Quck shots, long range, moving target

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by WildRose, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if this would be better in "starting out, the basics" or here so I'll put it here and if Len wants to move it he's welcome to.

    I haven't had much input so far this year because I've just done very little shooting and almost no hunting. This fall has been dedicated to getting some orthopedic issues handled and recovering between surgeries.

    I was feeling pretty sparky this afternoon so I decided I'd head out early to knock out the evening chores and maybe get an hour or so of deer hunting in since we've had a big, serious cold front come through and tonight we're heading way below freezing for the first time this year.

    So I'm driving out and as I normally do just eyeing both sides of the road seeing what's moving. I'm looking out across a big draw and wheat field talking on the phone when to my surprise there's a really big boar just trotting across the field.

    So I start the calculator in my head as I'm slowing down and trying to come up with a quick shooting solution.

    I'm carrying my Wichester Extreme weather 300wm. It's scoped with a Leupold tactical VXIII 4.5-14x50 sitting on a NF fail so it's a pretty solid set up. I'd sighted in yesterday so I knew it was on and I was dead zeroed for 100yds unlike normal (normally leave it set for dead on at 350yds and adjust from there).

    Ok I'm shootnig Hornady Superformance 165gr Interbonds Running about 3200fps.

    The hog is about 200yds from the far end of the field crossing right to left. I know the far edge of the field is 780yds from where I'm sitting.

    By the time I'm out of the truck and set up for a shot though he's turned and trotting off almost straight away from me at about 700yds.

    I get on him and see he's going away angling at about 10:30-11:00 so I figure about 15% right to left and gauge his speed to figure lead.

    The way I do this is hold with him at about 5:00 on the bottom edge of the scope and see how far he travels in a count of "one, one" and stop there figuring fight time just a hair over a half second.

    I know my drop is around 120 inches at that range and the hog is about 30" Tall. So I put my cross hairs on his feet, and see where the top of his back its on the vertical and raise three times that plus about a half then knowing he's presenting a target about 20" wide I lead him by four body lengths, (based on already gauged speed) and let it fly.

    Just as I let it fly, I see the wind is more left to right where he is rather than straight on from six to twelve at 2-4mph where I am and sure enough I see the impact just perfect at about mid point on the right ham, passing through the body and big splat out the off side.

    I've already thrown another round in and am lining up for the second shot and he's sitting and spinning. I tell myself "plenty of time, give it a second" thinking he'd quit but he didn't.

    He gets up and barely makes it to the edge of the field where he sits again. I added another half body height for the additional drop, lined up right on his heart and then moved the vertical to right on the point of his nose and let it fly.

    One dead hog right at 780yds.

    We spend a lot of time here talking about how to "get it right" with relatively perfect set ups, and you old timers won't learn anything from this but for the new guys, here's you an example of using what's handy, namely body dimensions and known ranges and drops.

    In actual hunting conditions you will find that things are rarely perfect and frequently you just don't have minutes to get it all correct and dialed in exactly after running all the conditions through your ballistic calculator and setting it all up with your spotter there for calling corrections.

    Predator and varmint hunting provide is great opportunities to learn and practice this type of off hand shooting so that when the same situation pops up on you when that once in a lifetime buck or bull is in your sights and there's no time to calculate, dope, and dial, you can still make the shot and make it count.

    This is also another good example of how mastering the wind is the toughest part of long range shooting I was in a bit of hurry wanting to make the shot before he got into the brush and was lost and failed to make my wind observations at, at least two different points along the track of the bullet to ensure I had my wind figured correctly.

    Sorry, not pictures, didn't have the camera along but thought I'd share it anyhow for the benefit of those new to the LR Game.
     
  2. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    This is the difference in capabilities from the people that hunted long range before it hit the T.V's compared to after.
    Mill-ranging and proper hold over methods, range estimation techniques and TOF estimations are a forgotten concept with the exception of a few.

    Thanks for the write up on what works for you! While many may learn from it some may not, we all like hearing about it!
     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Shooting is both an art and applied science. The applied science is getting easier every year with advancements in technology.

    The art part just takes time, practice and hopefully someone to help teach you the basics.

    I was extremely fortunate to have benefitted from growing up with probably one of the best natural shooters to have lived in the last fifty years both demonstrating it, and being a great mentor to me.

    We have a great many young shooters today who didn't have the same kind of years long instruction that I got from Homer.
     
  4. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Great information, thanks WildRose!
     
  5. jkupper

    jkupper Well-Known Member

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    I have taken some moving shots on critters before, mostly coyotes and a few deer, all within 300 yards.

    I would not be able to do what you did though. I believe my understanding of my rifle, load, ballistics, and wind is good enough, but I simply am not capable of doing quick math in my head. I have to be able to work it out on paper.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and especially the depth of information that it contains! That is a couple of fantastic shots. Would have loved to have seen it!
     
  6. jarheadhunter

    jarheadhunter Well-Known Member

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    That's one of the reason I went with a Burris E3 on my rifle. No dicking around with a rangefinder and ballistics program when you need to get a quicker shot off.
     
  7. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post! Thanks.
     
  8. ToKeepAndBear

    ToKeepAndBear Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on an impressive shot!

    Just curious if your tactical scope had a mil or moa based reticle? If so, and since you knew the distance pretty accurately, why not hold 5 mils for elevation and lead the target 2 mils, etc, for your loads known drop and lead requirements? If you are off on the estimate of the height of the animal, you will have compounding errors in your estimate of the amount to hold for elevation.

    TKAB
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Straight cross hairs.

    Since in a case like this you are using body height and length and inches and doing it all in your head as you are putting it together in just a few seconds trying to do part of it in inches and part in MOA is more than my pea brain can handle.

    With a Mil or MOA graduated reticle it would be much easier, but to be honest on a moving shot like that even with those reticles I'm using the graduations just to help me more accurately do the quick math on the lead and hold rather than attemptig to do MOA or Mil calculations.

    Keep in mind that a lot of our shooting on varmints like hogs and coyotes gives us a maximum of one minute and more realistically about 30 seconds from first sighting until pulling the trigger.

    I this case while I knew the range almost exactly to the far end of the field I was still having to do a quick rough guess as to the range to target figuring he was about 200yds from the far end as I first saw him angling slightly south (shooting N-S) and he then turned almost due south after I got stopped while I was setting up.

    Body dimensions work extremely well if you know your game and keep those figures in mind.
     
  10. ToKeepAndBear

    ToKeepAndBear Well-Known Member

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    With a mil based first focal plane reticle, if you have a drop table made out for your load and attached to your sling, no math is necessary. You just dial or hold for that distance. The mil markings are consistent at all magnifications in a first focal plane scope, so no conversion required there if you need to hold vs dial. You still have to estimate the amount of wind and speed of the animal. But most programs allow you to enter and calculate your lead for various speeds. This is done prior to the hunt. I know that for a 3mph full value moving target I need to lead 2 mils, 5mph 3 mils, and 8mph 5 mils. This lead is pretty consistent among all distances since it is a radian. The only calculating required is determining the wind and whether the wind direction requires you to increase or decrease the amount of lead for that speed of moving target.

    Wildrose, I can see the method that you describe being the best solution for a plain reticle. Just illustrating the utility of a first focal plane scope in the same situation. It can also be very quick to deploy in a hunting situation.

    TKAB
     
  11. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    This is one of the most enjoyable technical post or article I have read in a long time. Nothing like old school shooting, very well done!!! Thanks for taking the time to post this.....it's one of those rare ones.
     
  12. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    Great info, but you may be "preaching to the choir" on this as WildRose is a fairly knowledgeable shooter. I think that he was more just showing what can be done with the plain jane stuff.

    At one point in time I had to use a duplex, because it was what I had. still took game past 500 yards, using the reticle to range (post to hair).
     
  13. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    No question about it, just not possible with this kind of set up.

    Even with that though trying to dope and dial on a quick shot with a moving target is going to leave you having to make the final adjustments in your head since the distance is continually changing along with possibly the angle should the animal change directions.

    Once will still need to also work on developing the skill to observe speed, calculate lead and adjust for changes in wind corrections as the animal changes.

    If you have yourself dialed in though it will certainly reduce the likelihood of compounding errors.

    For those of us who have been shooting like this for decades it's really second nature to do it this way but for someone who's total experience is in doping and dialing it's really tough learn how to make these sorts of on the fly calculations and adjustments. The latter here of course is why I brought it up. This is something we all need in our box of skills because sooner or later it can make the difference in feeling confident and being able to make those shots on the fly and having to pass on that once in a lifetime shot.

    Again this is where the value in predator and varmint hunting is enormous because let's face it most of us are not nearly as concerned about being sure we made that "killing shot" in those circumstances and in some case you prefer not to because you want to have them get out of the field before they expire.

    Log ago when I lived down near Dublin I had a guy who paid a couple of us to go out on "night patrol" in his melon patches with .22mags asking that we'd shoot the hogs and coyotes in such a way that they could make it out of the field before they dropped because he didn't want us in the field removing them or for his pickers to have to pick their way through smelly carcasses.
     
  14. Scrubbit

    Scrubbit Well-Known Member

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    Great shot, story and discussion. Lot to be said for intuitive scopes/reticles for these types of shots. A Simple graduated reticle and target perspective allows a person to adjust follow on shots on the fly. I prefer an FFP scope as it adds a quantitative element to a person's intuitive analysis. I used both for an 850 yard moose this fall for my follow on shot. My brain can only process so much math in so much time before it demands that I rely somewhat on my instinct.