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jim boyd's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 07/06/2010
Posts: 889
Sighting in Centerfire Rifles



I know the answers to this are going to be all over the board…


With a centerfire rifle, who does their initial sighting in at 100 yards and then actually takes the time and effort to then stretch out to 200, 250 and 300 yards to make sure they “know” where their bullet is going to strike during a hunting situation?


I have actually seen some folks to RECOMMEND to other hunters to set the bullet on the paper 1” low at 50 yards – and then they advised that the rifle is “good to go” out to 200 – or even 300 yards. This just seems flat stupid to me.


I had a 165 range to practice on in 2009 and in 2010, I had a 230 yard range. I took advantage then of both of these.


I have a new lease for 2011 and am going to put in a 300 yard range so I can start to see where I am – that far out.


Fess up, Boys… who is doing it right and who is taking shortcuts??

Joined: 01/10/2006
Posts: 14
I shoot a Savage 300 WSM. I

I shoot a Savage 300 WSM. I started out with 180 gr federal fusion. Shot 1" groups at 100 yards then moved out to 200 yards and was all over the board (about 5" groups.) I went down to 165 grain and was dead center at 100 yards and then moved out to 200 yards. Shot 1-1/2" groups but right in line with the bullseye (no bullet drop from 100 to 200 yards.) I then moved out to 300 yards and was about 2" to the right, but again right in line with the bullseye. I haven't checked with enough people to see if I could be shooting that flat, but I figured, hell if if I'm only off 2" at 300 yards and dead on at 200 and 100, I'm not going to mess with it.

CVC's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3579
I make sure I am in the paper

I make sure I am in the paper at one hundred, then zero at two hundred and then shoot three hundred to fine tune it.

WesternHunter's picture
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
sighting in

When I get a new rifle or a used rifle I have'n set up yet I bore-sight it as best I can at 25 yards.  Take it to the range and see where a 3 shot groups lands on paper at 50 yards.  From their I re-adjust it to hit a 3 shot group at dead center still at 50 yrds.  Move to 100 yrds and tweek it to hit windage center and elevation 2 inches high at 100 yrds. I sight-in my biggame rifle to be windage zero and elevation 1 inch high at 200 yards.  From there I tweek it for windage only at 300 yards.  That gets me point-blank into the vitals of any biggame animal without having to compensate with any holdover of the crosshairs out to 300 yards.  Once things are where I want them to be I practice only off-hand shooting - sitting, prone, kneeling from 50 yrds to 300 yrds.  I only use a bench when checking the rifles zero or re-adjusting things. With my varmit and target rifles I do something similar, but the numbers differ for those.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
When sighting in a rifle I

When sighting in a rifle I shoot a ten shot group at 100yds over a cronograph. Then I take the average velocity and run data thru my cronographs computer to sight in the rifle at MPBR for either a 3" target for a preditor rifle, or a 6" target for big game. I then adjust the scope to put the center of a three shot group at 100yds where the information I got for MPBR says it should be at 100yds. Then I shoot at ranges to 300yds and compare actual group impact center with what my read out says it should be.

Some guy's talking about group size at different ranges, that has nothing top do with sighting in at those ranges. The only thing that count's is the center of impact which would be the center of the group.

Example would be for my 6.5-06 with a 125gr Nosler Part - ave vel for 10 shots is 2960 fps. MPBR at 6" target is 287yds - Zero is at 246yds. Trajectory @ 250--.3" @ 300--4" @ 350--9.3". I have shot this load at the listed ranges and ranges inbetween and this chart is scary accurate.

243Win 75gr Hornady V-Max - ave vel 3150 fps MPBR at 3" target-229yds. trajectory 250yds--2.5". 275yds--4.4". 300yds--6.7". Between the muzzle and 229yds, the bullet never rises more than 1 1/2" or falls lower than 1 1/2". Rifle was shor at the ranges to check trajectory accuracy, right on.

Tndeerhunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1136
sight in

It all depends on the rifle/cartridge combination and the type hunt I'm looking at. Hunting bear over bait has no need for a rifle with a 275 yd MPBR sight in. For the majority of my rifles I have sight in set for a 150yd zero giving me out to 200 yards for most typical chamberings with no holdover required. I'm not a huge fan of sighting in at 3" high at 100 yds to attain a 275+ yd MPBR.

I prefer to use my flattest shooters for any long range shot possibilities; 6.5 RM, .270 WSM,  7mmSAUM and .300 SAUM. I have also found that the sight ins I've set at 100 yds using charts and ballistics calculators and then checked at 200 yards and further are very accurate with where the bullet is expected to strike. I'm personally not interested in shots in excess of 300 yards at all. Only one spot I hunt has a 200+ yard possibility and most all my hunting is woods hunting in and around thick woods.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
Not so important the MPBR

Not so important the MPBR it's set for, what matter's is the target size you select. By going to a smaller target you actually lessen the MPBR but make all the practical use you can of the cartridge being used. If, of course, you seldom fired at anything over about 150yds then MPBR gets moot unless, your shooting at small target's. I use a 3" target for my preditor rifle because I have managed to shoot over the head of coyotes when that was all All I could see. Calling will not usually require a long shot but it may require threading the needle now and again. The way to do that is the flatest trajectory you can dial in, which does reduce MPBR.

There are times when shooting does get well beyond normal. I'm talking well over 350yds. A flat shooting cartridge can be used out to that distence easily if the MPBR is set at say a 6" or better for big game 8" target. Beyond that trajectory starts falling off badly and you can forget the cool BDC reticules and others. If you don't know the range all the dots in the world are useless. and from what I understand about the mil dots, they are set for a specific bullet wt. and velocity range. And you still need to know the range or they don't help. Therefor when shooting beyond MPBR I suggest a scope with adjustable turrets and a good range finder. That is even true when using the 3" target I use on my 243. Not having a turret scope on it, I simply limit my shooting ranges.

What I have found using MPBR is that I can sight all my hunting rifles in on a 6" target, find the MPBR and live within those limits and most high intensity cartridges are good about 300yd cartridges. The theory of the target size for those that don't know, is that you shoot thru a tube that size and to the max range the bullet will never rise above the top of the target nor fall fall below the bottom. After that you really need to start being a shooter.

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