Weekend Long Range Fun

Weekend Long Range Fun

This is a discussion on Weekend Long Range Fun within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My brother-in-law Bo, nephew Ben, and I spent the past weekend in deep southwest Texas between Sanderson and the Mexican border. We took an assortment ...

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Thread: Weekend Long Range Fun

  1. #1
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    Weekend Long Range Fun



    My brother-in-law Bo, nephew Ben, and I spent the past weekend in deep southwest Texas between Sanderson and the Mexican border. We took an assortment of rifles. Bo brought an SKS, M1, M1A, M1 Carbine, and a couple of AR 15s. I brought my SKS, M1, M1A, 1917 Enfield, Winchester Model 70 .375 H&H Magnum, and a Remington Model 41 .22. We both brought along a nice selection of handguns. A grand time was had by all. I came away with a new respect for both the .375 H&H Magnum and also for the 7.62X39.


    The ledge on the rim from which we shot. Bo had his clever laser range finder with him and was able to advise us of the distances at which we were engaging our targets. We stayed under 500 yards. Some favored rock targets were at 125, 325, and 394 yards, and a rocky prominence at 500 yards.

    It was noted that even on the 394 yard distant rock, the .375 could be held on the upper portion of the rock and a hit was guaranteed. Bo and I agreed that the rock was about the size of the "kill zone" of an elk. Most of the loads used featured a 270 grain spitzer bullet and this was really flat performance in my view. I also had some Remington factory 300 grain, round nose, soft points and even these performed well. I held what appeared to be a foot above the rock and smacked it with these loads too. I never gave the .375 H&H Magnum credit for being so flat shooting.


    Shooting the Winchester Model 70 Super Express .375 H&H Magnum



    Ben and Bo managing the recoil of the .375. They'd been aiming the rifle at a slightly downward angle at the rock in the canyon. They snapped me before I fired.

    Everyone was far too manly to complain about the rifle's recoil. I also shot it some from a seated position, resting my elbows across my knees. The rifle did wear on me after a while when shooting continuously from such a position.


    The 7.62X39 was better than I expected. I already really like the cartridge anyway. I think it'd be a dandy round for cast bullet experimentation in one of the mini Mauser actions and good for bench rest fun at 100 yards. I like the round better than I like the typical SKS or AK 47 rifle in which it is generally found. It was noticed that it was decently accurate on the torso sized rocks at 325 yards and also that it arrived down range more rapidly than expected. It didn't exhibit quite as much drop as I expected to find. The numerical graduations on the SKS's sights worked right along with Bo's range finding. I'm used to shooting .30-06 and .308 at long range but this little round surprised me. If it was in a decent rifle with a stock of proper dimensions and a trigger that didn't take two men and a boy to pull, it'd keep an adversary ducking and jumping out to 500 yards or so.


    Shooting my Russki SKS

    One thing I noticed was that the .223 and 7.62X39 both gave about the same "puff" of dust when striking rocks at all distances which was less than the "puff" exhibited by the .30-06 and .308. The .375 Mag didn't really seem to make much of a larger "puff" than did the two .30s in my estimation. This observation means nothing to the relative power of the various rounds but was interesting. I would have thought the mighty .375 would make a more impressive strike than it did.



    Yes folks, ever optimistic about the capabilities of the .38 Special in the Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel, I'm taking on the two torso sized rocks at 325 yards. In the lower photo the rocks may be seen to the left and above the vertical crack in a rock face seen in the distance. A juniper bush is above and right of the crack and a large white splash on the rock face beneath the two rocks is the result of many bullet strikes. The wind was stiff in our faces on this day and any strikes by handgun bullets were mostly swept away by the wind and could not generally be observed. I only saw a couple of strikes and they were nowhere near the target.

    The mighty Model 10 did prove deadly on basketball sized rocks out to 125 yards from a sitting position with arms rested on knees. Any farther and distance and wind waylaid performance for me that day.

    The weather was perfect for our outing and it was nice to be so far removed from civilization that one wasn't reminded of it. We could see the red light on the cell phone tower on the hill behind Sanderson off in the distance and a couple of deer stands off on the horizon. No highways, high lines, fences, or structures to mar the view and only the sound of the wind to accompany us.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Sounds like you had a great time.

    Yeah the .375 is a great round but I con't stand shooting it more than 5 times in a row
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Ben and I spent some time goofing off along a canyon rim, throwing and pushing rocks off to see if we could get them to make it all the way to the bottom. We "got a good roll" out of one of the largest boulders we dislodged and it went all the way to the gully in the canyon floor. Ben spontaneously drew a 1911 .45 from a shoulder holster and put two rounds on the rock just before it stopped rolling at the bottom. The shots were taken at probably 100 yards and 125 yards and the hits were most satisfying.



    We thought this one could be heaved over the side but, a couple of hernias later we gave up on it. We did find another one about the same size that didn't appear to be as easy to move but proved to be a "push over."


    Large, economy sized millipede found beneath one of our rocks.


    Ben clowning for the camera and "holding on for dear life."


    The early afternoon sky.


    I think this is known as a claret cactus. We don't have them in our part of Texas.


    The cabin in which we bunked. Looked like Luke's uncle's place Tatooine on Star Wars. All we needed was two suns in the sunset. The blue line on the horizon in the right side of the photo is a mountain range in Mexico.


    A small berm was handy so we set up some spinning targets. Bo making the spinners really whirl with a good healthy charge of 15 grains of 2400 behind a 158 grain bullet in his 4-inch S&W Model 686 .357 Magnum. This revolver absorbs recoil of such loads extremely well with the S&W factory finger groove stocks Bo has installed, making it a pleasure to shoot with powerful ammunition. I've never been much of a fan of the appearance of the full lug L-Frame revolvers but sure relished shooting this one.


    After raising all this ruckus all day long we were still visited by mule deer late that afternoon. They began gathering around the cabin about 5:00 and by dark we counted 28. The silly things were like domestic livestock and cared not that we were outside the cabin. They were there for the vittles, cottonseed cake and corn, along with a trough of water that the owner keeps available for them.


    Sanderson styles itself the "cactus capital of West Texas" but I think this is carrying things a bit far. Saguaro cactus only occur naturally in the Sonoran desert as far as I know. I imagine these were imports.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Member Array blinkstafoo1's Avatar
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    I need to get a place like this.
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    Great pics and a fun weekend! Thanks for posting!

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    The weather was perfect for our outing and it was nice to be so far removed from civilization that one wasn't reminded of it. We could see the red light on the cell phone tower on the hill behind Sanderson off in the distance and a couple of deer stands off on the horizon. No highways, high lines, fences, or structures to mar the view and only the sound of the wind to accompany us.
    Great pics of a fun outing. Sure makes me anxious to get out on the desert.
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    Senior Member Array bps3040's Avatar
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    Sanderson area is great.I love it out there. I have hunted out there, off of 5 mile road, for 20 years. Just recently moved closer to Dryden.Did you try varmint hunting? You need to try it if you have not. Looks like everyone had fun.

    Is that ranch right on 90? Looks like one we drive by?
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    Hi bps3040;

    You certainly didn't move far if you only moved closer to Dryden.

    We turned off to the right after going east out of Sanderson on Hwy 90 and passed through a Galvanized gate. I only timed the return trip to Hwy 90. It took 50 minutes to cover a little over 7 miles. The road from the highway was pretty rough and steep in places because we traversed a canyon on the way to the cabin. My 2WD pickup could handle it but if it'd been any worse then things would have been problematic. Wet weather might also be a hurdle but I doubt that's often an issue in this arid region.

    We did a cursory hunt for javalina among the "caves" on the canyons sides and in the draws but didn't find any. One the second day we'd been shooting the rifles about 15 minutes and a group of 7-8 finally flushed way down the canyon about 550 yards. I was holding a .22 rifle at the time so was completely out of luck. They didn't wait around for my shooting companions to draw a bead on them with the .308 and .30-06 either.

    I wondered what sort of varmints might be called up and wished I'd brought along my calls and light.

    Didn't notice much wildlife other than the mule deer, javalina, and a few newts we startled while pushing rocks over the rim. No rattlers either though they are suppose to be abundant. We have those around here (Coleman County). Only bird life I saw the whole time was the ubiquitous turkey vultures (buzzards if your a Texan). There was said to be blue quail on the place in abundance. I didn't happen to see any.

    You don't happen to shoot .30-40 do you? I'm sizing a batch of .30-40 cases just now. My computer and loading bench are side by side with a swivel chair between them.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Great story!!

    All it needs is a soundtrack like the documentaries from the 60's and 70's.
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    Interesting pics, and looks like a heck of a good time.
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    VIP Member Array AllAmerican's Avatar
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    Looks like a great time to me!
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