Long range shooting
The reasons behind peoples want for long range shooting varies as does the reasons for anything we do. Though for the most part most people see a challenge in being able to hit a target at great distances with accuracy.
Many never gave thought to any shooting over the common distance for dear until Hollywood made some or other movie about a sniper shooting the bad guy at a greatly exaggerated distance.
If you take a look at the average distance that real snipers in the world have made shots there are some common ranges mostly between 300-700 yards. Here is listed just a few of the very extreme shots taken.
From Feb. 1967 until March 2002 the record was held by none other then Carlos Hathcock (U.S. Marine) during the Vietnam War. Carlos took his shot with a scope mounted M2 Browning .50 Cal. machine gun. The range was 2,347 yards = 7,041 feet or just about 1 and ¼ miles.
In March 2002 the record was broken by Master Corporal Rob Furlong from Newfoundland, Canada during the Afghanistan War. 2,657 yards =7,971 feet or a respectable distance of 1 and 1/2 miles. Rob used a .50 Cal. BMG McMillan TAC-50 bolt-action rifle.
There have been a few others who exceeded 1000-yard kills but not to dam many. It is assumed that if one has a rifle that can shoot that distance then they can hit a target. Most people who want to shoot great distances do not fully understand the matrix involved. It is not as simple as pointing and pulling the trigger.
Some things that affect the bullet for a kill when traveling down range are but not limited to.
1. Velocity in flight
2. Foot Poundage of the bullet at impact
3. Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet
5. Angle of the shot (down hill/up hill)
6. Distance of target from shooter
7. Movement speed of the target
11. Cold bore shot
12. Weapon and scope
13. Time to target
15. Mental and Physical condition of the shooter
Everything listed plays a part in hitting a target even at mid range. Naturally a .22lr will not do much of **** at 200+ yards, but a 5.56 will more then likely make the kill from 0-400 yards and can kill further out but we start really seeing effects listed above come into play with such a light bullet.
A 308 (7.62x51 Nato) should see some good results out to 700-800 yards but again the listed things that can affect the accuracy of the shot still come into play. Even with the .50 Cal. Barrett one may be able to throw led down range at a great distance but without the proper knowledge and use of the list above one will not hit a dam thing that you aim at.
All the fancy rifles and scopes will not make a kill if the shooter is ignorant of the matrix of long range shooting. Some about the matrix of shooting long range in another part later sense I am not training snipers but hoping rather some will use the information to better their target shooting skills.
You hit the nail square on the head. The quality of the rifle and its sighting system is, of course, one of the two most important factors. The second is the ability of the person behind the stock and trigger who understands and is capable of overcoming all the variables that you have listed.
Maybe you should include age of the shooter, because in my aging years I have learned that is one very important factor as well.
I will include age in the part about Mental and Physical condition of the shooter, thanks for reminding me. ( age plays a part in what I remember)
I have seen some of the movies you are talking about. But I thought that was just a bunch of Hollywood hype. I had no adea that someone had actually made a shot at a distance like that. Incredible! Thanks for the info.
Very nice points there Opaww, and pretty much the gospel truth sir, IMHO.
I would like to also point out and make clear, that none of us really have "sniper" rifles, just specially tailored, long range "hunting" rifles.
Their only real purposes are distance target shooting and to bring down many different types of varmints and mammals. ;)
There will be a quiz tomorrow over the material, bring a # 2 pencil with a good eraser and some scratch paper. :p
Long range shooting Part II
Let us take a look at one of the things that effect our shooting with the ability to hit a target. That is bullet drop; believe it or not there are people who actually believe that a bullet travels in a straight line from end of barrel to target regardless of range.
Sorry but no bullet travels straight, but rather they arc, but the reason that a projectile has an apparent rise is due to elevation of the muzzle in order to place it into the proper arc to hit distant points. Most bullets start out with a very small drop out of the barrel then rise up to their apogee by 50 yards if one is sighted in for 100 yards. Then the drop of the bullet at 100 yards should be zero, in other words the bullet crosses its line of sight at 100 yards to hit the target where you aimed at.
The further a bullet travels the more the drop, thus the higher you must aim to compensate for the rapid drop of the bullet.
The Ballistic Table here is based on the same round I shoot, 168 gr HPBT Match. These I hand load to with in 1/10th of a grain of RL-15 Powder. So I get almost the same performance out of each round.
If you look at the chart you will see that the given bullet still has enough velocity and Energy at 1000 yards to make a kill but and yes there is a but here, the Trajectory at 1000 yards has a drop that is to ridicules to try and compensate for even a good hit on target.
The drop of this bullet at 1000 yards is +/- 445 inches, this equates to +/- 37 feet from the Height of the barrel above ground. So in order for me to hit the target at 1000 yards I would need to aim 37 feet above center of target. All this would be based of perfect conditions, (No wind to tend with).
I can effectively reduce this massive drop at 1000 yards by zeroing at a longer range out. However the same drop is still there it is just that you are aiming higher at zero for a longer range. If you zero at 500 yards it just means that you are aiming 65 inches higher then you did at 100 yards in order to get the bullet to arc on target. So the arc is greater up to Apogee, but in reality the bullet still travels with the same drop rate.
The red is a correction By Silvertip 44...Thank you for the correction
The following table is provided as a "cheat sheet" that you can tape to your gun.
Most bullets start out with a very small drop out of the barrel then rise up to their apogee by 50 yards if one is sighted in for 100 yards.
Opaww, make sure these guys understand that bullets never rise, they begin to depress immediately upon exit from the muzzle. The only reason that a projectile has an apparent rise is due to elevation of the muzzle in order to place it into the proper arc to hit distant points ie: artillery.
The effect of gravity upon a projectile became really apparent to me when I spent my LBJ time in the 17th. The bore of the 8" howitzer was a perfect example. The rifling wore reasonably fast on the bottom 1/3 of the bore due to the weight of the projectile bearing down upon it due to gravity, but the rifling at the top looked almost new with square cut grooves.
It is truly amazing that we could launch a 200 lb HE projectile into the air and hit a target the size of a tank at a distance of 15 miles. It was also amazing that all four guns in the battery could fire on one command and all four projectiles would hit within mere yards of each other at that same distance.
Absoluty good point
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