running 168amax at around 2700fps. I have yet to take it hunting (deer) but am planning to next month. Probably realistically limiting myself to 600m at this point.

I was wondering what people would recommend as a good practice routine to make sure I am confident of cleanly taking an animal within the selected range?

Also, when in the field (hunting), do people normally re-check their zero and take a few trial shots prior to the hunt? Is the ´line up on a rock at x range and let off a shot´ a good approach, or does this merely confuse things?

Cheers,

Matt
From a practice routine standpoint, given your basic shooting skills are developed, I would practice at your range limit using the shooting positions planned. Bipod, bag rest, etc. This does make a difference at extended ranges.
I always test my zero before a hunt, particularly if there is a change in location or if air travel was involved. I usually will do as you describe, pick a distant rock, and take a few shots to confirm impact point. It is a good approach. If you find yourself confused after this check you probably have a problem that needs to be addressed. IMHO.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:33 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 38
Re: Practice and field routine for LR

Ok, thanks for the input.

I was thinking if I can get a shot into a 6inch circle at various ranges I should be ok? I was thinking of ditching the bipod and just shooting off my daybag, but assume I will need to practice like this as well.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Federal Way, WA
Posts: 204
Re: Practice and field routine for LR

I would suggest practicing longer shots than you are expecting to take. I'm reminded of an article that Shawn Carlock wrote that I don't have the time to look up right now. He talked about practicing shooting at VERY long range (2,000 or so I think but I could be miss-remembering) for hunting. After writing that he clarified that while he practiced shooting that far he didn't actually intend on hunting at that range. Why practice a hunting scenario at a range much further than you intend to hunt at? To paraphrase, "If you want to make a 1,000 yard shot seem short, practice at 2,000". I'd recommend spending the bulk of your time working on shots within the range you intend to hunt but don't neglect longer shots in practice if you have the space.

A 6" first shot is a very good standard to go for and gives a good margin for error, which I personally feel is very important for ethical hunting. In reality, the ideal target area for a deer is probably closer to 16-20 inches. You would probably be safe opening up your target size a little but that is entirely up to your own discretion as an ethical hunter. Personally, I go for about 8-10" from point of aim for first shot in determining my range. Also for myself, conditions are more often the limiting factor over range. Variable wind and unfamiliar atmospheric conditions can handicap my 900 yard limit to 400 in a hurry.


I'd keep the bipod on and practice off the bag as well. The old "better to have and not need than need and not have theory".
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:15 AM
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 423
Re: Practice and field routine for LR

Quote:
Originally Posted by earplay View Post
I have yet to take it hunting (deer) but am planning to next month.
I would like to know where to hunt deer in April ?

I am a noob to long range too, I use an 8" round steel plate for field practice, I figure as long as I can reliably hit the plate every shot I'm good for anything from coyotes on up at that range under those conditions. I always try to check my zero after traveling any more than a few miles. I leave my bipod on also, just gives more options when it's time to shoot.

Bob
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2012, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,377
Re: Practice and field routine for LR

I practice where I hunt, or in similar country. I shoot in all kinds of conditions, from mid range to extreme range. Establish a load and validate your trajectory on the range, then get off it. Real shooting in real hunting conditions is invaluable. I regularly shoot to and beyond a mile. I regularly shoot in rough winds, in the rain, at steep angles, from challenging set ups..... I compete. Competition simulates the pressure of a hunt.

When I get a solid shot opportunity at 1000 yards, I don't wonder about anything. I know what I can do.

Shoot that rifle! Take notes and learn. Map velocity changes with temperature. Pay attention to every miss. Evaluate and learn, don't just pull the trigger and shrug.

Always check zero if you travel to hunt. Poppin' a rock now and then keeps the confidence high. Dry firing on a set up helps calm the nerves and check your set up for stability. Have fun!
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:35 PM
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Posts: 38
Re: Practice and field routine for LR

Thanks for the pointers, much appreciated.

Deer in April may require you to come to the other end of the planet
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