Big Bore Rifles, How Much Do you Actually Shoot Them?

Aussie_Hunter

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I usually shoot once a week. All my Sako rifles have same stock/trigger so which rifle I shoot isn’t so important. I only shoot 4 max with any caliber unless I’m sighting a gun in, but range is also only 200 yards from my house. I had dummy rounds loaded up so I can’t tell unless I specifically look. I find the dry fire practice is even better than the live round. You learn a lot about your mind’s/body’s reaction in that split second as trigger is being pulled. It’s dramatically improved my shooting without spending several dollars per bullet. I shoot 4 live rounds but pull the trigger on another 4 or 5 while at my range.
Dry fire is definitely something I need to do more of, I do a lot of dry firing with my pistols but not much with my rifles.
 

Forrest Halley

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And probably just as, if not more important. I too, follow up my big bore range shooting with a little rim fire shooting. It seems to take the edge off before I go back to the house.
Even if that .22 has a light trigger it's heavy and long after that .458...
 

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To be honest very little. I shoot a handgun weekly sometimes twice a week. but I only go to a rifle range about 10 times a year. On those trips I generally shoot a 6.5 x 55 because that is what I normally hunt with. If by chance I've purchased another rifle I'll shoot it primarily for zero and stick it in the safe. I only shoot the 375(s) and up when I have a hunt planned that requires a larger caliber. Recoil is the only difference between my 6.5 x 55 and the big stuff, and I don't let that bother me.
 

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I usually go to the range every Sunday, my only day to myself. I take 1 or 2 big bores and what ever else needs checking. This past Sunday I was there 5 1/2 hours and had 9 different rifles with me. Some only shot 3 - 8 rounds out of. Others 20 + ringing gongs out to 300 yards thats the max distance where I shoot
 

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Since my much anticipated africa hunt was cancelled (twice), like many other contributors of this wonderful site. I've been using using my . 375 for coyote, groundhogs, 1 crow and will be utilized for doe season and hog hunts in fl and Louisiana to stay in real world shooting shape
 

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I don't shoot them that much. I will when getting dialed into one prior to a hunt, but otherwise I do most of my shooting with smaller calibers. I probably go through anywhere from 50-150 rounds of .22 lr every month and verify groups on a few other mediums. Like others, I am fortunate that my range is right out the back door.

My best "field" practice is nailing carp out back on the San Gabriel with a scoped .22. Will be taking my 7x65R out for the opener and have shot it a bit in the last couple of weeks.
 

Aussie_Hunter

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I usually go to the range every Sunday, my only day to myself. I take 1 or 2 big bores and what ever else needs checking. This past Sunday I was there 5 1/2 hours and had 9 different rifles with me. Some only shot 3 - 8 rounds out of. Others 20 + ringing gongs out to 300 yards thats the max distance where I shoot
Thats a solid session!
 

fourfive8

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“How much do I shoot them?” Actually quite a lot. Last couple of weeks probably 8 range sessions with and without chronograph firing about 70 rounds out of latest acquisition, my second Win 70 416 Rem. Month prior to that 100 rounds out of 375 HH. And about every month or two 5-10 rounds out of the 450 Watts mixed with all the other various and sundry calibers that get exercised. How many shots per range visit? Has always depended on how I feel that particular day with a heavy recoiling rifle. First shot I’ll know if it will be a 1 shot day or 10-15 shot day. :)
 

Aussie_Hunter

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“How much do I shoot them?” Actually quite a lot. Last couple of weeks probably 8 range sessions with and without chronograph firing about 70 rounds out of latest acquisition, my second Win 70 416 Rem. Month prior to that 100 rounds out of 375 HH. And about every month or two 5-10 rounds out of the 450 Watts mixed with all the other various and sundry calibers that get exercised. How many shots per range visit? Has always depended on how I feel that particular day with a heavy recoiling rifle. First shot I’ll know if it will be a 1 shot day or 10-15 shot day. :)
You all making me want to get to the range! Unfortunately I'm stuck at work for another 2 days yet. What sort of loads are you running through the 450 Watts?
 

fourfive8

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You all making me want to get to the range! Unfortunately I'm stuck at work for another 2 days yet. What sort of loads are you running through the 450 Watts?
Shooting mostly 480 and 500 gr with Varget or Benchmark. Also finding excellent accuracy with the GS Custom Flat Point Solids and Barnes TSX. Not much problem getting 2250 to 2300 fps with most all the bullet types in weights ranging from 450 gr to 500 gr. For practical reasons and to avoid any high pressure surprises for the DG ammo, I keep the velocity down around 2200-2250 fps. Both of those powders are Hodgdon Extreme (repackaged ADI) for added insurance because of their temperature insensitivity. Benchmark seems a very consistent powder and was a bit of pleasant surprise in its versatility. It is especially well suited for the 458 Win Mag.
 

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I generally take 3 to 5 guns to the range. Usually the ones I haven't shot in awhile. Generally the firearms count is 2 handguns and 2 or 3 rifles:
22LR, 30-06, 375 H&H, 458 WM.

If time is required to sight in a scope or testing reloads or just to shoot up some older ammo, that or those caliber(s) get shot the most.

With exceptions to shooting my black powder/muzzle loading guns. I seldom shoot less than 50 to 100 rounds per firearm, regardless of caliber.

I usually try to get to the range 2 to 6 times per month prior to hunting local seasons and 2 to 3 times per week, 4 to 6 weeks prior to an African hunt.

I'll shoot 6 to 10 rounds, about a minute between shots, per rifle then switch rifles to allow the barrel to cool. While the rifles are cooling I'll move from the 100 yard range to the 25 or 50 yard range and run 15 -25 rounds through each of my 44 mag revolvers or 1 of the 44s, followed by 25 rounds through my 45 auto, then rotate back to the rifles.

By rotating through my firearms and allowing the various barrels to completely cool; it allows me to concentrate on my shots; doesn't wear my shoulders and wrist out; doesn't stress the barrels by over heating them; and if I start to develope a bad habit I can correct myself. Especially on trigger jerk when switching from a 1.5 pound trigger pull on either of my 30-06s to the 3 pound trigger pull on my 375 and 458.

If I shoot the 375 and/or 458 before shooting either of my 30-06s the trigger pull becomes much more sensitive on the 06s, thus I can concentrate solely on the crosshairs and the spot on the target giving the "surprise" effect when the gun goes boom.

In total, I shoot about 2000 to 2500+ rounds per weapon per year, with exception to: 22LR, I might shoot 500 rounds per year and my muzzle loading firearms 500 rounds out of each of the handguns and 1000 rounds out of each of the rifles.
 

Aussie_Hunter

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I generally take 3 to 5 guns to the range. Usually the ones I haven't shot in awhile. Generally the firearms count is 2 handguns and 2 or 3 rifles:
22LR, 30-06, 375 H&H, 458 WM.

If time is required to sight in a scope or testing reloads or just to shoot up some older ammo, that or those caliber(s) get shot the most.

With exceptions to shooting my black powder/muzzle loading guns. I seldom shoot less than 50 to 100 rounds per firearm, regardless of caliber.

I usually try to get to the range 2 to 6 times per month prior to hunting local seasons and 2 to 3 times per week, 4 to 6 weeks prior to an African hunt.

I'll shoot 6 to 10 rounds, about a minute between shots, per rifle then switch rifles to allow the barrel to cool. While the rifles are cooling I'll move from the 100 yard range to the 25 or 50 yard range and run 15 -25 rounds through each of my 44 mag revolvers or 1 of the 44s, followed by 25 rounds through my 45 auto, then rotate back to the rifles.

By rotating through my firearms and allowing the various barrels to completely cool; it allows me to concentrate on my shots; doesn't wear my shoulders and wrist out; doesn't stress the barrels by over heating them; and if I start to develope a bad habit I can correct myself. Especially on trigger jerk when switching from a 1.5 pound trigger pull on either of my 30-06s to the 3 pound trigger pull on my 375 and 458.

If I shoot the 375 and/or 458 before shooting either of my 30-06s the trigger pull becomes much more sensitive on the 06s, thus I can concentrate solely on the crosshairs and the spot on the target giving the "surprise" effect when the gun goes boom.

In total, I shoot about 2000 to 2500+ rounds per weapon per year, with exception to: 22LR, I might shoot 500 rounds per year and my muzzle loading firearms 500 rounds out of each of the handguns and 1000 rounds out of each of the rifles.
You put 2000-2500 rounds per year through your 458WM!? Or am I reading that wrong?
 

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My range is 100 yds from the house so all my rifles stay tuned up.
Mine too! I have a really good range. However I don’t get the big bores out that much. Dreaming of another DG trip can get them out of the safe though. Maybe I’ll do that today?
Philip
 

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About once a month. I put 5 or 10 rounds downrange with my 500 Jeffery (one off the bench, the rest off hand or kneeling with a sling). The 500 Jeff is always dialed in, so thats all I need to do. I typically will shoot 50 or so rounds with my little 270 Weatherby and a couple of hundred rounds with my pistol in 45 Super.
 

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I am certainly in the minority. When starting out shooting as an adolescent, I needed a lot of practice over many years. Somewhere between 25-30 years of age I peaked. Today I shoot rifles about once a year just to make sure the optics are on. On iron sight dovetail rifles, even less --- in my 25 years of hunting with a traditional muzzleloader I never ever once had to make an adjustment; it is so reliable I have not shot it at the range in proablably 10 years.

Imo as long as I know my rifles shoot dead on, then I am ready to hunt and expect successful shooting in field situations.
 

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You put 2000-2500 rounds per year through your 458WM!? Or am I reading that wrong?

Correction/Omission, Clarification regarding my above post.

Good catch Aussie_Hunter.

My mind wandered while editing. The number of 458WM rounds I shoot per year should have been included at the end under "....with exception:" ........1000 to 1500 rounds per year through my 458WM.

I was editing my comment to shorten it and erased that part and didn't catch it.

Since I reload I'll try different loads (recipes) until I find a recipe I like better than the one I previously liked. Or I may just test a few new bullets for accuracy and work ballistics to what I want from that bullet powder weight combination. Sometimes the math works in favor of the new recipe, sometimes the math doesn't and I'll go back to shooting my favorite recipe.

NOTE: Once I shoot up the test loads I'll shoot some of the previous loads for comparisons.

I generally shoot 40 to 60 458WM rounds per session, depending on what time I arrive at the range and number of shooters at the range, and number of firearms I need or want to shoot.

Only on a couple occasions have I arrived at the range early enough on the right day; set up and started shooting around 10a and left the range around 5:30-7:00p; maybe 6 other shooters all day; I shot 100 rds each 458, 375, 44 mag, 45 ACP and 80 rds 30-06.

These slow days, no one else present, I get a chance to practice speed firing. There are 3 firing ranges 25 yards, 50 yards, and 100 yards. I put targets up on all three ranges, using sticks, I choose my initial shot then come off the sticks, and fire at the other two targets/lanes.

The 3 range lanes are not parallel, but in an arc, which allows the imagination for shooting scenarios.
 
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Troubleshooter

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The majority of my shooting over the past couple of months have consisted of load development for my double, but that is an anomaly. Chambered in .450-400 NE, so it's really more of a medium bore than a "big bore" rifle. Once I get it dialed-in, it will likely constitute a relatively small percentage (20% or so) of my shooting. The bigger challenge is to increase the amount of range time compared to earlier this year.
 

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