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short range shooter needs long range advice

Hi,

I'm a Virginia hunter. It's rare that I have to take a shot longer than 40yds. I sight my 3x9 rifle scope for 50yds. This fall, I'm going to Colorado to hunt elk with my grandfather. I have three questions:

1)What range should I sight my rifle for? 100yds? 150yds? I should note that it's somewhat difficult to find ranges longer than 100yds in VA.

2)What's a good 30.06 Springfield round for elk?

2)Are my shooting results going to be similar enough using a cheaper round so I don't have to spend a huge amount shooting high quality ammo for practice?

Thanks for your help!

Brian

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

To start with what round are you shooting through it now? Are you reloading it or are you using factory ammo?
If you sight in your rifle at 100 yards you should be fine out to 200-250 yards without too much bullet drop but that depends really on what round you are shooting. As far as factory ammo I would suggest the Federal Premium 165 grain for your 30-06.

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

With a standard elk killing caliber such as the 30-06 most go with a two to three inch high sight in at 100 yards. This generally gives a dead on hold on an elk out to 300 yards. This way by holding dead center in the kill zone you'll either be a little high or low, but still in the boiler room out to 300. And, if you encounter a 350 to 400 yard shot you can generally hold high but still on hide at the top of the back and sink it into the boiler room with a broadside shot. A quality controlled expansion bullet like Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, Nosler Partition, Hornady GMX, that will penetrate thru thick hide, muscle, and bone, is what's needed to anchor an elk. Don't skip on bullet selection, you may pay for it by losing an elk. I plan on using my 30-06 this year and also plan on using the new Hornady Superformance ammo which gives 300 H@H velocities in the 06. I'm thinking the 165 gr GMX will be the ticket or the Interbond.

Good luck!

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

Welcome to BGH!

If you know the velocity and the bullet you going to use, I have a program that will tell just gow to sight it in. If all you has is factory velocity, give me that and the bullet and I can get you so close it won't matter. Then get out and shoot at as many of the ranges you can to check what your rifle is really doing.

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

I have a 30-06 and I have it sited in for 0 at 200yds using winchester supreme accubond 180gr $37.00 per box perfect for elk. If you shoot it at 100yds it will shoot a group 1 1/2" to 2" high. If you had to make a 300yd shot you probably shouldn't do it if you haven't practiced that range but you wouldn't hold it off its back, then again you woundn't know your left to right at that range and you might hit him in the ass. Anyway good luck on your elk hunt. Give Don the ammo your going to use for the balistics chart spects.I would reccomend 180gr for that 30-06 it turns that gun into a elk killing mechine compaired to the 150gr, theres a huge differance in the balistics. Make sure you site that gun in using your scope on 9 power.

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

All good advice from the other hunters. I will add to try to get to a range in Co. so you can shoot your gun. You should have no problem finding a range offering a 500 yard target. They have lots of room out there. Good Luck.

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

Being from The Commonwealth of VA myself but having been transplanted in the West for decades, distances look very different here. I suggest that you find yourself a good laser range finder and learn to use it. A game we play in camp is "How far is that ---". You would be surprised at the diversity of guesses that you hear. Some hunters are better than others. If your eye is not accustomed to open spaces, it is very easy to mistake 300 and 400 yards. With a 30-06 the drop between the two distances is very significant. I agree with the 2.5-3 inch high at 100 yds is reasonable for sighting in that rifle. You must also understand that with good hunting technique, it is often very possible to get to within 150 yds. of your target. I suggest that if you are unaccustomed to long shots, then do not risk wounding game. It is no fun to track elk in high altitude rugged county. Also, wind, altitude and shot angle all play a major role. Elk make big targets but I have seen excited, out of breath hunters miss the entire animal standing broadside at 40 yds. Have fun! Once you try this, you will probably want to return every year until you cannot walk anymore. As for ammo, practice with the ammo you will hunt with. Use a good premium bullet that will hold up to bone. The overall cost in relation to a major journey to the west is negligible.

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Re: short range shooter needs long range advice

For elk and other biggame in Colorado I zero my .270 win at 200 yrds. Rarely do I take shots beyond 300 yrds, except for pronghorn and most elk and deer are taken inside of 150 yrds. Hope that helps.

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In Va there are a lot of

In Va there are a lot of farms and many of those farms have woodchucks. Might be a good idea to practice on them thru the summer. Should be able to find plenty of longer shot's. As for sighting in, I only use max point blank range, MPBR. It brings out everything your cartridge has to give when shot at a known target size. I never use a target size over 6" and many people use 8" on big game. What happens is that sighted in that way you'll have a flight path where the bullet never rise's above half the target size and knowing the MPBR you know just how far befor the bullet drops more than half the target size. The old rule of thumb of 3" high actually worked pretty well for MPBR at an 8" target. Problem was most people didn't have any way of telling where that point was and often just went with the 3" high at 100yds. The good news is with a dead on hold with that sight in, you'll stay in a kill zone quite a while and be out where you might would for just a bit.

By the time the bullet drop's 4", the range will be such that bullet drop starts getting more at much less range. As the bullet lose's velocity, trajectory falls apart.

As for bullet's, the biggset asset of the solid copper, X type, bullet's is weight retention and I suspect frontal area. More frontal area is going to have a slowing effect on the bullet. Weeight loss will also have that same effect. If you shoot a bullet that weight's 180gr and sheds 70% of it's weight it should come to rest, somewhere, weighting about 125 grs. An X type bullet weighting 165gr in the same cartridge will start out faster, maimtain close to 100% of it's weight and have a smaller frontal area. That means it will penetrate. If that much penetration is necessary is another story.

I do have a 30-06, my third. Never shot the first head of game with one. But if I were going on the trip your taking I'd choose a good 180gr bullet that shoots well in it. Then I would certainly choose my shot, avoid having to plow a bullet fron stem to stern! Take the easiest route to the vitals.  Might be great to have a bullet that will go in one shoulder and out the other but there will be a lot of wasted energy there. Of course complete penetration will usually leave a blood trail if you make a less than good shot. Answer to that is take a good shot at a range your sure of yourself at. You arte not used to shooting very far and you'll have opertunity at farther than your used to, you are not required to take any shot! Only take the one your sure of. If you get one I'd almost bet in advance that it will be at well under 250yds. That would be less than MPBR for a 30-06 fireing a 180gr bullet shooting at an 8" target.

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okay here is the real deal

okay here is the real deal without too much confusion for you:

i too shoot a 30 caliber similar to your 06.

30/06 ballistics being good with 180 grn projectile

bullet weight and construction are vital. you want a good partitioning/jacketed bullet.

buy a good ammo for the HUNT and practice with the EXACT SAME AMMO! no question of where you will be hitting that way, it will build your confidence and eliminate one factor of already dificult hunt.

federal Load # p3006A1....180 nosler accubond. i LOVE the accubonds traits. took 2 elk 4 deer and 4 antelope last fall all with accubonds in different calibers.

sight in at 200 dead ON...then read a simple ballistic chart that will show you EXACTLY what your drop and windage drift are....dead on 200 = the following

300 yards -8.3in
400yards -23.8in
500yards -47.4in

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=259

dont believe the "sight it dead on then you can shoot right at what your looking at out to 400 yards" crap crap! crap!  2 foot drop at 400 yards...i wouldnt call 24 inches in the kill zone! 

 

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Wait a minute

flyguyskt]</p> <p>[quote=flyguyskt wrote:

sight in at 200 dead ON...then read a simple ballistic chart that will show you EXACTLY what your drop and windage drift are....dead on 200 = the following

300 yards -8.3in
400yards -23.8in
500yards -47.4in

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/rifle.aspx?id=259

dont believe the "sight it dead on then you can shoot right at what your looking at out to 400 yards" crap crap! crap!  2 foot drop at 400 yards...i wouldnt call 24 inches in the kill zone! 

 

Are you referring to someone in this thread saying sight dead on and one would be dead on out to 400? If so go back and reread the thread because no one has said that. As others have stated in this thread with around a three inch high sight in at 100 you can remain in the kill zone out to 300 especially on an elk with a dead center hold and especially so with certain flat shooting calibers. I  know because I've done enough shooting on paper to confirm it and I've shot a few animals out to three hundred (not elk but actually smaller game yotes, antelope, deer) as well by using that method. Now I do agree that after three hundred yards you are going to have a lot more drop but with a caliber like an -06  with a three inch high sight in at 100 and by holding high (top of the back of an elk) but still on hide it is very possible to sink one in the kill zone provided other factors aren't in play like wind, movement, and such. And, ballistic charts are great but until you actually shoot some paper at 200, 300, and 400, yards you don't for certainty where those bullets will be hitting are how much their dropping.

Take care.

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