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Testing loads at 200 vs 100

 
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:34 PM
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Testing loads at 200 vs 100

I'm just curious If there is a huge benifit to testing loads at 200 yards vs 100. If so could anybody explain! Do some bullets take that long to stablize or am I completely wrong? Thanks for any info.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:04 PM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

I can shoot at my range out to 600 yards. I usually use 200 when developing loads. I find that at 100 yards it is abit more difficult to tell how good a good shooting load is. The bullets stackup tight and you end up with a ragged hole. At 200 yards things usually spreadout and you can tell better which loads are really grouping tight. There is the issue of wind when you stretch out but wind flags allow one to break shots with consistent wind conditions. If the wind is up and variable I may shorten up to 100 yards. After getting something working at 200 yards I also test at 600yards since a good load at 200 yards can occasionally go astray at 600 yards. I've also had loads that grouped 1 inch at 200 and group 2 inches at 600 so things arenot always linear and that is good to know. I do not consider bullet stabilization as an important factor relative to picking the distance at which to test a load.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:21 PM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

More and more I am becoming a firm believer that farther is better when developing a load. While shooting good groups at 100yds is gratifying, I think it tells you more about shooter consistency than the loads.

Check out the attached target (graciously ignore my flyer to the left of the bull). This was a 100yd target I shot doing a max-charge work-up with a 22-250. I don't have the data in front of me, but MV spread between the low and high charge was something like 350fps. It is 8 shots.

Clearly, at farther range this MOA group would open up dramatically. What appears to be good at 100 could prove to be poor at 400. What is good at 400 is pretty much impossible to be bad at 100.

My 2C

Brandon
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:56 PM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

Thanks to both of u for the replies. The factor of the wind was what had me wanting to shoot at 100. It definitely makes sense that the farther u get the more groups are defined.

Engineer101 what do u mean that you don't consider bullet stabilization a factor? I have just heard word through the grape vine that sometimes a bullet takes farther than 100 yards to stabilize. That could be complete myth, but that is why I am asking?
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:30 PM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iden View Post
Thanks to both of u for the replies. The factor of the wind was what had me wanting to shoot at 100. It definitely makes sense that the farther u get the more groups are defined.

Engineer101 what do u mean that you don't consider bullet stabilization a factor? I have just heard word through the grape vine that sometimes a bullet takes farther than 100 yards to stabilize. That could be complete myth, but that is why I am asking?
I think what you are referring to is a bullet "settling down" or "going to sleep".

Check out this thread, and be sure to click on the video in post #1. Also note that they are basically saying the corkscrew effect is likely only one caliber size in magnitude. Epicyclic motion of a bullet (video)

As far as testing at distance and accounting for wind. Assuming consistent shooting, my experience is that horizontal spread is often a function of how much a rifle likes a bullet and seating depth. 1MOA horizontal spread at 100yds is usually 1MOA at 500yds. Vertical can change dramatically.

Once I have a combo that shoots tight at 100 or 200, I'll stretch it out on a calm day, and basically only look at vertical spread. Tighter vertical = better load.

Brandon
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:14 AM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

It all really depends on what works for you and what kind of shooting facilities you have access to. Though I don't disagree with the concept of developing long range loads at longer distances, my own circumstances and abilities make doing so impractical. I don't use the ladder method of load development for the same reasons. I have to drive several hours one way just to get on a range that is longer than 100 yards. If I only did load development at longer distances, I would die of old age before I got anything developed.

Because of that, I do my initial workup, tune for seating depth, and tune the powder charge @ 100 yards. When I think I have a good load, I confirm it out to 600 yards when I have the opportunity. I can do this with several rifles in a single trip to the range, which makes more sense for me and my circumstances.

There is always a theoretical best way to do things. Unfortunately, most of us are forced to bend to reality when it comes to actually executing an idea. When it comes to methodology, I think it is more important to understand what you are doing, why you are doing it, and the inherent limitations of your method, than it is to follow a certain magic script.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:30 AM
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Re: Testing loads at 200 vs 100

For my load development work , I have used both 100 and 200 yards depending on wind conditions. When I have a load that meets my requirements with group size, velocity, ES, and cold bore POI, I will always confirm group size, cold bore, and establish my zero at 200 yards on a windless day. This distance gives me a more precise understanding of the rifle's capabilities. For confirming zero for long distance shooting and when hunting, while my scopes zero is set at 200 yards, I have found I can confirm at either 100 or 200 yards knowing the 100 yard POI/elevation.
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