Long-Range Cowboy


Enjoy this link, courtesy of Kenny.

What is your system’s (load, rifle, optics, wetware) maximum effective range?

And how can you improve that performance?

22 responses to “Long-Range Cowboy

  1. Great article. Bookmarked to read again. Been better if it weren’t written like all the toys and jargon were everyday language.
    Kestrel ? Never heard the word before.
    But, I’ll never be able to afford to shoot long range.
    $600 for the Kestrel. $3400 for the 1800meter PLRF range finder. $1300 for the entry level T3 and I didn’t bother to price a scope.
    Yeah baby.

    • You can get good at sub-1000 and not break bank.

      Start with a Savage rig [ http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/10FCPHS ], add decent glass, and run the traps here:


      • Do you have any recommendation on 300 win mag vs 338? 300 Win Mag is less expensive and easier to find. Just curious…

        • My teachers say .308 only due to logistic issues.

          • Yup. .308 was about as good as people needed to solve problems with, forty years ago. It has been surpassed, but I can’t really believe that life’s everyday problems have gotten so much worse that 7.62 NATO is no longer good enough for the 95th percentile. For the others, there’s better rounds.

            Logistics. Heavy wood thousand round crates with 140 or 200-round battlepacks inside, delivered to “many(s)” door for less than twenty cents/round.

    • Howa 1500 with a Bushnell tactical fixed 10x scope. Comes in right at $1000.00 with a Harris bipod and a 20MOA mounting rail for the glass.

      Your Kestrel can be a lower cost model at around 200.00 and then a Leupold for about 300.00.

      Add is some other goodies and you still come in a little under 2K.

      Good to 800 yds at least.
      Once you figure out how to do it at that range then you can slowly upgrade as funds become available.

  2. One of the best LR articles I’ve read. Now to get my head around ballistics “truing”. I’ve been wanting a good surgeon bolt gun for a few years… now I don’t have any excuse not to get one… well, except for the price!

    Grey Ghost

  3. Wow !

  4. ALCON,

    I am a big fan of short-barreled rifles (SBR) in 5.56mm and 300 BLK/AAC. My concentration however, is on the 5.56mm SBRs (one only has so much time).

    Of my two 5.56 SBRs (10.5″ Noveske and 11.5″ Bravo Company) I’m gravitating toward the shorter Noveske. Both weapons wear fairly recent acquisitions of Trijicon ACOGs. The Noveske mounts a 2x TA47 (Yellow Delta) while the BCM wears the 3x TA33 (Green Horseshoe). The BCM is also zeroed for a 1-6x Leupold MultiGun scope. Unfortunately, the Leupold has to go back for warranty work.

    For serious shooting and practice beyond 50 meters I use 77 grain reloads or factory 77 grain ammo. Basically, the 77 grain rounds are MK 262 clones. Although many will argue/prefer 55 or 62 grain bullets, I prefer the 77 grain for the kinetic energy dispersed on the target at POI. Several years back, SF 0321 and myself had a brief “discussion” here at WRSA on the merits of 55 vs 77 grain bullets. Both bullets have their pros and cons. If I remember correctly, SF 0321 argued for 55 grainers. Myself, I argued the 77 bullets. The reasoning behind each argument, as I recall, were SF 0321 appreciating the flat shooting, 3200 FPS, 55 grain bullets for distance vs my preference for the slower 2700 FPS, higher kinetic energy, shorter target distance, 77 grain bullets. In hindsight I see both arguments being valid….SF 0321 shooting further distances west of the Mississippi and I shooting closer distances east of the mighty river.


    Weapon Preference: 10.5″, 5.56mm, Noveske upper on ROBAR’ed BCM lower
    with Super Tricon trigger
    Ammo: Factory, 5 56mm, 77 grain MK262 clone or reloaded
    5.56mm, 77 grain. (Nosler bullets with 20.5 grains
    AR Comp using recycled range brass).
    Primary Optic: Trijicon ACOG TA47
    Secondary Optic: Leupold VX-R Patrol, 1-4x
    Magazines: Lancer (Clear Polymer) or GI
    Sling: Blue Force Gear Vickers (Padded)
    Max Eff Range: ACOG TA47 = 150-175 Meters (150+ is a stretch)
    VX-R Patrol = 300 Meters

    So much for PERSEC.


    • SemperFi, 0321

      my entire reason for 55 gr bullets is logistics and hydrostatic shock. The 5.56 system was designed to work with fast light bullets that impart a high hydrostatic shock on impact. When you slow it down to 2600> fps with the heavier bullets, you have now lowered the high shock factor and are relying solely on penetration to take your target down. Word from the sandbox has been that the 62 gr Green tips just punched needle holes thru the targets, and didn’t yaw like the old 55 gr did in VN. The 55-62 gr bullets are the most common load around the world today, loading 77 SMK’s is fine until you run out, then you have to shoot what you find, and it may not give you the performance you were once shooting, since you are running a 1/7 twist and the 55 gr excel with a 1/12 twist, and the most common today is 1/9 for both 55-62 gr.
      If you want to shoot 77 SMK all day long, it’s fine with me, but a novice may get himself all confused and try shooting the heavier bullets in a slow twist, or vice versa.
      Beside, most of my AR’s are old school 1/12,( I also like SBR’s in that caliber, they’re a bit more efficient than an old WW2 SMG) and I’m partial to the lighter bullets for that reason. If I really want to lob some lead long range, I’ll stick to .30 or bigger.( I have a nice heavy bbl AR-15A2 w/3x9Burris, and a tricked out M-14 w/1-6x S&B, they will suffice in that role)

  5. interesting…as soon as i finish my advanced degrees in physics and math. For the present, Anton, which is to say, myself, anticipates ballistic activity at somewhat more intimate ranges…

  6. ALCON,

    May I suggest the Nosler bullets factor site:


    Great deals on ammunition. If you shoot odd calibers they have the ammo. If you reload, great prices on bullets. Currently running specials on 1,000 count boxes of Nosler bullets. Various calibers and grain weights available.

  7. As an old Marine trained on the M1 and M14 hard to wrap my head around the science beyond 500 yards. I still have my Expert badge award from Paris Island.

  8. My favorite load is a 338 Lapua Magnum 250 or 300 grain sierra matchking.
    Nightforce 32×56 optics.
    I load my own bullets for consistent velocities.
    I am not a great long range shooter but not shabby either.

  9. The RANGE you can HIT your target is far less important the range you can KILL your target . The 5.56×45 might have the range to HIT a target at 600 yards. But the kinetic energy to kill at that range is lacking. At that range its nothing more than a .22 LR, making holes in paper. Only one man in about 2 or 3 million can even hit a man size target at ranges above 300 yards anyway, but 99% of all AR fanboys will swear by G_D almighty that they can . So some guy from Texas, with a Piper Cub can hit a cockroach at two miles with a BB gun. SO WHAT! I can’t.

    • WTF:

      “…Only one man in about 2 or 3 million can even hit a man size target at ranges above 300 yards anyway…”

      • No kidding. On the KD range at 500 yards with an iron sighted M16, it wasn’t that hard to shoot a possible. Learn your equipment and get a good dope. It’s not rocket surgery.

        Ray pulled that one from his arse.

    • Ray,

      Just for fun you should try hitting a 10″ piece of steel at 300 mtrs using a .22lr sub-caliber device….out of a 11.5″, 5.56mm barrel !

      No joy.

  10. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on ETC., ETC., & ETC..