First 800yd trip

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by ATH, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping to get my first (serious) tries at 800, 1000, and possibly further today but when I arrived at the property I realized A) there was too much wind to bother over 1000, and B) the crop setup was going to really limit where I could shoot. I found a nice elevated position to shoot parallel a powerline cut, and sent my willing brother-in-law on the 3-mile drive to set up targets. An hour later, after fighting the wind with the big boxes we were using, the target was set up.

    The first problem was my Bushnell 1500 would not range anything where he was; we'd planned for him to drive the truck there but he had to stop short. So we ranged 2 of the powerline towers and assumed they were equi-distant from each other (oops). We estimated 1050 yds and that was the only spot to set up.

    I fired two shots with my factory 300WM Sendero, waiting for him to walk in and check the target...no holes! My drop at 300yds had seemed on with the ballistic calculator so it was fishy, the backstop was plenty big to make up for my stupidity with the wind (I did have a meter). So I fought the brush and fields to get closer and climb a tower to get a range...turns out it was 862 yds, not 1050! Duh. Dialed down and fired another, 30in right. A little far off but ok. Dialed back to zero wind, which I thought odd as I was giving half value to a 10mph wind blowing to the left. Figured I should be right on, so I made another mistake in firing at the right-most bullseye on the target, which did not leave much room for error to the right and still hit but I figured I was set for zero wind, with a wind vector to the left, so I was good to go. I fired 7 more for a group.

    The reason for the long-winded post was that even with appropriate gadgets the real world can be a humbling experience. Turns out I should have ASKED what the wind was like at the target since I had the convenience of a man downrange. When I arrived down at the target, I realized the wind down there (and for virtually the whole flight path of the bullet)was exactly opposite what it was up on my hill; the trees and landscape forced the airflow to a different direction up there I could see in retrospect. I still shot right 12 inches, enough that 3 of my 7 shots were off the backing.

    The good thing is that of the 4 total shots on the backer, the vertical difference was under 4 inches (hurrah for my handloads!!). The three shots from my group that were on the backer were about 3 inches spread vertically and less than an inch horizontally. I regret that I didn't get to see my whole group but it looks like it was MOA or better.
     
  2. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Wind definitely makes things interesting.

    Nice post, it really shows the difficulties of trying to find places to shoot long range here in the midwest.

    AJ
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Welcome to the real world.
     
  4. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

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    As I was reading, for a while it felt like it was me the writer. Some times it really can get frustrating.
     
  5. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    isn't that the truth!!!
     
  6. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    It is VERY tough to find places to shoot far, while I can shoot 400 at home any further is tough. Not because there isn't open ground or I can't get permission but because of the need to prevent bullets continuing downrange. The reason I felt safe here was I was about 50-70ft elevated over the river bottom I was shooting into and I could see nothing but soybeans clear to the top of my scope when looking at the target (ie bullets were impacting within 50ft behind the target at a significant downward angle). There were no people/buildings for over a mile anywhere downrange and a hill 500-700yds further back too.

    My next step is to take the advice of one of the articles on the front page on how to confirm that your scope is indeed level. Part of my problem was weather prevented my from properly checking my anti-cant after installing the night before and I ended up not trusting it when it may have been accurate -- would explain pull to the right. But without KNOWING it could just be the wind and I must have full confidence in my equipment so I need to do my homework next opportunity. These storms blowing through this week forced more sloppiness than I wanted.