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Next step beyond rifle, scope, load combination??

 
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  #1  
Old 01-14-2005, 04:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 78
Next step beyond rifle, scope, load combination??

After you have decided upon your rifle, scope and load/bullet combination, what's next?

What should the hundred yard zero be? Dead on at 100, an inch high, inch and a half etc.....?

What is acceptable 100 yard accuracy before stepping up in yardage? I know that you want all you can get but is MOA good enough or does it have to be sub-MOA for 5-700 yard accuracy?

Is the accuracy you consider minimum based on three, five, or?? shot groups?


Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2005, 04:48 PM
 
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Re: Next step beyond rifle, scope, load combination??

WELL....

If you are a long range hunter you should be familiar with clicks ( ie: turrets on your scope ) unless you have a NXS or USO scope with the Ret. similar to the R2... Which basically gives you hold over points...
I DON NOT recommend. the S.W.A.G. hold over method.
I recommend developing an accurate load .5 MOA or less at 100 yards and making drop charts or click charts and familiarizing yourself with your rifles trajectory capabilities...

Because you have the latest greatest earsplitingloudenboomer.. Doesn't mean you can necessarily hit your target at 700 yards.

MOA at 700 yards is 7" that is easily a gut shot if your SWAG is wrong...

before I ever attempted ( read "had enough confidence" ) to target anything beyond 400 yards I must have spent 1000 rounds practicing... good thing I was an accomplished reloader already.

to reiterate.. use a 100 yard zero and learn you clicks...
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2005, 09:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 78
Re: Next step beyond rifle, scope, load combination??

Thanks for the reply.

I spent a day at the range this past weekend. I shot on the one hundred, two hundred, three hundred and five hundred yard ranges. The temps were around 40 degrees and there was a 10 O clock wind in the 12-15mph range. My windage "dubbs" are far from acceptable at anything beyond three hundred yards, but the elevation was right on. Extreme spread was mostly horizontal lines.

My 5 shot groups were less than 1 MOA at one hundred yards. At two hundred yards my center to center measurements were two inches. Three hundred yard groups were in the 4 inch range and five hundred yard groups were in the 7 inch range.

This was my first trip to a long range (more than 100yrds) and I can say that it will not be my last. I know that my accuracy needs to improve GREATLY at longer ranges before shooting at game, but hopefully I'll get there with some persistance and pratice.

A few questions if you will....

How do you convert extreme shot spread into MOA at longer ranges?

My scope is 1 MOA elevation and 1/2 MOA windage adjustments. With a dead on 100 yard zero I'm good to two hundred yards. I'm three clicks up at three hundred yards and nine clicks up at five hundred yards. How do I figure out how many inches of drop at each range?

Is there a regimen to getting the best from my range time?
I need to learn almost everything from the ground up, and I want to get started off on the right foot. I can see that it would be easy to burn a lot of powder and time getting nothing from range time. Any advice??

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2005, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Next step beyond rifle, scope, load combination??

Here is how I set up with a new rig. First off, the rifle/load and shooter must be capable of a min of 1/2MOA under ideal conditions. 1/4 MOA is better. That means that you can hit a milk jug 100% of the time at ranges out to 800yds if wind is not an issue.

That 100% hit ratio will change depending on conditions so max range will also change. Practise will tell you how to adjust.

Without that level of mechanical accuracy, LR hunting is pretty risky.

Now that you have the mechanical accuracy, you need to learn how to shoot under field conditions to that level of accuracy. Practise, practise and more practise.

You will need a good range finder and should be purchased now. All of your drop tables are calibrated with that rangefinder and scope. You should also consider a scope with 1/4MOA adjustments for elevation. 1MOA is going to be very course as ranges extend. Can work but then you are doing some guessing.

I shoot my rifle at ranges I measure with my rangefinder. Repeat many times to ensure adjustments are consistent. This also tests the repeatability of the scope. That data is used to make up a drop table. Then do some more practising.

I will compare my distance readings with other rangefinders in my hunting group. That way, if someone is spotting for me, I can adjust for their different reading. yes, all rangefinders will be off by some amount. Better ones like Leica are usually very close. However, I have compared Bushnell and my Leica and gotten difference enough to cause a miss.

As long as the readings are consistent, you can adjust for it.

Go out and practise under field conditions/weather you intend to hunt in. Note any changes due to weather, rests, clothing, etc. Keep going until you can range, dial up, dope and drop a bullet into that milk jug in about 10secs.

Now that you have a high degree of confidence in your equipment and skill, practise a whole bunch more. At this point, hitting the game is not an issue. Locating it is.

LR hunting should not be about maybe making the shot. If you are unsure, then don't shoot.

Jerry
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