"Long" distance shooting


Papa Whiskey
November 7, 2010, 03:38 PM
I can shoot 2" groups at 200 yards all day long with with my .257 Wby. But I'm lucky to get 3 shots inside 8" at 300. What the heck am I doing wrong?

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November 7, 2010, 04:02 PM
What is your bullet weight, and what is your twist? Are you in free-air the entire range length?

November 7, 2010, 04:12 PM
Papa Whiskey,
A little more info on you setup might help. What sights/optics? What bullets or other load data can you give? What position are you shooting from? Could be a whole bunch of things. What rifle? How are the groups opening up. Are they stringing vertically, horizontally or randomly? Any pattern?

November 7, 2010, 04:17 PM
^Those are definitely good questions. That's an extra 100 yards for the wind to mess up your shot. Do you use wind flags?

Papa Whiskey
November 7, 2010, 06:36 PM
Let's see... Weatherby mark v ultralight off of a pretty comfortable card table/ sandbag set up. Careful hand loads with barnes 100 gr. Tipped tsx and 66 gr. Imr 4831. Bottom of a pretty deep rock pit so very little wind but shots seem to string more horizontally than vertically. Probably just poor shooting but everything just looks so pretty at 200!

Papa Whiskey
November 7, 2010, 06:58 PM
No wind flags but I'm about 200 feet down and seriously zero discernible wind

November 7, 2010, 07:57 PM
As I understand it, a vertical string tends to indicate that your barrel is touching the stock. Weatherby's standard Mark Vs do have a pressure point design near the tip of the stock. Even B&Cs replacement stock has this feature. They can easily be removed. I would free-float the barrel.


November 7, 2010, 08:01 PM
yes. free float all day. no need for a pressure point. thats Turrible.

November 7, 2010, 08:03 PM
are you lettig the barrel cool off between shots ? hot barrel will string the shots also. especially a light weight barrel

November 7, 2010, 08:39 PM
The easiest things to check first would be:
Barrel crown - probably not it but very easy to inspect.
Stock screws for looseness.
scope or sight looseness

Vertical stringing can be:
Air in lungs not being consistent
Shoulder pressure not consistent
Lug bottoming out in stock or stock screws loose.
Flexing stock & changing pressure on barrel
Like bubba15301 said heat
Load could be too light or inconsistent.

Setup could be bad.
If using a front bag it could be in a bad spot.
No rear bag - that can be a killer.
NPA could be off.
Scope Parallax??

I did shoot in a borrow pit for a while. The wind was alway dead or 6/12. The thing was I had more wind than I expected at times. Now I have shot in wind that made 300yd hits erratic, but it was obviously strong.

November 7, 2010, 09:41 PM
Strange. 2" at 200 and 8" at 300 doesn't add up. Bullets are destabilizing somewhere in between, or you are just making bad shots.

November 7, 2010, 10:25 PM
ain't got a clue
but at what range would that bullet w/ that load go transonic ?

ok... scratch that, not even close

November 7, 2010, 10:46 PM
I agree with you. It seems bullet going off between 200 & 300 that much is a head scratcher. I have a feeling it is more than 1 problem and they really come into play at 300. Most of what I listed would have an affect at 200 & 100. So bad shooting doesn't play in to the decent short range shooting. Usually bad shooting shows at every range.

Zak Smith
November 7, 2010, 10:52 PM
If you can shoot 2" at 200 but it opens up to more than 4" at 300 yards in identical conditions, I'd try a different load.

November 7, 2010, 10:52 PM
What power scope are you using? And what zoom levels at 200 vs 300?

November 7, 2010, 11:08 PM
I just reread; your shots are more dispersed horizontally.
That could be your trigger finger/hand. Inconsistent location or not pulling straight back. Cheek weld/parallax. Too much angle behind the rifle or butt slipping on you.

It does seem like a combination of things to add up to and extra 4-5 inches though.

It could just be the bullet/load ain't holding up, but I would think the horizontal dispersion is not supporting that.

I did have a scope where the eyepiece would move around. I would shoot 2 in 1 hole then get a flier of about 4-8 MOA. Took a little while to figure that one out. But it did it any distance even though it was sporadic. It was mostly horizontal but did it vertically at times . . .

"200 ft down" wow, maybe being that close to the center of the earth is throwing you off. Around here we have nothing like that.

November 7, 2010, 11:20 PM
Try longer bullet with slightly better ballistic coefficient? Sierra Match King available in .257?

Zak Smith
November 7, 2010, 11:33 PM
Not a BC problem.

November 7, 2010, 11:46 PM
Understand, but trying another bullet will allow him to see if the pattern remains the same or changes. That might help indicate. Already reloading, so double check? Has to be a wobble coming from somewhere, as the groups are tight enough at 200? Seems there is something going on with velocity reduction?

November 8, 2010, 01:20 AM
Aside from something changing with your shooting fundamentals, wind (which you say isn't an issue), load (which I don't get, not transsonic at 300 and the bullet will get more stable as it slows down), I'm going to go with... scope parallax... which can actually be a function of the shooting fundamentals - your shooting position and location of your cheek weld, and therefore the position of the eye behind the scope is different from shot to shot, changing what should be a 3-4" group at 300 into a 8" group.

It has happened to me.

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