Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Love Long Range Shooting

someone else's guns

OK, now that I've experienced the awesome enjoyment of shooting successfully out to 1000 yards I've decided that I love it with a passion and want more of it. The appetite, as it were, has found the thing pleasing and wants to enjoy it. This means getting a long range, precision rifle and associated optics.

Is this amor amicitiae ("the love of friendship" or of willing the good of the other for its own sake) or amor concupiscentiae ("the love of fervent desire," and of a good for the beloved)? Both, surely. You apprehend the beatitude of long range shooting and the good, in this case an awesome rifle, to make it happen. And all because, according to Aquinas, you first love yourself.

In recognizing something's good for you, say long range shooting, you see it as good in itself and want the best for it. Its value is your value and so you give yourself to it, in a movement of the heart and mind which is paradoxically the reverse of egotism. Or something like that, such is love. But what about that gun, eh?

J with a gun

Good question. J came by the manse and I asked his advice, "Maybe I should get one of these out of the box precision guns, like a Ruger or a Bergara or something like that?" His answer was, "No, they don't hang with a custom build. What you've got to do is look out for a used one. You can save hundreds of dollars."

Interesting and I think it bears a means test, which is this. Get a reloading press and associated kit, probably a Rock Chucker, and see if I have the commitment to get into precision ammo. Because if you don't, you probably don't have the commitment to invest in a precision, long range rifle. The shared value or commonality isn't there.

Does that make sense?

Gun Rights,



drjim said...

If you're going for ultimate precision, everything I've read says you need to hand load them.

Rock Chucker is a good brand. I shopped around and asked for advice, and several people recommended them.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

For myself, I never got into it. Did a lot of shooting with my own money and time in the Army but only out to 350 yards. I grew up with firearms as tools to put meat in the freezer. Did competitive NRA Jr Rifleman in high school. The Army liked my marksmanship but lost interest when they found I'm completely defeated by camouflage. I do see the attraction ut my old eyes aren't up to it and reloading never appealed.

that said, enjoy!

LL said...

It makes sense to me, LSP. The Lapua is fine but nothing beats a 50 BMG if you want to put some space between you and the target. The venerable .308 is really stretching at 1000M. 800 is about as far as I can reliably go with that.

As we discussed on the phone, it's a game that will means test you. Finding the right rifle is not easy and it has to "fit" you, which screams Magpul stock. At least to me.

Having said all that, the compound needs a range with a bit longer reach...

Wild, wild west said...

In my competitive marksmanship experience, such as it is, loading precision ammunition is the easy part. That is a simple matter of good equipment and components, and paying attention to detail. What's hard is building the gun handling techniques to execute your shots well and building the wind reading skills to steer your bullets well at distance.

Gun handling you can learn at short range but wind is something you have to get out and get immersed in. You don't start learning anything about it, until you get some distance between yourself and the target.

Redding has good stuff. Whidden is probably better for dies, gages, etc. I've recently been bitten hard by RCBS and Kelby's abject failure to stand behind their products anymore, and would not recommend either of those folks. Loading presses are quite durable, however, so an older Rock Chucker would be dandy; is what I use.

I would not buy a used rifle without knowing and trusting the seller and having a good look at the rifle's log book to see how many rounds have gone down the barrel, and an examination with a bore scope to see what's really in there. Squinting thru the barrel doesn't really tell you what you need to know. A rifle with a shot-out barrel is not a bargain. Good glass with dependable, repeatable adjustments is also a requirement.

Nothing cheap will work for you at the distances you are talking about. Buy once, cry once, and get it over with is the order of the day. If you have excellent equipment, things will be much more consistent and you'll know when a shot spins out to Mars, it was you and not the equipment. Without good equipment, there's always a question, and it's harder to learn.

To be repetitive, the wind is the hardest part. You are going to find out this can be a lot of work, but, you will also find out you can have a lot of fun and satisfaction out of it. Good luck, don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to shut up and pay attention to the answers. You'll do all right with it, just you wait and see.

RHT447 said...

+1 to what Wild West said. J and I warned LSP that we would pull him to the Dark Side. Success! Like the commercial, he is in good hands.

Sad to hear RCBS has gone soft on customer support. There was a time when they were quite the opposite. I worked the gun counter at Huntington's in Oroville for a few years around 2010. Fred Sr. must be spinning in his grave.

Brig said...

+1 to Wild West.

RHT447, we were in Oroville at that time. Huntington's was always a great browse.

SgtBob said...

One year while firing at Camp Swift in the combat rifle competition, I was coaching a shooter at the 400-yard line. I am a decent shooter, but the sergeant I was supposedly coaching was a real shooter. At 400 yards, each shooter got three ranging rounds. The sergeant’s first round was a 5, but not a V. He made a couple of adjustments and hit V with his next two ranging rounds and most of his record rounds. He had the state record for points in combat rifle the last I heard. Some people just know how to range and adjust, and they also practice. And practice. My coaching consisted of telling the sergeant where his hits were. Combat rifle shooting was out of the rack, assigned M16A1 at the time.

Always Right said...

The Obama/Biden administration will go down as the most corrupt ever.

Old NFO said...

You can go for 'precision' hand loads, but be prepared to do 10,20,30 different variations. of said loads. THEN you have to go to the range and shoot them, cleaning between loads, letting the rifle cool down, etc. OR you can find a commercial load your gun likes, and accept 1/2MOA and go on down the road. My M24 likes 175gr, buddy with the same rifle, 5 serial numbers different, likes 168gr.

LSP said...

drjim, it does seem to make sense and it'd be a test -- if you're into it enough to reload then you're probably into it enough to invest in another gun! +reloading's been on my mind for a while...

LSP said...

You know what they say, WSF, the gun is a tool. That in mind, an attractive tool.

For the last decade my shooting's been pretty short range, with a few exceptions, and not very scientific. But getting on J's range opened up a new vista and a potentially big amount of fun to boot. There's something pretty neat about shooting that far and getting sub moa groups. Of course it comes with a price!

LSP said...

That's interesting, LL. J said exactly the same thing about his M40A5 -- the .308 wasn't made to go out much beyond that distance. Still, from a get on metal plate perspective at a 1000 it worked the other day. Perhaps the wind was right, likewise the load.

But viz. range -- this is the thing, I've now got access to TWO long distance ranges nearby. So things have evolved and made shooting all the more interesting. Hmmmm.

Perhaps some interested party could send a 50 to the Compound for "product testing"?


drjim said...

IIRC, you can get some very good "Factory Loads" these days. When I bought the Garand I also bought a bunch of Hornady "Match Grade" ammo from the CMP. I'm guessing that handloading *to your rifle* is a "Last 10%" thing.

Who was it who said "Only Accurate Rifles Are Interesting"? I really enjoyed going to the range back in SoCal. I can easily see really getting into long-range shooting, but these old eyes aren't that good any longer. I'm a "200 yard" shooter, and probably couldn't get it "On The Paper" at your ranges.

LSP said...

WWW, excellent advice and I'll take it. And thanks for the RCBS tip, RHT and others also advise "used."

"If you have excellent equipment, things will be much more consistent and you'll know when a shot spins out to Mars, it was you and not the equipment. Without good equipment, there's always a question, and it's harder to learn." Great point and a good counter to cheapskatery.

As far as wind goes, I'm a novice and have to work at it by actually doing the shooting. As the saying goes, you become what you do. Hopefully the doing's on the bull.

PS. Have you read Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons? The phrase "just you wait and see" features. Amusing book.

LSP said...

RHT, it's all your fault.

LSP said...

Brig, JEALOUS of your salmon!

LSP said...

Sgt., some people are just great shots and, of course, practice doesn't hurt. Me? I'm somewhere in between but seem to be getting better, which is weird.

Also annoying, because the left's caused yet another run on ammo, right when I want to shoot more. Dammit.

LSP said...

AR, their hideous corruption knew no bounds.

Let's see another 4 more years and, please, hopefully, some cleaning of the Augean stable that is DC.

LSP said...

Ah, Mr. NFO! I detect wisdom.

Still, I've been wanting to get into it anyway so I'll give it a shot but... the whole thing's hypothetical because there's no ammo. At all. All gone.

Why? Fear of civil unrest, a Biden win gun/ammo ban?

Something like that. In either case, will the people who bought the ammo be prepared to use it? Possibly.

Wild, wild west said...

LSP, "just you wait and see" was something my Mother used to say, usually in a positive context fur occasionally accompanied by "wait "til your Father comes home." I'll have a lookit at the context you mentioned, thanks.