What is your self determined max range? with what cartrige?
What is your self determined max range? with what cartrige?
My winchester model 70 featherweight 30-06 @250 yards. Could prob be 300 but I have never felt the need, nor had to shoot that far.
and my Remington 11-87 slug gun when in Ohio deer hunting @200 yards max.
I shoot a lazzeroni rifle in 7.62 Warbird caliber that has a very very flat trajectory and use a Swarowsky with TDS reticule that is easy to shoot in the range to 700 yards bench rest or prone with harris bipod, but in the real world of mountain hunting I do not think is a good idea to shoot beyond 500 yards, yet it is a matter of taste or basic ethical principles (choose your poison). So I think the question should be how far should you shoot at an animal as oposed as to: how far can you make a good group on a target in the range with optimal conditions.
My answer is you should shoot 20% less distance in the field based on the max distance you could make a 5 inch group on the range.
What kind of rifle rifle...bolt with scope...bolt with open sights...side by side...
Next what caliber will you be using in your rifle....500NE or 375 H & H what are we looking at.
Now the big question what are we shooting...an impala... kudu... eland...cape buffalo... elephant...
My rifle selection will be a 338 win mag for plains game:
First off i would like everything at 0 to 50 yards...however that does not happen with all game animals. Shooting using shooting stick is the way to go...be prepared...
From 50 to 300 yards Range for the impala...wildebeest...zebra...kudu...
From 50 to 200 yards for eland,
Dangerous game...look for 375 H & H, 416 Rigby or 404 Jeffry and for a double rifle from the 450 NE to 500 NE.
From 0 to 100 yards with both open sights double rifle and bolt and scope for Cape buffalo. On stick or off hand. use shooting sticks or rest for cape buffalo.
from 0 to 20 yards for elephant with scope bolt or open sights double rifle. should be able to make this shot off hand...or have a good stick set up.
Here we go,
35Whelen comfortably 400-450yrds (ethics prevail 250yrds)
375 H&H 250yrds (ethics " " 150yrds)
458wm (100 yrds solid rest or not) open sights
30-06 or 308, 650-700 yrds from the bench (" " 300yrds)
6mm rem, 30-30, 243, and 45-70, 250-300yrds (' " 150-250yrds)
These are my opinions, and so is this, I don't like risky shots from my deer stand or stalking at over 250yrds, in less than perfect wind/weather conditions and angles are not fair to my quarry. I would much rather increase my odds of making a fatal shot and get closer to my chosen animal or use calls and have the animal close the distance. I don't need to brag to my friends saying "I shot him at 600yrds" but neglect to tell them about the fact that the wind caught my bullet and made it a liver shot, hence my animal suffered (a lot) prior to expireing.
The Impala I shot at Koedoeberg was about 140m running away, I hated the circumstances, I was aiming for the bum (Texas heart shot) but I guess I caught him at the bottom of one of his bounds, hit the spin just at the base of the skull. I am happy I got him, but that senerio could have been a lot different if I would have caught him at the top of that bound.
It's a difference of shooting/sniping vs. hunting in my mind.
The really good thing about hunting in Africa are the very stiff financial penalties for being a poor shot or choosing to take high risk shots: Trophy Fees and wasted day rates stalking wounded animals and getting gored, scratched or stomped.
For most sane people I think this keeps those long shots out of the game.
Having someone standing beside you helping to direct the stalk and have you get in as close as possible is what that PH helps us all do.
I can miss at 80 yards with the best of them.
I considered a 320 yard shot on a Nyala. Too windy.
of course my .270 with a reload 130 gn TTSX
Sneaking up was a much better solution though. Thanks to aforementioned assistance.
When I'm asleep dreaming :)
16 X Scope
I think everyone is on the same page here. I CAN make long shots and have but circumstances have to be perfect and all other options exhausted. I have shot Mountain goat at 569yds and Elk at 507 with a .270. Both were across canyons with no chance to stalk closer, no wind and broadside shots at calmly standing animals.
I carry a .257 WBY or .338 Lapua just in case I have to make those long shots. I live in country where having the new world record Whitetail or Bighorn step out way out there is a real possibility and I plan to be prepared by carrying a true long range hunting weapon if it happens. The day I carry them to intentionally make long shots I will sell them both and buy a .30-06. I am 100% confident on game out to 500yds, IF the NEED arises. Most that I have seen have no business shooting anywhere near that distance.
The thing that has not been mentioned here is practice. Unless you are shooting alot of long range rounds then you have no business shooting long range. The same is true if you cannot recite your ballistics by heart with no question and if you do not carry a good rangefinder. How many people understand that a 1" group at 100yds does not automatically translate into 5" at 500yds. The math seems simple enough and yet some guns may consistantly shoot over 1" at 100yds and yet group 3" at 500. Others may shoot under an inch yet be 10" at 500yds.
Then there is the 1" gun fallacy. The fact is it is not as simple as buying a rifle, no matter the brand or cost, that will shoot sub MOA. Sun MOA guns are not rare but there are far more out there that will never shoot a 1" group than those that will, despite everones claims of amazing marksmanship. Even a shooting machine is limited by the weapon it is holding. I have bought, sold and traded may guns to end up with 3 that are capable of amazing accuracy, it did not happen by luck. I guess what I am trying to say is before you go off blazing at some critter near teh distant horizon there are way more factors to consider than how far someone else thinks is a magical maximum ethical distance.
35bore, I like your modest assesment.
My self determined range with a gun has more to do with what I call hunting and what I call shooting for myself.
I couldn't care less about what distances others want to shoot animals at as long as they feel 100% sure about a 1-shot kill when they pull the trigger.
In general I have around 200 meters for when I still really feel I am hunting. Sometimes I can stretch it out to 300 meters.
I have shot at animals at longer than 300 meters with 1-shot success every time in my younger days, and I can shoot with good accuracy at longer distances than 300 meters today too, but now it feels more like shooting than hunting when the distance become 300+ meters.
I much more prefer to stalk well inside 100 yards before taking a shot. It feels much more like hunting to me that way.
The guns I use now are 375 Ruger, 6.5-06, 6.5x55 and 223 and I feel comfortable about shooting animals out to 300 meters with all of them.
I also have a single shot rifle in 357 Magnum and I have 100 meters as max distance for that.
I think my 300 Win Mag is fine until 350 yards.
Shotgun and Muzzleloader 200 yards.
Bow is 50 yards.
And all of these shots are taken with very little wind. If it's windy, I'll stalk close. And I would only take the above shots from a very solid rest too.
I also limit myself to 50 yards with a bow.
Not because I can't make shots beyond that, but because I think to much can happen during the time it takes from I decide to release the arrow till it actually hits my target.
I learned just how fast game can be on long shots too. 1 buck at 40yds looking straight at me managed to spin enough to have a perfectly placed shot glance off his horns as he ducked and spun to leave and the most impressive of all, I had a big whitetail at 55 yds spook which caused the even bigger buck that I was aiming at spook and by the time my arrow reached the spot where he had been standing he was long gone. (as you may have noticed I learn quite slowly!)
Custom 300 Win Mag 500meters prone or sitting with a sling. I practice alot have burned out expensive barrels and my success ratio went way up when stopped limiting myself both in the field and during practice.Practice farther than you would ETHICLY shoot at game that way when the shot of a lifetime presents itself your ready. However most people lack the dedication to be truly proficient with thier rifles. Unless your Carlos Hathcock you probably shouldnt be shooting past 200 yards anyway.
December 17, 1905 April 1, 2002
Nicknamed The White Death
705 confirmed kills (505 with rifle, 200 with submachine gun)
Was a Finnish soldier who, using an iron sighted bolt action rifle, amassed the highest recorded confirmed kills as a sniper in any war?ver!!
Hayha was born in the municipality of Rautjarvi near the present-day border of Finland and Russia, and started his military service in 1925. His duties as a sniper began during the winter war (1939-1940) between Russia and Finland. During the conflict Hayha endured freezing temperatures up to -40 degrees Celsius. In less than 100 days he was credited with 505 confirmed kills, 542 if including unconfirmed kills, however the unofficial frontline figures from the battlefield places the number of sniper kills at over 800. Besides his sniper kills he was also credited with 200 from a Suomi KP/31 Submachine gun, topping off his total confirmed kills at 705.
How Hayha did all this was amazing. He was basically on his own all day, in the snow, shooting Russians, for 3 months straight. Of course when the Russians caught wind that a shit load of soldiers were being killed, they thought this is war, there are bound to be casualties? But when the generals were told that it was one man with a rifle they decided to take a bit of action. first they sent in a counter-sniper. When his body was returned they decided to send in a team of counter-snipers. When they didn't come back at all they sent in a whole goddamn battalion. They took casualties and couldn't find him. Eventually they ordered an artillery strike, but to no avail. You see Hayha was clever, and this was his neck of the woods. He dressed completely in white camouflage. He used a smaller rifle to suit his smaller frame (being 5ft3) increasing his accuracy. he used an iron sight to present the smallest possible target (a scoped sight would require the sniper to raise his head for sighting). He compacted the snow in front of the barrel, so as not to disturb it when he shot thus revealing his position. He also kept snow in his mouth so his breath did not condense and reveal where his was. Eventually however his was shot in the jaw by a stray bullet during combat on March 6 1940. He was picked up by his own soldiers who said half his head was missing. He didn't die however and regained consciousness on the 13th, the day peace was declared.
Once again total kills? 505 sniper + 200 submachine = 705 total Confirmed Kills?ll in less that 100 days. Hathcock had 93...
"WE should all keep practicing" ;)
I have done 400 yards shot, but didnt feel to comfortable with it.
I would say 300 yards with my 7 mmRM. Depends on the animal size, the wind, light condition and so on. I have a 6 mm Norma BR, wich is capable of 10 mm groups at 100 meter. That one I can shoot varmints out to 300 to 400 yards as long there is little to no wind. Being a newbie with my bow, I would say 25 to 30 yards with that one.
I regularly practice out to 450 yds with all my big game rifles, and I'm confident to that range.
In about 45 years of big game hunting, I think that I have shot more animals at distances under 200 yds than I have at over 200. I've probably only shot a handfull at over 300 yds, with the longest being a Gemsbok that I shot at 348 yds with my .375 RUM.
My new favorite rifle for medium to large North American and African PG animals is a .300 Wby. So far I have only shot 4 big game animals with this rifle. They were all approximately 100 yd shots, and they were all one shot kills. Closer targets are easier to hit.
When I was 19, I did a guy in Laos from a thousand yards out. It was a rifle shot in high wind. Maybe eight or even ten guys in the world could have made that shot. It's the only thing I was ever good at...
Sorry, could not resist. New Savage 30-06 is supposed to arrive this week. Built a 8" gong this weekend. Looking forward to getting out and seeing what I can do with the new iron.