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  • Would anyone be willing to give me a basic education in long range ammunition.

     ashley308 updated 1 month, 1 week ago 2 Members · 7 Posts
  • ashley308

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    To give some background I have always had a Remington semi-auto .308 for deer hunting. I’ve kind of just bought whatever ammo sighted it in and went hunting. It never mattered much since I never shot more than 50 60 yards. I recently won a Christensen Arms Mesa 300 win mag with a Swarovski Z5i scope. So I’m now very interested in long range shooting and hunting. I’m looking to buy factory ammo for the gun as I do not reload. I know asking which ammo to buy is pretty subjective, and that I need to shoot a bunch of different rounds to figure out what my gun likes. However, I’d really like to have a good understanding of long range bullet flight and ballistics in order to make a more educated decision. Any help would be awesome thanks!

  • Disenthrallor

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Buy Federal Gold Medal Match.

    Buy Strelok Pro on your phone.

    Buy a Magento Speed.

    Go watch a PRS match and make friends.

    Have a PRS shooter properly mount your scope, and show you the ropes.

  • nreyes238

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    I would start with ballistics charts for 300WM at different bullet weights. That could give you a better place to start with which loads to try

    beyond that, bullet shape…probably want something like a boat-tail hollow point at whichever given weight you like.

  • j919828

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Long Range Shooting Handbook: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Precision Rifle Shooting [](

    This is a good book for beginners. Read it before wasting money on things you don’t need.

    300 win mag is a bit outdated already but it is still a plenty capable round. Buy a box or two of whatever common match grade ammo you can get your hands on and see which load your gun likes, and try to stick with it, since different loads will have different characteristics that you need to keep track of.

  • ilikerelish

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    The kind of long range shooting that you want to do will weigh heavily on what kind of ammo you want to use. If you are looking for high precision accuracy, the only way to get that is to make your own custom tailored to your specific gun. If you just want to kind of shoot good groups at long range, then off the shelf stuff ought to work.

    If you are buying off the shelf, you are right, you are going to have go buy and shoot ammo to see what ammo your gun likes most. You are going to have better luck most likely with the higher end stuff made for match shooting as the manufacturers put more effort into making them consistent. Though with that you can expect to pay a premium for it. That is the real difference between run of the mill, practice, and target ammo.. Consistency. You can use the best bullets, powder, primers, and brass, but if you have no consistency round to round, the groups are going to be sloppy relatively speaking. It could mean the difference between hitting the target or not hitting it, or it could be the difference between making a clover leaf with 3 shots, or a single hole. A good rifle, optics, and technique are about 60% of long range shooting, the rest is good quality components and consistency in the cartridges.

    A good place to start in selecting ammo is barrel twist. Heavier/longer bullets tend to stabilize best with a faster twist. Light, small bullets tend to stabilize better with a slower twist. Determine your twist, and that will tell you where to start with bullet weight. Most long range shooters I know though, use faster twist, and heavier/longer bullets. The greater mass of the bullet helps with wind drift down at the end of their arc.

    Proper mounting of the scope, and setup of the rifle is imperative. Properly aligned rings if you use a redfield style base is important. If you use picatinny, you are limited on what you can do. Getting the cross hairs as close to square during mounting is imperative. you want your adjustments to be exclusive to one or the other axis. At 50-100 yards, a little bit of cant isn’t going to make a huge difference, out at 300, 500, or 1000 yards it can put you off by inches.

    Sighting and drop should be accounted for. On something like the 300 I would generally sight for 200-300 yards, then practice to know my hold under up close, and my hold over at long distance. Some guys mess with the adjustment turrets, and that is fine, I personally don’t like to. Likewise, you have to practice in various wind conditions to know how it will affect your shooting at long range to get a feel for your left to right hold off. Again, some compensate by using the turrets, I do not.

    If you want to get really serious about long range shooting, you’ll probably want to modify your stock rifle right out of the box by free floating the barrel, bedding it, having the surfaces trued, polishing the bolt, having the barrel recrowned with a target step, lap the barrel, lap the barrel and lug interface, change out the trigger, or modifying and honing it for a nice clean let off. Once you eliminate all of the potential accuracy issues with you and the gun, the final step is to start reloading your own ammo using measured and sorted bullets, weighed/trimmed/fl sized brass, match grade primers, single lot high quality (and proven in your gun) powder, and match grade micrometer dies (preferrably custom made from a casting of your chamber) that will allow you to make every round almost identical and perfectly fit to your rifle.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

  • COVID_2021beta

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    I know 3 things. Longer barrel = speed, more powder = faster bullet, and bullets arc around your zeroing sight distance. There is a LOT of nuance in those statements that I do not understand and a hell of a lot more to ballistics than just those things.

  • fidelityportland

    September 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    There’s a subreddit for this /r/longrange which is both for long distance shooting and PRS.

    Just keep in mind that hunting and PRS are very different goals. With a hunting rifle you generally want something light weight, and with PRS you want a heavy barrel and generally you’re not going to hike 5+ miles with a rifle.

    > However, I’d really like to have a good understanding of long range bullet flight and ballistics in order to make a more educated decision.

    A challenge here is that some bullets preform better in specific barrels. Generally Gold Medal Match is considered the best universal bullet, but Vista Outdoors isn’t the only manufacturer of ammo. I shoot in a .308 class and general M80 ball is more than enough for what I do, but when I’m making holes on paper I’ll go for 168 grain .308 and there’s like 10+ manufacturers, so when I started out I bought 2 boxes from every manufacturer I could and looked at groupings at 100 yards, 200 yards, and 400 yards. You’ll have to test out all the ammo you can find until you find the best.

    Without knowing your barrel twist and length we can’t make general recommendations, so just try as many varieties as possible and test them on paper targets.

    Eventually though, you’re going to settle on handloads. Your brass fired a second time will expand to better fit your chamber and provide you slightly more oomph and accuracy, then dial down to the specific bullet weight, design, and manufacturer you like. Do yourself a favor and save every piece of brass you shoot.

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