- April 4, 2016 at 6:20 pm #26787ArtfulParticipant
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The custom rifle had a 230 MOA rail and 20 MOA in the scope itself.
On November 22nd, Jim Spinella hit a 36″ plate at 4210 yards with a HCR 375 CheyTac. That is 2.4 miles!
Over the past few years, Hill Country Rifles has been doing some very long range shooting with friend and customer, Jim Spinella.
Spinella hit a 36″ plate at 3600 yards, 3800 yards, and on November 22nd, he hit a 36″ plate at 4210 yards. That is 2.4 miles!
Each shot involved a new rifle build by HCR, all in 375 Cheytac. New lessons were learned and the rifles evolved into lighter, more useful designs.
One of the most interesting aspects to these shots is the engineering of custom mounts to avoid running out of scope adjustment. A 230 minute of angle (MOA) rail was machined for a 20 MOA Nightforce Unimount for a total of 250 MOA.
The Nightforce Beast scope also allows 34.9 MILS of additional come-up. That internal adjustment range is extremely important for this kind of shooting.
Because of the amount of cant in the mounts, the point of impact at 100 yards is 16 feet, 8 inches high. Crazy, right?
After hitting the plate at 3600 and 3800, the HCR team felt confident the 4210 would happen. Time to learn a new lesson.
“We checked the weather forecast daily a week ahead of the trip to FTW Ranch. Things looked pretty good,” said HCR’s GM, Matt Bettersworth. The ever-reliable weather app predicted sunny skies and high temps in the low 60’s. The weather pattern looked stable several days before and after the November 21st shoot date. Perfect shooting conditions.
Four days before the trip, a major cold front entered the forecast. Each day the predicted high temperature fell lower and the predicted winds got higher.
“The bottom line is that this was more about having a great time with friends and making some cool memories than it was about the distance,” said Spinella. “We pushed the team, the equipment, and the round way, way beyond any reasonable shooting range.”
At 4210 yards a ½ mph change in wind speed can move the bullet more than 4 feet.
The wind was blowing 15 to 35 mph most of the day Saturday, so the shot was moved to Sunday.
Conditions finally looked reasonable late Sunday afternoon. Reasonable ended up consisting of 3-6 mph of wind, usually left to right, but occasionally right to left, with a temperature of 58 degrees.
During the 3800 yard shot, the first shot was close to the target and easy to see. In fact, almost every impact was visible through the spotting scope.
“17 shots later we hit our target,” said HCR President Dave Fuqua. “It is amazing to see what happens to the bullet in the next 400 yards.”
The last 400 yards adds 1.5 seconds to time of flight and the bullet drops an additional 265 feet. That is a lot of time for the wind to push the bullet.
Another major obstacle to this shot was that the equipment would only calculate ballistics to 4000 yards.
So just finding a starting point in terms of dope was a challenge.
Doug Prichard has been making wind calls in the FTW hills and valleys for over a decade, not to mention his extensive military training. He predicted the air would go flat just before Jim ran out of shooting light. He was right.
At about 5:15 the air went totally still. Cigarette smoke would have gone straight up if anyone still smoked.
Everything changed on a dime. The next shot hit the white rock with the red paint on it about 12 feet left of our target. The next shot was just to the right.
The last two magazines produced very consistent results at that amazing distance and the hit was made by making calculated adjustments to the known impact calls.
“This would never have been possible without a customer and friend like Jim and the amazing people and facilities at FTW ranch,” said Bettersworth. We are blessed to have the unique combination of a shop to build the rifle in, a customer to build it for, and a place to shoot these extreme distances.”
Date: November 22, 2015
Location: FTW Ranch, Barksdale TX
Rifle: HCR Carry Weight 375 CheyTac
Action: Stiller CheyTac 1.450″
Barrel: Benchmark 8 groove, 1:11.5″ twist, 27″, .750″@muzzle
Muzzle Brake: Benchmark Miller Prone
Trigger: Jewell with front safety set 2.0 pounds
Stock: McMillan A3/5 customized to fit action, bottom metal, with custom adjustable comb
Trigger Guard: Bear Custom DBM
Metal Finish: Two-tone Black, Tungsten Gray Cerakote
Scope: Nightforce Beast H59 reticle
Mounts: Custom 230 MOA rail, 20 MOA Nightforce Direct Mount
Unscoped weight: 12.5 pounds
Weight with scope and mounts: 15.5 pounds
Ballistic Data and Environmentals:
Total Elevation: 96.5 MILS (4.5 MILS in the reticle)
Windage: 2.3 MILS Right
Temp: 58 Degrees
Elevation: 2000 ft
Station Pressure: 28.00 Hg.
- April 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm #26788HarterParticipant
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That’s pretty impressive. 36″ is a pretty small target at 1000 much Lee’s 4x that.
- April 5, 2016 at 1:13 am #26800VANNParticipant
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Yep, that’s good shooting.
- April 10, 2016 at 9:01 pm #26907Larry GibsonParticipant
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That was decent shooting and a challenge alright. However, the target was 1/4 moa at that range. I doubt that rifle was a 1/4 moa rifle under the best of conditions. given a lot of shooting out to 3600 yds over a lot of years while devoping the cartridge and sighting equipment it still took 17 shots for the hit at 3800 yds and then 10 shots for the hit at 4210 yds. Basically that’s shooting enough shots into the cone of fire until one shot finally hits the target. When shooting a target smaller than the accuracy capability of any rifle that is realistically what happens. I’ve shot enough 50 cal rifles and M2s at 1500 – 4000 meter targets smaller than the cone of fire to realize that. Sometimes the target is hit within 10 shots, sometimes within 20 shots and sometimes lady luck just isn’t with you……..it’s why you reach for the radio and call for a “fire mission”…….
Had the shooter hit the target then proceeded to hit it at least with 3 – 5 follow up shots I would have thought it really good shooting. Had he hit the target on the 1st or even the 2nd or 3rd shots I would have really been impressed.
- April 11, 2016 at 12:34 am #26915seaboltmParticipant
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^^^^^^^ What Larry said. I have shot at 4 inch steel targets with a Ruger Mk II 22 pistol at over 300 yards. Sometimes hit them in 10 shots, sometimes 50. Had one buddy hit it in 3 shots and then never again. Lady Luck . . . . . .
Need to add. . . . target was a 4″ wide steel post that was 48″ tall, so there was a lot of room for elevation errors.
- April 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm #26923GoodsteelKeymaster
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Boils down to your school of thought. Some folks are looking for accuracy they can depend on and that’s what every fiber of their being is bent towards. I put myself in this category along with quite a few members of this forum.
The rest of the folks are after that one lucky shot, and the more unlikely it is, the more they brag it up. This is the ultimate example of this. Dude was spraying bullets all over the place out there, but as soon as there was a ding on steel, it was high fives all the way around and epic viral video material was off to the presses.
Hey, if that’s your game, groovy. It’s not what I personally aspire to though. I love getting lucky as much as the next guy, but if you do anything long and hard enough, you get to a point where a lucky shot bothers you because anything out of the ordinary is an ANOMALY that you cannot depend on, and if anomalies are possible in your system, they are ten times more likely to work against you than to work for you, and that’s the Gods honest truth.
So, you just smile, say “Very nice” and keep on walking.
What I found most impressive was all the spotters that guy had helping him make corrections and calling wind etc etc etc. You know that has to be awesome to have that kind of support. Definitely helps you get the most out of whatever you’re shooting. I’ve never seen that before, and it was impressive.
Closest I ever came to this was when I was shooting a 6″ plate at over 600 yards, by buddy was down by the target laying behind his car on speaker phone calling my shots to me. That was pretty freakin awesome. Which reminds me, I owe him the same favor in return. LOL!
- April 11, 2016 at 9:28 pm #26936chutesnreloadsParticipant
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At first glance this interested me but what we have in reality is VERY small artillery.Just doesn’t interest me that much but hey….some folk think golf is fun
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