Leading with my chin.......

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Chief1942, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Okay, I am fully appreciative that most LR shooters and hunters also reload since that is the best way to come up with the diet that one and one's rifle favors the most. Unfortunately I do not reload nor have any interest in getting into it:cool:. Too many other things on my plate right now. So, I am currently making use of HSM's 7MAG168VLD retail offering as my long range cartridge of choice.

    My question is, since I also do not own a chronograph:rolleyes:, am I reasonably OK to use HSM's advertised Muzzle Velocity (3067 fps) for that cartridge in my 24" barrel when I calculate my firing solution with Loadbase 3.0? Is anyone else using retail ammunition for their LRH? What brand , your experience with it, and repeat accuracy?

    My rifle is a 7mmRemMag Savage action with a 24" Shaw barrel on it. This was the setup as I purchased it. I've scoped it with a Leupold VX3 8.5X24X50 LRT, anti-cant level, and ACI. I haven't hunted with it as yet as I am still needing to put in a lot more time at the range making sure of MY abilities as well as the rifles. Any feedback from folks in a similar situation would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    There's no law that says you have to own and use a chronograph and if the load you use gives you the accuracy you want at the ranges you shoot then you can make it work. You can use the published velocity and play with that and the BC, plus the other features in LB, and get by.

    We have at least a couple of guys around here that do some serious long range shooting and they don't own a chronograph but.......they have shot their loads at all ranges and have proven field data and reliable drop charts developed by this method. I can think of one guy offhand that doesn't use a chrono or a PPC and ballistic software and he routinely stretches the ranges way out there.

    Don't get me wrong, the proven field data is something you should develop even if you do own and use a chronograph. The chrono is not a short cut or a crutch it's a valuable tool used in load development and testing.

    Personally there are a lot of reasons that I wouldn't want to be without a chronograph. I want to know all of the exact data that I can. I want to know the velocity and then I can prove my BC and especially when developing a load I know the loads and the ES and don't waste too much time if the ES is too high because I firmly believe that too great an ES gives you vertical dispersion problems at long range and I want to limit that as much as I can, thus, low ES and I know that quickly by using a chronograph.

    I shoot in country that, for me, dictates that I know everything I can about my load and its exact performance and that I can confidently use that data in LB 3.0 in my PPC in the field when conditions change drastically.

    If you spend big bucks on a rifle, optics etc. then why not get a good chronograph and know even more about what you're shooting? Maybe even split the cost with a shooting buddy. Just my opinion but I never go to the range without my Oehler 35P.

  3. Tony 0321

    Tony 0321 Active Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    If you use the published velocities for the round you are shooting then you also need to know what barrel length they tested it with if it is shorter or longer than yours that can affect what your velocity actually is. You cant rely on the computer based shooting charts. You can use them as a reference and then go out and shoot to get your own for various ranges. Also when you buy your ammo it would be a good idea to buy as much as you can of the same lot number as different lots can give you different velocities and throw off your point of aim even at 100 yds.
    You can buy cronos for around 100 dollers and its worth the investment.. Or you could even go to the range and if someone else has one there you could ask to shoot through theirs but the information it gives you can save you a lot in the long run..
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    There are rifles that really like factory loads and if you have one that's good ! Most won't shoot
    as well unless you load for the particular rifle.

    As to the chronograph; They are a valuable asset for long range shooting/hunting. But not a

    The listed velocity is done in a test barrel or just calculated and is rarely correct for your
    rifle so you must test fire it at all distances your self and use balistic tables to determine velocity
    based on best guess BCs of the bullet furnished with the ammo.

    Most factory or even the custom loaded ammo will fall short of the listed velocity so you must
    develop your own drop chart. ( Even with a chronograph it is recommended).

    If your barrel is very slick and longer than normal then your velocity may be as listed or even

    Once you develop a good drop chart it will also give you good data for windage effects.

    If you are unsure of your abilities at longer distance the only way to solve this is to shoot
    at progressively longer distances until you become uneasy with the group size and repeatable
    results. (Everyone has there limits and must find them in order to be a good long range

    Better ammo will extend your abilities and distance so go only as far as you and your ammo
    are capable.

    The main thing is to enjoy shooting at extended distances.

  5. Chief1942

    Chief1942 Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    Thanks for the replys. Most of the issues I have are self imposed I admit. I have Bryan Litz's book and have read it cover to cover a couple of times. It was all that information that made me feel that one either jumps in totally, ie. learning and doing your own reloading, obtain a chronograph so you know what the cartridge/rifle combo is actually producing, work up specific custom loads for the specific rifle, etc. or one accepts that they should really stay away from LR shooting or hunting unless they are willing and prepaired to make that full committment. The paramount issue is I want to NOT be shooting at any animal unless I can harvest it cleanly and ethically. At my age some things are simply past my abilities to perform correctly and I may simply have to accept that and move on.

    I suppose over time I will aquire all the trappings necessary for this pursuit, and see if this old dog can be taught some new tricks. In the meantime I will have to strive to pass on that tempting shot that is simply beyond my abilities and experience, and recognize just when that is facing me. Thanks again.
  6. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2003
    In the end, what matters is that you know your drops and drift. You can accomplish this, in a worst case scenario, without any velocity info whatsoever if you buy enough ammo and spend enough time on the range to figure it out. With a known bullet in any ballistic calculator you can then back out what the velocity was and generate your drift values.

    Even if you did know the velocity, you should still be verifying the drops through actual shooting anyways.