New Guy needs advice

James B. Dressler

New Member
Feb 26, 2002
Lebanon, TN USA
I thought I was a long range hunter until I stumbled upon this site. I am presently using a Model 70 push feed in 300H&H with a heavy 26" tapered octogan barrel from the Montana Rifleman. The action is pillar bedded and the barrel glassed the full length of the forend. The scope is a 6.5x20x40 Leupold in Talley mounts. It is very accurate but I have discovered the scope to be the limiting factor in my making hits way out there. I am considering having Premier Reticles install a custom reticle with at least four crosshairs running horizontally below the main one. The first would then be set for 200 yds, the next 300, and so on with my chosen load. My bullet of choice would probably be a 180 Scirocco which I am running at just over 3000fps. I am thinking of this as a 600-700yd gun and would be primarily after across the canyon Mule Deer. My question is would the custom reticle be better than target adjustment knobs?
Hi JBD.Welcome to the forum.The gun you have is very capable of making the shot you described.As for the scope are you running out of click's?The only thing's I don't like about putting in the extra x-hair's would be.If you were to change load's your up a creek.And if you were to hunt in different elevation's and tempature's they would be off.IMHO I don't think there is anything better than a GOOD drop chart
I studied reticles a while back for an article for the NRA and talked to a lot of shooters who use various styles. There are some very successful hunters on this board who use Premier equipped Leupolds with sets of dots or tick-marks for various distances. As Boyd mentioned this works if you stay with one load, under constant conditions. What about wind?

Many shooters here are using mil-dot equipped scopes - mil-dots enable accurate range estimation and also provide what you are considering - constant referance hold-over points. Not too tricky to figure hold-overs at various distances using mil-dots with a bit of range time and big targets.

Most shooters here also use pre-determined settings in 100 yard increments out to the longest range that they can still hold lethal-sized groups and have confidence that their bullet is still carrying enough energy to kill cleanly. These settings are called come-ups and they are arranged in simple charts for quick referance. Come-ups can be determined by field shooting or by computer generation. Windage adjustments are also cranked into the turret, before each shot so that a point of impact hold is used.

Having come-ups and mil-dots gives us the option of cranking on elevation or using a mil-dot hold-over in hunting situations, according to time constraints. Most shooters here would probably place more importance in having accurate, repeatable turrets than having mil-dot reticles since good turrets are essential for this style of LR shooting. Indeed many long range shooters do not have mil-dot reticles and see no need for them as they rely on lasers and come-ups - and windage adjustments for a center-hold.

If you are running out of adjustments you could simply obtain a set of long range bases that have a forward slope (20 degrees is most common). Essentially these sloped bases tip the scope downward, therefore tipping the barrel up. If Talley machined such bases you could switch to them, but I am not aware of their offering sloped bases - perhaps you could enquire tho.

There are two bases that will do this, Leupold long range one piece Redfield-style bases or any tactical one-piece base such as the well-respected Badger Ordnance, Near Manufacturing or Leupold MK4's (warning - they are more money but well worth it).

The LR Leupolds will enable the use of Burris rings with offset inserts that enable further adjustment or any Leupold, Burris, Millet or Redfield rings (dovetail and opposing locking bolts).

The tacticals have notches milled into their upper surface (and are dovetailed in cross-section) so that Weaver style cross-bolt rings can be attached. The tactical mount has what is called Picatinny mil-specs for width (and slot dimensions and spacing etc.) - they are slightly wider than the standard Weaver dovetail bases that have been around for a long time. Nice thing about the tactical bases is that you can use the Talley-like Warne Maxima rings if you prefer to stay with detachables.

Unfortunately the Talley uses a proprietory base that is not compatible with the fore-mentioned rings.

Hope this is of value - you probably just need to switch your bases since a lot of guys here use the same scope that you have. Check the remarks in the equipment section re: the Nikon Monarch and the mounting system that works for that scope - same deal for you.

Elevation is the easy challenge - wind is the biggest headache. Good luck with your shooting.
Hello and welcome JBD

If the extra dots or cross hairs are the thing for you, go for it by all means.

Personally I don't like what I call a bunch of junk in my view when I'm looking through a scope. I don't want to see double or triple reticles, lots of dots for windage and elevation in the view. At my age, I need all the clear viewing through a scope I can get.

I'm one who likes to click to the various laser ranged yardages from my pre-printed drop chart which is taped on the side of my rifle.

I have tried most other scope setups even to the point of having 5 Dots put in the scope. I could go from 300,500,700,900 and 1100 yards with it. Problem was, I always had game that lined up in between the 900 and 1100 yard dots (for example) and I don't like to hold in between two dots when there is a 100 or 200 yard spacing in the middle.
That to me is the UNKNOWN.

I want to hold my target dot right on the animal EVERY shot. Multiple reticles and dots don't alweays allow you to do that.

The only thing I wnat to see in ANY of my scopes is either a fine cross hair or a fine cross hair with a Target dot in the middle of it such as a Leupold.

The unobstruted view of the animal and just that little dot is what I like to see.

To each his own on this one but, I prefer clicking to ALL the ranges I shoot. It has worked for shots in excess of 2000 yards.

Darryl Cassel
I have been long range hunting for a while and have started spotting for a new LR hunter and have found that if you work out a drop chart for your load, dial in your clicks and hold for center, you will be much better off in terms of hitting what you are aiming at and if you miss, corrections are easier. I spotted for another of this forums contributers on is first 500 yard+ shot and the wind was the only reason why he was off by more than an inch. It is always easier to hold for your target that kentucky wind with a mil dot. Your target may move and then your first reference point is worthless. As you will find out by reading the majority of posts, everyone wants enough elevation in their scopes to hold dead on to their targets, with the wind being the deciding factor (hence the popularity of LR mounts and 30mm tubes).

Mark Logan
Thank you all for the welcome and the helpful information. I see that I have much to learn here. I think I will send my scope back to Leupold for the target turrets. What is the approximate adjustment/range limit without changing bases and rings? I'm thinking the scope might have enough adjustment to fill my present needs.
By the way, I have only been shooting out to 500 yds because of range limitations. However, I now have access to 1000. I have had enough clicks up to now but I know I won't have enough for 1000 yds as I am presently set up. As for windage, I am not very good at that. All of my longer shots at game to date have been done very early or late when the wind settled. Like I said, I thought anything between 500 -600 yds was L-O-N-G range, but I'm learning.
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