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Old December 16, 2013, 09:53 PM   #1
Devdev08
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Finding ranges

I'm looking to go deer hunting this year for the first time in my life and I'm looking to get the savage 11 trophy hunter xp and it comes with a bdc scope and my understanding was that while your in the stand waiting you take your range finder and mark certain things so you have the lay of the land well a friend of mine said bdc scopes are a waste of time what do you you guys think as I said I'm new to the sport.
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Old December 16, 2013, 10:02 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Range finding doesn't do you any good if you're guessing hold over. BDC scopes are nice to have. Nikon's website has a calculator that'll give you estimates of the range for each mark on the scope. The Savage 11 is a great gun and the Nikon BDC scope they come with is decent and very functional. Best package deal on the market.

One point of advice, don't just assume the Nikon calculator is correct. Never shoot an animal at any range you haven't practiced or in wind conditions beyond your ability.
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Old December 16, 2013, 10:38 PM   #3
Jay24bal
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Quote:
One point of advice, don't just assume the Nikon calculator is correct. Never shoot an animal at any range you haven't practiced or in wind conditions beyond your ability.
For a new shooter, this advice is the best I can give. While BDC scopes are certainly useful for shooting past your zero distance (and can also be used to find the distance, your scope instruction manual will have info on how to use the marks on the reticle to do this), nothing will replace practice.

All rifles and ammo combinations are different, and the BDC markings and calculators are great places to start, but you need to go out and shoot your individual gun to verify the info the calculators give you. As a hunter, the last thing you want to do is wound an animal without making a clean kill. Making an animal suffer by breaking bones and not delivering a kill shot, or letting the wound become infected where the animal dies in a month instead of in minutes, is the thing I dread the most. If I am not 100% confident in the range, wind, path of the shot, I will pass up the shot.
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Old December 16, 2013, 11:41 PM   #4
Devdev08
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I will of course go out and practice a lot at all types of distances I'm really just wondering I geuss why he doesn't account for distance really although I do think he is experienced enough but I don't know I thaught while your waiting you be productive and mark distances and stuff but from what my aunt told me (as they are dateing) he mostly sat and texted her a lot while he was waiting
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Old December 17, 2013, 01:05 AM   #5
Buzzcook
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Quote:
my understanding was that while your in the stand waiting you take your range finder and mark certain things so you have the lay of the land well
Yes you should know your environment. Having known distances at a stand is a good idea.

But you first have to know how your rifle preforms at different distances. You have to know your bullet drop first.

Most hunters keep their shots under 300yds. Heck most keep them under 100yds. So one of the most important landmarks is the distance marking your cut off for taking a shot.
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Old December 17, 2013, 02:48 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
I will of course go out and practice a lot at all types of distances I'm really just wondering I geuss why he doesn't account for distance really although I do think he is experienced enough but I don't know I thaught while your waiting you be productive and mark distances and stuff but from what my aunt told me (as they are dateing) he mostly sat and texted her a lot while he was waiting
Not knowing where he hunts and under what conditions, it's really impossible to know.

There are plenty of places I hunt (most of them actually) that I carry my .243AI rifle and I couldn't care less what the distance is. It's about 3/4 inch high at 65 yards, 1.5 high at 100 and somewhere between 1.5 high and 1.5 low at any other distance I could possibly see to shoot. Considering that my target (deer vitals) is at least a 6" circle, it's point and shoot, distance is irrelevant.

With a properly sighted rifle, shooting at big game animals, you don't care what the distance is out to at least 250 yards, in terms of bullet drop. Wind, you typically just learn "Kentucky Windage" for such shots. Wind is moderate and blowing from the right? Aim a few inches right. Close enough.

Nothing else matters (under most conditions) until you get out to 250, 300 and beyond, depending on the exact cartridge/bullet.

The experience part is how you know what "under most conditions" actually means and how and when to compensate.
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Old December 17, 2013, 06:02 PM   #7
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With most modern chamberings there isn't enough drop out to 300 yards to be of any concern. You can zero at 100 yards and get hits out to 300 without any hold over. If the range is between 200 and 300 I just aim at the top of the back. Some guys like to zero at 200 which takes some guesswork out at longer ranges. It makes things more complicated at close range however. Most guys shooting scopes with dots recommend a 100 yard zero and use the dots for longer shots.

The BDC scopes or long range dots can be a huge help at longer ranges, if you have a range finder to know the exact range. And if you know how to use the scopes.

A lot of these scopes are too "busy" to suit me. Just too much to look at. I like the Burris version and similar styles better. Just simple dots on the vertical crosshair. I've found it to help. I wouldn't trust any of them until I had actually shot at those ranges though.
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Old December 17, 2013, 06:08 PM   #8
Devdev08
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Ok thanks everyone for the help I think I'll sell the scope and get a bit better one anyways but with no Mildots or anything.
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Old December 17, 2013, 06:16 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Personally, I wouldn't be the least bit concerned about "upgrading" that scope until you've got a bunch of rounds downrange. That scope will serve you just fine for a long time. Spend the money on ammo instead.
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Old December 18, 2013, 12:46 AM   #10
math teacher
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As Brian said earlier, properly sighted in, usually about 2 1/2 inches high at 100 yards, and you can hold dead on on a deer to between 250 and 300 yards depending on the cartridge. Nikon's Spot-On will give it to you exactly if you chronograph your load so that you can put in the correct velocity. Even with practice few people have the ability or need to shoot further.
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Old December 18, 2013, 09:43 AM   #11
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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No mention of caliber but that's OK. BDC scopes: One needs a some practice in learning there usage. But for the average 200 to 300 yard shot most I suspect know where their rifles point of impact is and compensate manually for them. I only know one individual that has a scope similar to yours and from what he has told me he hardly ever pays any attention to the additional lines below center cross hairs when hunting in this State. But since he also hunts elk every couple years. I'm quite certain he knows how to use his scopes BDC for those occasions. (300 Weatherby Mag w/Huskemaw scope) The individual has told me about some of the shots he's made out West on elk. I know he & they, were & are way beyond my capabilities. I also seen a cheat sheet of calculations he has along for adjusting his scope on the spot for those distance shots. From what I was told my friend made his {cheat sheet} on his computer from notes he made while practice shooting at his gun club and directions from Huskemaw's phone personnel.
You might consider doing something near the same for your scope Devdev08 or maybe not? (cheat sheet)
BTW Congrats on buying that Savage Trophy Hunter. And do have a good time on your very first hunt. Don't forget. Take a camera along.
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Old December 18, 2013, 07:01 PM   #12
Devdev08
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Well I haven't purchased it yet and when I do I'll probaly get the .270 win and I got to hold a savage 11/111 fcns really liked it it's a little extra but I think ill spring for it and then get a nice Leopold scope for it I think but time will tell
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Old December 18, 2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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If you have the opportunity to shoot at a rifle range before your hunt, I recommend zeroing your scope at 2" to 2.25" high at 100 yards. You won't have to hold low or high at any range out to 300+ yards. I also recommend a hand-held range finder such as a Leica. They are terrific.
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:04 PM   #14
Devdev08
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I'm wondering if anyone has htried the Leupold sportsman seen it for under $300 http://www.opticsplanet.com/leupold-...fle-scope.html
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:39 PM   #15
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Hard to go wrong with Leupold.
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:43 PM   #16
Devdev08
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What's your opinion on a vortex viper http://www.opticsplanet.com/vortex-r...vpr-m-01p.html
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Old December 19, 2013, 09:40 AM   #17
603Country
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Devdev, I use my range finder pretty much like you do - to range out to objects that I can see, so I'll know how far a critter is when I see that critter. It's a smart way to prepare. As for BDC lines in a scope, most of my newer scopes have them, but truth is that I never really needed them in 50 previous years of hunting. You're going to use a 270, and I'll guess that you'll shoot a 130 grain bullet. Sight in 1.5 inches high at 100 yards, and you'll be:

- dead on at 200
- down 7 inches at 300
- down 20 inches at 400

Those numbers are good (or pretty darn close) for most any caliber that leaves the muzzle at 3000 fps and shoots a bullet with a decent BC.

Combine that with your pre-ranged distances, and that's all that most folks should ever need to know.
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