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Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

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  #1  
Unread 08-10-2014, 02:54 PM
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Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

This is my first post to this forum. I will be going on a Dall Sheep hunt in 2015 and needed to hone in my long range shooting precision. I am shooting a .300 WSM in a Tikka T3 Lite. I don't reload so depend upon factory bought ammo. After purchasing boxes of ammo from 6 different suppliers, I found my best precision was with Nosler's Custom Accubond-180 grain and HSM's Berger VLD 185 grain. At 100 yards I can get 3 or 5 shot groupings of less than 1" in this factory rifle that I purchased a year ago. This is from a bench. The next step was to shoot at 400 yards using a bench. I thought I would be around 4" or 5" groupings, but found that I am averaging 9" with the HSM and 7" with the Nosler. Can anyone give me some advise on why my groupings are much larger than expected when I went from a MOA of 1 to 4?
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  •   #2  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 04:23 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lonzonoscar View Post
    This is my first post to this forum. I will be going on a Dall Sheep hunt in 2015 and needed to hone in my long range shooting precision. I am shooting a .300 WSM in a Tikka T3 Lite. I don't reload so depend upon factory bought ammo. After purchasing boxes of ammo from 6 different suppliers, I found my best precision was with Nosler's Custom Accubond-180 grain and HSM's Berger VLD 185 grain. At 100 yards I can get 3 or 5 shot groupings of less than 1" in this factory rifle that I purchased a year ago. This is from a bench. The next step was to shoot at 400 yards using a bench. I thought I would be around 4" or 5" groupings, but found that I am averaging 9" with the HSM and 7" with the Nosler. Can anyone give me some advise on why my groupings are much larger than expected when I went from a MOA of 1 to 4?
    First of all...I'd roll with the Nosler ammo for a hunt like that.

    Your groups...lots of things effect a bullet, the longer its in flight, the more "visible" these things become on the target.

    Also, its harder to hold MOA as the distance grows...some things can help with this though...this why I prefer thin reticles in my scopes...aim small, miss small...but you can't aim small if your reticle covers the target.

    You didn't mention your scope...and this is most likely the problem...parallax....most scopes without a parallax adjustment are factory pre-set for 100-200 yards...and even the ones with parallax adjustment, most people don't adjust them properly...the numbers on the parallax knob are pretty much useless, don't use them.

    Aim at a 400 yard target, move your head side to side (not moving the rifle)...if the reticle appears to move on the target...you have parallax.

    If your scope has a parallax adjustment...forget the numbers on the knob, turn it while moving your head as described above...when the reticle stays still on the target...it is set for that distance, and many are slightly out of focus when set for zero parallax...not so bad that you can't use them, but a little out of focus.
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      #3  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 04:46 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    I agree with ridge runner parallax also is your trigger set light
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      #4  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 06:29 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    Lonzo, welcome to the forum. If you know someone that reloads, have them load some test loads to see what your rifle likes. Follow ridgerunner's advice and see if it all helps. Good luck
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      #5  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 06:42 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    OK, now you have three votes. Parallax is the first place I'd recommend you look.
    The Tikka T3 Lite is a wonderful rifle, but "lite" means it's not recoil friendly with a .300 WSM in the chamber. Even if you don't realize it you may have developed a flinch or other shooter problem that's affecting your accuracy.
    If you're off 7 inches at 400 yards you're error is actually 1.75 MOA but it does also tell you that, under current circumstances, 400 - 450 yards would be about as much distance as you should expect to handle as a personal range for good accuracy. You've pretty much got to hold -1 MOA for whatever shooting position you select for long range hunting. If you haven't developed a flinch you may be holding too much shoulder pressure (to cushion recoil) causing the rifle to jump away from line of sight.
    From the bench, are you using a butt bag?
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      #6  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 07:33 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    For that kind of hunt, I would consider developing a load that would provide the best chances of being successful.

    With that said, I have had very good experience using the 185 grain Berger Hybrids behind a load of RL 17 for my 300 WSM.

    My gun shot the same 3/4 inch group at 300 yards as it did at 100 yards.
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      #7  
    Unread 08-10-2014, 07:34 PM
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    Re: Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

    Thanks for all the replies. Here is some more information. I am using a Leopold VX-6 2-12 x42mm CDS with Fire Dot Duplex. I also have a Micro Bastard Brake by American Precision Arms and a Limbsaver recoil pad, so the recoil is very mild. I have a small frame and weigh only 130 pounds, but I can shoot this rifle all day with this set-up and never have a problem with my shoulder or with flinches. I did adjust the parallax knob for focus for the 400 yard target, but haven't tried Ridge Runners suggestion about turning my head side to side and adjust till the reticle stays on the target. Thanks for that idea. Perhaps the Leopold duplex cross-hairs are a little larger than other scopes. Can anyone give me first hand data on this?
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