Advice for a New LR shooter?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by lechwe, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. lechwe

    lechwe Member

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    OK, so here's a little background. I've been shooting and hand loading for the past 30 years. I'd like to think I'm a pretty decent shot but my comfortable range is about 350 yds. I'd like to get comfortable to at least 600 yds in hunting situations and hopefully out to 800-1000 eventually for steel.

    I have a Browning A-Bolt in .300 WSM. I currently have a Leupold VX3 3.5-10 with the Boone & Crockett reticle but I don't really care for it and want to develop my skills at dialing a scope in and making the appropriate adjustments. I have a couple different loads I want to hunt with. a 168gn X bullet load and a 150gn SST load. Both are well under 1 MOA. I'm considering taking the Leupold off and putting a Vortex Viper HST 4-16 on it.

    For what I want to do is this a decent rig? I can't justify a new rifle or a Nightforce scope so I need to be reasonable. I hope I have covered most things.

    Any and all criticism and advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    Under most hunting situations where stability may not be ideal, 600 yards is not a 'chip' shot. If most folks were honest, they would agree.

    So with that being said and you are in pursuit of the longer ranges as indicated, it might be a little difficult to reach those goals consistently with your setup.

    I am one to believe "if you can't see it; you can't hit it". Meaning , I go for the most power I can use and afford. Some folks are capable of hitting targets CONSISTENTLY at 1000K using a 10X scope, but those folks are few band far between. Go for more power.

    The 300 WSM is well in the capability of long range, but a light weight gun and shorter barrels will not be the best choice for that distance. Yes, again some folks can do this, but as mentioned they are exceptional shooters. Also, you may consider like a 185 grain Berger Hybrid for this round. It did very well for me with a 300 WSM.

    Bottom line, you already have the rig so give it a try and see how it works out.

    Good luck!
     
  3. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

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    Buy the CD Putting Rounds on Target with Bryan Litz. Watch it a few times. The CD should provide initial direction toward LR shooting and will prompt new questions.

    Welcome to the Forum.
     
  4. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    sell or keep what you have. get a remington 700 long range ( or a sendero). get a 4.5-14 or 6.5-20 leup scope . get a range finder. start shooting
     
  5. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    IMO, your Browning A-Bolt (as you describe it) is very capable of achieving your goal. I agree that your Leupold, while it's a good scope, isn't going to be enough for what you want to accomplish. I like the Vortex Viper and at 4-16 (for a hunting scope) it should work well for you. The only thing I've found with the Vortex scopes is that the focus ring is VERY stiff and requires the focus ring add-on lever to work effectively. Without the add-on you'll need a spanner wrench to adjust focus. :D
    I agree that this (while it is expensive) can help answer a lot of questions:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/32...with-bryan-litz-dvd-3-disc-set-with-bonus-dvd
    Bryan Litz explains ballistics with an engineer's perspective using language we can all understand. He is my "go to" guy for ballistics.

    I like the ethics of your plan to get comfortable with game out to 800 while limiting your shooting beyond that to steel. IMO, too many shooters convince themselves that they can hunt at long ranges when they actually wound more game than they kill and often leave the animal to suffer. I sometimes compare shooting past 800 yards to weightlessness in space. Flying in a gravitational environment is one thing. Navigation in a weightless environment is quite another.

    If you have some time, read this:

    http://precisionrifleblog.com/tag/applied-ballistics/
     
  6. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i have several of the 3.5-10 leup . i like them, they are light and clear. i like more power for long range. i have no experience with that scope . should be a good one though. get it on there and start shooting.
     
  7. lechwe

    lechwe Member

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the input. I understand the more power thing. However, This is going to primarily a hunting rig so I really don't want to go above the 4-16. That may not allow me to realistically get out to the 1000yd mark and that's OK. I'll just have to find out what is realistic and what is not. I may also have to re-evaluate my desire to get comfortable to 600 for hunting. I realize it's not a chip shot and don't expect to get there after one day on the range but I'm confident with practice and education I can. In the mean time maybe 500 is a more realistic goal and stretch it later.

    I ordered the DVD set and will spend a ton of time educating myself there. The article was really interesting.

    Keep the advice coming.

    What are your thoughts on going to my 338 Win Mag?

    Thanks again.
     
  8. mark fox

    mark fox Banned

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    I agree that at some time you will need to get a better rifle more suted for the task.
    and the remington 700 is a great choice hard to argue with the past 50 Years of records. of long range accuracy.
    The wsm is a great choice. I personaly upould have chose the 7 wsm better b.c. in
    a lighter bullet. higher velocity, flatter, less recoil, higher sectional density in relation to diamiter also means better penapration at long range once your bullet slows down. You must understand what your wanting to do. Dont even try without the atempt to do it will. long range and cheap dont go hand in hand. the deer, elk, bear etc. deserves more respect than that. as far as the scope burris xtr2 3.5-15 all the bells that the nightforce has for about $900.00 34 mm, ffp, zero stop, 110 moa, etched glass, nitrogen charged, I had 15 members in the local swat team here compair the nightforce with the burris not one person chose the nightforce. burris is much clearer and is very repeatable. very solid positive clicks. leupold not even in the same ball park $ for $ Get the burris put it on your 300 wsm for now get a g7 rangefinder and pratice shooting steel 750 to 1000 yards. its so much fun that after a few weeks trust me you will find a way to buck up for a better rig. Mark Fox "bad --- gun works"
     
  9. mark fox

    mark fox Banned

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    338 wm great round too bad its belted. one of the things that is needed for accurate shot placements. excluding you, your loads and equipment is. a bullet with the bc and velocity to be more predictable. and with the 338 that starts at 250 plus grains and with that comes recoil even worce in a carry gun. my question is why If your scared of your gun you wont shoot good......
     
  10. lechwe

    lechwe Member

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    Mark,

    Thanks for the input. I'm checking out the Burris as we speak. I like what I see so far. Nothing against the 700's but at the time I was buying my rifles I liked the fit and feel of the browning better. they have been really good weapons for me so far (I've got 4 of them). At the time I bought the 300 WSM I wan't thinking about long range shooting, of course I probably wouldn't have educated myself enough to choose the 7mm either. I completely agree on the belts. I also have 7MM rem mag and hate the belts.

    Out of curiosity what do you see as the primary issue with the Browning? Is it the light barrel or barrel length or a combination of both along with other obvious things.

    Keep it coming. Of course with every reply it seems my wallet is about to get lighter.

    thanks
     
  11. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    IMO there is nothing wrong with the Brownings. They just don't have all the after market goodies available. Your choice for a 30 cal is not bad either. You have good stuff go out and enjoy it.

    Steve
     
  12. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree with this statement. There is absolutely no reason for getting a different rifle if the one you have shoots sub MOA. Yeah, there isn't a bunch of aftermarket stuff out there for a Browning, but if it already shoots sub MOA, you don't need any aftermarket items. Sub MOA will allow you to hunt to 600 yards with no problem at all and your caliber will take down any big game animal in North America at that range as well (and well beyond that).

    I think you are on the right path with the Vortex as well. Something in 4-16 is plenty powerful enough to shoot past 1,000 yards. If you look, you should be able to find a Viper PST in the same price range as the HST. I would suggest the PST just for the reticle. Definitely check out your options though, but in that price range it is going to be tough to beat that.

    On top of upgrading your scope, my suggestions would be to get a good rangefinder and potentially look at trying some loads in your rifle that have a higher BC. The two recommendations I would give you would be the Leica 1600 for a rangefinder and the 215 Berger Hybrids. Sure, the G7 rangefinder would be nice if you can afford it, but it definitely isn't necessary. And something like the Berger's will give you a high BC, making wind drift less of a factor.

    Outside of that, get out and shoot. Practice is the name of the game. If you can get your rifle to hold it's sub MOA potential out to longer distances, you will be all set!

    Edit: your 338WM would also be a candidate as well if it's accurate. The same thing goes with that rifle: get a load with a high BC bullet and start shooting. You might find the 338 to be a better fit than the 300WSM, but that's all up to you. As far as it having a belted cartridge, I wouldn't be concerned with that at all. There are plenty of people who find just as good of accuracy with belted cartridges as non belted.
     
  13. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Yep. This is good sound advice. The only other thing I will ad is that I have found that for hunting clear optics seem to be more important than strong optics. I think a clear 10x works well for acquiring a target. Love the 22x Night Force, but not always that easy to acquire the target. Often I have to turn it down to get settled in then turn it up. Anyway clearest sharpest, then power.

    Steve
     
  14. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    There's absolutely nothing wrong with belted cartridges or the .300 WSM for LRH/S ....

     
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