Saturday, September 13, 2014

Long Range Shooting - Forget 11 Let's Take it to 200

Yesterday I got a chance to go to the range. I also went on the 3rd for my birthday. Neither visit netted any super tight groups at 100 yards. However, yesterday I decided that I would try some new ammo and, if the testing went well, I would try for 200 yards.

Well, the ammunition I tested was Armscor Precision 40 grain standard velocity. Sorry, I don't have a chronograph so don't expect science today. The 100 yard groups were okay so it seems to be reasonable ammo but I don't think I was shooting at my best. I also only shot about two-thirds of the first box so I don't have a very good sample. I think I should have bought 6 boxes instead of 2 because I ended up having to conserve ammo to sight in at 100 yards then sight in again for the 200 yard test. I would liked to have used the first box to verify and adjust the scope's zero for 100 yards, then use 2 boxes for my usual 100 yard test, finally using the last 3 boxes for the 200 yard experiment. But I didn't do that. The ammunition I got was about $5 for a box of 50. I only got 2 boxes since I had to pay for shipping; so $20 in total. Ouch. Still cheaper than centerfire though.

After getting the rifle sighted in for 100 yards I shot a few groups with with the Armscor ammo. They all landed on my 6 inch Shoot-N-C targets with the exception of a flier I had on the first test group. I will need to run the targets through the shot calculator but the groups don't appear to be less than 2 inches. They look more like 3 to 4 inch groups. I haven't decided if I want to try more of this Armscor stuff to see how they do at 100 yards. That would require me to re-zero the rifle but that won't be an issue.

200 Yards

After having got a rough zero at 100 yards for the Armscor ammo, a guy I know showed up at the range so I took advantage of having someone act as a spotter. We moved over to the 200 yard range after he was done with the 100 yard range. BTW, he currently shoots a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine that he reloads for. That carbine isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be but isn't amazing. He has a 4-16x40 CenterPoint scope and ended up having to replace the cheap plastic Picatinny rail the gun comes with, with an aluminum one. With the new rail, he can put rounds on a 12 inch target at a 100 yards while on the bench. He was also able to land a few shots on the 200 yard target after I got dialed in.

At the 200 yard range, I used the Remington Golden Bullet ammo I still have to try to get the scope sighted in for 200 yards. I had difficulty at first but after about 20 adjustments and an unknown amount of ammo later I was able to put multiple shots of the Armscor and the Golden Bullet ammo in a space of about 16 inches. The BSA Sweet .22 I'm using is still impressing me. I was worried about hitting a limit but it appears that the elevation limit is within the 200 yard range. 16 is the numbers of shots that I could find on the target. I'm pretty sure I had at least one shot completely skip out on me and fly right over the 8x8 foot target frame. Talk about a flier. I was not doing a good job of tracking my shots so this was about as least scientific as one could make this. I did actually track my scope adjustments, so there is that. Regardless, below is an image of the target I setup for 200 yards. It's hard to see all the shots, but a few actually landed between the black dots I used to fill in the spaces between the 12 and 8 inch targets. Only about 2 shots landed on the outer 8 inch targets... What a waste of good targets. I'll be reusing this target sheet as many times as I can.

I didn't shoot all of the last box of the Armscor ammo but I think I will need to pull out some higher quality ammo for the 200 yard testing. I think I will go back again in a few days with some of the 40 grain CCI Mini Mags I've been saving. Depending on how the experimenting goes with the higher quality ammo at 200 yards. I may shoot 200 exclusively or shoot 200 as an occasional test to see how I'm doing. Since I now have a general idea of where I have to adjust my scope I think I will buy a few more boxes of the Armscor 40 grain ammo some time, and try them out at 100 yards again.

However, shooting at 200 yards presents some logistics problems for me. First, the targets have to be larger. Second, the distance is longer. My 3-9x40 scope can see a 12 inch target just fine but my eyes can't see the hits with anything other than those Shoot-n-C type targets which aren't cheap. They are rather expensive. I could just shoot paper but the issue with that is I don't have a spotting scope and I definitely don't have one that can see tiny little holes from that distance. I will need to look into getting a good spotting scope.

I'm going to deviate a little bit on this project for a bit. Finding reasonably priced .22LR is still an issue and getting the same ammo every time is even harder. I decided that I will be adding a new part to this project; the air rifle.

I have a Ruger Air Hawk in .177 that I will be testing at the Barnes range. It's a single shot break barrel system but it should be fine for practice for now. I'm also been seriously thinking about moving up a sub-$450 centerfire bolt-action rifle in .223 so I don't have to worry about finding .22 LR but the cost is too significant for me right now in hardware and reloading components. I was able to pick up a Lee Breech Lock Hand Press Kit for a good price but I will still have to buy the dies and ammo components. I was planning on learning to reload by reloading for my Mosin in 7.62x54R (yes I know 54R is super cheap but Maryland banned steel core ammo so no non-steel core super cheap surplus for me) but I may just start reloading for .223 if I find a good cheap bolt gun. I have heard good things about the Savage Axis in .223. Maybe the Axis XP will be in my future. I will have to check with the local gun store.

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