Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Info Bleg for Precision Shooters Who Read Here

I know of two online sources for information:  Accurate Shooter and Precision Rifle Blog.  Of the two, Accurate Shooter, which includes 6mmBR.com and The 6.5 Guys, seems the more active and with more information.  I'm also aware of Sniper's Hide, but I get the feeling it's all by subscription.  I've barely scratched the surface on any of those. 

If you wanted to learn long range shooing, where's a good place to dive in and read?  What sources am I missing? 

My goal is to stretch out my shooting to our club's 300/600 yard range.  As is often the case, I want to shoot with what I have before I think about going for a full, new kit.  I think the demands for shooting 300 or 600 yards are not as great as shooting 1000 or more, and I expect many common hunting or predator rifles will be good at 600. 

I have two bolt guns, a .308 Savage Scout rifle and a Remington 700 in .30-06.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Scout would be fine at those distances, except for the forward mounted scope.  I understand that .30-06 used to be a common long range cartridge, but neither of those is considered a precision long range round by today's standards. 

My early model Savage Scout rifle. 


  1. Either one of those rifles will work. I think you'll find the POI will move as the skinny barrel heats up. I know my 700 does. Also 30-06 is fine, I shoot my M1 with iron sights at 600. You'll also probably want something other than 150 grain ball ammo. Something with a 168 HPBT would be better.

    Jim Owens has some good stuff on High Power Rifle shooting. It is not the same as bench rest but he talks about reading the wind and other skills that apply.

  2. http://appliedballisticsllc.com

  3. Learning the fundamentals and applying them is most likely the key here.
    An Appleseed as a refresher then working on Wind reading, Angles, hold overs. Ammo and gear selection. Several resources out there.
    www.longrangeonly.com appears to have some good articles. www.longrangehunting.com with more of a hunting based focus and a good discussion group. I know years ago Snipers Hide had some good articles and discussions on technique and craft.

  4. A 175 great bullet is the bee's knees in .308 right now. Not sure about the '06 though. I started in the army, by reading the FM 23-10. The big thing I've found is to know your bullet drop and windage (plenty of sites and phone apps for that, I use Strelok for my android), your scope clicks and your bullet speed. Once you have that get a good 300yd zero, punch in the data on your ballistic app and you should be able to hit at 600 easy

  5. RE: Scout scopes - Nikon makes a 2.5-8X that's pretty good; more magnification than Leupold's 2.5X or Burris' 2.75; Burris is now making a 2-7X, I don't see a lot of difference between it and the Nikon (have both), but the Nikon is available with a BDC reticle (I think the Burris is, too, now).

    Don't expect too much from the Savage 10; after some tweaking (barrel floating, action bedding, trigger work, etc.) I'm confident of "minute of paper plate" accuracy at 500 yards from a rest with mine. From a practical standpoint, it's a good "field use 350 yard rifle" with the Nikon scope and good eyes that the right conditions (and a proficient rifleman) could stretch another 50-75 yards. Beyond that it just needs more scope and a better barrel (IIRC, the Scout is a 1:10 barrel, and a slightly faster twist, maybe a 1:9.5, would help on distance, especially with 168 grain and heavier bullets). For a "Jeff Cooper Practicle Rifle" it's good; I get slightly better results from my Ruger Scout, and am giving thought to obtaining one of the new 18" barrels for it (assuming backward compatibility), but for a day in the woods in the rain (or, perhaps on the barricades), the Savage works.

    The simplest path to 1K is a Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmore and one of the Leupold Mark IVs or Nightforce optics.

  6. WHERE in Florida can you actually USE a 600 yard shot???

    Except, of course, at a range. Or is this just for entertainment, instead of practical purpose?

    1. @Mark - the NRA High Power course of fire includes 600 yards for prone, so a number of ranges have that. IIRC, one near our host (Malabar) has 600, and also IIRC there are a couple on the west coast (of Florida). Several have 300 meters, which is 328 yards, and there's usually enough space to set targets at 350 yards even though that distance may not be measured or marked on the range. Where I live now there are two 1K ranges within an hour's drive of me.

      As for practicality, I can envision circumstances in which I might need to exert some degree of influence within a 500 meter radius, which is only a little short of 600 yards. Florida being pool-table-flat, a little elevation can open vistas well beyond 600 yards. I also do not dismiss the entertainment (and educational) value of ringing the gong at 1K (or farther); one can learn a great deal about ballistics, trajectory, wind and ability in those last 400 yards that can't be learned in the first 600, but reliable hits at 600 are not to be sneezed at.

  7. Ryan Cleckner's book "Long Range Shooting Handbook" gets lots of good reviews. I haven't read it yet, but I've browsed the contents enough to see that it's a good intro to all the key factors.

  8. SG- look around for a copy of Precision Shooting Magazine's book "Precision shooting at 1000 yards". Gunny Owens, I think it was, has several good books on riflery, especially including the one on reading the wind.

    for .308 projectiles, 168 Sierra MKs and Hornady ELD-M are good to 7-800 yards. Sierra's 175 MK is (barely) good to 1000 from a gas gun; if you load it carefully for a bolt you can go a little farther. For the '06 bolt I'd recommend H4350 and 180 or 190 grain Sierras.

    I use Federal Match primers for all my long range loads (>600 yards)
    and prefer Lapua brass when available for the caliber.

    The Scout suffers a bit from the short tube; for distances out to 300 it won't make much difference, but for longer ranges, I'd pick the 700 '06. My suggestion would be to leave the Scout as-is and make the Remington your LR rifle. This is not to denigrate the Savage; with proper handloads, the one I had used to stay under 1 1/4" at 100 yards for a 10 shot group, with proper handloads, which is excellent in my book, despite the buggy whip barrel.

  9. I had some problems with blogger before, but I think it's going to work now (if it doesn't you won't be reading this; it swallowed three comments already).

    I want to thank everyone for some good comments. There's a lot of good information here.

    It seems there's a few folks recommending the 700 over the Savage. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of replacing its barrel and converting it from .30-06 to .308, but I can see that .30-06 ought to be fine as is. I can reload for .30-06 and have reloaded it in the past.

    My 700 is old, not that it's a bad thing. After some research, I concluded it was from 1984, and has a low power scope on it, like 3-9 IIRC. I think it was somebody's once-a-year hunting rifle. One of the reasons I got it was how widely respected the 700 action was as a long range rifle. I gather the guys chasing something newer have left it behind.

    1. BTW, hopefully you are aware of the recall on some 700s:

      I had posted about it before, so I suspect your rifle is not from that group, but just in case...

    2. I don't believe my rifle is eligible, but thanks for posting it. I haven't checked with Remington for an official answer, though. The main class is rifles produced from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014, and after some time trying to pin my rifle down by its serial number and barrel markings, some guys on a Remington owners forum say it was made sometime in 1984, possibly October.

      My first hint it wasn't modern is that I bought a stock pad for it that "fits all Remington 700s" and the screw pattern was nowhere near right.

    3. This page:

      will walk you through a determination of whether your rifle is part of this effort. If they let you submit the claim, they have determined that you have a gun which is part of the recall. If you're not, they will tell you so before you reach the end of that process.

  10. I would buy a copy of Modern Ballistics for Long Range Shooting by Brian Litz for a good intro into the recent developments in the long range world. If you don't know the difference between G1 and G7 you really need to read the book. A lot has changed in the past 10 years in terms of understanding and equipment and the book does a good job going over those developments.

    Shooting out to 600 is fairly easy. But you want to develop the skills and understanding to go to the max distance of whatever it is you are shooting.

    Think of it as a square diagram. On each corner sits; Rifle, Scope (and mounts), Ammo, Shooter. Each is tool for improving the other 3. You can solve a lot of problems with money but money alone has diminishing returns if it isn't being spent correctly on each part of the square.

    If you get a chance to take a class with Caylen Wojcik I HIGHLY recommend it. If you want to get serious about long range shooting the money spent with him will save you 10X the price of the course and save you years of pain and struggle.

    Hope this helps



    1. There appears to be a 2014 edition that's out of print (guessing) and a Volume 2 in 2016. I assume you mean the original?