Shooting long range help

Bigeclipse

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I have been a long time member here but honestly not a long time long range shooter. My local range for many years only allowed 300 yards shooting and it was often crowded. Well My wife and I moved to our own property a few years back and I finally cleared out a 600 yard range. How do you know when working up loads if it is you, the weather (wind and such) or the load if your groups are not the greatest? My shooting range is not too effected by wind (most of it is a clear cut path through woods) so I think I can eliminate that from the equation. I would say maybe 100-200 yards of it is slightly open to winds. So for example, I recently worked up a load for my 28Nosler. At 100 yards it shoots between .6- .75MOA at 100 yards. I had 3 rounds left and said screw it im shooting 600 lol. at 600 I shot an 8 inch group with those 3 remaining loads. 2 of the hits were within 4 inches of each other and strung vertically for the most part but the other hit was in between the two height wise but was about 8 inches left. So for an in-experienced long range shooter, how would I know if I pulled that shot, or maybe the wind caught it or maybe there is an issue with my rifle system (bedding issue) or a problem with my load? I understand to truly know I likely need to shoot many more rounds, but im just trying to limit the rounds thrown down the tube to hopefully preserve the barrel. I do not intend to shoot this rifle a ton so would like to keep the tube as long as possible. I will never be hunting to 600 (400 yard max where I hunt) so really it is not too much of an issue but I do want to try to improve myself. I am pretty consistent when reloading so I don't think it is an issue with my loading process itself but could be an issue with my load. Thoughts?

FYI, I do not have people near me to shoot with to confirm if it is me or the load or the rifle etc or to have someone help in person.
 

xsn10s

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Here's some of the things that have helped me, chronograph will help determine if there is an issue with velocity for the vertical stringing. Pulled shots can be helped with dry fire while at the range. You've been around long enough to know consistency is key, so looking to see if there are variables that change that is helpful. Setting up the same way and making sure nothing is bumping or changing the recoil. Say like sling studs bumping a sandbag intermittently. Finally a camera mounted to a spotting scope would be helpful if no spotter was around. Hope this helps. I'm sure you'll figure it out.
 

Revolting Peasant

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The reason I ask is a mentor/coach can sometimes give you a huge jump in performance in a very short period of time.
My best guess reading your info is the ammo performance is falling apart at longer range.
 

Bigeclipse

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The reason I ask is a mentor/coach can sometimes give you a huge jump in performance in a very short period of time.
My best guess reading your info is the ammo performance is falling apart at longer range.
I am in NY. This load is Nosler brass, h1000 72.6grains, hammer 177 bullets, federal match primers. I did 10 round Satterlee test to find speed nodes. I found two. FYI, those 10 rounds in that Satterlee test all fell under an inch at 100 yards even though they varied in charge weights by .3 grains which I was hopeful meant the rifle likes these bullets. I then loaded up 6 rounds at the 72.6 grain weight. Shot 3 at the 125 yard target I had and got a .7inch group with no vertical spread what so ever so i thought maybe it was my trigger finger control (all horizontal stringing). That is when I said ill shoot the other 3 at 600 to see what happens.
 

Revolting Peasant

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That is if you can consistently hold 0.6 to 0.75 MOA groups at 100 yards.
I have 300 yard range here at home. Could go 800 with the neighbors consent. Really want my own property where I can go 1500 or so. It’s nice to shoot at your own place. I am careful who I allow to shoot here but I have spread the limited knowledge I have learned and had that returned to me ten fold.
 

LongRangeFever

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I like to cheat as much as possible on my range. There is usually at least one wind somewhere. Use cheap marking flag every hundred yards or so and watch it to see if there is any wind. As stated above, dryfire practice is great especially with expensive mag rounds. A chronograph will be your best friend with long range reloading. ES diffs can be hard to see at 100 yards but really start to rear their head at extended ranges. Is your rifle breaked? I've noticed I have bad habbits with heavy recoiling rifles. Managing the recoil pulse consistently is super important.
 

Bigeclipse

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I like to cheat as much as possible on my range. There is usually at least one wind somewhere. Use cheap marking flag every hundred yards or so and watch it to see if there is any wind. As stated above, dryfire practice is great especially with expensive mag rounds. A chronograph will be your best friend with long range reloading. ES diffs can be hard to see at 100 yards but really start to rear their head at extended ranges. Is your rifle breaked? I've noticed I have bad habbits with heavy recoiling rifles. Managing the recoil pulse consistently is super important.
Yes it is breaked with a little bastard break.
 

cahunter805

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Were your shooting from a bench or prone? A great tip given to me was your body position and natural POA. Get lined up properly and comfortable on the rifle and it makes a huge difference. Also try to follow through on your shots. See the impact through your scope. Don’t lift your head to look.
 

Bigeclipse

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Were your shooting from a bench or prone? A great tip given to me was your body position and natural POA. Get lined up properly and comfortable on the rifle and it makes a huge difference. Also try to follow through on your shots. See the impact through your scope. Don’t lift your head to look.
Using a sturdy bench and shooting off competition rests.
 

L.Sherm

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I wouldnt worry about E.S unless its extreme, 20fps is .5 at 500 yards if you think you can shoot the difference well then.
Try the same load again if you get the same results then it's the load.
What you experienced going from 100-600 is why I do all my final testing at 500.
I would try a CCi 250 and see the difference it sure can just changing primers
 

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