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Old June 5, 2008, 05:29 PM   #1
mordis
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long range rifle questions

Now, i know that i am a member of the long range hunting forums, but i felt the need to ask this here. Every one there has "magnumitis" and "wildcatitis" and i am in no mood to deal with either of those types of cartridges.

My question is, with the typical and most popular non magnum hunting rounds i.e 30.06, .308, 7mm-08, 270winchester and ect ect ect can someone reach out and kill game animals out to 1000 yards? On the long range forums, i see the question about what cartridge for 1k elk. My question is, what is the minimum amount of ftlbs needed to kill a elk?

Taking the 30.06 into account it makes about 600ftlbs at 1k yards. I would imagine that this would be enough(with proper shot placement of course and a decent rifle and scope) for large deer sized animals but not elk sized.
I figured a minimum ftlbs approach would help me and others make caliber selections with out having to resort to magnums

I firmly believe that having magnum power does not make up for poor marksmanship. I just dont beleive that one should need a magnum if they can put the bullet were it belongs. Tho I wonder if there is a cut off, a line that cant be crossed so that the animal can be humanely put down.
So assuming the shooter and gun are up to the task, both equipment quality and shooter skill, what other non magnums can be used to shoot out that far on elk sized game.

If the .308 can kill humans out to 800+yards, and we humans have a weight range of between 100-300lbs, then why wouldnt it work on deer sized or slightly larger at those distances.
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:00 PM   #2
tuck2
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Take a look at wind drift of various bullets and there B.C.--Hunting rights should be taken away from any one taking a shot at an elk at 1000 yards...
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:29 PM   #3
Darren007
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Quote:
.--Hunting rights should be taken away from any one taking a shot at an elk at 1000 yards...

+1000!!!....I agree 150%!!!

I would even go so far as to say most hunters should stay within 200 yards but since I'll probably get flamed for having said it, I'll add that, it is just my opinion.
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:48 PM   #4
sneaky pete
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Looks good on paper but not paractically!

Old Sneeaky here: Went to eskimo ballistics site and ran numbers using 5mph wind--.308--168gr MK@2800fps==51.6"(4.9moa)wind--end-vel=1200fps, mach1.049, energy=537F/P----.270 Win.-Nosler 150gr partition@2950fps--47.4"(4.5moa)wind--end -vel=1279fps, mach#1.118, energy 544P/F----6.5 Swed(my favorite)--139gr Scenar @2800fps--32.5 (3.1moa)wind--end vel=1560fr,Mach#1.363, energy 750.5 F/P. I won't take the shot--wind's too unperdictable--Shootin at a person that can shoot back and wounding him--who cares--he's the enemy But shootin at a criter that's eats and only wounding it --well better git on your bicycle and track that sucker down and finish the job.--THANX--SNEAKY
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Old June 5, 2008, 07:43 PM   #5
mordis
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Wow wasnt expecting the vitriol against it. Long range hunting must be gaining in popularity, seeing as i have seen several magazine articles on it, and the member list on the forums are growing daily. Heck all one has to do is do a youtube search for long range hunting and youll see videos of people making one shot kills on elks and deers out past 1100yards and more.. Besides, if you dont plan on shooting game past 200 yards then why use anything other then a 30-30??

The reason i want to try it, is i believe it takes more skill to shoot at those distances accurately and wish to begin testing my abilities.

I regret asking here now, i was hoping for more then the standard get the super boomer magnum stuff i see elsewere. Now im not advocating everyone try it, only those who have the experiance doping wind and range and what not. As of right now i cant shoot past 600yards anyways(on targets that is, ringing the 10"x10" gong at 600yards is fun)
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Old June 5, 2008, 08:25 PM   #6
Jimro
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Long range sport hunting is unethical.

But if you must do it find a caliber that can deliver 1,000 ft/lbs of energy or more at that range. That means a magnum of some sort.

If you are really serious about potentially wasting over a quarter ton of meat on the hoof with a bad shot just so you can "test yourself" then look at the Weatherby and Remington Ultra Magnum line of cartridges as well as the 338 Lapua.

Killing a bad guy at extended ranges is one thing, you don't care about suffering or butchering the meat. The "ethics" of Sniping are not applicable to "long range hunting". Nor are the ethics of long range varminting applicable.

That 10"x10" gong is 1.66 MOA. That equates to a 16" circle at 1k, which is 25% larger than the accepted vitals area of an elk. Hunting isn't just about can you hit it and kill it.

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Old June 5, 2008, 09:30 PM   #7
taylorce1
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Here we go again! Is long range “Hunting” ethical or not? It is legal, and I’m happy that it is. Now before I get flamed, tell me how you would enforce ban on this practice? Hire more game wardens so they can go hunting with you and determine what shots as hunters we can and can not take? Ethics plain and simple are morals, and can you live with the consequences of what will happen if things go wrong.

TV shows like “Beyond Belief” never show the missed shots or the animal that is only wounded. They only show the shots that make the extraordinary kill (DRT) and make us believe that we all can do it as well. What they don’t show you as well is the amount of hours and money spent for the kind of practice that is needed to become proficient at shooting targets at 700-1000 yards. How many hundreds possibly thousands of rounds they shoot down range at paper, or how many barrels they change out on their rifles a year.

I say hope for the best but expect the worst when hunting. Prepare for it as well, that means learning to shoot on the edge of your comfort zone. I practice out to 400 yards quite often as I have the space to do so, don't expect to zero at 100 yards over a chrony and work up the bullet drop on a ballistics calculator and be able to walk out there with a range finder and make the shot. Some loads that are sub MOA don't stay that way past 2-300 yards so you have to find a load that will stay sub MOA at 1000 if you expect to be successful.

Now I’ve only killed one animal at what I would consider an extreme range for me and that was a mule deer at somewhere in the neighborhood of 560-580 yards, that was as close as my range finder would tell me. I made the shot as well before I even ranged it (left the range finder in the truck) so I got extremely lucky. I was guessing around 450 when I took the first shot and missed, so I elevated and killed the deer with my second shot. I shot this deer with a .270 Win 130 grain Sierra BTSP loaded to the high side of 3100 fps, this load shoots extremely well for me but at that range it barely worked on my deer. I did get a complete pass through the rib cage in the lower 1/3, which is where I wanted the bullet to go but judging by both entrance and exit wounds the bullet barely expanded.

Until that deer my longest shot on big game was a cow elk taken at 250 yards, again with the .270 Win but 150 grain Nosler Partition. No, I don’t think hunting should be limited to a 200 yard or less shot. Simply because not everyone hunts the same environment, here in Colorado a 400 yard shot can be just about as common as a 50 yard shot. I do however believe that every attempt should be made to get as close as possible to your intended game animal.

I like to get close because it allows me to better judge the animal, as well as add to the thrill of the hunt. I like to pit my stalking skills against my game, that is why I like to hunt on the ground. To me there is not much difference in sitting in a blind or tree stand and waiting for an animal to walk by or taking a long range shot at your game. To me you take the stalk (pursuit) out of the hunt regardless of range you are still only target shooting. I realize as well that I would probably have to change my hunting style were I to move to other parts of the country or give up hunting all together if I didn’t find it to my liking.

Here is the standards that Colorado requires for center fire rifles:
Quote:
1. CENTERFIRE RIFLES
a. Must be min. .24 caliber (6 mm).
b. Must have min. a 16-inch barrel and be at least 26 inches long.
c. If semiautomatic, they can hold max. of 6 rounds in the magazine and
chamber combined.
d. Must use expanding bullets that weigh min. 70 grains for deer, pronghorn
and bear, 85 grains for elk and moose, and have an impact energy (at
100 yds.) of 1,000-ft. pounds as rated by manufacturer.
e. It is illegal to hunt game birds, small game mammals or furbearers with
a centerfire rifle larger than .23 caliber during regular rifle deer and elk seasons West of I-25, without an unfilled deer or elk license for the season. A
small game license is required.
So if you stick with the 1000 ft-lb figure you can see why the long range hunters have Magnum and Wildcat “ITIS”. So if you aren’t prepared to make that kind of investment to do this kind of hunting you should probably stay out of it. Can elk be killed with less energy than that, sure but it is hard to argue with the more is better theory. A lot of people like to stay above 1500 ft-lb of energy on elk rifles, I don’t agree with that figure but I don’t agree always with using the least powerful rifle either.
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Old June 5, 2008, 10:45 PM   #8
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Legality does not equal ethical behavior.

Abortion is legal. Euthanasia is illegal. Both are killing human life for convenience. (there are exceptions to both depending on geography) If you don't like that comparison pick your contradictory laws of choice.

Having freedom means that it will get abused from time to time. It wouldn't be freedom any other way.

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Old June 5, 2008, 10:48 PM   #9
Ruger4570
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I have never met an Elk I had to shoot at 1000 yards. Even with my very limited skills, I have not seen one I couldn't get within 200 yards or closer of. Shooting a living, breathing animal at 1,000 yards is a travasty. If you are so shallow of a person or so unskilled as to not find the way to get closer, well, you shouldn't be hunting.
I really don't care if you can hit a paper cup at 1,000 yards, ethical says you have no right in even be taking the chance of a wounded Elk.
1,000 yards, that is well more than half a mile away. I would like to see where you hunt where that is your ONLY chance to tag an Elk is that far away. I have never seen a place like that and I have shot my fair share of Elk all over Arizona and Colorado.
I will say, a hunter like you,,I need to rephrase that, you are NOT a hunter, you are an experimenter, would never be welcome in our camp with REAL hunters.
They will crawl on their bellies for 100's of yards to get close to their quarry for a sure kill, not a wound and the ability to brag about a 1,000 yard shot and leaving out the details about missing or wounding.
I hate to rant like this, but you really got me steamed and I just wanted you to know, there are HUNTERS out there, not Experimenters and Idiots like you...

Last edited by Ruger4570; June 5, 2008 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Spelling and to add some more insults to a person that should not be allowed to hunt
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Old June 5, 2008, 10:50 PM   #10
Zak Smith
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I stand a better chance of making a first-round hit on a 12" target at 800 yards than most hunters I see doing their yearly sight-in at the range at 250 yards. Whose shot would be more ethical?

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Old June 5, 2008, 10:51 PM   #11
fisherman66
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I'd never call shooting an animal at 1000 yards hunting, but I will defend your right to do so.

A 400 yard shot/clean kill is in excess of what 9 out of 10 of hunters are capable of doing.

Wounded game literally makes me sick.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:15 PM   #12
Ruger4570
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Please explain to me why you CAN'T get closer to an Elk than 200 yards. I have actually walked up on a few at 75 yards. Man, I sure am glad you guys have Grocery stores nearby to get your food and don't have to use muzzle loaders.
Hell, screw the Elk, leave them wounded, crippled, bleeding and dying slowly as long as you get your jollies off shooting them at LONG range when with some effort you COULD get closer if you got off your dead azzes and HUNTED.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:28 PM   #13
Darren007
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Quote:
Please explain to me why you CAN'T get closer to an Elk than 200 yards. I have actually walked up on a few at 75 yards. Man, I sure am glad you guys have Grocery stores nearby to get your food and don't have to use muzzle loaders.

I have to agree again. Most elk and deer i've taken were between 75-125 yards. I've had elk walk past me at 20 yards, look at me, and keep walking like I wasnt even there. I dont wear any form of camouflage, have never touched a drop of doe pee and rarely use a game call.

Maybe they just like me...
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:29 PM   #14
HOGGHEAD
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Long Range Shots

Mordis, I am with you on this one. Lots of negatives here.

I have respect for a person who buys the proper equipment and practices, and has the abilty to make long range shots. More respect than the average guy that says "Gee I do not know har far he is, I will just hold over his back". And tell me you have not heard that before!!

I am a handicapped hunter who has difficulty getting close. So I have had to resort to long range hunting. For me long range is out to 600 or 700 yards-depending on weather conditions. I am not confident out to 1,000 yards, but with time and practice I am sure I coud master it.

I will be perfectly honest with you. IMO a well thought out 600 yard shot is more ethical than a guy throwng lead at a running elk in the timber.

Every one agrees that closing the distance is the proper thing to do, I do agree with that. But to say that a hunter is unethical(as long as he has the ability) for taking a long shot-well to me that is just wrong.

I can promise you one thing. If most hunters had to take a competancy test with their rifle before they were allowed to hunt big game, there would be a lot less hunters in the woods. Tom.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:37 PM   #15
Darren007
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Quote:
I can promise you one thing. If most hunters had to take a competancy test with their rifle before they were allowed to hunt big game, there would be a lot less hunters in the woods. Tom.

Agreed. My arguement comes from the fact that most if not all hunters I've met can barely hit game at +300 yards and even have some difficulty at 200. Im not saying no one can actually do it. Im just saying the majority of hunters out there are incapable of doing it but they still try and that is wrong. Know your limitations!!! Buying a magnum rifle only increases your range if you know how to and are experianced at shooting at extended ranges.
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:09 AM   #16
Ruger4570
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Hogg, You may be one of the few exceptions, but again, I have been to WV many times and it is pretty hard to FIND a 700 yard shot from what I have seen in general with the woods you have.
I had a hard time finding a shot I would take that long in the desserts of AZ, and the view usually is miles long.
To me, hunting is not about how FAR you can kill a deer or Elk or whatever, it is about doing it cleanly and quickly. Damn few hunters posses the skills for a long range shot, regardless of what THEY think of their abilities.
I am sorry if I offend you, but in my lifetime, I have had much more game nearby and never had the desire to try to shoot them long range.
Like for why? You are starving and you must have the meat? If so, shoot away.
Most every person I have EVER met that made a long range shot couldn't wait to tell and brag the story over and over and over again.
Sorry men, but in my opinion, if you can't get within 200 yards, prefferably less, you should just take up target shooting and quit wounding real living breathing animals.
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:21 AM   #17
dmazur
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I had a heavy-barrel .30-06 put together for what I consider long range (which is around 300 yds max) and I'm getting pretty good with it.

The guys that are preaching the virtues of the custom calibers are trying to get as flat a ballistics as they can, using a heavy bullet with a high BC. They're also trying to minimize wind drift effects as much as possible.

Even so, if you read (and understand) the long range hunting technique, it's about developing the ability the read the wind, get the range and then make the shot.

All three of these take considerable time to develop the skills necessary, (except rangefinding with a laser...) and the guys that are really good at it are ex Marine snipers and the like.

So, I'm not against the idea of long range hunting. I believe there is an additional responsibility that goes with it that many "participants" just aren't going to want to assume. Too much of an investment in time and money. I guess that makes me against long range hunting done poorly.

So, IMO, if you've got a 1MOA .30-06 or suchlike, "dabble" in long range hunting. Just pick a range reasonable for your skills and equipment.
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:35 AM   #18
Ruger4570
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Maybe just get yourself a 12" steel gong to shoot at as oposed to a real live animal. Leave the Hunting to Hunters that have respect for the animals they intend to shoot at.
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:52 AM   #19
HOGGHEAD
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Long Range

You are right about West Virginia. And you are also right about getting closer. No argument from me on that one. All I am trying to say is that there are shooter's who spend a lot of time, and money to hone their long distance skills, I am not one of them. To me a 1,000 yard shot is unthinkable also. But maybe someday I will master the distance(if it is possible). I am only defending these few. You guys are correct, the vast majoritry can not do it.

There is one thing I can assure you of. My goal is always a clean, ethical, one shot kill. I will not lie and say that I have not made some bad shots, but I will say that they made me sick to my stomach.

Below is a picture of one of my spots that I set up to hunt. Tom.

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Old June 6, 2008, 01:07 AM   #20
taylorce1
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Quote:
I have never met an Elk I had to shoot at 1000 yards. Even with my very limited skills, I have not seen one I couldn't get within 200 yards or closer of.
I've seen quite a few elk that I couldn't close the gap on, but I wouldn't personally take a 1000 yard shot at one either. Elk are not the easiest things to get close too especially when they have already been chased for a couple of seasons. The deer I shot at over 500 there was no way to close the gap without losing the deer. Should I have let him go probably, but I didn't and I can live with that.

Quote:
Legality does not equal ethical behavior.
I totally agree but how do you enforce ethics without making it a law? What is your solution to long range hunting? If it bothers you that bad, do something about it, do something to make people change their way of thinking.

Quote:
I stand a better chance of making a first-round hit on a 12" target at 800 yards than most hunters I see doing their yearly sight-in at the range at 250 yards. Whose shot would be more ethical?
Personally I've never seen Zak shoot targets, but I know a couple of people who have, and I'll take their word on his shooting ability. He has spent the time and the money to learn the ability to shoot at extended ranges. I believe him when he says he could be an ethical hunter at 800 yards. I don't see where having that kind of ability is any less respectful to the animal than any other hunter.

Quote:
I can promise you one thing. If most hunters had to take a competancy test with their rifle before they were allowed to hunt big game, there would be a lot less hunters in the woods.
I agree again but how is this going to stop long range hunting? So you past the animal recognition test so you can tell the difference between black and grizzly bear, mule and whitetail deer, moose and elk, next the shooting test and you pass that as well. What is to stop the competent people from shooting at 1000 yards?

I would like to believe that most of us here are not the average hunter. We spend 8-9 months out of the year honing our skills getting ready for 3-4 months of hunting. We like to go out and test our skills on something other than gongs and paper. Why is it any different for the guys who shoot long range? Don't you think they want to test their skills as well?
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Old June 6, 2008, 01:15 AM   #21
taylorce1
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Deer and elk are most active at dusk and dawn, luckily these pronghorn we had time to set up the stalk because we have all day. But tell me how you would get closer to a deer in the last 15-30 min of legal light in this terrain? This is the stuff I hunt in for deer and pronghorn, that is why I practice at ranges out to 400 yards.
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Old June 6, 2008, 01:24 AM   #22
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Mordis,

You sure stirred up the internet want to be experts, thought police and self-proclaimed ethics controllers!!!

This backwards mentality is NO DIFFERENT than someone who doesn't want anyone to hunt at any range.

I'd NEVER shoot game at 1000 yards but will not condemn you for wanting to try.

If you have the rifle/optics/cartridge combination that is capable of sufficient accuracy that delivers adequate energy and you are willing to spend the time and resources required to develop the skill to make such a shot, DO IT.

Those that can't make that type of shot know THEIR lack of ability. Don't try to limit someone WITH the ability.

If YOU think 100 yards or 200 yards or whatever range YOU want to limit YOURSELF to is "ethical" that is fine for YOU. YOU need to limit YOURSELF, NOT anyone else. Those are YOUR "ethics" NOT MINE, Mordis' OR ANYONE ELSE'S ethics.


Unless you are shooting game at the muzzle, FORGET about muzzle energy or muzzle velocity. You need to worry about energy and velocity at the range the game is at. What is needed is a cartridge that has enough muzzle energy and velocity so it still has adequate energy and velocity at extended range.

A better way...

Just use a cartridge that RETAINS velocity/energy better! This is where cartridges/calibers that use high BC and high SD bullets really shine. This is where the 6.5mm especially stands out.

C.
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Old June 6, 2008, 09:34 AM   #23
tyrajam
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When I think of long range hunting, I think of a 400 yard shot. Thats a freakin quarter of a mile! If you can ring a gong at twice that distance, from a bench, on a summer day with no wind, then you are a great shooter. But taking that shot on a blustery winter day off of shooting sticks or with your gun laid across your pack is a completely different animal.

Every summer I go to ND for a week of prarie dog shooting, and shoot 1000+ rounds at 200-500 yards. This is not only a fun way to practice, but also a humbling experience. A puff of swirling wind or a miss-estimate of only 50 yards, and I miss the long shots.

Maybe 1 in 1000 hunters has business taking a shot at 500+ yards. The problem is to many people think they are that 1. If you think you are, then try this. Get up at 4am, drink 4 cups of coffee, nd wearing all of your hunting clothes, hike a few miles through the woods and then pick a rock 500 yards across a field, drop down into a stable position and take the shot. If you can hit that consistently, I'd like to buy you a drink.

Thats my perspective, but I'm a hunter who shoots, not a shooter that hunts.
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Old June 6, 2008, 10:07 AM   #24
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The ethic is that you should never fire on at a range that you cannot hit the target consistantly under field conditions. Alot of people think that if they can hit on the range then they can do it in the field, t'ain't so.

In the field you are fireing one shot. With that shot you have to calculate bullet drop, wind, humidity, angle of fire and a little Coriolis effect. That's with no sighters and very little time. I read that as irresponcible on an animal. Alot of people have shot at 500yrds and done well, but 1000yrds is an entirely differant ball game. As far as the round, one of the important things is that the bullet remain super sonic all the way to the target. Funny stuff can happen to a bullet as in goes trans sonic.
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Old June 6, 2008, 10:12 AM   #25
milemission
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For any cartridge, even .50 BMG, 1000 yards is way too long to try on a healthy animal that does not pose a threat to you. The difference between 980 yards and 1000 yards can make the difference between a hit or a miss. And if you misjudge the wind only slightly, it's the same difference between a good lung shot, a gut shot animal, or best case, a complete miss. Besides, the remaining energy at such long range for most cartridges that aren't utterly overpowered for deer within 200 yards is trivial, and not enough to cleanly take the animal. And at such long range, such things as atmospheric pressure (elevation), cartridge temperature, air temperature, and a bazillion other things I can't think of come into play. Doping a .50 BMG at one mile in order to figure out point of impact involves running a 22 part equation through a scientific calculator. I am vehemently against using an animal as a guinea pig for such endeavors. The life of any animal is too precious for such asinine antics, and should be treated with the utmost respect and harvested in the most humane manner possible. You owe it to that animal.
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