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Load Testing with Peep Sights

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dak0ta, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    For a Marlin 336 with Aperture Sights, if load testing with 30-30, is it better to look for groupings at 50 yards rather than 100 yards?
     
  2. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    load testing beyond what you can see is a gauge of luck rather than results. I see a lot of people sighting at 25 yards and closer. a 0.40 group at 25 yards tells you far more than a 15" group at 100. I know everyone on the internet can shoot great, I just read a guy bitching that his milsurp Mauser could only hold 2" at 100 yards with factory open sights, and surplus ball ammo, and thats just not good enough. I bet that guy has never hit paper at 100. I do 50 yards for load developement, and initial sight ins. I can still make out the dot at 50, its not even visible at 100.
     
  3. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Speaking for myself and when I have a specific purpose in mind, once the rifle is correctly zeroed (usually at 25) I do my initial load development at 50 (or 25 with a chrono) to remove the chaff and then shoot for groups at whatever range the load is intended for. For hunting purposes this would be the maximum range you are comfortable shooting at game in the field -- I prefer 5-shot groups with time between for the barrel to cool.

    It also doesn't hurt to make a few 3-shot groups at close and intermediate ranges to confirm trajectory and POI.
     
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  4. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    If you don’t have a spotting scope or a way to see rounds on target I would do a rough test at 25 yards then go to 50 then to 100. You’ll save ammo that way.
     
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  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    100yds is better if you are able to shoot peeps consistently at that range. I just find 50yds to be easier all the way around. Partly due to my home range being limited to a max of about 70yds, partly due to my eyeballs not being what they used to be, partly because I just haven't done it enough to stay sharp at it.
     
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  6. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I've done load development and testing at 200yds with irons, the key is just to use a bigger target then you normally would when shooting an optic. 100 yards shouldn't be a problem with the right TGT.

    When I competed with BPCRs, all using "peep" sights, I did all my load testing at 200yards and still shot MOA to sub-MOA groups. It's doable, just select a round target that you can see through your sights at that distance with enough "daylight" around the bull to ensure you're centered.

    Something like these:

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015214188?pid=941366

    [​IMG]

    I'd just adjust in enough windage and elevation to move the groups to the corners rather than tear up the center.
     
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  7. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    It has become 25 yards for me. With age comes vision problems so I shoot where I can still get a decent sight picture to find my best load. Then I move on out to see what I can do with an accurate load. Shooting at a farther distance for load development would only result in wasted ammo in my case. I believe that a person should recognize their limits.
     
  8. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I'd say start at 25yds... just easier to see what's going on. I talking about bustin clay birds at 100yds... that's a quick way to see that it's within half the area of deer vitals. That's after seeing what it did on paper at 25yds.
     
  9. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    As Chuck R. said, correct selection of target for chosen distance is all important, especially with iron sights. As long as you can see iron sights clearly, they are perfectly capable of producing respectable groups at most any range.

    This was a load development 20 round test fired from prone position, no artificial rest with aperture front and rear sights @ 100 yards with 30-06 bolt gun. Aiming black measures 5.75" is official 100 yard reduction of the 600 yd. target.VVVVV Resulting group measured .932".
    35571916312_b784f7f858_n.jpg 34900899614_7cb2846652_w.jpg

    15 consecutive shots same rifle/sights/position @ 600 yards, 3" spotter ^^^^^^^ placed in preceding bullet hole in a match on target with aiming black measuring 36". Resulting "group" measured 2.61".

    The important factor is the aiming black of the two targets appear to be the same through the sights.

    Regads,
    hps

    .
     
  10. dak0ta

    dak0ta Member

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    What type of accuracy with handloads should a 336 shooting 150gr print? Is 2MOA or better with irons something that is pretty standard?
     
  11. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I don't think we can call accuracy with handloads "pretty standard" because there are so many variables. In general...

    At 25yds, if you use a big sheet of paper with a 1" dot in the middle, you should be able to see what corrections are needed. That 1" dot is roughly 4MOA at 25yds. Smaller and you might not see it. When you get it into the 1" dot, see if it'll bust a clay bird at 100yds. See what corrections it needs, but if it needs too much correction, your handloads are kinda back to the drawing board for velocity. If your rifle/load can centerpunch a 1" dot at 25yds and bust clay birds at 100yds, you're good to go for most of the shooting a 336 gets used for.

    hps1's comment regarding the 5.75" aiming black at 100yds... the clay birds are, IIRC, 4.25"... a little smaller target that's actually less the half the size of a deer's kill zone. After you bust a few clays, see if you can hit the fragments. That'll tell you pretty quick without having to overthink it... more fun, too.
     
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  12. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    I was just pointing out that the size of the aiming black in relationship to your sights (in this case a front aperture) is all important on how close you can hold on that target. The NRA approved 600 yard aiming black is 36" yet their 600 yd reduced (for 100 yds) target is only 5.75"......close enough that still works well with same diameter front aperture. A larger or smaller aiming point would be much more difficult to hold tight groups w/same sights.

    While not as important with a front post, I like a square post for target shooting and a dot with a diameter that appears equal to the width of the front sight. When my eyes were a bit better, a 6 o'clock hold with just a thin bit of white showing between the post and the bull worked best. A good example is the front sight blade is .062" wide on a national match M1 Garand and works very well with the NRA approved targets from 100 to 600 yards. Service grade front sights are a bit too wide for these targets.

    Most hunting rifle front sights use a bead, which I do not find quite as easy to get precise 6 oclock hold but work well for center hold so long as the aiming circle appears to be a bit larger than the bead. Mustanger's suggestion to sight in @ 25 is good; you might want to experiment w/size of aiming dot to find best combination with your front sight.

    Group size will vary greatly depending upon lots of variables, including shooter's eyesight, rifle, ammo, etc. etc. For instance, I'm 84 years old. I once had no trouble shooting little tiny groups with iron sights, until I couldn't. Switched to scopes and once more, I could, until I couldn't. Then I switched from round to square targets and I could, until, most recently I couldn't. Then I started using the cross hairs of the scope to bracket lower corners of the square (instead of centering the square) and, once more I could. :D

    34931632143_b21b6d2e57_o.jpg 35573035422_acf1b4333c_n.jpg
    100 yds from sandbags, center hold in 2006^^^....^^^100 yds./sandbags hold lower rt. corner 1" square

    The moral of this story is, size and shape of aiming point has a large bearing on group size......you can't hit something you cannot see (clearly). Experiment with your targets, especially during load development to be sure you are testing accuracy of the load, not your eyesight.

    Regards,
    hps
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2020
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