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 Post subject: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:39 am
Posts: 2023
Location: Northern Maine/New Brunswick Border
I have repeatedly expressed my concern on here about the public watching TV and seeing staged
Footage of animals being killed at incredible distances. It's cool to watch, it sells expensive scopes,
And custom rifles like crazy. But here are some hard facts. If you run the numbers on how much
energy the projectiles have left at these incredible distances they are soposedly shooting this game at a whole lot of this doesn't add up??? Poleaxing a 1000lb animal at 1500yds looks cool on TV but
In reality 99.9% of the time it would never happen that way at all, There are many reasons why; but
Two good ones would be, you wouldn't be able to hit it exactly enough and the bullet would have lost
So much of its energy, it could be arriving with something less than 25/20 energys????
But regardless of what you may have for an opinion on this, here are some FACTS that you will find
Interesting about most folks trying to go long........ check it out. Reprinted from a NRA publication:


I once ran a "Hunter Site in Days" at our range. For three days we set up 12 bench rests, equipped them with the best rests, manned them with the best marksmen and coaches, and had staff on the site with gunsmiths and firearms equipment including bore scoping and scope leveling and positioning.
The targets were eight inch pie plates at 50, 100, 200, 300, 385, and 500 meters. The shooters were mandated to hit the fifty meter target before they could move on to further targets. Depending on the ballistics of the firearm the coaches manning the benches would sight the shooters firearm at either 100 meters or 200 meters - after they had achieved "zero" we allowed them to take one shot each at the 300, 385, and 500 meter target.
We usually ran "1500 shooters a year" in the event.
I worked the benches as a coach for about six or seven years. After getting a zero only a handful of those I monitored (hundreds) in that period could place a "hit" in the pie plate at three hundred or three eighty five meters. NOT ONCE, was any shooter, able to place a round in the 500 meter eight inch pie plate.(????? I am going to repeat that "not once" :shock:
Our range is a bit "windy" but the distances are exact, I had range tables to inform the shooter of the "drop" to expect with his cartridge and firearm combination, and the shooting positions of these potential hunters on the bench was optimized (something never to be encountered in the field).
In my humble opinion, unless you are a trained proven winning competitor, no one should be shooting at a living game animal at more than point blank capability.
This is because you could hand Carlos Hathcock's Model 70 to 99% of the hunters in the field today (at least those I have encountered) and they could not hit that 500 meter eight inch circle. It is not that they lack the equipment - it is they lack the ability to comprehend ballistic drop and the effect of even a simple breeze.

Ok;
Now I am sure everyone that has ever hit the 1000yd gong is going to say , they could easily hit the 8"
plate no problem. However in real world hunting situations, gusty winds, sweaty palms, failing light,
poor rest, bad angle, moving target, raining, snowing, wet lens, blowing dust, target blending into
background, anxiousness , and a hundred other things , say you probably can't........

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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:25 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 1045
Our longest range is 600, and a lot of people can’t find their bullet strike on a poster. Clearly it takes experience. 99.8% of my experience is under 300 in the field.

I like to see them under 150, and that’s very doable. I imagine I will go to the west someday, but not without a fair amount to practice time in the mountains..

The only extreme show I enjoyed was a couple dropping a pair of elk, on at 780 yards and the other more than 1100.. it was cool when he called the dope, she adjust, and down went the bull, then he took the rifle and she called the dope, and down went the bull. The back story, which the told at the end, they were a sniper team in the military, feel in love, got married...oh, and they were using a Barrett 50 cal. How’d ya like to have a wife who can shoot a Barrett and call dope.... fun couple.

I have no illusions of making 1100 yard shots...


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:53 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:37 pm
Posts: 955
Shooting groundhogs out to 1,000 yds across open fields has given me great confidence in my equipment, loads and ability in the field. However, big game and the varied terrain that it is found in can present a few additional challenges that could greatly increase the difficulty of a first shot kill.

My big game harvests remain under 500 yds where I'm still comfortable.

With today's heavy cartridges and well designed bullets I wouldn't be too concerned about having enough energy on target at extended range. My concern would simply be making a lethal hit on the first shot under existing conditions. There are definitely a few guys that can reliably get the job done. I'm just not one of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:36 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:20 pm
Posts: 29286
Location: Northern Virginia
I’ll keep practicing long and working for the close shots. It’s fun to know what the gear does at distance but more rewarding to me to get in tight if it’s possible.

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Actually, there are only two classes of people posting here: Model 70 owners and those who wish they had one. PATENT PENDING


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 Post subject: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:10 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:27 am
Posts: 204
Reading this "NRA reprint" referencing Gunny Hathcock, wondering when it was published?

There is plenty of capable equipment these days, and lots of folks do considerable practice and compete at distance. And there are some good bullets.

I'm no advocate for it, and don't do it. But I don't condemn those that do.

Wonder how the author felt about archers? Now there's a game that takes practice. I've personally found more walking dead game animals with arrows in them than bullets.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:05 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:18 am
Posts: 817
Location: Pacific North West
I'd be curious how many shots are flubbed, by both those on and off TV shows, at long distances that we will never hear about? Several years ago a friend shot at a bear across a canyon. He saw no reaction so assumed he missed it. Fortunately my other friends young son, who had recently completed Hunter Education, shamed him into making the arduous trek down and back up the canyon to search. No bear but he learned a lesson.

I have a self imposed limit that changes a little bit depending on terrain and species but for the most part I like to hunt and get close. When I went to Africa I passed on several shots in the 2-300 yard range, why, because I enjoyed the stalk. 8 animals with 8 shots from 50 to 150 yards. I prefer to be sure.

Given that, I've shot newer rifles on the range with crazy scopes that made hitting steel plates at 550 yards as easy as breathing. But I personally don't think most people have any business trying it in the field on a game animal. And even those that can do it on the range may have no business doing it in the field. My buddy routinely shoots clay pigeons at 550 yards all day long but missed a chip shot at 100 yards on a bear.

Enough of my opinion, people are going to do what they choose to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:23 pm
Posts: 2498
Location: Echo, Oregon
It's sorta like the definition of pornography. I know it when I see it.
Someplace between 200 yards and 600 yards I think it becomes sniper work. Depends on circumstances. I enjoy the hunt, stalk etc.
my biggest concern about long shots, elk in particular, is the lack of an apparent hit.
I've shot a couple pushing 500. No doubt about the hits but it took 45 minutes to get to the elk.
Ethics, a whole spectrum, come into play.
For me, though I've trained and competed out to 1000, is about 500 under perfect conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:59 pm
Posts: 4617
I pretty much agree with all said here. I have been into a couple of spirited discussions on a couple of other websites on the same topic. There are those out there who apparently believe that a cartridge with a 120 gr bullet that generates less than a thousand lbs energy at 500 yards, is a great long range elk rifle. The justification is that they are very accurate and have a great BC, and that allows the "perfectly placed" DRT shot. Having lost an elk just a few months ago, with shot at slightly over 100 yards with a bullet that was generating 2.5 times that amount, I know that "S" happens and not every shot goes perfect. That is where energy comes into the equation, lots of energy means shock to organs, muscles and the like. That can help make the difference in a blood trail, an elk on the ground or one that goes ahead and gives up anyway. None of which happened in my case but nothing is ever perfect. I believe that you should hunt with the largest caliber that you can shoot well. And limit your distance by your field shooting skills, while insuring you have adequate energy on the target.

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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:20 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:35 pm
Posts: 1045
Elkman wrote:
......I believe that you should hunt with the largest caliber that you can shoot well. And limit your distance by your field shooting skills, while insuring you have adequate energy on the target.


Really well said... I think like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:12 pm
Posts: 3272
As Kids we had access to all manner of long range shooting out on the prairie. Many things I would not advocate or do now... but...if you spend any time shooting at mud hens with a .22 at 200 plus you start, START to learn about drop and drift. 300 yards at big game is my self imposed limit with my 250 Savage. Anything more that that qualifies as a shot I wouldn't take no matter what. I'd throw lead at rocks at three times that range. Don't put much stock in anything I see on TV or you tube. I usually work a session or two at the "public sight in" myself. I wont cast too many stones as I have been known to miss myself...but there is a definite need for continued learning and education, no matter what the range.... good observations and knowledge. I expect I couldnt hit that 8 inch plate off hand at 300 either. CL

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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:43 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:00 pm
Posts: 1558
Location: Northern Idaho
I completely agree that those TV shows aired showing shooting at Big Game animals well past 600-800 yards and beyond, leads people watching into thinking they're fully capable of making those one off shots!?! :roll:

Sure, and by that I mean not likely, and I know better, and so do a lot of other people that have tried. Even though I've made hits out to a mile on Steel, I would never shoot Game out past the 750 yard mark, and I prefer less let alone what those guys are airing on TV just for bragging rights IMO.

It's not that it can't be done, with proper skill and equipment tested over time in the field it can be, but that doesn't mean it should be. Those TV shows want viewers to watch and sell their products which advertisers paid for, and it gets those viewers to watch.

That said without products that long range shooters use, and were designed for..... the advancements in everything from the bullets, the gun powder, to every aspect of the entire gun wouldn't exist today so I wouldn't shoot it down or we'd still be using the Bow, and Arrow. :mrgreen:

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“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.”


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 Post subject: Re: Taking that long shot........
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:52 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:27 am
Posts: 6713
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
I have done a fair amount of shooting over the years and I believe out to 500 yards, having my rangefinder and a secure rest that I can take a animal standing broadside.
But 95% of my shots are in that 100 to 200 yard range :mrgreen:.

Blessings,
Dan

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