To shoot foxes or any other target at long range, there are at least 6 things to consider.
- What happens to a bullet after the barrel of the rifle. Gravity, wind, turbulence, air density, humidity and altitude.
- Calibre selection. Preferably a calibre with inherent accuracy and high velocity.
- Rifle selection. A common high quality brand known for its accuracy. Preferably bolt action, medium to heavy barrel with a fast rifling to stabilise heavy projectiles.
- A tactical telescopic sight.
- A range finding monocular or binocular.
- A ballistics chart or calculator.
- Gravity is the only constant force on a projectile causing it to immediately start falling toward the earth. The curved path downward is called a trajectory.
Wind will cause the projectile to drift sideways in the direction of the wind. Depending on the terrain, wind and temperature can cause turbulence causing upward and downward movement as well as sideways movement. Air density is what causes the projectile to slow down the further it travels. So the trajectory curves a greater angle the further the projectile is from rifle. Air is less dense in hot dry conditions than cool damp conditions. Air is less dense the higher you go in altitude thus providing less resistance to slow the projectile.
2 The calibre of the rifle requires sufficient velocity to A have a reasonable flat trajectory and B retain a supersonic speed for the entire range over which the target is acquired. A projectile passing from supersonic to subsonic speed becomes unstable and may not retain enough energy for the purpose. The centrefire calibre is best loaded with the heavier than average projectiles with a high Ballistic Coefficient (BC) to maintain velocity and help mitigate the effects of wind/turbulence.
3 As previously mentioned, the rifle common high quality brand known for its accuracy. Preferably bolt action, medium to heavy barrel with a fast rifling to stabilise heavy projectiles. A floating barrel, picatinny/weaver rail for scope mounting, a comfortably fitting stock to suit the shooter and a crisp predictable trigger are preferable attributes.
4 A variable power scope with reasonable magnification for clear target acquisition at long range. A zero stop elevation turret. Easy access parallax adjustment. At least a 50mm objective lens. A fine reticule that is easily visible in low light conditions.
5 Knowing the distance to your target is crucial. An easy to use laser range finder needs to be part of your equipment.
6 The ballistics chart or calculator must be relevant to the calibre and load you are using to accurately adjust your scope to the point of impact on the target once the distance is established allowing for the wind, atmospheric and altitude conditions.
There are scopes available that has a built in laser range finder and does the drop and windage calculations once calibrated to the load being used. The Burris Eliminator III is one example.