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scope setup

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2011 at 12:43
rash_powder View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: November/07/2011
Location: Larimore, ND
Status: Offline
Points: 13
I have been reading up an awful lot on using different reticles and such for long range hunting.  Long range for me will be at most 500 yards and white tail deer size targets. 

Hold overs and such have been read, mils and dialing have been read.  Then I had a thought today. 

Would there be any disadvantage to zeroing my rifle at 500 yards and setting the elevation to zero at that mark.  Then calculate my dial down to get to, say, about a 200 yard zero (that would cover the 90% of shots I get) and setting the zero stop at that point.  So now I have a zero stop at my normal shooting distances, and a quick reference mark to get me to the 500 yard mark. 

Kind of using things backwards I think, but would it be a 'bad' way to do things?  Remember, its field hunting and I won't always have a lot of thinking time (the longer shots will have more than the short ones). 


Matt N
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2011 at 13:05
BeltFed View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God

Joined: February/12/2008
Location: Ky
Status: Online
Points: 17746
Hmmm, I think it would work. I have a scope with a 100yd zero, but I spend most of my time shooting at steal at 600yds (max. range of the range). The turrets pretty much stay on my 600yd setting and if I want to shoot at anything closer I have to dial down. There are probably some down sides, but I don't see why your idea wouldn't work.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/23/2011 at 13:19
jonoMT View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire

Joined: November/13/2008
Location: Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 4810
There are two ways you could go about it, IMO:

1) Use a ballistics program like JBM (and this will take some education to get the inputs right) to establish what is known as a maximum point blank range zero. For example, I used to set up my .308s @ 267 yards, which would cover an 8"-diameter kill zone out to 320 yards. That means anything inside 320 yards was aim and shoot affair as far as elevation is concerned. Wind is another story. With some cartridges you might extend that out to 350 yards.

2) Shooting out to long ranges, especially on a game animal is problematic. To make a decent, humane shot will almost certainly require a reliable ballistics/drop table. I've analyzed this issue as part of writing a ballistics calculator and am a firm believer in using a 100 yard/meter zero. The reason why is because variations in atmospheric pressure, temperature, altitude and +- 20 fps for most loads have very little effect on the bullet's trajectory at 100 (usually less than .5 calibers, while most of us can hardly shoot better than .5MOA, let alone .25 MOA).

That means you can zero @ 100 when it is 90F and you're @ 5,000 feet (both of which will cause atmospheric pressure to be less, making the bullet drop less). Then you can shoot @ 100 while it is 20F and 500 feet altitude and there will be almost no difference. That is definitely not the case if you zero out past that. Drops in different atmospheric conditions will be radically different and you'd just about be lost without a ballistics calculator that can handle both zero conditions and current conditions.

If you're still following, fix 100 yards/meters in your mind, then consider that you need to verify your drops out to 500 and use a scope that has matching turrets and reticle. I don't care if it's MOA/MOA, IPHY/IPHY or mil/mil, but learn how to use one and disregard proprietary BDC systems. Oh yeah, get a good rangefinder. Most of us mere mortals cannot successfully range a mule deer buck @ 400 yards using a reticle.
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