"By A Long Shot..."

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

It is a fact that accurate rifles do exist, and accurate bullets are becoming more and more available - and of course there are men out there who have mastered accurate trigger and proper breath control. So combine these essential ingredients and you have those who will try a long distance shot at a live animal.

This is a snapshot from the video after the shot. Somewhere in the circle two lone springbok had been spotted, 3/4 mile away, the range was measured at 1,214m and the shooter set his scope and took the shot.

The idea is not to start a debate here on the ethics of long distance shots on live game. My own position on this is well known but that is neither here nor there in this thread. Let us see some photos and videos about your killing shots - and if not on game, then on your targets. The logical interest is where the first shot went. To be honest, I have little time for and see no need for shooting groups on paper - it is the hunter's group he keeps of all his FIRST shots that he should attach value to - and more so where that first shot was in relation to the desired impact point.

Here is the video of the 1,214 meter (1,335 yard) shot on a springbok ram. This particular shooter would not take a shot unless the conditions were perfect - he is a friend of the brother of a friend of mine. Look at the mirage - fortunately there was no wind. Even so, the probability of hitting a 3" diameter heart at 3/4 mile with a first shot is so small that there is a good measure of luck in this shot - and the shooter will be the first to admit that - because this would not have been his first attempt.

The narrative is in my home language Afrikaans, and towards the end the girl, and the guy with the camera mention that the springbok was still kicking as can be seen by the viewer. This likely indicates that the bullet hit where the neck vertebrae joins the spine. Animals keep on kicking for a long time when neck or spine shot. The fact that the rear legs folded first indicates that it was either a neck shot with the bullet having penetrated the shoulders and hit the neck as the ram was grooming himself, or that the spinal cord was severed where the neck vertebrae meet the spine.

They also discuss the other single springbok that came closer to graze near the downed one. According to their discussion the other one had all the time been close by, maybe just out of the camera view to the right.

I am trying to get the details of the type rifle (which is really immaterial as they all are accurate; and the cartridge, which also is immaterial as they all are more accurate than even the best shooter; and of course the bullet. In the 1-2 mile competitions the Peregrine CNC lathe cut bullets in solid copper appear to be the industry standard.

Regarding the cartridge - the two chamberings here that fire bullets that will still be supersonic at 3/4 mile will be the .338 Lapua which is very popular, and the 6.5mm - .284. Presently my guess is that either of those would have been used. In the narrative the shooter said that due to the movement of the rifle at the shot he could not observe the hit so my guess is that the Lapua would cause that and not the 6.5 - .284.

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