Testing loads at 200 vs 100

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Iden, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Iden

    Iden Active Member

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    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.
     
  2. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    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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  4. Iden

    Iden Active Member

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    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?
     
  5. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    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. http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/epicyclic-motion-bullet-video-37345/

    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
     
  6. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. baldhunter

    baldhunter Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I was taught,a 1" group at 100yds would be a 2" group at 200yds and a 3"group at 300yds and so on and so on.I have found this not to be true.I've had loads that were sub 1" at a 100yds shoot a very disappointing 3"- 6" group at 200yds,even had one that would miss the whole 24"x24" target at 200yds.There can be many factors that can cause this,human error,stiff trigger,scope,wind,barrel crown,stock bedding,bad bullets,seating adjustment,poor load,bad barrel and just a rifle that will not shoot worth a damn.Depending on where you hunt can be a big factor in how far you want to shoot.If you hunt an area that has a lot of wide open spaces,shots 500yds or more may not be uncommon.Where I usually hunt,the brush is very thick,though there may be areas you can shoot longer distances,it is very important to know exactly where the animal was standing when you shoot.So 300yds is usually about as far as I like to shoot,because sometimes you don't get blood right away,if they don't drop on the spot.Working up a tight shooting load at 200yds makes those shots much easier and covers most of my shots too.A hundred yards is an easy shot now and almost seems like rock throwing distance.The farther you can shoot accurately,the better shot you will become.So,I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time working up a one holer at a 100yds,move on out to 200yds and see how she shoots.
     
  9. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    I personally like to test loads at the distance i plan to shoot them at. This is the only way ive been able to verify how they will behave. Typically if a load will shoot a minute at 1k yards it will shoot a minute everywhere up to that point. Some big long bullets do take a while to settle down, not always, but thats just another reason to test at long range.

    However some people have had very good sucess testing their long range loads at 100 yards and i cant say that its not productive if you know what you are looking for.
    6.5-284s of the Hoover Clan within AccurateShooter.com
     
  10. Iden

    Iden Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the helpful information!

    VarmintH8R that is exactly what I'm talking about!

    I think with all the information that I have heard I think I will move my initial load testing out to 200, simply because I have the range capabilities and it can't hurt. Another question about a bullet laying down, is it more pronounced with larger diameter bullets, or smaller diameter bullets or is it about the same across the board?? Or is it affected by a bullets length?
    Thanks again for the replies

    Iden
     
  11. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    I personally think it has to do with long, heavy, bullets for caliber not entering the lands centered, and the tight twist required to stabilize said bullets exaggerating the normal precession that takes place with spinning objects. Im sure if im off the mark someone will correct me.
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned, "stabilization" isn't the correct term for what you're talking about. If a bullet does not stabilize @ 100 yds it will keyhole and it will not stabilize @ 200 yds. There are other terms like eliptical swerve and precession that are more correct. I have often shot better MOA groups at 200 & 300 than 100, but not always.

    Like others have also mentioned, I do my load work at both 100 and 200 (actually 212) depending on wind conditions. Groups at 200 yds and farther are better for evaluating a load if the wind is light or calm..
     
  13. leanporker

    leanporker New Member

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    I develop my loads at 100 then tweek them at 300. I settle when my vertical stringing is inside .5" at 300. I've never found a load that wouldn't shoot good at 1000 when doing this.