Where did I go wrong

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by BillR, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    I spent most of the summer getting set up to try for a deer at 1000 yds. I had shot deer and antelope out to 700 in the past but had never worked at it really. This year I had bought a new rifle, a Rem 700 Sendero in .264 WM and worked up my load using a 142 Grain SMK with it running 3170 fps with an ES of 15 over the Crony Chronograph. My scope is a Leupold MK4 6.5X20X50MM with the TMR reticule. I'm using Sierra 6 for the ballistic program. Leica 1600 LRF. Caldwell Wind meter.
    The first morning of my hunt I spotted across the canyon a big Mule buck and was able to range him at 768 yds. I got on the rifle and dialed in 14 MOA on the scope. Checked my wind meter and it showed a 4.5MPH wind directly from my 7:00. The deer was going on an angle roughly 45 degree's uphill to my left at a slow walk. I double checked everything again and slowly squeezed the trigger. I was able to get back on the scope and spotted my shot hitting about 5' below him and directly under his shoulder. My spotter called low and said up 2.5 MOA. I adjusted that much and again got on the trigger and squeezed off another shot. My spotter asked me if I had adjusted what he gave me as I was again under. He said give it another 2.5 MOA which I did. All this time the deer is still angling uphill and away from me. Again I get on the trigger and slowly squeezed the trigger. I was again able to get back on the scope and this time I spotted the buck do a huge jump and a belly kick showing me a good hit and then disappeared. I loaded another round and got back on the scope and watched as the deer was at the top end of a gulley that dropped down into the canyon and it was full of small trees and buck brush. Shortly after that I spotted it again but looking like it was trying to climb out of the gully and almost like it was standing on its back legs. Again I tripped the trigger and the deer again disappeared. I sat there watching along with my spotter for over 10 minutes and he did not show again. I finally told my spotter to watch and I was going to head off across the canyon and find the deer. After about 30 minutes of crawling down and back up the other side of the canyon and following what I thought was the right gully and going to the top of it I found I was about 1/4 mile south of the gully I wanted and headed that way. After a short time I came to the top of the gully and there in the bottom lay my buck. After making sure he was dead I waved to my spotter to figure out a way over and that the deer was down. (Took him 45 minutes to make his way over to me with a vehicle to pick us up) While I waited I checked to see where the buck was hit. My first shot had hit a bit back and had totally destroyed the diaphragm and the liver and left about a 2" hole going out. This is what caused the huge leap and belly kick. When the deer had attempted to crawl out of the gully my second shot had taken out both front elbows and put a 2" hole through the lower chest taking out part of the heart. Both shots would of killed him.

    Now here is the question. All summer I had been checking my drops all the way to 1200 yds and they had been pretty much dead on. The range I shoot at has about a 10 degree decline from where I shoot to 1200 yds. I almost always shot on nice sunny 50 to 60 degree days. I had checked and chrono'ed the load a number of times and was pretty sure I was correct.
    The day I was shooting the deer we had a storm coming in. Temps were about 17 degree's Humidity was 40 percent at the time and the shot was 19 degree's incline. My range is about 4500 in altitude and where I was hunting was around 3500. Can this differences account for that much more drop.
    I am really happy with my buck as he is a 6X7 Mule buck but was terribly unhappy with my drop's. Except for the drops everything else was spot on. Somehow I have to figure out something different to correct for this. During this hunt we had two guns shooting and both guns shot under. Something needs to be figured differently. I'm guessing that between when I ranged the buck at 768 and when I hit him the first time he had gone maybe 50 yds. this would account for some of the drop but not 5 MOA which at that range works out to almost 40"s of drop which by my chart works out to about 930 yds.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Really nice buck. Air density is a little higher 1000 ft down. Was the humidity higher as well? That will increase resistance and thus your drop as well if it was.

    There are an endless number of possibilities including a difference in wind at the mid point and POI from where you were set up for your shot that could figure in as well.

    Out past 600yds, things just get a lot more complicated and of course there's always the issue of the shooter as well.

    Where you shooting prone by chance here vs bench in practice? That can affect the POI as well.

    SO many possibillities... .

    Man you have a great buck there to be really proud of so I wouldnt' be at all down on myself if I was you.

    Just keep good records of your practices undery varying conditions and over time it'll tighten up for you.

    Again, what a great buck, congrats.gun)
     

  3. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    If I understand what you wrote you were 60 inches low at 768 yards which is about 7.75 MOA low. You adjusted once for 2.5 and then again for another 2.5. You would have still missed another 2.75 MOA low so your spotter was at least some of the problem .

    Having little faith that the initial shot was actually 5 feet low but assuming it was and you made the adjustments called for then there are three possible problems. One your scope was set one rev low or else lost zero. Two your powder was temperature sensitive. And three your barrel was walking bullets upwards as it got fouled or warmer. Perhaps all of the above in some amount.
     
  4. Gondini

    Gondini Well-Known Member

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    What about the air temp. did you addjust for that? I live out west and shoot in the summer where the temperature can be 100 + and hunting season comes along and it 30 or less, and on my gun that is about 30" difference.
     
  5. Gondini

    Gondini Well-Known Member

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    Great Buck!!!!!!
     
  6. longrangefreek

    longrangefreek Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Buffalobob's info but one other thing to check just to make sure is your range finders. I do believe you said they were Leica 1600's. My buddy has those same rangefinders and I was checking them out and i hit the wrong button and changed the calculations over to a different setting instead of US measurments in yards. when I would range a target with my Swaro's he would come up with a yardage that was about 150 yards lower than me. we could not figure it out. one of my other buddies got to playing with it and found that the setting was wrong. He changed it back and all was well from there. I am not sure how he figured it out but I know he fixed it.
    Just a thought that came to mind while reading your post. Just something to check just to be safe.
     
  7. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    A 5 foot miss is a lot. If you were working from a proven drop chart there was probably some kind of mechanical error. Rangefinder picked up something giving a bad reading, you mis-dialed the come ups or buck fever had you all screwed up :) "Nice buck" Temps would have some effect but not like that.
     
  8. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    The problems I see are....you called a 5 foot miss and your spotter called a foot and a half....twice. Air temp, alt, ect... could be a bit of the problem, but 5 feet!!! You are shooting over 700 yards at a moving deer.....either I am extra carfull, a poor shot, or something, becuse I tend to pass on moving shots past 400....that of course is just me. Some guys are better than others at moving targets, but yours was 1/4ing away and moving uphill to boot...you would need to lead both in the X and Y axis...ie in front and above....quite a tough shot in my book. How much of your 'low' was caused by the deer moving "up"?

    It seems like no matter how much we practice, Murphys law always seems to creap in there some how. Saturday my son lines up at a deer at 515 .... virtual chip shot..using my 1K comp gun. Bang.....hit below the feet by a bunch. Go back in time to before season....I dial up 10 MOA (one spin on the NSX) to bang my 750 yard gong. ....back even further in time...... I have had some of "my guys" come in shaking thier head before....diled up to bang a rock at XXXX yards....you know, showing off for thier friends....and forgot to dial back down....and missed the "buck of a lifetime". DUMB, DUMB, DUMB.....IS MY RESPONCE!!!! Well, I dialed down.....yep , I did...FRIKIN TWICE!!!!! My son hit 10 MOA low.......DUMB, DUMB, DUMB!!!!

    ALL HAIL MR. MURPHY!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  9. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Nice buck, and I'm sure you'll track down what it takes to make next time the experience you want.
     
  10. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    I might of missed my calculations in the fact that the deer was moving and the flight time . The deer did not seem to be moving that fast or I would of passed on the shot. Actually a slow walk is what it seemed like. But if I didn't get the follow through right between the time the bullet left the barrel and the time it got to the target the deer might of moved enough to make it just seem to hit low and might have been due to the ever increasing distance.

    One thing I do know though was both hits on the deer were centered up and down when I finally hit him on the 3rd shot and 4 shot. The 3 shot was a bit to the right but not by much. The 4 shot was spot on but was not moving when I shot. I shoot skeet quite a bit and use to be a lot more so never even gave the moving target a thought. This was also the first time for my spotter and me to work together and totally new to him.

    One thing that really amazed me was the fact that my heart rate didn't even go up while shooting. Just nice and calm like shooting at targets. All I heard in my head was I can do this.

    Leica has a red dot next to the square target box if it is set on Meters rather than Yards and is easy to tell if it changes. It hadn't.

    I have been talking with Ernie from specialty handguns since shortly after getting home trying to figure this out. He and I have know each other for a lot of years and he has no problem telling me I am dumb when I do something dumb. He thinks it was a combination of differences in Altitude, Barometric Pressure, Inclination and temp. I think next year I am going to have to have some sort of weather station (Kestrel) to correct for it all. With 3 different shooters that day all shooting low there must of been a heck of a difference in BP from the storm coming in. And the altitude change and possibly a humidity change and the inclination angle might of added to it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  11. paphil

    paphil Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the variables cancel each other out. The wind was a tail wind blowing down in the first part of the trajectory which could account for a couple of the minutes but I would be more inclined to blame ranging errors although on steeper terrain they are usually less of a problem than flat areas. The colder temp would cause a couple of clicks low as would the 1000 feet lower altitude( 1/2 click) but the inclined angle would cause the shot to be high ( 21 degrees = 6 yards/100 or take off enough clicks for -50 yards). If you ever get back to that spot again, try to range it again.
     
  12. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    This thread kinda got me thinking about your numbers, so I fired up my Sierra I-6 program and ran the numbers. I started with your home figures...4500 feet, 60 degrees, and the standard I-6 baro and humidity (70% and 29.53). I used the 142 SMK at 3170 and a sight height of 2.25 (educated guess), and a 100 yard zero. I come up with 12.9 up at 768 yards.

    I swithced to 17 degrees, baro of 29.00 ("front comming in), and 3500 feet and came up with 13.3 moa up.

    Now , I am not sure about the shooting up hill, down hill numbers, cuz I don't know. But what I do know is that you would need LESS dial up. I am not sure if that lessens your dial ups 1/2 MOA or 3 MOA, but it is LESS.

    SO, first, the environmental changes should only have changed your impact piont a couple of inches.

    Second....if the I-6 is correct.....dialing 14MOA should have put you HIGH at 768 no matter what the environmental properties were.

    By my calculations, if I guess at 10% less dial up due to the up/down hill component, and that is all it is, a guess, and the .7 MOA the I-6 says you were off, you should have actually missed HIGH, not low. Now, that is figuring that your scope goes EXACTLY 14 MOA, and everything else, including Jupiter and Mars lines up!!:D

    I just bumped back to your origonal post and noticed that your range is at a 10 degree decline, and the shot was at a 19 degree decline.....so you dialups at your home range should have been LESS than the I-6 says (12.9 MOA) and cettainly less than 14MOA. And the actual shot on the animal should hve been even less.

    Question....are you sure about your chrono readings? I need to reduce the MV to 3070 with your home range numbers to make 14 MOA dialup work...and that doesn't take into account the 10 degree down.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  13. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    :) :) I don't know about planet alinement BUT. Here is what I have and I thought I should of shot high also if anything.
    .264 142 grain SMK
    Velocity 3170 FPS
    Bullet path or scope height 1.75
    100 yd zero
    I used 0 for the degrees on my print out
    Ballistic Coefficients .595
    For the hunt I rechecked my altitude from the print out and I had redone it at 2500 feet
    Humidity 40%
    Pressure 29.53
    Temp I put in 40 deg. Well it had been nice out and didn't figure on the snow storm coming in.
    It give me for 775 yds exactly 14 MOA adjustment.

    I had also printed out sheets for 10 degree angle 20 degree angle and 30 degree angle I find that the difference was 2 MOA between 0 and 30.
    It is very possible that my chronograph might of been off. That would/could account for the difference except that I had been checking my drops and practicing every weekend for the last 3 months. It had proven to be pretty close. Each time I went out I would find a bit of difference but that was getting smaller and smaller.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  14. mrbigtexan

    mrbigtexan Well-Known Member

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    great deer, i am envious! I bet you remember this hunt forever!