Sighting in Your Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by StrawHat, Nov 11, 2021.

  1. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    I usually run a ballistics calculator and check what the maximum Point-Blank-Range might be for my chronographed load and a specific target size (9" deer, 12" elk)....then zero the scope at the recommended distance. Then I just hold where I want the bullet to land if within that range. For example, shooting a 140 grain Accubond (BC of .496) out of my .270 Winchester at 2970 fps yields the following results for a 9" target at 5,000' of elevation (where I usually hunt):

    Near Zero: 22 yards
    Far Zero: 297 yards
    Minimum PBR: 0 yards
    Maximum PBR: 350 yards
    Sight-in at 100yds: 3.55" high

    So I just hold on the target with my crosshairs out to 350 yards. If I only have a 100 yard shooting range (that is criminal!) I can sight-in 3.55" high (3 1/2" is close enough) at 100 yards and call it good. Of course that 350 yard shot requires a steady rest and a non-moving target (for me anyway). In the typical field position I usually find my self in I try and keep the shots closer...much closer if possible. Last couple of animals taken where right about 50 yards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
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  2. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Good shooting for that rifle. I like to be under 1.5 inches at 100 yards with my rifles. I always aim for the heart. It's the only place that a deer will always die quickly. Deer and other creatures can survive a neck, head or most other shots long enough to be a lost deer. A double lung shot close to the heart will kill in a short time if a high speed expanding bullet is used for maximum tissue destruction. A high shot that hits the Aorta or spine will also kill or disable a deer if you happen to miss the heart. A pie plate shot is likely to kill and just as likely going to be a tracking job. Few hunters can hit as well hunting as well as they can from a bench especially at a moving target compounded by poor accuracy and possibly a moving deer. High speed expanding bullets improve chances of a fast kill by causing more tissue damage and more blood loss. That said I saw a good friend hit a running deer at 400 yards offhand and kill it with one shot DRT. He was shooting a Winchester lever action in .284 Win Mag. The moral being not to judge others for the shots they attempt.
     
  3. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Lungs are about the size of a paper plate. Put a hole in both lungs and the animal dies just as fast as it does with a heart shot.

    99% of the time my shots are 50-70 yards, but I've taken shots at 5 yards and 200+. And even some shots exceeding 100 yards will be though brush. I don't like for my bullets path to ever be more than 1" above, or below my line of sight at the ranges I'll most likely shoot.

    Even in brush I like a laser flat shooting rifle capable of MOA accuracy to thread shots through the softball size openings in the brush. With all of my rifles a 100 yard zero means the bullet is never more than 1" above, or below line of sight from the muzzle to 130-150 yards. It depends on the rifle and load.

    Zeroing a rifle at longer ranges, or so it hits 1"-2" or more high at 100 yards is fine if you only shoot out on open spaces. But that is a good way to hit unseen brush out of your view in most places where I hunt. But I can still make hits at longer ranges if needed.

    At 200 yards there isn't enough drop to worry about. Even at 300, if I can see a sliver of daylight between the crosshair and a deer's back the bullet will be in the kill zone. And 300 is as far as I have the skills to shoot. And I'll probably never need to take a shot that far. Beyond 300 yards even flat shooting magnums drop enough that an accurate range finder and scopes designed for long range shooting are really best.

    If you "guess" an animal is 350 yards away, but it is actually 375, there is enough drop between 350 and 375 for a miss.
     
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  4. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    [QUOTE="d2wing, post: 12112695, member: 81265"… Few hunters can hit as well hunting as well as they can from a bench…[/QUOTE]

    Just to clarify, the target was placed at about 125 yards, I jogged back to my rifle and the first shot (center), was fired from a braced field position. I grabbed a sapling and used it to steady my aim. I then glassed the Target, when I saw the hit was centered, I fired the next three offhand, as in standing on my two feet, unsupported, the way my Pop taught me to shoot 6 decades ago.

    As for shots at running game, not my cup of tea. I prefer clean shots or to pass. I have passed on big antlers because the shot was chancy and I could not stalk closer. It happens, but we all owe it to the game we hunt to be ethical.

    Kevin
     
  5. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    I think most of my response was about jealousy that you can shoot that well with open sights in the first place.
    Which should show you have practice and good enough eyes.
    I am on a medication now that has given me the shakes when trying to shoot offhand or even with a side
    rest. But remarkably I can shoot a peep sight very well, can't figure that one out.
    I feel I owe you an APOLOGY for jumping to conclusions that you were inexperienced. Anyone who owns
    a rifle like that has to have practical experience, you don't just use one of those without knowing
    what you are doing.
     
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  6. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    My Leupolds are sighted in 3" high at 100 Yards. That puts it 4" high at 200 yards gives me a Point Blank Range of 250-275 yards depending on caliber. It will be 12-14" low at 400. The Vortex BDC is dead on out to 500 yards on my Bergara 6.5 CM. If I have a rangefinder, it is a done deal. Well, maybe if the wind is calm.
     
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  7. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    I typically use 100 that that kind of thing, because it's a lot less effort to wander down to put up/collect target frames. Plus, depending on the scope, I can see the holes at 100 and I can't at 200. I don't carry a spotting scope for that kind of range stuff.
     
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  8. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    I shoot test loads at 100 for data and then I run a ballistics calculator with the results. From there I adjust hunting scopes to get the necessary point of impact at 100 to hit the chosen zero range for that rifle. Typically, zero for my big game rifles is 200 or 300 yards, so I adjust my POI at 100 to achieve that. My 22-250 rifles get sighted about 1/2 inch high at 100 for a 200 yard zero.

    My long range AR15 gets sighted dead on at 100 yards since the scope allows easy adjustment on the fly for any range I care to try.

    I reverify for zero regularly for practice and to insure nothing has go wrong from a bumped scope, etc. I had two rifles out yesterday because I had the scopes off of them earlier. This pic is the sight in results for my Ruger #1 Tropical 405 Win. Two single sight adjustment shots and a 3 round verification group at the desired POI.



    405 Win.jpg
     
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  9. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    OP/StrawHat:

    Did your first post refer to iron sights, or a scope?

    I’m asking partly because I never owned any scope, despite having owned at least 15 rifles and almost 20 handguns.
     
  10. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    This rear sight,

    D87CE874-9B85-4821-AF16-8F3CCEFAEB16.jpeg

    With a gold inlet, flat faced front sight. The barrel is 27 inches long.

    Kevin
     
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  11. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I am sorry you have a medically induced tremor. That has to be a real bother for someone who enjoys shooting.

    A peep sight requires you to concentrate on the front sight. Glad it works for you.

    I just reread your two posts. No apology needed! In my world, people are allowed to disagree without everyone getting their feelings hurt. It is hard to have a good discussion without having an opposing view.

    Heck, some posters are talking about stuff I have no idea exists. Scopes adjustable for any distance? Vortex? BDC?

    If it works for you, do it!

    Enjoy the hunt, your way.

    Kevin
     
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  12. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    I wish I could hold a 1 1/2” group at that range offhand. Not sure if I was ever up to that. Maybe from a rested position.

    Kevin
     
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  13. Picher

    Picher Member

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    When I worked for Maine DOT and in my 20's, a buddy on my project told me that he'd never killed a deer, but shoots at several each season. He said he had regular open sights on it. I told him that he needed a receiver sight, because he may be looking right over the open rear sight. I found a Williams 5D sight at a local gun shop and I borrowed my Dad's old 1/2 Inch conversion drill press. We drilled and tapped his receiver and mounted the 5D and a new higher front sight and went to the range. I sighted it in, then let him have-at it. He shot about 1 1/2" group at 50 yards, so I told him that was fine.

    That Saturday, he came to work with a big grin! He'd shot a running deer through the heart and, thinking he'd missed, a second one through the brain!!! First deer evah!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  14. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    No. Just.... No... This is the kind of misguided advice which gets deer tragically wounded to wander off as walking wounded, suffering for days or weeks, or being left crippled until some natural predator finds the unfair upper hand due to a human intervention.

    A .30-06 has almost twice that in drop to 300, and 4 times as much to 400. Approx 10” at 3, and ~25” at 400.

    It’s 2021. If a shooter is commenting on this forum, they have access to some device which allows access to a ballistic calculator, which immediately disproves this kind of bad advice.
     
  15. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    There is a difference between the accuracy of the rifle and accuracy of the shooter. To be clear I sight in at a bench rest at a known distance to establish the rifle's accuracy and point of aim. To practice for hunting as you are doing, I use improvised shooting positions as well as offhand. I am a well trained and experienced expert shot but I sure can't hold 1.5 inches offhand at 100 yards either. I used to use the kneeling position hunting open areas. Nowadays I do nearly all my rifle hunting from a tree stand. For offhand shooting you are pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
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  16. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    I admit the same about the long range and scopes, I have a 50 BMG with a $1G+ scope on it with about 25 or so dots in a triangle for impact detection as to where I have the scope
    crosshairs, so I just aim with that dot on the next shot and it works perfectly, I don't click it up and left or right, plus I have 4 scopes with BDC - bullet drop compensator- or whatever.
    I use them on the 45/70 Marlin but for the 308 and others I just hold over and it never fails so I wasted the investment I guess but friends like the use of them.
    The only place I don't get lost is in reloading but still not as good as most of them.
    This site has more info and better overall mood than any other firearms site. I have to look up some of the mfg and calibers and stuff but that is learning.
    Again, love the rifle.
     
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  17. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I used to go to informal shooting contests known as "turkey shoots" when in my 20's-30's and always went home with one or two wins. Sometimes it was frozen turkeys, sometimes steaks, sometimes half the "pot". I cut my teeth on offhand shooting, wearing out 2 Daisy pump BB guns and a pellet rifle around 12 yrs old. I shot 5 or more Winchester Red BB tubes a week offhand. I never shot prone or sitting until getting into .22 rimfire shooting. I had an older brother and sister who used to take me to gravel pits to shoot .22LRs until I got my drivers license. When about 15, an older buddy used to take me woodchuck hunting with him, practicing for deer hunting. By that time, I'd bought a Savage 110, 30-06 and started handloading. That Savage had a 2.5X Weaver on it and it shot MOA with handloads. I killed lots of chucks, mostly within 200 yards, but never got a deer with it. I sold it and bought a .22-250 Rem 700 and shot my first deer with it. It shot handloads under .5 MOA and won quite a few turkey shoots.
     
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  18. JJFitch

    JJFitch Member

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    See post #8 :)
     
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  19. wombat13

    wombat13 Member

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    We almost agree. Only a really hot-rod round sights in 1” high at 100 with a 200 yard zero. Most common hunting rounds are 1.5” or a little more. For example, here are the heights at 100 yards for a 200 yard zero as published by Nosler for their Trophy grade ammunition:

    6.5 creedmoor 140 gr Accubond: 2.1”
    .308 win 150 gr Accubond: 1.7”
    .30-06 165 gr Accubond: 1.6”

    Even going to common magnums doesn’t get you to 1” high at 100.

    7mm rem mag 140 gr Accubond: 1.3”
    .300 win mag 180 gr Accubond: 1.5”

    There are hot rods that will get you there, for example .257 weatherby with a 110 gr Accubond, but most hunters aren’t shooting those rounds.

    Edited to add: I see your post specifies a 2” sight height whereas most ammunition manufacturers specify 1.5” sight height for their published data. Perhaps that resolves our difference. Don’t have time to check it out right now.

    2nd Edit: So I ran the numbers using Nosler's published BC and ammo velocity for 165 gr Accubond in .30-06 (BC = 0.475, velocity 2,950 fps) for sight heights of 1.5" and 2.0" using Hornady's online ballistics calculator. The 100 yard heights for a 200 yard zero are 1.6" (with a sight height of 1.5") and 1.3" (with a sight height of 2"). So, the higher sight height makes a difference, but still most common hunting loads need to be sighted in higher than +1" at 100 yards to have a 200 yard zero.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2021
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