When/how did 400 yards become the new long range?????

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Replies

  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Personally I think the 150 gr bullet in a .308 or 30-06 will take deer size game farther than that.

    Yep.



    425 +/- yards with the .308 Winchester and 168gr A-Max (ok, so it wasn't a 150...but still). Didn't have a scale, but my rancher friend estimated him at close to 400 pounds. Bigger than the average deer I suspect. Where's Lazz when you need him? What happened to the .308 only being good to 100 yards? :tooth:
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    The guys I know who have used the 308 for LR hunting typically put their cap at about 600 yards for deer sized game.
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Yep.


    425 +/- yards with the .308 Winchester and 168gr A-Max (ok, so it wasn't a 150...but still). Didn't have a scale, but my rancher friend estimated him at close to 400 pounds. Bigger than the average deer I suspect. Where's Lazz when you need him? What happened to the .308 only being good to 100 yards? :tooth:
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    Are shooters better? Maybe...hard to tell. But the big factor is that the tools ARE better, flat out. Scopes especially. Rifles have become silly accurate. Of course, good rifles and good scopes have been around for a long time....however, not at the prices they are at today. We all know Savage's can shoot lights out right out of the box. Optics that are 5x better then 20 years ago can be had for under 500$ Not to mention, bullets, powder, cases...hell even factory ammo, is all better. Put that together and it makes things easier. Have better tools taken some of the skill out? Maybe a bit, still takes skill to poke a hole at long distances, but better equipment leads to more confidence, which leads to people stretching their limits. If they connect, confidence builds again, and they can keep stretching it bit by bit until we come to todays modern gun world where 1/2" groups from the factory with premium ammo and clear as crystal scopes which makes that 400 yard shot becoming easier. Another thing to add, range finders. They quality also is going up while the prices come down. If you have known conditions, and are confident with the rifle, you have much better odds then just winging a shot out there with some Kentucky windage.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    Jerry,
    Are we having fun? yes
    Are we still willing to discuss this topic? Most definitely.
    Part of a forum is the goofy nature of having fun, and making fun of (in a good way) our self and friends.

    Back to the topic at hand.
    Just in the arena of handgun hunting you have Iron versus optic
    Straight versus bottleneck cartridges
    Barrel lengths
    Action types
    I have seen these same types of discussions of what "_____" hunting is in both Archery and Black Powder:
    Releases versus fingers, compound versus, recurve versus longbow, sights versus instinctive, and list goes on.

    In each discipline you will see some who only consider what they use as being truly (Archery, BP, or Handgun) hunter.
    For instance:
    Revolvers with barrels under xyz inches iron sights only.
    Long Bows shooting instinctive with wood arrows.
    Anyone using more modernized equipment is not truly archery/handgun hunter or it is not a handgun or bow no matter what other people call them.
    Different people will move the bar one way or the other of what is or is not a handgun or handgun hunting, while others will not have an issue with it, as long as it is by definition what the BATF calls a handgun.

    This same kind of reasoning is done with hunting at distance.
    The rifle world has radically evolved from the hunting world our grandparent's grew up in.
    Just in scope reticles it so much easier:
    IMG_2979.jpg

    It is a bad picture, but still if you will look on the left side of the vertical reticle from the X-hair juncture on down, you can see the MOA listed internally in the scope (etched glass reticle). Kentucky windage? forget it! Now you have MOA listed every 3 MOA with hashes in between which are 1.5 MOA apart, all the way to 30 MOA, with 2 & 4 MOA on the lines.

    If you want to be exact and you need 9.5 MOA for a shot hold the 9MOA line and dial a 1/2 MOA up. Now you are holding on the reticle and no need to worry about rotational errors, or accuracy of clicks because you are working with a fixed system. Simply using your reticle like a yardstick or shooting by the numbers.
    Once you grasp a few things about how it works, you would say, "It is so easy that even a preacher could do it."
    Many ballistic/MOA/MIL reticles have multiple lines but it is easy to get confused which line to use or accidentally put it on the wrong line under pressure. I have seen it happen many times.
    Here is just one example of why it is so much easier than it used to be.

    Today you can choose to use technology to your advantage or not-Your choice.
    I go to both extremes at time, just to keep things fun and interesting.

    Just because I cannot do it consistently does not mean that others are incapable of it too.

    Everyone has a right to their opinion, but that does not necessarily or automatically mean that their opinion has anything to do with the truth.
    It may simply be based on their emotions-fine with me as long as they do not try to impose or enforce that on others.

    I don't have a problem with short range, mid-range, or long-range, as long as it is legal, the person enjoys it, and is dedicating themselves to the task.
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    When it comes to rat holing a thread, you guys do a bang up job.

    Well done!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,268 Senior Member
    Are shooters better? Maybe...hard to tell. But the big factor is that the tools ARE better, flat out. Scopes especially. Rifles have become silly accurate. Of course, good rifles and good scopes have been around for a long time....however, not at the prices they are at today. We all know Savage's can shoot lights out right out of the box. Optics that are 5x better then 20 years ago can be had for under 500$ Not to mention, bullets, powder, cases...hell even factory ammo, is all better. Put that together and it makes things easier. Have better tools taken some of the skill out? Maybe a bit, still takes skill to poke a hole at long distances, but better equipment leads to more confidence, which leads to people stretching their limits. If they connect, confidence builds again, and they can keep stretching it bit by bit until we come to todays modern gun world where 1/2" groups from the factory with premium ammo and clear as crystal scopes which makes that 400 yard shot becoming easier. Another thing to add, range finders. They quality also is going up while the prices come down. If you have known conditions, and are confident with the rifle, you have much better odds then just winging a shot out there with some Kentucky windage.

    MHS, you said something here that lessens my obstinance toward long range shooting. That is the fact that Range Finders are getting better and cheaper. Of course wind changes and mirage and other factors can ruin your long range shot. But the one thing that really can ruin your day shooting at extreme range is not having a good feel for the range. A couple years back I remember a post by our own Dan Johnson that addressed this very problem when he said that most of what I would call affordable range finders were not that accurate. That was about two-three years ago. However, from what I am reading and hearing, I believe that in the last couple of years progress in range finders has really made a difference in what you can get for a reasonable price. Before now I had absolutely no confidence in any range finder that I could afford. One of the most important things about extreme range shooting is you can be off on your guestimation by 75-100 yards and miss your target or at least your target's vital area. However, some of the newer products for under $300 can be accurate within 20-30 yards. This makes shot placement at long range much more scientific than before. At long range, depending on caliber and bullet weight, the bullet may drop completely through the kill zone before or after the bullet gets to its destination. This makes more exact range estimation a must if you want to kill game at extreme range. When I get my Savage rifle ready to hunt, I will have me a decent range finder and I will practice with it at known ranges before I take to the field to use it on game. The possibility of good range estimation may yet make me a long range shooter (Well that and some new eye glasses).
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    The possibility of good range estimation may yet make me a long range shooter.

    My friend, with a good rangefinder, there is no range 'estimation'. The distance is the least of your worries with reaching 'out there'. If you know your rifles dope and know how to shoot said rifle, no worries. If distance was the only key to long range shooting, then if you can see it....you can hit it.

    Unfortunately, it's not. The environment is the kick in the nuts. Wind, mirage, spin drift, light, temp, etc are what you have to master. A rangefiner and knowing the distance are no more than a key to start the engine. Driving is where wrecks happen.
    "....the true general purpose big-game cartridges used in this country come in but two calibers, .30 and 7mm. (the .270 Win. is merely a slightly aberrant 7mm whose bullets are .007" undersize.) -Finn Aagaard - American Rifleman, December 1986
  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    This is a great topic. There really is some good stuff. I would like to be able to shoot deer at 200+ yds. The fact that I do not have any place to practice the longer ranges precludes me from doing so. Having all the newest gizmos mont get me to make the shot. It has to be practiced. I have to go now to drive my sister to the hospital for heart surgery. Please say a prayer for Sybil.

    Mike A
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    Mike,
    Prayers sent.

    Yes, practice is important.
    If you want to get better and you only have a 100 or 200 yard range one thing you can do is take a 22lr. Put a scope on it.
    Then find the ammo that shoots best in it, and then begin practicing with it at 50 yards, 75 yards, 100 yards, 150 yards, to as far as you can.
    And practice at odd distances and odd positions.
    Get off of the bench. Shoot from field positions you actually use when hunting.
    Practice intentionally when it is windy, and especially in gusty winds.
    If you have more distance then buy subsonic.
    I have shot my clone Charger 22lr (MOA non-designated action) at 400 yards on steel off of a bi-pod.
    Some people who were thought it was pretty cool, while others who heard about it thought and said things like, "that is not possible."
    Don't let naysayers keep you from trying things (not talking hunting here, but practicing).
    You do not know what you are capable of until you try it.
    To succeed, you must be willing to fail.
    Because it is in the midst of failure, you have the gift and opportunity to learn, if you have an open mind.
    You do not know what your limits are until you have stretched yourself.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,227 Senior Member
    Jerry,
    Are we having fun? yes
    Are we still willing to discuss this topic? Most definitely.
    Part of a forum is the goofy nature of having fun, and making fun of (in a good way) our self and friends.

    I wasn't complaining. I thought it was funny, and enjoyed it.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    Awesome Possum !
    Don't know you well enough yet to know for sure.
    Kinda hard to interpret the the tone of voice, facial expression, and body language in type.


    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    I wasn't complaining. I thought it was funny, and enjoyed it.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    A rangefiner and knowing the distance are no more than a key to start the engine. Driving is where wrecks happen.

    Way to sum up two pages of long detailed, drawn out responses in 2 sentences lol I like it!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,268 Senior Member
    Hondo wrote: »
    This is a great topic. There really is some good stuff. I would like to be able to shoot deer at 200+ yds. The fact that I do not have any place to practice the longer ranges precludes me from doing so. Having all the newest gizmos mont get me to make the shot. It has to be practiced. I have to go now to drive my sister to the hospital for heart surgery. Please say a prayer for Sybil.

    Mike A

    Amen Bro, you got my prayer though bilated. God Bless her.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,268 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    My friend, with a good rangefinder, there is no range 'estimation'. The distance is the least of your worries with reaching 'out there'. If you know your rifles dope and know how to shoot said rifle, no worries. If distance was the only key to long range shooting, then if you can see it....you can hit it.

    Unfortunately, it's not. The environment is the kick in the nuts. Wind, mirage, spin drift, light, temp, etc are what you have to master. A rangefiner and knowing the distance are no more than a key to start the engine. Driving is where wrecks happen.

    I agree with this. This is what I have said all along. However, though I haven't stated it much on here, one of the truly scary parts of long range shooting, 400+ yards, has always been to me, range estimation. Yes if you have a good range finder then that is probably not a guestimation. But back in the day before you could even get any kind of range finder that was small enough for one man to carry, range GUESTIMATIONU] was the big problem. Because, and you more than most here know this, at long range if you misjudge your range by 50-75 yards, you can easily shoot right under or over your target. Because at long range, flat trajectory will turn into plunging fire.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    No Jerry, I think you are very sensible. I think all this sniper talk and the legends of people like Carlos Hatchcock have gotten people to talking this stuff. However, with the exception of a few really talented individuals, such as our own BP Sniper, Linefinder, and beartracker, most people have never really shot at game that far. Lets face it, out in the field without a good way to measure distance, 300 yards looks like an eternity. 400 is so far they don't realize what it takes to make that kind of shot. And 500 yards is perpetrated by people with shoulder cannons like John Lazzaroni. But it's mostly a myth in my mind. I know I'm fixing to be jumped upon, but that's the way I see it. And this is not even considering the ethics of such hunting. Too many things can happen at distances over 400 yards. Wind can change in a heartbeat and a little five MPH breeze increase can blow a bullet off track in feet, not inches because at those ranges the bullet is losing not only velocity but energy and it doesn't take much to change a bullet's path.

    OK Now I'm ready to be piled on. But you better bring your lunch because I believe this and I won't back off my opinion. And Like I said, there are a few individuals capable of such feats, but I'm not one of them and I strongly suspect 90% of us aren't.

    Your not off base at all, and I have very seldom taken a real long shot in the field. I try to get as close as possible when spot and stalk is my hunting method and if I am in a shooting house I still won't take a long shot unless everything is in my favor.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Those that can, do. Those that can't, shouldn't. Simple as that.

    Very well and it is as simple as that.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    Yep.


    425 +/- yards with the .308 Winchester and 168gr A-Max (ok, so it wasn't a 150...but still). Didn't have a scale, but my rancher friend estimated him at close to 400 pounds. Bigger than the average deer I suspect. Where's Lazz when you need him? What happened to the .308 only being good to 100 yards? :tooth:

    Outstanding trophy and excellent shot indeed, very nice my friend, very nice. Thanks for the picture and explaining the shot and distance. Very well done.:up:
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 758 Senior Member
    Lomg range begins , I think, whenever you have to use hold over for your particular chosen caliber regardless of what distance that maybe.
    I have two rifles set up with leupold VX3 30mm, LR, scopes with simple cross hair reticules [I don't like clutter on my reticule] and leupold fitted M1 turrets on the windage and elevation
    With a reliable range finder and a good , proven and practised[ by you] ballistic programe, crosshair centering on target isn't a problem.
    Wind though, kill's the shot.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,158 Senior Member
    Long range, for me, is whatever distance with a particular rifle or pistol that I'm not certain that I can hit a target nearly every time.

    For example, 50 yards with my 10mm Glock is long range, because although the pistol will deliver the shot on target every time at that range, with no hold-over, I can only hit it on my 'good days,' and then only 50-75% of the time.

    With my primary hunting rifle, a push-feed Model 70 in .30-06, anything beyond 200 yards is long range, because I have never put in the time practicing to be consistent, beyond that. The rifle and scope and hand loaded ammo is perfectly capable of being consistent at 400 yards, but I have just never worked at shooting those distances because it is inconvenient to do so, and none of the hunting locales that I have had access to require it.
  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    Once again I have enjoyed this thread......I am very jealous of you BP......very nice. And BP....on that picture is that a cell phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me??!!! LOL

    Thanks for the prayers....sister is out of hospital and home after successful surgery.
  • ken55ken55 Senior Member Posts: 781 Senior Member
    Linefinder wrote: »
    IMO, long range starts where maximum point blank range ends. IOW, a lot of it depends on the size of the kill zone on your target. It might be 350 yards on an elk, it might be 110 yards on a ground squirrel.

    For your "average deer type" big game rifle, with a fixed 200-250 yard zero, much past 300 yards is long range.

    Add in wind, field conditions, huffing/puffing, etc....well, you see where I'm going with this.

    I've made a few long shots over the years, but as a rule of thumb, I still consider anything past 300 yards as becoming "long". If you have a scope with fast/repeatable turrets (and time to use them), you can extend this by a wide margin. If you're strictly playing Kentucky windage......+300 yards is, as it's always been, a pretty good piece out there.

    Mike

    Getting to know shooters like you and a couple others here have changed my whole perception of what "long range" is. Some of you no-fooling ballistic and accuracy gurus can hit a lot farther than I can even think about. In my own little mind, I make a distinction between what I can do "range shooting" and "hunting". I have at least two rifles that I know for sure could easily hit a big game animal way out past 500 yards but my own limit is still 300 yards, and a lot less than that if I can manage it. I practice enough to know that I can screw up almost any shot and if I'm hunting something I want to take it down cleanly and in a location where I can retrieve it without a helicopter or pack animals. Besides, hunting to me still involves an element of stalking and getting close, not just sniping the critter on the other side of some unseen ravine or other terrain feature.

    My hat is off to those of you who can - and do regularly - hit your mark at those way-out-there ranges. But for me, I'd better get closer.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Personally I think the 150 gr bullet in a .308 or 30-06 will take deer size game farther than that. Bullet technology has gotten good enough that they perform well over broader velocity spreads than ever before.

    For larger game I would move to 180s just because you might need to push though more and heavier stuff to get to the boiler room so penetration is more important that expansion specially at longer ranges.

    Bullets have gotten MUCH better, also means you don't need that heavier bullet in most situations, to get penetration.

    With everything we have listed as stuff that is better then ever, maybe bullets are one of the biggest, yet most over looked instances of improved performance?
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,268 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I thought the .270 was at least a 500 yd gun... ;)

    Seriously, I never shoot past 100 yards with any of my guns because it is the max at my range.

    Certain guns are 200 yard plus capable, and some are not. Take the .308, .300 mag, 7mm mag, they seem to be 300 yard capable and meant for it, but the 30-06 you will get a ton of arguement about it's ability over farther distances, because of it's drop.

    Just a few humble thoughts.

    D

    Dan, of all the cartridges you mentioned, I would feel very comfortable if I had enough practice, shooting a 30-06 out past 300 yards, or more specifically, I would feel as comfortable as with any other round. A 30-06 max load will drop less than a .308 with max load, all else being equal. It may not be perceived as being as inherently accurate as a .308, but ballistically it is normally superiour and way more accurate than most people can take advantage of.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    If I was choosing a LR cartridge from BigDan's list above, the 7RM would be my hands down first choice.
    I would use a 168 Berger (orange box VLD) or the 168 JLK-acts just like a Berger.
    This set-up in the right gun with the right person behind it is easily capable of 1K on game.
    If I was stretching things way out there, I may consider the 162 A-Max, because it will open up at a lower velocity than the Berger.
    But I do not think I would use the A-Max for elk.
    The reason I would go with the 168 over the 180 Berger is because most of the time the 168 has a better balance of all things drop and drift until you get way out there. Berger recommends 1800 fps as their lowest velocity that will still perform well on game.

    Remember in LR hunting, drop is the known constant and wind is ever changing.
    So we are looking for a bullet that will perform within a specified velocity range.
    Sometimes you must limit your distance because of the impact velocity threshold of the bullet.
    Some can actually out shoot accurately the capability of a given bullet.
    We/I am looking for a bullet that has less wind drift at a given distance and can still perform its duties when it arrives there

    300 WM is my 2nd with the 270 real close to the 270 Win (really sort of tie depending on certain circumstances).
    If it was mule deer size game and smaller or elk only out to 600 or so, I would just forgo the 300 and make the 270 my second choice.
    You have to get the bullet weight way up there for the 30 to be decent, then you are having to deal with all the recoil and I am recoil sensitive:yikes:
    If it is a braked gun then no problem, but repeated shooting of a 300 winny is not enjoyable for practicing for LR, and you have to practice.
    The weight of the gun and the type and or places you will be going with it would also be a part of the decision process.
    Hence, the 270 with a 130 or more likely a 150 Berger is my number two choice.
    Then the 30-06, and then the 308.
    The 06 is about 150 fps or maybe 200 fps slower than the 300Winny. It can be pretty amazing that is Loong range for many folks in the right rifle.

    I am not remotely considering factory ammo in my decisions.
    The exception may be the HMS line (Name right?) using Berger's, and Black Hills uses some Berger's as well.
    E
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,671 Senior Member
    TONS OF GOOD INFO
    E

    Muzzle brake is probably the next addition to my 300 Wby, just so I CAN practice that much.

    I also agree with the 168 vs 180 VLD bullets, and on top of that, it takes a pretty serious powder charge to really get those big 7mm 180's moving. They are so freakin long they eat up quite a bit of powder space.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,815 Senior Member
    If you ever want to visit about good brakes, let me know.
    With the type of rigs I use, mine have to be excellent.
    Muzzle brake is probably the next addition to my 300 Wby, just so I CAN practice that much.

    I also agree with the 168 vs 180 VLD bullets, and on top of that, it takes a pretty serious powder charge to really get those big 7mm 180's moving. They are so freakin long they eat up quite a bit of powder space.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
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