printable targets and sighting in

Discussion in 'misc hunting and range related' started by grumpyvette, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    read the link


    each of us will have a favorite target design,heres a link to a basic 100 yard rifle sight in target

    to get the maximum point blank range from most rifles, used for hunting big game, its generally a good idea to sight the rifle in so it hits about 2"-3.5" above the cross hairs at 100 yards so that the rifles curved trajectory with a center chest hold allows a decent hit out to longer ranges that sighting dead on at 100 yards will provide

    example heres a ballistic calculator link

    lets assume we have a 308 win we want to hunt deer with, we load some 165 grain bullets at 2650fps

    sight in dead on at 100 yards and the bullet strikes about 7" low at only 230 yards, enough to cause a miss or crippling hit and a long trailing job.

    sight in 3" high on a target 100 yards and the bullet strikes about 7" low at almost 290 yards,but stays within about that 3" above or below the cross hairs to about 260 yards, enough difference to allow easier hits out to about 260 yards when you guess a bit wrong on yardage to the target,

    [​IMG] ... tics_0303/

    Ive found that the vast majority of the guys in my ELK camp can shoot decent groups of a bench rest but it takes a great deal of experience and skill gained over time to shoot a consistent 3" or smaller group shooting from a sitting or standing position at 100 yards in the field.
    when you can do that consistently youll be fine.
    we generally practice using a 1.5" orange dot on a 10" paper plate backer , at the range and shoot off hand with a sling and sitting with a sling. a bench rest is great for getting the RIFLE and SCOPE sighted in, but its practice from field positions thats most useful, Id also suggest sighting in so the bullets 3" high at 100 yards
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2018
  2. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    you can,t make smart choices without a calculated ballistic trajectory chart, if I miss jusge range a bit its never proven to be an issue and elk are fairly large targets, a good bi-pod, sling and scope helps, but lots of practice from field positions rather than off the bench is mandatory
    heres my 340 wby sighted in at 3" at 100 yards and again at 3.5" at 100 yards
    Ive sighted in 3.5" high and you can basically ignore worrying about trajectory issues where I hunt because its been decades since Ive seen an elk under hunt conditions past 300 yards ... t=f630255c

    3" high
    3.5" high


    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2015
  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Hunting Rifle Accuracy:
    Enough is Enough!

    By Chuck Hawks

    I believe it was Townsend Whelen who wrote that, "Only accurate rifles are interesting." As a general proposition I would tend to agree with him. Few things are more frustrating than a firearm that cannot be made to consistently hit the target.

    Accuracy is important in a hunting rifle, but not all important. Especially on the Internet, accuracy has taken on an almost mythical status. No one seems willing to admit to shooting groups larger than 1 minute of angle (MOA). I have read absurd discussions on shooting forums about how to shave 1/10th MOA from a hunting rifle's performance and postings from (obviously inexperienced) shooters distressed because their new rifle could not produce sub-1" groups at 100 yards. It is as if these shooters are living in some sort of alternative reality.

    Professional gun writers contribute to this mythology by routinely reporting rifle "tests" in which every advertiser's smokepole routinely shoots 1" groups (or smaller) at 100 yards. Ditto for every factory load, regardless of caliber or purpose. Sure they do!

    I have written it before and I will write it again: these groups are achieved on a word processor, not in the field. At best what the writer means is that once, when the stars were momentarily aligned in the sky, he shot a 1" group with the test rifle. He will never admit in print that he shot nine other groups ranging in size from 2" to 4" with the same rifle.

    However, the inexperienced and the gullible take these "test reports" to heart. The most absurd exaggeration is accepted without question, and endlessly repeated (and embellished) online. The boldest liars become authorities on marksmanship and rifle performance. It would be depressing if it were not so absurd!

    Accuracy is relative. Realistically, there is no such thing as absolute accuracy, by which I mean a rifle capable of 0.0 MOA accuracy. Some specialized rifles can come very close, shooting what may look like one-hole groups, but there is always some variation, caused by the fact that no rifle or bullet is truly perfect. There is always some manufacturing tolerance, a tiny "plus or minus" factor in anything made by man that falls short of absolute perfection.

    Accuracy can be defined in terms of group size at a given range, such as a 1" three shot group at 100 yards or 100 meters, measured from center to center of the points of impact. It can also be defined in terms of the angular dispersion of the bullets. Angle is described in terms of degrees, minutes of arc and seconds of arc. There are 360 degrees in a full circle, 60 minutes of arc in one degree and 60 seconds of arc in one arc-minute. For general purposes, one minute of angle equals a 1" group (center to center) at 100 yards.

    What is meant by the term "practical" as applied to accuracy? The dictionary defines practical as: "Capable of being used or put into effect; useful." So the next question must be: accuracy useful for hunting what kind of game, at what range?

    For the purposes of this little piece the answer to that question are the common species of antelope, goat, sheep and deer hunted in North America (and similar size game worldwide). These are often called medium size big game animals, or sometimes just medium game, and they range in size from the smallish pronghorn antelope and sub-species of whitetail deer weighing about 90 pounds on the hoof to sheep, mountain goats and mule deer than might average up to 200 pounds. Even very large members of these species seldom exceed 300 pounds in live weight.

    The smallest of these animals offers about an 8" diameter heart-lung kill area and most offer at least a 10" kill area. So, to be conservative, let's say that our rifle needs to be able to put its bullets (from a cold barrel) into about a 6" circle at whatever range our skill and the trajectory of the cartridge we are using allows. This leaves a little room for error on even the smallest medium game animals.

    For the hunter using a 100-150 yard hunting rifle, such as rifles chambered for what are fundamentally pistol cartridges (.357 Magnum, .44-40, .44 Magnum, etc.) or low pressure cartridges like the .38-55 and .45-70, a 4 MOA group will suffice. 4" groups at 100 yards don't look very impressive at the range, but 4 MOA groups mean all bullets within a 6" circle at 150 yards, about the maximum useful range of this class of cartridges. A .44 Magnum rifle that will put all of its bullets into a 4" circle at 100 yards is a deadly deer rifle, as accurate as it needs to be.

    A 200 yard hunting rifle, such as a .30-30, .35 Remington, or .444 Marlin needs to print 3 MOA (3") groups at 100 yards. This means that all of the bullets will be landing inside of a 6" circle at 200 yards. A North American hunter can take any deer, sheep, pronghorn, or goat with such a rifle. In Townsend Whelen's day, few hunting rifles would shoot better than that. Many will today, but practically speaking it doesn't matter. 3 MOA is good enough for 100% kills out to at least 200 yards. A 200 yard rifle that shoots 1 MOA groups is not one whit deadlier than one that shoots 3 MOA groups.

    The hunter with a long range rifle capable of taking medium game at 300 yards (such as a 6mm Remington, .25-06, .270 Winchester, 7mm Remington Magnum or .300 Winchester Magnum), needs a rifle that averages 2 MOA groups. Those 2" groups at 100 yards will open to 6" at 300 yards. Very few hunters can take advantage of more accuracy than that in the field, so 2 MOA represents the practical limit of accuracy for most hunters. I am sure that Col. Whelen would have classified such a rifle as very "interesting." Of course, it is nice if Old Betsy will shoot even smaller groups at the rifle range, but it is simply not necessary from a practical standpoint.

    For the master shot with a trajectory table developed for his specific rifle and load, a high quality rangefinder, a solid rest, and shooting an ultra-long range cartridge like the .240 to .300 Weatherby Magnums, .264 Winchester Magnum, or 7mm Remington Ultra Mag, a 400 yard shot might be justified. If so, that hunter needs a rifle that will reliably shoot into 1.5 MOA. 1.5 MOA means a rifle that groups within 3" at 200 yards and 6" at 400 yards. This is a very interesting rifle indeed, particularly considering the muzzle blast and recoil of most ultra-long range cartridges. Such rifles are quite scarce in the real world. At 400 yards the merest twitch by the hunter, or a puff of wind 200 yards away, will throw the bullet clear out of the kill area. The inherent accuracy of the rifle has become a secondary consideration compared to other variables.

    Groups better than 1.5 MOA are swell to brag about online, but irrelevant in the field. Accuracy beyond the practical limit is simply unnecessary. No one is justified in taking shots longer than 400 yards with any hunting rifle or cartridge. Sub-MOA rifles are nice, but irrelevant to the hunter.

    Many other factors are more important to a successful and humane hunt, the functional reliability of the rifle and load being among them. This mitigates against hunting cartridges derived from PPC-type bench rest cartridges, for technical reasons that I don't have time to go into here. Examples of inappropriate hunting rounds include the WSSM, WSM and Rem. SAUM cartridges. Examples of cartridges designed to feed reliably from bolt action rifles include the .270 Winchester, .30-06 and .375 H&H Magnum. Compare, say, a .300 WSM to a .30-06 and note the differences in design, then buy hunting rifles chambered for cartridges that look like the latter.

    Perhaps paramount among the factors more important than accuracy beyond the practical limit is the terminal performance of the bullet. It must penetrate into the vitals of the game to do its job and it must have expanded to destroy the maximum amount of tissue once it gets there. An adequately accurate bullet that does a good job of killing game is far preferable to a brilliantly accurate bullet that does a marginal job when it hits the target. Thus, while I always test a number of bullets and loads in each of my hunting rifles to find the one that gives the best accuracy, I test only bullets that are widely regarded as appropriate for the velocity and type of hunting for which they will be used. No match or other exotic bullets need apply.

    My .257 Weatherby Magnum rifle, for example, will shoot at or just under 1.5 MOA (1.5" at 100 yards) with Weatherby factory loads using the 120 grain Nosler Partition bullet. The same rifle will shoot into 1 MOA or a little less at the same distance with Weatherby factory loads using the 100 grain Spire Point bullet. On light game the 100 grain Spire Point is a deadly bullet, but for general purpose hunting I load up with the Nosler Partition cartridges. The advantage of the heavier, super-deadly Partition bullet far outweighs a paltry .5 MOA difference in accuracy.

    An article i came across on hunting accuracy.

    I read that chuck hawks article and have to agree with much of the info, Ive hunted elk for decades with rifles that are generally capable of 1"-1.3" 5 shot groups off a bench rest, but no one I know hunts from a bench rest, and Im a decent shot with a sling and a bi-pod on my elk rifles or even shooting off hand, but Ive also taken the time to shoot from field positions and measure targets, 2"-2.5" groups from a sitting position with a bi-pod are common at 100 yards, and 3" groups at a hundred yard range resting with your support hand against the nearest tree trunk while standing or kneeling are common, if your honest and test yourself in the field, I doubt 90% of the hunters can even duplicate those groups, so shooting sub, 1" groups at the range doesn,t mean a great deal.
    what counts is what you can do with that rifle after walking for several hours and in the 5-15 seconds you might have in many cases to get off a shot under field conditions, Ive won many a $10 bet, betting guys could not knock a beer can off a fence post shooting off hand at 100 yards or even shooting prone over a back pack rest in some cases with their first shot.

    think IM wrong, put a 2.5" diam. orange dot on a dead tree next hunting trip, pace off 100 long strides, at a brisk walking pace, turn and fire,from your choice of position within 10 seconds, odds are very good that dots still in perfect shape

    If you think having a rifle that shoots sub 1" groups off the bench rest solves your accuracy issues, I think YOUR perhaps missing the point! theres no doubt having an accurate rifle helps, thats not the issue, its the fact that even with a rifle thats easily able to keep 1" bench rest groups most guys I have watched CAN,T hit crap from field positions, if they are in any kind of a hurry to shoot or the least bit fatigued or winded from even moderate walking.
    yeah! I know everyone reading this thinks Im full of it! try the simple test and walk briskly 100 yards and turn, drop to a sitting, or prone position fire a shot in under 10 seconds ,which won,t come close to the adrenalin rush most guys get seeing a large game animal and the fact the targets slowly moving in many cases or the fact there frequently obstacles like intervening trees,and in much of elk country, theres far too much brush to allow prone shots, so sitting or standing shots possibly using a tree to steady you are far more commonly used. anyone can shoot decent groups of the bench or shooting prone over a back pack if they take there time, but its a totally different deal if your in a rush, and under stress and thats much more likely to duplicate real world hunting conditions, keep in mind a rifle that only shoots a 2" group is still hitting within an inch of the point of aim at 100 yards, and even a small elk is easy to hit out at 350=400 yards with, ..just try the simple test it will prove to be an eye opener trust me here, Ive done it with all my hunting buddy's and most could not hit that 2.5" dot under those conditions on the first try

    I WONDER how many guys will try this and HONESTLY report their results
    "the simple test and walk briskly 100 yards and turn, drop to a sitting, or prone position fire a single shot in under 10 seconds at a 2.5" dot at a 100 yards distance, did you hit on the first try? if you did your in a rather exclusive group"
  4. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    yeah! I see that , tendency to shoot tight groups off the bench at the range and call it good and go hunting without practicing from field positions, way to often, I try hard to get guys in our group to practice at least with a sling and from a sitting position, and strongly advise use of an adjustable bi-pod that can be used prone or from a sitting position. ... u=00053S25

    Ive killed most of my elk from either shooting off hand at close range (usually leaning my hand on a tree) or with a bi-pod ranges usually well under 150 yards, but Ive killed mule deer in more open areas much further out using the bi-pod rest.
    what amazes me is how few guys either use a bi-pod or practice shooting anyplace but off the bench rest at the range.
    yeah I know everyone thinks they are a darn good shot and can produce those tiny groups off a sand bag rest, Ive seen plenty of guys miss elk and deer or hit them in places I know they never intentionally aimed for, even at ranges under 100 yards.
    I still kid one of my friends about missing a running bull elk at no more than 50 yards, with his remington 308 win, carbine,he fired 4 shots and the elk dropped about 70 yards away, and only had a single bullet thru the liver, his tongue in cheek excuse " I don,t like liver any way" and he can keep a 5/8" 5 shot hundred yard group off a bench rest, but hitting a running bull elk , shooting off hand at 50 yards in timbers a different deal.
    thats one reason I rarely feel handicapped using a 375H&H carbine or a BLR in a caliber like 450 marlin or 358 win, or worry much of a guy in our elk hunt camp wants to use a 257 roberts or 25/06, its because where we hunt shots tend to be fairly close and where you hits a bit more important in my experience than the caliber used.
    now I don,t want anyone thinking theres not better choices in equipment , or that using at least a 270 win doesn,t help results,,but having enough practice with a rifle your familiar with , to hit a moving target at under 100 yards shooting from a field position, is the important factor at times.

    every one finds the equipment and style of hunting that suits him best, for me its always been sneaking thru steep narrow canyons, that most hunters avoid like the black plague
    and learning to shoot skeet , practicing shooting skeet,along with a great deal of rifle practice shooting from field positions and having a top quality scope with an easy to see reticule sure helps when your back ground lighting sucks and an elks walking or running, having a heavy caliber carbine with a 2.5X or 4X scope sure helps also if you like hunting steep heavily wooded canyons like I do!
    now I own and carry a 340 wby just as often if I feel like watching a canyon rather than still hunting thru one, and if your potentially going to make shots over 300 yards that rifles an advantage, but you certainly can hunt elk very effectively without that type of power or range, like I stated earlier, most of the elk Ive killed were dropped well under 150 yards
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Im amazed at times, by the questions and reactions of guys watching me when I take my remington 7600 35 whelen and sako 375 H&H to the range with my chronograph.
    either rifle shoots consistent 3 shot 100 yard groups off a bench rest under 1.2"in diam.
    most of the comments are based on what seems to be , or is the common idea that many guys hold , that they seem to think that if your not pushing a bullet over 2800 fps at a minimum, it will bounce off game.
    my 250 grain whelen loads are clocking about 2450 fps , my 270 grain H&H loads are clocking closer to 2600fps from my me when I tell you, that in 40 plus years of hunting my experience is neither rifles bullets bounce off elk!
    velocity might not be all that impressive but I guess the Elk never noticed.

    375 H&H CARBINE

    35 whelen
  6. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    if you own a 30/06 and want to go elk or deer hunting, the standard load Ive used for my 30/06 and several others in out camp I load fors listed below,
    Ive seen way too many 200 grain speer and 190 grain hornady bullets Ive reloaded for guys in our elk hunting group,fired from 30/06 caliber rifles, kill more than enough elk to have any doubts about the combos effect on elk.
    Id concentrate on rifle practice from field positions, and getting into shape, rather than buying a new rifle.
    [​IMG] ... spx?id=103
    49 grains of WW760 under that 200 speer works fine in many 30/06

    you simply sight in at 100 yards off the bench on the yellow dot and have all the shots print over the smaller red dot,when you get out in the field, hold where the light green dot is it will produce a fatal wound out a bit past 300 yards, you sure don,t have to use this method or even agree but I can assure you its resulted in a bunch of dead elk

    years ago I saw a game department survey made where they asked hundreds of hunters at a western BLM check point, to look out at 5 different colored flags placed at random but carefully measured distances and write down what each person estimated the distance too be from the check point, they were handed a pen and a survey card, they were told NONE of the colored flags were at an even 100 yard multiple but that was the only info , each flag was a different, color, placed in a
    different direction and at a different distance.
    the survey taker pointed out each colored flag and asked them to write down their estimated range!
    they tabulated the actual hunters field estimates being made on the spot, vs the carefully measure actual distances.
    the results were about what Id have expected..after decades of listening to guys claim they killed deer & elk at 400 and 500 and 600 yards.......
    the vast majority were very VERY bad at estimating distances correctly past about 150 yards...some estimates that were over 70% wrong were not uncommon
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2018
  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    Ive watched dozens of guys shoot elk, on many hunting trips,over the decades and many dozens more learn to shoot from field positions rather than only from a bench rest, at the range.
    Its been rather a consistent thing to see most guys can,t hit crap from field positions at first, when they first start practice without a bench rest.
    and while their choice in caliber used may have effected the results, Id bet 90% of the guys can,t keep a 2" group at 50 yards or a 4" 100 yard group with a 223rem when they first start out.
    accuracy with a rifle from field positions takes extensive practice and most guys prefer to shoot tiny groups from a bench rest rather than actually practice from positions they are likely to actually use on an elk hunt.
    what I do find is that when you teach them to properly use a sling and a 25"-27" folding bi-pod from a sitting position, groups tend to shrink to acceptable field accuracy much faster than shooting free hand without those accessories.
    you don,t need to shoot 1" groups at 100 yards to kill elk, but you should be able to hit a soda can on the first shot with a bi-pod and sling on your elk rifle at 100-150 yards or hit one at 50-70 yards shooting off hand very easily with practice.
    everyone has a recoil limit that will effect their accuracy, but most guys that can handle a 30/06 can also shoot reasonable groups with the 7mm and 300 mags once the sling and bi-pod are installed
  8. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    GROUP SIZE IS MEASURED buy measuring outside edge to outside edge on the two furthest apart bullet holes then subtract one bullet diameter

    a quick way to get the approximate group size is measure from the outside edge of one the two furthest apart bullet holes to the inside edge of the other,thus removing the necessity of knowing the bullet diameter.




    using this particular target type makes aligning a scopes cross hairs much easier , and I sight all my big game rifles so I aim at the yellow dot but shots print over the small upper red point, that 3.5" higher impact point seems to be a very effective compromise allowing fast shots in the field when the range to the target is not precisely known.
    Obviously this trajectory varies a great deal with caliber and bullet velocity , so a laminated trajectory chart taped to the rifle stock helps longer range hits but for quick snap shots at closer ranges its really useful
  9. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    I use one of these on the front
    [​IMG] ... een-filled

    and sometimes a rear bag like this with it:
    [​IMG] ... tan-filled

    In the past I've used sand bags sewn up using several zip lock plastic bags filled with un-popped pop corn to reduce weight stuffed inside bags made from old jeans legs, these(worked well, always a good choice), and various tripod front rests like this one:
    [​IMG] ... oting-rest

    some rests like this allow even below average skilled riflemen to shoot amazingly tight groups but this tends to give them a false sense of their real skill level, only shooting from actual field positions that youll be forced to use while hunting will show your real skills. rests like this are amazingly helpful when getting your sights aligned on a rifle and checking the rifles zero, but they tend to make the user think he can shoot far better than he can in the field, and that may contribute to guys shooting at far longer ranges that they really are qualified and set up to accomplish ,reasonably well

    [​IMG] ... uctFinding
  10. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    a recent trip to the rifle range, with a neighbor was rather interesting, hes always bragged about being a good shot and he has a rather expensive rifle rest, and a few nice rifles ,to use on that rifle rest, like the lower example pictured in the post above, and he can shoot well using it, but the skill level deteriorated to abysmal levels when he was forced to shoot from a sitting position using a rifle sling,1/2" 3 shot 100 yard groups, with the rest in use, opened up to 14" random patterns without the rest in use when he tried sitting and shooting from a field position, to steady the rifle. this is a very common occurrence and its disheartening but curable thru extensive practice, so as was very obvious, you will need to practice field positions far more once the rifles mechanically sited with a rest, simply because under field conditions your never going to have that mechanical rest available.


    The sitting position is a stable, easy to assume, and one of the most accurate of shooting positions. Sitting will get your sight picture (in the rifle scope) above most grasses and low brush. It is not as quick as kneeling, but much more accurate. Sitting is the next best practical position to use in the field, resulting in small shot groups and hits at extended ranges.
    The sitting position is used when you have time (minutes, un-alerted game) to get set up for a shot, but you don't have the space to lay down and get comfortable in the prone position. A rest of some sort should be utilized to gain stability. Shooting sticks, fallen tree, rock, A DECENT QUALITY 24"-28" tall BI-POD etc. If no rest is available, then rest the elbows in front of the knees (not using the points of the elbows) to gain stability. To get into this position, sit down on your butt, cross-legged, or knees up. Use the position that gives you the better shot groups.
  11. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    every once in awhile I get together with a couple of the guys I hunt elk with and we go out into a local area that's basically old abandon farm fields adjacent to a wild life management area and we set up a few targets and try shooting under what is basically field conditions.
    now on a previous trip we took the time to pound a few stakes in the ground every 50 yards out to a distance of 350 yards just so we would have a solid reference as to the distances we were shooting at.
    I purchased a couple of these signs to tape targets too as they are easy to transport and set up.
    I was sighting in my fairly new 450 marlin BLR so I walked the target out to 50 yards, fired a couple base line shots then adjusted the scope , then walked the sign out too 200 yards and proceeded to sight in dead on at that distance.
    from a sitting position.
    Ive loaded the speer 400 grains to about 1800fps, during this whole process one of the newer members tagged along and helped carry targets,and once I was starting to hit rather consistently printing a rather consisted 3"-4" group I asked him if he would like to take a few test shots.....he looked at the target out at a measured 200 yards and said.....[color:#990000]"why are you sighting in at 350 yards? youve consistently said we will rarely shoot elk at over 250 yards" [/color]

    [​IMG] ... spx?id=126

    and I think that all too clearly points out the fact that very few newer hunters can judge range or have any real concept of a bullets trajectory.
  12. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    every once in awhile I get together with a couple of the guys I hunt elk with and we go out into a local area that's basically old abandon farm fields adjacent to a wild life management area and we set up a few targets and try shooting under what is basically field conditions.
    now on a previous trip we took the time to pound a few stakes in the ground every 50 yards out to a distance of 350 yards just so we would have a solid reference as to the distances we were shooting at.
    I purchased a couple of these signs to tape targets too as they are easy to transport and set up.
    I was sighting in my fairly new 450 marlin BLR so I walked the target out to 50 yards, fired a couple base line shots then adjusted the scope , then walked the sign out too 200 yards and proceeded to sight in dead on at that distance.
    from a sitting position.
    Ive loaded the speer 400 grains to about 1800fps, during this whole process one of the newer members tagged along and helped carry targets,and once I was starting to hit rather consistently printing a rather consisted 3"-4" group I asked him if he would like to take a few test shots.....he looked at the target out at a measured 200 yards and said.....[color:#990000]"why are you sighting in at 350 yards? youve consistently said we will rarely shoot elk at over 250 yards" [/color]

    [​IMG] ... spx?id=126

    and I think that all too clearly points out the fact that very few newer hunters can judge range or have any real concept of a bullets trajectory.
    Ive found my BLR exceptionally accurate
    BTW 55 grains of VARGET powder and a 215 federal primer under a Remington 405 grain bullet
    50 grains of IMR 3031 powder and a 215 federal primer under a Remington 405 grain bullet
    both produce about 1850 fps and good accuracy from my BLR in 450 marlin caliber ... uctFinding
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2015
  13. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    yes I show those trajectory charts to most guys and they can,t under stand how I would even consider selecting some caliber like a 35 whelen, 30/06 or horror of horrors a 45/70 or 450 marlin with a virtual rainbow trajectory , rather than a 300 wby or my 340 wby.
    and while I sure used to have those same concerns its been decades since Ive shot an elk at over 200 yards, so Im far LESS concerned with that looping trajectory issue than I used too be!
    and if youve ever had a 45/70 loaded with a good expanding 400 grain remington or speer bullet , in your hands and used it in the dark timber , you will see some advantages, as the ranges seldom exceed 100 yards let alone 200 plus, this first picture I found posted looks like more open areas where I hunt


    yes your close! but consider the fact that the area I hunt may not be what your used too, and easily 90% of the shots Ill see and have seen in the last 35-40 years when using that lever action, and hunting the thick timber will be at ranges from about 40 yards to 200 yards, at those ranges the trajectory has proven fully functional. and no handicap
    yes I use my 340 wby if I hunt open areas but for timber I prefer a 45/70 or 450 marlin,Ive used my 375 H&H when I may hunt both types of country....Its been my experience that the tool selected is far less important that having confidence in its use and having the skill to use it correctly,.while many guys may not feel the tool selected is the best choice, I find them ideal. I doubt youll find anyplace in this thread where its stated that having a rifle with the potential for making longer range shots poses a significant liability or disadvantage while hunting, but Im always amazed at how infrequently Ive needed that potential flat trajectory.
    obviously having a rifle with a flat trajectory becomes much more important if you can,t accurately judge ranges or tend to have most of your shots at longer ranges.
    but lets look at two fairly different cartridges
    my late hunting partner thought the 358 win in his BLR was the ultimate ELK combo, he sighted in at 3.5" high at 100 yards, that gave this trajectory
    Range Velocity Impact Drop ToF Energy Drift
    0 2300 -1.5 0
    50 2206 1.91 0
    100 2118 3.53
    150 2031 3.21
    200 1947 0.76
    250 1865 -3.98

    300 1785 -11.24
    350 1708 -21.23
    400 1634 -34.2
    450 1563 -50.42
    500 1494 -70.21

    IVE preferred to use my 340 wby resulting in this trajectory
    Range Velocity Impact Drop ToF Energy Drift
    0 2900 -1.5 0
    50 2790 1.53
    100 2688 3.46
    150 2588 4.16
    200 2491 3.57
    250 2396 1.56

    300 2303 -1.96
    350 2213 -7.12
    400 2124 -14.07
    450 2037 -22.96
    500 1953 -33.93

    obviously the 340 shoots incredibly flat compared to the 358 win
    but the advantage is almost non-existent in that neither of us over a period of almost 30 years of hunting together almost every year had shots at elk over 250 yards
    when you compare the trajectory's out to the max range we regularly saw elk and shot at elk, the advantage drops off to almost a non-issue.
    and yes both rifle time and again delivered one shot kills, the difference in trajectory was meaningless,under the conditions we found to be common, the 250 grain slugs from either rifle did a great job on elk when the shot placement was correct.
    Ive never said having a caliber like a 300 mag is not a good idea,for those rare times you might need the extra range, but Ive seldom seen, guys anyplace Ive hunted elk actually use or need that super flat trajectory. yet nearly every elk hunt article you read seems to dote on the 7mm and 300 mags, totting that flat trajectory as mandatory to success


    __________________actual picture of the area we hunted most years
    upper canyon_____
  14. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member


    can,t quite put my finger on why I want to visit the range suddenly.........
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  15. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I stopped at my local gun-shop today to pick up some moly lube spray, and while I was waiting on the cash register guy to show up,
    I hear the guy behind me having a rather loud discussion, concerning his desire to buy brand xyz ammo,
    because its noticeably more accurate, than what ever the clerk had handed him, in his marlin 35 remington lever action.
    now a 35 rem is a decent deer rifle but its certainly not a 500 yard deer rifle, so I asked him how much more accurate was the ammo he wanted and how had he sighted in his rifle?
    he stated, he had, several years back, purchased that rifle, from a buddy, along with a partial box of ammo,
    and had gone out and placed a coke can on a berm (raised dirt bank in the glades) and backed off maybe 70-80 yards,
    as that was the furthest he had ever needed to shoot, and he had drilled the can, on the first shot, he was thrilled!
    and he was not about to swap ammo,
    brands as he had seen it written many times that different brands of ammo , tended to require re-sighting in the rifle!
    Ive got to think if youve owned a rifle for several years and your still on your first box of ammo,your not all that concerned with accuracy.
    yeah! most of us are more knowledgeable and have more skills but I'm constantly amazed at guys who worry if the groups they shoot are not 1" or smaller, who get all that frustrated , if an occasional bullet opens the group an extra 1/2"
    I asked him what bullet weight he had been using?
    he said he was not all that sure but it came in a yellow/green box and said remington plainly on the end

    it was definitely not this BLUE box the clerk had suggested he use.

    at that point I just wished him best of luck, and as the cash register clerk had showed up .....I paid and left......
    honestly I don,t think this guy had a clue.....but hes most likely not the only one who figures that his rifles correctly sighted in, if he can hit a soda can at 60-70 yards on the first shot.

    now this got me thinking, Ive hand-loaded hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammo for myself and several other guys over the last 50 plus years, and most of those guys have gone to the range and sighted in their rifles to print groups either at 100 yards or at maybe 3" high at 100 yards, most rifles are easily able to keep a 2" or tighter group, which basically suggests that a decent shot can expect the bullet impact to be with-in about 1" of the aim point if they have a good rest.
    now that may not sound all that impressive but if the rifle can consistently place its shots with-in 1" of the aim point at 100 yards it should rather easily hit within the vital area of a deer or elk well past 300 yards, and damn few guys I've hunted with can accurately judge ranges or hit squat past 300 yards. so any real concern with their rifles ACCURACY , is not all that valid, it should not keep anyone up at night.

    if your average guy sights in your average , deer rifle like a 243, 25/06, 308 win, 270 win, 30/06 or 7mm mag to hit 3" high at 100 yards, and then sees a deer or elk and just places the scope cross hairs on the dark red star, (basically center chest) that bullet is going to hit close enough to the vitals out past 300 yards to be lethal.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  16. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    we all have done it, (gotten in these discussions) but why do we care?
    I went to the local out door 200 yard range to check the zero on a couple of my rifles with some new hand loads,
    as I'm sighting in, one of the rifles the guy on the next bench over, starts up a conversation,
    he wanted to know what caliber the rifle I had was and what I intended to hunt etc.
    now if your into rifles and shooting thats hardly a rare conversation,
    and if you visit the range regularly your sure to have more than once been in a similar conversation.
    I was sighting in my BLR in 450 marlin and my 458 LOTT with a mild cast bullet load.
    the BLR is currently using a 405 grain jacketed bullet over 50 grains of imr 3031 and its pushed to about 1900 fps
    (best load found so far)
    its an exceptionally accurate combo, and a 3 shot 100 yard group of about 1" is not all that difficult to duplicate,
    if you really concentrate but 1.5" is almost the common result certainly accurate enough,
    for a rifle that will never be used at over about 270 yards, and one I found to be exceptionally effective.
    Im still working on the 458 LOTT loads with a 540 grain cast bullet ,
    Im trying to find a decent mid velocity load, with mixed results.
    the guy on the next bench has a win 94 30/30, hes getting 3"-4" groups at 50 yards with a huge 4x12x scope that looks totally out of place.
    I learned long ago to ignore other people at the range unless they ask you ,for advice or help...
    As I walk back with my targets he can't believe how tight the browning BLR groups are, and hes also rather intrigued , with the BLR,
    he likes the look and accuracy but hes very reluctant to try a couple shots with my BLR even after I offered to let him try it if he wanted to do so.
    he then informs me that a 450 marlin kicks almost as bad as a 458 win.......
    I then ask him if hes ever even tried to shoot a 450 marlin. and where he got that bit of info?
    he declines to try,(if you don,t try new things and gain personal experience your limited in experience)
    I find the fascination, some guys have with pointing out the flaws in the rifles other people carry,
    rather amazing, I learned long ago that its the skill of the guy using the rifle rather than the rifle or case head stamp, that matters,
    we all have done it, (gotten in these discussions) but why do we care?
    especially when you learn from experience over time,
    that most of the less knowledgeable guys won,t bother to take good advice,
    or make the required changes!

    I've helped dozens of guys sight in, I've helped easily more than 50-60 guys sort out problems,
    with their rifles or scopes or mounts or hand-loads,
    while sighting in, and getting ready for up-coming hunts,
    just in the group of guys I hunt with over the last few decades.
    now the guy was rather impressed with my group size at 100 yards,
    and he asked me to take a couple shots with his Winchester lever action,
    I looked the rifle over and found two problems,
    loose scope mounts you could feel shift, in your hands,
    if you tried , moving the scope in your hands,
    and he was using two different bullet weights and brands to sight the rifle in.
    I pointed that out, and he said he would get a buddy of his to re-tighten the scope,
    but it was a borrowed scope so that was not really important...
    I wished him good luck and after a few more shots,
    I packed up and left.
    how many of you gentlemen have gotten into these discussions?
    how many of you have had some guy who obviously is rather clueless tell you your doing things wrong?
    How often have you found people ignore good advice?
    and if your like me, do you find that a bit frustrating,
    (having the knowledge and skills, being asked for help, and having the advice ignored?)
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  17. T-Test

    T-Test reliable source of info

    I never open the door first, and if they ask and say I'm wrong, then I just walk away to another hole to shoot in.

    You can't fix stupid or knowitalls.

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