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Joined: 10/23/2006
Posts: 21
What's your limit?

I feel most comfortable staying in the 300 yd. range.  At the sportsman's club I practice at there is a 300 yd. rifle range.  I have shot there under various conditions and feel pretty good about my ability at that range.  I also know what my bullets will do at that range.  I shoot with shooting sticks just like I would in the field.  If I had to stretch it to 400 yds. I would take the shot but it would have to be under ideal conditions.

BleuBijou's picture
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Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 447
Long Range

In Perfect conditions I wouldn't hesitate out to 720 yds as that is where my last cross hair is sighted for! I shoot alot and recomend anyone that wants to try out to those ranges to do the same and to make damn sure your gun and bullet can handle what you are shooting at that range. My 2 longest shots for elk were 509 and 523. You have to practice in every condition and be confident because if you wound a animal it is your resposibility to find him and dispatch quickly and that doesn't happen on Elk with a bad shot, no matter what the range. I have seen guys sight in on a paper plate at a 100 yds and if they hit it they were good! I sighted in at a 100 and was off to the left of center 3/4 of an inch, at 600, I never hit the target. Missed to the left everytime! That is how critical you have to be. I shoot and reload my 30-378 weatherby.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
long shots

Don't meant to rain on anyones party, or fantacy, but......Here is what I'd recommend for anyone attempting long shots on game.  Take an average sized paper plate, or something roughly the size of the vitals on a biggame animal, about 10" diameter.  Place it at a distance you think you can hit, shooting off-hand or under real hunting field conditions.  I'm not talking about seated from a comfortable stable benchrest with sandbags like at a shooting range.  Your maximum distance is the farthest range where you can place all your bullets inside that target when shooting under real field conditions.  I think you'll find that precise hits at 1000+ yrds are nothing more than tv shows trying to sell products to the over enthused novice.

Joined: 06/20/2011
Posts: 33
I 100% agree that the 1000yd

I 100% agree that the 1000yd shots are fairytales. If the best trained marksman in the world can rarely do it why would a hunter attempt it. I think ones time would be much better investested in learning how to get closer to game. I am an outfitter and take many hunters out each year and if it is one skill I find most hunters lacking it is the ability to quickly find an animal in your scope and to shoot off hand. Too many guys just don't realize there isn't always time to set up bipods sandbags ext. I think all the fancy hunting shows with people shooting at feeder trained deer and tame elk got many first time hunters misled.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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I believe that there are

I believe that there are plenty of guy's around that can make a 1000 yd shot on game. But I aslo believe that it should be avoided, to much they can't control can and does go wrong. Without a doubt the same thing happens at 100yds all to often but the odds of a well practiced shooter's making such a mistake out to 300 yds, I say that because it's about my limit, are relatively slim. I've never bought the argument that crippled game also occurs at closer ranges. It is true but the likelyhood of a wounding shot increases with every yard.

WesternHunter's picture
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1000+ yards

Don Fischer wrote:

I believe that there are plenty of guy's around that can make a 1000 yd shot on game. But I aslo believe that it should be avoided, to much they can't control can and does go wrong. Without a doubt the same thing happens at 100yds all to often but the odds of a well practiced shooter's making such a mistake out to 300 yds, I say that because it's about my limit, are relatively slim. I've never bought the argument that crippled game also occurs at closer ranges. It is true but the likelyhood of a wounding shot increases with every yard.

Talk to any current or former military trained snipers (actual snipers) and they'll tell you otherwise, if they're being truthful.  At 1000 yrds (or beyond) they say all you can hope for is a hit somewhere on an enemy's body from the torso on up to take them out of the battle.  That's using the current 7.62mm NATO round.  The chances of precisely placing a .30 cal bullet right into an area the size of the vitals on biggame at those long distances are simply chance.  This according to the few guys I've talked too.  Maybe technology in the field as we speak has improved all that, but I doubt many average shooters or hunters can do so in the field.  I think it's terribly irresponsible to take any shot on game, no matter the distance, if it can't be made with precision.  And yes I agree Don, many shots at very close distances are also botched as well because of lack of mental/emotional dicipline or other factors.

I also agree that hunters should only shoot from a bench at the range when they are sighting-in or checking their zero, or maybe practicing trigger pulls.  Other than that it would benefit all hunters to get off the bench and practice shooting off-hand, mimicking actual field conditions, while applying all the principals they've learned.  This whole idea of always shooting from a bench is nonsence, or it's fine if you only ever shoot paper.

BleuBijou's picture
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Location: Loveland , Colorado
Joined: 03/22/2010
Posts: 447
More skill

I believe it takes more practice and skill to shoot any animal cleanly with a rifle from 500 plus , then a shot with a bow and arrow at 35 yds. Now there are alot of variables with both and with a bow I think those who hunt with one practice a heck of alot more then do most rifle hunters. And no, you can't just shoot from a bench all the time, just like with Bow hunting you have to practice shots from your knees, stands etc. I could not shoot 500 yds without shooting sticks or a bi-pod or a sturdy rest!!!!! Off hand at 300 is a tough feat for me, even though I practice it!!!!  I want to be able to shoot with confidence to 720 yds. So that is what I practice!! And even though I practice I still sometimes will catch a animal sleeping in the dark timber at 35 yds. I still layed the rifle across a log and shot him just below the ear. right where I wanted! Last season shot a Antelope at 484 after closing the distance some 120 yds before running out of cover. Had my Bog Pod set up and it seemed like a lifetime for me to squeeze off the shot!! Was actually about 2-3 minutes, but I had to get my breathing right. Why not just shoot him at 600??? Conditions were not perfect, so I closed a 120 yds off the shot. Could mean all the difference.

WesternHunter's picture
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Posts: 2363
retained energy @ 1000+ yrds

I think an important consideration everyone needs to ask themselves before even attempting to or practicing to take shots at 1000+ yrds on game is just how much retained energy your  chosen biggame bullet has once it's down range beyond 1000 yrds?? It's going to lose energy quicker the lower to sea level you are than it will at altitude of the Rockies.  I personally think this is something that most long range shooters never ask themselves or even care to take into consideration when wanting to make that shot.  Sure that .300RUM may punch holes in carboard at 1000+ yrds and even take out a human target beyond that distance, but what about a humane kill driving that bullet into 800 lbs of fur, skin, muscle, and bone at that same distance?  I have no problem with long range shooting so long as it is done on paper.  I think practicing on paper for 1000+ yrd shoots is great practice and should make you an fantastic shot at the more reasonable hunting distances of under 400 yrds. Just know that there is a defined line between hunting and sniping. I've already given my opinion on the matter and I think I've beat this dead horse more than I should have.  Retained Energy - just something to consider is all I'm saying.

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Joined: 03/23/2008
Posts: 2
What's your linit?

I think the big picture here is, jus how much practice and how serious are you at getting yourself to be a good shot at the range, in the field and jus how good do you keep your gun and equipment in excellent working condition.

Knowing your ballistic curve or trajectory is vital to just how comfortable you are or should be when choosing a "comfortable" distance for that "perfect condition" shot. Let's be real, the perfect shot or taking that shot under perfect conditions is when you don't even have to look through the scope or look down the iron sights and pull the trigger. But when does that happen, right?

I say, know your gun, your bullet, powder or simply know what the bullet you are buying out of that box and how it shoots from your special gun. Many of us have heard about the sniper that shot his target at over 2000 yards with one shot. There are countless documented acounts of the same at over 1500 yards with one shot. These people "know" what the gun, bullet and equipment is capable of doing. Let's not forget the spotter that these people depend on to provide "dope" for the shooter to plug into the optics that top these awesome tools of the trade.

Be responsible and know the curve of the bullet, the complete conditions at that moment you pull the trigger. It is our responsibility to ethical hunters/sportsmen to make a humane shot/kill at what ever we are hunting. Take a few hours and read some about ballistics for your rifle and the different types of bullets it will shoot. Choose a good bullet for the game you intend to hunt and by all means, look into the fine past time of reloading your own ammo. It is fun to create your own bullet(s) and enjoy going to the range and seeing just how good you can make those custom bullets pop out of your rifle.

Personally I have only taken a game animal out to 425 yards. I am currently practicing at much farther distances and look forward to understanding my personal loads much better. My smallest rifle is a .17 cal and the biggest is a 8mm Rem Mag and several others between those two. They each have a place in what they are capable of. With the recent availability of custom ballistic programs for computers and now for our cell phones, it is much easier to "know" your "comfort" zone.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
welcome

Welcome to the board Buckmasterpro.  I certainly understand and agree with what you are saying about "know your gun" or "know your equipment and it's limitations", etc.  Pracice is key and intimate knowledge of your equipment is something every operator of anything should have.

As to the well documented long diatnce sniper cases that you mension (longest shots being within the last 10 years), I will add that in practically all of those well documented cases the snipers and spotters themselves have usually admitted that they doubt they could duplicate their longest shot again.  In fact the legendry Carlos Hathcock himself seemed to be suprised to have taken out that viet-cong at 800 yrds away with his bullet going through the enemies scope into his head.  I think those well documented events are at best very rare occurances, and these are from well highly skilled shooters, some of the best in the world.  People just need to realise that even if shooting skills are nessesary to good humane hunting, long distance target shooting should not be confused with hunting. I can see absolutley no reason why I would need to take a 1000+ yard shot on any game animal.  Even if I could humanely make that kill shot at that distance, to me I'd feel as if I missed out on a big part of the hunt.

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