accuracy from long range under 10 lb guns?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by davewilson, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i've heard some mention they can shoot accurately out to 1k with their "lighter than we normally use" guns. would like to hear how accurate you can shoot, with what weight gun and the cartridge/bullet weight you're using. i'm considering a light weight rig for backpack type hunting and have been curious about accuracy at distance with them.
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    My lightweight general big game hunting rifle is my 7mm AM based on a Rem 700, HS sporter stock, HS DM system and Lilja #3 contour SS barrel.

    With the 3.5-10x40mm Mk4 Leuy and a 9-13" Harris standard bipod, it comes in at 9 3/4 lbs ready to hunt with.

    With the 200 gr ULD RBBT(3185 fps) or 160 gr Accubond(3445 fps), it will easily hold under moa out to a full 1000 yards. That said, I am not comfortable shooting at big game to that range with this rifle. My personal standard is 1/2 mile range limit with this rifle where it will consistantly hold 3/4 moa or better.

    If its breezy out, the 160 gr Accubond is not a 1/2 mile bullet in this rifle just because its effected by the wind much more. THe 200 gr ULD bucks the wind very well.

    Personally, if I am going to build a dedicated 1000 yard rifle, it will be 12-14 lbs ready to hunt with. The extra weight just adds to the shootability of the rifles and makes them easier to shoot to 1000 yards and hold much better consistancy as well.

    Thats just me though.
     

  3. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    It should not be a problem to get any custom/semi-custom rifle to consistently hit 1MOA targets, no matter the weight. Matter of fact it shouldn't be a problem to get several factory guns to do it.


    A 7.5lb all up, 7mm WSM Montana that is capable of killing big game from 0-1K is backpacking bliss.....
     
  4. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Charles A,

    What groups are you getting with that 7.5 lb 7mm WSM at 1000 yards from field shooting positions?

    Just curious.

    I can tell you that if you can consistantly hold 1 moa out to 1000 yards with that rifle, you have an exceptional rifle for a Montana and you are an exceptional shot as well. Not saying its not possible, hardly the case, but its not common.

    The shootability of a rifle is just as important as its shear accuracy potential. If fly farts next to you and moves the rifle right before it goes bang, you will never be able to hold that rifle steady enough for consistant grouping in all conditions and all shooting positions that are appropriate for long range shooting. If breathing and heart rate will move a rifle because it does not weigh enough to dampen that movement you will get get 1 moa groups at 1 K.

    Just curious what the group size you are getting at 1K and with what load?
     
  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    With a custom F-class rifle weighting about 14 pounds where the distance is known and the drops have been verified monthly for two years here is what my son shot to beat me last week at ranges from 800 yards to 1000 yards. This was with winds less than 1 mph. He was using a 308 and the only people who beat him were using 6.5-284s and they were lucky he didn't smoke them.

    16 out of 50 shots in 1.0 MOA circle
    22 out of 50 shots in 2.0 MOA circle
    12 out of 50 in 3.0 MOA circle

    Just something to think about being as the rifle will hold 0.3 MOA at 100 yards easily and I do mean easily.
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Sorry, but I got distracted while watching Jeopardy and forgot the bottom line. :rolleyes: In F-class as in real hunting, it is not only group size that means something but more importantly shot placement. Shooting a bull elk in the left hind leg three times and having a small group is a lot different than putting three through the chest. light bulb
     
  7. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Dave, good question here. I have a Sako finnlight in 300 WSM weighing in @ 6 3/8 lbs with a 24" fluted barrel. I'll be putting a 2 lb NF NXS scope on it.

    When I bought this rifle I wasn't considering LR hunting, but have become interested since. I'm planning on shooting 180 gr E-Tips with a BC of .523 which is good for a .30 cal hunting bullet. The ballistics tell me I can get one of these bullets out to about 850 - 950 yds with an opening performance velocity of 1800 fps, depending on MV, elevation etc.

    As Kirby has mentioned, it will take both me and the rifle to be reliably accurate to those distances. When you think about it, it really boils down to that first shot.

    My next LR packing rifle will likely be a 7mm Dakota built off my old Ruger tang saftey action, with #5 or #6, 26' or 27" Lilja flutted barrel amd Mc Millan stock. It should be capable of pushing a 180 gr VLD with a BC of .684 @ about 3050 fps. This load wil get the VLD out to 1200 yds @ 1800 fps at a conservative elk hunting elevation of 6000 ft. I would use 150 gr E-Tips at closer ranges out to about 600 yds.

    Good hunting
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  8. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I have an 8lb all in Rem 700 BDL in a Kevlar Brown Precision stock with 20MOA rail and 4.5x14x40 VXIII, Timney trigger, 24" barrel, Harris Bi-pod.

    The rifle will easily hold .5MOA HOWEVER, it is so light that it really takes patience in setting up for a field position shot. If you don't consciously think about
    1) push forward / pre-load the bipod.
    2) Relax trigger hand from ANY side pressure.
    3) Just the right amount of Cheek pressure
    4) oops, animal moved a little, start at #1 again :)

    If you don't really really focus on the shot, you could easily shoot 2MOA+ at distance with a rifle this light.

    The added weight of a 11-12lb or heavier rifle makes an enormous difference in shootability; especially when NOT shooting off a bench.

    BTW: shooting a 160AB and 162A-Max with Norma brass and RL-22. Best group is 5 shot group of 5/8" CTC at 200yds. 1/2" at 100 is easy from the bench as long as you keep the barrel reasonably cool.

    AJ
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  9. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    Richard Schatz owns a lot of 600yd and 1000yd IBS and NBRSA records shooting an 11# gun, so no you don't need a real heavy gun to shoot accurately at long range. The most important thing is to be able to read the wind, no matter what you're shooting.

    James
     
  10. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    I shot Kirby's 7mm AM a few months ago (amongst others). Now granted, it was from a shooting bench in the back of his pick-up (bipod and bag), but with his dope my first 2 shots that I ever sent downrange from this gun landed 2 3/4" apart @ over 600 Yds. These were the first 2 shots from this gun that day as well. I believe he said that the gun weighed 10#. The reticle in the scope was Mil-Dot, no clicking was involved.

    With more time behind the trigger, I would be comfortable shooting at game at 1K in the right conditions with this gun and that load.
     
  11. Boman

    Boman Well-Known Member

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    My custom lightweight .340wby will hold .5moa to about 500 yds then opens up to 1 moa to 1000yds under field conditions. The rifle is a Rem 700 action in a (Bansners) High tech specialties stock. Lilja #2 barrel, muzzle break. bipod and a homemade butt rest- just a small pillow. This rifle with scope is around 7lbs, all up and ready to hunt closer to 8.3lbs loaded.

    I've not shot at game at 1000yds. I haven't had a good opportunity yet. I consider this rifle which is my main hunting rifle to be solid to 600-700 yds. I've shot game right at 600 and fell very confident with it to that range. Also I take my time and get absolutley still and calm.

    I agree with Kirby when I build a dedicated 1000 yd game rifle I will want something in the 10-12lb range. When i do build dedicated rifles they will be a 7AM mag and then a 338AM lord willing.
     
  12. Kalashnikov

    Kalashnikov Well-Known Member

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    I had my 15 lb 338 LM (with brake) and 7.5 lb 300 RUM (no brake) at the range this past weekend confirming drop charts. Both are sub MOA rifles.

    The heavy 338 LM shot sub MOA all the way out to 800 yards (max at my range). No real issues and very consistent. I trust this gun on game out to 1000 yards.

    My lighweight 300 RUM pushing 180 Accubonds was very reliable at 500, 600 and 700 yards. Things started to unravel at 800 yards though, and I could not hold MOA accuracy. As such, I have verified for myself that my field limits for this 7.5 lb rifle/ammo is 700 yards.
     
  13. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't my gun. However if I were to start over that would be the direction I would be leaning for an all-around rifle. Shooting off of packs, the ones I have experience with had about the same percentage of first round hits as the 12-14lb guns. Some of the Montana's have exibited reletivly poor accuracy, however all most need is to be recrowned and bedded.


    Buffalobob, if you can pick the conditions, what would your first or second round hit percentage be on a one to two MOA target at 1K?

    Shooting 50 (or even 5) rounds for groups/score under a time limit is quite a bit different then shooting one or two at a 12-15 inch target. But you know that....
     
  14. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    When backpack hunting or long day hiking I think a guy needs to realistically look at about a half mile gun. In some circumstances you can stretch it out beyond that if you are exceptionally good at what you do. I am 6-2 and a very trim 215 pounds and a fairly strong hunter and a rifle that hits 11 pounds gets really tuff backpacking or hiking all day. I have quite a few rifles I backpack with that are extremely accurate between 9 1/4 and 10-3/4 pounds and if you know what you are doing they have the capability of going beyond 1000 yards. They all have 28"-30" barrels except the 338 Lapua's.

    I have 6, 338-378 weatherby's and three of these are the only rifles I hunt with over ten pounds. That is because of the heavy MK 5 action. The other three are on Ruger # 1's and are right at ten pounds. The accuracy loads all shoot the 300 matchking between 3000 and 3100 fps, the 250's between 3250 and 3375 fps and the 200's between 3550 and 3750 fps. My wife put five shots through a 4" bullseye at the quarter mile target while shooting off the bipod in a simulated hunting situation getting ready for her elk hunt. Her load was 132.5 grains of H-870 with a 200 grain nosler BT averaging 3633 fps. She later made a great shot on a big bull. I have made numerous long shots on game with these rifles and they are by far the hardest hitters I have ever seen on game animals. Basically they are just incredible performers on big game animals and why I end up going to them most of the time. I have built and shot all kinds of wildcats for 35 years and I have still not found anything that can beat these rifles and stay in the 10 pound range.

    The following are on lighter Sako actions and all in the 9 pound range and all are exceptional shooters.

    Three 338-300 ultramags with 28" barrels. The accuracy loads all shoot the 300 matchking from 2775-2825 fps, the 250 from 3075-3125 fps and the 200 from 3335-3385 fps. This cartridge is one of the most incredibly accurate cartridges I have ever worked with. The 338-378's I can work on and get to shoot. The 338-300 ultramag just flat out shoots. These are the poor mans 338-378's since they can be built safely on a standard mag action and produce enough velocity with big heavy bullets to shoot as far as anyone would want to shoot at game. I built 65 of these in 1999 alone and kept these three shooters for myself. I have made some awesome shots with them.

    Two 338 Lapuas with 26" barrels. The accuracy loads average right at 3150 fps with the 250 grain and 3435-3475 fps with the 200's. They both kick like a mule with the 300's bucking that little 26" tube pretty hard so I just use these with the lighter bullets. The Lapua is also a pleasure to work with and can be improved into even a more efficient cartridge. Unfortunately I never kept one of the improved versions for myself. A lot of guys liked them because it was a shorter more efficient case allowing bullets loaded out to the lands to feed through 378 length actions.

    Two 300 ultramags with 28" barrels shooting 200 grain bullets in the 3220-3260 fps range, the 180's at 3425-3450 and 150's just over 3700 fps. Off a bipod in a hunting situation I put three bullets through a 4" bullseye at the half mile target using 150 grain Hornady SST's flying 3734 fps while preparing for an Alaskan caribou hunt. I used them on the hunt and took one bull at just over a quarter mile and another at just under a half mile. Bullet performance was perfect. Just to light for me. When I shoot I like to see stuff fall right there and not run 200 yards. Just as dead just not my prefference.