Long range hunting is a term that often elicits responses of admiration and joy, or scorn and disdain. Admittedly, for a long time, my own feelings fell largely into the latter categories. I have always …
If you’ve been shooting long enough, you’ve seen someone get kissed in the forehead by a recoiling rifle scope, or maybe it’s even happened to you. There are a few factors that lead to this unfortunate and totally unnecessary incident. Improper rifle setup and improper eye-relief come to mind immediately. But, in my professional experience, the bigger culprit is almost always improper recoil management, which is a direct result of not learning and applying the fundamentals of marksmanship properly.
Imagine if the key to success in the mountains is your lungs. Simple enough, right? Breath work is an overlooked fundamental skill when it comes to shooting. Unfortunately, “Break the trigger at the natural respiratory pause” is about as in-depth as people go. At 10,000 feet of elevation with a small house on your back, those natural respiratory pauses are about as short as a tinder fling.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely noticed the 6.5’s have taken the shooting world by storm in recent years. Touting long, heavy for caliber, high ballistic-coefficient (BC) bullets, long-range competitors and hunters alike have reaped the benefits of the various cartridges designed around this caliber. Most recently the 6.5 Creedmoor, developed over a decade ago, has become one of the top-selling cartridges in North America.
Before you come to blows with your buddies over who has the “Best” rifle, you need to understand two acronyms: bee-cee and em-vee, more commonly seen as BC and MV. These stand for Ballistic Coefficient and Muzzle Velocity. They and they alone determine which rifle/cartridge/bullet combination will yield the best trajectory. They also contribute significantly to POWER, more accurately referred to as terminal kinetic energy.
I get asked for my thoughts on this so-called debate all the time, and it most often comes from hunters looking to understand what a milliradian is, and why the military and practical rifle competitors prefer it over the minute of angle or MOA.
A lot of folks in this industry ask which is better, first or second focal plane. But the truth is it’s simply a matter of finding the right tool for the right job. Neither one is better than the other. They both have pros and cons based on the application of the system.
A quandary for many would be Alaska and Canada bound sheep, goat, and caribou hunters is what to do about stopping grizzly and brown bear attacks. Can a light, flat-shooting mountain game rifle also be an effective bear stopping rifle?
At least a couple times a day I answer a question that goes something like this. “Should I just chronograph my loads and give you the bullet speed and ballistic coefficient?” I look at my watch and wonder if I should get into it or just say yes to the chronograph. So far I have never said yes to that question, but rather have taken the time to explain a better way.