A very naive question

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by lurcher, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. lurcher

    lurcher Active Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Say you have a medium-powered (say 6.5X55, 7mm-08, .260 or similar) centrefire with a standard plex reticle scope, no target reticle or target turrets say 3-9X40 or thereabouts and you are shooting in the field from shooting sticks or prone with a bag for rest and some clothing under the butt, or similar how far are you confident (or how far should the average long-range shooter) be able to comfortably shoot (or feel comfortable about attempting to shoot) a medium size deer in ideal shooting conditions?

    Assuming the rifle shoots 1 MOA, You have a rangefinder and from a basic program inputting BC and bullet weight/speed) you know roughly what your drop/windage should be (ie you have a rough drop chart)drop is roughly 9 inches at 300 yards, 24 inches at 400 yards

    Very curious!


  2. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Well up until about this time last year, this was basically my situation. I have hunted using similar rifles most of my life. In and around 10 years ago, my daughter and I built our own range here on our farm. We painfully measured the yardages out to 300 yards using a 100ft tape. I developed loads through the years ro optimum performance out to 400yds, and after having the range to check the loads it was very much a learning experience. Just about all of the loads shot as predicted and were well within MOA out to the 300yd target. This only validated what I had hoped and worked for when working up the loads.

    After this, I knew what the actual drops were on my loads and then my ranges were extended to a little further than what I had previously shot. I did as most and started off on varmints such as yotes and our booming feral hog population. This gave me the confidence in my, and the rifles abilities to shoot my first 400yd whitetail.

    When shooting the plex, you can use them for measureing and some ranging just as easily as the mil dots and such, to a certian degree. You do have to check them at set powers and known ranges however to know, "hey I am getting the bottom half of the plex on a brisket to back, and that should be 300yds according to what I measured off."

    I used several things to check out our different scopes but the best was a t-post that we painted of in 6" increments. The post could be easily moved and quickly set up at the various ranges. The marks were contrasting black and white, so that you could judge the differences closly on the reticle.

    IT isn't as precise as what I am doing now, but then again, at the time, I never imagined having something that does, nor shooting at anything consistantly over 400yds. It will however give you the knowledge to use a standard plex scope to range and shoot confidently to further distances.

    I know that my 25-05 using my handload, will drop around 18" at 400 yds on average, from a 200yd zero. The Leupold that I had on it, could be used to judge, the brisket to back on a whitetail which is on average about that same distance. Then it was simply account for the breeze if there was any and slip on into the vitals. For deer this was about the furtherest I would shoot.

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004

    My experience is pretty much the same as Mike/Tx's

    I built a 270 in 1966. It shot 3/4" average over many 100 yd groups w/sierra 130 BTs @ 3200 and 90s @ 3400. Point of impact at 100 yds was 1/2" difference in windage. It had a Leuy VX II 3x9 w/duplex. This rifle was the only one I had or used over that time and shot enough that a couple of years ago I't wouldn't shoot 'good' anymore. Many thousands of bullets went down that tube.

    After 30+ years of shooting jackrabbits, chucks, yotes and deer I just got to "know" the rifle. We did some awsome/foolish stuff together, like the time I told my pardner "you can't hit if you don't shoot" then with the power @ 9 and the deer's head and neck only visible at the bottom of the scope, then hit it.

    Having said that I missed a trophy buck (11 shots) because I was "unknowingly" on 3X when I tho't I was on 9X. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    Having moved from PA where I was really good at ranging, I learned I really sucked at ranging in Idaho but I didn't learn that until I got the LRF last year.

    With the LRF my 300 yds shots turned into 196yd shots and some 200 yd shots turned into 350 yarders.

    Now its LRF and Mil Dot scope and "don't leave home without them" but only in the last two years.

  4. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    I started about the same way. Zeroed for 200 yards, and calculated bullet drop out to 500 yards, put a hand written balistic card on my gunstock, and used holdover for all my shooting. I had a rangefinder to determine distance. This worked well for me right up until I found this site. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif