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Long Range Hunting for Big Game

What are your thoughts about hunting big game at extended ranges? Target bullets okay for elk at distances out to 1,000 yards? We don’t think so! Check out our Choosing The Right Bullet For Long Range Hunting lab tests, and see why.

35 Responses to “Long Range Hunting for Big Game”

  1. Willie Jimenez says:

    They say “hunting big game”? For the life of me, how can anyone call it hunting when you shoot big game from another county, set out on a days “hike” in order to reach the fallen animal? By the time you get there rigor mortis has set in! I know I’m exaggerating but dear Lord! 1,000 Yards? HUNTING? When I started hunting, the “hunt” was what made the memories and still does. ONE TIME I took a shot @ 678 lazered yards at a huge hog in Texas. I shot a few inches high and took out the spine. When I got there it was still alive. Then came an empty feeling of “why did I do that”? I felt like a poacher. Never again! Shooting big game at “extended ranges” isn’t hunting. It’s sniping.

  2. Txcowboy111 says:

    Well call it what you want.But In hunt elk in Idaho where the mountains are rough and the game extremely spooky!!I use a 300RUM loaded with 180grain MRX.My last years elk was killed at 788 yards and he dropped straight down on his knees,confirmed by Idaho Fish and Game.Hunting in country like that,you have to be able to shoot great distances or your just hiking with guns.

  3. David Young says:

    I’m sort of in aggrement with Mr.Jimenez about the sniping, but,I’m wrighting this from Montana. She’s big open country and unfortionatly lots of it is being leased by the big money boys from out-of-state. What I mean is you may only see one bull all year on public land where you can hunt him. If he’s 700 yds.;Your shooting enough gun,enough bullet and practice shots that long or longer, dope the wind hold for the shot and drop your bull. I killed a bull @ 810yds laying accross a valley. The snow was like potato chips and if I spent all day I couldn’t have worked my way around to close the yardage without him running off to leased land. I ranged him and took my time, the 338/378 barked and the 225 XLC passed through both sholders and the bull rolled over and died in 15 seconds,I know because I watched him in the scope for 15 minouts to be shure incase I needed a follow up shot. As usual the X bullet killed instantly. I hope when it’s my time to go I die as quickly. I’ve been shooting Barnes X bullets sence they came on the market and have never shot a single head more than once for reliable in there tracks kills,at any range.

  4. Jack Critchfield says:

    I am not a fan of long shots. They may have their place, but I learned a rule when a young lad (over 50 years ago) and it has served me well for a long time. If you can’t practice the shot, don’t take it. The hunt is what it is all about. The harvest is icing on the cake, not the end all of end alls.

  5. Kerry Million says:

    I am a fan of the TSX bullets, and use them in several of my rifles. They have performed perfectly in every animal I have taken. However, it should be noted in your testing that the Berger bullets are doing exactly what they are designed to do. Delayed expansion, then disentegrate for massive internal damage, expending their energy. Also note the retained velocity thye have compared to the other bullets tested, at the 1000 yd. mark.

  6. Lyle Carling says:

    HUNTING: The art of stealth in pursuit of prey….

    As a licensed big game guide I constantly remind my clientele what hunting is all about. It is the adventure of getting as close to the prey as possible! Clients see up close and personal the animal, its’ spirit and during the final process, the natural position during taxidermy.

    Long range shooting should only be taken in a controlled environment (i.e. target range), PERIOD! With all the issues at hand revolving around the hunting industry and the inhumane practices of harvesting, all hunters must practice the up close and personal approach. Seeing the pupil of the eye of the pursued before harvesting means a quality shot placement and an exceptional hunt by the pursuer!

  7. Lorenzo says:

    I am first and foremost a hunter. I am a long range hunter, an archer, and a dark timber still hunter. If you cannot appreciate the ADDED skill involved in long range hunting, fine. If you cannot appreciate the ADDED challenge of long range hunting, fine. Leave it to us who do.

    I found the published “test results” a rather pathetic and thinly veiled attack against another quality bullet manufacturer. Yes Berger and Barnes are at opposite ends of the terminal performance phillosophies. Even your test results clearly show the Bergers penetrating through bone, then expanding devastatingly. Mabey I’d better close both eyes so I too can see how those results show terminal failure?

    Barnes manufactures quality hunting bullets. But the BC’s are lacking. Attempting to dictate hunting ethics is not going to sale bullets! Claiming hunters who use clearly effective products other than your own is not going to sale bullets!

    Todays hunter wants a high BC hunting bullet! Produce ‘em and we’ll buy them!

  8. frank 505 says:

    Hunting is hunting. Long range shooting at animals is not hunting. (period) If you can’t hunt then stay home and leave us hunters in the field. I have yet to see one of these “long range hunters” at a 900 or 1000 yard match to show us us how exactly this is done on demand for 20 shots for record. The target doesnt lie, or take a step, we even have wind flags to show direction and speed. What do you have in across canyon shot where the wind could be several different directions.

  9. Cliff Pliml says:

    Three-hundred yards is a real reach regarding game animals. People should not even consider thousand yard shots, except at paper targets.

  10. Pete says:

    For me, not over 400 yds.

    The object is a swift humane kill — living game animals are not the enemy.

    Think of the time of flight over 600 yards plus and a target that could move at any moment.

  11. Zac says:

    I have used Barnes bullets to take many animals. I have also taken game using Berger, Speer, Sierra, Nosler, Hornady, and Swift brands. I shoot all year long and practice religiously at ranges up to and exceeding 1000 yards. I shoot game ranging in size from ground squirels to moose. I shoot rifles ranging in caliber from .17 to .338. I spend ridiculous amounts of money on bullets, powders, primers, case preparation, and gunsmithing. All but one of my rifles shoot better than 1/2 MOA. I don’t struggle to hit whatever it is that I aim at. I know my abilities and shoot within my limits at all times. I don’t believe that anyone has the right to call me or any other person “unethical” without knowing the persons practices and discipline. I hunt year round and don’t gauge my ethics off of the distance at which I take a shot. I gauge it on the speed at which the quarry dies. I’ve looked into the eyes of fallen animals that weren’t dead by the time I got to them and it broke my heart. I did my part and placed the shot where it needed to be and the animal didn’t run ‘too far’, it actually went right down. My problem is that it didn’t die right away. I’m not saying that some haven’t, just that more often than not they’re still alive. I believe (and it is my right to do so) that there is a huge difference between an animal going down, and an animal hitting the ground already dead. I’ve changed brands of bullets to assure that my quarry dies as quickly and humainly as possible. As I stated earlier I’ve used many bullets and had great success in both accuracy and terminal performance aspects. I do however hunt big game with one bullet and will continue to do so until I can find something better. I shoot Berger VLD’s and have never shot a more effective hunting bullet. When I say effective I mean in both accuracy (especially at longer distances) and terminal performance. Your tests show me exactly what I’ve wanted to see in pictures and on paper and I thank you for that. I believe that I’ve chosen the right bullet for me, maybe not for everyone else but for me. I do know exactly what a B.C. is and how it will affect my hunting experience. I’ve allowed your bullets into my household and don’t have a bad word to say about them but any manufacturer who claims they make a more accurate bullet is nearly slapping his own customer in the face. Don’t tell any seriously educated and practiced hand loader which bullet “will” be more accurate. I can get any brand of bullet to shoot accurately but the bottom line for me is that some truly shoot better. I honestly struggled more with Barnes and Berger brands than any others when in pursuit of accuracy but I found my loads eventually, just like anybody else who strives to find the perfect load. I have to say that I won’t be purchasing any more of your bullets for a while. At least not until you can prove to me something different than I have witnessed with my own two eyes. Thank you for trying to better the hunting and shooting industry though.

  12. dbamber says:

    i hunt for meat. long range, short range or fresh road kill. you have to decide wether your a sport hunter or a harvester. Many can make an argument against sport hunting as well. I have no problem taking an elk at 800 yards. It doesn’t see you, feel fear and is dead by the time you get there. Human at the least.

  13. Richard Bowles says:

    As a Colorado deer, elk, and antelope hunter of over 50 years’ experience, I think all these T.V. shows and magazines touting 600-1000 yard shots on game animals is pure, unadulterated crap. Hunting is not long-range target shooting or tactical sniping. Any hunter who tries that on game animals should have his gun wrapped around his neck. Not one hunter in 100 is capable of making those kind of shots, and certainly not the modern, pampered hunters of today who are afraid of recoil and see high-tech guns as a substitute for hunting skill. The long-range hunting videos only show sucessful hunts so they can sell expensive rifles and scopes; never the many leg or gut-shot animals their clients wound to die slow, painful deaths. State game departments should prohibit the promotion of such long-range garbage, and fine the hell out of anyone caught doing it.

  14. genaro says:

    I’m not an experienced hunter, I’ll say right up front. Catskills New York is typically heavy wooded, lots of hilly varying terrain, but has some isolated open areas of long distance. No, I myself am not skilled to take a long shot over 250yards, and 300yards would be my maximum ( haven’t even shot past 200 yards due to lack of such shooting ranges where I live.). My old WW2 open sighted mauser has been used with my middle age eyes to shoot 5 inch size – 5 shot groups at 200yards, hence my maximum distance. HOWEVER, I think a skilled and careful shooter who can shoot 600 or 700 yards with complete regularity ought to be considered just as much a sportsman as a close in shooter of game.
    But that must be done humanely, precisely, and not room for error, and wind conditions ought to make the hunter reconsider making any such long ranged shot. Good hunting all, good sportsmanship, marksmanship, and lets not let these individual differences in hunting attitudes cause a fissue that anti – hunting and anti gun minded ones hope to drive a truck thru, to our own future peril.

  15. bbullets says:

    Still a fan of using target bullets for long range big game hunting? Scroll down to the “From The Lab” section in the September, 2009 Club X Bullet-n. Here’s the link: http://www.barnesbullets.com/resources/newsletters/september-2009-barnes-bullet-n/
    -JSB

  16. mike s kakalecik says:

    Long range hunting (YES) If you shoot all year long at 100 to 1000 yards and know your gun and the ammo you put threw it by reloading, then yes shoot away. If you dont shoot alot, then only take a shot that you know you can make. It doesnt make you a better or worse hunter then me. I only pull the trigger when i know everything is right. I shoot a 338-378 weatherby with a 225 grain ttsx and a zeiss 4-16 power scope.Barns for me are the best. It kills at 100 yards and it kills at 1000 yards.So shoot shoot and shoot some more ,know your gun.and the ammo you put threw it.

  17. kwthrg says:

    I shoot or have shot most brands of bullets. I do not shoot game at extreme ranges. My personal limit is 400-450 yards and even then I rarely ever shhot that far. I do not believe in shooting at animals past 500 yds. Now for those of you who believe that Berger is the ultimate big game bullet. I have never seen anything on their website that describes how the VLD is constructed except for one of their guys saying its the same as their target bullet only with a thinner jacket. That doesn’t do much for me, I want to see how it is constructed. For anyone who has ever shot much game, you should know that nobody and I mean nobaody makes 1 bullet that does what it was designed to do at all velocities. I would like to see what a Berger does at less than a 100yds out of one of these big magnums. You may not think this is important, but you can’t always know what your range will be, it could be long or up close. For those of you who say you are long range shooters 500-1000yds. Are you not going to take a shot unless you can backup to your desired range? What a load of crap. The Barnes may not be the best all around hunting bullet, but it’s not far from it. Certainly better than the VLD. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Berger didn’t even make a hunting bullet, what did you use back then? The VLD’s expansion is nothing new, they operate like a plastic tipped bullet. I have shot several brands of plastic tips out of magnums, usually they don’t drop game, they waste alot of meat, even at long ranges. They are better suited to low velocities. Not a Magnum!!

  18. Barry Christensen says:

    Dear Barnes;
    I doubt that very few people understand the coefficient of drag that is published as BC is a variable that changes as velocity decreases over a long range. The great BC’s that are listed are only an average; even when you test them in a controlled environment. Bullets at muzzle velocity travel at speeds much greater then the speed of sound, which means bullets, must break through a shockwave barrier. This barrier is dependent on environmental conditions, tempeture, humidity and barometric pressure. The best bullet BC’s are profiled to penetrate this shockwave barrier, however, there’s always a trade off, when the bullet slows down the shockwave barrier moves forward towards the bullet creating a turbulent airflow, causing more drag on the bullet to slowdown even more rapidly. Have you ever heard someone say that a bullet drops faster at long range? This because the coefficient of drag BC has deceases over distance traveled, which means the drag is increasing as it travels. The turbulent effect (also known as the transonic range) actually makes a rapid change in a bullets drag. So with that being said, BC measured and calculated at 300 Yards will be much different at long range. Still the best long-range bullets have higher BC’s which comes back to the hunter’s choice. For me the choices are penetration or fragmenting (flying apart). Hydro-shock works well with both types of bullets, simply because fluids do not compress. However, from this point if every thing else is fairly close (or as they say in physics proximally equal) at long range, that being knock down energy, and hydro-shock. Then penetration becomes the final factor. hmmm, For me my choice is the Barnes Bullet.
    Barry

  19. Mark says:

    I would like to share an experience with you all that happened just this year during the youth elk hunt. My good friend’s 13 year old daughter drew an early youth tag for any legal bull elk here in Utah. She had a very caring father who made good and sure she was prepared for what might face her in the near future and thus practiced with her at our shooting range at least once a week for what seemed to be months. While debating which bullet to use I suggested she try a Berger VLD (I have had good experiences with them in the past). She and her father ended up narrowing their search down to Nosler Partitions and Barnes TSX’s with the Barnes bullets ending up in her rifle. I was excited to try out these bullets as i had never used them in the past. I started loading them for her 270 Win and soon we found a load that produced very good groups. Her confidence soared as her hunt arrived and off they went to the hills. At first light some cow calling and a bugle led to a nice 6×6 bull walking straight toward them. The bull stood broadside as she fired the first shot at 225 yrds. The bullet hit it’s mark and the bull calmly walked away. As the bull walked she shot again and placed another good shot through the bull’s vitals and still the bull continued to walk. They watched as the bull passed into some trees and felt confident that he’d surly die quickly but left the animal to rest. My friend is an avid bow hunter and his past experiences led him to the belief that they should wait a while. They gave the bull an hour and a half and then went to collect him. Just as they saw the animals antlers in the brush he stood and ran out of the brush. She shot him again on a quartering away angle and struck him a little far back. As they got out of the timber she shot and hit him again, this time high in the back. The bull still managed to walk into some nearby brush. They waited again for another hour before trying to persue her bull. They tracked a very meager blood trail for over 300 yards and then followed what had to be the bulls tracks for an additional 200. As dusk fell upon them they found the bull dead. An all day event that in my opinion should have ended at first light. We ended up arriving at the truck just after midnight with her dressed out animal (I went to help pack out the animal with my horses). So to make an assesment of the experience: 6 shots fired (all inside of 250 yrds), 3 good hits and 1 a little off, all day waiting and tracking, one 6×6 bull, and a happy but very frustrated little girl. Long range or not the bullets’ performance was disapointing. Not a single bullet was recovered from the animal to see if they expanded properly, they all penetrated right through. I tend to boubt they did since none of the four left a wound channel larger than the diameter of the bullet. I believe any full metal jacket would have done just as good. I’m sure others have had better experiences with “X-Bullets” but I know of a few people who are not future customers.

  20. george fournier says:

    I have been hunting with Barnes TSX bullets for four years and have never had a bad experience. Most recently I shot a Wyoming antelope at 470 yards with a .308 sporting a 20 inch barrel launching a 168 tipped triple shock at 2650 fps. muzzle velocity. The bullet fully penetrated the antelope with the exit wound the size of a baseball after hitting it at a half quatering angle. The antelope ran 50 yds and fell dead. All the rest of the kills I’ve had were 350 yds or less using 168 grain triple shocks out of a .300 WSM with the animals falling dead where they stood. The tipped triple shock has inspired my confidense in the .308 as a long range gun and supports my feeling that triple shocks make any caliber gun perform one caliber up when compared to lead jacketed bullets. Both the 168 gr triple shock and tipped triple shock are readily capable of 3-5 shot groups of 0.75 inches or better out of my Savage actioned rifles.

    As far as concerns about ballistic coefficients being low, a quick look at the bullet drop difference at 400 yds between a bullet with a BC of .400 and another with a BC of .500 is about an inch, hardly noticeable at ranges that the average hunter should be comfortable shooting.

    With the current trend away from lead, the triple shock is poised to to be the leader in hunting bullets. It is accurate, easy for reloaders to use, deadly, and legal everywhere.

  21. Matthew says:

    I have a question for anyone out there and it is the following; How in the world can anyone brag about a bullet’s performance when an animal that weighs less than I do ran 50 yards after being struck by a 168 gr. 30 cal. projectile traveling at well over 2000 fps? I can’t say that impresses me at all. George says any rifle will act like it’s one caliber larger if firing Barnes bullets? Does this mean that he’d carry a 375 firing a 300+ gr. bullet to harvest Elk? He must if he needs a 30 caliber bullet to harvest antelope. I’ve taken many antelope and mule deer with my 243 Win with 85 and 95 gr. bullets and had more humane kills than George just described! I’ve tried Barnes bullets before with moderate success but I can’t say that in all my years hunting I’ve ever seen a baseball sized exit wound except for in movies. I can’t imagine ever needing one to dispatch any game animal(not to say that when shooting prarie dogs some violent wounds aren’t fun)! I’ve only recovered a few “X-Bullets” from game animals (3 to be exact, the rest penetrated clean through) and none looked like the pictures I’ve seen of expanded X-Bullets. Each one was missing at least 2 “petals” and none expanded to twice their initial diameter. They may have reached twice their diameter at one point for a very brief moment but didn’t hold their form. I was told to aim for bone with X-Bullets so I did and these are the results I’ve experienced. As for long ranging it…..I don’t know how far is too far but I’ll shoot at any range I feel comfortable with. I have made humane and clean kills at ranges in excess of 600 yrds with my 300 Ultra using a couple of different bullets. I think that most of the guys that argue about shooting long range have 10 or 12 power optics on sporter barreled run of the mill factory produced rifles. They have no clue what kind of range can be achieved with the all mighty dollar! People say it’s not hunting and it’s not humane if you shoot long range? I’ve seen animals shot over a dozen times while running from hunters and because it’s under 350 yards that makes it hunting and that makes it humane? I’m just as guilty as the next guy of getting excited about a big buck or bull. When I see a 30″ rack my heart starts jumping. I can say that from a long ways away the animal doesn’t spook as easily or run and that gives me the time I need to settle down and a calm collected shot in my opinion is a more humane and ethical shot. I believe that from what I’ve read on this blog that alot of people will argue til no end that Barnes makes the best hunting bullet on the planet. To this I say, good for you! Everyone needs to excercise their freedom to an opinion, I just don’t agree. I’ve watched videos of animals being shot with Barnes, Nosler, Berger, Sierra, Speer, Swift, ect. and they don’t ALL die quickly. Barnes movies sure show quick kills though. I’m a do-it-yourself kind of guy and won’t pay a guide a ton of money to get me within 150 yards of a 30″ buck. Almost any bullet will drop animals when shot at close range. Someone please post a video of a Barnes bullet dropping an animal in it’s tracks from 600+ yards. I’d love to watch the camera zoom out to prove the range as well. I’ve shot Barnes bullets and am not criticizing them but have had bad experiences with them every time I’ve used them for longer range hunting. I’ll stick with my lead ones for that task. Any rifle/bullet combination can be loaded to shoot distance with accuracy but if the bullet doesn’t deliver the goods when it gets there then it won’t work for me.

  22. Zac says:

    Hey Richard Bowles, it is amusing to me that anyone thinks that they have the right to dictate to another what he or she should or shouldn’t do with their time and money. You are a prime example that ignorance truly is bliss. You may think that long range shooting is pure and unaldulterated crap. It is your right to do so but there is no need to slander someone who persues the talent and ability to shoot at greater distances than you yourself are capable of. I dare say that you are far from correct with your saying that not one in one hundred can make a shot like that. Place a well tuned rifle with premium high power optics in the hands of most practiced shooters and with proper instruction they’ll surely surprise even themselves. I know the movies only show the kills and not wounded animals; after all, who wants to see the sad suffering of a wounded animal? Such is life though and nobody will advertise or show anything less than the best they can catch on film. Nobody will claim they make or sell anything that is second best. I dare say that even Barnes has caught on film a time or two when their own bullets have performed less than perfectly? But you’d be hard pressed to get them to show you the true unadulterated crap of a suffering animal. Compare two scenarios for me if you dare…… first, A wise old buck or bull smells you or senses your presence in his space. you have a 200 yard shot at a buck or bull who knows they’re in danger! They see you aim the rifle and then the bullet strikes them! They run 50 yards and fall to their death. Second, a long distance shot (let’s just say 800 yards)at a buck or bull who has no clue as to your location or presence…. the bullet strikes and the animal falls dead in it’s tracks. Place yourself in the animals body and tell me which of the two suffers more before expiring? If I myself were an animal and had to die by the hands of a hunter I’d much rather not know it was coming. I can only imagine what goes through the animals mind when the bullet passes clean through it’s body and it runs 50 yards. It can’t be pleasant in any way can it? So who is more ethical and humane? Who should be able to tell who what to do? I believe you’d tell me that you’d take my rights to hunt from me and wrap my rifle around my head or neck. Well, I’d tell you to keep hunting and do whatever it is that makes you happy as long as it’s consistent with the law and God. It’s too bad that people are so closed minded these days. I believe that all things aside we could probably sit around a fire together and share hunting stories with each other and enjoy the wonderful world that God has given us to hunt in. I respect your opinion, I wish you respected mine. I’m sure I could learn from you, I doubt you’d listen to me. It matters not if we agree on hunting though so long as we fight for our right to hunt and bear arms. I thank God that we all live in a “free” country and can even express our views on such a subject. Great website Barnes! Keep up the good work!

  23. dave kynoch says:

    I think all this talk about drop numbers is missing the point of a long range bullet. As stated before BC really doesn’t affect drop that much and it can be compensated for.

    I don’t hunt at long range; but I do practice and shoot competitively at 1000 yards. I took 2nd the Idaho State 1000 yard F-class match a few years ago. I do want to be capable of making a long range shot when hunting if I had to; but I consider long range to be 600-700 yards on game and about my limit.

    I think higher BC numbers are about retaining enough velocity to expand the bullet with enough expansion to crate as large of a wound channel as possible. They are not about drop figures. If you are taking a long range shot you should have the ability to compensate for the drop no matter what it is.

    In the September issue of the Barnes Bullet-N which was posted by Barnes earlier their lab manager gives some drop number comparisons which make a good point that the drop numbers are so close between the berger and the Barnes that they are negligible in hunting situations. What he fails to point out from running his same numbers is that the Berger bluets are going almost 250 fps faster at 600 yards that the Barnes bullets. The Barnes bullets are about at their maximum range to expand and effectively cerate a large enough wound channel.

    I still think Barnes bullets have their place; but Berger bullets do to. If you are hunting within 600 yards with a Magnum cartridge then the Barnes bullet is probably one of the best bullets on the market which means that most hunters would be best served by them because 99% of hunters should not shoot past 300-400 yards. But, for the 1% of hunters that practice and have the equipment to shoot past 600 yards the Berger is probably the better choice. At these distances the velocity will be low enough that the Barnes may not expand enough and the Berger will.

    I think my point is that both bullets are great and have there place. This bickering between the two companies needs to stop you can make legitimate arguments for both bullets. They both have their place.

  24. Philip Seal says:

    I have hunted for many years. I use a 44 mag pistol if I wish to get close to game. I have killed many deer that way and enjoy the hunt. The long range shooter must set up a gun that can do the job at 700 to 800 yards. He must know the gun and practice with it. The thrill of the hunt is still there. Looking for the game, ranging it correctly, and taking a careful shot if conditions are right. He has a much greater chance of a good killing shot than someone who shoots at a running animal or someone with buck fever. I seen a handicapped man set up a 800 plus shot on an antelope and drop it immediately. He was a winner of the down under contest in Foryst MT. He doesn’t shot in wind and he doesn’t miss. Don’t assume long range hunters are bad hunters. They usually rank amoung the best.

    Tex

  25. Pete says:

    I feel somewhat humbled by all the folks that shoot game at 800-1000 yards away.

    Just about every game amimal I shoot “dies hard” so I like to use bigger bullets at moderately high impact velocities. Like hits at 400 yds and less. I have and use a .375 for certain applications. Possibly the game I shoot is enraged or something like that at me.

    Published B.C.’s do not impress me as they vary depending on many factors (velocity, twist rate, temp, etc). If some long skinny boat tail projectile is wobbling its way to the target (look at the bullet’s wake) what happens to the B.C.

    I have “picked off” small rodents at over 800 yards using plastic tipped, boat tail, heavy for caliber (skinny) bullets shot at max velocities but also have screwed up and inflicted non-fatal hits on varmints. I have also worn out numerous rifle barrels on varmints and 1000 yd targets. I plan to use Berger VLD’s again but only on the rodents.

    For game animals 400 yds is my limit.

  26. Mike says:

    Just a note after loading triple x’s in a 270 and 257 weatherby. Elk hunting last week in Colorado my cousin shot a Bull from 484 yards with a 270. 150 grain triple shock bullet traveling 2935 fps. Broke both shoulders and disinegrated the heart. Bull fell where he was shot. Bullet was extracted from the bull and retained 98% of original weight. I shot a bull at 100 yards with 257 weatherby and 115 grain triple shock going 3235fps. 3 Lung shots and bull was down within 5 feet from first shot. Never found the bullets. Bullets did as advertised and I’m sold on the Barnes Triple Shock. Accuracy was sub MOA with Savage 110 and Blaser out to 400 yards. We do a lot of shooting and these bullets performed as well as anything i have loaded.

  27. Terrel says:

    Had an opportunity at 350 yards on a Utah moose in ’08. Hit him on his left side (.300 RUM, 168 TSX), he turned and I hit him on his right side, after which it was lights out. Found both bullets just inside the hide on either side. Both mushroomed perfectly, lots of internal damage.

    Barnes X bullets have always proven lethal for myself and several friends. So have Failsafes, Accubonds, Swifts, Speers, Sierras and the list goes on and on. Long story short, combine the correct style of bullet with enough accuracy, velocity and energy for proper expansion and you will get the job done every time, whether it’s at 50 yards or 850 yards.

    Every shot at an animal is different. You can crack a bull at 100 yards and drop him in his tracks one year, but the following year, get about the same shot at about the same distance with roughly the same shot placement and the bull might run 100 yards before piling up. That’s just the reality of big game hunting, you never know exactly what will happen before you take a shot, no matter what the distance or style of bullet used.

    Long range is a relative thing, it could be 150 yards to some and 1000 yards to others. What I consider long range might be “just warming up” range to you, and both of us will probably be right. Education and self regulation (or maybe I should say self control) is what this sport needs, especially when it comes to the ethics of long range hunting. The truth is, for a large majority of hunters (the ones who will never care to read any of the comments on this or any other page, let alone burn up a couple hundred of rounds each year shooting at ANY distance), 300 yards is outside their effective range, yet they will bang away every time. On the other hand, those who do take the time to refine their skills and equipment in order to harvest game at extended ranges bring far more credibility to the sport.

  28. UT338 says:

    Well here in Utah the shots are long and you need to be able to shoot those distances or you will have tag soup. Buddy of mine drew out on fishlake limited for elk and took an elk at 810 yards died instantly, several hunters came up to him and asked how did you kill him so far away and he said I’ve practiced and I know my limits and stick to my limits. I have personally seen this fellow shoot a clay pigeon yes the small little orange things at 700 yards this is not luck this is skill and in a day where hunting is becoming harder you gotta adapt.

  29. Extremely interesting blog post thank you for sharing I have added your site to my bookmarks and will be back :) By the way this is a little off subject but I really like your web page layout.

  30. DaBoom says:

    I agree with Zach. Everyone shoots to his/her abilities with the occasional shot taken beyond. We all have our own ideals on what is humane or not. I say it’s a good day when the animal I shoot once drops dead or runs less than 50 yards and drops dead. I’m a one shot one kill hunter, but wont hesitate to drop the hammer over and over. I can tell when I’ve had a good hit, but have been surprised a few times by the reaction of an animal I’ve just shot and hit it again only to find that both shots hit heart and/or lungs after it was all said and done. I’ve also had my share of the bad shots when I was younger, just starting out that required a shot at a live animal that I was standing right next to for the kill. Not a fun thing by any stretch of the imagination. I had nobody to teach me. My kids on the other hand know the importance of the first shot and shoot accordingly, makes me proud. My point being, not everyone has the time, money, background, knowledge, ability, morals etc… to be humane in all of our prospective minds. Although there have been situations where I would have liked to ring a neck or two myself, I respectfully keep my opinions to myself unless it’s dangerous to others or a law is broken. I believe that if you can live with yourself at the end of a long successful day hunting any game, whether you bagged something or not, more power to ya and as long as you were safe and law abiding, who has the right to give you any shit?! Most hunters are ready to hunt year after year with 1-5 practice shots before the season starts to make sure everything is good with their weapon. They love the hunt and doing it, but it’s not on the same level that others have, that passion for perfection for every aspect of hunting start to finish. I’m a perfectionist and love everything about it. If I have a good clean shot at 1000 yards, I’m taking it, my capability is there. By clean at long distance I’m mean conditions, wind especially. A clean close shot for me would be one without obstructions, branches, brush, etc…. Anyway, we are all different, all have different degrees of passion for the things we do and all do things just a little different for the other guy. If you want to complain about products or people just because they are different from you and for what they use or how they use it, remember this, us hunters are all out here for the same reason in varying aspects and in order of importance of those aspects. By continually bashing your fellow man that has a similar, but different passion for the sport, you might as well be a tree hugger. Better yet, use that energy for preserving your own and every other man/woman’s right to continue to keep and bear arms. Although things have gotten better in recent years with concealed carry, it’s about to heat up again and many feel another ban is on the way. Just saying, our energy would be better served on the same side instead of bickering among ourselves, food for thought!!!

  31. jimK says:

    Great subject, Randy. Part of the problem we have is scope manufacturers advertising a person can easily shoot out to 400 or 500 yards, or even further, just by using their particular product with maybe graduated cross hairs or little circles. Those of us who like to shoot high-power at longer ranges know we need to regularly practice shooting at those ranges to become proficient. I live in Minnesota where the average shot at a Whitetail is less than 100 yds and wind is a very small factor. When I first started hunting in Wyoming, I learned very quickly that I was not proficient in range estimation or downrange wind estimation. Both of these elements are learned through practice BEFORE one attempts to shoot extreme ranges. Also involved in ethical long range shooting is the downrange performance of the ammunition you are using at the time. Does the bullet retain enough velocity and energy to “open up” and assure a clean, quick one-shot kill? Doping the wind is even more important as in long-range shooting one errant puff of wind can move an otherwise well-placed shot from the “boiler room” to a nasty gut-shot resulting in a slow painful death for the animal and maybe a lost animal.

    This is where the “ethics” part comes in. Many of the new fast, flat-shooting calibers have the capability to shoot long range in the hands of a capable shooter. And we have seen great strides in scopes and ammunition in the past twenty years. I would venture a guess and say that many, if not most, of the shooters who frequent your site are familiar with ballistics, bullet styles and they practice regularly. Many people don’t have access to ranges where they can practice beyond 300 yds on a regular basis. Just because you can keep your groups within six inches at 300 yds doesn’t mean you’re capable of killing a mule deer with one shot at 600 yds, much less 800yds, especially with the same ammunition you use for whitetails at 200 yds.

    To sum up my feelings on the subject, yes, the capability to set up a rifle to shoot accurately at longer ranges is there but you can’t just go out and buy long range accuracy. Today’s rifles have great inherent accuracy, scopes are outstanding and ammunition is better than ever but there’s only one way to have the confidence to ethically shoot at a living animal at long-range. Practice.

  32. Geoff Hamence says:

    I know we all like to make out the target/animal we shot was miles away, but most times they are much closer. Here in my country Australia we can hunt most of the year round if we are lucky enough. As a result we have as much fun missing out on the shot as we do in taking a shot.
    I hunt with my son and we shoot only deer, and we sue Barnes TSX exclusively. To my way of thinking its not hunting when you can sit a long distance away and take a long distance shot at some animal. Our hunting is all about sneaking in to 30-100 yards and then taking the shot if the opportunity arises. Sometimes we win the game, some times the animal wins. Either way its all about the stalk in and the time taken to get close.
    There is nothing better than stalking in real close to a wild animal then realizing its not what you desire so then you can watch it from just a few yards away. I just cannot see any skill in long range shooting, to me the skill is the stalk in and then if you desire take the shot.
    By the way my longest ever shot at an animal was 240yards over a bowling green flat paddock on a clear blue sky day. My closest has been 15 feet, what a shot that was. It was just a fallow doe, but we ate all of her. These are the hunts we most talk about, the ones where we got real close after a good hour long stalk, making sure the wind is always right. Keeping an eye out for other eyes watching you and warning all and sundry of your presence. We have cockies, parrots, crows, wombats, kangaroos, magpies and they all warn each other. So getting in close is the game, its so much worth while. And its ethical as you can be sure of the shot placement, 30 yards makes it so much more of a sure bet. One shot and the animal is down. And with Barnes projectiles you are sure of a certain kill.
    May God Bless you all and happy hunting.

  33. Stephen says:

    The point is not to slander bullets or their makers! It’s to take time with your own equipment and PRACTICE. There once was a man who new all there was to know about hunting, his name “JACK O’CONNER!” I firmly agree that the gun, ammo or even the scope do not a hunter make. It’s all about SHOT PLACEMENT, SHOT PLACEMENT, SHOT PLACEMENT! I am smart enough to know that there are an infinite amount of variables in hunting. So why not take a few out and practice with your equipment so you are able to effectively extend your shooting range and practice on ETHICAL shots. Nobody ever complained about have too much common sense!

  34. morton says:

    As a long range hunter i feel the need to put in my experience. i have used every bullet on the market Speer, swift, hornady, nosler, winchester, remington core loct, woodleigh, and the dare i say mighty berger, of course BARNES. i have to say my favorite is definatly barnes at any range the bullet is moving past 1800fps. iv used them on elk deer antalope from 25 yards to 975 yards iv. Anyone who sais they dont work at extended ranges dosent know what there talking about. as for the BERGER it is an absolute joke. I cant believe they are advertiseing it for hunting. Iv shot them IF you want to WOUND an animal the BERGER is your absoulute best choice. It is a target bullet PERIOD. I shot an antalope with one and never saw it again. iv done ballistics gell test with cow bone in it and they just totaly blow up on bone no penitration whatsoever none zilch zero. The barnes is an acctual Hunting bullet desighned for hunting berger could only dream of making half the bullet that barnes dose. iv shot every legal animal in north america with it iv never had an animal take a step after a barnes hit them drt on contact no doubt bout it no blood trailing right there where u shot it. I have to give it up to barnes for makeing souch a great product and i have to say that barnes only problem is they are trying to make a perfect bullet better i guess theres always room for improvement. The only thing barnes can do better at this point is make better bc bullets which i have noticed wth my experiences that barnes advertises there bc”s under what they acctualy are. i wouldnt doubt if the 30 cal 200 gr ttsx actually has a bc of more in the .600 range than the .504 im not entirely sure what its advertised as but iv shot the smk wth an advertised well abov .600 ran a barnes through at the same ranges and the barnes held its own against the smk at long range only 9 inches lower drop at 850 yards. cant say enough bout there product have great hunting seasons to all.

  35. Dan Pitt says:

    All of you have valid points for a hunter/shooter to consider. The simple truth is long range shooting is exactly that long range and specialized. There are many variables/conditions to take into consideration when squeezing the trigger at any given distance especially when a living animal is at the receiving end. I have hunted big game all of my life from the time I was considered of legal age in Colorado and can tell you that the hunter that I’ve become is one from lessons learned and skills honed. My father was a Marksman/Sharp shooter in the Marine Corp and quite frankly one of the best shooters I’ve ever had the honor of being around; he taught me well. His cartridge of choice was a 300 win mag and believe it or not his sight choice was a Williams Peep. I witnessed him take numerous long to medium range killing shots on everything from elk to jack rabbits and can tell you it is without question entirely possible to humanely kill big game at long range with the right conditions, right cartridge, right bullet and most of all the right skills. I agree with having the skill and patience to sneak up on the animal in which you are pursuing is a great way to hunt and it is truly a skill to close the deal, however I’m the type of hunter that day dreams every waking moment about my next hunt and spend a lot of money and time on my hunts; so what did I choose to do? I chose to listen, watch, learn and hone my skills so that when that dream bull or buck offers an opportunity I’m prepared to plan a stalk, or if conditions do not allow for a closer encounter I have the equipment,skill set and know how to take the animal ethically even at long range. I will never as some people say fling lead at an animal in hopes of a lucky hit!! I will however know the distance, the wind, set up with a solid/stable rest and if the animal is in a position where I can take him cleanly ,I will squeeze off and not hope for the best rather wait to watch him crumble and/or hunch up, take a few steps and collapse. It is a choice but if you choose to take long range shots at game animals you owe it to the animal to have the skills, right equipment, etc… It is our responsibility to be ethical sportsmen and not give hunters a bad name. Always keep in the back of your mind that if there is even slight doubt about the shot then it is most likely a shot that you should not attempt.

    Good shooting and hunting!

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