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Old March 10, 2013, 07:42 PM   #1
WWWJD
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Humbled today by 400 yards

and a 12mph tail wind. Set up an 8" gong at 400 yards, and was shooting out of the back of a pick up truck on the family farm. My goodness. The wind. It was actually variable between about 5 and 15, and zero and 3/4 value. Pretty much the windiest condition I've ever shot in over the last two years of playing around with the rifle past 200 yards.

I hit it twice... out of 10 attempts. Shooting some new hand loads in my .308, I may need to double check those at the range; only shot them at 100 yards so far (they were shooting 1/2moa at 100). They may be getting wonky on me out past a couple hundred yards. At least.. that's what my pride would like to believe! I had 1.6 mil elevation dialed; it seemed good, but I kept missing left to right. And here I thought I could shoot. Geeze.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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Wind can be tough. Gives me fits at times.
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Old March 10, 2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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The wind will also rock your truck, your firing platform. You have done better from a more stable rest. Prone would have been better than your truck bed IMO. I have experienced the same thing in higher winds, I invested in a tactical shooting bench, it seems to be an improvement
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Old March 10, 2013, 09:04 PM   #4
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Humbled today by 400 yards

I was prone in the bed of the truck. Does that count? . I didn't notice any movement when on target. I suppose it wasn't the best setup though. Grass was too tall to use the ground.
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Old March 10, 2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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Back on my soap box. Now you know why I am opposed to the current trend to show hunters taking unnecessarily long shots at game in hunting videos. Except for the few who have practiced and learned this skill, it is irresponsible for most hunters. I am glad you chose to practice on gongs. Long range shooting can be a lot of fun so long as what you are shooting at is not live. Too many hunters think if they buy one of the new wonder scopes, sight in at a hundred yards, and have a range finder, they are set to shoot deer at 800 yards. Now you remind us it isn't so easy. Thanks for being so candid.
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Old March 10, 2013, 10:45 PM   #6
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I'm happy to see that more people are taking shots at ranges just beyond their comfort zone. I hope this will not stop you from doing so in the future. I have to agree that a pickup isn't the best platform to shoot from. Even at 300yds the slightest sway could throw a shot, whether you notice the movement or not. I'm curious as to what kind of reticle you are using in what kind of scope(just out of curiosity). But, if I may, I suggest taking a spotter with you. This can give you some mental notes as to where your rounds land in certain variables(i.e. wind, range, and elevation). Don't give up, wind irritates the most experienced shooters, so it's easy to get frustrated.
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Old March 10, 2013, 11:40 PM   #7
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nice shooting. my last long range shooting at 450 was pretty decent. I am just learning the .308. At 450 yards the wind was pushing 1.5 mils, what is that 18"? it's fun shooting long ranges. Anyone can hit a target at 100.
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Old March 10, 2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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Old March 11, 2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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i was listning to a man at a local gun shop telling a few people he could hit a quarter at 800yds with his wisbang .223 ar-15, i said i,ll bet you 100.00 a shot for 10 shots. you get 100.00 every time you hit it and i get 100.00 every time you miss. he did not take the bet. eastbank.
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Old March 11, 2013, 04:45 AM   #10
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Good bet eastbang! I hear this too much. I usually just ignore them, but hopefully the bey would shut the guy up and make him think about his words a bit. Maybe he should have said. . .I once hit a quarter sized object at 800 yards, but it was the luckiest shot I ever made!

BTW. . .OP, good shooting. If you lay on the ground and figure out how to shoot into the wind a bit, you will make more hits!
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Old March 11, 2013, 06:42 AM   #11
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I would loose the 308 and pick up a 7mm rem. mag for over 300yrds. I know the 308 will do it but the 7 will do it better, IMO.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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We all get humbled at the range now and then, that is what keeps us going back! You are learning that reading the wind is as much an art as a science since it is not a constant. Did you have flags set up?
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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Quote:
Grass was too tall to use the ground.
I almost never practice in the prone for this reason (I'm a hunter, not a competition shooter)...... a sitting position with a 1907 sling is much more useful in most situations for me. I also use the "squat" or "rice paddy prone" quite a bit- it works pretty well if you are wearing good boots and have the sling on.

Quote:
I would loose the 308 and pick up a 7mm rem. mag for over 300yrds. I know the 308 will do it but the 7 will do it better, IMO.
Not for very long (barrel life) .... and frequent extended practice will smite your wallet and induce a flinch when thinking about practicing.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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In my case, 200 yards is my limit for shooting at game, with any rifle. I am not experienced at shooting any further than that.

I once did well at 300 yards with a TC Contender pistol shooting .357 magnum - but that was shooting at a folded newspaper on a hillside.

Several of my rifles will shoot accurately, considerably farther off than I can.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:51 AM   #15
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A friend took some enthusiastic successful deer hunters out on his acreage with laser ranged targets. They had very optimistic ideas about the ranges of their past kills and their future capabilities. All were out of gas by 300 metres*, many well before. Some had best stick to 200 yards... which typically looked like 400 to their naked eyes.

I don't think I could make a sure shot that far except with a solid position, rangefinder and sight dope approaching target range conditions.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:33 AM   #16
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Jim, as far as large game hunting, 400 is not too bad with the right set up. In my opinion, too much emphasis is now being placed on ballistic reticle, mil dots, etc. etc. Past 400, all that is wonderful to have. Inside 400, its totally unnecessary. Point blank range works just fine inside 400. My typical recipe for zeroing my 400 yard (Just so happens my field I normally hunt is 397 yards long) rifle is 1/2 inch high at 200. Its not a true point blank to 400, but down a little on the shorter shots and up a little on the longer shots has bagged a lot of white tails. Last time I missed one I was 11 or 12 years old. I need to come up 5 inches at 400. Its easier for me to aim 5 inches up on the deer than to mess with hold over hashes and make sure the scope is on the correct power.
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:32 AM   #17
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Yes, everybody thinks they are crack shots, and everybody thinks their shots are a lot farther away than they think. Well, most people. I watched a guy shooting at an antelope that was 700 yds away, swore he hit it several times, but when he tried to walk out to where the antelope was standing he got tired before he got there. I watched another guy shoot at a deer that was 250-ish yards away and miss. When I asked what happened, he said that he must not have held over enough with his 25-06, but he had only held over about 12" (should have been a hold dead on, DRT shot). People are funny, they practice at 100 yds with bullseye targets, then wonder how come they can't hit animals in the field. Very few people practice range estimation. Very few people practice under field conditions. Bottom line, if you don't practice under field conditions, you will not be able to shoot very far under field conditions.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:00 PM   #18
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Good on you for practicing in the wind, next time try it on paper and keep track of clicks you have to make to compensate for the wind. Those who never shoot in anything but shirt sleeve conditions are just plain out of their element when faced by high heat mirage, rain, snow or wind that rocks you. Those who get out and shoot in it will find themselves better able to connect when they have to in adverse conditions.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:06 PM   #19
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Thanks guys. Yea... yesterday's operations were done in haste. Buddy of mine just bought a rifle and wanted to get it zeroed; just so happens he also has a bunch of scrap steel and a welder in his garage. He put me together a T-shaped holder for two of the gongs (not sure why two... eh. it was free). I want to make something that I can take down and keep in the back of the Grand Cherokee without too much fuss. Whatever I make will also have a hole in the top of it for a flag or streamer.

Can't disagree with the paper being a good idea. I guess I was expecting it to be a little dryer than it was. We couldn't see our hits except for a few (hit a dirt clot or something). As far as being a bad judge of distance is concerned, I guess I'm a little spoiled. The range where I usually shoot has 4x8' sheets of plywood stood up at the 300 yard line. It kind of skewers the perspective. Yesterday when we got the rangefinder out and confirmed our 400 yard shot, that 8" gong was looking mighty small in the distance! Here's a google earth overhead of where we were at. Winds were Southerly to Southwesterly. It's totally possible that since I was shooting over a bit of a valley, I was getting some uplift too due to the direction.



The line to the East is where we were shooting 400; northwest corner is our 100 yard line. The "A shaped" area is showing some possible shots for 300, 400 and 500. This spring I think I'll be able to set up there without too much fuss and still have good backstops (shooting into the hills). I'm looking forward to taking another crack at this wind call stuff.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:47 PM   #20
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Scorch, many people overestimate their abilities. Some dont. Either way, 400 yds, in decent conditions, is not that hard a shot on big game.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:59 PM   #21
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I could tell right off when I looked at that photo that that was "somewheres back east" ....... the fields are not square, and lines don't run in cardinal directions...... I guess the same would be true of other "eastern" states like OH, IN, etc. ...... stuff laid out after Mr. Jefferson's "Northwest Ordinance".

The Township system laid out in that makes range estimation much easier out here: A section is a mile square, and a quarter is 880x880 yards ..... property lines generally follow the section lines .....

A good rangefinder in very nice to have, though......
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Old March 11, 2013, 02:56 PM   #22
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Jimbo, we use logical things here in the east for boundaries. Trees, rocks, creeks. All those permanent things that never die or get moved. Grids? That makes entirely too much sense to find practical application around here.
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Old March 11, 2013, 03:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Jimbo, we use logical things here in the east for boundaries. Trees, rocks, creeks. All those permanent things that never die or get moved. Grids? That makes entirely too much sense to find practical application around here.
I've run some service calls up in Iowa and Southern Minnesota. Lol @ grids. Nothing like being out in the middle of nowhere looking for one of 50 dairy farms and finding yourself on 247th street. "247th from where?! Where the hell am I?!"

Good times.
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Old March 11, 2013, 03:41 PM   #24
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It was not until fairly recently that all the county roads got numbered and named- I really wondered at the necessity of putting up those silly signs ..... our tax dollars at work, doncha know! It does help keep city folk from getting lost, though ...... there are whole townships in SW Red Willow County that have no residents, but all the roads have those silly green and white signs! Why? Government, that's why.
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Old March 11, 2013, 05:59 PM   #25
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Don't feel bad- it's one thing if it's close to zero value, or at least, consistent in value and speed.

You didn't mention what bullets you were using. At 400 yards, heavier, high-BC bullets are going to start to make a real difference. I wouldn't use anything lighter than 168's if you're shooting Sierra's, the 175 is better if your rifle likes it.

The .308 is more than capable, 400 yards is but a chip shot for that round- my youngest son shoots his .308 Savage at 585 yards routinely- factory barrel and all on a 10" gong- and rarely misses when conditions are decent.

Here's where we shoot- and the tall berms- and the deep, long ditch from 585 to 1000 yards makes it really "interesting" when the wind is blowing. Usually we bag it if it's going to be over 15 mph.

http://manateegunclub.com/index_files/SateliteView.htm
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