Dead On at 550 Yards
By Jerry Springer
On the right, Scott Springer takes aim at the metal ram silhouette in the small dirt clearing 550 yards away. Above is a close-up of the ram target on the left side of the hanger.
Is the ability to make long-distance shots dependent on you or the equipment you are using? What's the greatest distance you have accurately made shots?

In early February, my son, Scott, and I had the opportunity to take part in a 4-H shooting event just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, the day before the SHOT Show began .

When we walked up to the shooting benches at the long-distance rifle range, I started looking at the boxes of ammunition next to the different rifles. Not knowing how many shots we would be taking, I stopped at the one with the Federal Premium VITAL-SHOK 257 Roberts ammo. I knew I could shoot this caliber all day without having a black-and-blue mark on my shoulder after I finished.

On the bench was a custom bolt-action SISK rifle in 257 Roberts. A Kahles CS 2.5-10x50 Multizero riflescope was mounted on it. The Multizero allows you to change the dial (turret) on the top of the scope to the distance you are shooting and still shoot dead-on (up to five settings/distances). No need to shoot above or below the point of impact you want. If you don't have five distances, you can use the settings for different bullets/loads.

A staff member from Kahles explained to us that the rifle and scope were sighted in for the metal silhouette targets in front of us at 100 yards, 220 yards, 340 yards and finally, 550 yards.

At that point I remembered multiple times over the years looking at the ballistic charts for calibers I was shooting and checking the number of inches of drop at 300 yards so I could estimate how much to hold over. Even 300 yards seemed to be a challenging shot, but now I was told we would be shooting out to 550 yards.

I sat down at the bench and loaded four rounds of ammo into the SISK. The Kahles staff member showed me how easy it was to twist the top dial to the 100-yard mark. I took my shot and hit the 100-yard target. No surprise, it was only 100 yards.

Next the scope was dialed to the 220-yard mark. Once again one shot and the target was hit.

Next the dial was twisted to the 340-yard mark. We were at a much more challenging distance. I squeezed the trigger and the silhouette was hit.

I was now at the point to take a shot at a distance that was beyond any target I have ever shot at — the dial was moved to the 550-yard mark. The wind was blowing so the staff member advised me that my target was the metal silhouette of the ram way the heck out there, and that I should put the crosshairs on the tip of the nose to adjust for the wind at that distance. I took a breath, let part of it out, and squeezed the trigger. A hit!

I was impressed with the Kahles scope, the SISK rifle and the Federal 257 Roberts ammo. But was I just having an exceptional day at the bench?

Scott now took my place at the bench. He repeated the same shooting ability at all four targets with one shot at each range.

Would I, could I, attempt to duplicate this same shooting in the field at 550 yards? We all know that field conditions are different than the bench but this showed me that this combination of equipment has the ability for dead-on shots at 550 yards.

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