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Old September 21, 2017, 12:58 PM   #1
fredvon4
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Looking for good advice on 800 yard shooting

Back story... Old guy, retired army, and used to be a good long range shooter out to 500+ yrds iron sites. Ha! ----now can't see my own Peter without glasses

Young 34 year old son won two local LR shoots with my Ruger 204 and cheap glass at 500yrds shooting store bought varmint rounds

BTW, for here, the top prize is a substantial $600 Gift Cert for the (shoot sponsor) gun shop

SO---next year--- to unseat him, a local butt head (with a 50 cal single shot) convinced the hardware store owner (gun shop) to up the range to 800 yrds

Target is steel, 12 wide by 24 tall with 10" center bull

Just bought my son a Remington 700 308 with R5 24" bbl 1:11.25 twist ( price was right)

Shot will be at 1100 foot elevation (our local) probably 80~90F air, and I suspect for time of year, wind will be left to right 8 knots, perhaps up to 12 knots

Problem is--- hill top to hill top shot....slightly down hill ( I estimate 75' drop) with 150' deep valley between rest and target...mid range wind is nearly impossible to gage .....no flags or trees... Texas crap terrain

I do reload, (45-70 and 45 colt) but not set up for 308 and prefer to not fuss with the testing

This one rifle will only be used for 500 to 800 yard shots
Store bought match grade ammo is prefered

I would like your opinions or advice on:

1: Good optics like Leupold VX-3I series or any others you think damned good
2: Wisdom of picking a factory load and getting a BDC retical or turret
3: Match grade store bought ammo thoughts...
4: Ideas and opinions for mid range dope, or is it even worth worrying about
5: Any hints or wisdom for barrel break in
6: Do I need to get the barrel re-crowned from the get go?
7: Any ideas on Remington's 40X trigger... or just get a Timiny and be happy?
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Old September 21, 2017, 01:14 PM   #2
TXAZ
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The .50 BMG guy has a distinct advantage at 800 yards, particularly if he's using AMax or 822 gr solid (turned) bullets.
If your son won at 600 he has something going for him. Practicing at 800 with what he has is a good start.

But for comparison and to your questions, the .50 cal shooters often use Nikon or Nightforce high end scopes. I have a Steiner T5xi and believe it's as good as any. If funding is not an issue, look at the Steiner M5xi.

You'll need to use match ammo or handloads tuned to your rifle. Note the Ballistic Coefficient of the best .308 is ~ .55, about 1/2 that of and AMax or solid .50BMG round. That's a really big difference to overcome, as minor differences in your .308 loads will translated to inches more than the larger round. About 125" drop for the .50, about 190" for a high end match .308(Berger 200 gr).

Most of the .50 guys (shooting at 600, 1000 or 1 mile) don't seem to do a whole lot of barrel break-in, but spend more time on categorizing loads and performance.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by TXAZ; September 21, 2017 at 01:28 PM.
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Old September 21, 2017, 02:18 PM   #3
fredvon4
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TXAZ
Not "too" worried about the 50 cal shooter...more money than good skills

Yes, with him, next years shoot will be a challenge ....

Mostly because, neither my son, nor I, have any real world experience... over 500 yards,

---BUT we are exponentially smarter (with some relative background and understanding) than the rich guy

I should have noted this is a rural community ---and none of the competitors are much more than coyote and deer hunters....the ...not well advertised ....long range competition shoot only draws the local guys who, like my son, are all working class with no training, experience, or practice

That Justen, my son, won the last two years was cuz his dad,(me) used to be Army and won a few ON Base Silhouette competitions -back in the day -cheating with 125Gr Sabot 30-30 ammo from a Winchester Model 94 and very good windage advice from "Real Sniper" (M24---) friends...that is until the club outlawed the sabot ammo

Bullet drop is mostly a given and easy to look up....windage can be a bear to figure...IMO
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Old September 21, 2017, 03:28 PM   #4
TXAZ
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Then shoot what you've got. And tell Justen to have fun, if he wins, great, if he has a good time, even better.
The real challenge will be the wind, which pushes 30 cal's around a whole lot more than a .50.
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Old September 21, 2017, 03:41 PM   #5
fredvon4
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Thanx TXAZ

and yes I did note the between the lines caution /warning that we may be out gunned

any advice on a good low cost 50 single shot BMG? a sort of bucket list wanna have item
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Old September 21, 2017, 05:10 PM   #6
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800 yards is a long way with a .308 and wouldn't be my first choice, but it is certainly doable. Depending on your ammo, it may be transonic at that point. Of course just like any rifle match, it comes down to making the correct wind calls which again, the .308 doesn't excel in the wind at 800 yards but it's doable.

I wonder how he came up with 800 yards as opposed to 1000 or 700 ?

The only factory "Match" ammo I have any experience with is Hornady and I have only fired a very few rounds of it in .308. But, I have shot a LOT of it in 6.5 Creedmoor and I am not sure my handloads shoot any better than it does. So that would probably be my first choice of factory ammo. There may be better stuff out there, but this is readily available.

Obviously the best thing to do is practice. Get out there and shoot at 800 yards and see if whatever scope/ammo/rifle he has is up to the task. Without knowing any of that, it would be difficult to know what needs improvement.
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Old September 21, 2017, 05:42 PM   #7
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My LR friend used to keep some Black Hills 175 .308s in reserve in case he got caught behind on his handloading. He loads the Berger 185 Juggernaught now, but I don't know anything factory in that class. 178 Hornady might be worth a look; as 444 says, their 6.5 is excellent, maybe the .308 is, too.

800 yards is the SHORT end of Palma competition, .308s required.
There is a ton of trajectory and wind dope to be had.

I have a couple of Leupold 8.5-25X from a decade ago. I am not thrilled with their side focus.
Said friend uses the Nightforce Benchrest scope with AO. Less tackytickle because it is not in easy reach while aiming but less expensive than their side focus, not much more than a Leupold.
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Old September 23, 2017, 09:46 AM   #8
fredvon4
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Thanks for the good advice and opinions
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Old September 23, 2017, 11:50 AM   #9
T. O'Heir
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"...mid range wind..." Learn to read the mirage. That's the heat waves rising from everywhere in Texas.
"...800 yards is a long way with a .308..." 800 yards is a normal distance for High Power rifle matches. Both NRA and DCRA. Most of which are .308's. Done with .308 M1 Rifles and iron sights in CMP matches too. Think 175 grain match bullets.
"...SHORT end of Palma competition, .308s required..." And 155 grain bullets only. Out of 14 or 15 pound, single shot, rifles.
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Old September 23, 2017, 08:48 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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US Palma allows heavier bullets. International limit 156.

The AR 50 is a good entry level rifle.
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Old September 24, 2017, 02:40 PM   #11
fredvon4
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Well guys...It seems I should have just did what I normally do, and start way back on a forums thread(s) and read forward

I just spent two days and learned a lot especially from Zak Smith's good long range shooting series of articles

So, better than average skills...check
Pretty good rifle...check
Experience Zeroing at 100yrds....check
Black Hills 175 ammo....check
Knowledge to effectively use Factory, Computer ballistic, and chrono data...check
Practice range to 500 yards...not optimal but will help
Ability to dope wind dir and speed.....learnable
Several lower end long range varmint scopes...not optimal but will help decide on what ---in a price range ---might be better

The last is my thoughts....
Since this is a once a year deal...

IMO dedicated LR $$$ Target scope may not be needed if one of my Bariska or Simmons varmint scopes feels right for my boy.

I have three to play with, most are 50MM with 40mm tubes up to 32 power but with cross hair reticals

Recoil for the Rem 700 308 may be an issue cuz I tend to buy scopes with NOT much eye relief...mostly cuz they were intended for lighter recoil rifles like 22-250 or 204 Ruger
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Old September 25, 2017, 09:22 AM   #12
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I shoot 600 yds weekly, and have shot the Sig "reach for a thousand" several times. A 24" bbl .308 out to 800 yds is do-able but not a good choice as far as CONSTIANTLY reaching 800 yds . The wind will be an issue as will maintaining velocity. A 24" bbl will be an issue . You really need a 26" - 30" bbl to maintain higher velocities. 600 yds will be no problem with a 24" bbl 308. When I shoot 1K I use either my R700 in 300WM, or my R700 in .243. both rifles are equiped with 26" heavy Varmint contour barrels.my 300wm gets to 1k no problem launching 208 Amaxes at 2730 fps, but barrel heat and expensive rounds is an issue. My 243 is a dream to shoot, but the smallish projectile is very hard to spot at 1k even with a high end spotting scope.
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