Shooting 100 yds vs. 400 yds

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by lonzonoscar, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. lonzonoscar

    lonzonoscar Member

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    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?
     
  2. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with ridge runner parallax also is your trigger set light
     
  4. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  5. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    OK, now you have three votes. Parallax is the first place I'd recommend you look.
    lightbulbThe 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?
     
  6. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. lonzonoscar

    lonzonoscar Member

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    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?
     
  8. lonzonoscar

    lonzonoscar Member

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    Rick Richard, My son-in-law does re-load ammo and I am saving my casing for him to re-load some 300 WSM's in the future. The Berger VLD is an intriguing bullet. I have shot the 168 and 185 in the 300 WSM. The 185 seems to give much better grouping at 100 yds and 400 yds. Can you give me any more specifics on your loading data for this cartridge?
     
  9. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

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    Leupold Duplex reticles are little thick for my taste...but they will work fine for 400 yard shooting, or even a bit further...may not be as accurate as it could be...but plenty good enough.
     
  10. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    I'll say the problem lies with the parallax. Like the others said, most scopes are not parallax free at the yardage marks on the knob. In fact one scope I have is actually parallax free at 500 yards when the knob is set at 275. And it is slightly out of focus but not bad. At 800 yards the knob is set at about 475 to be parallax free. This is not a guide to set yours by as all scopes are different. This is just an example of how far the knobs can be off.
     
  11. cgpaul

    cgpaul Member

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    Good advice all, and bad stuff begins to happen after 300 yrds, IME. Another reason practice is so important. The scope sure could be an issue, but so could wind and mirage. Try to shoot when conditions are favorable, not always possible, but I will try to test on an overcast day to eliminate marage, and get a flat light for a sharper image of the target. Also, try to call your shot, this practice will help eliminte what you may be doing wrong. (don`t forget the nut behind the bolt!)
    Good Luck
     
  12. Kba1223

    Kba1223 Member

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    if you do nothing else, get a bullet comparator and calipers. Buy three boxes of the same factory ammo (60 rounds). Find 7-10 rounds with as close to the same base to ogive as possible. Without reloading to specific specs, you can at least shoot the same specs while you are hunting. Good luck. My 300wsm loves Berger 190 hunting vld. 66g of h4831sc, cci bench rest primers and base to ogive of 2.230. But you probably have more Freebore in the factory tikka.
     
  13. pyroducksx3

    pyroducksx3 Well-Known Member

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    Tikkas can shoot. Have you tried marching in out, seeing what it does at 200 and 300? I have a t3 lite in 300 wsm to be honest it never shot any factory ammo well. I have almost sold it twice because it never shot as well as I wanted, that was even with hand loading. Then I found its happy place with 150gr hornadt SST's loaded to mag length and 70 gr of reloader 19 and shot this group at 300 yards, pulled the second shot but 3&4 went right next to the 1st. It would probably shoot heavier pills but I don't have a break and this combo is very comfy to shoot. I was shooting it out to 645 on Thursday so you should be able to get to your goal of 400 once it finds what it likes. It's shot Barnes 168 tsx second best so if theirs any factory loaded Barnes try those. Spear game kings were a just barely behind the Barnes and accubonds it shot terrible relatively speaking. For 400 yards you don't need to worry about a super high bc bullets at that range it just won't really matter
     

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  14. PokealypseNow

    PokealypseNow Member

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    As a fairly ignorant hack of a shooter who's trying to learn, this is the most helpful and succinct explanation of parrallax (and how/why to adjust the knob) that I've come across.

    Thanks.