SO called experts talking about LONG RANGE SHOOTING....

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Fiftydriver, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    TO all,

    I was recently sitting on a break reading one of the few hunting and shooting mags I still read regularly and there was an article about the ins and outs of long range shooting by a guy that is a pretty well know gunsmith.

    It was a decently detailed article for the novice shooter to read and get an idea what is needed for long range shooting but the only thing that really bothered me was how matter a fact he made it sound. In fact in once of the first paragraphs he talks about long range varminting and that shooting out to 3600 and 3800 yards is totally doable with the right equipment.

    Then he went onto talk about rounds such as the 6.5-284 and 300 Baer, both great rounds but hardly what I would consider +2 mile rounds. He made it sounds like all that was needed was to make a scope adjustment, take a couple shots, see where your bullets hit then adjust the scope again and you will be hitting your target.

    I kind of took a bit of offense to this knowing just how difficult it is to get consistant groups at 2000 yards let alone 3000 yards and beyond.

    His comments were that you really need to know your environmental conditions when your shooting at these ranges and thats why you have to have a handheld wind meter. Never was it mentioned about taking wind estimations at mid range or at the target. Certainly the conditions at the rifle are most critical but changes in wind direction over the trajectory of the bullet can cause severe impact changes.

    I suppose the thing that bothered me the most was the attitude that any round can easily reach out to these ranges if shot out of the right rifle, presumably built by him?????

    If we take a 6.5-284, loaded to the hilt with a 140 gr class VLD, you will reach around 1600 yards with super sonic velocity. Not once in the article did I hear anything about the effects on a bullet as it goes transsonic.....

    Now I know some bullets handle this transition much better then others. Still, all bullets are effected to some degree by this and never in a good way. I have found that a hyper stabilized bullet will be more consistant after it drops out of super sonic velocity then a bullet that is stablized with the traditional twist rate for that bullet.

    My question is how can you expect a 6.5-284 to produce consistant predictable hits at ranges even past 2000 yards when it drops out of super sonic velocity nearly 400 yards before that.

    I have tested this issue with many of the larger 338 magnums. In my results using the 300 gr SMK, once that bullet drops out of super sonic velocity your pretty much done with predictable bullet impact.

    In the 338 Kahn, loading the 300 gr SMK to around 2900 fps, your pretty much limited to around 2100 yards in range with super sonic velocity at normal altitudes. That is a significant boost over the 6.5-284. Now past this range, your pretty much screwed. In fact, I have shot groups on paper with my kahn at 2000 yards that were 3/4 moa and then shot groups at 2150 yards that I could not keep three shots on a 4x8 foot sheet of plywood covered with white paper!!!!!

    This was at 60 to 70 degrees, 15 to 25% humidty at my 3500 ft altitude. Can not remember what the Bar pressure was on those tests.

    I have also witnessed testing my brothers 338 Kahn with 4" longer barrel and a load he pushes a bit harder. Same 1-10 Lilja with same bullet and he gets an additional 150 yards of consistancy at max range because his loads start around 3100 fps but the results are very similiar. Groups at 2100 yards are 3/4 moa and at over 2200 yards, don't expect to hit anything smaller then a truck!!!

    In testing my 338 Allen Magnum, I can extend this predictable impact max range to around 2700 yards with the same bullet. At 2800 yards, your relying on only luck to get close.

    Switching to the 265 gr AT RBBT, I have gotten consistant predictable bullet impacts out to a slight hair over 3000 yards but looking at my numbers, I predict that anything much past that I may get consistancy issues.

    MAYBE not however because at the muzzle velocity of the 338 AM, the RPMs are dramatically higher then the smaller Kahn which I believe will help the bullet pass through the transsonic stages more predictably.

    Anyway, back to my point, I hear these guess all the time talk about using 308 Wins and 6.5-284s to shoot out to 3000 yards and beyond, sometimes WAY beyond. In my testing and actual shooting out to these ranges, I find this hard to believe they are doing it with any degree of predictability or consistancy.

    If any of you have used the 308 or 6.5-284 to get consistant groups past 1600 yards or a mile I would be very interested in hearing about your results. Maybe I need to build me a 308 and test things for myself but I just have a hard time believing this is possible.

    I also have a very hard time putting up with so called experts that make it sound like its a simple matter of cranking the scope up and dialing in for the wind after a few spotter shots to make hits at ranges out to 3800 yards.

    Hell, I would like to ask the guy just how many moas he would need for a zero hold on a prairie dog at 3800 yards!!!! I would bet I would just get a blank stare!!!

    Anyway, just ranting, if any of you have experience with the 308 past 1600 yards or the 6.5-284 past 2000 yards I would be very interested to hear how consistant your rifles were performing at those ranges.

    The 308s good for around 1400 yards with super sonic velocity, Its got less then 600 fps at 3800 yards............. The 6.5-284 is doing alot better, its got an additional 50 fps of velocity over the 308!!! Hell, even my 338 AM only has around 950 fps at that range.

    Anyway, your experiene please, would be most interesting and if I am proven wrong, I will learn alot from your experience and have my eyes opened.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  2. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    quote >"" Hell, I would like to ask the guy just how many moas he would need for a zero hold on a prairie dog at 3800 yards!!!! I would bet I would just get a blank stare!!! ""

    Haa -that's a knee slapper .............
     

  3. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I dont know what the big deal is. Heck I shoot rabbits up here at 4300 yards on a regular basis with a 22-250.
     
  4. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Howitzer

    Maybe that's what the guy shoots for those 3800 yds kills! Just forgot to mention it. I can't even see 3800 yds, let alone kill something with a rifle that far away. We're talking more than two miles. This guy must be exceptionally talented, or exceptionally...

    I won't say it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  5. JD338

    JD338 Well-Known Member

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    Kirby,

    Why don't you write the editor and ask a few questions. Promoting our sport with that kind of attitude is not going to give us a good image.

    JD338
     
  6. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    Kirby,

    I used to shoot a 308 quite a bit in my previous employment and you are on the money. My 20" barreled 308 went subsonic at 900ish. Shooting out to 900 was a "whos your daddy" experience, however 1000+ was a frustrating waste of time. I see the same issue with my 260, 7WSM, 30-06, 338 Edge, 338 Allen, etc. all of them go to hell in a hand basket at a certain range and it is shortly after going subsonic. I agree that faster twists help this but do not cure it. In short in my experience anyone who thinks that shooting those distances even with sighter shots is easy just does not get it and has probably never tried it.
     
  7. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    I just love it when some baffon speaks about subjects in which he knows not!!! Would love to have him shooting against me in competition.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  8. Slopeshunter

    Slopeshunter Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to take your thread a bit off topic Kirby, but could someone tell me how does one determine at what range different calibres go subsonic? And does this range basically tell you the limits of that calibre?

    Cheers.
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    This is a HUNTING forum, and not ShootingDelusions.Com, right?
    Anything beyond what you can can hit with a single cold bore shot, is static.

    Trained monkey shooting at set ranges (after sighting on rocks or 4x8 plywood), offers little application in hunting. Or anything else for that matter... Hell, even the military tries to make shots count.

    If you set a paint can & walk out there any random/non-set distance(with all shooting equipment), turn around, range it, dial it, and shoot once..
    Would you hit your mark? What would be your max successful range?

    I'm serious. I'm not talkin some distance you walked shots into last week(with 8 shots). I'm talking your real accuracy.
    Gunwriters have always been clueless, and worse, many are not ethical.
     
  10. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    JD338,

    I thiought about this but the guy is a VERY popular gunsmith around the shooting clan that subscribes to this mag, which is great and he is obviously a good smith but his portrail of extreme range shooting is very unrealistic.

    Telling that to a group of people that think this individual is a long range god would simply be a waste of time to be honest.

    Just frustating when a customer comes in and says, I want you to build me a rifle so I can shoot out to 3000 yards because I have read articles from so and so and he says I can do it.

    THen after a couple hours of intense mental retraining, maybe the guy has a bit more realistic view of how things really work.

    Many have said, just take him out and let him shot at these ranges, that would work great if the guy had an open mind to seeing what it is really like, most often, because he already KNOWS its easy and possible, the only thing he would take and pass on from the shooting session is that Kirby Allen can not make a rifle that will shoot minute of P. dog at 2 miles!!!!

    I tend to pick the fights that are winable but it still bothers me.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  11. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Shawn,

    I was hoping you were sniffing around and would offer your comments.

    I have not been able to test the faster twist thing. I agree, its something that may add a bit more range but I also agree that at a certain point accuracy will be degreaded no matter what you do until we figure out how to get self propelled and self stabilizing projectiles in these rifles!!!

    Thanks for your experience with the 308.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  12. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    Slopeshunter,

    Best way to figure your max range is to get a quality ballistic program. One that will let you account for altitude, Bar pressure, humidy, temp and wind speed.

    Then you need an accurate muzzle velocity average and a reliable BC value for your bullet. Plug in all your numbers and then look where your bullet velocity drops below 1100 fps. This is not exactly the speed of sound. This is a value that changes with environmental conditions, espeically altitude but 1100 fps is a decent place to start.

    Find out where this is, for example it is 1650 yards. Set up a target at 1600 yards and see if you can get good consistant groups representitive of what the rifle will do. Anything under 1 moa at this range is what I would call predictable bullet impacts.

    If you get consistant accuracy, step back 200 yards and check. If your bullet drops out of super sonic velocity in this window, you will see a noticable drop in bullet impact predictablility. Many times, you will have total accuracy lose.

    As far as this being Longrangehunting.com, I fully agree, but it never hurts to know the max range of your particular rifle and in the case of my business, I want to push those limits and extend the predictable range of our rifles as far as possible. I would never shoot at big game at 3000 yards, hell not even 2000 yards but my job is to push and move the limits. As of right now, 3800 yards is not practical and we are working with some of the most extreme ballistic performance on the planet concerning shoulder fired conventional rifles.

    To say this is possible to the average shooter is simply a practice that eventually will cause the new shooter to get discouraged and possibly give up on the sport.

    That is my only point. I agree totally, being able to put that first shot on the money is the determining factor as to what max range you are capable of shooting to. That is concerning hunting, I am talking mostly about shear max performance in this instance.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  13. hawkshaw59

    hawkshaw59 Well-Known Member

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    I shoot 300 to 500 yards on regular basis, for me being consistant at those distances is humbling enough. When I do go out to a 1000 yard it is even more humbling. Shooting a .308 with a 1 in 10" and pushing 190 grain SMK's it is still a challenge. I would like to shoot at 1200 to 1500 sometime just to see what it is like. But I cannot imagine shooting at 2000+ that is just hard to comprehend. Maybe someday just not now.
     
  14. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    Kirby---you and I as well as most who read this board know that wind judging skills are PARAMOUNT in being successful at long range period. For those who have not fired thousands upon thousands of rounds at 1k and beyond and more importantly learned from the experience it is way to easy to become disillusioned at just looking at ballistic tables. If it was easy anyone could do it right and let me tell those who are new to shooting long range it is not. As my Mentor always says “the wind is your friend” and “winning isn’t everything but losing sucks”!!! Losing in the field by missing or poorly placing a shot or in competition is not fun and when it is the aforementioned of the 2 may send animal to a slow horrible death.

    Point is a shooter has to know his or her limitations with their respective equipment and skills.