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Thread: Sighting in at 200yds

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Default Sighting in at 200yds

    So I'm at the range for a few hours today trying to determine what is going to shoot better for me. The rifle is a Win model 70 300wsm in a McMillian Edge stock with a swaro 3.5-15x44. I'm shooting bug holes with it at 100yds. The gun has always shot good but it's as good as I have shot ever at 100. Move out to 200 and I'm all over the place. I'm shooting off of a Lead sled and doing everything I was doing at 100 but I'll get 1 low 4" and left 2" then low 3" and right 3" then a 3rd shot will be 4" high and a couple inches left.
    The ammo that shot best at 100yds was Federal premium trophy copper. Nosler Accubonds were noticeably not as tight of groups. Out at 200 they both were equally as bad. I'm fairly new at trying to shoot consistently out past 100yds. But now I'm frustrated to say the least. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Are you changing the power setting to a higher power when you move from 100 to 200 yards..........????

    What are you using for a target.........??? You might try the 6" florescent red stick-on beechwood casey on a plain white sheet of paper.

    When did you last have your eyes examined.........??? Seriously.....???

    The night before.........try several shots of tequila.........and howling like a wolf.......

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    All good points agl. Especially the eye exam. I resemble that remark and lived through it.

    Also the change of powers on the scope. I had one scope that would change a foot @100yds if you changed from 2.5 to 8 power.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Were you shooting the lead sled at both ranges? You need to shoot the rifle the same way every time. I find that shooting off a rest, allowing the rifle to recoil freely (like with a lead sled), can give very different results than shooting like I would in the field with my hand holding the fore-end.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    As far as my eyes I can't say when the last exam I had was really. Everything else was the exact same. I had the scope on 18 the whole time. Target was one of the "shoot and see" I think they are about 12"x12"
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Most likely KARMA........for cheating a nice elderly gentleman out of a .375 H&H..........

    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    ............. But now I'm frustrated to say the least. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks

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    I know that old girl shoots pretty good but I really don't want to take it on a goat hunt....doable yes. Ideal not really
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    You might suffer from advanced "Budweiser Eye Syndrome". Excessive focusing on a beer can at arms length, often causes focus problems at 200 yards.

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    I vote drink tequila and howling at the moon as best...

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Another thing about the LeadSleds. Don't load it up so full of lead shot that it doesn't move back at all. I've heard of instances where, without any recoil movement, guys have had the stocks damaged. Put two bags of shot in it and hold it as close to the way you'd shoot in the field. Some guys tighten a strap over the barrel to hold the gun in place during recoil. This can definitely give you a different zero or bad groups. I put downward pressure on the stock's fore-end (not the barrel), pushing it into the fore end rest to simulate my hand normally holding the stock. That has given me good results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    As far as my eyes I can't say when the last exam I had was really. Everything else was the exact same. I had the scope on 18 the whole time. Target was one of the "shoot and see" I think they are about 12"x12"
    First, are the wind conditions constant and is the ammo stabilizing? Are the circles where the bullets hit nice, crisp, and round, not ovals or tearing non-symmetrically?

    Second, how easily can you see through the 15x scope? Is it 15x or 18x? That's a 2.9mm exit pupil on 15. I find that pretty difficult to use myself.

    Third, how much of the target can you see to aim at? That is, if the 12x12 inch target is one big blur covered up by the crosshairs, you're going to get wandering results like this. Using a Zeiss with a 2/3rd MOA dot where the crosshairs crossed, at 100 yards, aiming dead on, I would get similar results (smaller deviations of course) around the bull. The group was smaller than the dot, which made aiming actually pretty difficult. I switched to one of the Zeiss long-range reticles with smaller lines and the problem went away.

    Could you be experiencing something similar? If your crosshairs are obscuring your aiming point, you think you are "aiming at the same spot" when you are not. I tried to figure out which scope and reticle you have, but between the 15x and 18x question, and the variety Swarovski makes, I couldn't. If you have a standard plex or europlex reticle, the reticle may be too thick for how you are using it.

  12. #12

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    I'd switch targets. Small aiming errors at 100 yards turn into large errors at 200, even if you're aiming with the same degree of accuracy. If the extra distance is making your aiming precision even worse, then all heck breaks out. My favorite distance targets (and 100 yard too) for sighting in is the variety covered with 1" squares, while the middle squares are more or less a "sideways cross" intended to fit between your crosshairs. VERY precise and consistent aiming is possible with them.

    Round black bull? Meh. You can be all over it and not realize it.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tod13 View Post
    First, are the wind conditions constant and is the ammo stabilizing? Are the circles where the bullets hit nice, crisp, and round, not ovals or tearing non-symmetrically?

    Second, how easily can you see through the 15x scope? Is it 15x or 18x? That's a 2.9mm exit pupil on 15. I find that pretty difficult to use myself.

    Third, how much of the target can you see to aim at? That is, if the 12x12 inch target is one big blur covered up by the crosshairs, you're going to get wandering results like this. Using a Zeiss with a 2/3rd MOA dot where the crosshairs crossed, at 100 yards, aiming dead on, I would get similar results (smaller deviations of course) around the bull. The group was smaller than the dot, which made aiming actually pretty difficult. I switched to one of the Zeiss long-range reticles with smaller lines and the problem went away.

    Could you be experiencing something similar? If your crosshairs are obscuring your aiming point, you think you are "aiming at the same spot" when you are not. I tried to figure out which scope and reticle you have, but between the 15x and 18x question, and the variety Swarovski makes, I couldn't. If you have a standard plex or europlex reticle, the reticle may be too thick for how you are using it.
    Sorry my fault on the scope. It is a 3.5-18x44 z5. My target is the 1"X"1 squares. I went out the next day and put 4-6 shots into less than 2" group. I was happy with that. Apparently operator error the 1st day. Gonna keep on hitting the range to build up confidence. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Sorry my fault on the scope. It is a 3.5-18x44 z5. My target is the 1"X"1 squares. I went out the next day and put 4-6 shots into less than 2" group. I was happy with that. Apparently operator error the 1st day. Gonna keep on hitting the range to build up confidence. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    One thing I noticed 2 weeks ago when I had a similar situation moving back to 200 yds. I had problems two days in a row like that. Third day I went out about 9 am to try again. Conditions were 'more perfect' than the other days but I attributed the better shooting to the overnite stabilization of the ground I was shooting over. ( beach). There was better focal clarity probably due to the beach sand being cool and stable from overnite temps. I think me shooting later in the day the first two times had my bullet drifting with small heat and wind currents.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Sorry my fault on the scope. It is a 3.5-18x44 z5. My target is the 1"X"1 squares. I went out the next day and put 4-6 shots into less than 2" group. I was happy with that. Apparently operator error the 1st day. Gonna keep on hitting the range to build up confidence. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    After seeing the scope model, I'm going to go with "your parallax adjustment was off" or my aforementioned reticle issue. However, the plex reticle looks OK--0.3 inches at 200 yards. Even the BRX Heavy covers less than 2" with its dots.

    ETA: Or the whole wind issue. Is the wind really bad and inconsistent where you shoot?

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    Parallax?
    I'm assuming you verified that your dial is accurate. I've never seen a parallax adjustment with the yardages marked on them that was accurate. If you set it at 200 yards and lightly bob your head you might still see the crosshairs moving across your target.
    I have a Zeiss Terra with no adjustment. The parallax was factory set at 300 yards. For the life of me I couldn't get little groups out of it at 100 yards unless I lined up the ocular view, the dark outside ring and the crosshairs on the target all at the same time. It was too taxing. I shot hell on wheels at 300 but at 100 I couldn't keep it at the same MOA as at 300. I have since internally adjusted my parallax to 100 yards and it's shooting great at that range.
    Target Panic?
    I had a bad case of this many years ago until a fellow benchrester helped me with it. While shooting 600 yard light/varmint, I wasn't waiting for the crosshairs to settle completely. I would panic and pull the trigger as my crosshairs passed the bullseye. It wasn't a problem at 100 because I wasn't putting as much pressure on myself.

    Just some thought to consider. Chuck.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I would get another target and go out and shoot 1 round. Go back the next day and shoot 1 more for a total of five days. Groups are nice, but once a barrel starts warming up, things change. What matters is the first shot on a cold barrel.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    When shooters change the location of the target it can alter ones "cheek-weld" I have found. So, the shooter ends up moving there eye / face trying to line up like they did at say 100 yards... Dialing up the power can definitely contribute to what I call a "wondering" anchor point...As the range increases the minor changes are magnified... Sounds like that worked itself out when you returned to the range...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Sorry my fault on the scope. It is a 3.5-18x44 z5. My target is the 1"X"1 squares. I went out the next day and put 4-6 shots into less than 2" group. I was happy with that. Apparently operator error the 1st day. Gonna keep on hitting the range to build up confidence. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!
    We have all been there and done that. Confidence is everything! I have come home from the range so disgusted that i was ready to pitch the rifle and scope and start over only to go back the next week end with the same rig and shoot well. Back in the early days of my rifle shooting it was real bad not so much any more!

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