Extreme Long Range Shooting

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Saulg, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Saulg

    Saulg Active Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    Good gentle sirs and ladies,

    We were talking around the fire the other night and this topic came up.

    For my edification, if I wished to build a super long range rifle, for shots, at targets & gongs, to 3000+M and not using the .50 BMG what would you suggest. We don’t have .50 BMG guns around here in Canada so I’ve only shot the 1000M with one a couple of times in the US. The major reason for suggesting this thread

    Some have been using .338/378 etc. to 2000M...Would using a larger case get me the range and power necessary? I have seen a .338/416 Sniper in the wildcat tables...Would using a .404, .465 or .505 case work out? It would probably have to be necked down to .35 or .37 to carry that distance or could I go to a .30, .31 or .33...or the other route and have to go up?

    Weatherby and Dakota proprietary rounds are just necked down big bore brass and I thought that I could maybe work up something that would be cool to shoot.

    I’d build it on a super heavy class rifle, probably 34 or 36” barrel maybe all the way to 40", BAT action. And weigh in about the 20KG/45lb range.

    I am aware of Cheyenne Tactical cartridges, but I want something really unique, different, weird, odd, whatever!

    Where am I going to shoot? My uncle’s farm is 5½ sections in length by 3 in width, which is 5 ½ X 3 miles long which I believe is 8.9 KM. That’s 10,500 acres on the Saskatchewan Manitoba border area in Canada.

    If you get up high enough (top of the grain elevator) you can see the end from the beginning. Dead flat, a few trees in the way, my wife calls it pancake land.

    Can’t shoot from the elevator, something about the explosive quality of grain dust irks my uncle. Will probably build a shooting platform on the top of the barn to give us enough height to see over the scrub bush.

    I made a clean kill at 1005M on a wild boar and credited with hits at 650, 700 & 800M.

    We have been shooting some 1000 & 1200M targets with a 6.5X 284 and 1500M with both a .338/378 and a .300/378 (it isn’t that good at 1500). Nothing to brag about or win any tournaments with but all on the paper and alot in the black. Nothing like David Tubb’s perfect scores. But have only just started to get serious about long range.

    Will try to get a 2000, 2500 and 3000 yd/M target butts set up but have only to 1500 now. It takes a lot of time to go and change targets. The sheet of boiler plate that we set up sounds real nice after about a 5 or 6 second delay.

    Long range hunting forum had a guy shooting a woodchuck at 2500+ and there have been articles in the varmint & rifle mags about guys building for 2500 and 3000 using high rise scope mounts (8, 10, 12” above bore) and hitting the gong at that distance.

    VHA has categories for 1000 & 1500 kills on Prairie Dogs.

    How long ago did scoped 1000 yard shooting events really come about. Are they starting to get passé? What with 10 shots into 5" and less!

    Clifford "Skip" Talbot, deceased July 1st, founded the 50 Caliber Shooters Assn in 1985.

    Just wanted to see if it could be done...I know that .50 BMG goes subsonic at about 2500M and that causes problems onto its own.

    Any suggestions, advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Also posted at Long Range Target Shooting & Nation of Rifleman

    Thank you in advance


    When the human race dies out
    it will be because it was brainwashed
    to be so totally, completely, utterly safe
    that it no longer dared to keep on living!
  2. TheCanuck

    TheCanuck Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    actually we do have .50bmg. PGW makes one

  3. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004

    First off welcome to LRH.

    TO be honest, there are cartridges out there today that are the full equal to the old 50 BMG as far as extreme range ballistics.

    When trying to get things done at 1000 yards, you can use any modern high performance round with a quality bullet to be honest. Even rounds like the 6mm wildcats and as you stated the 6.5mm-284 produce great results at this range as do a host of other rounds.

    When you bump up to 1500 yards, the selection of usible cartridges narrows dramatically. Another issue, at these ranges, the bullet itself are extremely important in consistant performance. At 1000 yards, bullets with BCs in the .5 to .6 range perform very well. At 1500 yards this number really needs to be well over .6 and preferrably as high as you can possibly get it accurately.

    This results in the bullet doing alot of the ballistic work for you instead of needed shear horsepower to drive a lower BC bullet out to these ranges. That practice simply does not work at 1500 yards.

    When you push things to 2000 yards, most bullets are not effective at this range as they drop out of supersonic flight before they reach this range. In most cases, this destroys the stability and consistancy of the bullet flight as it passes from super sonic to sub sonic velocities. There are a few bullet designs that handle this better then others but most are effected to some degree by this transition.

    At 2K, not only do you want high velocity but you also NEED a very high BC bullet. I personally feel it needs to be in the mid .7 range or higher for 2000 yard shooting.

    At 2500 yards your getting on the fringes of any rounds performance levels. There are instances where shooters are getting results at extreme range with very small rounds such as the 308. I personally have never experienced this at these ranges and would recommend much more if a round for this type of shooting. THis range is about the limits of where I have tested rifles. I have used my 270 AM at near this range and consistancy was still very impressive but this is with a 169.5 gr ULD RBBT Wildcat Bullet(bc .740 from drop chart development) launched at near 3500 fps.

    I have also tested at this range with my 338 Kahn(338-378 Imp) with the 300 gr ULD RBBT and the 300 gr SMK bullet loaded to 3100 fps as well as with my 50 BMG with the 750 gr A-Max loaded to 2750 fps. All performed well but I will say that the higher velocity of the 270 really aided in extreme range velocity levels.

    I am designing a round as we speak that is designed to do exactly what you want to do. It is my 338 Allen Magnum and is based on the 408 Chey Tac case with the case design dramatically modified for increased case capacity. The standard 338-408 will get 3400 fps with the 300 gr SMK in a 35" barrel. I am looking to break the 3500 fps level with this bullet weight but more importantly, I am looking to drive the 350 gr ULD RBBT wildcat to 3300 fps. THis bullet matches most 50 cal bullets in BC and will have a 500-600 fps velocity advantage over the BMG.

    I feel 3000 yard consistancy will be easily possible with this round. THe rifle will be based on a BAT 10" receiver, 40" Lilja 1.750" straight cylinder barrel and a McMillan Heavy 50 BR stock.

    If I were you I would look into a big 338. Richard Graves, owner of Wildcat Bullets is Alberta so shipping these big 350 gr pills should not be a problem at all.

    Just make sure you use a parent case that will handle high pressure. Many of the big bore african big game cases are designed for 40,000 psi and thats about it. This will not cut it for what you want to do. THis is why I decided to use the 408 case as it will easily handle up to 70,000 psi in pressure.

    There is nothing wrong with the 378 or 416 based wildcats either. The biggest issue is bullets used. They have to do most of the work for you at these ranges so don't think velocity alone will get you where you want to go because it simply will not work.

    Good Shooting!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
  4. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    I feel the same as Kirby i think -- to have any consistency past 2000yds and energy to boot, you need a minumum of 338/408

    if not a straight 408 or 408Imp.

    to really excel at 3k i would be using a 408 personally.

    O, and to answer your Q:
    "How long ago did scoped 1000 yard shooting events really come about. Are they starting to get passé? What with 10 shots into 5" and less! "

    about 1967 the Williamsport 1KBR Club was formed, then it didnt really catch on further till 1992 i dont believe.

    passe...hell no, 10 shots in 5" does NOT happen too many times in one year. My guess is the average for williamsport which has the most shooters of any club will be about 1 dozen groups under 5" heavy AND light gun -- both 10-shots -- that is 0.5% or less of the total groups fired counting shootoffs.

  5. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    I agree with everything that fiftydriver and jr100%bs said,but to add to it ,how will you accurately range that distance ??? how will you shoot through the mirage at that distance ??? how will you spot a shot at that distance ??? where will you find a target to shoot at this distance??? will Mother Nature cooperate with wind ,rain ,temp.etc ??? it is not as easy as it sounds. I made my longest kill ever on a rockchuck at 2144yds about 1 month ago with the MOAG (338 Lapua Mag Imp) with 300gr SMK's.
    I guess what I'm saying is that it takes more than a fire side BBQ and a big stick to go to 3K. you need mass equiptment good friends (and family) dedicated to a common goal combined with cooperation from mother nature a lot of luck and a bit of long range experience.
    Oh and yes a case the size of a 408 Chey Tac does not hurt.
  6. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    I am currenly having a 338 lupa Magnum Improved built. It will be built on a BAT 10", 36" Lilja 1.750 at the muzzel w/brake, Mcmillan 50 HBR with lead added to rear, Jewell trigger, ect, and weigh in at around 65lbs. It will be able to shoot a 300grn MK out of 36" barrel between 3100 to 3200 fps, if I want it to. However, from what I am hearing and reading, it is better to stay in the 2900 fps to 3000 fps range. Accuracy is much better at these velocities. I would go with a 338 lupa magnum in an Improved version. Good luck, and let us know what you decide on. Wildcat.
  7. jb1000br

    jb1000br Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    [ QUOTE ]
    I agree with everything that fiftydriver and jr100%bs said,but to add to it...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Classy dig there uncle B...that is one to be proud of /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
  8. nelson

    nelson Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    hey where are you from in sask there are several of us from regina on this forum...
  9. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

    Jul 27, 2001
    Seekher2, nice to see another Canuck on the board.

    Nice place you have there. Been in that country years ago. Yep, flat as a pancake. And then there is a tree!

    I assume you are thinking about a plinking gun. At that range, trying to harvest any large game is well beyond my comfort zone.

    So from a plinking perspective, you DON'T NEED a massive cartridge super boomer magnum. Fun though but not necessary.

    What you do need is a bullet that will go sub sonic without loosing accuracy. The distance is far enough that ALL bullets presently produced launched from ANY cartridge and barrel will so subsonic. It's just a matter if its 1500yds or 2500yds. The only way to know if a bullet will stay stable is to launch it and see what happens.

    I have launched 155gr Amax out of a 308 and gone to 1500yds. This bullet goes subsonic no problem at all. So, as some do, you can crank the rifle to the sky and launch bullets as far as you want to go. Some in the US shoot 308 to 3km's.

    I prefer bullets of better ballistics and my favorite Canadian available and afforable are the 162gr Amax 7mm and 140gr SST 6.5. Out of the 7RM and 6.5-06, they are flying extremely well and at 1000m, very accurate. Assuming these bullet continues to do well after going subsonic, would be my top choices. BC for these bullets certainly exceed 0.6 (see my post elsewhere for data)

    Don't get me wrong, I have monster 30 and 338 cannons as well. But availability of projectiles and cost of shooting these things is way up there.

    Plus if the US restricts anymore reloading exports, you may have a rifle that you can't get components for ie 50BMG. Anybody you know stocking 240 or 300gr MK's?

    If you like the high end tech stuff and want some high BC cannon fodder, contact Wildcat Bullets. They are in Sask I believe. I know he is a farmer too.

    You should look at back issues of VHA as there was lots of info on guys trying to pop PD's at 2000 to 2500yds. They did not use the biggest cannons out there but their rigs were optimised for scope use and consistency.

    Getting an adjustable scope mount for that range would be a big hurdle or a very expensive purchase.

    At any rate, have fun and let us know how you make out.


    PS, if interested, I am selling my 6.5-06. Will be very inexpensive for a 1/4MOA shooter. Contact at jerryteo@yahoo.com
  10. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    Kirby, Is this the first you let your new project out of the bag? You were talking about a new project for extreme range some time ago. I think I even guessed it was a 33, And you tried to throw me off the scent. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
  11. 7Rumloader

    7Rumloader Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I agree with everything that fiftydriver and jr100%bs said

    Uncle B you almost killed me with that one!! LOL!!!
    I laughed sooo hard I flipped out of my chair backwards into the floor!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    No offense jb but you have to admit it was funny!!
  12. Saulg

    Saulg Active Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba, not Saskatchewan.

    This was posted to the same thread at another forum; Long Range Target Shooting and I thought that I should repost it here...From the February 2002, "Accurate Rifle Magazine" by Steve Hugel titled The Quest For The Two Mile Prairie Dog at this link Two Mile Prairie Dogs
  13. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

    Jun 12, 2004

    Yes I was trying to keep things relatively quiet until I got the reamer design finalized and orders. The reamer is now in shop and ready to roll. Just have to wait for the 10" BAT receiver, 40" Lilja and McMillan BR50 stock to build the test rifle.

    Everything should be here in October, right in the middle of big game season so it will probably be a December project.

    The 338 Allen Mag will be the little brother in a two cartidge pair I am designing for extreme range shooting. The other will be the 510 Allen based on the full length 50 BMG case with the Allen Magnum shoulder and body configuration. Looking to get 3000 fps with a 750 gr match bullet compared to a standard 50 BMG which will get around 2750 fps in a standard length bolt action barrel, 32-34" long.

    My test rifle should be here in a week for the 510 but I am waiting on the reamer and other tooling for that one. The test rifle will be an AR-50 from Armalite which I will totally tear down and accurize and then rebarrel with a 34" Lilja stainless pipe for testing the 510 Allen.

    The only reason I mention this on this post is I have been discussing both with the originator of this post in great detail.

    Hope this is not considered hijacking, back onto extreme range shooting.

    Kirby Allen(50)
  14. Saulg

    Saulg Active Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    Thank you Mr. Allen,

    It's always nice dealing with a gentleman and the thread is there to be hijacked along the same lines...