Serious Long Range Hunting and Target Dope

In preparing to discuss Long Range Target and Game Shooting, NH Rifleman began to research what is out there for information.  On game hunting it is always a critical axiom that you are capable of a clean kill at the ranges that you shoot.

At all distances it is important to be aware of delivered energy to a game animal such as deer (empirical data estimates 1000 ft-lbs minimum for deer, 1500 ft-lbs for elk and 2500 ft lbs for Moose).

Other official sources suggest to include a minimum bullet speed as well upon contact due to the need for the bullet to mushroom(data on mushrooming debatably suggest to be in the vicinity of say 1800 to 2000 fps (2000 fps being ideal speed to fully mushroom a lead bullet).

A .243 Winchester 90 grain spitzer designed for deer hunting can ethically kill a deer at just over 300 yards. My M77 Hawkeye African in .375 Ruger with 260 grain heads can kill a Moose easily at 200 yards with the above criteria. A 30-06 can do it with a 180 grain at 100 yards though longer shots are regularly taken successfully. According to “The Target Book of North American Big Game”  Middleton and Moran”  the Cartridges you are commonly familiar with, limit deer and elk shots beyond 650 yards because of where the intersection of energy and bullet mushrooming occur best.  If you minimize the mushroom aspect then shots can be taken much farther- Campfire fodder. After that, target shooting takes over pretty much.

In target shooting it is all about the accuracy of the cartridge and bullet ballistic coefficient shape, diameter of the bullet, boat-tail style, ability to buck wind drift with the least recoil to shoot lots of bullets.

Long Range Ballistic Applications beyond 300 yards:

All that being said; There are many Apps for Long Range Ballistic solutions so you may want to do some independent investigation if the desire to learn about the effects of Coriolis Force, Spin Drift, Ballistic Coefficient calculations based on real time drop data, reloading considerations, Wind Drift, Atmospheric Conditions and Altitude on shooting well beyond 300 yards. Did you know that a bullet traveling west, you have to aim higher because of earth spin and lower if shooting east? Me either.

Below is a review already written for this BulletFlight App (M) for Military use that can be used on an IPhone, IPad and other hand held devices that you can take to the range. It is a very top of the line tool for long range application for $30 bucks. There are less expensive versions as well. See your I-tunes web for other brands as well.

another article

A great book many say! I have not yet read it but will soon.

Armed with skill and practice the target shooter or hunter can make shots on game and targets farther than he thought with the right tools, and practice.

Long Range Shooting excellence takes study, patience, a calm nerve, and lots of Practice.


This entry was posted in Reloading for long range target shooting. by Ed Hale. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.