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precision shooting

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Kevatc, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    So I think I'd like to try my hand at learning how to shoot out to decent distances which for me will mean 400-500 yards. I am not a hunter and have very little experience shooting scoped rifles beyond 100 yards. At least for the time being I think perhaps a Remington 700 or Savage model 10 in .308 are my most likely choices. My plan is to go Leupold on the glass (like to keep my money relatively local) and probably spend $300-400. While I continue to save up for this purchase I've been trying to learn a bit about scopes, mils, distance estimation, holds, etc. I have been watching the Magpul Precision Rifle DVD and am finding that I am lost when they start talking about holds and wind corrections. They are lucky in that they have a PDA that is doing the calculations but I doubt I'd ever have a PDA to do this for me. Are there any good books or websights to go to in order to get up to speed on the academics so that when I actually do get to go shoot I won't be wasting a ton of ammo just to prove I have no idea of what I am doing? Thanks.
     
  2. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Tacoma, WA Member

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    I've put rounds on target at 800 yards with no PDA or calculator. First thing you need to do is not over think things. Go with a buddy who can spot with a spotting scope or his rifle scope. That's the best help you can have dialing in a rifle at long range.

    I recommend a good sniper log book, record your shots, where they land, conditions, load info, etc. That way you can go back and reference that next time, VERY valuable data.

    Here is a good example.

    Impact Data Books, Inc. - Modular, Premade, Custom Data/Log Books!
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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  4. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This looks like a great resource! Thank you for posting. I can tell I'll be spending some hours looking over all this info.
     
  5. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    trouble posting a reply to this thread
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Your initial research is spot-on, and your choices are commendable. My personal preference would be the Remington 700, but that is no slight against the Savage's well-earned reputation for accuracy. Your caliber choice is perfect for your application, and your intention for a Leupold scope cannot be faulted.

    Misgivings about ammo usage can be mitigated somewhat if you begin at 100 yards, and do not increase that range until you are proficient there. YOU are the greatest variable (and detriment) toward accuracy. Elimination of your own errors will save lots of trouble (and ammo) when you go to the greater ranges. Increase your range incrementally, remaining at the new range until proficient, then proceed to a chosen next step.
    You also deserve a pat on the back for keeping your goals realistic, practical, and attainable. At 400-500 yards, a scope with parallax adjustment (either in the objective bell, or a side knob on some higher-end models) might be recommended, but not absolutely necessary. Parallax is the charateristic of optics that allows the crosshair to move off target as a result of the eye not perfectly centered in the eyepiece. Most hunting scopes without the parallax dials are set to be parallax-free at 100 to 150 yards. Parallax is easily observed by sighting through a rimfire scope at 100 yards. Move your eye a bit without moving the gun, and the crosshair moves off the target (rimfire scopes are usually set to be parallax free at lesser ranges).

    A reticle that features "mil-dots" (or similar) under the crosshair point can be useful for reference points at the longer ranges, but a good duplex can be used to excellent effect, employing the lower vertical crosshair's bold point as a reference, accompanied by practice.
     
  7. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Spitpatch. If I had to buy right now it would be the Savage although I hear lots of great stuff about Rem 700. I have read that the Rem stock can make contact with the barrel and I actually saw this first hand. I had a friend show me his and say it's no big deal. As I held the Rem rifle I could squeeze the stock and make contact with the barrel. Perhaps this is a big deal at ranges greater than I am talking about but that is the reason I am leaning more to the Savage with the Accu-stock. I guess I'd rather buy with a good stock already (even though the cammo Savage stock on the model 10 isn't esthetically pleasing to me).

    Your comments about the parallax issue is another thing I have lots to learn about. I would assume that proper eye relief as well as consistent cheek weld are essential to reducing the effect of parallax.

    I hope I don't display my ignorance too much but is there a reticle that allows for wind/elevation correction versus having to turn knobs?
     
  8. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Leupold offers just such a reticle. Check out their website: it has angular has marks to give reference points for windage at various ranges. Looks like segments of a pyramid.
    Handloading for your purposes should not be necessary. Quality factory loads of today are very often hard to beat even with precise and painstaking handloading. Find a load your gun prefers, and stick with it.
     
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am a huge fan of the IOR scopes for their quality but also for this reticule,

    You are able to make precise hold overs and windage yet the dot is very quick to pick up.

    Valdada Optics I currently have 2 of their 4-14x50 (one on my target AR and M1A) and have plans on a 6-24x50 for my AR-30 .300 Win Mag. I had an older 6-24x50 with the standard MP8 which was ok but not as nice as the "dot". It got sold with the gun to a friend.

    Most companies make some kind of "ranging" reticule. Mil Dots are most common but I am not a fan because they are too big and cover most of the target at the game and distance I shoot.
     
  10. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Tacoma, WA Member

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    You are looking for the Horus reticles, but be warned there is a hefty licensing fee the scope manufacture has to pay for that reticle. The results is a significant up charge.

    With that said, you can successfully do hold overs with a standard hash mark reticle like the Leupold TMR.

    tb_1868_tactical-milling.gif
     
  11. erslll

    erslll Hermiston OR Active Member

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    The problem with Leupold and the TMR is that it gets real expensive to get one with turrets that match the reticle. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think you are looking at over $1500 for a Mark 4 with Mil turrets. I am not going to bash Leupold because I own a few and they are good scopes. I will say that I think you can get equal scopes with the same features and very comparable glass for a lot less.
     
  12. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Tacoma, WA Member

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    The scope on my Rem 700P 338LM is a Leupold Mark4 ER/T 8.5-25x50 FFP with TMR reticle (mil) and M5 (mil) turrets and it cost $1900. Expensive is a relative term, a lot of people buy a scope with the same general specs as mine except it says Schmidt Bender or Hensoldt on the side of it and cost twice as much. You gotta pay to play!
     
  13. erslll

    erslll Hermiston OR Active Member

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    No doubt about that. The point I was trying to make though is that you don't have to spend that much anymore for a very decent scope and a decent scope that has matching turrets. The PST's and Sightron SIII's are half that money and I bet you would have a hard time seeing twice the glass quality in the Mark 4.

    I guess the point I really was trying to make is that I think matching turrets are important and for some one just starting out, a $1500+ scope may be pretty hard to justify.
     
  14. dmancornell

    dmancornell Portland, OR New Member

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  15. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    The .308 in a model 700 or in an Accustock Savage model won't be all that heavy, and I'm sure you will quickly tire of the recoil. To master "precision" shooting, you are going to be shooting it a lot. If you go .308, you need to buy a heavy rifle to control the recoil. Most the guys shooting the larger calibers at those distances shoot heavy rifles, often up to 17 lbs or more.

    Have you considered a fast twist .223 Remington? Savage offers some 1:7 twist rifles, such as the LRPV, that can handle the heavy .224 caliber bullets. You can get one of these rifles for a few hundred bucks over what you are considering. These heavy bullets have ballistic coefficients high enough to buck the wind out to 500 yards. Some people even shoot the .223 out to 1000 yards. Google Laurie Holland and read some of his article on the subject. Even a 1:9 twist will handle 69 grain match bullets that can do well at the distance you have indicated provide the winds are calm and/or consistent.

    If you are new to shooting scoped rifles beyond 100 yards, I would move to 200 yards and get things figured out at that range, then out to 300, then 400. Shooting those distance are not as easy as the "one hole group all day long" guys on the Internet will lead you to believe. Get some wind flags, or at least some dowls with surveyors tape attached to see what the wind is doing. The scopes listed about are great (expensive) scopes, but they are not going to tell you what to do. You need to figure out what the wind does to your bullets before you can figure out where to hold. Also, about half the people hold and the other half use clicks at those distance. If you find you like to click, then those complicate reticles are going to provide you no help. Also, if you are shooting known distances, then mildot type scopes don't do you much good. Many of those reticles are designed to determine range in pressure situations, so you can calculate bullet drop. A good range finder is a much better choice if you are not getting shot at. Don't get caught up in the "tactical" cool game unless that is your thing.

    Many people get started in long distance shooting and once they discover how difficult it is, they quit. I wouldn't invest too much money in a very expensive scope until find out it is your thing. A Weaver 36X scope could be a good place to start. You can find them used for $300. At 500 yards you are going to need quite a bit of magnification, at least 32x. Mirage is a big problem with fixed power scopes like the Weaver, so a decent variable would be a more practical choice. Sightron makes an SII 6-24x that would get you started and would cost around $450 new, and will be good out to 300-400 yards, at least to start with. When you move up to the higher power scopes, or a Leupold, you are going to have to pry open your wallet and cry.

    Do you reload? Better get started. I don't know any serious precision shooter that doesn't reload. If you don't, you are stuck with factory ammo that may or may not be tuned for your particular rifle.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My responses in blue.
    As mentioned I do reload for 223 so perhaps I should look into that caliber as my first step.
     
  17. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Savage offers rifles in their Target Series that weigh 11-13 lbs. Add a 2-3 lb scope and you get in the range where the repeated recoil is tolerable in a .308 Win. I don't think Remington offers anything that weighs that much. Recoil is a subjective thing though. Some people don't seem to mind it. Others say they don't, but if you watch them shoot, they have a noticable flinch that will prevent them from shooting small groups. Myself, I don't like recoil and will probably never target shoot with anything bigger than a 6mmBR in the 13-14 lb range.

    The way I think of precision shooting, a 3-9x scope is WAY under powered. I shoot short range benchrest at 100-200 yards and use 8-32x and 6-24x scopes. I would like to move up to a 45x fixed power scope or a 12-42x variable. I have a tough time shooting precision groups at 100 yards with my deer rifle and it has a 3-9x. Same rifle with one of my high power scopes and I shoot much better. You will really limit what you can do with a 3-9x. On the other hand if all you want to do is bust milk jugs full of water at 400 yards, you could do that with the 3-9x. All depends on what you think of as precision.
     
  18. xoddah

    xoddah Sandy Or Member

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    Agree with all... Take a look at the Leupold custom shop web site.. for $65.00 you can have a reticle matched to your caliber and hand loads (crono info is good if you have it) and / or custom BDC and windage caps for $65.00 each
    best money i ever spent
     
  19. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    I can't imagine a 308 bolt gun having enough recoil to cause problems over an extended range session. If that's going to be a problem, put a brake on it. My Holland's QD turned my 300 WM recoil into more like something in the .243 range. Something to think about. I'm not trying to make fun of anyone, please don't think that, but to c/o recoil in a 308, maybe you SHOULD think about a smaller caliber?