Long range test loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by huntin_fool, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. huntin_fool

    huntin_fool Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious about how you guys work up loads for long range shooting. I'm in the process of setting up a 243 to play around with. I've got some test loads with 95gr VLDs and 105gr amax. Do you guys shoot them at 100 yards and if you get a good group, shoot the same load out farther to see how it does? Or shoot the test loads at around 200-300 and see how they do there right off the bat?
     
  2. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure approaches vary but I like to initially test my loads at 100 yards, particularly I'm also breaking in the barrel, and, or checking scope alignment/turret accuracy. Once I get things lined up and get a promising load I will move out to 200 yards for fine tuning loads and chronographing. I will then establish actual drop data at the ranges I intend to shoot at. I like 200 yards for fine tuning since it's close enough to minimize wind effects but far enough to better distinguish the precision of my loads, particularly if I'm using VLD's which may need longer range to fully stabilize.
     

  3. huntin_fool

    huntin_fool Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I figured I would shoot at 200 yards at least and see how they do. What kind of groups do you guys usually call good enough for longer ranges? Obviously the smaller the better but say at 200 yards, would I be ok with a MOA group? Or is it just find a load that works at 200 and see how it does further out?
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Desired group size at 100 or 200 is up to the shooter. That is, whatever seems good to you. :)

    Or LR work 1 MOA would be good. When I say 1 MOA I mean one shot each day, you pick the day and the time, for 5 days and keep all shots within 0.5 MOA of the point of aim. Half MOA away from POA is 1 MOA diameter.

    This tests the complete system. The rifle, scope, trigger, trigger break, shooter position, bipod use, rear bag use, wind reading and whatcha had to eat so far that day.:)

    This usually comes after tons of shots doing load work up, bedding modifications and much frustration.

    Personally, I quit load development when get to 1/2 MOA @ 200 for several 3 shot groups a day or two apart.

    I then shoot 2 shot groups at enough different distances out to maximum range. Two shot groups when validating drops is sufficient to see if velocities are consistent. Which, for me, indicate more load fine tuning is usually necessary to reduce ES and get vertical spread down.

    That's a bit more than you asked for but I can't sleep. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    Do you know that two shots in the same hole at any range often happens when muzzle velocity's 20 fps different for each one?

    And two holes 3 inches apart vertically at 600 yards often happens when both leave at the exact same muzzle velocity?
     
  6. huntin_fool

    huntin_fool Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys! Keep the opinions coming! I'm enjoying reading how each of you work up loads
     
  7. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    +1 100 is fine for the initial step, after that it's 2 or 300gun)
     
  8. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on what rifle. My 270 for example, if I get MOA out of it I'm tickled with that, I will settle for less accuracy though since I use it at closer ranges. My 7mag though 1/2 MOA or better.