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Old July 22, 2005, 10:51 PM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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Seeing .50 hole in target...how far?

This is just a curiosity question to help plan my next trip out to the range with a .50 BMG rifle. In the past, I have done some distance shooting at a 44" black target where a person in the target pits would mark where my shot hit the target. At as close as 200 yards and with a 20x scope, there was no way I could see the hole in the black background, although I could see shots that missed the black and hit the off what target background. The hole in the lighter material appeared dark - no surprise.

Okay, I want to do some longer range shooting (out to 600 yards) but do not have the benefit of a person marking each shot for me. I thought I would go with some 48" wide butcher paper and place a large Shoot-N-C target in the middle to use as my aiming point.

If you have shot on white paper previously with .45-.50 caliber, could you tell me the greatest distance you were from the target where you were still able to see the holes and with using what power of rifle or spotting scope?

I really would like to put in more time shooting at the target than traversing several hundred yards on multiple occasions just so that I can see where my shots are landng. With my current spotting scope (a cheaper 50x), I can just make out holes produced by a .223 at 200 yards in direct sunlight. I would think I could see a .50 hole at 400 yards about as well, assuming there isn't much heat shimmer, but I don't know.

Suggestions, insight, and other help appreciated. Note that I do NOT have the option of having a private range monkey to go down and check the target for me or mark the target from a pit. It will be a solo-only operation.
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Old July 22, 2005, 11:18 PM   #2
MEDDAC19
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I have had targets that were backlit on several occasions. The sun was not in my eyes but at an angle that the shots would clearly "light-up" the hole when they were in the black. I don't know if your range can be set up in this manner but if it can, it should work.
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Old July 23, 2005, 08:37 PM   #3
Dave Haven
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I think 300-400 yards would be the limit.
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Old July 25, 2005, 07:23 PM   #4
Dwight55
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You didn't say whether your target was paper, wood, steel, . . .

1: the backlit idea should work for a paper target, . . . put the light onto say a yellow background behind the black target, . . . should be able to see the individual holes, . . . unless they are really close together.

2: wood, . . . I would sand it down smooth and cover it completely with shoot n c, . . . should be able to spot that.

3: steel, . . . build it with a spring behind it so it falls down when hit, . . . then comes back up.

Just thinking outside the box, . . .

May God bless,
Dwight
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Old July 25, 2005, 11:40 PM   #5
Double Naught Spy
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Dwight, thanks for the help, but I don't think you read my post. I explained that I was thinking about using butcher paper. So the options of wood and steel are right out.

Also, hitting a self resetting steel target isn't going to do it for me. I have access to a LaRue resetting target already. I don't need to know if I can hit the target, but where on the target I am hitting. Even using paint on the steel target, the result is a much larger impact area than the original slug diameter. That isn't going to provide me with the precision I would like.

I have no idea why a person would sand down a wood target, soon to be destroyed by impacts, and then cover it with shoot-n-c targets. Why would you want or need to sand? Also, what you are talking about is an overly complex and expensive option compared to using a single shoot-n-c as a center aim point, placed on white butcher paper. Shoot-n-c provides a contrast between the dark topical layer and the bright under layer when shot. More of the dark topical is removed that just what was impacted by the slug. The result is a bright halo inside a black field. Holes in white paper tend to look dark compared to the paper and hence provide the contrast and also creates a hole the actual diameter of the slug.

Thinking outside the box is fine, often helpful, to resolve problems inside the box given the parameters also inside the box.

You may be on to something, but I am not following your reasoning.
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Old July 26, 2005, 10:19 PM   #6
Dwight55
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DNS, . . . actually I did read your post, . . . and I caught the butcher paper, . . . I was just looking for different options, . . . trying to suggest something you may not have thought of, . . . kinda doin one of them "brain storming" things.

At 600 yds, . . . or anything between 400 & 600, . . . I would probably not try to evaluate any individual shot, personally. I would shoot several groups at several different targets placed down range, . . . then I would go down and assess the results.

The sanded wood takes off any oil, resin, etc, . . . makes sticky back targets "stick" better. Course when I do that, . . . I have a big belt sander with some really aggressive sandpaper too.

As for the spring loaded steel target, . . . I would just use it as a visual check for my own personal edification/amusement. We used to use them in the national guard, . . . and I always thought they were fun.

Anyway, . . . good shooting, and may God bless,
Dwight
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Old July 30, 2005, 06:01 PM   #7
kymasabe
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I used to shoot my 30-06 at 200+ yards and couldn't see the hit...went out and got myself a REALLY GOOD spotting scope.
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