Advice For a Beginner Long Range Hunter

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Browning16, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Browning16

    Browning16 Member

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    Me and my brother are looking to get into soem long(er) raneg hunting, specifically groundhog. Between 300-600 yards. We have a savage model 11 .243. With a Laminate wood stock, bipod and a BSA Platinum 6x24. We are shooting Federal Power Shok 80 grain soft points. We can shoot .75 MOA at 100 yards with this setup easily. We took it out and shot 300 yards today and couldnt get consistent groups. We put 14 shots on a 1' wide by 2' high target, No misses, but about a 1' spread. I have all of the math and calculations pretty much figured out, the way it SHOULD be, of course the gun probably wont hold true to the theoretical ballistics but we should still be able to get good groups right? So at this point I dont really know what to do because we can't check the ballistics out to 600, or even at 300 because we cant get groups. Shooting conditions today, 10mph gusting wind going from 5 o'clock to 11 o'clock, accounted for as quarter value. Didn't make much of a difference because the shots didnt group, as I mentioned, although it was gusting, so that could be some of it. Other factors shouldnt matter much because we re-zeroed it at 100 before shooting the 300 yd target but here they are anyway, 93 degrees out, 29. 72 in of Hg pressure. 80% humidity. Shooting off of the bipod with a log as the rear rest in prone. on the same zoom as the 100 yd target(24x), so that shouldn't have affected it at all. Any thing that could be causing the inaccuracy (besides the shooter, my brother is a VERY good shot, and I'm pretty confident that it wasn't him, escpecially with the amount of support he had in that position) Gun not accurate enough for this? should we try different ammo? (we have tried a few different loads before but the savage seems to like the power shoks) Just keep shooting and see how it goes? Optics? Any responses are appreciated as well as general advice on getting started, or shooting tips or anything really. Thanks :D
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    0.75 MOA @ 100 and 4 MOA vertical @ 300 doesn't make sense. Distance in and of itself should not change consistency. Environmental conditions not considered. . .

    Some considerations:


    • solid rear bad/rest - not hand or fist. A good sand bag.
    • Consistent cheek weld - same every shot. Not possible without good rear rest.
    • If using a springy Harris type bipod, y the bipod is loaded consistently. Same shoulder pressure every shot.
    • Keep you had off of the forearm. Use the off-hand to control the rear bag.
    • Shoot @ 100 to confirm previous results. Then move to 300 using the same setup, load and shooter.
    • As a final check, let the girl next door shoot it. :D:D
     

  3. Browning16

    Browning16 Member

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    We have a custom made, also home made, added cheek piece to give a more consistent cheek weld. It's not a pretty set up, and it's nothing fancy, but its stable and it raises the stock so that you can look properly down the scope, no parallax, with a solid, sturdy cheek weld, obviously with the exception of the solid rear support. As for the rear support, I'm sure a better one wouldnt hurt. Not quite sure what you mean with the bipod, it does have springs on it to allow it to fold up forward. It has been shooting good at 100 before, we just checked the zero because upon researching LRH we realize that weather conditions at the time of Zeroing matter and we had no clue what the conditions were the last time it was shot. So it shouldn't be a problem, but we can deffinitely try it again to be sure. Thanks for the suggestions, we will make sure to take them into account.
     
  4. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    I made a rear bag out of kidney beans in a sock that i leave in a stand i shot out of -shot some good groups with it.

    Read what this guy has to say about bipods .
    Bugholes from Bipod

    Also look down a couple of thread areas there's a beginners area ,and welcome to LRH to you and your brother.
    Keep working at it -Rome wasn't built in a day.

    One important word HANDLOADING..
     
  5. joejo

    joejo Well-Known Member

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    i have had some handloads do well at 100 but open signifigantly at longer ranges due to inconsistant velocity. this may be a good time to try and reload. however you can try different ammo, perhaps cor bon. they make some decent match type ammo. also like previously posted an inconsistant hold (grip especially) has huge effects on velocity and precision. when i use a harris i take a rock or hammer and smash a couple dimples in the dirt to drop the feet into. this allows me to preload the bipod to help with a consistant hold. don't get too frustrated and keep shooting. i haven't been in the long range game as long as many others here but after 15 years i am still learning and constantly changing technique. if the gun is shooting 3/4 min it should be 3/4 min at 300 yards too, this of course depends on the quality of the ammo.
     
  6. Tyler Kemp

    Tyler Kemp SPONSOR

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    You need a better rear rest, a better scope to reach to 600 yards, and better ammunition. That ammo just isn't made for shooting long distance, and any factory ammunition probably isn't going to perform like you want at 600, especially since choices are somewhat limited in 243. Shooting on a calm day is also a much better option.
     
  7. Browning16

    Browning16 Member

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    Thanks for all of responses and advice guys. In respond to the recommendation for a better scope, I wanna say first of all, I meant a 6-24, specifically 6-24x44. I didn't write that properly the first time didn't feel the need to look at the scope to see the exact specs but i knew it was a 6-24, not a 6x24 I just wasn't thinking that it could be misunderstood if I didn't write it out properly. So anyway, that being said, is there still a need for a better optic or was it a miscommunication. We do have handloading equipment available to us, but it isn't ours, our great grandfather's actually. Neither of us know how to reload, not that we couldn't learn, but obviously my great grandpa could, and definitely would make some loads for us. Should I just get him to teach me to load right away or let him do it for now? I suppose either would be better than factory loads but still......
     
  8. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    The sierra loading manual has detailed step by step instructions on how to reload. Thats how i learned to reload with a little help from my uncle. I started more advance reloading practicies as i gained experience. Now i have only been reloading for about a year now but every gun that i reload for i have found a load that shoots 3/4 MOA or better. If your great Grandpa would teach you i would defiantly jump at the oppertunity.
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    On figuring wind values, at this range an 11:00 or 5" wind only carries with it about a 10% value.


    [/quote]Didn't make much of a difference because the shots didnt group, as I mentioned, although it was gusting, so that could be some of it. Other factors shouldnt matter much because we re-zeroed it at 100 before shooting the 300 yd target but here they are anyway, 93 degrees out, 29. 72 in of Hg pressure. 80% humidity. Shooting off of the bipod with a log as the rear rest in prone. on the same zoom as the 100 yd target(24x), so that shouldn't have affected it at all.[/quote]I'd suggest backing way down on your zoom at 100yds to no more than 6-10x and see if it makes any difference.

    Using a log for a rear bag isn't a really good plan. I'd suggest making yourself some cheap bags out of used shot bags or just order some online.

    Very good shot as measured how? Does he have experience shooting beyond 100yds targets? Keep in mind at 300yds you can be off by more than 12moa and still effectively kill deer and larger sized game pretty consistently. You have a kill zone on a deer of about 12-16" up/down and as much as two feet left, right if you are shooting just below and behind the shoulder (depending of course on the size of the deer) and it's considerably larger on Elk, Moose etc.

    Odds are pretty good that .75MOA ammo at 100yds is still shooting at or below MOA at 300yds so I doubt it's the ammo.
    Quote possibly optics and/or mounts but the latter is less likely because it should show up a 100yds. Shoot a box test with it.

    The modified box test I use is this. Lay out a perfect 10" square with small 1"target squares in each corner.

    Shoot the top right box. Dial down the appropriate number of clicks for 10".

    Aim at the same box. Fire one shot. If it's tracking properly your shot should be in the box directly below.

    Dial the appropriate number of clicks to move 10" left. Again. Shoot the top right box. Shot should fall in the bottom left box.

    Dial up 10". Fire again at top right box and shot should fall in the top left box.

    Dial 10" right, and shoot again the top right box.. Shot should fall within your .75MOA range of the first shot.

    If it doesn't your clicks are off or not engaging properly.

    In all likelihood the problem is related to the shooters as we are more often than not the biggest impediment to our own shooting success. People often get intimidated when they first start stretching it out and that tends to have a consistently negative effect on shooting techniques as we tend to try and push shots almost willing it to hit where we want it to, rather than just relaxing, getting comfortable, practicing good breathing control and trigger squeeze.

    Don't let it frustrate you because we all pretty much to a man or woman went through the same thing at some point.
     
  10. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Good point and a really cheap way to go is to use a half to 3/4 filled sandbag. Not a good field set up but great for practice especially from prone or bench. It will mold very well to the curvature of the stock and to your cheek.
     
  11. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Well there's lots of focus on the rear rest, but I've caused myself to have problems at distance with a proven gun too. After eliminating factors 1 by 1 it turnned out that I was causing a very slight pressure point on the stock when I "pre-loaded" my bipods. Id push forward on the whole set up untill i pushed right under where I wanted to hit. Then I'd relax my "death grip" on the rifle allowing the bipods to maintain snug pressure on my shoulder, & raise slightly. Thus a more relaxed hold, & the rifle camp up to zero.
    Well when my 3/4 MOA rifle shot like a shotgun at 500 I was shocked.

    Like I said turns out I was putting a pressure point on the stock by pre loading the bipods. Thus causing the shotgun pattern.
    The theory was sound, but the results sucked.:D
    Since I tracked down my mistake, I've altered my prone shooting position slightly, which doesn't flex, or "load" the bipods, & still maintains a relaxed hold. Now I'm shooting the same rifle, & same handloads into easy sub MOA groups well past 500.

    Just some hard learned advise to consider, cause it sounds very simmilar to your situation. Good luck tracking down the problem, & correcting it. Persistence in these issues pays off.
     
  12. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    BSA's are not known for being particularly good quality glass and that may be the biggest problem you have. Try the box test I suggested at 100yds and see where you come out.
     
  13. Browning16

    Browning16 Member

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    When I say my brother is a good shooter I mean he is just simply rock steady, always has been, has always shot well, at whatever range he shot at, with whatever weapon you give him, bolt action, rimfire, semi auto centerfire, bow, anything. Anyway, i dont want to get into that, nor do I need to. I trust my brothers shooting abilities and spoke with him about how stable he was with that setup, he said he was dead steady and had no doubt whatsoever about staying in target. I'll take his word for it. Regardless of anything that i say there will be people that say that he is probably the issue in our results. Not ruling that out entirely, just saying that I doubt it. I'm sure many of you are better shooters than he is, but he's deffintely good enough to have shot better than what showed up on the target today. ANYWAYYYYY I had seen the tracking test mentioned while researching and thought about doing that, but we both just assumed the scope would track the way it was built to track, regardless of that we still should've been able to get groups. That could have been one of our issues but it most likely was not the only one. Keep the recommendations coming guys, I'll thinking about them and we try to eliminate them one by one, guess we need to go shoot some more pretty soon, because if we dont this is drive me insane
     
  14. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    Not that I've got a lot of long range experience.... Seems to me that the wind is probably 2/3 of your problem. 5 to 11 o clock? That means no value when at 6 and full value at 9 o clock. That 80 gr. bullet is going to drift a bit, especially when the wind is gusting like you said. Clean the barrel good. Get a good calm AM or PM and try again. Another problem could the barrel "walking" as it heats up. Your barrel isn't going to cool very fast when its over 90 degrees. Barrel/ action may need bedded and floated. Try w/o the wind and time to cool between shots and report back. Also get some 115 or 105 gr Bergers depending on your barrel twist and start reloading. Best of luck. Bruce