WHAT IS LONG / EXTREME RANGE?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Shawn Carlock, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    OK GUYS,

    I JUST READ AN ARTICLE WHERE A SHOOT / WRITER MADE AN "EXTREME" RANGE SHOT OF 587 YARDS. NOW I UNDERSTAND THAT TO EACH PERSON LONG RANGE AND EXTREME RANGE HAVE DIFFERENT BOUNDRIES. I KNOW THAT I CONSIDER LONG RANGE TO BE OUT TO 600 YARDS, A SHOT TO BE MADE WITH A "GOOD" HUNTING WEIGHT RIFLE. I CONSIDER EXTREME RANGE TO BE BEYOND 600 YARDS AND SHOTS MADE WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT. NOW I KNOW LOTS OF GUYS THAT ARE AVERAGE HUNTERS, NOT BAD, JUST AVERAGE. I BELIEVE THAT MOST OF THEM CONSIDER 300 YARDS + TO BE A EXTREMELY LONG SHOT. I AM INTERESTED TO KNOW WHERE THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THIS BOARD SET THE LONG / EXTREME RANGE BOUNDRIES.
     
  2. Jeff In TX

    Jeff In TX Well-Known Member

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    Shawn,

    I see your question as a two parter. Depending on the caliber 587 yards may be an extreme distance, such as shooting something with a .17 HMR at that distance. Now I think that would be an extreme distance for that round.

    But with most centerfire rifles I feel long range starts at 350 yards and goes out to around 1000 yards depending on caliber.

    Beyond a 1000 yards in my book is an extreme distance IMHO!

    Hope it helps,

    [ 10-05-2004: Message edited by: Jeff In TX ]
     

  3. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    Let's assume you have a range finder and a good drop table, for me, short range is where I can hold on the target and hit it in most reasonable condition.

    Long range happens when wind doping (holding off the target) becomes necessary and missing due to conditions is a real possibility. For the most part, you can Kentucky your shots with a high degree of success.

    Extreme range is where spotter shot(s) are going to be needed just to confirm conditions. One shot, one hit is really a matter of luck.

    So distance is really moot. A 22LR is going to be at extreme range at 350yds in moderate wind if trying to hit a pop can. A High BC super zapper is going to be at short range at 600yds on a bull moose in the dead calm of morning.

    For distance shooting, your ability to judge and cope with conditions defines whether the shot is long or short. Of course, experience and equipment play a huge role.

    That writer may have been shooting in gusty conditions with a 308 while kneeling. Now that would indeed have been very long range. However, I shoot and hit clays at 600 to 800yds with my LR rifles. A 585yd poke at a much larger target in light conditions, off a bench is pretty straight forward.

    Not a cut and dry answer but I hope this adds more depth to our intrigue of the LR sport.

    Jerry
     
  4. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    Jerry

    I guess your explanation/offering sums it up about as well as I've ever seen it done.

    I sort of take exception to the Kentucky thing as I think of it (Kentucky) being more guess than experience but I believe you offered it in the educated "hold off" variant moreso than in the "let'r fly" model.

    (I'd agree that 350 yards at a soda can with a 22RF would be pretty hard. We had that 300 yard 22RF thing at a CD and TP roll outline and I had a fairly difficult time.)

    [ 10-05-2004: Message edited by: Dave King ]
     
  5. LB

    LB Well-Known Member

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    Everything requires explanation, "hard" is a difficult word to define, as is "extreme". Nothing new, there.

    Long range, until you define it, generally means difficult and uncertain, or beyond ordinary capacity. If you have the means, then it removes some of the uncertainty, but there will always be coping of wind and mirage; and if speaking of a hunting situation, the distance that your target can move while the bullet is in flight.

    This is the major problem with the concept. Is it ethical (taboo subject) to be shooting a game animal at what is considered "extreme" range, by others?

    Clue: the title of this forum is, LONG RANGE HUNTING. So you have to be a competent shooter, with accurate gear, or you might risk being labeled as irresponsible.

    What it says to me is that we all have our own limitations. My personal limit, with my best gear, is not much beyond five hundred yards. I would not presume to place limitations on what others are capable of doing. This also means that my equipment needs to be accurate, and capable of actually killing the animal.

    However, it's a valid question. Where does LONG RANGE start? Sort of like; how much is too rich?

    Depends. First you have to define it and then you have to qualify it. Difficult to define, and it takes talent to qualify. My long range may be someone else's extreme range.

    I'd say that the attempt should have a very high degree of success, excluding spotters or second shots. That's just my personal opinion. But there is always going to be personal "opinion" with a question of this nature.

    For sake of argument, we can discount our wife's opinion as invalid. Interesting and(?) useful, but invalid. Ditto the 30/30 carbine affectionados.

    As with the PSY 101 question concerning a tree falling in the forest.... If no one is there, to hear it, does it make any noise? The question of extreme range hunting becomes also, philosophical.

    Good hunting. LB
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    My personal opinion of what I consider "long" and "extreme" range shots would be as follows.

    Anything past 600 yards is a long range shot in my opinion.

    Anything past 1000 yards is what I consider extreme range.

    Taking a shot at either range, no matter the target requires ideal shooting conditions, proper rifle or handgun for the job and proper accessery equipment like spotting scopes and range finders, ect..

    If everything is condusive to this kind of shooting, these are the ranges I would consider long and extreme for my self to shoot at.

    Good Shooting!!!

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  7. brian b

    brian b Well-Known Member

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    Shawn C,
    Bravo very good question,me and my hunting
    companion (nephew) have contemplated this
    very topic 100's of times this is as good as
    I can remember what we came up with.
    From the passenger side front tire (lr) to
    50 yards (er) with 38special or 40s&w, from
    51yards (lr) to 150Yards (er) 22l.r. from
    151yds (lr) to 300yds(er)17hmr from 301 yds
    (lr)to 500yds(er)222&223rem from 501yds (lr)
    to 1000yds(er)22-250imp,220swift,6mmackley
    slow twist, 1001yards (lr) to 1515yds (er)
    6mm-284 fast twist or 6.5 284 for 1516yds
    and beyond we are in the process of working
    on it even as we speak (or type) 338wiz bang
    hopefully to a mile or more.
    will keep you posted
    B
     
  8. sierra22

    sierra22 Well-Known Member

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    Long/extreme range?

    1. When bullet borders on subsonic range.
    2. Whatever range MOA size of target is equal/less to your MOA shooting capability.
     
  9. QuietHunter

    QuietHunter Well-Known Member

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    I like Jerry's response. Anything beyond point blank, holding on the target, no compensation for drop is long range in most situations. Depending on conditions, sight-in, target, cartridge it could be anything from 100 - 500 yards in my opinion.

    Extreme range is well described by Jerry also. That range at which "normal" techniques (doping, dialing, hold-over, drop charts, temp, humidity, elevation etc.) are not enough to reliably plan on a first shot hit.

    Do you have more information on the shot?

    A member lists their mule deer hunt in Wyoming where they shot an 85 gr 6mm bullet at 587 yards for a one shot kill through the lungs in Wyoming. Based on the Wyoming wind and all it is a great long range shot in my opinion. Hard to call that extreme range though.
     
  10. Shawn Carlock

    Shawn Carlock Sponsor

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    I HAD POSED THE QUESTION WITH BIG GAME IN MIND. I WAS SIMPLY INTERESTED IN WHAT THE OTHER MEMBERS THOUGHT ABOUT THE "BOUNDRIES" OF LONG AND EXTREME RANGE. I TEACH ALOT OF FIREARMS CLASS 1 OF THEM A LONG RANGE HUNTERS CLASS. I WAS LOOKING FOR A COMMON DEFINITION FOR LONG AND EXTREME RANGE. THE ANSWERS I GOT ON THIS THREAD HAVE BEEN RIGHT ALONG OF MY IDEAS OF LONG / EXTREME RANGE BUT THE DEFINITIONS WERE BETTER THAN MINE. I BELIEVE THAT IN MY FUTURE CLASSES I WILL FOR BIG GAME AND A FLAT SHOOTING RIFLE OF SOME POWER ( SAY A 300 WIN MAG ) TO BE THE POINT WHERE A POINT BLANK ZERO NO LONGER WORKS AND HOLDING HIGHER, DIALING IN ELEVATION ETC BECOMES NECESSARY, I WILL REFER TO EXTREME RANGE TO BE MORE SUBJECTIVE BASED ON CONDITIONS AND A LOW PROBABILITY OF A FIRST ROUND HIT. BUT GIVEN AVERAGE EQUIPMENT THAT IS NOT PURPOSE BUILT IS, AT LEAST FROM MY STUDENTS AROUND 600 YARDS. I COVER 100 TO 600 YARD SHOOTING FROM FIELD POSITIONS NOT A BENCH REST. THE MOST COMMON RIFLE IN MY CLASSES IS A SENDERO IN A MAG CALIBER, TOPPED WITH A TARGET KNOBED OPTICS ( MOST OPTICS ARE NOT UP TO THE TASK THAT SHOW UP ). THANKS FOR THE INPUT AND I WELCOME MORE ON THIS.
     
  11. Mysticplayer

    Mysticplayer Writers Guild

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    ShawnC, your mileage may vary but when I list the ranges, I am shooting from a portable bench with front and rear support.

    All bets are off when shooting off a bipod or pack, or some makeshift field position. Maximum distances will shrink dramatically unless the hunter is very experienced and a good shooter.

    A competitive prone NRA shooter would have no issue plinking out to 600yds. Most guys couldn't hit a milk jug at 300yds using field rests.

    I hope that during your classes the students will understand and respects their limits. With practise and skill, they will certainly be able to do more.

    When I help others, it is not to limit them to where they are now but show them the steps to improve to reach where they want to go...responsibly.

    The gear that your students are going to show up with will be more then capable of very long distance shooting. The key is whether they possess the skills to do it and to what extent.

    At the very least, show them the effects of wind and ambient conditions.

    Jerry