What is your effective range

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by katfish ken, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Do we practice enough with our rifles to be proficient at their maximum range. Or do we limit our shots to the range which we are capable of making an effective 1 shot kill????

    I have hunted squirrels and rabbits with a rifle sense I have been old enough to hunt, I have been known to shoot wasp in the yard with it as well.. I have always enjoyed practicing with my deer rifle at long range 200 to 500 yds. My sons and I shoot and practice regularly But when I'm hunting deer I limit my shots to the range I feel is my maximum effective range, even though I know for certain that I can hit a spot on target much farther out proficiently.
     
  2. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,694
    State:
    arkansas
    Name:
    johnnie
    im not a fantastic shot but i do all right.i shoot a 30 30 and with this new ammo im told its good out to and pass 200 yards but i still limit myself to 100 yards or less.
     

  3. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    Good question. I like to think I'm a pretty good shot...but haven't tested myself long range. A) Ammo is getting expensive. B) I hate to shoot my rifle from a bench. I get injured every time. C) There are no public shooting ranges with a target over 100 yards, I have no rangefinder, and I'm a town dweller. I know...excuses. I'm just sayin' that, admittedly, I don't practice with my deer rifle as much as I need to.

    I have yet to kill a deer at over 100 yards, but feel very confident that I could kill one at 300...if it were a clear broadside shot. There is maybe 6 inches of drop at 300 yards if you are set 1.5" high at 100 yards with a 150 grain .300 mag Super-X. Anything more would be inhumane with me behind the trigger. That's when the high figuring comes in, and I ain't prepared for that...without lots of practice.

    I think that freehand, with nothing to rest the gun on, 200 yards would be a cinch.
     
  4. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Yea, I agree with finding your personal range capability,,, If you want to shoot game at long ranges, practice a lot at longer ranges,, get away from benches, and paper. Learn your ballistics, In the field sometimes there's something around to take a rest with, If not, the best platform I've used in the Marine Corps Sitting position,,, Usually, not enough clearance for a prone shot.. I like to set some kind of reactive target out in the range area, Like water filled jugs, fruit, etc. and hike around and pick-off my targets, and try and shoot the targets from where I see them, If there's a natural rest, I use it, otherwise, I have to become the shooting platform,, it's served me pretty well....Don't forget about wind!!!! :wink:
     
  5. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Messages:
    3,603
    State:
    PA
    I've got a few spots where I have 250 yard shots and I've killed quite a few deer at that range.

    I very rarely take shots past that though. 300 yards max. I shoot a .25-06 and love it. Great caliber.
     
  6. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    I have been lucky enough to shoot at 1000yds and did pretty well. I have killed a 40lb female coyote at 426 measured yds with my 25-06 Sendero. For deer with my 25/06, 30/06 I do not take many shots over 200-250 yds. With my 30-30 I try to keep them 100-150 yds. I was not really worried about the coyote stopping after I shot (it did drop where it stood and was the ONLY time I have shot one that did not move, I thought I missed it) but I like to put a deer down quickly and a follow up shot is easier at a moving deer that is 150 yds from you than one that is 300yds from you.
     
  7. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    I like what I'm hearing. As I said I limit my shot range on deer. Now coyotes and varmints is a totally different story. I am lucky in the fact that I can be set up for 300 to 600 yds. practice in a matter of minutes. I reload for22-250, 30-30, 270,25.06, 308,243win.,243wssm. and 30.06. I have been fortunate enough to live in an area that I could get out and target practice at will as long as budget would allow. As a young man I was employed by The Division of Forestry taking care of a fire watch tower. That was when I found my first need for a rifle larger than a rim fire. The 22-250 seamed to fit the bill for the varmint shooting I had intintion of. This is where my love of rifles really caught fire.
    At the time I worked for The Division of Forestry in the 70's there was no huntable deer populatin in this area so varmint hunting was where it was for me. Foxes,ground hogs and bobcats were varmints that was available at that time. That was when I first started developing the home practice range and reloading as well.
    Living in a very rural area gave me th opertunity to develop shooting skills and I am thankful for that. I have at times walked a half -a-mile to collect a fox that I had dispatched with the 22-250. No I didn't shoot it that fare away, but it was that fare around the thicket that was between it and myself.
     
  8. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    So, I have a buddy that has a family farm a couple of counties over. Among other things, they have a neat little shooting range. Last time I was there, they had several targets at different distances that they had marked off with a tape. One day, his brother in-law brought a laser rangefinder out there, and none of the measurements were really very close at all because there are some subtle rolling hills. When I was in college, and doing some surveying, I found out that what you see is not usually the way things are. The ground contour can change a few yards over a distance, and you can't really see it with your eyes. Or, you can see it, but not comprehend the change in elevation.

    Anyways, that is where practicing with your gun becomes paramount...unless you can afford the cutting edge of optical gadgetry...which I can't. You may very well have a gun that has an effective range of 1000 yards, but past a certain point, math, and other certainties become a serious factor if you want to make an ethical or safe decision in the field.

    Just sayin'. Don't know what I'm sayin', but I sayin' it anyways. :big_smile: It's easy to mis-judge distances with the naked eye. Only tons of practice, or high gadgetry can make you effective to as far out as your firearm will take you. I like to have more gun than I will ever need, rather than not enough gun to do what I want. That way, I can grow into it...hopefully. I know I'm finally getting used to that whack without flinching, and without losing my target in the scope when I pull the trigger.
     
  9. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Yup,
    Field practice is good practice, whether it's archery, or some type of firearm. I've used range finders available to me for the past few years, and it's amazing what you think something is, compared to what it actually is..range wise..
     
  10. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Matt
    I could not agree more. The terrain plays a big part in miss judging distance. There is nothing subtle about the terrain around here our hills are steep as a mules face. I see a lot of people that can't judge yardage for beans in this mountainous terrain. Just because they take 200 steps up the hill to where they shot the deer does not mean they shot it at 200 yds. Few people take a 3' step on flat ground let alone stepping up hill. I had a man instruct me on how to use the post and x hairs in a scope to judge yardage and it has served me well over the years.
    And yes I would much rather have more gun than I need, than need more gun than I have when in the field. With the terrain and timber in the area here a good 100 yd. gun will take a very high percentage of the deer that are killed. But I pack a Model 1 International Ruger 270 win. caliber. Can I shoot what the gun is capable of?? No. I'm sure there are people that can shoot closer to what it is capable of than I can. But I like the way it performs on the range and it's light to carry as well as light on recoil.
     
  11. Txbluecatman

    Txbluecatman Member

    Messages:
    213
    State:
    Texas
    If Im using my 30-06 or 308 I will limit my shots to 300 yards. I do alot of long range varmit shooting during the off season, Usually 250 to 600 yards.
     
  12. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    I agree. The range I was it is a certified 1000yd range from bench face to target. As for the gun, it is a Barrett Model 99 with the 32 inch bull barrel in 50BMG with a Leupold Mark IV 8.5-25x50mm ER/T M1 scope. It could easily kill a full grown elk at 1000yds but there would not be a lot of good left. On the other hand cleaning would be easy and it would be tender!!!!
    A friend did the 1 mile hunt for prong horn a few years back with his Model 82A1 and said it was pretty cool but it was NOTHING like a nice buck 50-75 yards from you and a 30-30 or pistol in your hands. He also said about ANY contact on the animal was enough to drop it on the spot with several taken with grazing shots. The information in military information says a shot in any part of the body will cause enough of a shock to the system to stop the heart and he said that is about exactly what he saw taking place.
     
  13. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    I will add one more thing, a 4ft X 3ft target at 500yds was shockingly small and at 1000yds it is almost not visible without the scope.
    A cheap way to judge distance is a golf measure. A golf flag is about 6 ft tall so if your deer are close to 5 you can use a golf distance scope and roughly judge the distance to the animal. I found that a 4 power cross bow scope with the cross hairs and circle is also a good indicator. If a deers body fills the circle from belly to backbone it is within 100yds.
     
  14. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    That is what I was referring to in The post about using the post and x hair as an aid in yardage estimation. I shoot variable power scopes. I use an 8" board at 100 yds. and set the scope power so the x hair is at the top and the post at the bottom. With some of the low power scopes like the 1.5 to5X scopes you might have to use a 16" board but it works on the same principal. Then I make a not of this on the scope. When I'm target practicing I use 1/2 sheet plywood to staple the target to. So from any distance out to 600 yds. I just do the math.
    Thank you Kip for explaining it so well. Reps you way

    John
    Off season varmint hunting is great practice for deer season. I enjoy it myself.
     
  15. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    The average hunter using .270 or 30/06 and such can sight in 1 to 2 inches
    high at 100 yds. and shoot dead on from 0 to about 300 yds. You should
    never set your scope so high that you have to aim low on close shots. I
    say dead on I mean deer size game.
     
  16. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You spend enough time on the range, range estimation isn't that big of a deal.
    My effective range is the distances I shoot most often and am comfortable with.
    Shooting position plays a factor also.
    500 yards and under on the brown goats without hesitation in the prone position, bipod extended and hovering around 16-18 power.:wink:
     
  17. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    If Im shooting my bow at lady bugs 50 yards is about as far as Im comfortable with.

    Now If I have the 280 out????? :0a5:
     
  18. catfisherman69

    catfisherman69 New Member

    Messages:
    10
    State:
    illinios
    i shot a deer with muzzleloader at 100 yards
     
  19. katfish ken

    katfish ken New Member

    Messages:
    4,092
    State:
    Paintsvill
    Knowing the average size of the game you are hunting can also help in estimating range through your scope.
    I usually set a scope to shoot 2" high at 100yds. and out to 300 you have a set point of aim with most long range rifles. You don't have to worry about hold over till beyond 300 yds..
     
  20. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    What are you shooting?