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Don Fischer's picture
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How do I get started in LR shooting?

Rick,

You are right. My reply that includes what is called long range hunting is there only as explaination as to why I believe there are those who's defence mech. comes on instently. The two have been made pretty much one and the same and mostly the long range subject always comes up on hunting sites. That will always happen, weather thats good or bad, others will decide for themselves.

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How do I get started in LR shooting?
Don Fischer wrote:
Rick,

You are right. My reply that includes what is called long range hunting is there only as explaination as to why I believe there are those who's defence mech. comes on instently. The two have been made pretty much one and the same and mostly the long range subject always comes up on hunting sites. That will always happen, weather thats good or bad, others will decide for themselves.

The hunting aspect has absolutely nothing to do with this topic, not even for RMulherns response. His response was completely about shooting never once mentioning hunting. His position was simply that we were all ignorant about long range shooting.

Frankly he is probably right for the majority of us. That is why we are here in this topic, to learn more about it. I just wish that he would give more usefull information about the subject rather than to simply imply that we are all ignorant of the subject since that's information most of us already know.

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How do I get started in LR shooting?

Hey there cowgal
Are you getting any info to help?
If you would like, there's a gunssmith about 20 miles up the road that i have coffee with once in a while. He builds these 1000 yd rifles. I'm sure he would have some answers for ya. Let me know what questions you have and I'll pass them on.
Two rounds I know he has built rifles for are the 6.5/284 and the 338 Lapua. One of his 6.5/284's won one of the competitions at just over 4" @ 1000 yds. At one time he had one or two for sale on consignment.
We have a 1000 yd range out in Eatonville and there are quite a few competitors that frequent the range. Especially during the events.

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How do I get started in LR shooting?
hostage67 wrote:
Don Fischer wrote:
Rick,

You are right. My reply that includes what is called long range hunting is there only as explaination as to why I believe there are those who's defence mech. comes on instently. The two have been made pretty much one and the same and mostly the long range subject always comes up on hunting sites. That will always happen, weather thats good or bad, others will decide for themselves.

The hunting aspect has absolutely nothing to do with this topic, not even for RMulherns response. His response was completely about shooting never once mentioning hunting. His position was simply that we were all ignorant about long range shooting.

Frankly he is probably right for the majority of us. That is why we are here in this topic, to learn more about it. I just wish that he would give more usefull information about the subject rather than to simply imply that we are all ignorant of the subject since that's information most of us already know.

hostage67

Admittedly....I can get quite 'perturbed' at times and I'm not noted for being 'politically correct' but speak my mind at the time! When folks start mentioning 'standing up and making 500 yd. shots offhand at game' just in an attempt to turn others off.....that makes my hinney want to take a dip of snuff! I don't know ANYONE with LR shooting experience that would be stupid enough to do that so in my mind......that statement was foolish and moot! Whether it's steel....or paper......there are many that have paid the price to learn the art of LR shooting and it's not learned overnight! As for being expensive.......yes....it takes an investment but I like to think about a statement that Col. Townsend Whelen made once upon a time that went like this: "Only accurate rifles are interesting"! So....it will take more than a Remington 742 and an Otasco scope to enter the world of LR shooting! Where some might be satisfied with a hunting rifle that will shoot into 2" at 100 yds. I want my hunting rifle to be able to explode tennis balls at 600 yds. or to put it another way....."I desire no rifles that I can outshoot"! All the accurate rifles I have are either bolt actions or single shots with falling breech-blocks meaning Sharps and or Browning HiWall rifles. With very few exceptions.....there are not many rifles today that are accurate enough right out of the box to be ultra-accurate but with a little work and attention to detail......such as bedding the action and floating the barrel, squaring the face of the action, lapping the bolt lugs so they mate up correctly, and with possibly some trigger work.....Reminton 700 and Winchester M70 rifles make very fine LR rifles. In some instances I have jerked the barrel from a brand new M70 and installed a new barrel because the one that came with it looked as if it had been cut with a 'breaking plow'!! Such is the quality of workmanship that comes from some of our heretobefore major manufacturers of firearms and it's gotten worse within the past 15 years! Once upon a time I had a guy ask me about the cost of building up an accurate rifle and I told him that for around $1500.00 he could have a very accurate rifle made up for hunting across flat country and when he heard the price his eyes rolled back in his head....and I thought I was going to have to make a call to 911! But....two days later he passed my homesite pulling a bass boat that was worth about $30 Grand....pulled by a new truck that went for around $40 Grand! So....basically....one has to have their priorities in place before seeking a new endeavor!! In my judgement.....BASS FISHERMEN don't make good LR shooters anyway!!

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Re: How do I get started in LR shooting?
Quote:
1) what are the preferred calibers for long range shooting?

Anything .224 or better. Some would disagree though and say .243 (6mm) or better. Depends on how long is long. Even for high velocity .224 cartridges the poor B.C. starts to show up making wind drift prediction hard. That being said 22-250 years ago used to be the "long range" king.

Quote:
2) for those calibers, what cartridges are best?

That's like asking "what art is best". Most cartridges are capable of fine accuracy in a high quality rifle, but some rise above the pack when a few tenths of an inch matter. Wild cats galore in the upper echelons of esoteric long shooting.

Quote:
3) is handloading best? or will store bought work?

If every tenth of an inch matters, there is no substitute for hand loading. If you don't want to reload, Federal Gold Match Premium and Black Hills Gold is considered to be some of (if not the) best factory ammo available. Sharp shooters, military or otherwise will use these lines if they are not reloaders. Note that this ammo usually uses hornady or sierra match grade bullets.

Quote:
4) how powerful should the scope be? fixed or variable?

Personally I like fixed 10x or better. For ranges exceeding 500 yards, higher magnification is a bonus, especially if you are shooting at non-match targets (10" X ring, etc).

If I was just getting started and was uncertain about whether or not I would be reloading, I would probably go with a 308 win. There are many fine factory guns chambered in this round, that are capable of well under m.o.a. accuracy out of the box, although for the best you will pay a few kilo bucks. Plus being that this round is heavily used for le and military applications, federal and bh tend to pump out enough of the ammo to keep the price down. 338 Lapua is nice, but factory black hills ammo is going to run you $80-$90 for 20 shots.

A high end factory rig plus a good scope would probably run around $3000-$4000. This equipment won't be good enough to beat the best, but it would be more than adequate to get start and see if you want to take the next step to a custom rig and all the rest of the costs associated.

Personally I would start at 100 yards. If you can't consistently put 5, 5 shots groups under an inch, why bother going further? It only gets harder from there. Then try to get get your gun out on a different day and without warm up, put 5 shots into the X ring (1" or less) for five groups. Then try it on a mildly windy day.

The current world record is a group size around 2.8" inches for five shots at 1000 yards, with typical best shooters holding somewhere 4-6" on average for five shots. That is truly stunning shooting, but you don't have to shoot that well or even go that far to enjoy the challenge.

I would spend some time learning m.o.a/mils and how to figure the flight path for your given cartridge. Its pointless even try hitting a 40" target at 1000 yards without first being able to make the adjustment to your scope to compensate for bullet drop in advance to put you on paper. Guessing just doesn't work.

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How do I get started in LR shooting?

Oh and you don't HAVE to use a scope. For real fun try shooting apertures consistently.

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How do I get started in LR shooting?

Thanks Bitmasher! That was some good info! Big smile You bring up quite a few points to consider before jumping into this game. Looks like lots of calibers to choose from. I didn't realize that smaller calibers would work. Before this discussion, I thought only the largest calibers were capable of distances over 500 yards.

Fuzzybear, yes its been helpful. I'm doing some research on my own as well.

Sadly, there are no LR shooting ranges within 4 hours drive. I may need to talk to our local range and see if its possible to accommodate targets for up to 1000 yds. I think it will be difficult or maybe even impossible. Its fairly level out to about 300 yards, then climbs uphill very quickly into brush. I don't think shooting up a steep incline is desireable.

I'm going to look at some of the suggested calibers. Several gunshops close by have both new and used inventory. One has a couple 338 lapuas, but I don't believe they've been customized. Don't believe I've ever seen a rifle for the 6.5/284 round. But I'm going to start asking around! Big smile

PM me the details about the local gunsmith and the inventory he may have available, please.

RMulhern, nobody here is too concerned about political correctness. However common courtesy is expected.

Don Fischer's picture
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How do I get started in LR shooting?

Oh....and as a sidebet.....I'd say there's a lot more game shot at and missed....included wounding INSIDE 200 yds. than BEYOND!!

_____________________________________

Rick,

Thats a sucker bet! Yes Of course thats ture, a lot more animals are shot at at 200yds and less. Of course if there were some way to accurately record the misses both under and over, I'd sure bet that a larger percentage of the total game shot at in each, 200+ has it hands down! It's a numbers game, nice try! Wave

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How do I get started in LR shooting?
cowgal wrote:
Thanks Bitmasher! That was some good info! Big smile You bring up quite a few points to consider before jumping into this game. Looks like lots of calibers to choose from. I didn't realize that smaller calibers would work. Before this discussion, I thought only the largest calibers were capable of distances over 500 yards.

Fuzzybear, yes its been helpful. I'm doing some research on my own as well.

Sadly, there are no LR shooting ranges within 4 hours drive. I may need to talk to our local range and see if its possible to accommodate targets for up to 1000 yds. I think it will be difficult or maybe even impossible. Its fairly level out to about 300 yards, then climbs uphill very quickly into brush. I don't think shooting up a steep incline is desireable.

I'm going to look at some of the suggested calibers. Several gunshops close by have both new and used inventory. One has a couple 338 lapuas, but I don't believe they've been customized. Don't believe I've ever seen a rifle for the 6.5/284 round. But I'm going to start asking around! Big smile

PM me the details about the local gunsmith and the inventory he may have available, please.

RMulhern, nobody here is too concerned about political correctness. However common courtesy is expected.

cowgal

" However common courtesy is expected"

"Courtesy granted begets courtesy rendered"!

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How do I get started in LR shooting?

cowgal

The 6.5 (.264 diameter) has an inherent ability to beat the wind. Great sectional density. The 6.5/284 is the case of the almost obsolete rebated 284 win case, necked down to .264.
A wsm case would accomplish the same thing with a bit more powder capacity.
The diameters that have worked the best, to date, are: .264, .284, .308, .338 and the invulnerable 50cal. Not necessarily in that order.

This list should give a good place to start
260rem
6.5/284 wildcat
7-08rem
7mm wsm (wildcat, I believe they worked and necked down a 300wsm case) (current title holder just under 3")
308win
308 baer
338 lapua

I'm not a target shooter but I have a custom 26" #5 contoured 270wsm that drives tacks at 500 to 600 yds with a 140gr Nosler Accubond, a 10x target towered Bushnell Elite and a 1200 yd laser range finder in hand. I get a lot of satifaction out of shooting this rifle, without competing with other shooters.

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