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Checking rifles zero before heading to Alaska

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Unread 08-15-2007, 09:37 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630
Checking rifles zero before heading to Alaska

I should find out in the next few days if I'm going to Alaska for Dall/Grizzly on 29 August.

I've been running up the canyon behind my house each early morning to check my cold bore zero. Each little adjustment gets me closer to what I think is needed. Yesterday I had two shots, 1/2" apart horizontally, which hit 2" high and 1" right of POA. This is typically a 3/4" 3-shot rifle. I adjusted my Mk4 4.5-14x50 2" down and 1" left. I then proceeded to hit my 10" LV steel plate from field conditions at 350, 425, missed just to the left edge of the plate at 525 and a 667 yd hit 3" left of center. Just to note, all hits were left of center on the plate. Zero wind, used EXBAL with my Kestrel 2500. Ranged w/ my Swaro 8x30 LRF.

This am I run back up and my 2 cold bore shots at 100 yds are on top of each other but 2" left and 1/2" low from POA. I adjust 3/4" right and 1/2" up from POA. I then proceed to try the plate at 713 yds and hit the chain holding the plate about 8" up and 2" right of the center of the plate. It seems at 100 yds my POI zero should be about 1" left and 1/2" low to hit out at long range.

Rifle/load is Rem 700, 26" stainless Dan Lilja barrel in 30-06 Ackley Imp pushing a Nosler 180 AB to 3000 fps. Weight 7.5 lbs. w/o sling or mag full of ammo. Used Harris bipods which adds weight.

My quesitons pretty much revolves around this. Should I get my final zero at base camp in the Wrangells at 3000' and not stress so much about this since I'm shooting at 5500' up my canyon, or should I stress and get this baby dead nuts on?
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Unread 08-15-2007, 10:35 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dogpatch, NY
Posts: 698

My rifle is always zeroed before leaving home. Dead nuts on. One of my rifles is en route to AK now via USPS Priority Mail. This is a hunt for brown bear.
Its a Sako AV 375 H&H sighted 2" high at 100yds, on at 200, 8" low at 300. This is with a 270gr Barnes TSX @ 2800 fps. This rifle has made two previous trips without a problem with its zero.
Hunting out of bethel AK, there is no where to shoot til you are in camp and then its discouraged. Other camps stress that you show up with a rifle sighted in others have facilities to do it there. I would check with your outfitter before leaving.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 11:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630
My outfitters requirements are that you can hit the Dall siluette at 200 before you head out of camp.
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Unread 08-15-2007, 02:49 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Pennsyltucky
Posts: 2,627
the difference between 3000 and 5500 with your setup and a 200 yard zero,will only be about 1" at 500 yards. i'd have it "DNO" before you leave.
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Unread 08-18-2007, 09:06 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: tennessee
Posts: 480
Alan, your zero problem is more than likely a result of the bi-pod, in that how much you preload it, whether you preload it, the suface its resting on, and torque all conspire to make you hit funky. I used to shoot almost exclusively off a bi-pod, but after seeing lots of shooters have problems hitting consistently off varying surfaces in a "high standard" environment, I prefer and recommend shooting off a pack, etc. instead. You will shoot better and more consistent without it.
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Unread 08-19-2007, 08:41 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mouth of Hobble Crk Canyon, Utah
Posts: 630

I'll give it a look and compare w/ and w/o the Harris. I'm always looking for a way to lighten my load!
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Unread 05-28-2010, 09:52 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 478
Re: Checking rifles zero before heading to Alaska

Really like the Berger Hunting VLD bullet for the sheep really drops them in their tracks.

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