What it takes to get to 800 yards

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by AKBman, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. AKBman

    AKBman Well-Known Member

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    I am shooting a Ruger M77MKII in 300 Win Mag. It wears a Leupold VX III 2.5-8x36 scope (wanted the low end for wading into the alders when I lived in AK). Right now with handloads of 180, 200, and 208 grain bullets, it shoots right around 5/8-3/4" at 200 yards. While the trigger isn't the cleanest breaking trigger I have shot, I have worked with it and it breaks pretty decent at 2#. Wondering what it would take to double my comfortable range with this rifle? Right now I am confident out to 400 yards. Everything sits in one of Ruger's boat paddle stocks, I haven't made any changes other than some polishing and working with the trigger since I bought the rifle in 1999, still shoots pretty much the same size groups as it did new. I am on a limited budget, but I am curious. The 300 Win Mag is just about my favorite cartridge, followed by the 375 Ruger.
     
  2. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Very recently one of my buddies wanted to do almost exactly what you are looking to do from about the same level you are at. He did not want to radically change his rifle. Without going into great detail, he got there by adding the following to his current capabilities:

    Refined his existing hand loads using high BC, heavy bullets. His rifle shot 200 gr Accubonds well. Loads were refined to shoot .5MOA(1") at 200 yards with an ES of less ten 12FPS. Checked to make sure his rifle held it's zero.

    Upgraded his scope to a 5x20 Huskemaw(lots of good choices out there) with a Holland scope level. Mounted it perfectly plum and checked the turret accuracy to 20MOA using a tall target test. He used turrets, but whether it was turrets or a calibrated reticle, he needed to have more precise adjustments for LR shots.

    Acquired and learned to be proficient using the Shooter Ballistic app and a Kestral wind/conditions meter to determine elevation and wind holds at longer ranges.

    Bought a bipod for his rifle. He couldn't always use it for his hunting shots, but it really helped him understand the need for a secure rest from any shooting position when extending his range.

    After shooting practice, understanding how to apply the Shooter app, and understanding his wind reads using a Kestral wind gauge, he was hitting regularly at 600-800 yards. Now he is hooked and building a LR rig.
     

  3. AKBman

    AKBman Well-Known Member

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    Thank You! I am primarily a elk, deer, and Oryx Hunter in a lot of open country. I have a lot of 180gr bullets, but really would like to stick with the 200+ grain variety. Right now Hornady and Sierra bullets give me my best groups. I really appreciate the input. Funny you mentioned the weather station, I have really been looking at just how much the wind moves a bullet at given velocities and altitudes. I hunt from 4000-10000 feet and target shoot at 4350 and 5700 feet, amazed at the effects of altitude.
     
  4. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    I am/was in the same boat. Comfortable to 5-600, but someday my goal is to kill an animal at 1000yds. If I could pick one piece of equipment that I can say made me a better shot, it was a trigger. My factory trigger was fine, but once I put a Jewell in, I won't go back. It instantly helped some of my grouping.

    I am not a fan of atributing equipment to accuracy. I have shot a lot of target archery and know that equipment has little effect and practice is the most important, but this is the only equipment recommendation I would make.

    Otherwise, he hit the nail on the head. All that stuff will make the biggest difference. Then when you talk about the extreme long range guys, that's amazing to me. Someday that would be awesome but I got a ways to go before that.
     
  5. AKBman

    AKBman Well-Known Member

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    I have stoned the trigger in my Ruger to the point the trigger pull is light enough for good groups, and almost no trigger creep at all. Right now I am having good luck with Hornady soft points, but I bought some Sierra 180gr SPBT bullets, going to see how they shoot, trying to find the powder my rifle likes best as well. I will be saving for new optics, thinking a variable with a top power of 12 or over, but I still want a low enough bottom end to still be able to hunt the timber. I will be buying the heavier bullets from here on out, I haven't shot anything under 180grs in almost a decade, just been really happy with the 180gr bullet weight. Bottom line, probably the most important thing at this point is the supplies to be able to practice a lot more.
     
  6. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    You're shooting sub 1/2 moa groups. You are already there.
     
  7. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Look at the Vortex Viper PST 4-16x50 or the Leupold 4.5-14x50 LR (side focus) if you are on a budget. Either will get you to your 800yds mark on deer sized game or even coyotes. I've shot bobcats to just over 1000yds with 14x.
     
  8. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    That's what I thought!
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    His only problem is that he's going to figure out pretty quickly that 800yds can be just a chip shot pretty easy around Alamogordo.

    Some dramatic elevation changes rising up over very, very, very wide flats and gentle slopes. You can easily see a deer or antelope over a mile away without glass in a lot of that country!
     
  10. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    Good advice, in fact, great advice!

    except......

    I reread this thread and sure enough, nobody mentioned a laser rangefinder. If you don't know how far it's tough to make the first shot hit.

    A lot of the range finders that claim 1K yd ranging write (in very small print in back of the instructions) that on non-reflective targets (that's tech speak for critters) the range is about half. I have found most lasers up to the 1000 yard mark will not range a deer past about 400 yards reliably. So you are going to look at 1200 - 1600 yard lasers. None are cheap but the threads on this website will tell you there is a big difference. Len has the G7 BR2 on sale and started carrying it because it worked. It is the one most of the LR guys I talk to trust.

    Ditto WildRose. Better scope. I have a 4-12 (old school) but I would look at WildRose's suggestions in the 4X - 14X or 16X top end. Most big game scopes 40 years ago were 4X. That is plenty low enough for close shots. I have a T16 Weaver and it is plenty out to 1000 yards.

    1/2 m.o.a. is just right....

    KB
     
  11. tomsd

    tomsd Member

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    Love this thread and thanks for all of you lads inputting.

    Breaking in a new 30.06 and not sure how good it will shoot yet - but I once yers ago was on a rifle team and could shoot pretty good and if I can't get it close to half an inch - will have to try another rig/trigger, etc.

    My Q: For an Odd Six - which now with the newer powders - comes close to matching the .300 mag performance - can I reach out to 800 yards - or would something like 600 yds be more realistic - since I would probably have to stick with a 180 grain bullet.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  12. tomsd

    tomsd Member

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    Oh yes, I am talking about for hunting - and would probably be targetting an Elk at that range. Some advisors? - said that you should have about 1,800 ft lbs of energy when hitting an elk (1,200 lbs for a big Mulie) - and can that be achieved at 800 yards - or is it really most about bullet placement - and letting the heart or lung shot eventually do its work?
     
  13. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

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    Some of the long timers may chime in on this one but I will tell you how I figure it out.

    This seems to be a question that is highly depended on bullet. A good high BC bullet will carry it's energy out further than one with a lower BC, generally speaking. This is why certain bullets become more popular for long rangers but it may not be a bullet that a convential range hunter would use.

    So what I do is find a good ballistics calculator like the G7 Ballistics Calculator located in the brown toolbar up above and start plugging in numbers. Find a good bullet that you may want to use, do some googling and see what guys are getting for real world velocities from a gun like you own, and see what you come up with. I say a gun like your because one guy might get 3000fps with a custom gun with 30" barrel and so on, and I might just have a standard factory 24" type situation. Then you will have a better idea of what your numbers will be.

    As far as energy stuff, that is contrary to interpretation and bullet type. The very broad general concencus I have read is 1500 for elk, 1000 for deer, but everybody, including myself will have a different opinion one way or another about this.

    I can't recommend a good 180gr bullet for a 30 cal for you because I don't own one and I don't want to mislead you. Most guys shooting a 300 win mag right now are shooting that 200-215gr bullet for higher BC and less wind drift, but I don't know if the 30-06 would drive that big of a bullet with enough speed to make it beneficial.
     
  14. Kennibear

    Kennibear Well-Known Member

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    tomsd

    There are hunters on this website who use a 308 Win for LR hunting. The aught-six is good for another 100fps but it is not a 300 WinMag. Same reloading techniques that get the 30-06 more work on the 300 WinMag too.

    I was reflecting the other day that I've killed more deer with one gun in the safe than all the others combined. Not because of choice but more circumstance. It's my S&W M28 357. Muzzle energy is 700ftlbs. Dad was right, when you have to poop in the woods, that's when the deer show up. But I was hunting with a rifle. Here's my point: if you ask a handgun hunter they will tell you 700-800ftlbs is plenty for elk because they start with a 44 Mag and that is the 100yd energy. We have people writing that the ethical threshhold of energy is "blank" amount. IMHO it's where the bullet hits. Your real limit is your ability to put the bullet where you intended. For the record, one shot each w/ the M28 and I use cast bullets w/ zero expansion. It does not meet the criteria for most people. But it works for me.

    I have a very long 27" barrel on my 30-06 and get 2900fps with 180gr SpBT's. The powder is 4350 and newer powders will deliver more. My son's 300 WinMag gets 2950fps with a 200gr SpBT. The Barnes LRX and new Nosler LRAB will help a bunch. Berger has started the trend towards LR Game bullets and a lot of hunters have them dialed in so you will find a good load for them. So in answer to your question, Yes, with the right loads the 30-06 reaches way out there.

    But the bigger part of the answer is, if you can.

    KB