Target Size for 1500-2000 yds

m1ajunkie

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Curious what size target you are using for shooting in the 1500-2000 yd range?

I've making pretty consistent hits on a full size IPSC at 1500yds with my 300 PRC And I'm ready to push further. Was thinking of maybe going with a 24"x24" square to give myself a little more room for error as the wind can make things a little tricky on the IPSC at 1500.
 

Sandow the Heretic

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Depends on shooting for practice or shooting for match conditions. Match targets should really be big enough to allow for multiple hits from a skilled shooter in a 5 shot string. Statistically we find that a target that is smaller than 1.8 MOA total surface area is vastly less likely to be hit. A reasonable rule of thumb for a minimum is 2 MOA wide and 1.5 tall.

-Alex
 
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Steel head

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    If you want to make the 24x24 more challenging turn it on it side like a diamond and see how much harder it is to hit.
    D35AF1C1-3D56-4772-8556-1C2647D2C7D9.jpeg
     

    Chickentoast

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    12" round is my largest. When close but not hitting, I sometimes can't tell where my splash is at 1 mile+ (300RUM 220 Bergers). I need to buy a 24" square...
     
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    Pappasniper

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    We ran a 24x24 for mile shots for a while. A friend bought a 36' round targets and gave to me so we use that too. It's dramaticly easier to hit.
    One big consideration is to place it somewhere so that you have a chance to see your misses.
    Good luck.
    PB
     
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    Steel head

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    12" round is my largest. When close but not hitting, I sometimes can't tell where my splash is at 1 mile+ (300RUM 220 Bergers). I need to buy a 24" square...
    I have a 12” gong at 2020 yards
    It’s my favorite target.
    It’s on a big rock face so spotting is pretty decent.
    44CB3B8B-122F-45F8-ACDC-4FA3C02DBBA2.jpeg

    It’s the red in the white paint on the rock.
     

    Sandow the Heretic

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    We ran a 24x24 for mile shots for a while. A friend bought a 36' round targets and gave to me so we use that too. It's dramaticly easier to hit.
    One big consideration is to place it somewhere so that you have a chance to see your misses.
    Good luck.
    PB
    We have a few threads on this kind of thing here: https://www.elrworld.com/viewforum.php?f=61

    It is interesting what works and what doesn't for impact viability. In Kansas, the ground was so dry that all they had to do was mow the grass and they got nice big puffs. Not that it mattered once the mirage got bad... I've seen freshly dozed berms that were more or less bullet sponges even on camera. Walt spends a lot of time in Raton finding positions for targets that have good feedback and good places for cameras. It isn't as easy as I can see X distance, lets put a target there. That is how you get a target with nothing but bushes behind it lol...

    The match target size (even for little shoots) makes a real difference in keeping things running well. If people can't hit them at all, it isn't fun to shoot or to watch. If a target is too big for a distance, it is easy to tell because everyone hits it a lot. Spearpoint has other contributing issues but if you look at the first two targets, about half of the shooters hit them at least 4/5 of the time. Those targets are no longer a test of skill for the majority of shooters. They are good for new shooters (who don't practice on the match targets on a weekly basis) to have something they can hit though. In the end it is better to have a few targets that are too easy than have them all be too hard...

    -Alex
     

    m1ajunkie

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    After the info in this thread and chatting with some of my buddies I'm going with a 30" round target. I've already for a full size ipsc so if I need more challenge I can move it out. In the meantime though I want something that's big enough I can have fun with.

    I shoot in a dry wheat field so spotting misses this time of year is no problem...... huge dust clouds puff up when I miss. Hopefully I'll be going 1500+ in the next week or so!
     
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    Sandow the Heretic

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    After the info in this thread and chatting with some of my buddies I'm going with a 30" round target. I've already for a full size ipsc so if I need more challenge I can move it out. In the meantime though I want something that's big enough I can have fun with.

    I shoot in a dry wheat field so spotting misses this time of year is no problem...... huge dust clouds puff up when I miss. Hopefully I'll be going 1500+ in the next week or so!
    This reminds me, there is kind of a cool trick for tall green grass if you only have a few people shooting. Feed flour into a leaf blower and dust the area around the target. You will see impacts as darker spots. As long as the mirage isn't too bad, it is pretty reliable feedback until it gets pretty shot up.

    -Alex
     
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    Im2bent

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    Woah woah woah what the fuck is with the moa targets..... my scope is in mils how the fuck can I shoot at an moa target with a mil scope. What is 24 inches in centimeters....asking for a fud.
     
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    brianf

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    We have a few threads on this kind of thing here: https://www.elrworld.com/viewforum.php?f=61

    It is interesting what works and what doesn't for impact viability. In Kansas, the ground was so dry that all they had to do was mow the grass and they got nice big puffs. Not that it mattered once the mirage got bad... I've seen freshly dozed berms that were more or less bullet sponges even on camera. Walt spends a lot of time in Raton finding positions for targets that have good feedback and good places for cameras. It isn't as easy as I can see X distance, lets put a target there. That is how you get a target with nothing but bushes behind it lol...

    The match target size (even for little shoots) makes a real difference in keeping things running well. If people can't hit them at all, it isn't fun to shoot or to watch. If a target is too big for a distance, it is easy to tell because everyone hits it a lot. Spearpoint has other contributing issues but if you look at the first two targets, about half of the shooters hit them at least 4/5 of the time. Those targets are no longer a test of skill for the majority of shooters. They are good for new shooters (who don't practice on the match targets on a weekly basis) to have something they can hit though. In the end it is better to have a few targets that are too easy than have them all be too hard...

    -Alex

    im thinking along the same lines.

    the last ELR match the winner had 5 hits i think

    in my opinion the sport will not grow to its potential if the hit percentage is so low

    99% of the shooters would rather the winner had a 17 out of 20, and mid packer has 9 out of 20 etc.
     

    brianf

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    No trophies, but it’s not a competition at 5 hits...that’s called chance/luck not skill.
     
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    Im2bent

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    I'm not the one complaining about needing bigger targets. If it were easy what would be the point?
     

    Dthomas3523

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    I'm not the one complaining about needing bigger targets. If it were easy what would be the point?

    There’s two points.

    1: growing the game/sport. That doesn’t happen when people don’t have fun.

    2: when the winners aren’t consistent and hit % is usually around 20%……that’s not hard/skill. That’s rolling the dice…..lobbing paper weights 30 times each and seeing who gets lucky that day. Lucky one gets trophy.

    If it were really skill based, you wouldn’t see such disparity on match scores with the better shooters. They would have more consistent scores.


    Then there is the question of practical. Which once you are larger then people/game animals, it’s no longer practical (save for anti-material stuff). So then it’s just a game and point 1 is what matters again.

    I could invent a ridiculously hard game tomorrow. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or people should do it just because hard.
     

    lte82

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    No trophies, but it’s not a competition at 5 hits...that’s called chance/luck not skill.

    100%! It’s bug me even in PRS when we have 1 moa targets beyond 600 yards or so. At 1000 yd in good conditions laying down a 8” 10 shot group is pretty respectable. With any wind, and on the clock, 1 moa targets are a 50/50 chance at best.
     
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    Sig Marine

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    Targets that are 1.5 MOA are adequate for most yardages beyond 1500 yards. We use 24” plates from 1500-1800 yards, 30” plates from 1800-2400 yards, 36” plates from 2400-3000 yards and 40” plates past 3000 yards. We also use MagnetoSpeed hit indicators on all targets 1500 yards and out. We seldom shoot less than 1860 yards and in the areas we shoot, winds can be 8 mph to 60 mph. With these conditions and target sizes, we limit our shooting to winds that are no more than 30 mph. Hit percentages vary depending on how bad the wind is gusting or what the shifting pattern is over the hills/valleys but there are no “gimmes” at these distances; a shooter can go 0 for 5 in one string and then 3 or 4 (or 5) for 5 in the next.
     
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    lte82

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    Targets that are 1.5 MOA are adequate for most yardages beyond 1500 yards. We use 24” plates from 1500-1800 yards, 30” plates from 1800-2400 yards, 36” plates from 2400-3000 yards and 40” plates past 3000 yards. We also use MagnetoSpeed hit indicators on all targets 1500 yards and out. We seldom shoot less than 1860 yards and in the areas we shoot, winds can be 8 mph to 60 mph. With these conditions and target sizes, we limit our shooting to winds that are no more than 30 mph. Hit percentages vary depending on how bad the wind is gusting or what the shifting pattern is over the hills/valleys but there are no “gimmes” at these distances; a shooter can go 0 for 5 in one string and then 3 or 4 (or 5) for 5 in the next.

    If you just shot a 10 to 20 shot group on a typical day at 3000 yards, do you think it would hold sub moa? Without throwing out "fliers" what sort of group would it achieve?
     

    Chickentoast

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    From my perspective, a larger plate is desired only to see how far off the practical area (say 12") the impacts are. I believe practicing at longer ranges definitely helps shorter range groups, extending effective range.
     
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    brianf

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    We, myself included have to separate shooting as a sport/hobby and shooting as practical application

    once we go bigger than “vital” zone the practical use of a firearm (not including military) is out the window.

    that leaves only the hobby/sport segment remaining.

    if we are shooting like it’s a hobby we should have guidelines and specs that are inline with the theme.
     
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    brianf

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    I’m up for a challenge but I don’t think we can make ELR more mainstream (more shooters, products specifically design etc) if every new shooter goes “0” for his or her first 2 matches...possibly more.
     

    lte82

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    I’m up for a challenge but I don’t think we can make ELR more mainstream (more shooters, products specifically design etc) if every new shooter goes “0” for his or her first 2 matches...possibly more.

    Yep. And I don’t think anyone’s gun consistently groups under 1.5 moa @ 2000+ yards, much less have anyone that is able to consistently call wind within 1 moa at those ranges. Pure luck. Go shoot cold bore enough times and you will eventually get lucky I guess.
     

    Sig Marine

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    If you just shot a 10 to 20 shot group on a typical day at 3000 yards, do you think it would hold sub moa? Without throwing out "fliers" what sort of group would it achieve?
    When shooting at distance, there are other variables to consider. Wind and quality/consistency of your ammunition become more critical. At 3000 yards with my rifle and ammunition, the elevation variance is 3.15" per 1 fps of muzzle velocity and 46.6" of drift per 1 mph of wind. If I'm aiming dead center on a 36" plate, I have 18" up and 18" down for elevation and 18" left and 18" right for windage. What this means is based strictly on gravity elevation and windage is that this plate is 11.4 fps high and 0.64 mph wide; meaning my muzzle velocity MUST be within 5.7 fps +/- of my average to hit the plate (elevation wise) AND my wind call must be within roughly 0.32 mph +/- to hit the plate (windage wise).

    I reload using basic methods like most on this forum; I don't go down the "F" Class or Benchrest hole. My ESs are around 20 and my SDs between 5 and 6. This means that my statistical hit percentage with elevation is going to be around 68% based on SD. If I cut my SD in half, my hit percentage based on elevation would statistically increase to around 95%, and while elevation hit percentage should increase, it would require a lot more work and time and, since I don't compete, I've not found it necessary to go to those lengths to scratch the itch.
     

    Sandow the Heretic

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    The "practical" target size guys seem to be ignoring the realities of Anti-Materiel target sizes and the fact that the calibers we are using are often capable of that kind of work. A practical target size can easily be a tanker truck and a few shots is a hell of a lot cheaper than calling in artillery or an air strike. If you are hung up on a human sized target then the limit for any kind or reliable engagement is well under 1500 yards still. Yeah, people have made hits further out then that but we all know (or should know) that those were just pot shots that got lucky. Nobody reports on how many times they missed some asshole at 2000 yards, but for every hit there are probably a hundred shots fired.

    As we grow ELR as a sport, we refine methods and equipment that enhance hit probabilities of hits on targets of all sizes. The "right" target size at this point is the size that helps growth and targets that cannot be hit with skill alone in a 5 shot string are the wrong size.

    If you are thinking to yourself Anti-Materiel 338? Bullshit...

    -Alex
     

    THEIS

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  • Hi,

    ELR distances being utilized in civilian competitions and HTI capabilities being utilized in LE/Mil world are a long long (pun intended) ways from being the same distances so target size relationship between the 2 are a mute point.

    The 2 disciplines...ELR and HTI do not necessarily run hand in hand.....sometimes they lend themselves to the same field and sometimes they are polar opposites.

    There has and will always be 2 different "target size" camps in the ELR world. That is pretty much the only agreed upon thing of either camp, lol.

    Participants just need to pick the camp they want to participate in and enjoy it; what needs to stop is 1 camp attempting to dictate what the other camp should/should not do.

    Camp 1: Distance matters, not target size.

    Camp 2: Distance means nothing if target size is not "practical/functional".

    Sincerely,
    Theis
     

    brianf

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    The "practical" target size guys seem to be ignoring the realities of Anti-Materiel target sizes and the fact that the calibers we are using are often capable of that kind of work. A practical target size can easily be a tanker truck and a few shots is a hell of a lot cheaper than calling in artillery or an air strike. If you are hung up on a human sized target then the limit for any kind or reliable engagement is well under 1500 yards still. Yeah, people have made hits further out then that but we all know (or should know) that those were just pot shots that got lucky. Nobody reports on how many times they missed some asshole at 2000 yards, but for every hit there are probably a hundred shots fired.

    As we grow ELR as a sport, we refine methods and equipment that enhance hit probabilities of hits on targets of all sizes. The "right" target size at this point is the size that helps growth and targets that cannot be hit with skill alone in a 5 shot string are the wrong size.

    If you are thinking to yourself Anti-Materiel 338? Bullshit...

    -Alex
    You can smash a round leg in a square hole.

    Same as 6.5 creedmore guys lobbing rounds at 2k, doesn’t mean it’s the right tool for the job

    if something needs to be stopped, 338 is no ones first choice.
     

    Sandow the Heretic

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    You can smash a round leg in a square hole.

    Same as 6.5 creedmore guys lobbing rounds at 2k, doesn’t mean it’s the right tool for the job

    if something needs to be stopped, 338 is no ones first choice.
    A 338 probably wouldn't be my first choice either but anti-materiel is more often about shooting delicate and expensive stuff than about blowing through armor plates. This in not WWI and that was the last time an anti-tank rifle was a thing. You hit a parked aircraft with a 223 and you are likely to cause it to at least be down for maintenance for a bit. Crippling antennas, power sub stations, radiators, radar dishes doesn't take a hell of a lot in terms of energy or penetration. Certainly within the ability of a 33 XC. It is more often than not about just being able to hit something with anything. For sure, there are targets where penetration is going to be needed. A copper jacketed bullet would probably go unnoticed against oil infrastructure and a tungsten core 338 might not make a difference either. But some of that stuff is inch thick stainless so I don't think a 50 cal API round would do much either... As always, shot placement matters.

    -Alex
     

    brianf

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    I was thinking our current theaters where stopping vehicles and mud walls were on the menu, not thinking of knocking out optics on armor.
     

    Sandow the Heretic

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    I was thinking our current theaters where stopping vehicles and mud walls were on the menu, not thinking of knocking out optics on armor.
    I no longer have faith in anything less than a Mk 19 to stop a vehicle. Kind of amazing how many 50 cal rounds a shitbox 1980s Toyota can shrug off...

    -Alex
     

    THEIS

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  • Hi,

    So here is a question/comment in regards to the possibility of actually blending the 2 "Target Size" camps as listed above in my previous reply.

    Why not take the target size of camp 1 and color code (paint is cheap) scoring rings onto it so that camp 2 has their "practical" sizes while camp 1 gets to keep their target size too?

    Stop putting so much emphasis on purely hitting the target and give a hint of emphasis on actual shot placement. Since as always, shot placement matters.

    By color coding scoring rings you get to allow both target size camps to participate in the same event.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
     
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    Choid

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    Hi,

    So here is a question/comment in regards to the possibility of actually blending the 2 "Target Size" camps as listed above in my previous reply.

    Why not take the target size of camp 1 and color code (paint is cheap) scoring rings onto it so that camp 2 has their "practical" sizes while camp 1 gets to keep their target size too?

    Stop putting so much emphasis on purely hitting the target and give a hint of emphasis on actual shot placement.

    By color coding scoring rings you get to allow both target size camps to participate in the same event.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
    too simple.
     

    Sandow the Heretic

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    Hi,

    So here is a question/comment in regards to the possibility of actually blending the 2 "Target Size" camps as listed above in my previous reply.

    Why not take the target size of camp 1 and color code (paint is cheap) scoring rings onto it so that camp 2 has their "practical" sizes while camp 1 gets to keep their target size too?

    Stop putting so much emphasis on purely hitting the target and give a hint of emphasis on actual shot placement. Since as always, shot placement matters.

    By color coding scoring rings you get to allow both target size camps to participate in the same event.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
    Shooters going for the center wouldn't have feedback on where they were "missing" if they hit elsewhere on the plate.

    -Alex
     

    THEIS

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  • Shooters going for the center wouldn't have feedback on where they were "missing" if they hit elsewhere on the plate.

    -Alex

    Hi,

    Except that with the appropriate camera systems that can absolutely be seen.

    Although it does take more logistical support and amenities from the venues where some of these matches are being held at but that should not be an excuse.

    The "In the field" venues probably would have a problem with such but the established venue facilities should not.

    Camera systems such as Ranch Eyes and such are pretty simple and could definitely be rigged up as temporary installations.

    For example:
    I am literally 850 miles from my office right now and while office is dark with no lights on at all, I can see the security officer looped my cell charger cord around my coffee cup coaster.
    Screenshot_20210521-145905.jpg


    Then there are products like the FujiFilm SX800 which is only a 40x optical zoom but can read vehicle license plates at approximately 1500m. (I know, I know...not near the distances.....but can be docked to spotting scopes to greatly enhance and lengthen the distances.

    PROMS 2 with 720x Optical Zoom with facial recognition (Court approved levels) of 3KM.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
     
    Last edited:

    harleytuner

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    We have 2 MOA plates (square) with 1 MOA hole in the center with a hanging plate behind it. It's a pretty simple concept and it can accommodate shooters with different levels of skill.
     

    harleytuner

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    Hi,

    Except that with the appropriate camera systems that can absolutely be seen.

    Although it does take more logistical support and amenities from the venues where some of these matches are being held at but that should not be an excuse.

    The "In the field" venues probably would have a problem with such but the established venue facilities should not.

    Camera systems such as Ranch Eyes and such are pretty simple and could definitely be rigged up as temporary installations.

    For example:
    I am literally 850 miles from my office right now and while office is dark with no lights on at all, I can see the security officer looped my cell charger cord around my coffee cup coaster.
    View attachment 7630512

    Then there are products like the FujiFilm SX800 which is only a 40x optical zoom but can read vehicle license plates at approximately 1500m. (I know, I know...not near the distances.....but can be docked to spotting scopes to greatly enhance and lengthen the distances.

    Sincerely,
    Theis
    Wouldn't this require internet?