What's our next step?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Bug, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Bug

    Bug Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    A bud & I decided to try & extend our practical hunting range. Last year we set up a range on my place. The farthest we could go was 400 yards, so we set target butts at 50yd increments. The bench is a pretty stable, heavy, Iron-framed picnic table. Decent adjustable front rest & rear bags. Thus far, we have little problem shooting under MOA with the rifles we are working with. Well, at least out to 250-300yds. After that, it kinda comes apart.
    The rifles we are using are pretty standard Remingtons, Winchesters, & Rugers, with a few after-market bbls in the bunch. Nothing has been trued, but most are bedded. Scopes are pretty much standard hunting scopes for our part of the country. Leupold & Nikon duplexes for the most part, but we use a few others. All are variables from 2-7X on up to 4.5-14X at the top end. Although recently I bought a mil-dot 6.5-20X, I haven't used it much at all. There isn't a target turret in the bunch, and only a couple of mil-dots.
    What we have run into is that about 300, trajectory rears its ugly head. We have a hard time shooting a group because (A) hold-over sight picture is imprecise, or (B)we just don't see well enough to hold consistently. If we sight in for 400, the trajectory pretty much rules out making hits closer.
    Is there a workable solution without going to turrets or custom reticles? I think we have the equipment(rifles, anyway) to be successful, just haven't figured a good way to point 'em from 100 yards to 400 yards consistently. What do y'all think our next step oughta' be? Incidentally, we have discussed sighting in a rifle for each 50-yard increment, but we really don't want to be forced to take 8 rifles - each, every time! ;P What'cha think???
     
  2. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Bug,
    You have two of the most important essentials for learning to shoot long, a place to shoot and a partner. Both are not easy to find for most people.

    Bite the bullet, you need scopes with turrets if you really want to learn to shoot long and enjoy success. Hold-off reticles work but 1/4 minute turrets are simply more precise. You have to accept that mathematics and data keeping are going to become an important part of your shooting. You should start recording the basic shooting data for each session and even each shot fired. This is not a tough job, and it works. We just don't remember so many details and numbers, if they are written down you can get them again.

    There are great entry level scopes available - check out the SWFA Super Sniper in fixed 10x for 300 bucks or the Bushnell Elite 3200 Tactical at under 200 dollars, they both work fine, have reliable turrets.

    Work your way out as far as you can, I find that 700 yards is a great practice range since I mostly hunt out to 500-650.

    Good luck, you are fortunate to have two of the toughest requirements already, now you need to read a lot of stuff here and get out there and shoot as much as possible.
     

  3. littletoes

    littletoes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    I like to know my "come-ups", but also use the mill's. Its a challenge to use them, and I like to be prepared.

    Leupold TMR Reticle is an exceptional MOA reticle I think, with the NightForce NP-R2 almost identical.

    Both ideas work, but the come-ups are more accurate I think, if your range data is accurate. I've used heavy mil-dot reticles in matches to 600 yards (Luppy M3), but coarce "clicks" and the heavy cross hairs make precision shots more difficult. With an un-lit reticle, the heavy crosshairs can help in low-light conditions, but with todays illuminated reticles, the idea can be mute.

    I still see more people holding for wind, but once you start "clicking" you'll get comfortable with it.

    Good Luck! Sounds like you'll be ahead of most with that range in your back yard. Set up time kills me on a weekend shoot. Everything has to get picked up, or stolen around here.
     
  4. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,229
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    What calibers are you using?

    Are you reloading? How precise are your reloads?

    Do you have a Chronograph? (if so, do you use it?)

    +1 Ian, at least one really good scope is important.

    My current project is a $560 Savage in 300WSM with a $1350 Nightforce on top of it. It is shooting nearly every group in sub 1/2MOA with many in the .3" and lower range at 100yds. Although I've not shot it further than 200yds, I'm confident that I could click out to 500yds and hit a pie plate with the first shot.

    I wish I had a partner and a place to shoot 400yds!

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

    AJ
     
  5. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Target turrets. Gotta have some way to compensate for trajectory, and turrets are the best way I've found to do it. Leupold will even install them on "click" type Leupold scopes for a modest fee.

    The Super Sniper is one heck of a scope for $300 too. Very good turrets and I see them used under some tough conditions.

    The standard way to do it is simply sight in the rifle at 100 yards, then increase the range and learn your "come-ups" out to your max range. Write down those numbers and tape them to the side of your rifle stock, or to the inside of the rear scope cover.

    Once you've worked with target turrets a bit, they're easy. Sometimes when I'm hunting in open country, and don't know if a deer might suddenly pop up at 200 yards or whatever, I just dial on my 300 yard elevation data and walk with the rifle that way. Then I'm ready for anything that shows up at modest range, and I can dial up to exact ranges after I've set up.

    Target turrets - great things to have when shooting longer ranges.

    Regards, Guy
     
  6. Steve Shelp

    Steve Shelp Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    351
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Bug,
    I have custom built long range rifles and shoot long range competiton for many years. But when it come to long range hunting, I prefer to use the older methods. My personal rifle/caliber is a Rem M700 LH BDL in 30-06. Box stock except it has been piller bedded, scope rings lapped, trigger worked on, etc etc. The scope is my 25 year old Leupold VarII 4-12 w/ AO and a std Leupold duplex reticle. Needless to say it doesn't have target turrets either.
    When describing my setup to fellow hunters using their newest super magnum with a huge POS scope and mutiple turrets sticking out of it, they say, "ok, see that rock over there... hit it!" I lay down, pop out my bipod legs, range the distance, and figure out my holding point and bam.... smash. I have had 2 hunters tell me no way you can you can be sighted in at 100yd and still hit something at say 300-400yds on demand. Not bragging but with some knowledge of your equipment and practice it is relatively easy with your existing equipment.

    BUT..... I DO have points of aim out to 400yds (and more, just haven't run the numbers and tested it out yet) using this scope without touching the turrets once I have it sighted in. The key is having the std Leupold duplex in the scope. Not the heavy duplex because it covers up to much of your target at longer ranges. I have used this system for years, but it takes a little getting use to.

    What I do is put the scope on 4 power and sight it in to be dead on at 100yds where the top heavy duplex reticle meets the thin crosshairs. Where the thick and thin meet actually is an arrowhead and I sight in on the tip of the arrow head. I call this point (Point A) What I call my "Point B" is the actual true intersect of the thin crosshairs. And "Point C" is where the thin goes to thick on the bottom creating an arrowhead pointing upward. I hope this description is clear.
    This gives you 3 aiming points to use without ever touching your turrents. This method works for the yardages you are talking about. And depending on the caliber you are talking about possible aiming points out to 500 to 550yds without holding over a deer sized animal.

    Now back to some more details. FYI: These details are for my 4-12 power scope. You scope power and reticle size will probably be different. But it is not a show stopper. Just take a target with heavy 1" grid lines on it and tack it up at a true 100yd distance. Put your scope on low power and find out how many inches there are between your Pt. A, Pt. B, and Pt. C. They will be different but the same logic applies.


    Here is my exact details:
    Sight in dead on at 100ys at Pt A (you can go an inch or so high depending on your hunting situation) Where I hunt I can shoot 400yds but I need to be prepared for the short precise shot also. So I elected to go dead on at 100yds)

    for 200yds with a dead on hold using Pt A, I hit about 2.5-3" low on paper. so in the field I either jsut don't worry about those 3" or simply jsut hold the height of the heart on on the chest.

    for 300yds I crank my scope up to 12X and use Pt A and hold dead on. I shot a 2 shot group about 3 weeks ago double checking my zero and it printed about 1" low at 300yds. That 1" at 300 is negligable in my book.

    400yds is still at 12X but I then use Pt B (actual crosshairs).

    Being I can only shot out to 400yds where i hunt i haven't tested past there, but obviously I have another aiming point at Pt C to give me even more yardage, but like I said. I just haven't tested it or tried it. Doing the calculations you should have aiming points out to 500yds with the average med bore caliber and typical bullet weight and drop chart.

    Hope this helps. I gotta run for now. If you have any questions let me know. The biggest thing is training yourself to use the Pt A aiming pts by instinct and not automatically use the crosshairs when a big buck pops up at 50yds in the thicket. So don't switch to this method without a lot of preseason practice or it can be frustrating.

    The nice thing is that you don't have to spend any money on a custom reticle or turrets. Use what you have and you can shoot out to 500yds with practice and a little measuring to know how many MOA your reticle represents at what yardage.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Take a look at the Stoney Point target knobs for the Luepold scopes. You can find them at Midway.

    Kenton may or may not make a knob for your scopes but you can check their website.

    If you put the Stoney points on your Luepolds you will be able to dial and click and get some practice.
     
  8. Bug

    Bug Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Well,
    Looks like we are pursuing our goals in a proper manner, anyway. We keep records we deem important, anyway. Mostly load data & velocities, along with group size & ranges tried.

    Lessee,
    I sorta figured turrets were gonna be our next item.

    What calibers? Geez, a LOT of them. They range from BR cartridges to ultra mags, and most everything from .224 up to 358 caliber. Between us, we can shoot whatever feels right that day!

    Yes, we both reload. Heck, we even shoot each others loads/guns. Whenever something doesn't feel right, usually we'll turn the rifle over to the other for a check on our technique. Sometimes that can be right interesting!

    Yup, have chronographs, and use 'em too. Same with LRFs.

    I have tried using the different points on a duplex reticle for different ranges. Usually what happens is I headspace my settings. I'll get one set, then can't rembember just how it's supposed to work. Or, I'll get in a hurry, and just aim & shoot. I know, write it down! Dummy!
    What has worked, up until now, was setting up for a +/- 3" rise PBR, then holding on the "backline" for @300. That works fine for up to 300, but won't get it to 400. We want as good of groups on paper at 400 as we are capable of. That's how we found out using the duplex features wasn't precise enough.
    My personal goal is to bust a hog at 400. If it takes sighting in my rifle at that range, thats what I'll do. Of course when I do, A good buck will stroll out at 200, and I'll just have to sit there and look intelligent! Thanks for the input. I do appreciate it! Anything else comes to mind, Please share!
     
  9. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    The Stoney points are not caliber specific. You just put them on your scope. The markings on the Stoney Point excatly correspond to a Luepold scope click.

    1. Get on JBL Eskimo and run your drop chart.
    2. Set the Zero of the knob to Zero at 100 yards by shooting a group.
    3. Look at your drop chart for 200 yard drop and turn the knob the required amount according to your drop chart and shoot a group and it should hit the center. If not then adjust appropriately until it is hitting the center at 200 yards. Record the setting of the knob on your drop chart
    4. Repeat step #3 at 300 yards and record the setting.
    5. Repeat Step #3 at 400 yards and record the settings.
    6. Keep repeating Step #3 for as far out as you want to go.

    7. The recorded drop data is your corrected drop chart that actaully fits your rifle and the load you used at the conditions you shot it.

    8. Tape your drop chart to your stock.

    9. When you see Mr. Big Boar grab up your LRF and spot him, then read the drops off your chart on the stock for that distance and spin the Stoney Point dial to correct drop setting.

    10. Smack Mr. Big Boar right up side the head with a nice package of copper and lead.

    11. Don't act like the rest of us and forget to spin your kob back to zero before you get to celebrating:D or else you will miss your next shot.
     
  10. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    "Don't act like the rest of us and forget to spin your kob back to zero before you get to celebrating or else you will miss your next shot."

    Man, that's the truth! A buddy and I were practicing at 600 yards before a match that was important to both of us... We put our rifles away after cleaning.

    First part of the match was a 100 yard cold bore shot. I nailed it pretty good and his bullet sailed waaaaay over the target - he had not changed his 600 yard dope back to 100 yards... We made a game of it after that - challenging ourselves to never even check the scopes on our rifles, just pull 'em out of the cases, prone out and shoot that 100 yard cold bore. Neither of us ever repeated his mistake.
     
  11. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    574
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    BTW - Steve Shelp's method has considerable merit and I use a similar method to get on target at 400 yards with my .25-06 and a fixed 6x Leupold. It works well.

    Still believe the target turrets simplify the whole thing, and make it easier to make precise adjustments for say 350 or 450 or 525 or 600 yards and hold dead on with the crosshairs.

    Regards, Guy
     
  12. Bug

    Bug Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    To Buffalobob and the others:
    Looking for Stoney Point turrets, I ran across this 'site. There is a significant savings over the Midway price.

    STONEY POINT Target Knob Leupold - K1L

    I also looked at Kenton Industries' turrets. While they ARE pricey, they just might be a better alternative.

    Kenton Industries