Everyone seems to be talk (and writing) around \"long range\" searching these days, so i guess I\"ll join the fray.

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Most that the purpose-built rifles for hunting at prolonged ranges resemble army sniper rifles in size, weight and also configuration: heavy-taper barrels, McMillan tactical stocks, bipods, overlapping scopes with several magnification and also target knobs — the works.

Most rifles the come in together a configuration from the factory seem to it is in chambered in .308 Winchester, i m sorry begs the question of even if it is this cartridge is approximately the job of taking video game at lengthy range.

If we\"re going come answer this question, us must start by clarifying our definitions. \"Long range\" method different things to different people, in different parts the the country. Because that the benefits of this discussion, let\"s assume that long range hunting starts at 300 yards and goes the end from there.


I\"m no saying i agree through the principles of taking lengthy shots at unwounded game for the services of it, ns don\"t — I\"m just going come tell you even if it is the devices will get it excellent if friend can. I think this is an useful information because that a variety of reasons, the foremost of which is that if ns wound an animal and my only opportunity for a follow-up shooting is at lengthy range, I desire to have the ability to put the pet down because that good.


There are 4 relevant factors in determining even if it is a cartridge is viable because that long-range hunting: trajectory, wind drift, affect velocity, and also accuracy.

Bullet Flight

Trajectory is less necessary than it as soon as was thanks to the widespread access of laser rangefinders and also scopes with bullet fall reticles and external adjustment knobs, yet we still want the flattest bullet trip that we have the right to get.

Nosler\"s loading data because that the .308 reflects that a 165-grain Accubond bullet deserve to reach a muzzle velocity the 2,820 feet per 2nd (fps) through a max pack of RL 15. In ~ sea level, utilizing a 200 garden zero, that projectile will drop 76 inches at 600 yards, which means 12 MOA the \"come up.\" while dialing for 76 inch of fall is not a big chore making use of target knobs, it would certainly be pretty well impossible to perform with any type of precision utilizing a typical reticle and no way of making field adjustments.

For comparison\"s sake, if we use an Accubond of comparable sectional density, the 6.5-284 Norma\"s 130-grain Nosler drops around a foot much less at the same distance. That\"s no a large difference, however as the variety increases, so does the disparity in bullet drop. Out at 900 yards, the .308 drops 30 inches more than the 6.5-284.


The Norma cartridge will fit top top the same action length as the .308 so we are really comparing apples to apples here.

Wind Drift

With wind speed and also direction being equal, how much a bullet is impacted by wind is a function of bullet building and construction (BC, weight, etc.) and flight time — the longer a cartridge is in the air, the much more time wind has a opportunity to have actually its method with it.

This time allows compare the .308 to a cartridge that uses the same parent situation — the .260 Remington. Through a 140-grain Accubond at 2,820 fps in a 10 mph full-value wind, the .260\"s shot will certainly drift 86.5 inches at 1,000 yards.


Bullet velocity gift equal, the .308 drifts only around 9 inches more in the very same wind. No bad.

Impact Velocity

When we\"re talking about hunting, the bullet can\"t just hit the animal — it must hit the animal with adequate speed to expand the bullet and do the tissue damage necessary to put the pet down.

Nosler Partition and also Accubond bullets room designed to broaden at 1,900 fps or higher (most various other bullet designs increase at similar velocities, but let\"s stick through our Accubond example for now). Ours maximum effective variety on video game will be the street at i m sorry the round crosses the 1,900 fps threshold.

Using Nosler data as soon as again, we uncover that the 165-grain bullet falls below the velocity threshold at between 500 and also 550 yards. The lighter 150-grain bullet is in the very same ballpark at simply over 500 yards, and also the 180-grain falls listed below 1,900 fps at simply over 400.

Here\"s where the capacity of the cartridge runs into a wall surface of truth — no ballistic computer system or high-dollar optic is going come make that bullet expand. Space there bullets on the market that will perform at velocities under 1,900 fps? I\"m certain there are, yet none the I\"m mindful of advertising the fact.

Accuracy

If we\"re talking around shooting game pets at lengthy distances, we require a cartridge and rifle the are qualified of consistently placing bullets into the vitals of our intended targets. Much has been written about the \"inherent accuracy\" of the .308 Winchester, and also I actually buy into this.

That doesn\"t typical that every .308 will shoot MOA or better, but most rifles so-chambered have behaved well on the selection for me.

Even with a gun that shoots 1.5 MOA, we\"re still talk 7.5 inches at the 500-yard mark where us cross listed below our velocity threshold — that\"s lot of of accuracy to obtain the job done ~ above most huge game animals.

Verdict

The .308 Winchester is qualified of the mechanical accuracy, trajectory, and also wind resistance in stimulate to make hits on big game animals at far beyond the varieties at which i intend on shoot them. Where we hit a non-negotiable obstacle is the velocity threshold necessary for reliable bullet performance. In many bullet weights, that distance is about 500 yards in ~ sea level.

From an ethical standpoint, i cannot recommend using a cartridge at distances where the cartridge cannot it is in counted top top to carry out its job. I\"d speak to the .308 an adequate cartridge the end to 500 yards, but past that you\"ll require to show me a bullet the will carry out well at the distance.

Before you speak it, yes, ns am conscious that the .308 has actually done decades of duty as the go-to sniper rifle cartridge because that our military. The doesn\"t mean that it was the finest tool because that the job, and also it doesn\"t typical that it\"s a an excellent choice for shooting deer in ~ 700 yards.


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An on-board ballistics calculator clears much of the important math, do this a good everyman lengthy distance scope. Just zero at 100 yards, plug in the specs of your ammo, including the ballistic coefficient, sight-in distance and also drop value, push a switch to connect the integrated 1,200-yard laser variety finder and also wait because that the ideal dot in the X96 reticle to irradiate up.

The Eliminator III also has a integrated hold-off calculator for a 10 mph wind value. The battery lasts up to 5,000 cycles and the limit comes through a 40 minute-of-angle adjustment variety and a 1/8 MOA click value.

Price: $1,200
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Available with four illuminated front focal plane reticle layouts (Mil4, Mil6, MSR/Ki and AMR), the Kahles 6-24x56 limit is designed particularly for long selection shooting. The border is constructed on a 34mm tube and also comes through .1 mil influence correction per click.

The parallax is flexible from 50 yards to infinity. The K624i weighs 33.5 ounces and is 15.9 inches. The eye relief is 3.54 inches.

Price: $3,000
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Leupold has been in the scope service for decades and also the high quality of their products reflects the company's history. The note 4 series is an instance of Leupold's dedication to that quality. The 4.5-14x50 has 70 MOA adjustment for elevation and windage and a front focal tactical milling reticle in a 30mm tube.

It's equipped v Leupold's to exclude, Xtended Twilight Lens System, enabling shooters and hunters come stretch out their time on the selection or in the ar late into the evening. The note 4 ER/T also has a twin bias spring erector system, a locking eye piece and a 3-to-1 zoom ratio.

Price: $1,999.99
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Shooters who demand the highest possible quality border will find plenty to choose in the Zeiss success FL Diavari series. The 4-16x50 is obtainable with Zeiss' Rapid-Z ballistic reticle or the ASV cartridge drop compensator reticle.

Illuminated reticles are likewise available. The Diavari is parallax-free in ~ 55 yards come infinity and is developed on a 30mm tube and also comes with a .34-inch adjustment per click at 100 yards. It has actually a 3.54-inch eye relief and also is simply 13.24 customs in in its entirety length. That weighs about 26 ounces.

Price: $2,888
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Still dipping her toe into the long selection shooting pool? No must spend a month's salary, thanks to Nikon's Prostaff 5 heat of scopes. The 4.5-18x40 has actually 40 MOA key adjustment, a1/8 MOA click value, prompt zero-reset turrets, parallax adjustment and also other features long-range shooters demand.

It also has high-quality glass and also a mildot reticle to assist you obtain on target at long ranges. Nikon's Prostaff 5 collection also has Spot on Ballistic enhance Technology, which allows you come calculate various aim point out for miscellaneous yardages for certain loads.

Price: $459.95
Serious long variety shooters are fans the Nightforce optics for good reason. That is ATACR, quick for advanced Tactical Rifle scope, is the company's newest addition to the already-proven lineup of long selection scopes. It's qualified of 120 MOA/34.9 mils of elevation adjustment and also a 60 MOA/17.45 mil wind adjustment and comes with Nightforce's ZeroStop technology.

That allows shooters to return to the zero through a couple of turns that a knob without are afraid of ever before losing the zero. The ATACR has actually a 34mm tube and also is just 14.3 inch long. It's accessible in three various reticles, consisting of MOAR, MOAR-T and also MIL-R.

Price: $2,328
There's good, much better and best. And then there's Swarovski. The surname is synonymous with the highest possible standard in optics and also the Z6 is as great a scope as you'll find. It's made through the finest glass in the optics business.

The Z6 BT (ballistic turret) has a maximum elevation adjustment that 43.2 inches per hundred yards and also 1.2 inches per hundred yards of windage mediate in a 30mm tube. The impact point correction is .36 inches per hundred yards. Parallax is laterally-adjustable beyond 55 yards through its very own turret.

Price: $2,999
Trijicon earn the respect the soldiers ~ above battlefields throughout the middle East. The agency also got the respect of significant shooters, thanks to Trijicon's 3-15x50 TARS, a long-range workhorse the performs as flawlessly together the man behind the gun. It functions a an initial focal aircraft reticle and also 150 MOA/44 mil full elevation adjustment, 120 MOA/22 mil total windage adjustment and 30 MOA/10 mil adjustment per revolution.

The turrets additionally have locking tools to avoid accidental movement and the TARS functions a return-to-zero setting. The illuminated reticle is obtainable in four configurations and has 10 illumination settings, consisting of two an ideal for night-vision use.

Price: $4,058
You may have actually never heard of united state Optics, but serious long selection shooters room quite familiar with the company. The LR-17 is one reason. Adhering come the high criter 1,000-yard shooters demand, us Optics builds their scopes through the highest-quality glass and also other materials.

It has actually a 74 MOA elevation range and a 64 MOA windage selection and an flexible magnification selection of 3.2 come 17 power. Reticles are available in Mil, MOA and Horus alternatives and every LR-17s include the company's distinctive Erector Repositioning key Knob that maximizes gun elevation take trip adjustment.

Price: $2,746
One the the couple of scopes designed because that long range shooting that's priced under ,000, the Vortex Viper HS is a an excellent choice because that shooters who desire to ease into the thrilling human being of long selection shooting. The has plenty of of the same attributes as top-end scopes at a fraction of the price.

The Viper LR has actually a maximum key adjustment of 75 MOA and also a max windage mediate of 50 MOA and also a parallax adjustment native 50 yards to infinity. The Viper HS features a 2nd focal airplane Dead-Hold BDC reticle and also Customizable Rotational avoid turrets that permit a quick return to zero after ~ a long day at the range. The weighs simply 21.4 ounces and also is 13.7 customs long.

Price: $699

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