Therapy is expensive and boring. If you live in California, ammunition is also very expensive (especially for hunting), but shooting firearms can be great therapy! When hunting in Cali, you can't use lead ammo, only alternatives, like copper. Copper is pricey! Just imagine how expensive it can be when you head to the shooting range. A couple weeks ago, some coworkers and I ventured to the desert to target shoot and have some fun. This was my opportunity to sight in my Remington 700 SPS 300 Win Mag with my newly mounted MINOX ZX5i 5-25x56 rifle scope. Plus, I had the chance to shoot some other firearms that had interested me. It was going to be a fun day!
Aim small, miss small. I know you've heard people say it. I've stated it in regards to my archery practice and love it for firearms, too. That was my train of thought as I set up my 300 Win Mag, and yes, with the scope I chose to mount, my plan was to reach out and hit the target from a longer range. My goal is to be able to shoot out to 400 yards, but truly limit my hunting range to 200-300 yards max. I hope to draw a sheep tag in the next few years and this weapon would be a great tool!
I crafted my own DIY Shoot-and-See targets in order to see my hits easily. They are super simple to make and work really well. There are some great tutorials all over YouTube and easy to follow. You'll want to take a look at making some, especially if you have ever shot at a black target at 100+ yards. The bullet holes are nearly impossible to see clearly.
I helped set up random targets and then focused on setting up my three targets. I set one at 100 yards, 200 yards, and 300 yards. After bore sighting the rifle, I got to work at 100 yards. As per California hunting regulations, I was sighting in with certified lead-free ammo (verify that the ammo you are using is actually on their lists, as some is not). While I know I can sight in with lead ammo, I figured I may as well use the ammunition I would be hunting with. I am shooting the Federal Premium Ammunition Vital-Shok Trophy Copper at 165 grains. Flat shooting, powerful, and as factory ammo goes, really consistent. My first shot was very high and left, but that was ok in my book. I just had to remain patient as I needed to allow the barrel to cool between shots. I opted to shoot two shots, then let the barrel cool for 15-20 minutes. I took another shot; high and left again. One thing I should have done was to run a brush down the barrel after every few shots, but I did not. Once cooled, I adjusted my sight and fired. The bullet hit two inches high, center. Another shot confirmed it.
In between cool-downs, I shot my Remington .270 (which is dead-on at 200 yards), some AR-15s, and a Super Redhawk .44 Mag (my potential sidearm for the backcountry). The targets didn't stand a chance and I had a blast. I owe a big thank you to Bill, Duane, and Mike for bringing me out, letting me shoot their weapons and use their ammo. Plus, we just had an all around great time.
Here is a short video of me shooting the 3oo WM and sighting in the sight. I was limited to my rest on this trip and you can see from the video that the tripod was kicked back a few times. I will be using a sturdier table on my next trip. I was limited on space this time as I rode up with the men. I appreciate being able to utilize this set-up, too. No matter what, it was awesome to shoot my new hunting weapon.
It was great fun and I cannot wait to get out there again very soon. I have a new plan of attack with dialing in the groups on my WM and to see the targets at long range. I even hope to utilize a Bullseye Camera System, if I can get my hands on one. Are any of you setting up any long range weapons for hunting? What do you like to do for your set-ups? I would love to hear some exciting ideas! Shoot straight and be safe out there!