What made you interested in long range shooting?

spladi

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Oct 30, 2021
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USA
I read elsewhere in a thread about the division and the lack of manners for one another we have these days. It made me think about why I came to this thread or any others. We all have a story about what made us interested in shooting distance, share your story if you are inclined. We have a common interest but how we each arrived there could make for some interesting stories.

I have hunted since I was a boy, starting out with my dad's Ruger .44 pistol or my 30-30 Marlin. Like many on here I spent some time in the military as a young man and was exposed to that plastic M16A1. Growing up and hunting in the Ozarks, I had never taken a shot over 125 yards. The fact that I could routinely hit a silhouette from 50 to 300 meters with that little bullet out of my plastic rifle was pretty cool for this hillbilly. I would have to say that is where I first became interested in shooting distance. Share your story if your inclined
When I started reloading and going to the Cresap rifle club range in 1980 was my first interests in accuracy and long-range shooting (100 yds,) then with my Winchester 70a Alaskan 30-06. Along with the prodding of Co. Bartgis who made everyone feel welcome, he being the range master. Shortly after a friend invited me to the Monocacy Pistol Club monthly meeting, I joined and shot bullseye pistol for 24 years and then moved out of the central part of Pa. to So Central Pa. where not much pistol shooting was happening, At this time I joined a club that had 800 yds. A friend invited me to try groundhog shooting at 2,3, and 500 meters in 2005 and that was the beginning of my LR interest starting out with a Savage .22-250 FV, now with the 6mm br and creedmoor etc. etc. etc.
 

bamban

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Austin, TX
I was a benchrest shooter in the 80s. Then I heard about DCM (now CMP) and M1 Garand sale program. I wanted the M1 as a gift to my Dad who carried one through the last days in Bataan as a trooper with the 26th Cavalry and then again in Korea.

At that time to qualify for the gun sale one must participate in a rifle match in any DCM affiliated club and submit a copy of the match results along with the pertinent information required to facilitate the sale. I attended the match at the same club i have been shooting benchrest. When I won the unclassified class with a decent score I got hooked. I found out about the distinguished rifleman badge beng awarded. Earning the badge became my first high power goal. A year later I earned my badge, 1234 in 4 consecutive matches in one year. These matches are no sighter events, 10 shots standing single loading at 200 yards, 10 shots sitting rapid fire with magasine change (2 and 8 rounds) in 60 seconds, 10 shots rapid fire prone at 300 yards, again 2 and 8, and lastly 20 shots prone at 600 single loading within the allocated time of 1 minute per round.

Our club only goes to 200 yards, to shoot DCM matches, aka LEG matches, I had to shoot at Camp Bullis, Camp Perry, and in Carthage, TX. It just so happen Camp Bullis also had monthly Palma matches, so in 95 through 98 I shot my service rifle at at the Palma course, 800, 900, and 1000 yards.

After I distinguished in 96, my old friend Bill Wylde, Wylde chamber creator, built me an AR15 223 space gun with 26 inch barrel to shoot long range besides my service rifle.

At the 1997 TX Long Range Iron Sight Championship the 223 space gun took the wood competing against Magnums and Palma guns. The plaque is proudly displayed in my reloading room.

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Window

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Feb 12, 2015
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117
I read elsewhere in a thread about the division and the lack of manners for one another we have these days. It made me think about why I came to this thread or any others. We all have a story about what made us interested in shooting distance, share your story if you are inclined. We have a common interest but how we each arrived there could make for some interesting stories.

I have hunted since I was a boy, starting out with my dad's Ruger .44 pistol or my 30-30 Marlin. Like many on here I spent some time in the military as a young man and was exposed to that plastic M16A1. Growing up and hunting in the Ozarks, I had never taken a shot over 125 yards. The fact that I could routinely hit a silhouette from 50 to 300 meters with that little bullet out of my plastic rifle was pretty cool for this hillbilly. I would have to say that is where I first became interested in shooting distance. Share your story if your inclined
My entire family hunted and trapped. From the age of three had a heathy respect for the damage a bullet would cause to an animal. At Four my birthday present was a crossman 760 and the addiction started. At Seven, killed my first deer (a doe) with a Browning recurve and the passion only grew. Here in Ga, we hunted every weekend and in the afternoons during the week when school and sports allowed. At ten, after killing quite a few deer with a Winchester 30-30 I wanted more and started saving every dollar to buy a 270 Weatherby Mag Lazer Mark and at 15 had enough to order it thanks to my Mom. At 18 started loading and countless Weatherby’s later in nearly every caliber the addiction is worse than ever a 50. As most on this site is about pushing it to the limit, and I’ve done so with a healthy respect to the animals and the limit a particular bullet/caliber can achieve. I’ll continue to do until I’m pushing daisies Lord willing.
 

Win.308Stealth

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Feb 10, 2011
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Fosston, MN
To me it was always progressive. My local ranges were capped at 100 yards so when I was able to get out to some BLM land with friends or on my own and make those incremental advances it was always exciting. 300 was some great distance and then it wasn't so far. 550 was just one step further. 750 felt like I was pushing the limits. Then seeing the spall splash in the dirt in front of my steel target at just over 1000 was elating. I still remember that feeling with my good old Winchester M70 Stealth in .308. Then I built a custom gun and 1000 yards got boring so now I need to see what 1400 looks like 😆.
Same here. Bought myself a Winchester Model 70 Stealth in .308, slapped a 20x swfa super sniper on it. And was able to ring steel at 500 yards.....then made the mistake of going to South Dakota to shoot prairie dogs. Was able to connect with one at 602 yards, and that hit me hooked.
 

ENGUNEER

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Jun 20, 2013
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I bought my first rifle (Remington bolt 22 LR) at 8 years old and I started reloading for and hunting with my grandfather's Winchester Model 12, 12 gauge shotgun when I was 12. My family was rather poor (father was killed in a mining accident when I was 5) so I started supplying us with rabbits, dicks, pheasants and all manner of small game until I was old enough to hunt deer. Then I fell in love with hunting big game and making the "good shot" on any game animal. And, I have been hunting big game at all ranges ever since. I have since earned several degrees in mechanical engineering and especially love all the technical aspects of long range hunting. Making the "good shot" at long range is extremely satisfying to me.
 

D$tring

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May 13, 2020
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Idaho
I have always enjoyed challenges. I missed a dream Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram and had I been able to shoot more than 300 yards I could have set up at 600-700 and shot him from his bed. Instead I had to sneak up and around and play the wind. I played it right which is a great challenge in and of itself, but he switched beds in the time it took me to get over across the canyon and around the backside and up and over the top of his position. After about stepping on him; figuratively, but well within archery range, I spotted him in a rock pile. We locked eyes at the same time and in a blink my rifle was off and I was taking an offhand shot, and in that same blink he jumped up from his bed and jumped off the little ledge he was on. There was a puff of dust across the canyon above where he jumped off the ledge. I went to the ledge and rocks below and could see where he landed and took off. I saw him across the canyon flying up the steep hillside and then he stopped taking a quick look back rubbing in that he had gotten the upper hand that day. I looked for any signs of a hit; blood, hair, anything—but there was nothing. I Followed his tracks for almost two miles until they merged with a ton of other sheep tracks, then went back with my head hanging pretty low. Had I been able to shoot those 600-700 yards he would have been dead; either early that morning as he peacefully fed and bedded or after I jumped him out of his bed and he stopped to get one last look. I sat there and glassed a giant basin for him or for more rams and contemplated every scenario for success until dark. I resolved right then and there that I would learn how to get first round hits at 1000 in any conditions so that I could kill game out to 800 yards if needed, and kill them while they had no clue I was there. So began my long range journey.

The first ring of steel at 1000 is like a drug; it is euphoric in a way that is hard to describe, and then comes the quest for perfection, tighter groups at longer ranges, first shot hits out to 1200, 1500, 1800; first shot hits at 1000 in nasty wind, rain etc etc. That quest has become an obsession for me and it all goes back to sitting on the mountain miles deep in one of the toughest patches of rock on the planet, broken hearted at the one that got away.
 

EdG61

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Dec 29, 2012
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Always been a "long range" shooter/hunter, for the simple reason that the area I grew up in and learned to hunt were predominately sparsely vegetated wide open spaces, with little to no available cover.
 

Longrangers

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May 31, 2017
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I was started shooting at a early age and when I was in 3rd grade I came down with leukemia. I was not able to attend school until I rebounded and that was in 7 th grade. During that time my grandfather which served in WWII was on the shooting team in the Army continuously came to my house every other day and took me outside with a 22LR and challenged me and kept extending the distances. I then started hunting woodchucks with a 22-250 and a 25-06 at longer distances and was pushed and challenged by my grandfather and father whom is a Marine and Vietnam vet by making head shots only. My grandfather and father got me into hunting whitetails at extended ranges and then mule deer and elk. I then met Howard Wolf and I got involved with 1000 yd benchrest and was also influenced by Carl Bernosky. Now my son is heavy into it and has been successful in his shooting career and we continue to enjoy the challenges and strive for that perfection.
 

brant89

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Jun 13, 2012
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Southern Michigan
My first Long Range Hunt was a DIY to Wyoming but with a friend not my father other than that our experiences are nearly identicalView attachment 330432
@338 dude My stepdad had zero LR experience leading up to the hunt, so I advised him to buy a 6.5CM (@ButterBean would be proud) and spent 6 months coaching him to get him ready. Our third day out we spotted a herd of antelope across a valley without any good bucks and the dialog went like this:

Me: You should shoot one of those does.
Stepdad: I don’t know how we will get over to them, there’s no cover. We might have to make a big circle to get around behind them. Probably be about a mile hike.
Me: Or you could just lay down and shoot one from here…
Stepdad:…Oh, ok!

That doe took a 129SST to the heart from 530yd shortly after that conversation. Lol.
 

brcfo_outdoors

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Same here. Bought myself a Winchester Model 70 Stealth in .308, slapped a 20x swfa super sniper on it. And was able to ring steel at 500 yards.....then made the mistake of going to South Dakota to shoot prairie dogs. Was able to connect with one at 602 yards, and that hit me hooked.

Haha, I am pretty sure I ran that exact same 20x SWFA for a while before eventually getting an XTR II. I do miss that rifle though, I sold it a couple years ago but kind of wish I had held onto it. Never saw any others.
 

Stryker56

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Apr 15, 2020
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Arlington, TX
I've always been keen on hitting a target far off. I have good eyes and learned skills from good teachers. I have shot deer at around 350 with a .270 and 30-06, and coyotes further than that. Before joining here, I would just read from the contributors here that were better than I and continue to learn. Practicing at 600 to 1000 yards with my '06, my confidence in shooting game beyond 350 is strong. Still, it's a judgment call to make that shot. At 65 I'm still learning things from the guys on here. Much obliged.
 

Duhawk

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Feb 1, 2013
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Iowa
For me it was long range shooting is more of a science when having to consider ballistics, wind drift, velocity and drop, spin drift etc. Watching flags or grass to determine wind speed, 1/4 or 1/2 wind.....a lot going on and a lot of practice. I love it because you really have to focus...tune out almost everything around you to get that one shot......and I'm mostly alone at the 300-500 meter range😁
 

Quintus

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Apr 15, 2013
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I grew up with 'dyed in the wool' duck hunters which I still am. Started that when I was 8 with an old Mosberg bolt 20. By 10 I was wanting to shoot a giant buck like I had seen in the Sports Afield magazines at the barber shop. My dad said if I found a way to by a rifle he would take me deer hunting. At the end of my 11th summer, after mowing yards and tending brick layers I not only had enough for a rifle and scope, but a deer tag for Montana!. I bought the 788 in 243 with a Bushnell 4X and plenty of Winchester 100 grainers.
My buddy lived on the back side of an old granite quarry. His dad knew the owner of the property and we had free run of the long inactive 16 square miles. we would bring our rifles out to a long load-out field surrounded by mountains of piled granite. We would set targets and practice. The field is about 580 yards long and we would walk our rounds out from near to far. We had no idea how far we were actually shooting, but got pretty consistent center-punching rocks at all distances. We would have contests making bets on called rocks. It never got old and we would laugh and hoot every time we heard that bullet splat come back across the bowl.
I got my Hunter safety at 12 and went to Montana that fall, 1984. I saw my muley a long way off in the middle of an open pasture. Pops laughed when I laid my rifle on my hat over a rock and got ready to shoot. I pulled the trigger and he humped up and leaned forward and fell on his face. My dad nearly crapped his pants and looked at me like I had two heads. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I still like to shoot far, but am not in the same rabbit hole alot of you are. 95% of my shooting/practice is 200 to 600 yards.
 

bamban

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Austin, TX
Up to midrange, 600 yards, is doable for most well practiced shooter with capable high power rifle. Long range (that is beyond 600 to 1000) the game changes. ELR (beyond 1000 yards) is entirely a different game.

In a Palma course I maintain 800 yards is easier than 600 because the scoring rings are generous, X ring being 10 inches where at 600 it is 1 minute. 900 is harder than 800, 1000 is twice as hard as 900. Scoring rings are the same across 3 distances.
 
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