200 yd group

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by lckytylr, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. lckytylr

    lckytylr Well-Known Member

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    What does everyone consider an acceptable 200 yard group (both for your personal abilities and your rifle's)?

    Also, what do most of you "zero" at . . . I think 200 is pretty common.
     
  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    So I am a hunter......I consider anything under 2" to be good at 200. I generally zero at 300. If I get a load to shoot 2" at 200 then I figure it is worth taking out to long range. IE 1000. Seems that that 2" group at 200 will often times make 10" or less at 1000. I don't think I can shoot any better than 5" at 1000. I try to shoot, even from the bench, in a fashion that I would in the field. No lead sled or bipod. I just don't seem to be able to shoot as well from a bipod. I shoot well from a bag under the front or stix prone or a backpack. This allows the rifle to recoil more freely. Just my style.

    Steve
     
  3. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    For my competition rifles I expect .5 MOA or less at any distance. For my hunting rifles I'll accept 1 MOA for anything 800 yards or less, .75 MOA for 1K.
    I set my zero at 200 yards .....
     
  4. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    I expect 1/2 MOA for my customs and 1 MOA or a tad larger for the "out of the box" factory guns.
     
  5. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    DITT:cool:!
     
  6. cohunter14

    cohunter14 Well-Known Member

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    I think your acceptable standards are based on how far you want to shoot. No one can tell you what is right or 'ethical,' that is all up to you. Personally, I would be looking for sub MOA if I were wanting to shoot past 500 yards. My thinking is 1 MOA at 500 yards is 5". A little misread on the wind, and you are getting close to missing the vitals. You always have to remember that your point of aim and point of impact don't always match up, so that 5" group at 500 yards might not always be centered on your target.

    This is just my opinion and personal preference.
     
  7. br45zy

    br45zy Member

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    The accuracy of a rifle can be very subjective so it usually comes down to more of a question; Does this rifle meet my expectation?

    I have three rifles that will consistently shoot .3 MOA and one other that delivers .75 MOA or a little better at 200 yards. So I guess my expectation, depending a lot on wind, is just that. None of these rifles are stock from the factory and three of them are full customs so that does make my job a little easier.

    As for the zero, the three custom rifles are zeroed at 100 yards and the fourth at 180 yards, it's maximum point blank range. I prefer a 100 yard zero since no matter the range, you will always have to dial up for it and it is easier to establish a precise, accurate zero at that range.
     
  8. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    .5 MOA is my personal standard for a hunting rifle at 200 yards. So a 1" group at most. I have 4 guns that shoot better than that by far, one by a quarter of that, so they are always in the field with me.

    I think we as hunters owe it to the game we peruse to make an accurate shot for a quick, ethical, clean kill. And shot placement is 80% of that in my opinion.

    I zero all of my rifles for 200 yards. I can dial down .3 mils on my scopes before the zero stop prevents more, putting me about .5" high at 100. I usually keep them on 0 when hunting though, giving me a good 250+/- yards with no dialing if needed.
     
  9. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    A guy could go crazy trying to chase 1/2 moa or better. This is as good as it gets. I can't recall a smith that says his rifles will shoot better than that. Then the shooter comes into the equation. I don't care what anybody says 1 moa is good performance. We all love it when we get that sub moa group and strive to do that all the time. That is what makes us good shots.

    As for the short range accuracy. I used to concentrate on the 100 or 200 yard group and throw away loads because I thought they were inferior. One day after going through all the effort of developing a new long range hunting load and being disappointed in my 2" 200 yard group from my new custom barreled long range cannon. I decided to shoot it at 1000 yards anyway, just because I wanted to shoot my new rifle long so bad I could taste it. Low and behold it shot sub moa groups consistently. Mostly about 5". I will no longer put too much weight on short range accuracy. Now if I need to be able to hit a squirrel in the eye at 200 yards with my elk rifle I may have to change my thinking.

    With respect to zero range. I try to keep things as simple as I can. I am not that smart and simple works better for me. As a general rule I zero at 300 yards. With most hunting rifles this puts me into "moa of deer" out to 400 yards and all I have to do is aim in the middle. 400 yards and in, I usually have less time to mess with adjusting for yardage. The animals are much more aware of what is going on and the chance of the animal noticing me is much greater. I would be an unhappy camper if I missed a chance on a giant deer because I was trying to dial in a 375 yard shot. Past 400 yards it is much easier to set up a shot with out being noticed by the animal. Also much more necessary to get saddled in tight with the rifle in order to make a precise shot. If there is not time to do all that then there was not a good shot.

    Hope this helps. Go out and shoot. Find out what you can do, and don't sweat the small stuff.

    Steve
     
  10. lckytylr

    lckytylr Well-Known Member

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    Some really good replies here.

    Thanks Everyone.

    I'm going to shoot my new toy tomorrow, I'll post results. :)
     
  11. gareyg

    gareyg Member

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    Although I enjoy this forum I'm really a "medium range" hunter at best, limiting my shots to about 300 yards. My approach to sighting in is to use exbal and study ballistics tables for a set of bullet drops that are easy to remember, and about a +/- 4" max point blank range. I would set up a simple drop table like the attached, then confirm all the drops off the bench and in field positions as much as I can. In this case, (.300 WM, 180gr Nosler partition), I sight in at 2.5" high at 100 yds, and confirm the drops out to 300. For me the only reason for my 400 yd plus DOPE is for rare shots, say at wounded game heaven forbid. This simple "range card" goes on my stock or scope. Note the hold approximations versus actual drop.

    [​IMG]

    I suppose I'll get kicked out of the "long range" forum, but this approach works well for me in real hunting conditions. Note also that for me keeping the range card handy is so I can study study study it BEFORE I need it. Using a small laser rangefinder and quick holdover from memory, I can usually hit quickly under pressure. Also a dead-on hold works fine out to about 330 yards, where there is usually not much time available to make a good shot anyway. I try to build in easy memorization tricks to my drops, like "400, 500, 600 equals 1 foot, 2' 4' " in this case. I probably don't shoot enough to be comfortable scanning through range charts and fiddling with scope knobs in the presence of a nice buck. gun)
     
  12. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    I agree with RockyMtnMT. I have never seen a bench in the field while hunting. I practice mostly off my shooting sticks or laying down off my backpack. These are the two rests I have ever been able to use in the field. A bipod is absolutely useless for me 90% of the time in areas where I hunt. Sagebrush turns bipods in to unnecessary weight to lug around. I read about 1/2 MOA or better groups on thei forum all the time and take them with a grain of salt. I have developed several loads off a bench that routinely shot cloverleafs at 100 yards but I have not shot 100 yards or off a bench in ages. I have a 12" square gong, if I can not regularly hit it at a yardage I will absolutely not take a shot at an animal that far. At 600 yards that is a 2 MOA target, inside of 600 it only gets bigger. Groups don't mean anything to me. I believe it was Shawn Carlock who said he would only shoot at animals at ranges where he would be absolutely flabbergasted if he missed. I totaly agree, if you are not 110% confident of a first round hit at a certain yardage that is your limit. Groups don't mean squat. I like to practice by playing a game like skeet. I set my gongs up and move around the field varying the yardage and angles to the target. Hitting the 600 yard target seated off shooting sticks is a test for me and my equipment.
     
  13. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Anything under 300 yards and I really don't worry to much about group size for a hunting rifle on large game. 1.5MOA is plenty accurate for 300 yards. This would give you a 4.5inch group which is plenty fine for deer. I do try to get a good load for my handloads. Anything around 1MOA and I am satisfied. Now my 7mm rem mag long range gun I expect .5MOA or better which would mean a 1inch group at 200 yards. If 200 yards is your max then dang...a 5 inch group would be fine for deer(10 inch vital zone) lol. It all depends what you are shooting and what your max range is.
     
  14. clamb4

    clamb4 Well-Known Member

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    I just worked up a load for my son's 280 AI. 62.5g of IMR 7828, CCI BR2 primers, Nosler brass, 168g Berger, and MV @ 2920'/sec.

    This load shoots 1 1/8" groups at 200 yards so it should be good to 800 yards. That's 4 to 5 inch groups at 800 yards, but I have learned I can't shoot that well in field conditions, so that 4 to 5 inches turns into 8 to 10 inches which should still kill deer.

    I like to get my hunting rifles as close to 1/2 MOA as I can, but that's hard and I have custom rifles. If I can get 3/4 MOA I am happy and it seems to work well for my hunting. I have set a personal limit at 800 yards.

    As for sighting in, I sight in at 250, then from 0 to 300 I don't have to think about it. After 300 I use the marks under the cross hairs of my scope out to about 500 then I dial. FFP so it doesn't matter the magnification power the scope is set at, just one less thing to get wrong.