The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 28, 2018, 10:46 PM   #1
lemoncadebay
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2018
Posts: 2
New hunter, MOA question, confusion

Hello,

I’ve bird hunted a bit but never big game. I’m new to scopes, and long shots. I don’t quite understand how to account for MOA and how to adjust my turret intuitively.

I can zero in at 50, 100, 200 just fine. But if a deer popped up at 276 yards and I was zeroed at 100 yards, I wouldn’t know what to do. How can I learn to use my scope intuitively?

My setup is a Tikka T3x in 6.5 creedmoor. I’m shooting ELDX in 143 grain. The scope is a leupold v3xi 3.5x10 40.

I really want to respect the animal I shoot at and not shoot blindly and hurt it and make it suffer without harvesting meat.

Last edited by lemoncadebay; November 28, 2018 at 11:05 PM.
lemoncadebay is offline  
Old November 28, 2018, 11:07 PM   #2
Art Eatman
Staff
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,767
Welcome to the playpen!

Most "deer cartridges" with muzzle velocities around 2,800 feet/second or so are similar in trajectory.

So, in general: Sighted in for 2" high at 100 yards is right at dead-on at 200. About 6" low at 300 and roughly two feet low at 400. Sure, some will be 5'" or 7" low at 300; or only 21" at 400, but in the field it won't make all that much difference for a kill-zone volume such as Bambi's.

I guess it's fair to say that out to maybe 250 yards, "Just point it and pull."

That's worked for me for over a half-century. Some .270, but mostly .243 and .30-'06. I have never adjusted a scope in the field. "Set it and forget it."

Once you're sighted in, forget the bench rest. You can sit in your living room in play-like field positions and dry-fire. And plinking practice while in field positions is very helpful when you go on a hunt. Like any physical endeavor, it takes practice in real-world conditions.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old November 28, 2018, 11:21 PM   #3
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,497
Don't over think this. Zero at 100, you'll be roughly 2" low at 200 and 8-10" low at 300. You'll be able to hit a deer size kill zone with very little holdover out to 300 yards. With a little practice it isn't that hard to figure out the hold over.


Zeroing 2" high at 100 is an older method that is not used as much any more. It can work, but most modern scopes have either multiple aiming points or dials to adjust for longer range shooting. They are designed to be used with a 100 yard zero. And even if not using them all it does is change the bullets impact from about 8" low at 300 yards to 6" low. Plus you have to deal with the bullet hitting above where you're aiming at 100-200 yards.

For me that just complicates matters and makes it easier to miss close shots (the ones you'll get the most of) while only helping very slightly on the longer shots (the ones you'll get the fewest of).

Beyond 300 yards is where you need to be using a range finder and understand how to use a scope with either dots or dials.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 12:14 AM   #4
tangolima
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2013
Posts: 2,142
What kind of scope, reticle and turrets in particular, do you have? That pretty much determine what you can do in the field.

-TL

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
tangolima is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 12:19 AM   #5
mehavey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 5,278
FORGET any thought of scope adjustments in the field.

For the cartridge you listed and with the scope 1.5" above bore centerline . . .
- Sight in 3½" high at 200
You will be point-blank ± that 3½" all the way from the muzzle to ~300yds

Put the crosshairs on the chest and shoot.
mehavey is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 02:57 AM   #6
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 6,258
Welcome!
I appreciate that you take responsibility for being competent with your rifle so you can deliver a quick,clean kill.
I'm happy to help.

Its a given there is more than one way to do things.You will get conflicting information. You learn some,and decide for yourself.

To answer one of your questions,an MOA is "Minute of angle" or 1/60th of a degree.That works out to near 1 inch over 100 yds,2 inches over 200 yds,etc

"Long Range" shooting? Its a relative term.Mostly from military sniper skills,we have stretched out what is possible. Given the info provided by you,I'm thinking you do not have sniper skills or equiptment,and you are not looking for 600 yd shots.Those skills involve accurately measuring the range,wind,etc and entering ballistic data into your scope.


IMO,for most folks hunting with the 30-06 or 270,etc ...a typical scoped bolt gun,you can think of the heart/lung boiler room as the target.You decide if you want to call it 6 in {+ or - 3 in)or 8 in,or 10 in. The point,with your sight in and your rifles ballistics,you can set up a "tolerable" limit the bullet will be high or low from your aim point.You sight in,and generally leave the knobs alone.

Of course,within that,you can still know "I'll be about 4 in high at that range,and I can Kentucky a bit."

As has been stated,with typical hunting cartridges in the 2800 fps range,approx 2 in high at 100 is on at 200 and 8 in low at 300.Or so.

Most folks can keep that in their head.Most folks can learn to use the duplex or other reticle features to roughly estimate range.


And for most folks,a 300 yd shot is pretty far enough. Getting closer is fun.I've found that game may not pose for the time it takes to laser,calculate,and twist knobs.And some folks just don't care to do that.


Some folks prefer flintlocks or longbows.


In my experience,you might get 5 or 10 second opportunities where the game presents a decent shot. The more "point and shoot" 300 yd trajectory is useful and practical


That ,IMO,is a good,basic,useful setup.


What can teach you a lot is trying out ,in a computer,different loads and sight in scenarios .Lots of them.You can see how it all work.


This will take you to one free ballistic software. There are others. This one works just fine.
https://www.hornady.com/team-hornady...alculators/#!/

Last edited by HiBC; November 29, 2018 at 03:25 AM.
HiBC is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 03:07 AM   #7
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,708
I might choose my numbers a little differently than Art or Mehavey, but I agree; set it and forget about changing it in the field. I do recommend that you read, "The Hunting Rifle", by Jack O'Connor, as he discusses the matter in better detail than I have time for at the moment.
Pathfinder45 is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 09:29 AM   #8
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,562
All but one of my hunting rifles have set and forget scopes. The one with the turreted scope is for shots of up to 500 yards on coyotes and pigs, since I can be a bit more precise at that range with turret adjustment.

For the set and forget scopes, specifically the one on my 270, I sight it in at 200. Been doing it like that for decades, and it gives me the 7, 20, 40 trajectory. Down 7 inches at 300 (which is good for most long shots on deer that I’ll take), 20 inches at 400 (which is about all the hold over I can actually use), and 40 inches at 500 (which is a useless number for me). So, for the 400 to 500 yard shots, I got the turreted scope. For a while I was seeing hogs and coyotes working the far tree line at 500 yards, so I set up to do them harm. And they quit working the tree line after I shot one hog. Go figure. But they’ll be back....
603Country is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 09:34 AM   #9
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 6,887
Quote:
Zeroing 2" high at 100 is an older method that is not used as much any more.
Hey, who you calling old? I still do that.
Doyle is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 10:42 AM   #10
jimbob86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2007
Location: All the way to NEBRASKA
Posts: 8,508
Quote:
Once you're sighted in, forget the bench rest. You can sit in your living room in play-like field positions and dry-fire. And plinking practice while in field positions is very helpful when you go on a hunt. Like any physical endeavor, it takes practice in real-world conditions.
Excellent advice, there...... but do not neglect to actually shoot your rifle from field positions (and practice getting into them QUICKLY) with the loads you will be using at the ranges you will be shooting..... and add time pressure, because as HiBC noted, you probably will get only 5 or 10 seconds to make the shot, maybe less...... IME, more shots are missed because because they were rushed, or not taken at all, because the hunter was not in good position fast enough when the game presented itself, instead of poor math or range estimation skills ...... today's rifles and ammo are so flat shooting that pretty much anything under about 300 yards is point and shoot...... modern rifles and optics are rugged and durable enough to "set and forget" as long as one treats them with due care ..... It is the shooter that is always the greatest variable in the system, and his/her skills are perishable.


https://www.hornady.com/ammunition/r...sion-hunter#!/


Your gun and ammo, sighted in 2" high (I prefer 3" high m'self, but that's me) should allow you to "hold in the hair" to 300 yards. The question is, can you get into a steady position and make a pie plate accurate shot up to that range in the 5 to 10 seconds you might have with the equipment that you have to do it with?
__________________
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."

http://nefirearm.com/
jimbob86 is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 12:19 PM   #11
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 4,413
Quote:
Zeroing 2" high at 100 is an older method that is not used as much any more. It can work, but most modern scopes have either multiple aiming points or dials to adjust for longer range shooting. They are designed to be used with a 100 yard zero. And even if not using them all it does is change the bullets impact from about 8" low at 300 yards to 6" low. Plus you have to deal with the bullet hitting above where you're aiming at 100-200 yards.
Really? It's still quite common practice to zero at 200.

So, you are saying 2" high at 100 is only 2" higher at 300 than a 100 yard zero? You might want to crunch those numbers again. 2 minutes scope adjustment does not equate to 2" at 300 yards.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 02:13 PM   #12
IdaD
Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2018
Location: Idaho
Posts: 79
I'd zero a 6.5 CM at 200. Ditto a 308, 30-06, etc - basically your standard big game calibers.

For longer range magnums I'd think about moving that out to 250-300 yards. If long range shots are realistic where you hunt and are within your wheelhouse, that is. I live in southwest Idaho so I do have the option of taking some very long shots if I want to. In other parts of the country taking a shot at 150 yards would probably be very unusual.
IdaD is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 02:27 PM   #13
taylorce1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 7,116
Quote:
My setup is a Tikka T3x in 6.5 creedmoor. I’m shooting ELDX in 143 grain. The scope is a leupold v3xi 3.5x10 40. 
You've got nothing to worry about you're shooting a Tikka in 6.5 Creedmoor! If you point that in the general direction of a deer it's a guaranteed kill shot, no scope needed. The Tikka and Creedmoor combo is a guaranteed fire and forget platform.

Seriously now, you've gotten some great advice. If your scope doesn't have a BDC reticle then zero for 200 yards. Then go and shoot at different ranges so you know where your bullet is going.

If you get a chance shoot your rifle over a chronograph and that'll help you to learn the trajectory of your rifle. Once you plug it into some ballistics software you can start to visualize the arc your bullet takes to the target. You can do all this without a chronograph by shooting at varying ranges and recording bullet drop, the chronograph just speeds up the process.
__________________
NRA Life Member
taylorce1 is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 03:52 PM   #14
jmhyer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 19, 2012
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 733
jimbob has the right answer and the link to your caliber and load in his post. Set your scope up like that...dead on at 200 yards...and forget about it. As a somewhat inexperienced big game rifle shooter, I would suggest limiting your shots to no more than 250 yards. If you want to try and reach out to 300 yards, as you can see from the chart, the hold would be near the top of the animal's back to account for the 8 inches or so of drop at that distance. Be sure to invest a little money in a range finder to boost your confidence that you are within your comfort range. And don't neglect practice (both live and dry fire) from different shooting positions, as also stated.
jmhyer is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 05:41 PM   #15
rodwhaincamo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 7, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,186
Point blank range system always made the most sense to me, though I’ve often read people use 6” whereas I feel 4” is more adequate as minor mistakes don’t become bigger troubles.

Calculating the 143 ELDX at 2700 fps and at 1000’ elevation this would mean zeroing at 250 yds gives 100 yds at 3.6” or 2.7” at 200 yds would give your highest point of 3.9” at 125-150 yds. Your low point would be at 300 yds with -4.2”. If you aim for the vitals anywhere from the muzzle to 300 yds you should be just fine. However knowing that I’m a little high closer up I’d aim what seems to me to be an inch or two lower to be closer to exactly where I want to hit.

This makes things rather simple. And maybe you’d like to reduce your number to 3” or some such.
rodwhaincamo is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 06:13 PM   #16
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,735
+2

Zero +2" at 100 has been my practice with rifles having muzzle velocities in the 2800 fps plus range since I was old enough to zero my own rifles. It has served me well on east of the MS whitetails for a long time now.

Moderate calibers like 7.62x39mm, .44 mag, I zero on at 100. I believe the older standard of "3" high at 100" does put the bullet a bit higher at mid-range than is practical.

This "range, twirl and shoot" business for hunting may work in some circumstances, driven by the long distance hunting mania and the interest in sniping and tactical shooting. But unless you have a spotter, and a ton of experience in ranging and twirling, and the time to make such shots, I don't see it as a practical way to hunt big game for most of us.
bamaranger is offline  
Old November 29, 2018, 06:55 PM   #17
Art Eatman
Staff
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,767
MOA: Minute Of Angle. 360 degrees in a circle. 60 minutes in a degree. Doing the math gives 1.047 inches at 100 yards. To make life easy at common distances in hunting, just call it an inch a hundred. 2" at 200; 3" at 300, etc.

It's quite common for today's scoped hunting rifles to be capable of five-shot groups of one MOA or less.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old November 30, 2018, 03:59 AM   #18
105kw
Member
 
Join Date: June 30, 2017
Location: Columbia Basin Washington
Posts: 97
Zero your rifle for 200 yards.
Get out and shoot at ranges out to 300 yards.
A friend of mine uses white paper plates. Hit the plate at whatever range, you hit the 8-10 inch kill zone on a deer.
I wouldn't worry about adjusting a scope turret for drop. You probably won't have time in a hunting situation.
Get to some place you can shoot and play with your rifle.
The more trigger time the better.
Good luck, good hunting.
105kw is offline  
Old December 2, 2018, 09:27 AM   #19
Mobuck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2010
Posts: 6,786
As a lifelong hunter, forget the "scope twiddling" you see on TV. As mentioned several times, set your zero to a maximum "point blank range" suitable for the size of game hunted and learn the "hold over" for ranges beyond that.
I just returned from an elk hunt with a hunter who had never been 'out west". He had zeroed his .308 at 100 yards(counter to my suggestions) and when presented with a 300+ yard shot, had NO IDEA where to hold. He shot his rifle dry missing so far the elk weren't even scared. I handed him my rifle, told him the yardage and where to hold, and he killed the elk with one shot.
My rifle was zeroed 2.5-3" high @ 100 yards for max point blank (hold on the brown) range and I'd actually shot it at the distance to target (350 yards) so I knew exactly where the bullet would strike.
Mobuck is offline  
Old December 2, 2018, 01:04 PM   #20
HiBC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Posts: 6,258
Lemon!

I like where you are coming from,OP, so I did a little work for you.

Back at post #6 I gave you a link to Hornady ballistic software.

When you go there,select "standard".Click the little box for something like "advanced features" Use the "G1" ballistic co-efficient (technically,the g-7 would be better,but,bear with me)

select "50 yds"for interval. enter 250 yds for sight in distance. 2700 for velocity .625 for Ballistic coefficient. You can measure your scope height.You have a 40 mm objective.Unless its mounted high,1.5 will be close.

Enter 90 for wind angle,and 10 mph for wind speed. Enter an altitude.

Do your best if I left anything out. Run the calculation.

It will tell you to sight in 3,2 in high at 100 yds.

That will give you 3.6 in high at 150 yds,and that will be near your max "high".You will stay inside a +4 in midrange .

I suggest you check dead on zero at 250 yds

That will put you 4 inches low at 300 yds.

So with a 250 yd zero,you will be withi 4 in elevation to 300 yds.


Now,figure at about 150 yds,and 300 yds,you are at your max 4 inch error..don't try the 4 inch correction with your hold,try 2 inches correction with your hold. If you get that down,you'll be within 2 inches of what you want to hit.
I say that because in the heat of the moment,over thinking and overcorrection is a common disease.Its a refinement of "hold on hair"
"Its far,I'm holding high" blows the backstraps off.

At 350 you will be 10 in low ,and at 400 yds,you will be 17.5 in low.

Note that past 300 yds,things start dropping faster.A 50 yd ranging error means a 7.5 in elevation error from 350 to 400 yds,and it gets worse as you go longer.

That's why "long range" like 600 starts requiring lasers,ballistic data and knob twisting.

Accept a reasonable range limitation and you can keep things simple.

FWIW,if it stayed straight in my memory,your 250 yd 10 mph wind value is 5.6 in.

I hope I just showed you that using the calculator yourself is a better deal.

You can do it

Last edited by HiBC; December 2, 2018 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Continuous improvement
HiBC is offline  
Old December 3, 2018, 02:05 PM   #21
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,559
Quote:
But if a deer popped up at 276 yards and I was zeroed at 100 yards, I wouldn’t know what to do.
It's a common thing, and the answer is both more complex and simpler than it seems.

First thing you need to know is the actual trajectory of your load from your rifle. To do this, you have to shoot it. One can calculate a great number of things, but you first need the actual performance data, not the book or webpage data. As an example, what if you are using a rifle with a different length barrel than the data in the book?? Your velocity will be different, and so will ALL your drop data, because of that. And, that's just one point.

Another point is how accurate you are judging the distance.
How certain are you that the buck is 276yds and not 237?

Third, you need to know whether a minor (vs. a gross) misestimation of the range will make a significant difference to the point of impact and the target area of the game. With your flat shooting 6.5mm a miss estimation of a few dozen yards won't make a large difference, the same amount of error shooting a different round (one with more drop) can make a huge difference, and it can be the difference between a clean kill, a wound, or a complete miss.

Quote:
How can I learn to use my scope intuitively?
The answer is the same as the answer to the old joke about "how do I get to Carnagie Hall?"

PRACTICE!!

Most people use one of two basic methods. One method is to sight in precisely at a known distance (say 100yds), LEARN the trajectory, then using the adjustments in your scope, crank in the clicks for the range you are shooting at, and aim dead on. Then, REMEMBER to crank the scope BACK to where it was before the shot. Otherwise, you're going to have issues...

The other method is the same, but instead of adjusting the scope back and forth all the time, you set it for one distance, and then "hold over" (or under, dependent on the exact situation), and shoot.

Modern gadgets are wonderful, and allow for very precise adjustments, but the input has to be accurate or the outcome won't be.

One of the big drawbacks to changing the adjustments on your scope is the time required. For example let's say that the deer is at a distance where your bullet drop is 4" low from your sighted in point of impact. And, lets assume he's just standing there, waiting for you...

You can crank in 16 clicks up (to get 4" with a 1/4MOA adjustment scope) and aim dead on.
OR you can estimate and aim 4" higher on the deer, without adjusting the scope at all.

The second method requires experience, which you get through shooting practice. And practice is also the way to learn the OTHER important thing affecting your shots, WIND.

Bullets "drift" (are actually pushed) by wind. How much depends on MANY factors, bullet shape, speed, distance, wind speed and direction, (and wind can come from more than one direction and speed over the distance of the bullet's flight), etc.

There are charts that give approximate values, they can show you how bullet A at xxxxfps drifts X amount in a 10mph cross wind, Y amount in a 20mph crosswind, etc. BUT, they are guidelines, and no chart can give you the exact conditions you will encounter in the field.

DROP is a constant, wind is NOT. Real shame if you properly calculate the drop, crank it into your scope, and shoot that 276yd deer in the chest, only to have the bullet strike at the right height, but in the deer's guts not the chest cavity, because of wind drift.

Wind drift is kind of like leading a bird. Exactly how much lead is the right amount is something you have to learn to judge, and only practice will let you do that. There is a similarity with wingshooting, you need to learn how to correctly judge where the target and the shot will come together. The similarity is that you have to adjust your point of aim to hit where you want to hit.

At shotgun ranges, wind drift is seldom a vital factor. As range increases, so does the importance of being able to judge wind speed and direction between you and the target or you won't hit where you need to hit.

PRACTICE is the only way I know to learn these things. Go shoot on windy days, see how much left, right (and even up and down) different amounts of wind, and wind direction change where your shot hits on the target.

No book can tell you exactly. It can only give you guidelines, and you use those as a starting point adjusting for the widely variable real world conditions.

Shoot in as close to the conditions you will be hunting in, as possible. Shoot from field positions. If you're like most of us, you will find shooting from standing, sitting, kneeling and prone is quite different than shooting off a bench.

Good Luck!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09124 seconds with 8 queries