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Thread: Testing loads at 50m instead of 100m

  1. #1
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    Testing loads at 50m instead of 100m

    Iíve been wondering for a while about the difference in testing loads at 50m instead of the standard 100m. Iím an ok shot, not remarkable but ok. When I was doing a lot of shooting (as a youngster) on the local NZDA range my shooting improved dramatically. Now I only shoot when hunting.

    Itís made me think that when does the variability of a shooterís ability (and at my age; eyesight) at 100m override the variabilities in load weights etc when checking loads. Am I better to be testing at 50m and reducing the shooter variability? Just thinking out loudÖ Cheers

  2. #2
    Just another clown dannyb's Avatar
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    I don't think its a great idea, have seen plenty of loads that look awesome at 50y but at 100y average or sub average, better idea print larger targets rather than shooting closer. During load developement I use a3 sized targets but for zeroing a rifle an a4 is plenty.
    My 2 cents
    Bill999 and bumblefoot like this.
    #DANNYCENT

  3. #3
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    @dannyb Thanks for your input. I haven't handloaded for about 30 years either and always tested at 100m. But I had 20-year old eyes then too

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    Generally its not a good idea to test under 100y as in many cases the bullet barely stabilized when it reaches 100y.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannyb View Post
    I don't think its a great idea, have seen plenty of loads that look awesome at 50y but at 100y average or sub average, better idea print larger targets rather than shooting closer. During load developement I use a3 sized targets but for zeroing a rifle an a4 is plenty.
    My 2 cents
    I have gun that seems to go the other way. One hundred is OK, two hundred is great(for me).
    JoshC, Gibo and bumblefoot like this.
    Overkill is still dead.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Goosen View Post
    Generally its not a good idea to test under 100y as in many cases the bullet barely stabilized when it reaches 100y.
    Bullets don't get more stable... they are spinning as fast as they are going to spin when they leave the barrel
    tetawa, bumblefoot and Micky Duck like this.

  7. #7
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    the argument for first sighting at 25 yards,given 40 odd years ago by Graham Henry still holds merit.......its only 50 yards return trip to target Vs 200 YARDS and even old eyes can see .30 calibre holes at 25 yards....... if you get near enough to bull at 25...then move to 50 or 75 or 100 you are confirming the 25 yard bit..... the advantage of 25-50-100-200 is the click values are easy to work out..... not so easy at 75-150 and if you seldom shoot past 150 yards...and most of your shots are at 50 yards....it makes even more sense.
    I missed twice today at under 25 yards due to piss poor visibility but it shook my confidence.....sighting in ,even if its at 25-50 yards before heading out will mean you are confident your rifle is doing its bit.....I know it makes HUGE difference to my confidence.
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    75/15/10 black powder matters

  8. #8
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    I do all my load testing at 50m. I walk there and back. 3 hrs of it easily gives me my 10k steps for the day. Besides, that's what I've got in the way of range availability.

    I am inclined to believe that at 50m a given load will have the same windage, i.e. vertical plane accuracy, at any other distance given the absence of any lateral influences, mostly wind. So the issue is then horizontal accuracy or elevation or bullet drop or however you want to think about it.

    Of course I'm wrong. A bullet on a course a millimeter off perfect vertical centre will be kilometres off at some point between the end of the barrel and infinity. But I'm not shooting to infinity. More like sub-200m. Definitely sub-300. So the issue becomes what error in windage can I accept at 50m that will still give me a kill at say 200m?

    In terms of bullet drop, a ballistics app will give you the trajectory at a zero of 50m, I suspect. Not that I really use one. While I have Strelok Pro and have played with it, my optics are not yet such that it is a real benefit. Nor am I inclined to fiddle with a ballistics app while a deer awaits my shot.

    I had to refine my views a little at a recent NZDA range shoot where I was able to shoot my new-to-me 243 at 100, 200 and 300m. I had done my load testing and sighted in at 50m. My shots at 100m were fine allowing for range conditions and my degree of ability with a trigger. All would have handily killed a deer. With a following cross-wind, left to right. 100m held no terrors. At 200m I was shooting 100mm to the right and 200mm low. At 300m I adjusted my scope for windage and elevation using best guess, and aimed high and left. Most of my shots would have hit the deer 200mm to the right of the front left leg between hoof and knee. Which is to say, not at all.

    I'm still happy with the load, I have no real reason to change that. What I need is real world experience of where my bullet will land at my chosen shooting distances. And the knowledge to change my point of aim to suit the circumstance. I can't get that shooting at 50m.

    So developing a load at 50m is one thing. Applying it in the field is another, quite different thing. I suggest...
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  9. #9
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    Jhon me ol pal.....I will make it really easy for you..... give me a moment and will post up a link (if this tech tard can work out how).
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    75/15/10 black powder matters

  10. #10
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    https://www.huntingnut.com/index.php...intBlankOnline


    right so go in there and enter best guess numbers..... height of scope above bore is normally 1.5" your velocity somewhere around 3100 fps your BC get out of loading manual with bullets.... and keep changing your zeroed for range till everything just makes sense..... FOR ME ,this programme works well because I can look at the picture/curve instead of numbers
    Jhon likes this.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  11. #11
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    once you have the right numbers in,and know where you want to be zeroed for...look back at what height you should be at 50yards and you should be able to use that from there on in......
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    once you have the right numbers in,and know where you want to be zeroed for...look back at what height you should be at 50yards and you should be able to use that from there on in......
    You're a gem Micky!
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  13. #13
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    With new loads which isnt that common now for me or when I rescope or begin to think ive bumped something I've switch to 50 yds zero as std as long as the scope has parallax ajustment. A 50 yard zero pushes the point blank range out very slightly by increasing the mrt height. However if you really want to extend point blank range choose a 25 or 30 yard zero.
    If you set yourself a 6 inch target zone then as long as the bullets plus or minus 3 inches youll whack whatever you aim at which is accurate enough for most game hunting.
    With a 25yd zero with a 223 the bullet will rise up through the zero point at 25 yards (first catch), peak at 3 inches high at 125 yards and drop back through zero at 200yds (2nd catch)and be 3 inches below at 280 yards.
    With a 50 yard zero or 1st catch, peak height is .4 inch at 90 yards, 2nd catch is at 125 yds and 3 inches drop is 200 yards
    With a 100 yds zero first catch is at 65 yards peak height is not worth worrying about and second catch is 100 yds and 3 inches of drop occur at 190 yards.
    So there's bugger all between 50 and 100 as a zero point however somewhere between 25 and 50 yds has interesting possibilities for the shoot n scoot types.
    Micky Duck and Jhon like this.

  14. #14
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    One word of warning completely separate from many aspects mentioned above is that most scopes that don't have adjustable parallax have the fixed parallax st at 100yards.
    By load testing at 50 you are introducing potential point of impact error that wouldn't be otherwise present.
    There are ways to manage this error but worth taking into account.
    dannyb likes this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerazziSC3 View Post
    Bullets don't get more stable... they are spinning as fast as they are going to spin when they leave the barrel
    Not so. Whilst they are spinning as fast as they are going to does not mean they have settled into their 'sweet spot' and are fully stable. The distance that starts is a variable that changes with various projectiles and starting velocities. The Mk VII .303 is a classic example with the maximum stabilsation range being from 200 to 900 yards. Ballistics is far from an exact science and is full of variables.
    7mmwsm and Jaco Goosen like this.

 

 

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