Hunting Rifle – Long Range?

First off I guess I need to preface this article with a caveat: Your definition of long range vs the next guy could be too completely different distances. This is especially true for hunters who live west of The Mississippi vs East Coast.

So just how far is 600 yards? Here ya go.

This past fall, a friend and myself headed out West for some Mule Deer. Here he is, on his come range, physically confirming his HUNTING zero / DOPE / hold-over at 600 yards. I have to specify that since most hunting don’t set their zero at 100 yards. In this case, the shooter using a 270WBY, set his zero at 250 yards.

Adjusting Scope on 270WBY 600 yards.

With that number, he knows how many inches high and how many inches low his shot will be at various ranges. And more importantly, for a “snap-shot” under stress, he’s good for, “minute-of-deer” over quite a long distance.

Hunter Shooting 270 Weatherby in 270WBY at 600 yards.

As fate would have it, he shot his mule deer at 400 yards. We tried to get in closer, but he busted us and his pack doe got up to leave. Giving our shooter here maybe 10 seconds to sling up and take a shot.

Impact point? High center chest, almost on the neck. Deer feel over like a dollar-store-mannequin.

Final Adjustments made.

Just today, Freeze and I were discussing how we are surprised more younger shooters. who are interested in the longer-range game, haven’t seemed to notice there are quite a few hunting rounds that could get the job done. Could they burn out a barrel over extended use? Sure. Maybe. But the cost of entry on these platforms is so low; especially used, that i’m willing to bet the numbers work out economically.

But then again, most guys buy gear as a crutch to hold off actually trying to shoot for fear of failure and…gasp…missing a shot in front of their buddies.



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Marky Mark

Marky Mark

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Writer for Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Scott Mayer

    I grew up in Prince William County, VA, where we had to use buckshot. It was all about getting close, and that wasn’t that hard because of the terrain and vegetation. Now that I’m in the West, though, you might see a deer at 400 yards as a crow flies, but you have to go up and down mountains and through canyons, etc. to get any closer and that could take the better part of a day and the deer simply won’t be there. Out here, 300 yards is a chip shot and I don’t have any reservations with shots like that even with young shooters so long as they have the trigger time. My 15-year-old son shot his Coues buck last year at 330 yards with a .25-’06. Center punched it through the scapula. DRT.

  • Rainmaker

    I guess maybe I am showing my age. I hate this long distance shooting of animals. One or two guys out of a hundred can pull off these kind of shots. I live in AZ and have hunted elk for 50 years with a lever action 45-70 and a long distance shot for me is 200 yards. Most I have shot at under 100 yards. Every year I see and find wounded animals that I am sure where shot at long range.

    • I have to acknowledge this issue. There are bad shots taken at 25 yards and 400.

      But there is a huge difference between shooting at a piece of steel and winging it, and wounding an animal and then having to go find it. Or worse.

      Skill is still paramount. Tactical or not. Don’t try to outshoot yourself.