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How Far Can You Make Successful Kill Shots ?.

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Very few shooters, and especially non target shooting hunters, are unable to put a bullet into a paper plate ( about the vital area of a deer ) at 75 yards when shooting off hand .
To find out what I call your maximum personal point blank range . MPPR, for each position what you should do is set up a paper plate ( about 12") and shoot one shot at it from off hand , sitting and prone from 25 yards then 50 yards 75 ,100 etc .
The distance you can't hit the plate from any position is the past your MPPR for that position , so you walk back towards your target 5 yards , repeating until you hit the plate , you are not looking for a bull just a hit as the plate represents the kill zone for a deer.
You try this from each position until you are confident you have the correct position for the distance you are wanting to take a successful one kill shot .
If you hunt on foot walk 100 yards then take the shot to find how much a little exercise can affect your shooting accuracy .
If you shoot off a hard surface remember the rifle will shoot away from that surface , you need your hand between the hard surface and the rifle , same if you use a vertical tree trunk as a rest for a shot .
This is a one shot test not a grouping exercise or sighting in , multiple shots negate the information you can gather on yourself .
 

Brokennock

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Fantastic. So your margin of error in the field is the total size of what you need to hit. Brilliant.
And you can do it on a wide open range, even better. I'm sure there will be no obstructions, nice even terrain, and even lighting when that "maximum range" shot is needed.
Say one's margin of error is half that plate and determines 80 yards is their reliable maximum distance. At what distance can a stick large enough to deflect the ball 6 inches be seen? At what distance can shadows play with your ability to determine range, or if there is another animal directly behind the one you're shooting at? What is the angle of the shot? Is the shooter's position as steady as at the range?

There are a lot of factors that can and should go into one's maximum effective hunting range. And, maybe, that distance os or should be dynamic based on conditions at the time,,,, not how far one can kill a pie plate on a range.

"If you can get closer, get closer. If you can get more steady, get more steady." -Col. Jeff Cooper

"I like to hunt, before I pull the trigger." - (can't remember at the moment)
 
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Fantastic. So your margin of error in the field is the total size of what you need to hit. Brilliant.
And you can do it on a wide open range, even better. I'm sure there will be no obstructions, nice even terrain, and even lighting when that "maximum range" shot is needed.
Say one's margin of error is half that plate and determines 80 yards is their reliable maximum distance. At what distance can a stick large enough to deflect the ball 6 inches be seen? At what distance can shadows play with your ability to determine range, or if there is another animal directly behind the one you're shooting at? What is the angle of the shot? Is the shooter's position as steady as at the range?

There are a lot of factors that can and should go into one's maximum effective hunting range. And, maybe, that distance os or should be dynamic based on conditions at the time,,,, not how far one can kill a pie plate on a range.

"If you can get closer, get closer. If you can get more steady, get more steady." -Col. Jeff Cooper

"I like to hunt, before I pull the trigger." - (can't remember at the moment)
Now see, there ya go doin' all that sensible thinking again! 😁 ☕
 

kyron4

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Fantastic. So your margin of error in the field is the total size of what you need to hit. Brilliant.
And you can do it on a wide open range, even better. I'm sure there will be no obstructions, nice even terrain, and even lighting when that "maximum range" shot is needed.
Say one's margin of error is half that plate and determines 80 yards is their reliable maximum distance. At what distance can a stick large enough to deflect the ball 6 inches be seen? At what distance can shadows play with your ability to determine range, or if there is another animal directly behind the one you're shooting at? What is the angle of the shot? Is the shooter's position as steady as at the range?

There are a lot of factors that can and should go into one's maximum effective hunting range. And, maybe, that distance os or should be dynamic based on conditions at the time,,,, not how far one can kill a pie plate on a range.

"If you can get closer, get closer. If you can get more steady, get more steady." -Col. Jeff Cooper

"I like to hunt, before I pull the trigger." - (can't remember at the moment)
"Lighten up Francis "- Sgt. Hulka ;)

I do agree, so many variables in hunting. With iron sights, lighting being one of the biggest. Angle of the animal another, but if you're going hunting and looking for a text book shot to take you will be a hungry man. Each situation must be assessed , might be a 25 yard max range in one situation and may be 100 in another, with sometimes seconds to decide. Even the best well planned shots can be off the mark due to an array of variables. Carry on.
 
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I tell folks get close get venison
And ML is archery on steroids
Ball sucks as a projectile. Big fat minie balls are better, but not much.
I know there are plenty of boys that know their guns and their range and can well reach out to two hundred yards, and they bring home the bacon.
But….
In general half that should for most people be max, and a quarter that even better
Singed hair and powder burns should be your goal.
 
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Very few shooters, and especially non target shooting hunters, are unable to put a bullet into a paper plate ( about the vital area of a deer ) at 75 yards when shooting off hand .
To find out what I call your maximum personal point blank range . MPPR, for each position what you should do is set up a paper plate ( about 12") and shoot one shot at it from off hand , sitting and prone from 25 yards then 50 yards 75 ,100 etc .
The distance you can't hit the plate from any position is the past your MPPR for that position , so you walk back towards your target 5 yards , repeating until you hit the plate , you are not looking for a bull just a hit as the plate represents the kill zone for a deer.
You try this from each position until you are confident you have the correct position for the distance you are wanting to take a successful one kill shot .
If you hunt on foot walk 100 yards then take the shot to find how much a little exercise can affect your shooting accuracy .
If you shoot off a hard surface remember the rifle will shoot away from that surface , you need your hand between the hard surface and the rifle , same if you use a vertical tree trunk as a rest for a shot .
This is a one shot test not a grouping exercise or sighting in , multiple shots negate the information you can gather on yourself .

I think this is valid information for shooters new to ML and PRB, there are a lot of shots taken at unrealistic distances when some first start out.

This paper plate test can be a rude awakening for a newbie who has watched to many movies and does not know his limitations.

And Brockenock is also correct, this test at a range under ideal conditions with no hurry, no adrenalin, no brush, no wind, no shivering from the cold should be noted and 20 yards or so deducted for real world conditions.
 

Daveboone

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My absolute max shot distance with my cap and ball, open sight rifles is about 50 yards, prefect standing broadside. That said, most of my ML hunting is done from a tree stand with a built in rest. Effectively, no off hand shots. I expect shot placement within a couple inches of aim point, and am damn happy to pass on shots that are not to my liking. By far, most of my opportunities and shots are about 25.
 
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Hitting somewhere within the kill zone on an animal is not an error , it is best practice .
I don't know what size plates you use in the USA , but I do know most of the deer you shoot are fairly small , with the exception of elk and moose , so just decrease the size of the plate to suit your game .
As for branches and other obstructions , well they are just factors you have to take into consideration same as wind or rain , shooting up or down at steep angles , fitness of the shooter etc ,there are lots variables to consider.
However they are absolutely nothing to do with what I am talking about , what I am saying is you need to know when your ability to hit your target ,with whatever position you are using and with whatever firearm you are using, runs out .
This reduces one very important variable .
The old Scottish stalker's saying I was taught as soon as I could shoot , was " Get as close as you can then get 6 feet closer "
FC the test plate can be a rude awakening for experienced hunters as well ,
One thing do this test in your hunting clothing , maybe with a pack on your back and use the firearm you are going to hunt with .
Daveb I have never shot from a stand but I once stood on a Rabbit when I was stalking a Sika stag in a pine forest .
 

Rancocas

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The old Scottish stalker's saying I was taught as soon as I could shoot , was " Get as close as you can then get 6 feet closer "
That ^^^ is hunting.
What seems to be the current trend in modern hunting is for taking what I term excessively long shots. 300 yards or more. One noted hunting writer even bragged recently about an 800 yard shot at a bighorn sheep.
To my way of thinking that is irresponsible and disgusting. It is sniping, not hunting. Hopefully, that is one reason why most of us here go for the challenge of our old time muzzleloaders. Due to the limitations of our chosen weapons, we must get relatively close. We go beyond bow and arrow range, but not all that much.
I have a 10 inch square gong hung at 60 yards on my back yard firing range. I can hit that, off hand, every time. My personal maximum range to shoot at a big game animal with either my percussion or flintlock rifles is 75 yards. With my smoothbore loaded with a round ball I reduce that range to 50 yards.
Even in the American west where the countryside is more open, archery hunters regularly take deer, elk, and even pronghorn, often by sitting near a waterhole. If they can do it with a bow and arrows, then we can certainly do it with a flintlock fusil.
 
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Hunting water (or fence lines with crossings) is my preferred method as age takes over. I have a pop up blind, a chair with arm rests, a Zane Grey book (or Louis Lamoure) a pee bottle, drinks snacks and a day to myself. My worst problem can be staying awake. Many times I have jerked the chin off the chest when my book falling from my hands scared a flock of turkey. To date I have not slept through any antlered game (that I know of). I have a stick or by pod and as per above I expect to hit within inches of POA. Only once a few years ago did this fail me as I record book white tail (Cous) deer came by and at 35 yards I was too shaky to shoot him. NEVER had buck fever before (or after) that but I had never had a Cous deer come in. 2 years later I gave his grandson a ride to town.
 
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I like the “get as close as you can, then get 6’ closer” quote. Field conditions are a challenge. I’ve made good shots on coyote size game at 80-100 yards - hit right where I aimed. I’ll also honestly admit missing deer sized game at 35 yards - with a rest.

The only comment I’ll make is get as close as possible and recognize your own limitations.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Very few shooters, and especially non target shooting hunters, are unable to put a bullet into a paper plate ( about the vital area of a deer ) at 75 yards when shooting off hand .
To find out what I call your maximum personal point blank range . MPPR, for each position what you should do is set up a paper plate ( about 12") and shoot one shot at it from off hand , sitting and prone from 25 yards then 50 yards 75 ,100 etc .
The distance you can't hit the plate from any position is the past your MPPR for that position , so you walk back towards your target 5 yards , repeating until you hit the plate , you are not looking for a bull just a hit as the plate represents the kill zone for a deer.
You try this from each position until you are confident you have the correct position for the distance you are wanting to take a successful one kill shot .
If you hunt on foot walk 100 yards then take the shot to find how much a little exercise can affect your shooting accuracy .
If you shoot off a hard surface remember the rifle will shoot away from that surface , you need your hand between the hard surface and the rifle , same if you use a vertical tree trunk as a rest for a shot .
This is a one shot test not a grouping exercise or sighting in , multiple shots negate the information you can gather on yourself .
Excellent

For me, I think a paper plate is a bit too large, depending on what the hunter uses for "acceptable" criteria.

My 9" paper plate is actually larger when it's flat. (at least it seems that way)

IF I use such a plate, I'm using the embossed, interior circle. This, from what I've observed where I shoot, gives an excellent indication whether or not my rifle load is consistent enough and accurate enough. Shooting the tighter circle also I think allows for the variations in windage. Lastly it helps me to evaluate the max ranges for the stances that I might use.

My target range is down in a "holler", aka a hollow..., so is a lot of the deer hunting where I am, since the deer like the shelter of a depressed area between two ridges and such. So my range is similar to my hunting conditions, while others in other parts of the country might have different results. You need to tailor your shooting, I think.

There is a huge difference between my max effective range on a deer when I'm standing, unsupported in a field, than when I'm kneeling, or using a rest such as a tree trunk or a log. Also shooting at a white or black circle is much easier to get a good sight picture that's consistent, while shooting at the brownish/grayish side or shoulder of a deer is different, so for me shooting a smaller than 8" circle helps me to account for that problem too.

Mark Baker once said to Mel Gibson, "Aim small ; miss small" and that made it into The Patriot movie..., I think that's a good maxim.


PAPER PLATES.JPG



My max shot is 100 yards. I killed ONE and only one deer at 110 yards, because I blew the range estimate, and thought the doe was only at 80 yards. Had I known she was past 100 I likely would not have fired, but the same "angel" that will whizz in your touch hole will also sometimes help out your shot, and the round went fine into the lungs and out the other side. No wounded deer that time <whew>. My common shot is at 50 yards or less. My closest shot was around 7 yards.

LD
 
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I missed a perfect 50yd shot on a absolute perfect specimen of a 3 point meat buck at 50 yds once from a rest with time to relax as he came in. Back at camp at 80 yds I centered a chew can. Nope wasnt the gun! I have came to the conclusion it was such a gimme shot I jerked up to see where he ran about a 100/th of a second before the ball cleared the barrel LOL. No way to reload as he stared at me (after clearing the tank in 3 leaps) an then slowly walked right back the way he came. All the while I kept waiting for him to fall over. 70-80 yards away he decided he would not fall over and ran like a antelope out of site! No blood, no hair, no meat. FOLLOW THRU
 

Rancocas

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I missed a perfect 50yd shot on a absolute perfect specimen of a 3 point meat buck at 50 yds once from a rest with time to relax as he came in. Back at camp at 80 yds I centered a chew can. Nope wasnt the gun! I have came to the conclusion it was such a gimme shot I jerked up to see where he ran about a 100/th of a second before the ball cleared the barrel LOL. No way to reload as he stared at me (after clearing the tank in 3 leaps) an then slowly walked right back the way he came. All the while I kept waiting for him to fall over. 70-80 yards away he decided he would not fall over and ran like a antelope out of site! No blood, no hair, no meat. FOLLOW THRU
I missed a doe from 30 yards. Snow on the ground made it easy to track her. I followed her about 1/4 mile. No blood. No hair. No sign of a hit. Went back to the starting point and checked around real good. My shot had clipped a 1 inch thick wild grape vine that hung about half way between where the deer was and where I was. Apparently it was enough to deflect the round ball to cause a clean miss.
 
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Depends on what I am shooting. M14, standing 200 yds. .22 cal lr about 100 yds. ,50 cal. Mz rifle about 70 to 80 yds. This would be an 8" paper plate.
 

Ben Meyer

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That's how I look at traditional ML hunting. And more generally, any hunting where I'm using iron sights. Even with my 30-30 iron sighted lever gun, 100yds at noon on a sunny day is about as far as I'm willing to shoot at a deer. I'm not taking shots I'm not completely confident will result in a 1 shot ethical kill, period. Now, at 5:40pm when the sun is about gone, in the woods, with the black front sight getting fuzzy, it's probably 50-75yds. And this isn't taking ballistics into consideration.

And ML is archery on steroids
 
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