Longrange reality check

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by marketello, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. marketello

    marketello Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    For over a month now I have been poking around trying to figure out what set-up I was looking for and realisticaly what my range would be. I thought there would be a compromise of a set-up for hunting, and long range.

    This Christmas I pooled all my gift money and bought a Leica 1200 and set out to see how far, far is. After hitting the back roads and ranging cows and goats, I am not so sure anymore about a combo set up.

    I'm guessing now that if I am to buy a ("phantom" Remington CDL Left hand) in .30-06, have the action squared, then bedded, order a stiffer barrel, and have that floated, then pick out a scope...which scope. Well the primary use would be for hunting; Glassing and stalking, so I don't think I should go with a long range scope that has a min setting of 6X No, I'm thinking a 4X10 Zeiss or 3X9 Leupold.
    So there it is, now what sort of range could you folks get out of that rig shooting 150-180 grain?

    After a few days of playing around with the Leica I'm thinking 400 yards if I have a good situation. I never realized just how far 500 yds really is. I can see off a bench with a long scope, but no way with a 9X laying prone or off a knee.

    I read a book a while back about Carlos Hathcock, and they were shooting 30-06's with 9X scopes in Viet Nam, making 1000 yd shots, laying prone! Damn, my hats off to that.

    I don't think I would ever get there unless I had a longrange scope, which I just don't think would suit me hiking up and down the hills. Since I would probablly be stalking most of the time, I think I would need 3X or 4X on the lower end.

    I was able to get a reading on a metal box out at 1176 yards, whew, that can't really be done with a 10X scope can it?

    I read a post a while back about a couple of guys shooting Elk at 1200 yards, did they bring a bench with them? Kind of like a jumbo prarie dog shoot, or can some guys hike around, lay down and kill an elk at 1000yds
     
  2. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    400 yards is a good distance to become familiar with techniques. You'll graduate from there to a bit longer and before long (relatively) you'll be shooting further than you've ever imagined.

    Yes, there are guys that can walk around, lay down and shoot an elk at 1000 yards.

    A 10 power scope can get it done but 14 might be better... a 4.5 x 14 x 40 Leupold is pretty good and small(ish).
     
  3. Matt27

    Matt27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Greenhorn

    I think for what you want to do any scope up to 10x will work. I had a super sniper 10x on my Rem 260 and was able to hit 1 litre pop bottles at 550Yards 9-10 times with it and shot silhouets with the same setup.

    Remember the leica is only 7x power (i believe) and you were able to see the metal box with that power.

    As far as shooting to 1000 off bipods i believe it can be done. People shoot highpower matches prone with a sling and shoot in the x ring which is 10". Beyond 1000 i am sure with the practice and knowing your capabilities and equipmant it can be done. Hopefully if this weekend is nice enough i can be able to shoot out to 1 Mile. will be shooting prone off the bipod. Finally the cattle are out of the pasture. I have been waiting all summer long.

    At my range we can get to 1000yards and i shoot prone off the bipod and can achieve 10-15". I haven't mastered the art of reading the wind yet. You have to shoot over hills and the target is in a low spot between two hills. Makes it very difficult to judge wind all the way out to 1000.

    I would get the Zeiss 4-10x. Very good scope.
     
  4. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    417
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. I thought 400 or 500 yards was way out there, and wondered how I could shoot a deer that far away. I already had a 300 Win Mag, but bought a Rem 700 lefty in .308 to practice with, and practice I did! 4ked Horn and I built targets and went out and practiced until we got to the point that we could go out, dial in our numbers for 400 yards and judge the wind - placing our first shot on the steel gong. I also practiced some with the 300WM. This year I took a nice Mule deer doe at just over 430 yards. The shot was dead center top to bottom, just behind the shoulder - exactly where I was aiming. Now 400 yards seems to be "routine" and I look forward to more practice to stretch it out to 500 or 600 yards, especially since I saw a nice buck at 500 yards last season - too bad I had a doe tag!

    Also, dont let the high magnification scopes discourage you. I have a 6.5-20x on the 300WM, and for 3 of the last 5 deer, I got them at 75 yards or less - 6.5x magnification wasn't an issue. As a side note, I ranged elk at 1150 yards with my Leica 1200, and I could see the elk with the 7x Leica optic in the middle of day, but I could really see them well with my 12x binoculars

    The more you practice, the easier it will get. There is no reason that you couldn't take a deer at 500 yards with your 30-06 if you KNOW that you can do it.
     
  5. marketello

    marketello Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Can a shooter take game at 500 yds with a scope that isn't adjusted before shooting. Can you be that accurate just holding over your target at 500 yds? It sounds like you all use the scops with the MOA adjustment knobs on the side that you dail in before the shot.
    When you ranged that elk at 1100, was it hard to hole the square on the elk, did you have it braced in some manner?
     
  6. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    [ QUOTE ]
    Can a shooter take game at 500 yds with a scope that isn't adjusted before shooting. Can you be that accurate just holding over your target at 500 yds? It sounds like you all use the scops with the MOA adjustment knobs on the side that you dail in before the shot.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Can I ask why you want to know? Do you have an apprehension to using the scope adjustments in the field? I used to think hold overs were just fine, and they were out to around 300 yards. But when I made the commitment to learn how to use a scope and a drop chart I discovered a whole knew realm of shooting.

    It is like typing with two fingers. You might get pretty good but when you learn to type with all your fingers what seemed pretty good is nothing close to what you are doing now.

    If I am on the right track here let me know and I'll tell you a funny story that happened to me regarding the difference between hold overs versus clicking and holdong dead on.

    P.S. Read my signature line. I'm making fun of that customer I had. He no more hit that deer at 800 yards by holding over it's shoulders than I could knock down the back row of bowling pins by bouncing the ball down the bowling lane.

    But If one of the guys here said that he hit an elk at 1000 yards by getting a steady rest and dialing in for the yardage I wouldn't question that event at all.
     
  7. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Greenhorn,
    There is hunting where you might shoot out to 500 yds, & there is "hunting" where you start out at 500 yds. Most hunters don't have the equipment, skill, and terrain that offers some of the long range shooting you read about on this site. If you get a good 3X9 or 3.5X10 power scope with a long range stadia built in (such as Leupold, Burris, or Swarovski), you can work on your rifle, loads, and shooting skills to where you are deadly out to 500-600 yds without making adjustments in the field. Remember, that a 500 yd shot at 10 power is like seeing the animal at 50 yds with your bare eye. You only have one thing to aim (your crosshair)on the target. Long range differs for everyone. Your skill level & confidence will get better with practice. Go out this summer and shoot some varmints. If you can hit a little target at 300-400 yds, think how much easier it will be to hit a large target at that or slightly further distances. Technique & equipment, combined with knowledge & confidence will make all the difference. You have plenty of rifle if you use the right bullet, find an accurate & fast load, and learn to use your equipment correctly. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    GH,

    Well at least you asked before just winging lead at far of targets...

    Most guys have this fantasy of shooting way out there at intended targets and have no idea just how far .." far " is...

    to shoot at longer ranges takes alot of dedication and practice.. just not as easy as buying a magnum and "holding over"

    I have a standard 10X on my 308 and I have a self imposed limit of 700-800 yards with it... I know at 500 yards I can routinly hit a 10" steel plate...
    I have shosen this 10X scope after using such others as 3.5-15 , 6-20, 8.5-25... the 10X is just a good all around scope for 800 yards or less in my opinion...

    the other scpe of choice would be the 3.5-15 but you have to remember to keep your parallex correct...

    I do have som concern about you .. just holding over... unless you have a scope with hold overs on your reticle .. why would you want to take the chance?

    both Nightforce and USO have excellent reticles for known distances.

    My advice is to practice an learn you rifle and load.. then determine just how far you can hunt...

    there is no satisfaction in wounding an animal...
     
  9. RBrowning

    RBrowning Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Greenhorn,
    If your past experience is anything like mine was, it is understandable to be learry of adjusting your scope. I remember spending most of the day and a lot of ammo trying to get my scope re-zeroed after trying to make an adjustment. As I learned more about scopes and how they should be mounted and used, the process is second nature and done without thought.

    I found out the hard way that my scope was never mounted plumb. The vertical cross hair wasn't. Every time I adjusted up, my point of impact moved to the right. Very frustrating. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif I also learned that my 1/4 MOA clicks were closer to 1/3 MOA. Also somewhat confusing. Then I found that there was backlash in the adjusting threads and the I needed to shoot several times to get the group to settle into it's new position. There was no way I was going to try adjusting a scope in the field.

    But taking a leap of faith I replaced my old Weaver with a new scope (Some don't think a Tasco counts as a scope, but I haven't had any problems yet). I got some help mounting it properly. I tested it to find if it had any backlash. I shot a group and adjusted it up 4 MOA and my next group was about 4" higher! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

    Now I have every confidence in my gear and have no worries about adjusting for elevation and windage. It's funny how a little experience in a new area really changes your thinking about something. Listen well to the folks around here, there is a lot to learn.
     
  10. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    417
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    [ QUOTE ]
    When you ranged that elk at 1100, was it hard to hole the square on the elk, did you have it braced in some manner?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was braced against a solid object (my truck), so it was firly easy to hold the square on the elk. If I wasn't at my truck, I would have found a stump or improvised a steady rest.

    Holding over would be fine if you have a scope reticle that supports it and you have practiced with it enough to be confident. I am not sure how well this would work if you had a target that was at an "in between" yardage, say 450 yards - not at the 400 yard hold over, and not at the 500 yard holdover. Maybe some others could chime in on how the "in between" yardages work on a holdover type of reticle.
     
  11. Duff

    Duff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    I am not a long range guru, but I have a 4.5-14 Burris FFII with the Ballistic Plex on my .300 Win mag and love it. If you are shooting out to 500 +/- yards, it can be a big help. Just my 2 cents.
     
  12. marketello

    marketello Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    63
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    wapiti13...
    "If you get a good 3X9 or 3.5X10 power scope with a long range stadia built in "

    "unless you have a scope with hold overs on your reticle"

    Are you both talking about scopes that have the Boone & Crockett or mill dot retical?

    4ked Horn...
    "Can I ask why you want to know? Do you have an apprehension to using the scope adjustments in the field?"

    Well, I guess it is just a confidence thing. I haven't done as much hunting as people on this board, and sometimes (from what little experience I have)trying to imagine putting a lazer on an animal, checking a drop chart, and then turing and turing a dial to get dialed in. Seems like all of that could take sixty seconds or more, and places I have hunted it doesn't seem that I have had that much time before taking a shot. Friends of mine who hunt a lot more than I do have alwyas recomended a scope that is 2X to 3X on the low end, and they hunt set to that low setting feeling that if they jump a buck they have more of a chance to find him in the glass. I'm trying to figure out how many here grab a good vantage, set up and wait, and how many stalk.

    So I guess that train of thought, as well the cost of the fancy scopes kind of sent me in the direction of a 3X9 or 4X10.

    Am I wrong to think that those scopes with the adjustments on the sides are as expensive, and as fragil as they look? By the way, what it the technical name for the style of scope that has the big external adjustment knobs?

    I mean it makes sence that this would be the way to go, but I can also see where these would be great for the benchrest, I wonder how useful for the guy walking around in the mountains.

    RickHorst..
    "I have chosen this 10X scope after using such others as 3.5-15 , 6-20, 8.5-25... the 10X is just a good all around scope for 800 yards or less in my opinion..."

    So you have opted to hold over your target rather than use a 3.5X15 that you would dial up your range. Can I ask why you came to that choice? You don't feel like you are giving up accuracy by holding over instead of dialing in.

    On these scopes, I assume you can set your zero to your 200 yd sight-in, and then adjust up from there. How hard is this to do. If these are 1\4" MOA adjustment, do you actually have to count 4 clicks per MOA, or are the dials set for fast adjustments?

    Thanks for fielding all these rookie questions. Right now the only rifle I own is grandpappy's old Savage 99, but plan to buy (probablly) a Remington 700 soon. Just want to make sure I set it up right for my needs.
     
  13. smart bomb

    smart bomb Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Greenhorn,

    Use the savage 99 for walking and hunting in the woods. Now do yourself a favor and get either a Remington PSS or Savage tactical/varmint in the 308 winchester cal. This is cheap to shoot. Very accurate. Recoil is almost noticable, barely. Remember that much reasearch and development has gone into the 308 round, and components for shooting and reloading it are legion. Its a great place to start.

    After the rifle purchase I would suggest getting an optical sight like Nightforce's NP-R2 reticle. I have been using mil-dots, but I like the concept of this sight better.

    Remember that what this is happens to be a shooting system, and not just a rifle and scope. Learn to use this system with a great rangefinder and you will be amazed just how fast and far you can shoot with astounding result.

    It doesn't take long, and with a little equipment you'll be shooting better than you've ever dreamed possible. It's willingness to learn. Proper attitude. And investment in time and a little equipment.

    This is how I started with a PSS. Then I went to a Remington 280 in a 40x single shot. Now I'm into big boomer territory. But still I enjoy the PSS 308 more than all of them. Best bang for the buck.
     
  14. gonehuntingagain

    gonehuntingagain Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    417
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    [ QUOTE ]
    trying to imagine putting a lazer on an animal, checking a drop chart, and then turing and turing a dial to get dialed in. Seems like all of that could take sixty seconds or more, and places I have hunted it doesn't seem that I have had that much time before taking a shot.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The answer in this case will be a little vague since not all scenarios are the same and animals will react differently given how much pressure they have seen. I have seen mule deer that see you a mile away, and they run a couple of ridges farther away. I have also seen deer (mule deer and whitetail) that will stand there at 50 yards and stare at you.
    Usually the farther away they are, the less they will react to your presence.


    To help Greenhorn out here, how long does everyone think it takes, from the time you spot the deer, to range it, look at your drop chart, dial in the elevation, judge the wind and dial it in, then to set yourself for the shot, then the shot itself? I think the time may vary with the distance, so let's designate a range - 500 yards.

    I would think that with practice, 30 seconds would be about how long it would take me...I'm sure many of you all could do it much faster /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
    This would be while I am hunting the open sagebrush country of southern Idaho. If I was up in north Idaho in the brush, it would take longer because trying to find a place to shoot from without brush in the way is somewhat a PITA.

    What kind of terrain are you hunting Greenhorn?