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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few rambling thoughts about long range zero's, reloading ect. that may kick off some intresting discussion. The wind discusions are always fun LOL.

A couple weeks ago my boy decided to put on a proper zero with a proper load on the .308 rifle he has been shooting as of late. It was pretty intresting watching it come together for him.

Last week he came up with a decent load for it Fed Gold Metal Match brass/175 grain Sierra BTMK's/ Fed GM primers and 45.3 grains of Varget. He's using GM brass because I have several 5 gal pails of it, it's not my particular first choice and the Fed GM primers are the only ones that will stay in the primer pockets after a few reloadings of the GM brass. The GM brass is "soft" and the GM primers are a bit bigger than othere brands and tend to stay in the primer pockets longer than other brands. He's using Varget powder because we buy it 64lbs at a time and 175's because they get bought 10k at a time.

He tried my TBA M40 load of 45.8 grains of Varget under a 175 for 2800 fps, but that dog wasn't hunting in his rifle, with the componets he was using. I use Lapua brass and CCI BR-2 primers in my loads, when he starts buying his own brass he can run the good stuff.

At 45.5 grains he was getting 2775 or so for a five shot average but his "ES" (extreme spread) was running in the 30's with a high teens "SD" standard deviation. He finally settled on 45 grains even for a 10 shot average of 2705 an ES of 18 fps and a SD running high single digits. This load gave him a nice two finger bolt lift and shot into 2 1/4" at 300 yards. I think he's going to stick with that load for now, he's about tired of load development.

ES is pretty important to me in my long range loads and I will trade velocity for low ES numbers any day. Usually I find that with the .308 that the hotter loads get pretty jiggy. Not uncommon IME to drop back a full grain from the top end of things only loose 25 FPS and get much better ES and SD numbers.

Yesterday he set up the 4'X4' target frame and set out to zero and seemed to be doing OK. I had ran out a Sierra ex ballistic chart for him and he went to work. Things went fine at 500 yards and he was holding a decent 1.5 MOA group in a gentle, but funky wind, that kept switching exactly .75 MOA from 3 to 9 and then 9 to 3.

Then he moved back to 600 yards and found the chart value to be 1.75 MOA low, he noted the change and didn't think much of it.

He was strung out pretty good at 700 yards from the wind, I think he was getting tired and missing the wind changes or just under doping them, that gentle wind was now sporting a 2.5 MOA value and just gently switching back and forth every few minutes. Never the less he could tell that he was now running about 1.25 MOA high.

When he got back to the house he showed me his notes and it confused me a bit, since the Sierra charts are usually really close. So I ran back out with him yesterday evening and I shot his rifle at 500 and found his initial zero to be a few inches low, he hadn't done a good job doping the center of his group or just had an odd flyer that had given him a funky group. I brought his 500 zero up and we shot 600 and 700 yard again with chart data and found things to be plumbed up.

What a difference it made to have a very precision zero. We got home and was going over the chart and found that what he actually had was a 475 yard zero and that accounted for his deviation from the chart values. You just got to love the ballistic programs! I ran the chart again for a 475 zero and that explained his dope changes at 600 and 700. Very cool.

It all had me wondering, that when we feel the need to touch up chart values, if the problem isn't more about the quality of the zero than the charts or maybe ES and SD isues as well.

Teuf,
 

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In other words, WITHOUT being shot at, starving, dehydrated, exhausted, depressed, with an IDEAL firing set up, .5 MOA rifle, and without any target movement, mirage, super cold or hot weather, rain, snow, fog, etc, he STILL couldn't count on a first round hit on a 10" circle at 600 yd, like a head on prone man offers as a target? Why not use a sideways torso, 8" x 24", hmm? It's JUST as likely that a man will be sideways to you as facing you, after all, when you HAVE to fire at him. If you don't HAVE to fire, why reveal your presence, hmm? Why RISK a miss at long range, if he's unaware of you? You can obviously get closer, since he's stupid enough to be holding STILl, exposed to your fire, in open country in daylight. Like you are going to have a sandbagged bench and computer, etc, when it's for real, right? Like you DARE have nothing but a bolt action?
 

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thanks Teuf!

Good read. Sounds like your son is becomming a very good lang range shooter. That's something to be proud of. Don't let the jealous rantings of any trolls take away from the accomplishments he's making.

Keep up the good work with your son!

:devil:
 

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Heck, if that's the first load he developed, then he did right good with it. Give him a pat on the back.
 

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Talent, practice, an available range and somebody to show him how to do it. Your son did good.

RIKA :)
 

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Not jealous at all. Just speaking the reality of the situation. bthp match bullets AINT for taking big game, and the308 won't reliably expand a sp in flesh,beyond about 400m. Big game sp's need 1800 fps,MINIMUM to expand reliably in flesh, and the 308 just aint GOT such speed left beyond 400m. that's a fact, jack. So all you are talking about is shooting men, and doing so with a 308 bolt action is just being stupid about the tactical concerns involved.
 

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u AINT a cop or military sniper. u aint GOT any help, and you WILL have to be able to have rapidfire, if you are to reliably expect to be able to handle most of the combat situations that can be commonly expected, once you start shooting at people. A bolt action offers nothing of the kind.
 
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andy said:
Not jealous at all. Just speaking the reality of the situation. bthp match bullets AINT for taking big game, and the308 won't reliably expand a sp in flesh,beyond about 400m. Big game sp's need 1800 fps,MINIMUM to expand reliably in flesh, and the 308 just aint GOT such speed left beyond 400m. that's a fact, jack. So all you are talking about is shooting men, and doing so with a 308 bolt action is just being stupid about the tactical concerns involved.
from the Hornday ballistics chart in their reloading book for .308 165gr spire point SP (not match, but SOFT POINT)

2800 fps, 600 YARDS, 1870 fps.

You don't know jack <font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font> yourself about ballistics. Another LIE you are caught in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JD, you should leave the discussion of long range work to those that do it.

When you start interjecting your abstract theorys, you come off sounding silly.

"In other words, WITHOUT being shot at, starving, dehydrated, exhausted, depressed, with an IDEAL firing set up, .5 MOA rifle, and without any target movement, mirage, super cold or hot weather, rain, snow, fog, etc, he STILL couldn't count on a first round hit on a 10" circle at 600 yd, like a head on prone man offers as a target?"

I'm not sure where you come up with this, even with his first attemps to zero a new load his 600 yard groups, doping a switching wind every shot held inside 7". Concerning conditions he was shooting though heavy mirage on a 96 deg day. You over play the effct of conditions, we shoot in them all the time, actually every time, since there aren't too many 500 to 1000 yard indoor ranges.
We shot today 94 degrees, slightly more wind, a 12 to 18 mph 3/4 value wind on the 8" X18" gong at 500, 600 and 700 yards and his corrected data had him first round hits at 500 and 600, he took two shots to get his first hit at 700, the gong is tough at 700. I'm happy when I get a first round on it. So no, 600 yard hits are not a problem, besides we are talking about a 14 year old boy. Nobody wants to present me a 600 yard head shot in any conditions I can see well enough to shoot in.

Once we get past the point of load development and have a good data card most all or shooting is on gongs. We have a 8"X18" for the short end and a 18" X 24" for long range. It's just easier that using radios and someone forward to call back the hits on paper.

"Why not use a sideways torso, 8" x 24", hmm? It's JUST as likely that a man will be sideways to you as facing you, after all, when you HAVE to fire at him. If you don't HAVE to fire, why reveal your presence, hmm? Why RISK a miss at long range, if he's unaware of you? You can obviously get closer, since he's stupid enough to be holding STILl, exposed to your fire, in open country in daylight. Like you are going to have a sandbagged bench and computer, etc, when it's for real, right? Like you DARE have nothing but a bolt action?"

Not sure where to start with the rest of this sillyness, some of it concerns bonehead tactics, based on what?. The rest makes some assumptions that don't really have any bearing.

There isn't a shooting bench anywhere on my place, we shoot most of the long range stuff prone, my boys rifle has a Harris bi-pod. My rifles don't, I shoot off my Becker Patrol Pack that carries my long range kit. My boy is starting to understand why the pack is more versitile and it won't be long before he goes that route himself. I'm not dogmatic about such things and let them figure stuff like that out for themselves.

The use of a computer is really only used in load development and data card buliding and printing, so it's used only in the beginning and only for conveinence and fun. I could load my 175's to 2700 fps and simply use all my USMC data for the M118LR load or pull it from the Sierra manual. I also feed the Sierra data into an Excel spread sheet program I put together and them print these nifty little cards. My daughter taught me how to do that.

Concerning the ballistic effects of Sierra match bullets, no they don't "expand", they fragment and the effects are well documented.

And no, we don't have just bolt guns, you should know that by now and I don't really buy into the idea's that drive your personal choices and tactics. The bolt guns are really special purpose weapons, just like a 11" AR is. There are much better choices for general purpose rifle work than shorty AR's or bolt guns. If it comes to the defence of my family, I would much rather have my family shooting well outside the ballistic advantage of the average thug.

You can keep belly aching about long range shooting and we will just keep right on doing it LOL.

Teuf,
 

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no, they dont "fragment', not at ranges beyond which a good sp will expand, anyway, and you DONT want little frags when taking big game, either. So what it all amounts to is a lot of $ and time wasted, JERKING yourself off mentally, about how wonderful a "long range "shottist you are. :)
 

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oh yeah? can the bolt action be ccw'd? efficiently take small game? handle 95% of the LIKELY combat scenarios? fire the GI rifle round? is it rustproofed? has it got luminous sights? If not, it can't even handle the HALF of the time when it's dark. :) it's not quiet, it's not usable with one hand, basically, the bolt action is a joke, and the M1A is little better than a joke. if you had to lug one around all day, when by your own admission, you are too lazy to pick up and pocket a 1lb pistol each time you getout of a vehicle, you'd dump that 308 in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LOL JD, is "Shottist" even a word?

andy said:
no, they dont "fragment', not at ranges beyond which a good sp will expand, anyway, and you DONT want little frags when taking big game, either. So what it all amounts to is a lot of $ and time wasted, JERKING yourself off mentally, about how wonderful a "long range "shottist you are. :)
I'm thinking, that no one, that gets hit at 700 yards with a 175 grain Match King is going to feel like running the 700 yards up to my position, even if they could find it.

Where did shooting game with Match Kings come from?

Teuf,
 

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u'll keep KIDDING yourself about your ability to do it when it MATTERS, that's all. Much less the NEED of it. Anyone who wants to can get within 300mof ANYBODY, and most of the time, they can get within KNIFE distance. There's really nothing you can do about it,either.
 

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I just pointed out that your scenario HAS to be about shooting MEN, and it's based upon the STUPID assumption that anyone will be just standing still, in the open, in daylight. Hit the same guy at 700 yds with an 80 gr vld 223, from the same length barrel, and he won't be running that 700 yds, either. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good grief JD

andy said:
oh yeah? can the bolt action be ccw'd? efficiently take small game? handle 95% of the LIKELY combat scenarios? fire the GI rifle round? is it rustproofed? has it got luminous sights? If not, it can't even handle the HALF of the time when it's dark. :) it's not quiet, it's not usable with one hand, basically, the bolt action is a joke, and the M1A is little better than a joke. if you had to lug one around all day, when by your own admission, you are too lazy to pick up and pocket a 1lb pistol each time you getout of a vehicle, you'd dump that 308 in a heartbeat.
Where did you get the idea a long range bolt gun is for hunting small game?

Your GI round theory doesn't make much sence to me. JD gets low on 5.56 ammo, with means he has 25 or 30 rounds now. So what else is he to do but ask a military unit if they will lend him a few rounds or take it from them by force. Sounds like a good plan to me, gee I'm low on ammo, time to take on a platoon of Army Rangers, they will have some.

Not wanting to sit on my pistol when I drive has more to do with common sense than laziness, sitting on your carry pistol is just plain stupid. Anyone that has carried more than a day could figure that out.

Teuf,
 

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Yes, he is definately jealous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Coming up with a good LR .308 load is pretty straight forward Mag

Magnum88C said:
Heck, if that's the first load he developed, then he did right good with it. Give him a pat on the back.
You just have to stick to the basics, Varget, RE15, 4895 and 4064 are the tried an true powders proved over and over again by NRA High Power, NRA Long Range and Palma shooters for 40 years. 4064 and 4895 are pretty long excrutions and don't feed though a Dillon powder measure all that well, but my Harrels and Redding Bench Rest tools dump good charges. Varget will go OK though a Dillon if you tune it up some which should get done anyway. RE15 is smaller than Varget and feeds good though the Dillon, if I threw all my charges thats what I would use, it's alos the powder used in the Lake City M118LR load, which sports a 175 grain SMK. The M118LR is the best mass produced military sniper round developed to date for .308 bolt guns and is widly copied by all the "custom" amunition producers.

In the last few years "recreational" snipers have re-discovered these loads and all the "Sniper" forums bounce the old bolt action match rifle loads around like they have re-invented the wheel. The other day I read a post by a guy that was "experimenting" with 190 grain Sierra Match Kings, what a hoot, that was a standard 600 yard line load for 30 years when folks ran .308 bolt guns in the NRA Match Rifle class.

I would run it myself in my bolt guns, if I didin't have a couple "retired" M1A, double lugged, McMillian stocked, Kreiger barreled rifles that are now Leupold scoped. The 190's are too heavy for the gas guns and take slow burning powders to get the velocity up to where they have an advantage over the 175's. When I shot on the USMC team we used 190's over heavy charges of 4350 and may the shooting gods forgive me! We beat the hell out of those rifles with that load, but we didn't have the 175 Sierra's and the 173 grain Lake City matach bullets just wouldn't cut it in the competative world of of military team shooting. When we started that the AMTU jumped on the band wagon too and the results of that are why M14 match rifles got the rep of not holding together. Young AR shooters like to throw that around when expounding the virtues of AR's for service rifles, but they really don't know where it came from.

Myself, I have more or less "standardized" on the SMK 175's for all my .308's. A big part of long range success is repeatability. You have to stick with a load and then learn it's characteristics under a wide range of conditions to be successful. Thats far more important that contant experimentation, since everytime you change loads you have to go back though the data development stage. I have spent a fair amount of time with that, experimenting with premium VLD's ect. I'm not sure it really makes you a better long range shooter in the long run.

The bottom line is that no matter what load you use, it will require sight adjustments. Some loads may require more than others, but they will all need to be doped. The best long range shooter will be the one that understands the downrange performance of his load , not the guy with the highest bc bullet. Repeatability is the name of the game, you have to trust your load and it has to be forgiving enough for it's acuracy to survive high volume reloading tecniques and variances of powders, primers, bullets and barral wear.

I have found that the high BC VLD's bullets are rather twitchy, with little powder changes, seating dept or different primers causing big changes. The Sierra Match Kings are very forgiving and shoot good in everyones rifle. The jacket material and bullet ogive (sp?) are designed to interface with many chamber cuts and survive the violent jump from magazine to rifling in service rifles while maintaining concentricity. You can never go wrong with Sierra Match Kings.

Teuf,
 

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maybe you THINK that ALL the military is Rangers? maybe you THINK that NOBODY but military uses 223? I've sat on pistols, all day, driving, for many years now. What it amounts to, is you are a candyass.
 

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where did you get the idea that a bolt action is EVER a good choice for shtf, OR that you wont WANT to take all the fresh meat-small game that you CAN, <font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font><font color=red>*</font>?
 
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