My Extreme Long Range Shooting Story – Meet REI HOANG
In this month’s series of My Extreme long range shooting story we are happy to have with us one of the most active competitive shooters and active social media participant – Rei Hoang ELR. We love how the ELR scene is drawing shooters from various walks of life, men and women and the latter are doing amazingly well! So needless to say, we are thrilled to have Rei here at rifletalks.com to learn more about this passionate and capable young shooter who also travels far and wide in search of competition thrills. Welcome onboard Rei, thanks for being with us.
How did you get into ELR shooting Rei, which line of the shooting sports did you come from before moving to ELR?
- I started shooting field matches and PRS before getting into ELR. I lived in an area where shooting long range was very difficult, having to drive hours to reach any distance beyond 100 yards. Once I didn’t have to be in that area anymore, I asked around on places where it is more gun friendly. My friend Regina Milkovich, who is top shooter in PRS, told me there was two precision rifle matches in Arizona per month, and if I wanted to shoot pistol, I can shoot every day of the week. That sold me, less than a month later I packed up my reloading gear and moved.
Where about in the US are you based?
- Do you have access to ELR shooting grounds nearby? This seems to be a challenge for many although it’s readily apparent you also travel alot for this.
- I am based out of Phoenix, Arizona. It is difficult to find ranges to shoot ELR since I’m in the miles game now, not just yards. I tried BLM land, which is public land, but it was quite difficult to find a space to setup targets without other people being in the way. I’m not afraid to travel, I will drive up to 6 hours for a “local” match. I have gone far enough to different states just to practice ELR.
Which are the most important ELR matches in the US today in your view?
In my opinion:
- The King of the 2 Miles is top for me,
- the Greystone Castle will also be one to lookout for, they had their first one in 2021.
- Clarks Knob was a great match, however, currently is not holding matches anymore.
How often do you practice shooting beyond 1500m and what’s your favorite training round?
My favorite round in ELR is the 375 Cheytac, I use the exact same load as I use in matches. My practice is all about gathering data and working with my gear and team on communication. I load all my own ammo which is 400 gr Cutting Edge Lazers gen II, and Peterson brass. Shooting past 1500m is a bit more difficult to do since I have to travel, during high season, I will be out there at least 3 times a month. Sometimes I also go to the range and not shoot, I’ll just bring my spotter and train my eyes to get better at picking up trace and splash.
Which one of these describes you best as a shooter?
- Competition shooter
- ELR shooter
- PRS Shooter
- F-Class Shooter
- Benchrest shooter
Can you share one or two ELR experiences that really got you going in the sport?
- My first ELR match was my most memorable, I toured the JJ Rock factory when I first moved to Arizona, and since they knew me, they let me borrow a rifle for an ELR match that same weekend. There was no load data on it, Jon Geib, handed me components and said have at it (he knew I was an avid reloader). I went to Duncan’s (another owner of JJ Rock) to throw a scope and borrow a Charlie Tarac. I left for the range the next morning, having to stop at a hardware store to grab some C-clamps for the press. Once I got to the bunkhouse, I setup the press and started making loads. I ran out to the range just intime to zero as the storm was rolling in. The next day I shot my groups and picked the best one and ran with it. Sunday, I hit the 2 mile target that was less than 1 MOA. I was definitely hooked that day…and definitely hooked on the rifle and components I used. If you would like to read more about that story, you may do so here.
What rifle are you currently running for 2-mile shooting and can you share some info about the rifle build? (black & red rifle)
My heavy ELR rifle has a JJ ROCK SXL action, bartlein barrel, and I use the same scope in all my PRS and field matches, which is the Kahles 525i, Spuhr mount, Long Range Arms electronic level, Accutac H50 bipods with P-ski feet, Charlie Tarac, McMillan beast I, graphics by Hydrodip guns, which will be changing to a Manners stock this season, Area 419 break which is changed to the MOAB brake by Warner/PVA.
What do you look for when you set out to build an ELR rifle?
- The most important thing for any rifle is the action, and components. Components in ELR is more of a factor than short actions. I need consistency, if a round has excellent BC but isn’t consistent, I will pass. I can always dial, but I can’t handle the randomness of subpar ammo. This is why I’m very particular with what I use.
What bedding technique was used on it and is the barrel bedded forward of the action or is it the action only?
- My barrel was bedded forward of the action
Optics- Rei can you tell us a bit more about your optics setup.
I believe you shoot a European Kahles scope. How far out can you get with your setup before mounting a prism device?
- I run the Kahles 525i, I zero at 100 yards and do not do an offset because that is my preference. I also have over 30 mils of hold in my reticle. So, I have over 57 mils of elevation I can use, dependent of atmospherics, is around 3500 yards. Holding center, just dialing, is roughly about 2600 yards.
- I will attach my Charlie Tarac for 2 mile shots, which is set at 25 mils, then dial the rest. For longer shots, I borrow one from my teammate Rusty which is set at 60 mils.
How do you dial in the elevation required for 2 mile shots?
Watch Rei Hoang as she prepares for a 3699 yard shot with Brian Wink in the background.
Are you using an offset system at 100m?
What magnification do you typically use when engaging 2 mile targets?
- It depends if I’m using a Charlie or not, if I’m not, I’m at the lowest power to get enough hold in my first focal plane scope.
- Brass – Do you anneal your brass and if so how often? Do you find yourself trimming your brass regularly on these big calibers?
- I anneal with the Annealing Made Perfect every time, I check my brass, but I do not need to trim on a regular basis.
Bullets – What’s your bullet of choice and how do you test your loads? Short range tests, long range group testView this post on Instagram
- My bullet of choice is the 400gr Cutting Edge Lazers Gen II, I do initial test at 100 yards, then take it out to distance. The benefit of being in the USA is that the Applied Ballistics Mobil Lab comes to a few matches where I can get a personalized drag model (PDM).
You may also be interested in reading this
Powders – What’s your powder of choice?
- I use H50BMG
How many rounds do you get for competition before you dump that barrel?
- I tend to use my barrels after most dump theirs, I have my barrel over 1200 rounds and it’s still shoots great, however, I got another one for this season as it would be unfortunate if my old one died during a match.
March Genesis – 400 MOA scope on command.
Shooting ELR? Checkout what this compact setup in 33XC, 37XC, 6.5cm can do when mounted with this March Genesis ELR scope with over 400MOA of elevation and 150MOA of Windage. No addons needed.
Here’s What Rei Had to say about rifle ammunition.
View this post on Instagram
What do you look for in your bipod setup especially on a dedicated ELR gun like yours?
- I need the bipod to be ridged and able to hold a recoiling 40 lb rifle. Another thing I look for is folding legs, as it is a requirement of King of the 2 Mile match. I run Accutac’s H50 and WB4 bipods; I really love the new P Ski feet developed by a fellow ELR shooter, Paul Phillips for Accutac.
Do you run an fclass type rear bag to manage your ELR rifle?
- I use an Fclass bag from Dima
Furthest Distance shot to date and how many rounds to connect?
- My furthest target was 4135 yards during a competition, and it took me 3 rounds to make contact.
Who is your spotter and do you always shoot with him/her?
- We switch off, but my spotters are Rusty Newton and Bill Poor.
You may also be interested in this 375Cheytac blackbird story from this same series of My ELR shooting Story.
How important is neck tension to maintain low ES over your string? Do you use a mandrel to keep your neck tension consistent or bushing style dies?
- Neck tension is highly important, I use both, a bushing die and a mandrel.
Are you based in Europe? Checkout what Europe has in store for you with Hot and Cold Shoot happening in Italy every year.
Where do you see the sport is heading?
Do you feel we have more control over 2 miles shooting performance today from what you see at the matches?
- This sport is growing fast, it’s great to see the King of the 2 Miles matches popping up in numerous countries all over the world. I wish to see an ELR world shoot where we compete as countries in the near future. During my Mimbers shoot in 2020, that hit was the second furthest shot in competition. Now there are numerous impacts at 2 miles and beyond. I wholeheartedly believe that the Applied Ballistics mobile lab has help a lot with data, combined with great bullets, brass, and amazingly accurate rifles makes shooters dangerously good past 2 miles.
Thank you Rei for being with us at rifletalks.com!
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Reportage très intéressant.