One-Mile Rifle Shot at Coldbore Range, Denmark
Coldbore Range in Denmark is a heaven for One Mile shooting and extreme long-range rifle shooting. If you have the right kit, this is the place to stretch it’s legs. At the very end of this rifle range, there is a white square target measuring 122x152cm standing bold at 3.2km or 2 miles. Can you make that shot?
Ever wanted to try and attempt the 1-mile rifle shot? You have probably read about this and even seen numerous video clips of it. So did we… The first time I saw a one-mile shot was probably 15years ago, rifle legend David Tubb had filmed a one mile shot with his 6.5x284win. Years later I talked my shooting buddy Robert into taking that challenge to task and build 2 rifles dedicated for ULR and the One Mile Shot. Rifle work was done by Mik Makismovic at Dolphin Gun Company, UK.
Rifles for Coldbore Range – 300 Norma Magnum
RPA Rangemaster 338LM/300NM switch barrel (traditional way not like the Desert tech SRSA2, easy switch barrel rifle)
RPA Range Master (UK) originally factory built in 338Lapua converted by yours truly to 300 Norma Mag.
Action: RPA Rangemaster BMF (huge action and bolt, can take 37XC easily)
Chassis RPA aluminium chassis
Barrel Bartlein 30inch 1.9twist
Mounts: Tierone One-piece mount
Scope: March 2.5-25×42 MOA/MOA illum. (97MOA of elevation and over 24 MOA of windage)
Bullet: Berger 215 hybrid at 3250ft/s
Propellant: VV N570, Federal GM215M, Lapua Brass
Bipod: Tierone Revolution bipod carbon fibre (scroll to bottom of article for picture)
Dolphin 5port muzzle break
Action: Defiance Deviant action (smooth as silk)
Chassis: Dolphin chassis with folding butt stock
Bartlein barrel 29inch 1.9 twist throated for 230bergers
Mount: Eratac adjustable one piece mount 70MOA
Scope: March 5-50×56
Bullet: 230 berger at 3050ft/s
Propellant: VV N570, Federal GM215M, Lapua Brass
Bipod: accutac later upgraded to Atlas 5h Heavy duty bipod
Dolphin 5port muzzle break
Action: Accuracy International 338Lapua
Bill behind his Accuracy International near my RPA rangemaster both field rifles were very much in their element here – Zeroing session at 100m and chronoing some rounds before we stretch their legs😊
Chassis: AI folding stock chassis
Barrel: lothar walther 30inch 1.9
Scope: Schmidt Bender 3-20×56 PMII FFP
Bullet: 300 berger at 2834 ft/s and Lapua factory 300 grain bullets.
Bipod: Accutac FC G2 bipod
Coldbore Range Targets Overview
David Busch was kind enough to send me this range card for Coldbore Range Denmark. Dave also shoots a 300 Norma Mag slinging Hornady ELD 225grain at 935m/s.
About Coldbore Range in Denmark
This range is a military facility run by the Danish Armed forces quite different from the ranges I’m accustomed to at Bisley Ranges where we shoot F-class. These are more like Senny Bridge or Warcop ranges in UK. Huge flat lands for more than 3.5 km. We flew in to Skjern, Denmark with Lufthansa. Both Lufthansa and the Danish authorities were superb in handling our firearms. Normal paperwork applies, your European Firearms Pass, your national firearms license as well as the invite and the range booking which Coldbore range sends you when you book. It is superb to see more ELR rifle ranges in Europe.
Trust Only the Best cases for travel – Pelican cases, worth every penny for peace of mind.
I must commend the range officer, Sandro who was very helpful, he replies to all correspondence on time. He also directed us to this gun shop close to Skjern called Koskov It is VERY well equipped, numerous riflescopes, ammo as well as a very good choice of new and second hand rifles. We simply loved being there and were feeling our pockets lighten by the minute we spent in there. They stock most factory ammo from Lapua and Norma. Do get in touch with them, they are very nice. VAT in Denmark is 25% you’ll notice, 338 Lapua here are about €6 each in case your 5kg ammo limits you. That’s about 100 rounds of ammo in 338/300Norma Mag for a wkend. They stock a very nice section of high quality Harkila clothing as well as other brands. We were impressed by the large variety of outdoor boots. The Danes seem very eager about their firearms, Sako, Tikka and Sauer lined up most of the shelves and very nice ones. A few Sako Trg 22/42 on display at good prices.
ELR RANGES in Europe
At the moment, you can get to 3200meters in Coldbore Range in Denmark and Canjeurs and Caylus in France where the king of 2miles is held. Poland has a few 1mile plus ranges that from what I gather remain a military asset shared with civilians as also seen in the UK and Switzerland. However I have also been told that there is this 1 Mile private Range in Poland. Not Sure where it’s at in the UK as yet however from what I’ve been told, Scotland, remains the most likely place with a 2 mile range in the highlands that allows up to 20mm rifles. The range is known as ESKDALEMUIR.
Italy has 2200meters in ColleSalvetti known as Skiritai. I was lucky enough to visit this range as well during ColdShoot organised by EXLRS.nl. I’m informed there is another ELR range on the East coast of Italy but it’s a work in progress thing. Sicily has Trapani on the Northwest coast that stretches to past 1 mile with the next event that may reach to 2000m.
Another important player organising multiple ELR events in Europe is EXLRS.nl. These guys have been organising events for most of their members in central Europe for a few years now. The run events in the UK, Italy, France and Scotland. There maybe others so worth having a chat with them.
Where to Stay near Coldbore Range, Denmark
We arrived at the range at 7am, it was only a 30min drive from the Hotel where we were staying at Hotel Skjern. I recommend this place, it’s central, clean, well priced and the food is fantastic! After 30min drive in open country you get to this military facility greeted by a large sign notifying entrance into a military range.
Once we got there we had to setup our zeroing targets. When we visited on October there was no electricity in the container which houses the targets or the outside area. I believe Sandro is still working on getting some of these amenities sorted. He was very kind to offer us his Swarovski Spotter. Bill was carrying his PLRF10 rangefinder just in case.
Zeroing your rifles at Coldbore range
Range Day at Coldbore Range in Denmark
We were handed 4 cardboard fig.11 targerts on which to setup the zeroing targets. These needed to be ferried to the 100m zeroing line and the ground was really messy. Check it out really wet conditions. We came to far to stop now. Thankfully we had good boots on.
Zeroing targets as seen through Bill’s leupold mk4 spotter. We had 3 spotters with us plus our rifle scopes. We had to make it fast, the pouring rain drenched the targets. We took 3 shots each and adjusted our scopes to a perfect zero. Thankfully we had an extra turret allen screw as we lost one in the mud.
We then climbed up to the tower where we setup our rifles. We waited till the first round of shooters got going, and we crammed in near them. Meanwhile they mounted the rainguard above our heads which would shield us somewhat from the Danish weather.
Here we are up in the tower looking at the lonnngg range ahead of us, a long range rifleman’s dream, kilometers of flat land although the pouring weather wasn’t as entertaining. Thankfully I’m accustomed to shooting in UK where the weather is as competitive 😊
The wind was blowing about 4mph full value when we first arrived. We had all the data from our live firing just minutes before so we updated that data in our kestrel.
Our first shot with rob’s 300Norma Mag was at 500m. Below you can see the view through my march 2.5-25×42 scope. The 500m target is slightly low.
Below you can see challenging shots in very low visibility as rain started pouring. Still Rob is nailing that steel target 3x in a row. You can barely makeout the faint red flash top left of the 1600m circular steel plate target.
We took advantage of the low wind to send one round at each target starting from 500m then to 800m, 1000,1250,1420 and 1600m. We made first round hits on all of these which put a big smile on our face and some confidence as well. We know we had good loads from the work we did in italy over the summer.
Me and Rob had only done trajectory validation in Italy at 300, 600 and 1200 m so we were not yet sure if that data was enough. I love how kestrel can be setup to show WS1 and WS2 for different wind speeds. I normally set WS2 for 10mph and WS1 for 3mph. Why? Simple. I either work out my correction in fractions of my 10mph wind value (even numbers) or else I work out based on my 3mph wind correction so 3,6,9,12 etc or fractions of my 10mph wind for say a 5mph wind. I always set Kestrel to show us 10mph wind 9oclock full value and I work it out from there.
Here you can see a better view through my spotter on 30x magnification with the treeline of Coldbore Range Denmark in the distance.
Swarovski ATS 65x objective with 30x vortex optics MOA reticle lensLook at how visibility drops once the weather takes a turn for the worst. Rob still made hits in these conditions. The video below isnt spectecular but just shows the challenges of the reality at this distance.
Space is in short supply here, big rifles in confined spaces with big blasts. I must admit that after a few shots in here, the concussion was becoming a little too much so I moved out for some fresh air.
TARGETRY at Coldborerangedk
The targetry at Coldborerange is very good. You won’t hear the far away plates ringing, they are immensely heavy and don’t ring like other plates we’ve shot before but they are connected to a flash light that turns Red when hit. The weather didn’t help much and at some point we were not sure whether we had a hit or not on the 1mile target.
After Rob did his string we switched roles and he was spotting for me while I was doing the shooting. Wind started picking up and we worked out our first few shots on an 8mph wind correction from 8oclock at 0.8 value. We made a first round hit on the 500,800, 1000, 1250 and 1420m but missed the one mile target slightly right of target. The 3sec flight time was enough to spot my miss and for the next round I favoured a left hold on the target backer and sent one as fast as I could. That second shot impacted the target confirmed by a lit up flashlight. It brings a big smile on your face, the preparation was paying dividendes. Rob managed 3 hits in a row on the 1mile target, while I managed 2 out of 3. The 300 Norma is very consistent at this distance in stable winds. I had tested this load for vertical at 1200m shooting 5 inches of vertical at that distance. Unfortunately here there was no electronic target at 1mile and neither a camera to be able to gage the vertical dispersion of our group, a key component in making shots at these ranges.
Full house on the top level of the firing tower! Seen here is a Ruger 338 Lapua magnum rifle
We took a short break after our second round to leave barrels to cool. At these velocities, the barrels get toast quickly so typically I shoot 3, maximum 5 rounds and let it cool. The firing line was pretty congested too and those muzzlebreaks blasting off a radius of 1m right and left are not very neighbour friendly.
I noticed that very few shooters were actually making any calculations before the shot and I figured a few where chasing spotters as we call it in f-class. In this case there was no spotter so they were chasing misses. A few others were shooting way too fast in my opinion for 338Lapua and without any form of plotting their shots. This turns the game into an expensive gamble lacking skill in my view. Maybe that’s just my approach coming in from F-Class.
Bill nestled himself beneath us and was engaging a few targets upcloser validating his trajectory.
Bring your own lunch at Coldbore Range.
We retired into the car for a lunch break and some tea. There aren’t any food outlets on Coldbore Range Denmark so we suggest stopping at one of the bakeries and grab their chicken bun before you head out here.The rain kept pouring and at some point it was virtually impossible to see further than 1000yards. The 2km target fell over so we could not take a shot at it. We had travelled so many thousands of miles, we should have started with the 2km target first when the weather was calmer! In the afternoon we had a few hail showers which made the ground even wetter than when we arrived. This almost gobbled up our bullets when they impacted the ground. Spotting misses at 2km was impossible. Occassionally we would see faint splashes. I would say it is comparable to shooting sighter shots in the wet sand at bisley with a 308 at 1000yards.
DAY TWO at Coldbore Range in Denmark
On Sunday morning the weather at Coldbore Range Denmark was slightly better, still pouring but this time we could see the target at 2km. The rain during the night had soaked the ground pretty good around the target. There was a puddle around the 2km target but we couldn’t tell how close or far it actually was from the target.
The wind was 12mph and started gusting to 18mph. We tried timing the shots but when we managed to see the impact we were bouncing around the target sometimes very close other times way off. Occasionally the sun would come out making it easier to see the targets and impacts in the ground. Here is where larger calibers like the 37XC and 416Barrett play a bigger role in enabling you to see the spalsh when you miss. Pretty sure if we were shooting on dry soil in italy, the impacts would be visible with the 300 Norma. Rob took a few shots at the 2km target on day two. You’re effectively looking at spotting a splash the size of maybe 40cm from 2km away. Clear conditions are an immense help to the spotter. In the next video two shooters shot 2 rounds almost instantaneously, (rifle doubletap?) We managed to spot 1 of the misses.
WATCH: Here’s what this wind does to your shot at 2km
Misses can be wild at this distance with gusting winds. You can see the impact 9MOA left at 00:10 sec just above the Left 4MOA hashmark on the horizontal stadia, that’s 9MOA left of target (196inches or almost 5m left) The white board to the right of center is the 3.2km target. At 2km in these conditions without camera on target it was a gamble. If I missed 3shots in a row, I cut down on distance and went to the 1420m target. Some conditions make one mile possible others are simply not ideal for a 2km shot. That additional 300m is another level.
How is recoil on a 300 Norma Mag?
There’s virtually no recoil on a setup like this. The dolphin muzzle break does a very good job coupled with a 9kg rifle.
Fantastic moments with good friends, that’s what the sport is about whilst pushing our kit to the next level.
As the afternoon progressed the winds just blew stronger and at one point lifted the canopy above our head and tumbled the supporting bracket holding it. Luckily it fell behind me. I clocked this wind at 23 mph. We could still engage the targets at 1250m with relative ease (60cm radius) believe it or not, we took a shot at the 800m plate in this wind and we overcompensated! A string of shots at 2km had given us another taste of the wind correction. Lesson learnt, don’t underestimate the closer range targets especially after you’ve been shooting at serious distances.
How windy is it at Coldbore Range, Denmark?
Take a look at this video, sailing weather.
Overall I shot 80 rounds during this weekend. Mainly between 1000 and 2000meters. Here are some conclusions on our setup and what we shall be improving.
- Spotting is as important as shooting, the better the spotting scope and spotter the better your chances are. Our manfrotto tripod is good and lightweight but in winds like these makes the spotter shake. Ideally you have a binospotter like the BTX, it is more comfortable for longer shooting sessions where you are really trying to spot small splashes…
- Lower heavier tripod helps in minimizing shake.
- Try the furthest target first when conditions are still calm. It may not be there later
- Heavy rounds help, shoot the heaviest caliber you can afford to shoot 😀
- There are one mile conditions and 1000m conditions.
Practical Note for Spotters
***Since this visit, we have done alot of ELR sessions at one mile plus so our experience has improved. High magnification spotters with a reticle in them like the Swarovski STR Spotting scope on a heavy tripod are the way to go. The illuminated reticle allows for easy spotting even where your targets are hidden or in thick vegetation in cloudy weather. We are using an Ulfhednar tripod that can carry upto 40kg/ 80lbs load. This enables us to have a super stable setup that can take upto 60x magnification. This allows us to pick the quadrants on a steel target and make very good corrections upto 1/4MOA calls that allow the shooter to get on target keeping in mind the group of your rifle(your potential). Remember you are moving a plate sized group at that distance. The other advantage of high end spotters is that they allow you to see other impacts on target clearly. Armed with this knowledge, you may already map out what others were doing and how many shots are on target. That way you can plot your own from there. An impact means nothing unless you can tell where it went to correlate that to your wind call.
MARCH GENESIS RIFLE SCOPE 6-60×56 with 400MOA of elevation
We have also geared up with more serious ELR riflescopes that allow for very precise targeting. The March Genesis is one such scope with 6-60×56 allowing extreme magnification and very precise holds when the conditions allow. I typically crank up the mag to see impacts on the target and mark them on my plotting sheet before I start shooting, then crank down the mag to 40x where I feel comfortable I can bring the rifle back on target after the shot and still see the impact happening. Read more about the March Genesis 6-60×56 in this post.
Ever wondered what 90grains of powder does to a brand new Bartlein barrel after 120 rounds? Barrel when new – barrel after 120 rounds.
We all received our Coldbore Range Denmark badge. It was rewarding as well as making us hungry for more ELR action. Thanks Sandaro @ Coldbore Range for having us over!
Bipods for ELR
After this trip we made some minor modifications to our bipods as well. I love my Tierone Evolution bipod, it’s a great field bipod. For really precise long-range work in very windy conditions, a heavier one helps. The LRA is bulky but provides that wider stance. It remains my favourite bipod. I would however like to see one with even longer legs. Some of the ranges I’ve shot at have a rather angled slope making good use of a longer legged bipod. Rob my spotter is quite happy with his ATLAS setup.
Rob also upgraded his bipod to a heavier Atlas 5h bipod.
Interested in making the one mile or even 2 mile shot at Coldbore Range in Denmark? Send Sandro an email.