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Thread: Testing accuracy loads at 50 yrs. vs 100 yds?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Testing accuracy loads at 50 yrs. vs 100 yds?

    The closest 100 yd range is an hour and a half away and a 50 yd indoor range is 10 min. away. Can I get by with using the local 50 yd range for load development by simply doubling my 50 yd groups. For example, if my 50 yd groups are 1", then can I be resonably sure that my 100 yd would be 2"? Just trying to save some time and gas money, and also be able to shoot more often.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Not really. I assume rifle? I have seen some good 50y groups that poop out at 100 & beyond. If you are worried about 100y accuracy, or any distance for that matter, test at that distance IMO.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Use the 50 Yard range to get Chronograh Readings, and to "Get on target"; initial sight adjustments. Then go to a 100/200/300.../1000 Yard range for getting your actual load data.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master KVO's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the dispersion is very often not linear. You can do some initial testing at 50 yards to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Then select your top picks from the short line and retest at 100yd+. If a rifle load doesn't shoot excellent (by whatever standard you choose) at 50, it won't shoot for beans further out. You can still save some time and gas money that way.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    fecmech's Avatar
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    As others have said there is a difference other than doubling between 50 and 100. That said what the 50 yd group looks like means a lot. If you have ten shots in a nice round tight group at 50 yds it will probably hold up at 100. If you have a tight cluster of 7 or 8 shots and one or two outside that cluster that's telling you they're leaving the group and your group at 100 and beyond will suffer greatly. Any stringing at 50 will be really bad at 100 and beyond. What you want to see at 50yds is round and tight. Good luck.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  6. #6
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    I dunno, I have to disagree with 50 yards tests unless they are horribly bad. There was a gun article written on a Weatherby 300 W. Magnum, which has a very high power scope, bipod, long heavy barrel profile, and shot with quality ammo. The gun writer was almost going to bite the bullet and really condemn that rifle because the best it would do was 3 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. He decided before he done that to test it at 300 yards at which it drilled holes!!!! A classic example of a bullet going to sleep in this case.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master




    Echo's Avatar
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    The 50 vs 100 debate brings to mind the factory 38 Special HBWC's from Rem/WW/Peters &cetera. Two and a half inch groups @ 50 through my Clark 38 - but not on paper @ 100...
    Echo
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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
    Not really. I assume rifle? I have seen some good 50y groups that poop out at 100 & beyond. If you are worried about 100y accuracy, or any distance for that matter, test at that distance IMO.
    Yes, a rifle. It's a Mosin Nagant.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    I can guarantee that your 100 yard groups will not improve over those shot at 50 yards. They may or may not be double.
    Micah 6:8
    He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I do most of my initial accuracy tests at 50 yards when I am doing load ladders. Why? because I am shooting open sights and want to cut down on other factors, such as fluctuations in the winds and my eyesight. Once I think I've got it, however, I do final testing at the ranges I plan to use.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    What VZERON just stated,,a friend just bought a 98 mauser ( 8mm) could not get a group at 100-200 yds. said he was go'n make a tomato stake with it ,,shot 1 & 1/2 box of ammo (??) decided to shoot the rest at 400yd. hangers ,,,5 rds ,, 5 solid hits ??? Go figure ,,, . ( It is scoped ) .

    cvoffee's ready ,,, Hootmix.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hootmix View Post
    What VZERON just stated,,a friend just bought a 98 mauser ( 8mm) could not get a group at 100-200 yds. said he was go'n make a tomato stake with it ,,shot 1 & 1/2 box of ammo (??) decided to shoot the rest at 400yd. hangers ,,,5 rds ,, 5 solid hits ??? Go figure ,,, . ( It is scoped ) .

    cvoffee's ready ,,, Hootmix.

    Gee Hootmix, talk about a bullet going to sleep that's more like a bullet going into a coma!!!!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Schreck, what are you planning on using this load for? If it will shoot little groups at 50 yards, chances are it will shoot acceptable 100 yards if we are talking about, say, a deer load. That is the way it works with my 35 Rem. If your ultimate goal is to be able to bust an elk at 300 yards, I would not want to test at less than 100 yards.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    You can weed out a lot of trash load ideas at 50 yards. There's little more annoying than having to wait for the fat man to waddle a 600 yard round trip when he's obviously over his head.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man 458mag's Avatar
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    Most folks see a firearm as rifle, pistol, shotgun, ect.... I see a canvas.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Here is my $0.02 worth. Twenty years ago, this board had it's genesis as the cast bullet forum, on the now defunct Shooters.com. New ground was broken there and many myths shown for what they were. After some discussion we settled on 50 yards for out testing, so when we talked to each other we had a common denominator.

    Most loads that give nice round groups will hold up at 100 yards and be about double in size. That said, as the range stretches out we have more wind to content with and some bullets shot from some barrels will give better groups and some will be worse.

    Fifty yards is a good place to start and separate the good loads from the bad loads. When that is done, we can them back off to 100 and 200 yards to see how the good ones hold up. Most often they will.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    brewer,
    I want to deer hunt with it. Hoping to find an acceptable 100 yd recipe. Larry Gibson is sort of coaching me along.
    Last edited by Schreck5; 05-04-2018 at 11:11 AM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    brewer,
    I want to deer hunt with it. Hoping to find an acceptable 100 yd recipe. Larry Gibson is sort of coaching me along.
    As previously mentioned I suggest, based on your range availability, to test at 50 yards to get an idea of potential accuracy and velocity of, perhaps, several loads. Up to a certain point the group at 100 yards will open in a linear fashion double the 50 yard group size as mentioned in other posts. Above that certain point the 100 yard groups can be much larger than double the size of the 50 yard groups. The groups can also be non existent at 100 yards vs 50 yards as also previously mentioned. After you have selected potential loads tested at 50 yards then test those at 100 yards to be sure of their real accuracy capability at that longer range.

    Since you plan on hunting out to 100 yards final testing of selected loads at that range (100 yards) will allow for known performance......not a hopeful guess. For hunting out to 100 yards I suggest pushing the cast bullet to as high a velocity while maintaining adequate/reasonable hunting accuracy that fits your needs. Loading just for best accuracy may not be the preferred goal for a hunting load. Finding a compromise of power (velocity) and accuracy (group size) may best suit your needs out to 100 yards.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 05-04-2018 at 12:19 PM.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  19. #19
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    brewer,
    I want to deer hunt with it. Hoping to find an acceptable 100 yd recipe. Larry Gibson is sort of coaching me along.
    In that case, if it were me I would do the bulk of my testing at the convenient 50 yard range and then test the final candidates at 100 yards to verify accuracy. Sounds like I am saying essentially the same thing as Larry.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    You can weed out the real bad loads at 50 yards, but I have a hard time believing you will see much difference between them. I find 50 yards to be half decent for hunting handguns, but even slug guns, nothing shows up until you get to 100 yards. I would not waste much time with a rifle at 50 yards for load development. For practice, no problem. I cant tell you the number of times I've had one hole groups at 50 yards that are barely on paper at 100 yards, it's quite often.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check