Jump to content

400 yard shots


Recommended Posts

I shot my 1st Elk, a cow at just over 350 yards.  Longest shot I have ever taken on game and while it disabled the animal, I still had to have a finishing shot from closer.  Since then nothing over 200 yards and most around 100 yards a couple of deer were inside 75 yards.

 

By the way my rifle has been a Winchester 88 in .308

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 77
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • MAArcher

    18

  • Brad Eden

    8

  • grouse28

    7

  • Tim Frazier

    6

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I find there is more accomplishment with a 15 yard shot then a 400 yard every day of the year.  At 400 yards, an animal is just a living target.  

To me the "sporting" element of the hunt lies within the range of an animal's senses. There's always an acceptable distance that an aware animal could/should have recognized danger. Shooting within th

Ethics (as opposed to legality) are a personal thing. I find as I get older, that ethics have become more of a factor in the way that I hunt - indeed, in the way I live my life.    I try try

Posted Images

7 hours ago, grouse28 said:

Is it sporting? No, in hindsight. As was mentioned before, live targets. My own feeling is if you cannot absolutely place a bullet in a 5 inch circle you should not be taking the shot, regardless of the weapon you are using. Open sights at longer range, running deer are not ethical in my opinion. Kentucky drop and windage maybe the stuff of movies but not in hunting.

 

Why wouldn't you think its sporting?  You don't think just anyone can kill a deer at 800 yards do you?   I'd be surprised if it was one in 100 guys in this forum who could print a 5" group at 800 yards, field conditions.  Heck, there probably isn't even one in 100 that own equipment capable of it.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I hunted in MI the longest shot was probably 50 yards.  I started hunting in MT in 2005 and I've taken one buck at 307 yards and the buck in 2018 was 285.  My vision even with a scope is not good so I'm not comfortable with the long shots anymore.  I doubt I would attempt a 300 yard shot any longer.

It is very different hunting in the wide open spaces vs the trees.  I like it better.  A lot more action because typically you can see what going on long before you have to take the shot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was live target shooting. We were young, it was fun. Sat on one side of a canyon, perched on a level spot with a sheer drop below.

Had a shooting bench, spotting scopes, binoculars, range finder, etc. Small fire and hot dogs to stay warm. Coffee and hot chocolate, sandwiches, quite an arrangement. Just sitting watching deer, bear, turkey on the opposite side of the canyon. Most fun was watching the interaction between deer and the few hunters we saw. Watching the buck, deciding if we wanted to take it was the most involvement we had with the buck. The real work began after the shot and retrieving the deer.

BTW shooting the 1000 yard competition you had to put 10 shoots in less than 10” to be competitive, winners were 6 to 8”, this being back in the late 70’s and 80’s.

Today the record is 2.6” for a 10 shot group. Group aggregates are around 5 inches. Fine shooting considering the distance and what can happen between barrel and target. Mirage alone can move the apparent impact significantly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shot my deer and antelope this year over 400 yards in pretty stiff winds and Ive shot my share of deer, elk with long bow under 20 yards. Different skills, different practice.

 

I shoot 1000 yards on my property and don't have much difficulty hitting a 10 inch steel plate at 1000 yards. Ive shot out to 1500 yards.  Todays rifles, ammo, powder, bullest and calibers with high BC, reloading, scopes, laser range finders make it very doable.  My self imposed limit is around 500 to 600 yards if conditions are right and can find or construct a decent rest.

 

I had my 16 year niece hitting gongs at 300 yards in about 15 minutes and she never shot a firearm before.

 

Personally think more difficult to take an alert animal under 20 yards than 500 yards

 

 

You can build a reliable 1000 yard rifle with glass for under $2000

Link to post
Share on other sites

The longest shot I have ever made on a game animal was a mule deer at 325 yards. It was successful, but it seemed a long shot at the time. For me, at least, 400 yards is a very long shot. I think most people taking about long distance shooting significantly overstate the distances involved. I have never shoot an elk beyond about 100 yards.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MAArcher said:

 

Why wouldn't you think its sporting?  You don't think just anyone can kill a deer at 800 yards do you?   I'd be surprised if it was one in 100 guys in this forum who could print a 5" group at 800 yards, field conditions.  Heck, there probably isn't even one in 100 that own equipment capable of it.  

The problem is not HITTING the animal... it is following up successfully. Impact energy at the range you speak of is minimal and the chances of wounding are high. By the time you get to where the animal was, you may be a long way from where it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Chukarman said:

The problem is not HITTING the animal... it is following up successfully. Impact energy at the range you speak of is minimal and the chances of wounding are high. By the time you get to where the animal was, you may be a long way from where it is.

Exactly, when we shot we could see the entire side of a mountain from our “perch”.  Always left a spotter at the perch to direct the shooter to the deer with walk-in talkies. No deer were wounded or lost.

Funny story. My brother shot a nice buck and it ran into a small patch of small spruce trees. Never exited. Other brother made the hour long trip to the base of the mountain across the creek. Started up the side, probably a 600 foot climb in elevation. Saw a dead dead about 100 feet up and asked my brother the spotter if the deer slid down the side, response was no, it never came out of the spruces. 
Brother gets to the spruces and sees the death bed and a slide in the snow which he followed back down to the dead deer at the bottom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Improvements in bullet technology have come just as far as optics in recent years.   For years, numbers like1000 ft-lb or 1300 ft-lb of energy have been touted as the minimum energy to cleanly/ethically take a deer. (1000 is the more popularly touted number)  Kinetic energy is a big player in the terminal ballistics.  The bullet design, however,  plays just as important a role in the killing power and bullet velocity plays a big part in bullet performance...  So there are at least three big players:  Bullet velocity, bullet design, and bullet energy at target....and this all assumes that you hit in the kill zone.

Bullet designers recommend minimum impact velocities in order to reliably expand or mushroom the projectile. For example, Nosler has a minimum impact velocity of 1800fps for all of their hunting bullets, except the ABLR which has minimum impact velocity of 1300fps in order to reliably expand or mushroom.

 

If we go with the higher recommended kinetic energy of 1300 ft-lb, the 30-06 and the 308 win will both fall out of the 'ethical' energy limit somewhere between 450-500 yards.  They are both flying around 1900fps so they are fast enough at that distance for proper bullet performance. 

I personally like some of the smaller bores.  I generally shoot a .264 win mag.  My load drops to 1300 ft-lb at 1070 yards.  At that distance, it is still flying at 2029fps.  (faster and more energy than a 30-30 at 100 yards.)

The cartridge is very capable of quickly and ethically killing deer beyond  1000 yards.   That doesn't mean that many hunters/shooters are capable of doing so.

 

Most people would agree that the 44mag is an ethical choice for shooting deer with a handgun.  However, most loads for the 44 mag max out near 1100 ft-lb energy and 1500fps (at the muzzle) and only get close to the 1300 ft-lb of energy for "ethical" kinetic energy with a couple loads including +p.  (to be fair to 44 mag though, if you agree with the Taylor KO factor, the larger diameter and mass of the 44 slug can make up for some of the decrease in kinetic energy.. in other words, we are talking apples and oranges with it)

 

All this is just to say that with proper selection of modern weapons and bullets, downrange energy and performance are not an issue.  Consistently hitting a kill zone long range, in real hunting conditions, can be very difficult and requires proper equipment, instruction, practice and judgement.   As grouse28 stated, I think that a spotter is an important part of the equation and can make the difference in recovering animals.  That can be if the deer is not DRT, but more commonly is because the terrain looks very different from where you shoot than it does when you arrive at the destination.  

 

Too many people buy a nice gun with some nice optics and think they are ready for long range hunting.  But there is much more to it than that.  A while back, my wife and I were at the range.  She was shooting her quarter bore while I was playing with some loads for my .264.  She picked up my rifle and was putting her shots on paper at 800yds.   Not a great group but shots were on a 12" target at 800 yards. Many people would take that and head to the hills for some 800yard hunting.  I wouldn't feel comfortable with her shooting much past 400 yards.  Shooing at live targets, in the hills, is very different than punching paper at the range.

 

I'm not a benchrest shooter or long range competition guy, just a guy that likes to shoot and enjoys long range.  I kill paper and milk jugs out to 1300 yards regularly and think I'll be joining the mile club this year.  My farthest large game kill is just north of 600 yds but I feel very confident out to 800 if in no to low wind. I have never lost an animal that I have shot over 400 yds.  In fact the only deer that I have lost, with a rifle was shot under 200 yds in scrub oak in snow, with my 30-06. ( still not sure what happened. Dad and I both saw the deer hunch, as hit,  and run down hill.  I could never find it or even blood.  I would have thought I missed, but dad was shooting the same loads and shot a doe from about 180 yards.  It ran 100 yards and didn't loose a drop of blood until right before it died...and you can usually see blood in snow.  He had placed the shot right in the boiler. I think that those bullets were problematic)  I did tag a doe that day.  It was at 440 yards.

 

My hunting rig is a montana rifle co x2 in .264 win mag with 26" barrel,  topped with a vortex Razor HD AMG.  I'm shooting 142 gr nosler ablr with muzzle velocity just north of 3100fps.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Chukarman said:

The problem is not HITTING the animal... it is following up successfully. Impact energy at the range you speak of is minimal and the chances of wounding are high. By the time you get to where the animal was, you may be a long way from where it is.

 

I'd have to disagree.  The problem IS hitting the animal.  If you're using the right equipment energy is not the issue.  A 338 Lapua has more energy at 400 yards than a 308 does at the muzzle.  Both have plenty of energy to kill a deer (and most anything else) at that range.  The problem is that 400 yards isn't a chip shot for most unless you've practiced and acquired the SKILL.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hunting deer and antelope in ND and Wyoming I've taken probably a dozen at 300 plus and including a nice buck at 460. However most, even in very open areas are 100 - 200. (out of about 60). I'd much rather shoot close than far. Too much room for error but when needed.....

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MAArcher said:

 

I'd have to disagree.  The problem IS hitting the animal.  If you're using the right equipment energy is not the issue.  A 338 Lapua has more energy at 400 yards than a 308 does at the muzzle.  Both have plenty of energy to kill a deer (and most anything else) at that range.  The problem is that 400 yards isn't a chip shot for most unless you've practiced and acquired the SKILL.  

 

In your previous post you were talking about 800 yard ranges. I am OK with shooting at the 400 yard range if it’s reasonable given environmental factors - wind, etc. - provided one cannot get closer. Double the range to 800 yards and it is problematic. Residual energy drops off pretty rapidly and recovery of an wounded animal at half a mile is chancy. 

 

I know it’s currently popular to shoot at animals at extended ranges. I just won’t do it. Better, IMO, to wait/work for a better shot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you ask me a 7mm Magnum would handle that shot 400 yrds. - (JMHO)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that a lot of people east of the ms river don’t have shot opportunities at game over 200yds west of it there are more opportunities. We have stands on our place that allow 300 plus shots but we don’t recommend people taking them unless they are comfortable with those distances.  If you don’t practice shooting those ranges you have very good odds of one hopefully missing or two make a bad shot and loos the game.    I’m fortunate that we have a very nice range that we can and do shoot out to 500yds.  My FIL is a rifle crank and designed the range for his long range enjoyment.  I probably shoot a couple hundred rounds out to 500 every year.  Mainly during the summer.      Our long range stands also have cheaters that have yardage marks along the lanes. That way when a deer comes out there is no doubt how far it is.  The longest I’ve shot a deer was 350 yds   To me it’s a skill that needs to be honed if you want the best results.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I restrict myself to 200 yards, .270 Winchester, 2.5 x 8x scope, 68 year old man.

 

The rifle and scope are much more capable than the man which is certainly the controlling factor.  

 

Last three shots have taken two Buck deer and one Doe antelope, I'm satisfied with that!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...