Learning

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by bboock, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. bboock

    bboock Member

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    I am a newbie (you tired of hearing those words yet?) and I am curious as to where I can learn a lot of this information. I mean, I have read lots and lots of the articles on this website, I have been shooting for years, huting coons and coyotes and such. But I live in Illinois where if you are using a rifle, it is probably for a coyote, and around here, you just grab what you got, hop in a truck and go. Well I have very much gotten into yote hunting this last 18 months or so, and I would like to be able to take those 500 plus yard shots. My problem is, instead of just going out and spending money, I should do now what I should have done a few years back. Where do I start with the basics? I don't mean as far as breathing, holding, etc (although those stickies had some good info in them), I am more interested in learning about calibers, ammmo, MOA, etc. I would like to be able to make educated firearm decisions, instead of going and spending 2 grand and wondering why I can hit anything at 300 yards. So I was just curious if there were books, dvds, whatever it may be to get? Thanks for your help in advance.
     
  2. 300 ultra

    300 ultra Well-Known Member

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    Do you handload? If not I would start there with a complete kit from RCBS or other and you will be amazed on what follows. The more you know about how a firearm works the better you will know what you want. Ask lots of questions to anyone who will listen. There are no dumb questions just dumb answers...
     

  3. bboock

    bboock Member

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    I do not handload, I would like to, but am worried I am not smart enough. I have a few buddies who do, and they all said they would do it for me, but I am one who would rather do it myself and learn. Just always worried I am going to mess something up. And I'm sure if you give it time I will have plenty of dumb questions :). Thanks for the answer though, you were the first answer to my first post.... Hopefully someday I will be the one answering.
     
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i shot a coyote friday at 419 yards. i can tell you what you need for coyotes at 500 yards plus . a rifle capable of very small groups at that distance. handloaded ammo. a very good scope. a very good range finder. a kenton knobb or equivalent. some targets or coyotes.
     
  5. Long Trang

    Long Trang Active Member

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    It doesn't take 'smarts' to safely and properly reload. It only takes responsibility and maturity.

    That would be a dumb move.

    That's the spirit!!!! lightbulb

    If you're responsible and mature enough to handle a firearm, then you're responsible and mature enough to reload your own ammunition. Having 'buddies' or anyone else roll ammo for you to shoot in your weapon is a very bad idea. Have a bit more confidence in your abilities.

    To add to the answers here, I recommend you first get a hold of some books regarding ballistics (specifically external and terminal ballistics) required to drop the game you intend to kill at long range. That will help you decide on which caliber. Get a hold of some books dealing with the basics of long range shooting. One I can recommend is The Ultimate Sniper by Major John Plaster. That book has everything you need all in one book necessary to get you your understanding of long range accurate shooting.

    I would recommend buying decent factory loads for you new rifle and save your brass. Practice, practice and practice. Then....practice some more. :)
    Once you've acquired a few hundred spent casings, you can start learning about and gathering some reloading gear.

    Good luck.
     
  6. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Bboock,

    For "how to" video's you might check out Shawn Carlock (Defensive edge). The gear shop on this site sells some of his videos. Darrell Holland may have some videos available too. Shawn's "A how to guide for long range hunting" has quite a bit of useful information for someone starting out, as well as his "Send It" hunting and shooting videos.

    You specifically stated your goal is coyotes at 500 yards or so. I will make some suggestions based on that goal. I am more into big game at 1000+ and if you decide you want to play that game, the requirements will be much different.

    Ok, yotes at 500: I suggest something along the line of a 7mm rem mag, or short mag (not ultra mag), a 260 rem is also a good choice, as is a 25-06. A 243 is not a bad choice either. I like the 7mm because of the heavier higher BC bullets available which will give much better performance in windy conditions than smaller calibers. Many yotes have been killed with 22-250s, 222s, and 223s. They are good rounds, but the small .22 cal bullets get pushed around by the wind pretty bad at the longer ranges.

    For an off the shelf rifle, you probably cannot beat the heavy varmint barrel Savage. Remmington, Tikka, Sako, are also good ones to consider. you don't have to have custom rifle, but you need one that will shoot 1 moa out of the box. 1 moa at 500 yards is 5" (close enough anyway) and that is all you can have and still make dependable hits on a yote at that range.

    You will need a range finder that is rated to at least 1000 yards. (most will range critters at about half the distance they are rated) Bi-pod and or shooting sticks, rear bag (bean bag) Practice in your living room learning how to get steady in a variety of shooting positions. Just remember when you learn how to get steady, having the crosshairs steady on your target is just the way it is....... if you can't get steady, you don't take the shot. Practice prone with a bipod and rear bag, and sitting with the shooting sticks. Find the best ways for you to sit and position your legs and elbows to give you a good solid bone to bone lock up (elbows on knees). Go ahead and dry fire your rifle when doing this (it won't hurt it) you can get a "snap cap" if you are worried about dry firing damaging the firing pin.

    You will need a reasonably good scope, something that will adjust up to 12X or so with some type of a multi-line reticle. You can go with a "dial up" scope but you are looking at spending $1,200 to $2,000 for a good one, and cheap ones generally do not track well and will drive you crazy. I suggest the multi-line reticle for your first long range scope.

    Others have mentioned handloading. Yes, you need to handload and generally speaking you should use the heaviest bullets available for your particular caliber. Remember, ballistic coefficient (BC) is what counts not speed.

    Someone mentioned the book the "Ultimate Sniper" it is a good book although it has a lot of military related stuff in it that will not be really useful for hunting yotes, but still worth the read. "Handloading for Competition" by Zedicker (or something like that) is a really good book on handloading, "Applied Ballisics" by Bryan Litz (sold in the gear shop) is a good book as well.

    A ballistic program (you can download one for an Iphone or Droid) is very helpful both in the field and for learning what your particular load / rifle is capable of doing and how conditions (wind, temp, humidity) affect things. A chronograph is also almost a necessity when using a ballistic program. You can get a cheap one from Cabela's for about $100 and it will work just fine for your initial needs. It like just every other piece of equipment will need to be upgraded if you get into longer range shooting.

    Others may have some other suggestions, but those are my basic reccomendations based on your beginer level and your distance and varmint criteria. Long range shooting can be addictive, and you may want to move on out as your get profficient at 500 yards. Keep in mind as you start looking at longer ranges, your equipment and handloading will have get much more precise, (more expensive!) but the above reccomendations should get you going without having to spend too much coin:)

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    RDM- Bboock said "500 yards plus" . i agree he need a rifle that will shoot 1 moa at 500+ ( at 600 that would be 6 inches) . i shootin matches all the time at 500 and 600 yards. beside the senderos which come in large big game calibers there are only a few factory rifles i know of that will come close to a 5 inch 5 shot group or a 6 inch group at 500 and 600 yards repectively. a rem 40x. a savage fclassin either 6mm br or 6.5-284 or a savage lrpv in 22-250 with a 9 twist. i am not the savage wagon but,i shoot against them all the time. those three with proper ammo and scope will shoot . i shoot a remington with krieger barrel . sendero witha krieger barrel. they will do it . on a calm day . starting with an sps varmint .243 is a good start if that is what the budget allows.
     
  8. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, roninflag..... I saw the "and over" but was just trying be realistic without advising him to spend a lot of money. Even if a guy has the financial capacity to go out and buy a good solid 1/2 moa rifle, optics, handloading equipment, and all the other necessary equipment he would probably still have a hard time turning loose of that much money.

    Long range hunting is like most hobbies...... it is best to start out with a modest and reachable goal without investing a huge amount of money. If you really get into it, you can upgrade to higher performance equipment later.

    Sometimes those of us who have been at this a while forget that many of these new guys are starting with "0". They have to realize as well that you can't just go to Wal-Mart and buy a $800 rifle / scope combo and be dumping yotes at 500 or 600 yards tomorrow!
     
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    RDM- I have shot over 250 coyotes. until last friday i had shot ONE over 400 yards. now i have shot two over 400 yards and i have the equipment needed to do it with some regularity ( i believe) . couple that with my competiton experience; the posters GOAL of coyotes over 500 was from my stand point a lofty one . with the right stuff he could come close. about a year ago i tried to help a teen with a coyote/coues rifle . he had already bagged elk deer and coyotes. and he reloaded . he did nothing i suggested. bought a rifle , shot a bunch never could get it to shoot. now he has a r77 257 , with 3.5-10 simmons. nice . not a 450 yard rifle in my opinion. and he has none of the pieces for working towards a long range rifle. my suggestion to bboook is to get an sps varmint in 243 , shoot it , learn to load for it ; and eventually get a stock and a barrel.
     
  10. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

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    roninflag, That is a lot of yotes!!!gun)gun) Yep, I agree, shooting yotes at 500+ is a lofty goal, and the sps varmint in 243 would be good starting point for bboock.
     
  11. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    RDM- called my first coyote in when i was 11. i am old . i live where there are quite a few coyotes . hope i did not scear off bboook. i was trying to help. roninflag
     
  12. bboock

    bboock Member

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    Thanks a lot guys, I apprecaite all the advice. I have bought a couple of the books and have been doing some reading. The .243 is what I have really been leaning towards. Where I live it will mainly be for coyotes and foxes. I was thinking hard about a 6mm but I'm just not sure I need that. And I'm not sure a 22-250 will be enough knock down at 4 and 500 yards, otherwise that is what I would really like to have. Thanks for all the input though, I do apprecaite it.
     
  13. bboock

    bboock Member

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    I was def. not scared off either, I have just been busy the last couple of days. I understand that killing yotes over 500 yards on a regular basis is probably not that likely of a goal, I guess I would just like to think that when they are at 400+ that I can throw some lead at them and feel at least somewhat comfortable. I really do apprecaite all the input though, is Rem 700 kind of the basic consensus to start out with just because of accuracy and all of the upgrades available at a later time? Thanks!
     
  14. foreign

    foreign Well-Known Member

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    i dont have as much experience as the other 2 posting here but i would look at a savage too. then when you want to upgrade you can thread the barrel on yourself and change bolt faces. then the sky is the real limit in caliber choice. just a suggestion, that you may feel comfortable with in a while.
    ps. its a lot easier than it sounds.