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Old December 10, 2012, 06:16 PM   #1
pabuckslayer08
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School me on long range shooting

Ok guys I've been shooting for a long time but 250 yards max. Mostly stuff with minimal holdover. I want to step it up to the next level of 600 or 700 yards. I Already have the gun picked out but I nothing about exactly how to do LR stuff. Main question is I have the tools to get ballistics an I plan to go with a Nikon scope, not sure which one though. But anyway the question is the zeroing itself. I zero at 100 an use my ballistics info to know how many minutes I must go up or down but how do I know how to return to zero or where it's at. Is it just a simple matter of counting clicks or am I way off
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Old December 10, 2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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You have to know your DOPE and count your clicks, its one of those things that a lot of people can do but few do it great. Of course a scope with a caliber specific range adjustment turret makes it a lot easier, as well as a BDC or Mil-Dot reticle.
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Old December 10, 2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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Long range shooting is more about the shooter then the equipment.

You need to refine your marksmanship fundamentals. Any error might or might not show up at 200 yards, but is magnified when you step out to 1000 or better.

The best place to do this is on a 50 yard range shooting 22s in what's called the English Match. Basicily slow fire, 60 shots at the ISU (International 50 Meter target). Get to where you can clean these targets.

Next we have to deal with wind and mirage. I said its not the equipment, but I make the exception here. You need to get a good wind meter. Small, easy to use. Not so much for the range but to use before you get to the range.

Start carrying it with you every where. Look at trees, grass, flags, dust, etc etc, Make an estimate of the wind velocity then pull your wind meter out of your pocket and check your estimate.

Also take your spotting scope to the field. Focus on a point where you can see the mirage, then confer with your wind meter to see what the wind speed is, comparing that to the mirage.

Learn to read wind via mirage. You wont always have flags, trees and such to estimate wind, you'll most always have mirage. Some say it gets too cold for mirage. I'll agree its easier to see on a warm humid day, but I've seen a lot of Mirage on the Bering Sea Ice in Western Alaska when it was 40 below and colder.

Trigger control is critical. You can take care of that with hours upon hours of dry fire.

Also if using a scope, check to see if its level. I don't mean with a spirit level but with a target. Get a 4 ft tall target and set it out at 100 yards. Draw a line vertically down the target. Put your aiming point at the bottom of the target along the line. After you have your 100 yard zero, crank up your sights (while still using the bottom aiming point) working your way to the top of the target. Make sure your groups stay on the line. If its off one way or the other, chances are you scope isn't level with the gun, or you're canting the rifle.

Using the same target, check your clicks. You may have 1/4 clicks at 100 but as you move up they clicks may very. (Most scopes do). If you data calls for X clicks to move from 100 to 500, and your scope has X + - don't toss the scope, just write it down.

Draw a horizontal line on the target and check your wind clicks in the same manner.

Most of this doesn't cost much, you can do it with the equipment you already have. Don't buy into the theory that you can spend your way to success.

If you have a 1 MOA gun at 100 yards, and can't shoot 10 inch groups at 1000, ITS NOT THE GUN.

The difference between a good long range shooter and an average shooter is WANT TO. You get results based on the hard work you're willing to put into your shooting.
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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So true Kraig.

Quote:
The best place to do this is on a 50 yard range shooting 22s in what's called the English Match. Basicily slow fire, 60 shots at the ISU (International 50 Meter target). Get to where you can clean these targets.
I have spent the last several years attempting to master 100 yard and 200 yard with small bore centerfire (varmint type) cartridges. Virtually no bullet drop at those ranges, and unless the wind is really kicking, very little wind drift. For me it is quite the challenge. I can make 8 really good shots, and then blow the 9th. Getting to that high level of consistancy is a very enjoyable challenge, and I am not sure I will ever get there.
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:26 AM   #5
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kraigwy - Great post +10 on everything you just said . What size are the targets you are talking about ? I've been printing these out and shooting them at 50yds with my .22 . should the targets be smaller ? I may already know the answer cus it's not that hard to hit these targets with out missing at 50yds.
.


pabuckslayer08 what is the gun you have picked out if I may ask ?

I've been shooting 300yds a bunch lately and I to have decided to kick it up a notch . I just bought the Savage FCP-K in 308 for just that purpose .

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Old December 11, 2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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Its between the Weatherby Mark V RC Accumark and the Savage FCP Precision 10/110
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Old December 11, 2012, 10:43 AM   #7
howabouttheiris
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" how do I know how to return to zero or where it's at "

This is actually very simple.... others may have a slightly different method, but it will look something like this. Since you want 100 (I will assume your scope has 5.0 MIL per complete revolution of the knob)....

Elevation setting:
1. Bore sight / get on paper at 100 yards.
2. Shoot several rounds adjusting you scope until you are zeroed at this range.
3. Remove your elevation cap carefully to not add / remove a click.
4. Add the provided shims under the knob (the gap does not have to be packed full, but should be close to it)
5. Replace the cap being careful to get the 0.0 lined up with the line.

In use, whenever you want a new number, you spin all the way down until you hit the shims. DO THIS EVERY TIME (especially if you are switching between 250 and 1000 yds as you may need several full rotations and can easily get 'lost')

So after going all the way to the shims, this is ~0.0 (not 5.0 or 10.0). Mine actually spins down to about 0.3 MIL less than 0, but that is totally your choice. Just put it to the 0.0 that will be visable. If you then want 6.9MIL you go 1 entire revolution to make 5.0 (will read 0.0 again) and then continue to turn to the 1.9 line.

Windage setting:

Basically the same as above, except for the shims. You will need to be able to adjust left and right, so you can't block it. Just a line the 'no wind 100 yard zero' to 0.0 and make your adjustments from there. NORMALLY you will not need to go more than 1 full rotation in windage.... but it depends on your love of hurricanes and your scopes adjustability.
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Old December 11, 2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Could you further explain how the shimming works I think I understand that it allows you from losing you zero but I'm not sure I understand how to do it
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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I built a 500-yard range at my house. The first time I shot, I was holding two feet upwind from the center in order to get center hits. .30-'06, 150-grain. Doping the wind is the main deal, out in Ma Bell country.
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Old December 11, 2012, 12:55 PM   #10
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My long-range shooting experience and knowledge may be dated. But, when I was young, scopes were not considered precise enough to change "clicks" to adjust for elevation at long distance. Therefore, we generally zeroed at 200 yards and consulted ballistic tables for hold-over at the various distances, confirmed with firing, made out and attached a range card to our rifles (Except we used a "battle sight" setting on our M1's that resulted in shooting level with a standing man's shoulders at 400 yards, at his knees at 75 yards.).
Are scopes really that reliable now that if they were clicked up to 800 yards or more from a 200 yard zero, clicking back down to 200 would return to a perfect 200 yard zero?
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Old December 11, 2012, 01:26 PM   #11
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An alternate to all the above mentioned regarding returning to Zero...

On a rifle I dedicated to long range shooting, I shimmed the rear scope mount so that I could maximize the elevation adjustment. The side benefit was that my standard Zero is only 10 clicks from bottomed out. To return I simply bottom it out and then click up 10 every time. Nothing else to be remembered. Windage is just a few clicks either way usually, and for that I just marked an alignment dot on the edge of the adjustment knob base.
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Old December 11, 2012, 01:55 PM   #12
howabouttheiris
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Everyone does their doping differently. Remember that at 1000 yards with a decent wind you will be aiming 35+' high and 5' to the side. To attempt to reliably/accurately do this with anything other than adjusting your dope on the scope is IMHO not going to cut it...... depending our your purpose. I spent the weekend shooting the new 1000 yard 8" plate at Best of the West. At a distance where a single 1/10 mil click is enough to miss, I would not condone use of the 100 yard increment BCD or hold over. I do however enjoy hitting the target.



"Are scopes really that reliable now that if they were clicked up to 800 yards or more from a 200 yard zero, clicking back down to 200 would return to a perfect 200 yard zero"

Yes absolutely.... assuming you have a decent scope. I have shot 1k+ rounds with my current Vortex Viper PST 6-24 FFP. I fine tuned my 250, 500, 750, 1000 numbers for my ammo. At BOTW, I can sit in one position and shoot all these distances. I change target distance all the time during shooting. I have never fired a round that was more than the influence of the wind off. This holds true trip after trip after trip. If you doubt your scope, shoot a +5-North-South-East-West and see how it does.

"shimmed the rear scope mount"

With most standard scopes and most standard rounds, you will probably need to add a 20MOA base in order to totally dial out the elevation at 1000 yards. I recommend purchasing an angled base specifically designed for this.

"I just marked an alignment dot on the edge"

On most modern long range target scopes (like the one I mentioned above), the line is there and the cap is removable so that you do not need to do this.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:19 PM   #13
howabouttheiris
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"Could you further explain how the shimming works"

OK so a few additional points that are key.


1. I AM DUMB.

Your scope elevation has a knob that goes from 0.0 to something. My something is 5.0. If I want to go up 12.2. From my zero, I do 2 complete laps and then 2.2 more. If you want to go to 7.2.... it looks the same. BUT you need to know that you have to do a complete turn back down. Once you go past the 0 a couple times you may forget. For this reason. I always go back to my zero. If you never forget, you can skip the step. BUT will you remember with that " sheep at 700, NOT WAIT huge sheep at 250 " or in a contest?

2. 1/10s COUNT at DISTANCE.

The scope comes with a defined range of say 25mil adjustment. But when you zero you will notice that you may already on 14.x. That means that you will only have 10.x left to adjust.... This will probably not be enough. You will want to use that angled base to get your scope set somewhere lower in it's absolute range in order to dial out the dope you need. YES YES you can dial out 10 and hold 5 more, but you are just guessing/gauging the increments.

3. DEER ARE FREAKING HUGE

If you are hunting at distance, holdover is probably fine. All my experience is attempting to shoot very small targets for very small groups at as long of distance as the range will support.


OK so the question...

When you buy a new scope it comes with a handful of c shaped metal shims. If you remove your scope cap, you can see that there is a tube that gets longer and shorter as your turn the knob. The hidden end is attached to the optics and ultimately appear to move your reticle.

If you add shims on the tube under the knob, then the knob cannot turn down as far. The goal is to add shims until you use up 99% of the free space under the knob for your chosen 0. Then you can quickly turn the knob down until it stops and you will be close to your 0. If you did it 100% you would be at your 0....

... but I mentioned before that I leave a couple clicks extra, because if I happen to be shooting at my 100 yard zero and switch to a slower ammo or a huge headwind, I may need a couple clicks. I dislike holdovers, but I HATE holdunders.

To perfect the "close to 0" that you achieve by quickly turning all the way down, you realign your cap so that when you reassemble and tighten it, it has the 0.0 on the line.

I hope this helps further. Ask any more specific question that you have and I can give my opinion / take.
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Old December 11, 2012, 02:59 PM   #14
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Ok Im understanding this better but I think some of the optics Im looking at may not be suited to exactly what I want. I want something I can use to hunt with and also use at the range to ring a gong, nothing smaller will probably be needed. As far as price id like to keep it at 600-800 dollars for my scope and rings as well as base. Let me know what to look at
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Old December 11, 2012, 03:20 PM   #15
howabouttheiris
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For target shooting, you would like to have ...

1) exposed elevation and windage turrets (not under a screw off cap)
2) 1/8 moa or 1/10 mil clicks (or better if you can afford it)
3) a 30mm tube (or better if you can afford it)
4) a 40mm+ objective (or larger if you can afford it)
5) at least 24x if shooting 1000 (many are available up to 42x)
6) a fine lined reticle that matches your clicks (mil/mil or moa/moa)

I use Vortex Viper PST and it is pretty well regarded as a higher end value scope. I picked up mine (which is 6-24 FFP) used for $700. The 2nd focal plane version (which is more traditional) should be available for $5-600ish. If you are going to max out at 750, you should be able to get away with just the scope and not a sloped base. It would only be $30-50 if you wish to add it later. I could easily adjust and shoot 750 without a base, but the huge increase in dope offset for 1000 will require the base. Rings can also be found for $30 to $100.

I think 600 to 800 is doable... maybe not everything above purchased new... without considerable shopping.

Don't let price stop you however.....

In fact.... If you wanted to go lower end. I used the BSA 4-14x44 FFP tactical mil-mil that you see on midway usa on sale for $249 for a lot of long range (750) shooting ..... BUT you will have poor low light capability and will not be able to clearly see small (I shoot .223) holes at anything greater than 300. If this is a daytime, plate ringing, setup.... It would certainly do for that application. (exposed knobs, 1/10 mil, 44mm bell, fine reticle)

IMHO, My 2c, YMMV, etc, etc, etc, ....
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Old December 11, 2012, 04:55 PM   #16
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If you get lost on the adjustment graduations, turn the adjustment knob all the way down till it stops. Come back up to zero. This is your 100 yard zero. Now you can start over.

On pack ice...the suns rays and heat are reflected off the ice. On seawater...the suns rays and heat are absorbed. That is why it is so easy too see wind mirages over pack ice.

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Old December 11, 2012, 04:58 PM   #17
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Ok so just to see if I got this right, I have my rifle zeroed at 200 yards, I have a 1/4 moa scope on it. Im taking a 700 yard shot out of my 7mag with 154gr bullet. My projected drop I came up with is 91 inches, therefore I should have to raise the scope 18.2 clicks. 700-200=500 so take 500 divided by my 91=18.2. Am I seeing this correctly
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:29 PM   #18
howabouttheiris
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No. (quick numbers below... if I blew it, I will redo it later)

You need to adjust 91". 91" / ~7 "/MOA = ~13 MOA * 4 clicks/MOA = 52 clicks.

If you zero at 200 you probably needed to adjust 1". 1" / 2 = 0.5MOA = 2 clicks.

Therefore you would already have 2 clicks in (by your zero) out of the 52 you need. You would need 50 more clicks.

Your ballistics chart will take your 200 yard zero offset (2 clicks) and subtract it from all your numbers, so it would just read 50 clicks.
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:31 PM   #19
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I get 48 clicks but you would say 12 MOA or 3.5 mils

Watch these videos after you will have it down

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA2PZ...feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5AGsHSIsVo
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:38 PM   #20
pabuckslayer08
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I see how howabout did his math, very simple but how does your math look metal gold. I see what I did wrong as I was only doing it for a 500 yard shot instead of the 700. I thought since it was zeroed at 200 I could eliminate that but I guess not
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:39 PM   #21
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Oh I see the links now

Thanks
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:52 PM   #22
Metal god
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I always have my rifle zeroed at 100 yards . From there it is very simple .

@ 100yds 1 MOA is 1"
@ 700yds 1 MOA is 7"

So my bullet drop is 96" . you devide 96" x 7" = 13.7 MOA X 4 clicks = 54.85

My numbers are a little different from my last post cus I used an actual 7mm mag cartridge . The Hornady 7mm mag 154gr sst velocity 3150 BC .525
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Old December 11, 2012, 05:56 PM   #23
pabuckslayer08
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I got it now, watched the first video and a light dawned on me as to how easy the math really is especially when you zero at 100 yards and can think about everything in MOA. Thanks alot guys you really helped me out on this

Now to just decide what scope to top off my rifle with
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Old December 11, 2012, 06:13 PM   #24
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Here is my thread about long range scopes . My price range is higher then yours and I would recommend yours goes higher then $800 total . Maybe $600 to $800 for the scope and another $200+ for the base and rings .

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507952
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Old December 11, 2012, 06:37 PM   #25
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http://swfa.com/Zeiss-65-20x50-Conqu...cope-P621.aspx

Good Scope or bad for the money
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