Long Range Data Made Easy

When I and my friends first started our long range shooting career we learned to have handy little cheats with us for faster hits.  This is certainly nothing new and it continues to this day in a different form.   Before there was hand held computers and all manner of technology to help  make the long range hits, there was writing stuff down.  We had an assortment of little charts and such with each rifle with data for each one.   Over time  my ideas and views on effective field marksmanship at long range changed.    I came to think of effective  long range hits in the way I do now i.e.  a man’s chest or from belt buckle to crown.

With that in mind and the fact that   308 Winchester loads with a 24-26 inch rifle using 175 and 168 HPBT  are very close to a certain point , and  77 grain  5.56 match ammo in a 20 inch barrel is  very , very close to the 175gr  308 load, it was easy to work with all three and keep the info in my head.

Early on my partner and I developed a chart for the 175 grain HPBT match load. seen below.

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The chat starts with a 100 yard zero and goes out to 1,000 yards in 25 yard increments using 1/4 MOA value adjustments.  The chart was made using  a 26 inch barrel.  The thing that is so useful with this chart and the reason we still use it to this day is that it can also be used to get you on to a man sized target using the 175gr and 168 gr 308 load and the 5.56mm with 20 inch barrel using 77 grain match.   It is not perfect with the other loads and will not be perfect. But you will get on target very quickly using this chart.   It is also useful for  556 loads using 75 grain and 69 grain match loads  . Now you have to use come common sense here when using it in some cases. For instance , if you are using  77 grain match ammo, the chart will not match up to you 16inch carbine barrel. But, it will be close and, very close within the shorter range  DOPE.    You can tweak it as you see fit to match your gun and load. Or you can use it like we do and leave it as is and after using it you will know how your rifle/optic works with it.  I feel in this way it is the most useful but if you can use this as a “get you on target ” starting point, then refine it, all the better.   As I said above. with a 26 inch barreled 308 with 175 grain ammo, you can use this chart to get on a man sized target  from 100 to 1.000.

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The next chart shown above may or may not be well known to you  by now if you are a long range shooter and  have used the Mil-dot  optics that are  very common.   I will be honest and tell you up front I never bothered, nor had any desire to learn  the  formula and all that stuff to use the mildots for ranging.  I found this chart to be a lot faster and handier and it did not require me to use the dreaded math.  The most work my Mildots do ( yes I do still use them) is for hold off/hold over points.   I was always reasonably good at judging range by eye or smart enough to bring a dedicated range finder.  This chart however, is very handy if you still want to use them the way they were intended but without all that brain work.  I would advise printing this out and laminating it and keeping it with your data book regardless of how much you intend to use it.

Another  chart not unique to me or the buys, but handy anyway.  The M118 data is not as handy as it once was. The M118 load was not all that great even in its day. But the charts still have use if you have a supply you use or they match a load you may be using.

The moving target lead  leads are particularly useful help when learning.

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The next chart  was made to convert yards and meters.  We had some WW2 range finders that read in meters but we always think and work in yards.  It made things a bit easier for us.

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This illustration for judging wind is a photocopy from Maj. John Plaster’s  excellent  long range and sniping manual “The Ultimate Sniper”.  It is just as handy now as it has ever been  if you do not have all the tech to figure it out for you or want to learn it the old traditional way like we did.

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And last another chart for  Lake City  M118 match loads in MOA  and 1/4 MOA value adjustments.  It is pretty much ancient info by now.  But it does illustrate for you how useful the first chart made by us for our use that  I posted. You can see how close the data matches.

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This info is very useful if you are learning to shoot longer ranges.  Especially if you do not have the money to start buying up the mini computers that are becoming standard now a days.  The come up charts WILL get you on target and depending on your gun and load, it may put you on a near dead zero.  Not accounting for reading wind, the first chart always will produce a first round hit for us and it has been shown to and given to many new budding LR shooters to help them get on target at ranges beyond 600 yards when they had no idea  how to get on target otherwise.

Keep in mind your gun and optic may run out of adjustment for these ranges given in the chart if you do not have a long range base and optic.  A standard optic for general hunting or use under 400 yards will most likely not let you come up enough to get on. So you have to start out with at the very least something like the Leupold long range canted base.

Print these out and laminate them and try them out if you have always wanted to try long range but did not really know how to start.  If you have no real interest in precision rifles and long range, print them out anyway and use them for your AR15 and use it to test your black rifle for longer ranges. With the help these provide you will most likely surprise yourself with what you can do and how easy it is. when some one else has done the work for you!