Basic shooting positions without assist realistic expectations for field hunting

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Radiater, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Radiater

    Radiater Member

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    Hello all,

    Have lurked here on and off but could not find the answers to my questions by searching so I had to register and post.

    I shoot a sporter weight bolt action semicustom rifle in 300 Win Mag (about 8.5lbs with scope and loaded0. Handloaded rounds are 180 gr Accubond and 180 gr Partitions. Scope is a Leupold Vari-x III up 3.5- 14x.

    Off a bench and rifle rest at 100yds I get repeatable sub moa accuracy.

    I have begun more diligently shooting at 200yds from the prone position with and without an RS-1 Rifle sling. During this process I have discovered how difficult it is to consistently put groups together and how critical forearm control and trigger control are to this process.

    I realize what I am asking here is not true long range shooting but I figured a group of dedicated shooters could give me an educated answer.

    What is a realistic expectation for shooting in the field on game distance wise from the prone position, sitting position and kneeling position?

    Most of my hunts results in shots under 100 yds but I am wanting to do some hunting out west or in Africa with longer distances.

    In other words when I am on a hunt with a lot of hiking and moving and then I come upon some game I am thinking I probably won't have time for setting up sticks or maybe even wrapping up in a sling.

    I am thinking max distances (as limited by my shooting ability) with my current set up are 300yds prone and maybe sitting.

    Figuring 200yds kneeling and 100yds offhand.

    Are my expectations too low?
     
  2. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    My shooting position option of choice out to 300 yards when in steep typical deer and elk terrain is sitting down with my elbows wedged into my knees. I used to practice this position often and got very accurate using it. Now that I hunt out to 700 yards or so I don't shoot out there without getting the rifle steady laying over a back pack or log or boulder. I never shoot at a animal off hand unless the animal is crippled and I'm very close.

    In this area that I hunt getting prone is near impossible and using shooting sticks on a steep hillside does not work well so have developed the shooting skills that work in this steep terrain and practice them religiously .
     

  3. Scrubbit

    Scrubbit Well-Known Member

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    My guidelines are as follows:

    Off hand: Less than 100m

    Standing with the rifle braced against a tree: Less than 300m

    Sitting with bipod: Less than 400m

    Prone with bipod: Greater than 400m

    Am working on off hand shooting, but it's difficult and lacks the satisfaction of long range practice.
     
  4. Radiater

    Radiater Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    KCEBCJ,

    Are you carrying the typical sporter weight rifle or do you have a setup modified for long range and what caliber are you shooting?
     
  5. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    I'm a die hard 06 guy so that is the caliber using 190gr Bergers @ 2707fps that is why the 700 yard limit. Until I rebuilt this rifle and turned it into a semi carry long range rifle it weighed in at 8.5 lbs loaded with the strap. At that weight shooting off ones knees was very comfortable but found the longer shots (over 300 yards) especially targets was hard to be steady so upgraded the rifle. Now the rifle is at 10.5 lbs +- and is great to use especially rested on something. Off the knees you can tell it's 10.5 lbs but still works pretty good.

    I'm now gathering the parts for a 300WM so I can get out to 1000 yards and it will be almost a copy of the 06 which is about perfect for my type of hunting and the steep terrain.
     
  6. jkupper

    jkupper Well-Known Member

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    I like the sitting position as well. I never shoot past 200 yards without a good rest on game animals, but I did shoot a coyote at a hair over 300 before from the sitting position.

    I'm a little opposite of you for the other two positions. I have given up on the kneeling position. I've never been good at it, and I just go for the sit rather than the kneel if needs be. I do practice shooting offhand though, and I am confident shooting out to 200 yards offhand. I've found that sometimes a guy needs to shoot offhand when hunting in 3 foot + tall grass. Sometimes it is impossible to get prone.

    I think it is possible to shoot out to 300 yards or so with these 3 positions, so long as you practice them regularly. I've seen an old timer in Rock Springs, WY make a 335 yard offhand shot. Dead Right There. My jaw about hit the ground!
     
  7. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I shoot a light weight packer at about 9- dressed. I shot a 340 wby 10+ for 20 + years. I was in rifle club small bore for a few years in highschool, sling type shooting which you can get very steady at. I do not use this as I front carry in grizz country. I also shot on a state champ pistol team, so I have a some what shooting background. I have shot elk out to 750 leaning on fork of tree. I can shoot well to 800 off bipod with back to tree. I hunt steep terrain, but I use logs and sometimes my tripod for rear support for long stuff,I have shot alot of stuff off edge of tree, but usually closer.I have made rest to shoot off with logs or rocks,pack whatever. I favor 338 cal,mainly hunt elk.
     
  8. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

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    With a little practice you can have a snipepod set up in just a few seconds. Their versatility is amazing. I have held MOA from a sitting position very consistently when using mine. I personally won't hunt without mine.

    https://snipepod.com/index2.html
     
  9. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    Using a sporter weight rifle and sling you can become VERY proficient to 600 yards from field positions (excluding prone).
    Using the hasty sling method with ALOT of tension (as much as possible without fatigue, fatigue is bad:D). for me this means that the sling is tighter than I would like for carry, but is worth it for shooting. I practiced quick shouldering from slung position as I live in grizz country too.

    My farthest shot (on game) freehand was 280 yards. sitting was a touch over 400 yards. prone with bi-pod 600+, but that's just because I haven't found a longer opportunity. I feel that 95% of shooters can attain these numbers as I am no super shooter.

    This all comes with practice.
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I spend the off season shooting a few thousand 22LR with a rifle that I have set up very close to the geometry and balance of my LR rigs, but a a fee pounds lighter. Scope magnification is scaled to the target sizes so 100 yards equates to about 700 yards on the vital atea of deer sized game. Little or no shooting is done from a prone position with a rear bag. Offhand, sitting, sticks, tree supported, ect. I practice this because many of my hunting shots do not allow a prone/supported position. This practice makes a very big difference in proficiency but it will not give you hard and fast rules for distance capability during actual hunting situations. Every shot and set of conditions is different in the field and you need to understand POI changes with different shooting positions with your LR rifle. What it does do, given you know your rifle characteristics with changes in shooting position, is it will train you with a good level of certainty of your personal shooting capability, and give you a reading on whether or not you can make a good shot from any given position/range. You will know almost immediately when you acquire your target in the scope by determining what your crosshair is doing. If it's a no go, the position has to be improved, or the shot is passed. I personally have not shot a game animal from a non prone position past 600 yards. IMO.
     
  11. Radiater

    Radiater Member

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    I guess that about sums it up.

    When you are using a hard surface such as a rock, log or tree as your rest in the field. How do you cushion your rifle stock to keep one hard surface from contacting another and affecting recoil and point of impact?
     
  12. Radiater

    Radiater Member

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    Very insightful....thank you.
     
  13. jkupper

    jkupper Well-Known Member

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    I will usually roll up an extra jacket, or some other clothing item that I have and use this as a rear bag. The trick is making sure that you roll them tightly, and then positioning them and yourself to get rock steady.

    In practicing for this years rifle season I have not even used a rear bag. I have only used the items that I will likely have while hunting, and results have been good.