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Bullets Do Odd Things at Different Ranges

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October 01, 2009

Bullets Do Odd Things at Different Ranges

By David E. Petzal

It’s better to go broke at the range than it is to make a fortune in the shop.”*--Christopher Self, Alabama machinist, designer and rifle nut.

Last week, I got a further lesson on the folly of attempting shots at long range without actually testing your equipment beforehand. Shooting at 300 yards, a 165-grain polymer-tipped bullet which had shot splendidly at 100 and 200 yards turned in a group with a vertical spread of 7 inches. There was no horizontal dispersion at all, but the slugs were all over the place up- and down-wise.

According to some balistically sophisticated friends of mine, there are three possible causes:

1. The polycarbonate tips melted off by the time they got to 300 yards and caused variations in the bullets’ flight.

2. The bullets were stabilized at 100 and 200 but by the time they reached 300 their loss of velocity destabilized them.

3. Satan.

I saw a similar occurrence with a .300 Weatherby Magnum which shot handloads using Norma MRP very accurately at long range. When the MRP ran out, I worked up a load with RelodeR 22 which gave about 50 fps less velocity and nearly identical accuracy. At 100 and 200, fine. At 300, all over the target. I think that missing 50 fps was responsible, or maybe it was Lucifer.

Bulllets do odd things at different ranges. I am reminded of Ross Seyfried’s .300/416 wildcat, Miss America, which was built by Ultra Light Arms. At 100 yards it was all the gun could do to shoot 4-inch groups, but at a measured mile it put five shots in a group you can cover with your hand.

*This has nothing to do with shooting at long range, but I liked it so much I pass it along to you. And of course Chris is right.

Comments (61)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Perhaps:

A. Your bullet weights might be inconsistent. In recently researching other folks ills with Hornady Interbonds, I turned up statements that bullet weight varied as much as 7 grains from the same box.

B. The powder /primer combo is producing erratic velocities which might account for even greater average velocities at longer range?

C. Satan himself.

D. You guessed it; all of the above.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

As for polymer-tipped bullets, your guess is mine. The original true ballistic tip which been around for ages is the Remington Bronze point.

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would guess number two as the answer. Although "polymer tipped bullets is de debil" at long range.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

It's not Satan; I've heard he has the same problem at the range..so it must be a ballistic reason for the variation? SPEED may make all the difference down range?

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from HogBlog wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I can't even hazard a reasonable guess about the WHY of your experience (although the Satan option seems reasonable to me), but thank you so much for sharing it. I only hope a lot of folks read it, because lord knows it's a major problem in the field.

Folks go out and read or watch all this stuff about long-range shooting, then go buy the super-hot magnums and the high tech scopes and computer programs so they can shoot into the next county... but never do they actually send lead (or copper) downrange at those insane distances. There are too many articles out there that never bother to mention that one key point... practice.

If you're gonna shoot long at game(I don't care about paper...paper doesn't bleed), for dog's sake, practice long! KNOW what's gonna happen when your bullet passes the quarter-mile mark (or more). Don't THEORIZE about it. Don't rely on some computer program or trick scope.

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from Harold wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Bullets, rifles, scopes, all do odd things. Getting anything to shoot consistantly, much less at all practical ranges, is a miracle. To be safe, just stick the barrel in the critter's ear!

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from usmcturkey wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sounds to me like your breathing. When we are on the range and there is no left or right deviation then the coaches always tell us its our breathing. Thats just my two cents take it for what it worth.

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from Army Guy wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I agree with breating. If you're shooting off a sandbag supporting the barrel only, breathing will have a bigger impact than if the entire weapon is in a vise type bench rest that immobilizes the entire weapon. Try both methods at 300 and draw your own clonclusion.

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from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Anytime things are not going to plan I often blame Old Scratch for the results. Sometimes the results just might be the fault of Old Grand-Dad...

Anyone remember the old Bugs Bunny cartoon "Gremlins From the Kremlin"? It could be them. That's just as plausible, right?

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

In Phoenix I practice at the Ben Avery range. Once I've got a rifle tuned where I want it at the standard range (200 yds), I take it to the 300 range. The difference at 300 yards between standard tips and ballistic (plastic) tips is always significant. Which has had me scratching my head for about 10 years, when I first started buying the ballistic tips. At first I thought it must be the increase in heat on the range (at Ben Avery it can be 65 degrees at 7 a.m., and 110 by noon). By the time I'd get the rifles on the 300 range, it was late in the morning. So after a few trips, I began starting at the 300 yard range, with no difference in results.

Pardon my ignorance, but aren't these plastic tips marketed for long range? Apparently these tips perform better on the computer programs the manufacturers use for ballistic charts than they perform on the range/field.

These days, the only ballistic tips I use are on the .223 when coyote calling. They do seem to be a bit more forgiving when speed-cycling rounds to halt fleeing coyotes.

Clay, I agree with you on the Bronze points. You can't beat their performance, especially considering their reasonable price. It's my bullet of choice for elk.

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from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Strange.

I used V-Max 50-grain in a 220 Swift I loaded HOT . I didn’t seem to have problems at any range. These V-Max had the plastic tips.

The most accurate 220 Swift load was Remington Premier Varmint. It wasn’t loaded as high velocity as my home-made fodder, but it was more accurate. These loads had the green plastic tip.

I don’t believe any of these plastic tips melted

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Proverbs and just to the west of you shooting is the 1000 yard range! Been there and Shot that! Sure was tempting from the 1000 yard line to take my M1A and bust some Rams on the Silhouette range to the left!!

By the way, back in 95 I was in the meeting for keeping Ben Avery Range open. They wanted to sale it and build houses and put in a Shopping Mall. But we gave them more reason to keep it open. Even Ruger Company sent a Representative and the Rep and I, we had a lot to talk about

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If you are still on target but vertically stringing at 300 yards, it has to have something to do with velocity. The lizard in the stew is that your two hundred yard groups looked good. I had a .30-06 that would group 180 grain round noses and spitzers into the same hole at 100 yards, but the bullets would be inches apart at two hundred. A couple hundred fps makes little difference to trajectory at 100 yards but a lot at 300. It would seem to me that you'd start seeing something wrong at 200 if this is the case.

Dave, when you sight in at the range do you shoot your polymer tipped bullets out of the magazine or single load them? Recoil might be battering the tips just enough to put them very slightly off-center without visibly damaging them; that'd slow your bullets down. If you single load, this explanation goes out the window. Just asking.

Did you shoot those 165 grainers out of a Lazzaroni 7.82 Warbird? When you are starting bullets at 3500 fps a couple hundred fps velocity difference might be meaningless at 100 and 200 yards but not at 300 or more.
When you say your 200 yard groups are fine, do you mean they are perfectly round or just small?

On the other hand, maybe it IS Satan.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I've seen that phenomenon with several of my rifles. One will shoot 150's with the plastic nose cones into a fine group all the way out to 350 yards. Take the same brand boattail poly snouted spitzers in a 165 weight and they begin to act like butterflies past 250. I have another one that exhibits the same disturbing qualities with lead nose spitzers. Past 250 they start to walk. If I feed it poly tip slugs it settles right down. My groups just open up, verticle stringing does seem a bit odd. Oh well, every rifle seems to have its own personality with certain likes and dislikes. Some unfussy, some more fickle than a teen age prom queen with lots of options...

I bet there are tons of nimrods out there who have bought one of those "range calibrated" scopes, picked out factory ammo to match the specs and are content to let technology do the rest. Bless their hearts... I hope they have a good trailing dog...

The point you make all too well Dave is to shoot the darned thing and find out what it's going to do on paper before you attempt to draw blood!

Oh... Dave, my Grandpa before shooting the first round of the day would take his hand and run it down the barrel from the breech out over the front sight as if wiping it. I asked him why he did that once and his answer was, "I'm knocking the devil off the barrel!" You might want to try it... couldn't hurt...

Ya'll think about that one...

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay - Ben Avery obviously survived the Attack of the Developers. Along with my local sportsman's clubs, I was supporting the range all the way - not only does this largest public range in the USA support our vast metropolitan area, but it has significant history, too.

One of the factors that killed the deal was the deliberation over who would be responsible to clean up the lead from the range. The state took the position that it would refuse to accept EPA responsibility, which made it kinda ugly to the developers. This was somewhat of a backdoor strategy by the local officials who wanted to retain Ben Avery against the state politicians who wanted to sell it.

It should be safe for a while. In 2007 our Game & Fish Department finished building its new administrative headquarters on grounds of the range. And boy, is it a sprawling Taj Mahal! If you follow Arizona big-game tags/prices, now you'll understand the tripling of fees, especially to out-of-staters. But that's a whole 'nother topic in itself. Better stop now.

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mark1- you are using the same ballistic tips that I use in my .223 - 50gr. V-Max. Those are the only plastic tips I still use, and have good results with those.

My problem children were plastic tips in .30 cal and 7mm hot rounds.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I've heard the same lament from bonded core bullet users but not poly-tipped.

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from Triggerf16 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Dave,

Check your load when fired across a Chronograph. I'll bet the Standard deviation for your ballistic tip load is large. These velocity deviations do not manifest on the target at 100 and 200 yards, because velocity errors do not effect vertical dispersion at short range (short bullet time of flight).

At longer ranges, the velocity variations will become obvious as vertical stringing occurs. As the trajectory continues to fall at longer ranges, vertical dispersion will become greater. just like mis-estimating range by 25 yards become significant at longer (400+ yds) ranges.

Judd

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from shane wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My reasons to shoot nothing but TSX are stacking quite high...

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Reading this only confirms my experience with my new BLR in 300winmag. No matter what I've loaded for it, it doesn't group well or consistenly. Last time I was out I had an interesting phenomenon of stringing -- shot #1 was high, #2 low, #3 in the middle. Happened 3 times that way. Now I'm out of primers...

I want to go back to my Marlin 45-70 that always shot the same no matter what -- even if it was only out to 100 yards!

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

It would be interesting to know if this happens with a different shooter but same rifle and load. I say this since my friend tends to string the .470 NE to the right at 50 yards with improvement at 100 and near perfect at 150. I don't see this when I shoot it and I am no better shot than the owner. He is not canting the gun or flinching. He does not exhibit this phenomenon with his other rifles or with mine.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Is the barrel free-floated? and if so is it a thin barrel?? could the barrels strech enough to alter the speed the bullet exits the muzzle?? personally id spend a day shooting cold bore shots only with it to see if it makes any difference..

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from elmer f. wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

personally, i think bullets are like women. you have no chance of really understanding what is going on. if you are lucky, you will be able to tollerate and find a happy medium some place, where things are acceptable. every so often, everything lines up and works right and in both cases, get real happy. LOL! actually, we at least have a chance with our bullets. we can systematicly change things one at a time, and get at least some sort of handle on things. with women, good luck with that!

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Nice thread. To anchor the point, do experimentation AND ballistic research on paper before ever taking it to the field. Zeroing at maximum-point-blank-zero yds. with memorized ballistics past that, careful attention to detail when reloading, and LOTS of practical experimentation...that's the secret to keeping meat in the freezer. (plus it's just so much fun!) Thanks to exteriorballistics.com. Awesome technical site from Sierra.

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from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Can't possibly be Satan, you think He has time for facilitating the tiny sin of being tempted to blaspheme by the mischance of a wayward round? Heck no! that is Bealzebub's job," he's Lord of the Fliers". Satan don't even get involved until somebody gets drunk at the range and shoots the range officer...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Well, I have been chasing the bullet demons with my 7mm Weatherby lately, so I feel your pain. However, all that came to a close last night when I fired my IMR4350 and Reloder 19 stoked 150 grain Barnes Tipped TSX loads. One set was 5 holes inside the same 1" square wit hseveral touching. And two went down range on the 200 yard target smack dead on center. My .30-06 shoots Barnes TSX equally as well.

DEP had a nice article on bullets in this month's F&S rag. Said it was hard to buy a really bad bullet these days.

"Chasing the demons" reminded me of a Chuck Yeager line in the movie "The Right Stuff" about such. But one of his quotes surely applies to bullets and other stuff as well as airplanes:

"Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don't do, you don't believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane." - Chuck Yeager

Same goes for bullets.....

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from SL wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Just more reason to keep shots under 300 yards. I see NO valid reason why anyone should be shooting at game past that distance anyway. Lots of things can have effect on bullet flight at long distances. Just because there is no wind where you are shooting from doesn't mean there isn't any 300 or 400 yards down range. If we want more assurance that game will drop at our shot, then we need to refrain from long distance shooting.

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Ishawooa, did you get that elk?

This is a good example of why you should shoot your loads at all practical ranges.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Dave, you didn't say what cal. you was shooting with the Ballistic tips, I've not had this problem with the .204 yet....Clay, The Rem. bronze tips were great bullets in .308.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay, didn't Rem have the silver tips also?

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from ChevJames wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My guess is that "overstabilized" bullets, leaving the barrel at a somewhat upward angle to compensate for bullet drop, resist wind pressure to straighten them out due to countervailing forces provided by the gyroscopic spin.
The bullets may "wobble in the wind" at this time in their flight. As the spin rate slows, the bullet is straightened out in flight and its tail isn't "dragging" any more; this is a possible explanation as to why a bullet may be more accurate at longer ranges than at shorter ones.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

All:

As alluded to in some of the earlier postings, you might wish to chronograph your loads and examine the velocity deviation in, say, a 10-15 round (or more) sample. If you've got a significant velocity spread, you will likely get a significant vertical spread on your target at longer ranges.

WAMtnhunter raises a good point about inconsistent bullet weights even in a single batch or box of bullets. I recently loaded Hornady 139-grain SST bullets in my 7x57 Mauser and in my 7x57 AI. On a lark, I decided to weigh every second or third bullet I loaded. I was surprised to discover that the Hornady 7mm SST bullets varied in weight by as up to .5/grain . . . and none of the bullets actually weighed 139-grains even. The average seemed to be around 139.2 grains, but several bullets weighed 139.5 and 139.6 grains. One bullet weighed 138.9 grains. (Interestingly, all the bullets looked exactly alike to the naked eye, and even under a magnifying glass I could detect no differences.)

My average muzzle velocity from the 7x57 AI was 3150 fps (driven by 52.3 grains of H414 and CCI large rifle primers) using the 139-grain Hornady SSTs. The velocity deviation between shots was +/- 40 fps. My powder loads (weighed on two separate electronic scales)were within +/- .1 grain. (I did not weigh my cases, however, and my Remington and Winchester brass was loaded in random order. Given that the Remington brass has thicker sidewalls and thus less internal space for powder than the Winchester brass, I suspect the Remington loads produced higher pressures and higher velocities than did the Winchester loads, but I did not take notes concerning which type of brass produced the highest velocities.)

At 100 yards, I was still (lucky) enough to achieve a best 5-shot group from my 7x57 AI of .502. My average 5-shot groups at 100 yards measured around .650 to .750 (which I'm perfectly happy with). My best 200-yard group was right around 2.0," but most were around 2.5" or so. (I didn't bother to try at 300). The spread at 200 yards was vertical rather than horizontal.

My 7x57 Mauser, which is in a Model 70 Featherweight with a very thin barrel, does not routinely group as accurately as does my AI. The action is glass- and pillar-bedded into the original stock, and the action has been played with and pampered a bit above and beyond factory preparations. On a good day with 130-grain Sierra Matchkings in Winchester cases loaded with 51 grains of H414, it will generally produce 3-shot MOA groups at 100 yards, at an average muzzle velocity of 3035 fps. (Note: This is a perfectly safe load in this particular rifle, which matches loads one can obtain in a 7mm-08, which case actually has slightly less powder capacity and is generally operating at significantly higher pressures than [pathetic, low velocity] American 7x57 factory loads.

NB: The 7x57 Mauser is, in my humble opinion, one of the most wonderful, versatile and useful cartridges ever made, particularly when it is loaded up to around 60,000 psi in strong, modern bolt actions. My 7x57 Mauser has become my favorite rifle in my favorite caliber(with the 257 AI, 257 Roberts and 7x57 AI infinitely close behind, and nothing else even close). Moderate recoil; light weight; supreme efficiency (because of the near-perfect ratio between powder capacity and bore size); excellent versatility in bullet weights; and excellent performance in all bullet weights out to 300+ yards: the round, when loaded properly, just flat-out works.

T.W. Davidson

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sarge, Win had the Silvertips and Rem had the Bronze tip. Mnthunter glad you got that 7mm to shoot. I have not seen this happen with my Accubonds on the range at a 100 yards you can fit 3 shots in a nickle and at 300 they average about 1 1/2. Have not shot them past that but perhaps I should.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

@ idduckhunter

I was real tempted to stop at Kesselring's and buy a box of Weatherby brand loaded 160 Accubonds on the way to the range yesterday. Glad I didn't spend the $70!

I didn't have great luck with Federal loaded Accubonds in the .30-06, but my handload 110 gr Accubonds in the .257R shot well. I think I will load another full box of the TTSX and confirm my loads over a chrony & recheck zero with a clean barrel over the weekend. I just don't have the heart or time to start with a new load. I just got a reply from Hornady requesting I send the Interbonds back for evaluation. We'll see how they handle this one. All my future business with them is riding on that one.

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen:
My Marlin 45-70 could take round after round with no cool down necessary. Once in a while there'd be a flier but typically I could pound bullet after bullet into the same 1 - 1.5 inch area.

It has been a learning experience for me now to be shooting with a "thin barrel". I did spend a morning shooting only cold barrel shots but did not achieve a whole lot of success at ironing out the lack of consitency. I'm actually liking the discussion on bullet weight variance and will weigh all bullets before loading from now on.

In the end -- shooting and cutting stairs are the same. Very simple principles that should work every time -- it's knowing how to factor in whatever variables that make everything work right consitently!

Bella: "Lord of the Fliers" I must admit, is a classic!

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

PS = WA Mtnhunter = Appreciate the Chuck Yeager quote. He grew up not far from my hometown. His nephews lived in my neighborhood. I never met him but every once in a while an airplane would buzz past "Parsner's Creek" and someone would say "looks like Chuck is going to visit his Mom."

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter,
I'd like to know what powder Federal loads their ammo with since my '06 doesn't shoot Federal ammo well either. I'm talkin 165gr Seirra Gamekings.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

well carney ive shot a couple of superthin barrels that when hot would strech up to bout 3/4 of an inch compared to when cold, causing vertical stringing en-masse. but with any rifle i like to take the rifle out of the equation.. meaning bedding etc. checked and redone if needed.. getting the rifle to be as consistent as humanly possible, then go to the ammo (using good factory ammo that shoots well in other rifles to test out the rifle) and tune in the final ragged hole i want from any rifle.. and what the marlin got in its bigbore levers is a consistent gun out of the box, unless there was some foul up in its making offcourse.. so then the rifle is already out of the equation, just need to find out what it wants to eat :)

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mnthunter I like the Accubond Because they ony cost about $25 a box to reload and I have had great luck with them from deer to elk. Thats load I have been telling you about with the 66 grains of IMR 4831 shoots like dream and its accurate.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Concerning weighing bullets while hand loading: IMO Hornady can be inconsistent up to .5 gr. but not as a rule most are better. This is the bullet I handload for deer season and I love them, Sierra's weigh out pretty good but to soft for me, they really expand at close shots and tear up meat. I really like Partitions for bullet to bullet weight they are damn close.

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen = I don't think much in terms of bedding on lever guns and like most, my BLR has a forestock and butt stock separated by the action -- 2 pieces. Since I'm typically like a kid with a toy he has to figure out, I take every gun apart first thing. When I pulled the forestock off the barrel, there were three little dots of bedding compound -- which remained intact, but are no longer adhered to the barrel.

Would you or anyone else like to weigh in on the possiblities of that having a significant impact on how my rifle performs?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Well carney tuning in a rifle is more tuning in the vibrations and how they r transferred throughouth the weapon in the moment the bullet goes down the barrel with final performance precisionvise determined by where on the "swing" the muzzle is.. id say those little dots dampens the vibrations a bit impeeding the swing a little, possibly making the gun more consistent with different types of ammo, possibly creating a precision torment for that favourite load.. me, id sand it out, then test different ammos, and if precision went down put the "dots" in again if i find that works better but making a shortened barrelbed instead perhaps.. im an eternal tinkerer like that. but bedding levers in general, then u mostly only wanna bed the contactpoints of the stocks with the action eliminating differences in flex of the stock.. creating more consistent vibrations shot to shot..

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Idduckhntr, you're right about the silver tips, I went back to some info I had where I had loaded some many years ago. Thanks for the Info....

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Jim in MO

Don't know what Federal uses. Their .30-06 Barnes 16555 TSX shoot better in mine than anything I've shot and the .35 Whelen 225 TBBC are sub-MOA in my rifle. I have not had such good luck with some of their other loads.

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from Thomas Reid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would agree with breathing. Also how much time did you allow between shots for your barrel to cool or not cool. From a cold barrel your 1st shot will be different from your 7th shot. I would also fathom to think that if you did allow a bit of time to elapse that it may have got warmer or cooler in ambient air temp. Dark fields warm up rather quickly in the sun.

Tom the troll

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Back in 89 a bunch of us loaded up 250 grain Sierra Game Kings for our 338 Win Mags for a upcoming Caribou hunt. About ¾ of us had one hole going in and two going out and come to find out we were experiencing jacket separation. I called Sierra and they denied the problem until the Lab Coat Guy figured out I wasn’t the regular John Do Winkle off the street. He said Sierra was working on a bonding agent like some kind of glue when under heat would adhere the jacket to the core.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Seems most everything except velocity variance and the devil would cause the shots to spread randomly rather than vertically. Perhaps vertical wind shear?

I have a hard time believing polycarb tips would melt in the very short time to target - tip would have to reach over 500 degrees F for some time. Could be wrong though, but try putting a torch to the tip for a fraction of a second and see what happens. Maybe try shooting into ballistic gelatin at 300 yards and see if the tips look melted. Deformed, maybe, but melted?

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from etexan wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I have pondered the performance of the 300/416 ULA rifle and cannot imagine a repeatable performance such as that described. With unguided projectiles, distance is the enemy of precision.

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from jimmied wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I shot a Whitetail at a little over 350 yards lasered using a 7 mag and a 140 gr Balistic Tip @ MV 3150. I found the plastic tip in the lung mass. It did not melt. I did have the long range problems using Balistic Tips in my 300 Win Mag. Verticle groups all over the place.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Many times I've stated on this blog to zero your weapon to the distsance you think you will be shooting. Many Western hunters zero 2" high and say they are dead on at 200 yds, not so. A bullet does many things past the l00 yd marker and I do not beliee the Polymer tips has one thing to do with the wobble at longer ranges.Once a bullet reaches the top of it's arch and heads downward, it more or less in a free fall situation, can go anyplace. So if you plan to shoot 400 yds,zero for 400. I zero all my western guns at 200 yds + l", should be dead on at 250 yds. 2 ys ago, using a 30-06, and a 25-06,I killed a Lope at 325 yds and a huge deer at 345 yds with the zero stated above. The bullet performed flawless. Trust your rangefinder prior to the shot and then adjust your hold over-under accordlie. Have see first had the guy who zeroed 2" high at 100 yds and shot under/over his target. Also,different Mfgers bullets act differently in some firearms. Try several brands and then use the better of the lot, do not dwitch back and forth. I fully believe a rifle bbl has to be BROKEN in for a given bullet. My 700's shoot perfect to 200 yds using Rem Sciroccos, then I switched to Winchester BAllastic tips and was off 4' at 200 yds. Most all firerms will shoot accuraate to a 100 yd zero, but beyond 100 yds, a different story. So shoot-umn-straight and very often Plus buy the best bullet you can find. What is a 5.00 bullet compsrd to a 5.000 hunt.Get your firearm zeroed in, then pratice with a 22 bolt gun to save $, but yet get the prtice. As a rule prior to my trips, I shoot around 20 rounds of my hunting bullets, then stop, do not clean bbl, just wipe down good and package for shipment(I do run a dry wipe down the bl to remove excess powder and gunk, but not oily). A clean bbl verses a fouled bbl will be off several inches beyond 200 yds. Now with B.P a different story. Hey, did you know that Knight Rifles Inx. has closed it's doors????? yep, as per Petersens Hunter MAgazine I got today. Sad, but T/C/CVA still makes the better B/P guns.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Amen, Gunslinger. A 200 yard zero ain't worth a flip unless you shoot at 200 to verify it! That's what I do, too. About one inch high on the 200 yard target.

WMH

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Amen, Gunslinger. A 200 yard zero ain't worth a flip unless you shoot at 200 to verify it! That's what I do, too. About one inch high on the 200 yard target.

WMH

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from hunt3r wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Did you cronograph those shots? sounds like the velocities are varying to much? if they were handloads, did you throw and weigh each charge? if they were factory rounds...good luck

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

WAMTNhunter: Glad you agree. Common sense tells us to zero to the distance we think we will shot. Range the target, then adjust your cross-hairs according. I know with a 200 yd bull if I zero to it +l" where that bullet is going. Will be dead on at 250 or close. I killed several animals before I learned how to zero. Mot hunters just have the sales person bore sight it and go hunting. I do bore sight, just to get on the paper, then I shot as needed, usually about 5 shots will get my range. Do you recall mytrue story of the guy come into camp with new gun and outfitter ask him how it shot? In the past l9 yrs I;ve only had to shot one animal twice, the others all fell at the first shot in their tracks. But, I only take makeable shots. I'm not into this mile shots period. About 400 yds is my max, but depends on game I'm hunting and which 700 gun I'm shooting.I have my 700's twinked a tad and they all shot as i want them to. Five weeks til season opens here on firearms. Much to do, set up my ground blinds in 2 weeks, check out my zero and finish scoping and zeroing the new MArlin 270..How about Knight closing it's doors??????PS; Cameras shows we got 2 nice Bucks in my back yard, just hope they live thru Bow season which is now in evect. They got lots of cover,water, food etc. So unless some poachers learn of them they should be here when I'm ready.One is a 10 and l a ll or 12 with 2 drop tines. The largest deer I've seen here all my life.Makes my 9 pointer of last year look like a yearlying.Shoot-um-straight and often.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

With Knight closing up shop, we all know why Jim Shockley switched to T/C,right? However T/C makes a great B/P gun.I'd like a Encore in Walnut and a couple extra bbls. Got enough firepower, just need to hunt more.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Gunslinger

I hope you bag that big boy this year! If I can't get a rifle and load to dial in at 200 yards, it stays home until it does! Except the iron sighted ones. They are sighted in for 100 yards.

Had the old Remington 700 at the range last week and it shoots MOA out at 200 yds like always with no adjustments required. It is a wonderful confidence builder to know for sure that your rifle will indeed hit point of aim at a given range with no guesswork or B.S.

I think the reason all the hunting show folks are using T/C is that's where the money trail leads! LOL

Heading to Colorado next Wednesday.

WMH

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Think I will cry, you headed to C0 sure makes we wish i was headed that way myself. I love that state once I get past Denver. So much to see and great hunting from there to Utah. Hopefully my health/$$ will allow me to go next year. I wish you great success and a wonderful trip. I can sit up on Nlack Mtn and be happy as anyone could ask for, if see shootable game, so much the better, but just being on top of the world is pleasant enough. Back to zero's. I also ws able to use open sghts till a few years back, but at my age, it must be scoped now. I can do ok with Fiber Optic sights out to 100 or so yds but beyond the scope is a must.I've noticed on this Blog that no one but me ever mentions the Rem Sciroccos's bullets. Am i the only guy who swears by them? For a # of years I used Rems Extended Range l68 grs, but they stope making them and went to the Sciroccos. I had never used a Poly tip prior, but do believe it is better than the PSP now.Or at lest it works better for me. I do not re-load, never trusted myself to do it right. As stated once i'm all zeroed in and happy with results, I pratice with my Marlin Bolt action in 22 mag. Made up some new taargets today, so ready to zero the Marlin tomorrow if possible. Sure hope this new gun does well as i wanted a 4 wheeler/truck gun and never used a 270 before,so figured would try. If unhappy, will trade for another Rem or the new T/C Ventura. I'm use to the l80 gr bullets and the 270 will be using l30 grs, hope its enough to bring down the W-tails here as my 700's/in 30-06 and 25-06 ( for w-tails and lopes) will go west when I return.I'd love to go down to New Mexico for Elk, providing the $$$ available. The ranch I hunt in MT has been hunted a lot and there is many bears, Cougars and wolves on that property which keeps the population down. The owner says I come to early, need to wait till the snow runs the Elk/mulies lower. I hunted Elk in C0 when the snow was over l8" deep, kinda tough hunting for a guy who walks with a cane or Bi-pod as a crutch. I'd like to B/P hunt MT during the Rut, believe i could score a nice Bull. Again, think of the old Gunslinger when you get to Co next week and have a great hunt. Shoot-um-straight and often.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

WAMtn hunter:
Don;t know if you saw my article a few yrs back about sling shots, but if not here it id agsin. When in the Rocky Mtns and hunting high up, thoe Mulies will bed about 25-50 yds below the ridge line. Make or buy a sling shot and carry some marbles or steel balls and shoot the slingshot below wher you know or think the Mulies are bedded. If ther is as Mulie there he will run up hill as a rule giving you a shot. Or, if you encounter a thicket and know game is there shoot over the thicket and be ready for what-ever to come out, if not your direction, maybe to the side to get a shot. It works, did for me in Colorado many years ago. I do that herea as we got many groves of Laure trees and the w-tails love to hid in them. It works better here if 2 or more people are hunting, and espcially using slug shotguns. Make a slingshot from a about a 3/4" forked limb, then go to tie place and geta thrown out old innertube. Tae a skall piece of leather or the tongue of a old pair of shoes to hold your projectile. A little project to keep you busy. I use fishing line to tie the rubber to the fork and the tongue and i also use about l/4 to 3/8" steel balls, but marbles workok as do pebbles that are mostly roun so will roll after falling.Not able to walk far, this works great for me, and it works wher you see game, but he will not give you a clear shot. At least it makes him move unless you plan to wait him out. Many A Elk has slipped out the back door that otherwise would have move towards you for a shot. Just make sure you shoot the Balls, etc over him. Give it some thought, And no I'm not completely Crazy yet, but close. I do Envy your trip to C0 next week. If successful, send us some photos. Have fun and shoot-um-straight.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

WAMtnhunter , thats tire( inner-tube store) for the rubber to make the sling shot.Anothre thing we use here for scent control is to take a small patch of cloth, soak in Turpintine and add about 8-10 ft of strong line, attached to your belt,etc. drag tht behind you to cover your scent. We also use Vanilla flavoring , rather than the high $ store Tinks stuff. We also leave our hunting cloths in a plastic container about 36" long by l8" tall and wide. At days end place those cloths inside and add a coupe of cotton balls soakedin the Terpintine. Sure eliminates your odor for next time out.Yep, I'm a cheap sucker, but only if it works. I;ve had deer cross my back trail and never even slowed when crossed by my path. I also rub the bottom of my hunt boots with terpintine to make sure. Sometimes I use my Decoy and place him /her about 25 yds away and add the Soaked Cotton ball in Vanilla favoring( or your favorit scent , like Tinks, etc to the Decoy. All works well especially during the Rut. When will you be returning from C0, so I can be on look-out for your success. Good hunting. No one hs responded to my question on Sciroccos bullets?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Thanks for your kind words and tips. We are headed out Wednesday morning if all goes well. We'll spend the night in Boise and then in Rock Springs, WY before traipsing into Craig late morning on Friday. Some of the fellas are driving straight through Thursday late morning into Friday noon. They will wonder why they are so tired without spending at least 2 nights at altitude! Warned them, but sometimes you can tell a green horn, but you can't tell 'em much! HA HA I won't have to spend time behind those eyeballs, but they will!

Stay after those whitetails! I wish you all the success in the world this season.

Best regards,
WMH

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Have a safe,, successful trip. The experts tell us to spend some time in Denver at mile high City and then another city prior to Craig at about 7K feet. When we go out to C0 wedo just that, but when go to MT is only about 5K feet but wher I hunt is 9-10K, but I get there 3 days in advance to get adjusted and visit, as when season opens, my visitation is over and its hunt till I drop, or I drop my animal. At my age and health, no way could I eveb ride straight thru to Craig, its a long ways from N.C. to Craig, about 2500 miles by road. I hate flying, and the regulations have made it worse, but for me it's teh only way I could go. I could not be on the road for 5-6 days period,.in 2006, Flew to Denver,rented a car and drove to Douglasa Wy for the Lope hunt, then after that drove to Missoula, MT but took oue rime and was on the road a week, as was no hurry had 2 weeks befoe season opened. But I had applied for the Lope hunt for 12 yrsm and was not going to let it go by, plus already had my licenses and airline tickes to Montana, so we just fiddled along, went back to Yellowstone then up to Glacier NP, had plenty of time, so was a easy trip for me then, plus got my Lope and the Mulie. Elk were up to high and no way for me to get to them, needed a foot of snow. Hopefully the weather will be right for you. In 97 got snowed in in Steamboat Springs for 3 days, but was happy as I had my Elk on ice frozen. Roads finally cleared somewhat to get me over Rabbitt ears pass on to 70. You shoot-um-straight and bring home a nice animal. Get on the Blog when you return, let me know how things went. Enjoy yourself and be safe. Chat when you return.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Have a wonderful time in Colorado. Chat when you return with the Trophy. Shoot-um-straight ,show those green horns how it's done.
Good Luck; Save me a trophy Elk for next year above Craig on Black Mountain off highway l3 at the old Boy Scout Camp. If you every camp out, thats teh place to go. They have a good Rec building that many sleep in if weather is lousy. Have Corrals for horses and camp sights and compose toilets. A nice large lake for fishing, a beautiful place. If all goes well and the good Lord allows me another year to hunt, we might just run into each other in Craig. I'd love to meet you and chat the night away. Drive safe.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Gunslinger, you and I agree on many things, and I probably didn't get all you were saying, but I believe in picking a good range and zero as per your bullet/weight, but know where that bullet is going to be at different ranges. All shooting while hunting can be quite different ,due to wind, an animal a little closer or farther away.. Glad you are feeling some better, Three people here at home got some nice elk this past week. One was a nice 6x6 and one was an 8x8. I don't know what the other one was. I'm going to put in for draw next spring.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Sorry about that last post, should have been 7X7....not 8x8..Going down the 31st. to look some over.

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from HogBlog wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I can't even hazard a reasonable guess about the WHY of your experience (although the Satan option seems reasonable to me), but thank you so much for sharing it. I only hope a lot of folks read it, because lord knows it's a major problem in the field.

Folks go out and read or watch all this stuff about long-range shooting, then go buy the super-hot magnums and the high tech scopes and computer programs so they can shoot into the next county... but never do they actually send lead (or copper) downrange at those insane distances. There are too many articles out there that never bother to mention that one key point... practice.

If you're gonna shoot long at game(I don't care about paper...paper doesn't bleed), for dog's sake, practice long! KNOW what's gonna happen when your bullet passes the quarter-mile mark (or more). Don't THEORIZE about it. Don't rely on some computer program or trick scope.

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from Harold wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Bullets, rifles, scopes, all do odd things. Getting anything to shoot consistantly, much less at all practical ranges, is a miracle. To be safe, just stick the barrel in the critter's ear!

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I've seen that phenomenon with several of my rifles. One will shoot 150's with the plastic nose cones into a fine group all the way out to 350 yards. Take the same brand boattail poly snouted spitzers in a 165 weight and they begin to act like butterflies past 250. I have another one that exhibits the same disturbing qualities with lead nose spitzers. Past 250 they start to walk. If I feed it poly tip slugs it settles right down. My groups just open up, verticle stringing does seem a bit odd. Oh well, every rifle seems to have its own personality with certain likes and dislikes. Some unfussy, some more fickle than a teen age prom queen with lots of options...

I bet there are tons of nimrods out there who have bought one of those "range calibrated" scopes, picked out factory ammo to match the specs and are content to let technology do the rest. Bless their hearts... I hope they have a good trailing dog...

The point you make all too well Dave is to shoot the darned thing and find out what it's going to do on paper before you attempt to draw blood!

Oh... Dave, my Grandpa before shooting the first round of the day would take his hand and run it down the barrel from the breech out over the front sight as if wiping it. I asked him why he did that once and his answer was, "I'm knocking the devil off the barrel!" You might want to try it... couldn't hurt...

Ya'll think about that one...

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Perhaps:

A. Your bullet weights might be inconsistent. In recently researching other folks ills with Hornady Interbonds, I turned up statements that bullet weight varied as much as 7 grains from the same box.

B. The powder /primer combo is producing erratic velocities which might account for even greater average velocities at longer range?

C. Satan himself.

D. You guessed it; all of the above.

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from usmcturkey wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sounds to me like your breathing. When we are on the range and there is no left or right deviation then the coaches always tell us its our breathing. Thats just my two cents take it for what it worth.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

As for polymer-tipped bullets, your guess is mine. The original true ballistic tip which been around for ages is the Remington Bronze point.

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from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Anytime things are not going to plan I often blame Old Scratch for the results. Sometimes the results just might be the fault of Old Grand-Dad...

Anyone remember the old Bugs Bunny cartoon "Gremlins From the Kremlin"? It could be them. That's just as plausible, right?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Is the barrel free-floated? and if so is it a thin barrel?? could the barrels strech enough to alter the speed the bullet exits the muzzle?? personally id spend a day shooting cold bore shots only with it to see if it makes any difference..

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from elmer f. wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

personally, i think bullets are like women. you have no chance of really understanding what is going on. if you are lucky, you will be able to tollerate and find a happy medium some place, where things are acceptable. every so often, everything lines up and works right and in both cases, get real happy. LOL! actually, we at least have a chance with our bullets. we can systematicly change things one at a time, and get at least some sort of handle on things. with women, good luck with that!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Well, I have been chasing the bullet demons with my 7mm Weatherby lately, so I feel your pain. However, all that came to a close last night when I fired my IMR4350 and Reloder 19 stoked 150 grain Barnes Tipped TSX loads. One set was 5 holes inside the same 1" square wit hseveral touching. And two went down range on the 200 yard target smack dead on center. My .30-06 shoots Barnes TSX equally as well.

DEP had a nice article on bullets in this month's F&S rag. Said it was hard to buy a really bad bullet these days.

"Chasing the demons" reminded me of a Chuck Yeager line in the movie "The Right Stuff" about such. But one of his quotes surely applies to bullets and other stuff as well as airplanes:

"Most pilots learn, when they pin on their wings and go out and get in a fighter, especially, that one thing you don't do, you don't believe anything anybody tells you about an airplane." - Chuck Yeager

Same goes for bullets.....

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from SL wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Just more reason to keep shots under 300 yards. I see NO valid reason why anyone should be shooting at game past that distance anyway. Lots of things can have effect on bullet flight at long distances. Just because there is no wind where you are shooting from doesn't mean there isn't any 300 or 400 yards down range. If we want more assurance that game will drop at our shot, then we need to refrain from long distance shooting.

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from ChevJames wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My guess is that "overstabilized" bullets, leaving the barrel at a somewhat upward angle to compensate for bullet drop, resist wind pressure to straighten them out due to countervailing forces provided by the gyroscopic spin.
The bullets may "wobble in the wind" at this time in their flight. As the spin rate slows, the bullet is straightened out in flight and its tail isn't "dragging" any more; this is a possible explanation as to why a bullet may be more accurate at longer ranges than at shorter ones.

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from T.W. Davidson wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

All:

As alluded to in some of the earlier postings, you might wish to chronograph your loads and examine the velocity deviation in, say, a 10-15 round (or more) sample. If you've got a significant velocity spread, you will likely get a significant vertical spread on your target at longer ranges.

WAMtnhunter raises a good point about inconsistent bullet weights even in a single batch or box of bullets. I recently loaded Hornady 139-grain SST bullets in my 7x57 Mauser and in my 7x57 AI. On a lark, I decided to weigh every second or third bullet I loaded. I was surprised to discover that the Hornady 7mm SST bullets varied in weight by as up to .5/grain . . . and none of the bullets actually weighed 139-grains even. The average seemed to be around 139.2 grains, but several bullets weighed 139.5 and 139.6 grains. One bullet weighed 138.9 grains. (Interestingly, all the bullets looked exactly alike to the naked eye, and even under a magnifying glass I could detect no differences.)

My average muzzle velocity from the 7x57 AI was 3150 fps (driven by 52.3 grains of H414 and CCI large rifle primers) using the 139-grain Hornady SSTs. The velocity deviation between shots was +/- 40 fps. My powder loads (weighed on two separate electronic scales)were within +/- .1 grain. (I did not weigh my cases, however, and my Remington and Winchester brass was loaded in random order. Given that the Remington brass has thicker sidewalls and thus less internal space for powder than the Winchester brass, I suspect the Remington loads produced higher pressures and higher velocities than did the Winchester loads, but I did not take notes concerning which type of brass produced the highest velocities.)

At 100 yards, I was still (lucky) enough to achieve a best 5-shot group from my 7x57 AI of .502. My average 5-shot groups at 100 yards measured around .650 to .750 (which I'm perfectly happy with). My best 200-yard group was right around 2.0," but most were around 2.5" or so. (I didn't bother to try at 300). The spread at 200 yards was vertical rather than horizontal.

My 7x57 Mauser, which is in a Model 70 Featherweight with a very thin barrel, does not routinely group as accurately as does my AI. The action is glass- and pillar-bedded into the original stock, and the action has been played with and pampered a bit above and beyond factory preparations. On a good day with 130-grain Sierra Matchkings in Winchester cases loaded with 51 grains of H414, it will generally produce 3-shot MOA groups at 100 yards, at an average muzzle velocity of 3035 fps. (Note: This is a perfectly safe load in this particular rifle, which matches loads one can obtain in a 7mm-08, which case actually has slightly less powder capacity and is generally operating at significantly higher pressures than [pathetic, low velocity] American 7x57 factory loads.

NB: The 7x57 Mauser is, in my humble opinion, one of the most wonderful, versatile and useful cartridges ever made, particularly when it is loaded up to around 60,000 psi in strong, modern bolt actions. My 7x57 Mauser has become my favorite rifle in my favorite caliber(with the 257 AI, 257 Roberts and 7x57 AI infinitely close behind, and nothing else even close). Moderate recoil; light weight; supreme efficiency (because of the near-perfect ratio between powder capacity and bore size); excellent versatility in bullet weights; and excellent performance in all bullet weights out to 300+ yards: the round, when loaded properly, just flat-out works.

T.W. Davidson

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

It's not Satan; I've heard he has the same problem at the range..so it must be a ballistic reason for the variation? SPEED may make all the difference down range?

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay - Ben Avery obviously survived the Attack of the Developers. Along with my local sportsman's clubs, I was supporting the range all the way - not only does this largest public range in the USA support our vast metropolitan area, but it has significant history, too.

One of the factors that killed the deal was the deliberation over who would be responsible to clean up the lead from the range. The state took the position that it would refuse to accept EPA responsibility, which made it kinda ugly to the developers. This was somewhat of a backdoor strategy by the local officials who wanted to retain Ben Avery against the state politicians who wanted to sell it.

It should be safe for a while. In 2007 our Game & Fish Department finished building its new administrative headquarters on grounds of the range. And boy, is it a sprawling Taj Mahal! If you follow Arizona big-game tags/prices, now you'll understand the tripling of fees, especially to out-of-staters. But that's a whole 'nother topic in itself. Better stop now.

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from shane wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

My reasons to shoot nothing but TSX are stacking quite high...

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Reading this only confirms my experience with my new BLR in 300winmag. No matter what I've loaded for it, it doesn't group well or consistenly. Last time I was out I had an interesting phenomenon of stringing -- shot #1 was high, #2 low, #3 in the middle. Happened 3 times that way. Now I'm out of primers...

I want to go back to my Marlin 45-70 that always shot the same no matter what -- even if it was only out to 100 yards!

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from ishawooa wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

It would be interesting to know if this happens with a different shooter but same rifle and load. I say this since my friend tends to string the .470 NE to the right at 50 yards with improvement at 100 and near perfect at 150. I don't see this when I shoot it and I am no better shot than the owner. He is not canting the gun or flinching. He does not exhibit this phenomenon with his other rifles or with mine.

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Nice thread. To anchor the point, do experimentation AND ballistic research on paper before ever taking it to the field. Zeroing at maximum-point-blank-zero yds. with memorized ballistics past that, careful attention to detail when reloading, and LOTS of practical experimentation...that's the secret to keeping meat in the freezer. (plus it's just so much fun!) Thanks to exteriorballistics.com. Awesome technical site from Sierra.

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from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Can't possibly be Satan, you think He has time for facilitating the tiny sin of being tempted to blaspheme by the mischance of a wayward round? Heck no! that is Bealzebub's job," he's Lord of the Fliers". Satan don't even get involved until somebody gets drunk at the range and shoots the range officer...

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Ishawooa, did you get that elk?

This is a good example of why you should shoot your loads at all practical ranges.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Dave, you didn't say what cal. you was shooting with the Ballistic tips, I've not had this problem with the .204 yet....Clay, The Rem. bronze tips were great bullets in .308.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay, didn't Rem have the silver tips also?

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sarge, Win had the Silvertips and Rem had the Bronze tip. Mnthunter glad you got that 7mm to shoot. I have not seen this happen with my Accubonds on the range at a 100 yards you can fit 3 shots in a nickle and at 300 they average about 1 1/2. Have not shot them past that but perhaps I should.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

@ idduckhunter

I was real tempted to stop at Kesselring's and buy a box of Weatherby brand loaded 160 Accubonds on the way to the range yesterday. Glad I didn't spend the $70!

I didn't have great luck with Federal loaded Accubonds in the .30-06, but my handload 110 gr Accubonds in the .257R shot well. I think I will load another full box of the TTSX and confirm my loads over a chrony & recheck zero with a clean barrel over the weekend. I just don't have the heart or time to start with a new load. I just got a reply from Hornady requesting I send the Interbonds back for evaluation. We'll see how they handle this one. All my future business with them is riding on that one.

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen:
My Marlin 45-70 could take round after round with no cool down necessary. Once in a while there'd be a flier but typically I could pound bullet after bullet into the same 1 - 1.5 inch area.

It has been a learning experience for me now to be shooting with a "thin barrel". I did spend a morning shooting only cold barrel shots but did not achieve a whole lot of success at ironing out the lack of consitency. I'm actually liking the discussion on bullet weight variance and will weigh all bullets before loading from now on.

In the end -- shooting and cutting stairs are the same. Very simple principles that should work every time -- it's knowing how to factor in whatever variables that make everything work right consitently!

Bella: "Lord of the Fliers" I must admit, is a classic!

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

PS = WA Mtnhunter = Appreciate the Chuck Yeager quote. He grew up not far from my hometown. His nephews lived in my neighborhood. I never met him but every once in a while an airplane would buzz past "Parsner's Creek" and someone would say "looks like Chuck is going to visit his Mom."

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

well carney ive shot a couple of superthin barrels that when hot would strech up to bout 3/4 of an inch compared to when cold, causing vertical stringing en-masse. but with any rifle i like to take the rifle out of the equation.. meaning bedding etc. checked and redone if needed.. getting the rifle to be as consistent as humanly possible, then go to the ammo (using good factory ammo that shoots well in other rifles to test out the rifle) and tune in the final ragged hole i want from any rifle.. and what the marlin got in its bigbore levers is a consistent gun out of the box, unless there was some foul up in its making offcourse.. so then the rifle is already out of the equation, just need to find out what it wants to eat :)

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from Carney wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen = I don't think much in terms of bedding on lever guns and like most, my BLR has a forestock and butt stock separated by the action -- 2 pieces. Since I'm typically like a kid with a toy he has to figure out, I take every gun apart first thing. When I pulled the forestock off the barrel, there were three little dots of bedding compound -- which remained intact, but are no longer adhered to the barrel.

Would you or anyone else like to weigh in on the possiblities of that having a significant impact on how my rifle performs?

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from Scott Kittinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would guess number two as the answer. Although "polymer tipped bullets is de debil" at long range.

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from Army Guy wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I agree with breating. If you're shooting off a sandbag supporting the barrel only, breathing will have a bigger impact than if the entire weapon is in a vise type bench rest that immobilizes the entire weapon. Try both methods at 300 and draw your own clonclusion.

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

In Phoenix I practice at the Ben Avery range. Once I've got a rifle tuned where I want it at the standard range (200 yds), I take it to the 300 range. The difference at 300 yards between standard tips and ballistic (plastic) tips is always significant. Which has had me scratching my head for about 10 years, when I first started buying the ballistic tips. At first I thought it must be the increase in heat on the range (at Ben Avery it can be 65 degrees at 7 a.m., and 110 by noon). By the time I'd get the rifles on the 300 range, it was late in the morning. So after a few trips, I began starting at the 300 yard range, with no difference in results.

Pardon my ignorance, but aren't these plastic tips marketed for long range? Apparently these tips perform better on the computer programs the manufacturers use for ballistic charts than they perform on the range/field.

These days, the only ballistic tips I use are on the .223 when coyote calling. They do seem to be a bit more forgiving when speed-cycling rounds to halt fleeing coyotes.

Clay, I agree with you on the Bronze points. You can't beat their performance, especially considering their reasonable price. It's my bullet of choice for elk.

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from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Strange.

I used V-Max 50-grain in a 220 Swift I loaded HOT . I didn’t seem to have problems at any range. These V-Max had the plastic tips.

The most accurate 220 Swift load was Remington Premier Varmint. It wasn’t loaded as high velocity as my home-made fodder, but it was more accurate. These loads had the green plastic tip.

I don’t believe any of these plastic tips melted

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Proverbs and just to the west of you shooting is the 1000 yard range! Been there and Shot that! Sure was tempting from the 1000 yard line to take my M1A and bust some Rams on the Silhouette range to the left!!

By the way, back in 95 I was in the meeting for keeping Ben Avery Range open. They wanted to sale it and build houses and put in a Shopping Mall. But we gave them more reason to keep it open. Even Ruger Company sent a Representative and the Rep and I, we had a lot to talk about

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from focusfront wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If you are still on target but vertically stringing at 300 yards, it has to have something to do with velocity. The lizard in the stew is that your two hundred yard groups looked good. I had a .30-06 that would group 180 grain round noses and spitzers into the same hole at 100 yards, but the bullets would be inches apart at two hundred. A couple hundred fps makes little difference to trajectory at 100 yards but a lot at 300. It would seem to me that you'd start seeing something wrong at 200 if this is the case.

Dave, when you sight in at the range do you shoot your polymer tipped bullets out of the magazine or single load them? Recoil might be battering the tips just enough to put them very slightly off-center without visibly damaging them; that'd slow your bullets down. If you single load, this explanation goes out the window. Just asking.

Did you shoot those 165 grainers out of a Lazzaroni 7.82 Warbird? When you are starting bullets at 3500 fps a couple hundred fps velocity difference might be meaningless at 100 and 200 yards but not at 300 or more.
When you say your 200 yard groups are fine, do you mean they are perfectly round or just small?

On the other hand, maybe it IS Satan.

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from Proverbs wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mark1- you are using the same ballistic tips that I use in my .223 - 50gr. V-Max. Those are the only plastic tips I still use, and have good results with those.

My problem children were plastic tips in .30 cal and 7mm hot rounds.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I've heard the same lament from bonded core bullet users but not poly-tipped.

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from Triggerf16 wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Dave,

Check your load when fired across a Chronograph. I'll bet the Standard deviation for your ballistic tip load is large. These velocity deviations do not manifest on the target at 100 and 200 yards, because velocity errors do not effect vertical dispersion at short range (short bullet time of flight).

At longer ranges, the velocity variations will become obvious as vertical stringing occurs. As the trajectory continues to fall at longer ranges, vertical dispersion will become greater. just like mis-estimating range by 25 yards become significant at longer (400+ yds) ranges.

Judd

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mnthunter I like the Accubond Because they ony cost about $25 a box to reload and I have had great luck with them from deer to elk. Thats load I have been telling you about with the 66 grains of IMR 4831 shoots like dream and its accurate.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Concerning weighing bullets while hand loading: IMO Hornady can be inconsistent up to .5 gr. but not as a rule most are better. This is the bullet I handload for deer season and I love them, Sierra's weigh out pretty good but to soft for me, they really expand at close shots and tear up meat. I really like Partitions for bullet to bullet weight they are damn close.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Well carney tuning in a rifle is more tuning in the vibrations and how they r transferred throughouth the weapon in the moment the bullet goes down the barrel with final performance precisionvise determined by where on the "swing" the muzzle is.. id say those little dots dampens the vibrations a bit impeeding the swing a little, possibly making the gun more consistent with different types of ammo, possibly creating a precision torment for that favourite load.. me, id sand it out, then test different ammos, and if precision went down put the "dots" in again if i find that works better but making a shortened barrelbed instead perhaps.. im an eternal tinkerer like that. but bedding levers in general, then u mostly only wanna bed the contactpoints of the stocks with the action eliminating differences in flex of the stock.. creating more consistent vibrations shot to shot..

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from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Wa Mtnhunter,
I'd like to know what powder Federal loads their ammo with since my '06 doesn't shoot Federal ammo well either. I'm talkin 165gr Seirra Gamekings.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Idduckhntr, you're right about the silver tips, I went back to some info I had where I had loaded some many years ago. Thanks for the Info....

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Jim in MO

Don't know what Federal uses. Their .30-06 Barnes 16555 TSX shoot better in mine than anything I've shot and the .35 Whelen 225 TBBC are sub-MOA in my rifle. I have not had such good luck with some of their other loads.

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from Thomas Reid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I would agree with breathing. Also how much time did you allow between shots for your barrel to cool or not cool. From a cold barrel your 1st shot will be different from your 7th shot. I would also fathom to think that if you did allow a bit of time to elapse that it may have got warmer or cooler in ambient air temp. Dark fields warm up rather quickly in the sun.

Tom the troll

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Many times I've stated on this blog to zero your weapon to the distsance you think you will be shooting. Many Western hunters zero 2" high and say they are dead on at 200 yds, not so. A bullet does many things past the l00 yd marker and I do not beliee the Polymer tips has one thing to do with the wobble at longer ranges.Once a bullet reaches the top of it's arch and heads downward, it more or less in a free fall situation, can go anyplace. So if you plan to shoot 400 yds,zero for 400. I zero all my western guns at 200 yds + l", should be dead on at 250 yds. 2 ys ago, using a 30-06, and a 25-06,I killed a Lope at 325 yds and a huge deer at 345 yds with the zero stated above. The bullet performed flawless. Trust your rangefinder prior to the shot and then adjust your hold over-under accordlie. Have see first had the guy who zeroed 2" high at 100 yds and shot under/over his target. Also,different Mfgers bullets act differently in some firearms. Try several brands and then use the better of the lot, do not dwitch back and forth. I fully believe a rifle bbl has to be BROKEN in for a given bullet. My 700's shoot perfect to 200 yds using Rem Sciroccos, then I switched to Winchester BAllastic tips and was off 4' at 200 yds. Most all firerms will shoot accuraate to a 100 yd zero, but beyond 100 yds, a different story. So shoot-umn-straight and very often Plus buy the best bullet you can find. What is a 5.00 bullet compsrd to a 5.000 hunt.Get your firearm zeroed in, then pratice with a 22 bolt gun to save $, but yet get the prtice. As a rule prior to my trips, I shoot around 20 rounds of my hunting bullets, then stop, do not clean bbl, just wipe down good and package for shipment(I do run a dry wipe down the bl to remove excess powder and gunk, but not oily). A clean bbl verses a fouled bbl will be off several inches beyond 200 yds. Now with B.P a different story. Hey, did you know that Knight Rifles Inx. has closed it's doors????? yep, as per Petersens Hunter MAgazine I got today. Sad, but T/C/CVA still makes the better B/P guns.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Back in 89 a bunch of us loaded up 250 grain Sierra Game Kings for our 338 Win Mags for a upcoming Caribou hunt. About ¾ of us had one hole going in and two going out and come to find out we were experiencing jacket separation. I called Sierra and they denied the problem until the Lab Coat Guy figured out I wasn’t the regular John Do Winkle off the street. He said Sierra was working on a bonding agent like some kind of glue when under heat would adhere the jacket to the core.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Seems most everything except velocity variance and the devil would cause the shots to spread randomly rather than vertically. Perhaps vertical wind shear?

I have a hard time believing polycarb tips would melt in the very short time to target - tip would have to reach over 500 degrees F for some time. Could be wrong though, but try putting a torch to the tip for a fraction of a second and see what happens. Maybe try shooting into ballistic gelatin at 300 yards and see if the tips look melted. Deformed, maybe, but melted?

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from etexan wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I have pondered the performance of the 300/416 ULA rifle and cannot imagine a repeatable performance such as that described. With unguided projectiles, distance is the enemy of precision.

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from jimmied wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I shot a Whitetail at a little over 350 yards lasered using a 7 mag and a 140 gr Balistic Tip @ MV 3150. I found the plastic tip in the lung mass. It did not melt. I did have the long range problems using Balistic Tips in my 300 Win Mag. Verticle groups all over the place.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Amen, Gunslinger. A 200 yard zero ain't worth a flip unless you shoot at 200 to verify it! That's what I do, too. About one inch high on the 200 yard target.

WMH

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Amen, Gunslinger. A 200 yard zero ain't worth a flip unless you shoot at 200 to verify it! That's what I do, too. About one inch high on the 200 yard target.

WMH

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from hunt3r wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Did you cronograph those shots? sounds like the velocities are varying to much? if they were handloads, did you throw and weigh each charge? if they were factory rounds...good luck

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

WAMTNhunter: Glad you agree. Common sense tells us to zero to the distance we think we will shot. Range the target, then adjust your cross-hairs according. I know with a 200 yd bull if I zero to it +l" where that bullet is going. Will be dead on at 250 or close. I killed several animals before I learned how to zero. Mot hunters just have the sales person bore sight it and go hunting. I do bore sight, just to get on the paper, then I shot as needed, usually about 5 shots will get my range. Do you recall mytrue story of the guy come into camp with new gun and outfitter ask him how it shot? In the past l9 yrs I;ve only had to shot one animal twice, the others all fell at the first shot in their tracks. But, I only take makeable shots. I'm not into this mile shots period. About 400 yds is my max, but depends on game I'm hunting and which 700 gun I'm shooting.I have my 700's twinked a tad and they all shot as i want them to. Five weeks til season opens here on firearms. Much to do, set up my ground blinds in 2 weeks, check out my zero and finish scoping and zeroing the new MArlin 270..How about Knight closing it's doors??????PS; Cameras shows we got 2 nice Bucks in my back yard, just hope they live thru Bow season which is now in evect. They got lots of cover,water, food etc. So unless some poachers learn of them they should be here when I'm ready.One is a 10 and l a ll or 12 with 2 drop tines. The largest deer I've seen here all my life.Makes my 9 pointer of last year look like a yearlying.Shoot-um-straight and often.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

With Knight closing up shop, we all know why Jim Shockley switched to T/C,right? However T/C makes a great B/P gun.I'd like a Encore in Walnut and a couple extra bbls. Got enough firepower, just need to hunt more.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Gunslinger

I hope you bag that big boy this year! If I can't get a rifle and load to dial in at 200 yards, it stays home until it does! Except the iron sighted ones. They are sighted in for 100 yards.

Had the old Remington 700 at the range last week and it shoots MOA out at 200 yds like always with no adjustments required. It is a wonderful confidence builder to know for sure that your rifle will indeed hit point of aim at a given range with no guesswork or B.S.

I think the reason all the hunting show folks are using T/C is that's where the money trail leads! LOL

Heading to Colorado next Wednesday.

WMH

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Think I will cry, you headed to C0 sure makes we wish i was headed that way myself. I love that state once I get past Denver. So much to see and great hunting from there to Utah. Hopefully my health/$$ will allow me to go next year. I wish you great success and a wonderful trip. I can sit up on Nlack Mtn and be happy as anyone could ask for, if see shootable game, so much the better, but just being on top of the world is pleasant enough. Back to zero's. I also ws able to use open sghts till a few years back, but at my age, it must be scoped now. I can do ok with Fiber Optic sights out to 100 or so yds but beyond the scope is a must.I've noticed on this Blog that no one but me ever mentions the Rem Sciroccos's bullets. Am i the only guy who swears by them? For a # of years I used Rems Extended Range l68 grs, but they stope making them and went to the Sciroccos. I had never used a Poly tip prior, but do believe it is better than the PSP now.Or at lest it works better for me. I do not re-load, never trusted myself to do it right. As stated once i'm all zeroed in and happy with results, I pratice with my Marlin Bolt action in 22 mag. Made up some new taargets today, so ready to zero the Marlin tomorrow if possible. Sure hope this new gun does well as i wanted a 4 wheeler/truck gun and never used a 270 before,so figured would try. If unhappy, will trade for another Rem or the new T/C Ventura. I'm use to the l80 gr bullets and the 270 will be using l30 grs, hope its enough to bring down the W-tails here as my 700's/in 30-06 and 25-06 ( for w-tails and lopes) will go west when I return.I'd love to go down to New Mexico for Elk, providing the $$$ available. The ranch I hunt in MT has been hunted a lot and there is many bears, Cougars and wolves on that property which keeps the population down. The owner says I come to early, need to wait till the snow runs the Elk/mulies lower. I hunted Elk in C0 when the snow was over l8" deep, kinda tough hunting for a guy who walks with a cane or Bi-pod as a crutch. I'd like to B/P hunt MT during the Rut, believe i could score a nice Bull. Again, think of the old Gunslinger when you get to Co next week and have a great hunt. Shoot-um-straight and often.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

WAMtn hunter:
Don;t know if you saw my article a few yrs back about sling shots, but if not here it id agsin. When in the Rocky Mtns and hunting high up, thoe Mulies will bed about 25-50 yds below the ridge line. Make or buy a sling shot and carry some marbles or steel balls and shoot the slingshot below wher you know or think the Mulies are bedded. If ther is as Mulie there he will run up hill as a rule giving you a shot. Or, if you encounter a thicket and know game is there shoot over the thicket and be ready for what-ever to come out, if not your direction, maybe to the side to get a shot. It works, did for me in Colorado many years ago. I do that herea as we got many groves of Laure trees and the w-tails love to hid in them. It works better here if 2 or more people are hunting, and espcially using slug shotguns. Make a slingshot from a about a 3/4" forked limb, then go to tie place and geta thrown out old innertube. Tae a skall piece of leather or the tongue of a old pair of shoes to hold your projectile. A little project to keep you busy. I use fishing line to tie the rubber to the fork and the tongue and i also use about l/4 to 3/8" steel balls, but marbles workok as do pebbles that are mostly roun so will roll after falling.Not able to walk far, this works great for me, and it works wher you see game, but he will not give you a clear shot. At least it makes him move unless you plan to wait him out. Many A Elk has slipped out the back door that otherwise would have move towards you for a shot. Just make sure you shoot the Balls, etc over him. Give it some thought, And no I'm not completely Crazy yet, but close. I do Envy your trip to C0 next week. If successful, send us some photos. Have fun and shoot-um-straight.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

WAMtnhunter , thats tire( inner-tube store) for the rubber to make the sling shot.Anothre thing we use here for scent control is to take a small patch of cloth, soak in Turpintine and add about 8-10 ft of strong line, attached to your belt,etc. drag tht behind you to cover your scent. We also use Vanilla flavoring , rather than the high $ store Tinks stuff. We also leave our hunting cloths in a plastic container about 36" long by l8" tall and wide. At days end place those cloths inside and add a coupe of cotton balls soakedin the Terpintine. Sure eliminates your odor for next time out.Yep, I'm a cheap sucker, but only if it works. I;ve had deer cross my back trail and never even slowed when crossed by my path. I also rub the bottom of my hunt boots with terpintine to make sure. Sometimes I use my Decoy and place him /her about 25 yds away and add the Soaked Cotton ball in Vanilla favoring( or your favorit scent , like Tinks, etc to the Decoy. All works well especially during the Rut. When will you be returning from C0, so I can be on look-out for your success. Good hunting. No one hs responded to my question on Sciroccos bullets?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Gunslinger

Thanks for your kind words and tips. We are headed out Wednesday morning if all goes well. We'll spend the night in Boise and then in Rock Springs, WY before traipsing into Craig late morning on Friday. Some of the fellas are driving straight through Thursday late morning into Friday noon. They will wonder why they are so tired without spending at least 2 nights at altitude! Warned them, but sometimes you can tell a green horn, but you can't tell 'em much! HA HA I won't have to spend time behind those eyeballs, but they will!

Stay after those whitetails! I wish you all the success in the world this season.

Best regards,
WMH

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Have a safe,, successful trip. The experts tell us to spend some time in Denver at mile high City and then another city prior to Craig at about 7K feet. When we go out to C0 wedo just that, but when go to MT is only about 5K feet but wher I hunt is 9-10K, but I get there 3 days in advance to get adjusted and visit, as when season opens, my visitation is over and its hunt till I drop, or I drop my animal. At my age and health, no way could I eveb ride straight thru to Craig, its a long ways from N.C. to Craig, about 2500 miles by road. I hate flying, and the regulations have made it worse, but for me it's teh only way I could go. I could not be on the road for 5-6 days period,.in 2006, Flew to Denver,rented a car and drove to Douglasa Wy for the Lope hunt, then after that drove to Missoula, MT but took oue rime and was on the road a week, as was no hurry had 2 weeks befoe season opened. But I had applied for the Lope hunt for 12 yrsm and was not going to let it go by, plus already had my licenses and airline tickes to Montana, so we just fiddled along, went back to Yellowstone then up to Glacier NP, had plenty of time, so was a easy trip for me then, plus got my Lope and the Mulie. Elk were up to high and no way for me to get to them, needed a foot of snow. Hopefully the weather will be right for you. In 97 got snowed in in Steamboat Springs for 3 days, but was happy as I had my Elk on ice frozen. Roads finally cleared somewhat to get me over Rabbitt ears pass on to 70. You shoot-um-straight and bring home a nice animal. Get on the Blog when you return, let me know how things went. Enjoy yourself and be safe. Chat when you return.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Have a wonderful time in Colorado. Chat when you return with the Trophy. Shoot-um-straight ,show those green horns how it's done.
Good Luck; Save me a trophy Elk for next year above Craig on Black Mountain off highway l3 at the old Boy Scout Camp. If you every camp out, thats teh place to go. They have a good Rec building that many sleep in if weather is lousy. Have Corrals for horses and camp sights and compose toilets. A nice large lake for fishing, a beautiful place. If all goes well and the good Lord allows me another year to hunt, we might just run into each other in Craig. I'd love to meet you and chat the night away. Drive safe.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Gunslinger, you and I agree on many things, and I probably didn't get all you were saying, but I believe in picking a good range and zero as per your bullet/weight, but know where that bullet is going to be at different ranges. All shooting while hunting can be quite different ,due to wind, an animal a little closer or farther away.. Glad you are feeling some better, Three people here at home got some nice elk this past week. One was a nice 6x6 and one was an 8x8. I don't know what the other one was. I'm going to put in for draw next spring.

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from sarg wrote 4 years 26 weeks ago

Sorry about that last post, should have been 7X7....not 8x8..Going down the 31st. to look some over.

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