In this video, a piece of steel is hit with a muzzleloader at 750 yards with a 20-mph crosswind, on the first shot!
Let’s set the stage up front…t We are not advocating long-range hunting with a muzzleloader and the essential elements of big game hunting have never changed. Neither has the game we hunt. Scent management, stealth discipline, understanding game habits, reading terrain, and an almost masters-degree-level of strategy are among the tools required of the successful hunter. We are not endorsing anything less than getting as close to your game as possible nor pushing the limits of your equipment while on a hunt in a way that is disrespectful or unethical to the animal you are hunting. Just as we practice long shots with a bow to improve our shots within ethic archery ranges, knowing the limits of your muzzleloader or rifle, should make you much more precise within the lethal and ethical distances your equipment is designed to be used.
The equipment many hunters now deploy in their big-game pursuits has changed dramatically in recent years. Advances in firearm technology, optics, bullet designs, ignition sources, and powders have significantly improved a muzzleloader’s potential and terminal performance. The caveat to that enhanced capability, of course, is that just because you can deliver predictable and ethical on-target hits at game animals way out there doesn’t mean that should be the goal or an acceptable shortcut to exercising hard-earned hunting skills. The reality is a hunter should have little excuse for executing a marginal shot with the resources and technology available today.
The ethical hunter knows his or her limits and that of their equipment. The ethical and practiced hunter also knows this but can leverage their skills and the latest technology to maximize their opportunity for a successful hunt when conditions prove…challenging.
We aren’t here to tell the reader what his or her limits are, but we do feel like the modern technology that went into this 750 yard shot on steel is worth noting. Or is it modern? As a matter of fact, long range muzzleloading isn’t actually something new at all, but something that is circling back around. The first extreme long-range matches in the world started around 1860 in Great Britain with targets out to 1,000 yards and beyond.
What makes this modern shot notably different is the predictability and repeatability of the shot and the technology available to provide such confidence. After all, impact on a 750-yard target with a 20mph crosswind on the first shot with a muzzleloader is impressive. In this video, the projectile was flying at over 2,700 feet per second and wasn’t being shot from your average muzzleloader. Ballistically it is on par with a 300 Win Mag and the deviation between shots was incredibly low, which translated into very consistent shooting and ballistics, a perfect recipe for the Burris Eliminator riflescope.
For over 10 years the Burris Eliminator, the original laser rangefinding riflescope, has been the solution to maximizing certainty and performance in hunting situations and has been a go-to for slug gun, muzzleloader, and centerfire rifle hunters who know its full potential. Users simply select the ballistic data relative to their bullet and rifle in the scope, range the target using the optic, and are presented an illuminated aiming point within the reticle. When ballistic data is consistent, the science doesn’t lie, and shots like the one in the video are both predictable and possible.
In the context of hunting, the first shot matters the most, and for muzzleloader hunting, it is often the only shot. The Eliminator removes doubt and bad math when the pressure mounts. Understanding the science and creating consistency with your equipment will result in less wounded animals. In this case, practicing out to 750 yard will all but make the 300 yard and closer shot, much more predictable. Burris Optics has a long history of ballistic expertise with its early ballistic reticle options and now reticle analysis and ballistic services on the BurrisConnect mobile app. For more information premium hunting scopes and ballistic calculation solutions, visit BurrisOptics.com.