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Returning to zero, help.

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Unread 08-10-2003, 04:09 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Franklin, Pa.
Posts: 24
Returning to zero, help.

This is my first time using the bulletin board and I have many questions so I dicided to start out simple.
I have a Nightforce 8-32x56 on top of a 6.5x284. My question is after making a shot and returning to zero do you go past the zero setting on your turret and then back up or what?
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Unread 08-10-2003, 06:08 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Returning to zero, help.


Some folks are firm believers in that method...always take the slack out and come to rest in the same direction...seems a sound approach.

(Real life, in the field, I just return to the zero setting and call it good enough... I don't shoot on the zero setting as I generally walk around on the 200 yard setting so I guess I'm actually performing the procedure any way you look at it!)

The impostant part is that you remember to reset the scope after your shot.
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Unread 08-10-2003, 03:24 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Franklin, Pa.
Posts: 24
Re: Returning to zero, help.

I have been long range hunting ground hogs here in Pa. for about 4 years now. I first got started after reading a long range hunting article Written by Dan Lilja, I've been hooked ever since. For about the first year and a half I read every article I could get my hands on, studied ballistic charts and talked to however wanted to talk about the subject. In the second year I decided to build a rifle for this kind of hunting. Again I talked to-- what I would call experts in the feild. We put together A 6.5x284 Tight neck .290
Hart heavy barrel, 9 twist.
Custom BAT action.
Shehane tracker stock.
Jewell 2oz trigger.

I have made many fine killes with this rig. It has taken My shots out to as far as 753 yards. The average shot would be between 300 to 500 yards.
I use the Tioga program to calulate drop charts. I'm not sure I'm using some of the right numbers though. There are times when we peg the yardage right on the money, make the scope corrections and still miss way off. The spotter will start adjusting me untill we got the hog or he get tired of waiting. We will find after checking the chart, maybe the yardage was 660 yds and the corrections in the scope show only 540 yds.

Makes ya scratch your head sometimes.

If anyone has had similar problems I would love to hear about them.
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Unread 08-12-2003, 05:23 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: in front of my computer
Posts: 446
Re: Returning to zero, help.

Isn't that just the nature of the game?
The method of returning to Zero never realy crosses my mind I just twisted the turret to 0 and let er rip. Now on more than one occasion, I have gone past zero and come back up (most of the time). What ever ya do , I believe IF ya do it the same every time then all ya gotta think about is the wind. BUT then again I'm a novis at this game.
The one with the fancy stool.
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Unread 08-12-2003, 10:50 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma
Posts: 73
Re: Returning to zero, help.

There are a lot of variables besides scope settings involved.

Something as simple as letting the cartridge lay out in the sun and get hot can change the point of impact quite a bit. Another is how long you leave the cartridge in the chamber before shooting. If the barrel is cold, it will keep the cartridge cool but if the barrel will heat up it will warm up the cartridge. Some long range shooters keep their boxes of cartridges in a cooler and do not let them be in the chamber for more than 8 seconds before firing the shot in order to minimize temperature variables.

Are you shooting down near sea level or way up in the hills? Are you shooting with the rifle level or is it inclined? If it is inclined, the trajectory must be adjusted for at long range.

How temperature sensitive is your powder? You can only know by loading up a box of ammo and then testing it at different temperatures. I loaded up 50 rounds during the winter, shot 10 across the chronograph, then shot an additional 10 at varying temperatures. You would be amazed how much difference that one simple test makes with regards to velocity. A nice sedate winter load can end up being a realy hot summer load.

How much shooting have you been doing at known distances and conditions to verify actual settings under real world conditions. Computer programs are only as good as some geek makes them and only give good output if you have good input.
You need to do a real world log book. If you don't have one, go to this link and print out the pages you want to put into a notebook to give you ready access to real world data. The log book is called Tactical, but is really excellent for any sort of field conditions.
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