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Old December 27, 2012, 01:02 AM   #26
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I think where it gets me is when the "noob" starts off with something in way of "I want to build a rifle for 1000 yard shooting--I think a 338 Lapua would be the ticket..." My first questions are always the same... OK, WHY? 3 out of 5 are convinced they need to build a $6k rifle tricked out just like the one on the new Ghost Recon game they've been playing, because it's what all the Black Ops teams use, etc... And then begins the discussion of how often they shoot otherwise, what ranges, rifles, etc... The whole concept takes a different light when the light comes on and they realize the toys aren't responsible for making the shot, and a LOT of work and time is involved. It's not meant to discourage anyone--I'm just not inclined to blow smoke that it's a piece of cake--line it up, range it, and let 'er rip! Nope, it just doesn't work that way.
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Old December 27, 2012, 04:31 PM   #27
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The "tools" do have a lot to do with success at longer ranges.
Not discounting trigger time and shooter skills by any means, but....

If a "new" shooter fully intends to shoot long range- and has the pocketbook to purchase the stick and optic, and a reloading setup to make it happen, more power to him. While most any stock factory rifle will hold minute of angle these days, equipment that's capable of half-minute or less is a big advantage at half a mile...

Buy once, cry once.

No reason to start with a .22 if you know you're gonna end up with a long-range rifle.

I know many will disagree, but my experience says otherwise. My younger son at 14 started with a .308 as his first rifle, and within 6 months was consistently hitting 10" steel at 600 yards with a bone stock Savage.

Not all shooters develop flinch when starting with a more powerful caliber.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:28 AM   #28
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This forum is very helpful and normally very tolerant for the noob and the not so noob. Personally if I were going to compete or shoot at 1000 yards or long ranges I would buy once, I'd look for advice on the best action, caliber, gunsmith etc from this forum. My uninformed opinion would be a fast, heavy bullet would perform best. In most of the rags, that points to 338 lapua or maybe even 50 bmg. It would be my first thought as well, and while I would be a relative noob (have shot 500yds many times many moons ago), I'm not a noob to shooting. This would be the place to start and I'd probably ask the same questions. A bit surprised at some comments. The noob only knows what he sees eithe in video games or on tv. How many of you have brought someone to the range to shoot a pistol for the first time? That can be the most humbling experience for a person, but I try to prepare them for how difficult it is. I don't want to discourage anyone from shooting.
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Old December 29, 2012, 09:42 AM   #29
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If my intention was to shoot long range and only long I would stay with my 7 rem mag but would switch to the 168 grain VLD bullets, I shoot 140 grain nosler accubonds or ballistic tips now and am confident with them out to 800 yards
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:25 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobnpr
The "tools" do have a lot to do with success at longer ranges.
It really depends on how you define "success".

The X-10 rings of a 1000 yard LR target is ~20 inches across, so in theory a 2 MOA rifle should be capable of cleaning it. If someone just wants to get their feet wet, they can probably use the hunting rifle they already own. At worst, they would probably need to buy is a tapered scope base to get enough elevation to get on target. The Leupold version is under $30.

I shot a 800 yard match with a Mosin 91/30, and my buddy used my K98k, both with surplus ammo. We challenged ourselves, and had a lot of fun.

That is how I define success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stmar
Personally if I were going to compete or shoot at 1000 yards or long ranges I would buy once, I'd look for advice on the best action, caliber, gunsmith etc from this forum. My uninformed opinion would be a fast, heavy bullet would perform best. In most of the rags, that points to 338 lapua or maybe even 50 bmg.
Sure, but the primary advantage is that they are better in the wind, which means that they only benefit when you get the wind call wrong. I worked these numbers up for a different discussion, so pardon the copy/paste, but they do demonstrate the concept:

When you call the wind is 60º at 8mph, but it is really 90º at 12, how bad do you miss?

At 1000 yards:

.308 Win, 190 SMK @ 2500 FPS your wind will be off by 4.8 MOA or 50 inches.
6.5-06 140 SMK @ 2900 FPS, your wind will be off by 3.9 MOA, or 40 inches.
.30-378 WbyMag, 240gr SMK @ 2900 FPS your wind will be off by 2.6 MOA, or 27 inches.
50 BMG, 750 AMAX @ 2600 FPS, your wind will be off by 1.7 MOA, or 18 inches.

So yes, when you screw up the wind call, you won't be as far off target with the better LR rounds, but at the expense of punishing recoil, short barrel life, and fully 2X the powder charge for the .30-378 or 5X for the .50 (not to mention $2 per bullet).

When you get the wind right though, the result is the same if you are using a .308 or a 50 BMG, a hit. A .308 is just fine for 1000 yards, and capable of farther.


And I would argue that someone starting out with a .308 (or the hunting rifle they already own) will get better faster than the guy starting out with a .338 EargasplittinLoudenboomer simply because of trigger time.

My favorite thread (the source of my copy/paste above) about this was from earlier this year, when the OP said he had a Remington 700 SPS Tactical in .308 but wanted to buy a rifle to try out long range shooting, then argued with everyone who told him to use his .308 because it wasn't good enough.
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Old December 29, 2012, 01:35 PM   #31
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Quote:
The X-10 rings of a 1000 yard LR target is ~20 inches across, so in theory a 2 MOA rifle should be capable of cleaning it.
"In theory", true...
But...
That means the dope must be absolutely perfect, the wind call precise (and in the real world, that's about impossible), and prefect aim/ form/trigger pull from the shooter- like it was locked in a vise...

This won't happen in the real world we shoot in.

I think anyone that tries to use hardware that is less than minute of angle capable is just setting themselves up for frustration based on the parameters you defined (hitting a 2 minute target at 1K)

There is always going to be shooter error, wind call errors, and inconsistency in bullet flight due to any number of factors including velocity, concentricity and neck tension.

The more accurate the hardware, the more leeway for all these "errors"- and still hit the target.

That's all I'm sayin'... It can be done, but more accurate hardware indisputably increases the odds of success.
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Old December 29, 2012, 06:37 PM   #32
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Let them ask, where and how else are they going to separate the chaff from the nuggets and get led to a more realistic goal if they can't get it from people who been there done that.

Most of us can't spend all day on the range waiting for new shooters with a burning desire to learn but we can be accessed here.
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Old December 29, 2012, 07:42 PM   #33
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Quote:
It can be done, but more accurate hardware indisputably increases the odds of success.
Again, it still boils down to how you define "success"
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Old December 30, 2012, 02:48 AM   #34
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My desire to try long range shooting stemmed from watching shows on the outdoor channel like 'The best of the west' with john burns, watching them guys make shots on big game out to and beyond 1000 yards was impressive to say the least, my friend even spent the 100.00 and bought the how to video from 'The best of the west' that IMO ws directed more toward advertisement for their products as well as their sponsors, they left a lot of key information out and we found out on our own at those ranges that it wasn't as easy as it looked on tv, made us both wonder how many botched up shots were edited and not aired? Hands on experience is where we learned what we know today, the high priced video did little to actually teach us. They never talked about the importance of knowing the elevation and power setting of the rifle scope changing impact and such, things we found to be very critical. I enjoy doing it but will first hand say from hands on experience I would be very hesitant to try such shots on big game at those distances. I can make shots on gallon jugs of water out to 800 yards with good consistency but everything has to be just right for it to work! To many variables come in to play when one has climbed all over the mountains and out of the comfort of a solid bench rest, not knowing true elevation, wind drift, barometric pressure etc. etc.
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:46 AM   #35
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Things a guy should always keep in mind if preparing to take a shot at those 1000 yrd ranges at an animal, all that animal has to do is take a step at the same time you break the shot, if shooting for behind the front shoulder or the shoulder you just hit that animal in the guts or hind end, I have hunted avidly all my life and observed deer, elk, bear, and moose behavior for many years, when they are feeding across a hillside they move unpredictably and that's all it would take to make a really bad shot on an animal at those ultra long ranges is for one to 'STEP OUT OF THE SHOT' a bedded animal would be a much better way to go. We as hunters owe it to the animals we pursue to put them down and out as slick and clean as possible. I really enjoy the sport of long range shooting and can see myself getting more and more involved in it, and spending lots more money . I will continue to shoot targets, jugs of water, gongs and such at those ultra long ranges, and keep my long range big game hunting at 400 and under. There are to many tv programs out there pushing long range hunting IMO
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Old December 30, 2012, 08:24 AM   #36
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I came on here asking about accurate shooting. Got great advice. Now I wasn't even talking about shooting 1000 yards because I don't have a local range that goes out that far, nor would I feel safe shooting that far. Without forums like this where the novice and the wise can meet and talk, I think the world would be a sadder place. Making decisions based on a gathering of knowledge is always a good thing. Helping out someone who doesn't have a father to help or a friend should make you guys feel pretty good. Be proud that you can help people aim in the right direction.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:43 AM   #37
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I think it was late 60's maybe early 70's was big write up in one of the gun rags about Fred Huntington (RCBS) wildcat 30-338mag taking elk at 1000yds. I'd read that article had to one and we had few local gunsmith stopped in to get a price on one cost was just short of down payment on house got quote on custom action..

I'm a groups shooter and you have group rifles getting 10 shots under 3" at 1000yds and were getting better LR hunting bullets. I'm not much into the hunting show as most are guide hunts and the so called hunter doesn't hunt he just set up for the shot and it's done.

When I had my first 30-338mag build mid 80's I'd talked to Fred Jr and they still had and hunted with that 30-338mag.

Here in Co it's always been the law you shoot and you think you missed you better go check may sure yardage has nothing to do with that law. what bother me the most is the short yardage ethical hunters that shoot into a herd of elk thinking they miss won't bother walking over see if any blood as the elk move further away then they start dropping. Worst case of that happening was 5 dead elk cost them guys their hunting rights.

Worst we ever had here was 4pt or better on mulie it got stopped pretty quick as the ethical hunter local and non resident didn't take the time to count pts before shooting or turn themselves in take the fine and bring deer in. What they do here before tags are issued they do a herd count and the ratio of bucks to does was down most herds didn't take them long to figure out why.

I think what happens lot is some read post about LR shooting and some are site experts and 308 has long history @ 1000yd match shooting. It's never been a LR hunting rd and all they hear is the ballistic it's not hunting ballistic maybe a warning should be include.
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Old December 30, 2012, 11:19 AM   #38
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Twice, I've been squadded with a new shooter having his first time on the 1000 yard line in a prone match. Both times I let him use my rifle and ammo. After a two minute lesson on how to hold the rifle in prone, squeeze the trigger so the scope's crosshairs wiggle inside the X ring and don't jump out of it when he dry fires the rifle, they've shot scores in the mid to high 190's out of 200. They did what they learned how to do. One of 'em secretly got a couple of Sierra 190's and a fired .30-.338 case from my wife and made a fancy belt buckle with them which he gave me as a "thanks for the help" gift at the next match.

Both had no pre-concieved notions about how to shoot accurate. Same as most of the Plebes (freshmen) at the US Naval Academy when the USN Rifle Team trained them one summer in rifle shooting and marksmanship. Ignorance is bliss in the shooting sports; those smart but ignorant will grasp the correct concepts and techniques much, much faster than the n'er-do-well know-it-all's that permeate the shooting sports.
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Old December 30, 2012, 12:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
Things a guy should always keep in mind if preparing to take a shot at those 1000 yrd ranges at an animal, all that animal has to do is take a step at the same time you break the shot, if shooting for behind the front shoulder or the shoulder you just hit that animal in the guts or hind end,
Not to mention the slew of other variables.

Hitting a target at 1000 yards on a surveyed range with wind flags is one thing, but generally not beyond the capabilities of most shooters with a little instruction and practice.

Hitting a game animal is completely different, because the range will be variable. If your range call is off by 25 yards, your elevation will be off by a foot even with an excellent LR round, the 338 Lapua. As I mentioned above, getting the wind call slightly wrong at that range will put you off a foot or more.

Hunting you don't get wind flags. You don't have a data book with your sight settings from the last time you were there. You don't get sighters. You don't generally get a coach.

Shooting at game at those ranges is unethical.
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Old December 30, 2012, 01:43 PM   #40
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emcon5, there is lots of reason hunting short or long yardage not to take a shot for any number of reason that can be called unethical. does it bother you as much if short yardage shot may be unethical.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you I've passed on more short yardage shots than I have on LR hunting deer/elk. You are right on LR yardage and effect it has but it will also happen at short yardage. Bad shot is a bad shot doesn't matter which yardage and one you never want to happen.
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:26 PM   #41
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The chances of making a bad shot at 1000 yrds is FAR and away more likely than 100 yards!!! Sure you got guys that make horrible shots at 5 yards in front of there face and those guys are always gonna be out there, but a good solid shooter and I don't give a ratts --- what rank he is or whatever is more likely to screw up and make a bad shot at 1000 yards vs 100 yards! PLAIN AND SIMPLE
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:36 PM   #42
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I've heard and read this for decades:
Quote:
The X-10 rings of a 1000 yard LR target is ~20 inches across, so in theory a 2 MOA rifle should be capable of cleaning it.
True, but only when shot in an indoor range where there are absolutely no wind currents and the rifle's held by a 3-point supported free recoiling cradle in a machine rest.

In the real world, here's what happens.

If one gets a rifle and ammo that shoots no worse than 5/8 MOA at 1000 when machine-rest tested, that's a good start for the first one-third of the game.

We all have a beating heart to keep our eyes working well but that blood swelling our muscles attached to our 3-point suspension system slung up in prone (both elbows and one side of the rib cage) tend to wiggle it. That bounces our holding area on the target. The best folks shooting top scores will keep that bounce or wobble area inside a 5/8 MOA circle.

After taking three deep breaths and exhaling them (hyperventilating) to where half the last one's let out, we hold that wobble area while "thinkiing" the trigger back to fire the shot; with training we can fire that shot decently inside that wobble area. The round fires and the bullet starts down the barrel. So all of this adds another 3/8 to 1/2 MOA to what the rifle and ammo does.

Now we gotta hold perfectly still until the bullet leaves the barrel. Meanwhile, our body's not gonna be holding that rifle exactly the same way for each shot. The resistance it presents to the recoiling rifle ends up making the muzzle point to different places for each shot. And this adds another 3/8 to 1/2 MOA to what the system's accuracy and holding errors add up to.

Few of us can judge wind to no worse than about 1/2 to 3/4 MOA perfection. And we won't see those subtle wind currents that ever so slightly change the wrinkling mirage (heat waves) moving across our scope's field of view. This can make another 1/2 MOA or more addition to the ones mentioned earlier.

So we throw parties if we keep all our shots with a 5/8 MOA rifle and ammo package inside 2-1/2 MOA at 1000 yards. The 10-ring's 20 inches. Inside it's the X-ring at 10 inches. And the 30-inch 9-ring encircles them. They're centered in the 44-inch black 8-ring that's the aiming bullseye.

20-shot scope sight record's 200-19X.

20-shot metallic sight record's 200-17-X. Most matches are won with a 198-14X or better in average range conditions.
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Old December 30, 2012, 07:57 PM   #43
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Good summary Bart, thx
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Old December 30, 2012, 09:08 PM   #44
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Yeah, I love going to the range and irritating them. 7k in equipment and cant hit crap.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:02 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B
True, but only when shot in an indoor range where there are absolutely no wind currents and the rifle's held by a 3-point supported free recoiling cradle in a machine rest.

In the real world, here's what happens.
Again, it depends on what your goal is, or how you define "success".

I agree nobody is going to set a world record with a 2 MOA rifle, then again I never made that claim. You are pretty unlikely to shoot top score of a match, but there is more to LR shooting than winning. When I competed, I never had any illusions of doing so, nor was it my goal. I wanted to challenge myself, improve my scores, and have fun.

There are those that think that you cannot take a shot at 1000 yards without dropping a few grand on a custom LR rig. I am saying that is nonsense. An modern off the shelf .308 rifle from a big-box store, with quality match ammo or good handloads should be capable of cleaning a 1000 yard target.

I am not talking about wind, I am not talking about the shooters hold, I am just talking about the rifle, from a pure accuracy standpoint.

It is not a guarantee by any means (nor is a $5K custom rig), but it will shoot better than most beginning shooters, and probably will for some time.

Most deer hunters probably already have a rifle capable of doing so in the closet. It might not be the best option, but pretty much any centerfire rifle larger than .243 is up to the task (with some obvious exceptions, 30-30, etc). All that is really needed is a tapered scope base to get the scope on target, and you can get that for under $50.

Again, not ideal. Not perfect. But adequate for someone to dip their toe in the deep end of the pool that is LR shooting.

The money not spent on a custom rifle buys a lot of ammo for practice and hopefully coaching. And if you find you don't care for it, you are not out the cost of a custom rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old roper
does it bother you as much if short yardage shot may be unethical.
Of course. Slob hunters will always be out there, but that doesn't mean we need to encourage more of them, because they saw some assclown shoot an elk at 1000 yards on YouTube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by old roper
I'm not trying to pick a fight with you I've passed on more short yardage shots than I have on LR hunting deer/elk. You are right on LR yardage and effect it has but it will also happen at short yardage. Bad shot is a bad shot doesn't matter which yardage and one you never want to happen.
Getting the range call on a ~1000 yard animal off by 2.5% will make one of the the best LR cartridges (338 Lapua) off by a foot of elevation. Getting the range wrong by 2.5% on a ~200 yard target will put your elevation off with the same cartridge by less than a quarter inch.

Getting the wind wrong by the same 2.5% (10 mpg to 12.5 mph full value) on a ~1000 yard animal with the same cartridge, your will be off by about a foot. With a 200 yard animal you will miss your point of aim by about a half inch.

Bart is one of the most experienced LR shooters on the forum, he just said they "throw parties" if they keep all their shots inside 25 inches at 1000 yards. He did not mention, that this is at a relatively flat, surveyed range, with sighters, corrections made shot to shot, wind flags, a known distance, and a logbook showing their sight settings from the last time they shot there.

Hunters don't generally have such luxuries. You need a first shot, cold barrel hit on a ~12-18" circle at unknown ranges, probably from an improvised position (prone with a bipod if you are lucky). This is not even addressing other variables like terrain and it's effects on wind, elevation/density altitude and it's effect on trajectory, slope to target, etc.

Very few people have any business shooting at game at those ranges, and if you need to ask on an internet forum about it, you ain't one of them.
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:30 PM   #46
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VERY WELL SAID emcon5!!
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Old December 30, 2012, 10:36 PM   #47
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At our last 1Kmatch, best group was 5.something inches. It was shot with a .284 Winchester built on a Savage action that is at least 35 years old. The barrel cost less than $400 and the shooter fit it himself to the rifle. He also did his own trigger job and bedding work. By todays standards, most would laugh at it and label it "JUNK." It outshot the 5,6,7K rifles.
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Old December 31, 2012, 07:47 AM   #48
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I fall under the "had little experience" catagory. I had a .22 rifle and had done 200 yards with it and wanted to see if I could do further out. I'll admit seeing the snipers with Rem 700 308's probably majorly influenced my rifle buying choice. When it came time for a new stock and scope I talked to folks on another forum who knew their stuff. So I ended up with a HS Precision stock and damned if it didn't tighten up my groups. Choosing a scope was a 3 month endeavor. After looking at a ton of scopes, reading reviews and learning about features were and more specifically what features I needed to accomplish what I was trying to I finally settled on a Nightforce. I wasn't trying to be part of the tacticool crowd, I wanted a solid reliable scope that was capable. I have since learned a bunch about longer range shooting.

I saw another post about saying something to the effect of why get a .22 when you are going to end up with a long range rifle. I'd say get a .22 to learn the fundamentals, once you've gotten those down, move up to the bigger rifle. You can learn about bullet drop, wind, scope adjustments for pennies a shot instead of whatever higher powered ammo might cost.
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Old December 31, 2012, 09:59 AM   #49
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Shooting long range is a lot easier with a bipod and sand sock using a properly zeroed scope than it is with irons and a sling.

Once the bipod and sand sock have eliminated the effect of the shooters heartbeat on the rifle, it is a simple matter of squeezing the trigger. Much less to worry about compared shooting with a sling.

This is why F Class scoring rings are smaller than High Power scoring rings.

The video game crowd is a lot more familiar with "sniper" style rifles than Palma style rifles, so that is where the love affair with the 338 Lapua comes into play. This may have something to do with why F Class matches have gained so much popularity in recent years. Can't say for sure though.

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Old December 31, 2012, 10:05 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryogenic419
I saw another post about saying something to the effect of why get a .22 when you are going to end up with a long range rifle. I'd say get a .22 to learn the fundamentals, once you've gotten those down, move up to the bigger rifle. You can learn about bullet drop, wind, scope adjustments for pennies a shot instead of whatever higher powered ammo might cost.
All that's true, and I believe that every rifleman should own at least one good .22. It's inexpensive practice, all the fundamentals apply, and it just a lot of fun. There is a whole lot to like in a good, accurate .22 rifle.
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