My first afternoon was spent in the classroom, but I was rewarded with some evening trigger time doing some sighting in at 100 & 200 yards and working on my benchrest technique. I was thrilled to get a 1 Minute of Angle (MOA) group at 100 yards with my Howa .243, that is until I shot Tim’s .204 and shot a .4 MOA group at 100 yards.
[SIZE="1”]1 MOA Group with a factory Howa .243 & factory 95 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips [/SIZE]
[SIZE="1”].46 MOA Group with a Cooper Model 21 .204 firing handloaded 39 grain Sierra Blitzking.[/SIZE]
The most important lesson that I learned my first night was to know your specific rifle’s limitations. Each rifle barrel prefers a specific bullet/weight/powder combo based on a myriad of factors and will perform differently based on those factors. You can only shoot as well as the rifle you are taking aim with is capable of performing. Many factory rifles like my Howa .243 will simply not perform better than a 1 MOA group at 100 yards.
With that being said, I proudly posted on facebook my 1 MOA group from my Howa .243 as that is a “tight” group for that particular rifle using factory ammo and without making aftermarket modifications.
The second day, Tim rattled my brain with the introduction of MOA calculations. Ben even gave me a “Pop Quiz” to test my comprehension and possibly math skills. I proudly passed his quiz with a 100%.
While Ben and I spent a few hours at the reloading bench working up some custom loads for my .243 and testing them on the range while practicing technique and shooting 200 yard gongs with a head wind, Tim set me up for a challenge. 406 yards on a 10” gong with a full value cross-wind.
Using a Kestrel weather data center and the Shooter cell phone application, I entered the bullet type and weight, muzzle velocity, temperature, elevation, humidity, and wind value to attain the solution (MOA scope adjustment needed) for the 406 yard shot.
The end result was first round hit, nearly dead center and subsequent 1 ¼ MOA group. I can’t begin to tell you just how excited I was as this was the most accurate I had EVER shot at 400 yards.
406 Yard Gong 1 1/4 MOA Group- Swarovski Z5 3,5-18x44 with BT/Factory Remington Model 700 .300 Win Mag, Timney Trigger/ Factory 185 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips