Wanted to make a thread dedicated to discussing all things long range. Let's talk about where you shoot, what you shoot, and what you shoot with. Bolt action or semi auto. At steel or paper, competition or fun. Also wind reading skills and fundamentals. One thing everybody likes to see is how a rifle build comes together.
I took delivery today of two additional barrels for my KMW Sentinel rifle. The barrel that has been on it is .308 and the new ones are another .308 24" and a 6.5x47 Lapua 25". Both Krieger. 308 is 11 twist light varmint and the 6.5x47 is 8 twist heavy palma. The great thing about having a Sentinel rifle from Terry Cross is that new barrels can be made without sending the gun in. He keeps all dimensions related to chambering by serial number for that purpose. Got the barrel vise and Surgeon action wrench out tonight and switched out. Can't wait for load development. Hopefully do some of that this coming weekend. Will start out with 130 grain Berger VLD/Varget/CCI 450.
Engraving lines up as well as indicator mark at 12:00
|Steel banging |
Very nice hardware ! I have a couple bolts in .300 WinMag that are my stress reliever . Been wanting a 6.5 bolt for a while now . Been getting my smaller caliber itch scratched by precision AR's for a while now . Have a .223 and 6.5 Grendel builds that have kept me smiling . One on the .300's (Black one) is set up for the 208 Amax and the other (Skulls ) has a new tube set up for the Berger 230gr OTM . It really doesn't give up much to the .338 Lapua . Good times !
Happiness is having to climb in your car to change your target.
Nice setup with the 300 WinMags. My shoulder can't take that beating for too long. I bet its a laser past 1000 though. I'm looking forward to the lower recoil of the 6.5x47.
Got to shoot a buddy's 18" 6.5 Grendel a few weeks ago. We had consistent hits a 800 meters on silhouette target. Sweet little gun. I'm craving another semi myself.
|Steel banging |
The recoil is actually fairly pleasant since I went to the FTE brake . I'm still working on the load development with the 230's . The cold has slowed me down a bit . It was plumbed by Long Rifles Inc. and so far has turned out some very encouraging results .
Next year might finally be the year I give in to the 6.5 bolt rifle scratch
Happiness is having to climb in your car to change your target.
This thread should be fun. I've had my plate full with other things of late, but I seem to have time now that the temps are single digits. Go figure. Anyhow, as some of you know, I'm new to the LR game. Started playing with an 18" heavy barreled AR in .223. The bug bit hard. The opportunity came around to pick up a Rem 700 5R MilSpec in .308 this past spring. Couldn't resist the next step. From there it's all been about learning, load development, and developing some decent skills. Hopefully next week finish my load development with my current 175SMK/Re-15/Lapua brass combo. It's been a great learning experience and a tremendous amount of fun. Next will be some VLD of some kind. Not sure yet.
I do this for the relaxation of it all. I find it quite the escape to wrap myself up in the technical minutiae of it all. Although I live in semi-rural Midwest farm country, most all of my shooting has been done up in the UP of Michigan. It's my "happy place" and allows me to put my steel out and bang away.
"There are things we know. There are things we dont know. Then there are the things we dont know that we dont know."
Congrats again on getting your 6.5x47 barrel. Sweet deal not having to send off your barreled action. Brother sell those 308 barrels, you won't be shooting them after shooting the 6.5x47!
Where I shoot. This range a couple times a month. It's a free DOW range. Steel out to 1020yds. Bring my own steel along, set it up specific distance to practice for matches. Friends and I do drills. Ex, plop down shoot six different targets, different distances timed. Usually start with a cold bore challenge at a random target. Try to always have purpose when I practice, not shoot at the same target over and over, too easy. Well except at the prairie dog size target at 1010, I'll sometimes bang away 5 or more shots as fast as I can trying to beat that wind, fun stuff getting on that rat. Will shoot there this Thursday. Usually shoot a 100rds each time. Shoot my 22lr behind our house, have steel targets set up from 50-200yds.
Bolt rifles only. My comp rifle is chambered in 6x47 on a Bighorn action/Bartlein barrel/CG Extreme two stage trigger/AICS stock/Premier scope shooting Berger 105 Hybrids. Have a old Remington 40X 22lr single shot I had trued/re-barelled with a Rock Creek barrel set up exactly like my comp rifle, shoot it a lot for practice. As of late been working on other than prone/bipod/rear bag shooting, standing, kneeling, sitting, unsupported prone using a cuff sling. 22's are great way to practice and no reloading!
Shoot competitively, steel matches. The three different monthly matches I shoot have the same format. There's your target, one shot, hit or miss, next target, different distance. I enjoy the challenge of trying to hit a target in any condition in one shot. A new match is going to start next spring that will go out to 1150yds, look forward to that! My goal is to shoot a few different matches next season, SniperHide Cup, Steel Safari, PRS match in Oklahoma and a team match in Gillette, Wyoming. I'm scratching my way up. Shot well/consistent towards the 2nd half of the season, set a record at one match, tied for 1st at my favorite match in Raton, New Mexico.
One of the matches I shoot. 200-610yds. Steel reactive prairie dog like targets, about 3.5x7. That's me on the left. Those things can be tough to hit in switchy windy conditions in one shot.
Raton match. A good friend shooting stage one, targets on that stage are 260-875yds.
Fundamentals. I dry fire alot! Spent a afternoon with a local national Palma shooter who taught me a very simple dry firing drill. I've done this drill a gazillion times. Behind the rifle, on a target, deep inhale, as starting to exhale finger on trigger slowly putting pressure on the trigger, say out loud, pressure/pressure/pressure...trigger brakes near the bottom of my exhale...maintain pressure on the trigger saying out loud pressure/pressure/pressure/pressure.
Wind reading. It's always windy here. No doubt most of the competitors I shoot against can stack shots at 100yds "all day long". Wind reading ability is what I believe separates the top tier shooter from the rest of the pack. All my dry firing ties into this. By having fundamentals automatic w/o thought. it clears up the way to focus on seeing the conditions. Signs of the conditions are always right in front of us, mirage, leaves, grass, dust.....mirage I feel is the best sign to study/trust. The wind is usually the main topic of discussion at matches. That damn wind! What were you holding? Mirage was going L-R, dust R-L......I didn't know what to hold.
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Red and Black
I had a local kid work with my shooting mindset and concentration when I was a kid in 1965 Euless, Texas. I took guitar lessons from a soon-to-be world champion small bore shooter of a young man by the name of Lanny Bassham.
I've got a Cooper rifle in .260 Remington that hits 12" plates all day long at 600-800 yards as long as a shooter is behind the trigger. I'm getting better, but not very consistent.
I've been getting instruction on wind reading, weather, and mirage as they relate to bullet movement. Having well practiced mindset and focus, I hope to start being consistent at 1000 yards with the Cooper Excalibur .260 lightweight hunting rifle.
Give None/Take None
One thing that has been hard for me is the wind reading to get first shot hits at distance. I think that will get better with the 6.5x47 over the .308 though. Or at least I hope so
The last time out shooting to 1000 meters I was able to use mirage to guestimate a value and confirm direction. That was far more accurate than watching the short grass.
One thing I wonder about is how to properly measure mirage movement with the reticle like you would movers. Does anyone have any techniques related to that they would share?
This is my home range for anything over 300 yards. I can shoot steel from 500 to 1000 and paper at 1000. Wind is tough and everytime I go it's strong and switching. I generally set up plates and small poppers at 500 and small plates at 600 or so and either set up a 10" gong at 750 or 1000. With the wind it's challenging. Mostly shooting the .308 (now 6.5x47) here and will be trying the Scar17 out at 500 for fun next time.
1st step is to always be looking for it. You should easily see it with your S&B. Then it's going to take time/experience to guess how the mirage relates to wind speed. What's helpful, is not only looking at your target, look around, way beyond the target, at the horizon. After you get on a target, next target you see the mirage speed up, slow down, change directions, stop...you need to adjust. How much you adjust will come with time, it's still a guessing game.
What's challenging about shooting at the range posted above in the mountains. Often the mirage on the bottom is moving L-R, mirage at the top of ridge is R-L. Many times I held left at the bottom (500-600yds), hold right or center at the top. I been banging on those 1000yd targets for 5yrs. I usually understand what the mirage is telling me. Shooting at this range has taught me not only look at the 1000yd mirage, look at it at 500yds....to make a first round hit at 1000yds.
One of the biggest things that's helped me with hits. Is holding the edge of plates with what I think is the bottom range of the wind speed, I'm holding a window. For example, I believe the wind is somewhere between 10-13mph. Commit to a 10mph hold on the leading edge of the plate, say left side, looking at the edge of the plate with a hold point on the reticle, not looking at the center. See my impact on the right edge or miss left, quickly measure it with my reticle, adjust for the next shot looking at the center. All along noting what the mirage is doing. Hope that makes sense.
I and all the guys I shoot with NEVER dial wind.
Thanks, and that makes sense. In one way I'm glad I started shooting at distance with .308 because of what it teaches you about wind. Don't know that I would recommend it now in tactical type rifle barrel lengths though. 1mph change or missed guess results in 8.5" change at 1000 with my load. That makes it tough for 1st shot hits at that distance on small targets. I've not been good at guessing to 1 mph at wind speed either so it's been best to limit the .308 to 750 or so and things get much better.
Mirage is quite easy to see in the S&B like you say. That day was at a different range and the targets were larger so I took it on out to 1000 meters. Mirage was evident at 800 meters and again around 400. Moving left to right and they agreed. This was a flat range and things seemed much easier than the mountain range I've been shooting. I do not dial wind either. I always hold wind and dial elevation. If I were shooting at the same distance targets all the time I may do it differently but I'm not.
It seems to get better the more I do it but there is a lot of room for improvement.
Big +1 for all of the above, something I'm just beginning to understand.
This summer I was shooting at private range, with steel out to 1500 yards. I was developing elevation dope for my 6.5 Creedmoor at 919 yards. The class instructors were taking a break to observe us students, and thus we students were practicing calling wind for each other.
We had a pretty solid row of cottonwood trees on the left side of the range, with a definite left-to-right breeze, shown by cottonwood fluff from the tree tops. Being the attentive student, I followed Jacob Bynum's (owner of Rifles Only school) advice of using my parallax dial to look at wind indicators much closer to the target, and at appropriate elevations for bullet flight. Closer to the ground, the wind had fish-hooked back to a very slight right-to-left for the first few hundred yards and was pretty calm near the target.
My spotter called for a hold a bit left of target. I disagreed with the wind call and stated I would hold right edge. First shot was low, but I saw trace that was good for windage. My spotter said I missed to the right. I dialed up one MOA, held right edge, and hit the target. Same hold for shot number three and I hit within a couple of inches of round #2. A couple of minutes later, Jacob pulled me to the side and stated that I'm beginning to "get it".
All things being equal, IMO wind on the first half of the bullet's flight is much more important than that at the target.
In addition, for those of us who sometimes use the snail's pace .308 at distance, we must consider not only the wind at ground level, but also what the wind is doing at the top of the bullet's flight arc. For 1,000 yards, that 175 SMK bullet can be 11 to 12 feet above ground at the top of its arc.
Is that right? Maybe I'm misunderstanding. My Berger 175 OTM at 1700 elevation going 2700 drops approx. 340"(9.5mil) at 1000 with a 100 yard zero.
I envy you for training at Rifles Only. I have their dvd's and long for one day going there.
There's a difference between how much elevation you dial in the scope for 1,000 yards and the actual maximum arc of the bullet. Assuming you have a good ballistics program for your Bergers (JBM or another), run your normal parameters through the system, but set your zero for 1,000 yards. Your predicted arc will show in the calculations.
Gotcha now. Thanks
jelrod1 -- I did a quick & dirty through JBM for your figures.
For 1,000 yards you do "aim" the bore about 340" above target. The bullet arc peaks around 120" above line of sight, at roughly 550 yards.
I'm certain there are a number of good precision rifle instructors and schools out there. Keep your eyes open, or give a go with Rifles Only one of these days. I'm very fortunate that Jacob and Lisa of Rifles Only like Colorado, and are good friends with the owners of a local gun shop -- who have land set up for long-range shooting. For the past two years I have attended RO schools here in Colorado, within a one-hour drive from my house.
Jacob and his instructors are truly top notch. Unfortunately, I seem to have limited mental retention skills. Sooner or later, I hope to have this trigger-pulling thingie down pat.
I went to a long range shooting school a couple of summers ago. 3 days long, mornings in the classroom then from 1 pm until dark we shot. It was a great weekend. I try to keep up with my training practice, its hard to find the time though.
This is what I learned and what I try to practice. I shoot at a couple different places with different groups of people, I think this helps, always somebody new to learn off of. We always try to make it a competion, we assign point values for each excercise.
I use a 100 yard zero so I start every session with 100 yard work. First shot is always a cold bore then a cold bore follow-up. My rifle shoots almost exactly 1 MOA high with a clean cold barrel, follow-up is about half that. Then we do dot drills, 1 group of 6 rounds. On a good day I can hold between a 1/2" to 5/8" 5 shot group. To make it interesting, one round needs to be touching the bullseye to count.
We have targets set up from 100 yards to 1000 yards, we can back the range up and shoot 1200 yards but we need to shoot off of hay bails. 1, 2, 300 yard targets are 4" circles. 4, 500 yards are about 6" circles, 6, 7, and 800 yards are 10"x12", 900 & 1000 yards are 24" x 32". We shoot one round then one follow-up. We also place four 10x12" plates at different distances, nobody knows what the distance is, you have to range with your reticle, estimate the yardage, for the points to count you need to be +/- 25 yards from the actual, take one shot then one follow up.
Where I shoot it is very windy, most of the time full and half winds. I have in my data log using 8 moa of windage then holding the edge of a target. Elevation is easy, windage kicks your ass. We sometimes shoot in a corn field, over the 1000 yard distance you can see minimum of 3 wind direction changes. I dial in what I think the windage should be from my chart then hold off slightly if I feel the wind pick up or die down. We have shot at 1200 yards a couple of times, I used 52 moa of elevation, literally lobbing the rounds in. I'm not an expert and learn something new every time I go out. It is a friggin blast though. My M21 can keep up with the bolt guns.
Better than average group
Shooting off hay bails, either 1000 or 1200 yards, can't remember.
Yeah I ran through JBM and quickly figured out what you were saying.
I got the chance to go up to Bangsteel and do a class with Dan Newberry. It was enlightening but somewhat deceptive with the target sizes. Back home with much smaller targets and much worse wind quickly showed my limitations as well as the .308's.
I truly like the way Jacob teaches fundamentals on his dvd and I learned a lot. I can only imagine in person.
I got involved with LR rifle this past Spring when a buddy invited me to a Wednesday afternoon steel shoot at the Gt Falls Range, north of town. I shot my M1A and had a ball.
This is looking north towards the steel from the firing line. Nothing but a gently sloping wheat field between us and the berms. The wheat makes watching the ground wind easier. But unfortunately holds quite a few rattle snakes.
This is a closer look at the berms. Taken basically 500 plus yds from the LR firing line. From here the berms are at 125, 215, 300, 430 ,515 and 685 yds. From the firing line they then turn into; 675, 775, 900, 975, 1100 and 1240 yds. I know the math seems off but the berms angle a bit.
The static steel plates run 8 by 12 inches , the big plates are 12 by 20 inches IIRC. We also place portable stands with targets as small as 4" at various distances. As well as clay pigeons on the berms.
I started with my M1A but quickly cannibalized a Rem 700 I had in .280 Ackley for it's blueprinted action. I also had an old Rem 40X Palma Match gun, 7.62 NATO, 1 in 13" twist take off barrel that was done by HART. Got it forty years back from a Natl Guard Armorer I knew. Had the two screwed together and dropped into an older Mc Millan A5 stock. Later added a 5.5-22X Nightforce and all was well.
After buying some Berger 175's, some Lapua brass, VARGET and Redding Match dies I easily got it shooting 1/2 MOA. With some further tuning I've shot 1" at 300 yds with it. So more than accurate enough for what we do.
We shoot steel on Wednesday afternoon through Spring and Summer. WIND is an issue as Great Falls easily makes the "Top Ten Windiest Cities in the US" list each year.
This next season we are going to amp things up a bit with smaller targets, shooting some courses of fire for friendly competition, etc.
I just put together several portable target stands with much smaller plates from 4, 5 and 6 to 8 inches in size. Rounds and squares.
I'm looking into trying F-Class in 2014. As we do shoot a few Matches in Montana. I'd like to shoot some paper at some point.
Currently building a 6.5x47 Lapua for 2014. Mc Millan A-5 stock, Surgeon DBM, Hart 1 in 8" Palma contour barrel at 26"-28", Defiance action, Jewell trigger and a new Nightforce ATACR scope and rings. Still waiting for my action to arrive. Hopefully it will be a Christmas present. I have ALL the parts, simply need an action.
I've enjoyed the LR hobby this past Summer and Fall to no end. I'm a S&W collector, mostly revolvers, as well as a few other narrow focus handguns. So getting to actually USE one of my guns is a nice change. Most of them are safe queens. Plus I also enjoy the precision loading.
FN in MT
I have not shot at that range up there. When weather permits, I am looking to drag my .308 up there for some trigger time. My current stock is just OK, I really need one of those A5's
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