David, I realize you were just quoting/paraphrasing, but when you say:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In summary, common everyday cartridges (.338 Lapua, etc.) built on small single-shot bolt actions are good to 1,200+ yards in the right hands. Large ones built on the .50 BMG are good to 2,000+ yards in the right hands and under the right conditions.
(additional emphasis is mine) , I have to take exception. Shots like that are so much more the exception than the rule, caveats must be made. For example, how do you accurately tell the range on a target 1200 yards away
??? Laser range-finder? Well, that's interesting, because even the very best hand-held range-finders get a little iffy outside of 1000 yards, and tend to pick up other, more reflective objects, better than the sedate colors of your average game animal. You can't afford to be more than 25 yards off, and NO ONE can judge range to within 25 yards at over 800 yards.
Just now running down the .50 on the excellent Web Ballistic Computer at http://weber.u.washington.edu/~basij.../wbcIntro.html
, I plugged in Barnes' published BC (1.07 !!)for their 750 g. Solid, and told the program to calculate, given a MV of 2900 (a bit brisk, probably...), and a zero of 500 yards. It says that, even then, your drop from 500 to 800 yards is 64.9"!!! If you think your target is at 900 yards, but it's really at 1000, you're off by no less than 42.2"! This with the highest ballistic coefficient I'm familiar with.
The only way this would be "sporting" would be if you had a known distance, carfully paced or projected, where the game would stand for enough time to carefully make the shot. Perhaps a scent lure, or, if your state allows them, a feeder. Or perhaps a watering hole, so long as you had exact distances to each side of the watering hole. I could only see this in bleak, open areas, where one was watching several known-distance spots, or cross-canyon spots. If the variation is as much as 20 yards, you could have a clean miss, or a wounded animal, with zero
chance of a make-up shot.
I respect the game too much to pull these kinds of stunts. Just because a man may use his benchrest competition rifle to shoot 8" groups in 1000-yard Pennsylvania matches does not
mean that he can guarentee kill-shots with the same rifle/load combo on ~900 yard shots on game. It doesn't even mean he can get close.
As to .50 BMG at 2000 yards, I've got to say bull
. Please don't take this as a personal flame at you, it's intended to the man making the claim.
I'm a good rifleman. Maybe not benchrest quality, but probably better than most. I have a rifle that will reliably shoot .75 MOA, and I don't really need any better, because it's a fairly iffy thing that I would be able to shoot any better than that. I could possibly occasionally realize the improvement in accuracy if a 'smith could magically make my rifle a .5 MOA rifle.
Consider: If I could shoot a .5 MOA group at 2000 yards, I'd still have a 10" group!!
Consider: If I could shoot a .5 MOA group at 2000 yards, I'd be endorsed by a LOT of bullet, rifle, powder, and cartridge companies, because I'd be the best there was. FIND me official evidence that anyone
has ever shot a 10" group at a mile and change! You can't.
Good rule of thumb is: If you can't hit a 10" plate 5 times out of 5 from that distance from the field position you use, it's too far for medium to large game.
Sorry for the long tyrade, I just get worked up over: (a) hunter irresponsibility (esp. by gun writers!!!), and (b) wild claims, inflated to suit (esp. by gun writers!!!).
Again, not a flame to anyone here....
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap?