Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday range report

I got to do some shooting at 350 yards today, and have pics to show for it.

My friend Aaron gave me a call last night asking for help finding a deer that he shot right before last light and couldn't find. He wanted to get at it when it got light out, and since I had been to this particular spot before and knew that there was about three hundred yards or so where we could shoot, I was more than happy to help.

Aaron is new to deer hunting with a rifle, but is an exceptional marksman. He said that the deer was at about three hundred yards judging with his well trained eye, about ten yards past an old telephone pole, and that he placed the crosshairs of the 12 power Leupold scope about an inch below the top of the deer's back and carefully pressed the trigger. We went to his exact spot and I lazed the telephone pole. . . 287 yards. Good eye.

He saw the deer bow up and disappear behind a hill before emerging about thirty seconds later and heading toward a tree line by the reservoir about four hundred yards to the right. There was a massive amount of blood where the deer was hit. Since blood tracking is hard in a grass field, we headed to the tree line to look for the deer's body, but did not find it after about two and a half hours. We headed back to the scene of the crime to try and track the blood, and ended up finding the deer about thirty yards from where it was hit. Unfortunately the deer had been eaten by a coyote, but we both felt relieved that we at least found it in the first place. Leaving a deer down in the woods somewhere is no good. The deer that Aaron saw running for the tree line was one that he hadn't seen and didn't know was there.

Anyways, after that we set up to shoot some cardboard that I had stapled to one inch pickets. We set one up at a hundred yards so I could verify my zero as I am using the Horus Hawk scope with a range compensating reticle; Aaron wanted to see how high his two hundred yard zero shot at one hundred. We also drove out to 350 yards and placed another target.

If you look close, you can see the long range target as a speck of cardboard on the hill to the right. The wind started to pick up from the South West, and we had a steady 5 mph wind with lots of gusts of up to 20 mph. Here's Aaron getting some work done with a Remington 700 Sendero in .270 Winchester on the one hundred yard target:

I also got some more through the reticle pics with the Horus H-425 ranging reticle:

The last one is more of what I see when I'm looking through it, as far as the size of the crosshairs. The clarity of the scope is way better than what you see here; the crappy Canon camera that I'm using can't focus correctly.

My groups ran about MOA at this range, with the horizontal spread much more than the vertical, which isn't terrible considering the wind. Aaron's rifle did better than mine once he stopped using no name handloads. The 130 grain Winchester Supremes shot into MOA or less with three shot groups. Neither one of us were pursuing bughole groups today, but were trying to get data points for shooting critters at distance. From the start, I ran into the bipod bouncing issue, so I took them off. The rest of the time we shot off of sandbags from the inside of the bed of a truck, which worked well. The bipods jacked up a perfectly good group from the 175 grain Federal Gold Medal Match rounds, stretching the group out vertically to .916 with the horizontal spread at .270. I will duplicate those rounds soon with some handloads.

Overall we both had a blast. Shooting at range is fun, and I can't wait until we get to stretch the range out to over five hundred yards or more.

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