100 Vs. 200 Yds. which is better for testing loads while reloading?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Prairie Dog50, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

    Dec 14, 2010
    I shoot a Savage model 12fv chambered in .22-250, and I am in the process of finding a recipie that this rifle likes for hunting prairie dogs. I have reloaded now for about two years, using several rifles chambered in a variety of calibers so I am pretty familiar with the whole process. My old man and me were talking the other day and he said that it might be better test to shoot groups with these different loads at 200 Yds. instead of the traditional 100 Yds. Is their anything to this thought process, or is 100 Yds just fine or even more preferable than 200 Yds.?
  2. MSLRHunter

    MSLRHunter Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    I always shoot at least 200yds, preferrably 300yds when doing load development. There are lots of reasons people do this, such as some people say that long boatail bullets take about 100 yds to "go to sleep" which means to become fully stabilized. I guess the reason I do it is so that I can try to detect any vertical dispersion early in the process. You just cant see vertical dispersion at 100 yds.
  3. WRG

    WRG Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I agree with this statement however I don't "always" do this unless I am using the type of bullet that warrents it such as a Berger VLD and others. I believe it is all dependent on the type of bullet you plan to use. Most hunting bullets can be tested initionally at 100 yards to get a good baseline grouping however if your plans are to shoot at greater distances you always want to test at those distances as well. If your load has an effective range of say 300-350 yards or even further, meaning the impact velocity is at it's lowest for reliable expansion, you certainly would want to test out to that range to understand the accuracy of the load at that distance. Most of your "typical" hunting bullets that group good at 100 yards should also group good out to it's effective range provided there is no large velocity swing with the load. With a typical hunting bullet such as a Barnes TTSX or Nosler Accubond, I try to get my loads during load developement to group as tight as I can get them to at 100 yards. I am never satified unless they can shoot under MOA at 100 yards and if the rifle just plain can't do that then I would either get rid of the rifle and move on or only use the rifle in certain hunting situations. If I'm testing the Berger VLD bullet I will test at 100 yards initionally to get a baseline group and move out to 200 yards to see what the load will do then. Bullets designed for long range hunting should be tested and "tuned" at long ranges but don't expect them to group their best under 200 yards. But thats not to say they won't group good at shorter distances. It all depends on the bullet and the load and what you intend to do with it.

    That's the way I do it anyways.
  4. BigSkyGP

    BigSkyGP Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Over on Sniper's Hide, Tresmon has a five chapter loading manual. He addresses the Lagdder test to find and develope your best loads.

    You will see better what you are doing at 300yds, even with the 22-250.

    The farther out you shoot, it's like a magnifiing glass observing minute differences, in what you do.

    Sure since you are shooting P-dogs you will want to shoot different ranges to learn your trajectory.
  5. 200 is better than 100.
  6. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    I am a fan of the 200 or even 300 yd testing. But If it's windy, then the horizontal may throw you off a little (sometimes have to disregard horizontal flyers) Often, I've had great groups at 100 that just went to hell at 300.

    I'd personally rather have a 300 yd 1" group (calm day) that only shoots 1/2" at 100 than a 1/4" group at 100 that opens to 1 1/2 or 2" at 300 yds.

    In my experience and generally speaking; if a load shoots good at 200 and your velocity ES's are close, then you'll get good groups at 400 and beyond too.
  7. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    I do all load testing at 100 yds.

    When I find what I like, I move to 200 yds. First, wind is less of a factor at 100 yds. It is easier to see your group form, and your hold will be improved at the shorter distance. Some loading manuals and shooting magazine writers publish accuracy notes for 100 yds., so that you have something for comparison at that distance.
  8. ReachnOut

    ReachnOut Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    For me, 100 yard zero really doesn't tell enough of the story unless it's a short range brush gun that will probably never be used over that distance. For my long range rifles, I use 100 to check the initial loads, scope and mounts and 200, 500 and 700 to test the consistency.