Interesting clips. The common element in both I thought interesting, was that they took two hours to set up for the shot. And clearly they weren't using typical hunting set-up - like a 30-06 with a 3-9x40 scope. The real question isn't whether it can be done - clearly it can, with all the right equipment. I know I would never try that with the set-up I have.
There are 2 very important elements in long-range shooting: 1) The rifle, and 2) the shooter. Obviously there are many other factors like caliber and ammo selection. The main principal is to find a load that is very accurate and consistent with your individual gun, and then to develop drop charts for the combo that can in turn be dialed into your optics to compensate for windage and elevation.
Caliber selection is probably a less important consideration. Many military snipers use a Remington 700 that is professionally accurized, shooting the .308 cartridge. Because so much is known about the ballistics of this round, lots of shooting discipline/practice coupled with good ballistics tables produce consistency.
Most consider *about* 1000 yards to be the upper limit of conventional cartridges. Bullet energy diminishes rapidly beyond 600 yards. It takes a tremendous amount of practice, thousands of rounds of ammunition, a very accurate rifle, good optics, a dead rest, and a top notch spotter to produce consistent results beyond 500 yards.
Most rifles can be accurized very well by good gunsmiths. Blueprinted/face trued actions and a high quality free-floated barrel combine with precision triggers to make this possible.
Beyond 1000 yards, most turn to bigger boomers. The heavier bullets and additional velocity create more energy downrange and are less influenced by wind. On the light end of the spectrum you have the .300/.338/.375 Ultramags, .30x378, and moving to the .416 Barrett or .50 BMG.
I have a neighbor who is into long range shooting up to 1200 yards. Mostly it is 1000 yard shots though.
The rifle is a very heavy barreled 300 Mag. He shoots only one load with is a very heavy bullet of known ballistic coefficient. Of course the velocity can be checked, then with a computer you can calculate the trajectory. You know where the bullet will be at any range in respect to the line of sight. Now comes the interesting part. His scope was specially built knowing the ballistics of the bullet and little dots were put on the vertical cross hair for different ranges. Now the problem is to find the range accurately. He solved that problem with a pair of very expensive binoculars with a range finder built in. His rifle has a mounting on the forearm for a pair of shooting legs.
Two hours to set up the shot? Rather funny. He let me try it out. It took only a few seconds to read the range with the binocs. I then got prone and set the rifle on the legs, and held a wet finger up to see if the wind was going to be a problem. Hunkered down, and held on the right dot for the range. I was a little jiggley, so I took off my jacket and rolled it up to rest the stock on. That was much better. Now I was ready for that long shot. I didn't shoot, cause we were in town, and he was just showing me the setup. Maybe two minutes or three to set up ready to fire. Getting to know how much to allow for windage would take some experience. The rest is pretty much science. Science and good shooting skill.
You can get one of these from Cabelas that's set up for the likes of .300 win mag, etc. The trick in ordering one of these is to know your B.C and velocity. They make scopes that are ready-set for various B.C.'s and velocities for around $600.
A custom one-off can be made for your personal setup, but it'll run you about $1000. Find a bullet that your rifle likes, chronograph it to achieve an average velocity spread, then send the data in with your order. pretty slick and professional company.
I used to shoot 1000 yd competition with a couple of guys that used these.
Me, I used a Weaver fixed 12X. There's an interesting trick in using the reticle to judge range. If you use a fine crosshair, long shots using "Kentucky elevation" yields pretty good consistency. I used to bust clay pigeons out to 700 yards with this setup, Frisbees at 1000. Won't win any Bench Rest competitions, but we never used benches or bipods- field positions only. Hitting a frisbee at 1000 is good enough to put a buck in the freezer as long as you have a good broadside shot, every time. My personal longest shot at game was 725 or so. Didn't use a rangefinder, just the reticle. My math must have been good enough, begause the 190 Sierra boattail took out both shoulders and dumped him flat. Half-way to him, he tried to get up, and I dumped him again for good.
My rifle of choice is a '03A3 Springfield .30-06 with a 28" med. heavy weight Fajen barrel. Picked it up at Doug's for $375, used. Sweet shooter.
I don't hunt that way anymore though.
7 Rem. Mag is a great long range caliber as well- just consider the size of the animal you're shooting at before you pull the trigger. Make sure your cartridge generates at least two-and a half the FPE as the animal likely weighs. That's my rule of thumb for long shots.
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