Practice is the key to long range shooting proficiency.
I took my son out this last weekend to shoot and introduced him to flying lids.
First I let him shoot the 308 that he is used to. Then I let him shoot for the first time my 7mmAM which burns 103 grains of powder and is about as technicial a hunting rifle as is built. Adjusting the cheekpiece and then the fooling with the 8-32X 56 NF was new to him. The Jewell trigger surprised the fool out of him when it released the sear being as he is used to the Remington trigger. Even with a brake you do not get a 200 grain bullet moving over 3300 fps without a lot of movement and reaction from the rifle.
He was so amazed at the little 240 Wby in the 18 pound Joel Russo thumbhole and how docile it was. He knew it was capable of kiling at ranges past 1100 yards but it was such a mild and sweet little thing. It is hard not to love that rifle
After that he was bored. So at 300 yards, I took the 308 and got to shooting just under red plastic jar lids on a berm and making them jump and fly around. He got intrigued and we burned up a 100 rounds of ammo making the lids fly.
The morale of the story is that whatever it takes to make practice interesting is a good thing. I personally perfer to shoot paper so I can analyze my groups, but sometimes you have to just have some fun. It was great practice for him and me trying to read the wind and use the NP-R1 reticle for adjustment. It was also great practice working together.
I appreciate what you wrote and the way you wrote it.
"Long range shooting is addictive. It becomes a passion with many shooters. I have to make a confession. I enjoy shooting steel plates and busting small far-off rocks virtually as much as I enjoy long-range hunting. My friends and I practice so we can make long kills if required. We do not pass up on close shots nor would we ever move back to extend the distance of a hunting shot. There are circumstances where the long shot is the only option."
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
That's a great article. I really enjoy reading when the author is clearly passionate about the subject. Long range shooting can certianly become addicitive (just ask my wife). I usually shoot eggs from 500 to 612yds at 740yds we shoot clay pigeons, and eggs, although eggs are very challenging at that range. In good conditions with a good rifle (and hand loads) shooting eggs at 500yds can be done with extremely high hit percentage. My buddy and I threw a video together (just for fun) here's the link... YouTube - Shooting Eggs @ 500yds 1
(the over dramatic music is meant to be humorous).
At just over 600yds eggs can be hit with stunning regularity as well. 740yds is another story alltogether (due in part to difficult conditions and shooting a caliber (308 win) that has poor wind bucking and ballistics), that's why we step it up to clay pigeons, when you spend hours handloading missing hurts! We've got steel set up at 740 also it's not very large I'd say 10"x12" great size to practice the "cold bore shot" and print some groups to ensure rifle/ammuntion accuracy. Here's a few pics
Good article Ian--well done. Back in '04 Ernie (XPhunter) and i decided to compete in Dave Lauck's ITRC (International Tactical Riflemens Championship) in Gillette, WY with our custom XP's. We liked the silhouette system he'd designed so on the way back we decided to come up with something for the specialty pistol guys, and we called it SHOTS (Specialty Handgun Outdoorsman's Seminar). But we had to come up with a portable silhouette system to get the course setup efficiently. What we cam e up with was super simple and cheap. Get 3 pieces of rebar, and 2 copper or galvanized plumbing T's. Pound 2 into the ground, set the T's on them and slide the 3rd thru parrallel to the ground. Now hang steel from it with S-hooks.
Now here's the fun part. Downtown is a scrap yard that had a bunch of "cinder block molds or pallets" that we purchased for .25/pound. These were 3/8ths thick made of metal that's very similar to stainless. Hard but not brittle. 10"x20". Great for shooting. Narry a dent on them, and they last forever. So i thought i'd see if i could get some even cheaper. I called the local brickyard, and turns out they make the CB's there. I went there and talked to the plant foreman, and he said i could have some if i wanted--FREE. I didn't need any at the time, but i thought wow what a deal. Turns out that most towns have a plant where they make cinder block pallets, and i'd bet that a guy could get then for free too. Worth a try.
Hey, I been there! That video is very enjoyable, and the digital images are really nice - particularly since it is minus 23 outside right now and I just shoveled snow for an hour. You guys would fit right into our crew, we even setup similarly with a big tarp and then shooting mats on top. We are a mite older that is probably why we carry a bit more equipment. Like everything except the kitchen sink (I better not mention that or it will be added to the list...). Believe it or not we frequently have two pickups about loaded down. We setup our spotter a bit differently, move the two shooters side-by-side and put the spotter at their feet in a comfortable chair. Again, that has to do with age, sometimes I nap-off while I am sitting back there in my comfortable chair... You have something we do not at my spots - trees. We are out on the bald-butt prairie and we get a lot of wind, frequently have to park the trucks as windbreaks. I even carry a couple of sheets of plywood to stand on the windward side, that stops the damn wind from coming under the truck.
Hitting those eggs is fine shooting. We have never tried that but do shoot targets about the same size. You would enjoy my AR500 deer and coyote with the pivoting heart and lungs, they are testy at 600 yards, damn near impossible at 700 unless you are having a very good day.
Thanks for the kind words you other guys, much appreciated. Jim, shooting with a son or daughter is special time, simple as that. I am awaiting my first trip with a grandchild, even have the rifle waiting patiently. Hope you can do a lot of that, they will always remember the funtimes. SS, I used to mooch plate steel on a continuous basis. Now I have bitten the bullet and purchased AR500 commercially made targets and life is much easier. They are not cheap but they work really well. Roy, a while back a buddy and I saw a nice buck down in a big steep draw. Hunting buddy looked at me, I looked at him. The deer just stood there. Both of had a slight problem, we had to P. So we did, then we setup on the buck but he got tired of watching us and boogered off. Young guys would have smoked his butt, then had a P, but time changes your priorities. He was lucky he was not a monster, then the lead would have been flying and we probably both would have wet our pants!