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Thread: Always know what your target is when sighting in your rifle.

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Always know what your target is when sighting in your rifle.

    I was putting the finishing touches on sighting in my Henry Big Boy Steel in 357 mag today. Things went well at 25 and 50 yards with decent if not great groups.
    When I moved to 100 yards, everything went south on me.
    I was holding well and seemed to be getting off the trigger well but the group just wasn't holding at all. The target was a sight in with the squares on it in the quadrants. they were already on the target board so I used them since no one else was using the range.
    It looked like the rifle was shooting 6 inch groups or larger and I was seriously disappointed.
    I went down to the berm to collect my target and come to find out, the squares on the target were miniature. I am not certain how small they were but I put one of my targets that had one inch squares up next to it and there was a lot of difference.
    Turns out my groups were in the three inch range. That made me feel a lot better about things.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    3 inch groups at a hundred yards with a pistol caliber carbine would make me feel good as well. The target thing made me smile. Irons or scope?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    3 inch groups at a hundred yards with a pistol caliber carbine would make me feel good as well. The target thing made me smile. Irons or scope?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Scope and a rest. My eyes and old body will not allow me to shoot like that without all the help I can get.
    The load was 158 grain XTP bullets over a full charge of 296. It felt like a pipsqueak load in that rifle. Especially after shooting my 30-06.
    I fired some of those same loads in my S&W 686 later and man they were loud.
    I need to spend some time and chrono them and see just what they are doing.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel bad with 3"/ 100yd groups. Truth be known a lot of rifles shoot in this range. I have reciever sights on my levers and pistol calibers are sighted in at 60yds. I check rifles and loads off rest with scope to decide if it's a keeper. 3" in 357 would be a keeper. It may tighten up with another load but you know you have a gun to work with.

  5. #5
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    Minute of Deer. Good shooting.

  6. #6
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    At the two ranges I frequent, left targets are 99.99% of the time too shot up to be used; further, as more and more get stapled atop, I've seen THREE inches of paper targets. For me, I've pretty much given up on commercial targets -- I buy a 100-pack of paper plates at a local "Dollar Store" and either stick on an orange Lyman spot, or use a Sharpie to make a ~1" dot at plate's center. "My" target is easy to distinguish from others, and, well... works for me! Congrats on your 3" groups, too! With my Henry, I'd be happy to get all shots on the plate .
    geo

  7. #7
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    Good morning
    We use the inverted "T" . Very precise horizontal bottom line and vertical. We use a plain black marker and the clear backs of the "junk mail" so never buy any paper. Plus it is the only use for junk mail that is fun at the moment.
    Mike in LLama Land
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good morning
    We use the inverted "T" . Very precise horizontal bottom line and vertical. We use a plain black marker and the clear backs of the "junk mail" so never buy any paper. Plus it is the only use for junk mail that is fun at the moment.
    Mike in LLama Land
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Out-of-date desktop calendars work well. But I am also fond of paper plates and junk mail, especially AARP letters. Got to have Sharpies!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    I like those FAT red magic markers, 6 squares about 3" on printer paper for 100yds, I use 6" paper plates for most pistol stuff. For 200yds I use 2" squares drawn with regular magic marker because the magnification is greater.

    The last time I shot my 70s M77 Ruger 308 for group I walked 200yds on the farm, downhill, posted target then walked the same 200yds back up, laid on the ground prone and fired when my heartbeat was dropping the crosshairs at the bottom, and I used their position at the bottom of the bounce to set my POA. I got a 3 shot group with 180gr Barnes Burners plain base over 41.5gr H4895 that I could cover with a guitar pick. somewhere around 9/16" - 5/8" at the largest. If I had a bipod or a good rest, maybe a sled, this gun would shoot into the same hole I am betting. DANG why didn't we have smart phones back then with their megapixel cameras???

    I shot a turkey at 340yds with this same load and hit it within 1/2" of POA, I wanted 1 1/2" below his beard, and I was 1/14" below, and 3/8" off center. I'll take that without complaint.

    Might be some yote management coming up here shortly, I'd like to dial my 300 AAC pistol length AR in for these and I found a good "lead dust collector" I can put on it to keep the peace in the surrounding areas.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  11. #11
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgerkahn View Post
    At the two ranges I frequent, left targets are 99.99% of the time too shot up to be used; further, as more and more get stapled atop, I've seen THREE inches of paper targets. For me, I've pretty much given up on commercial targets -- I buy a 100-pack of paper plates at a local "Dollar Store" and either stick on an orange Lyman spot, or use a Sharpie to make a ~1" dot at plate's center. "My" target is easy to distinguish from others, and, well... works for me! Congrats on your 3" groups, too! With my Henry, I'd be happy to get all shots on the plate .
    geo
    And they have the advantage of being waterproof, too. I shoot at a range with covered shooting positions so I can shoot in the rain when others find their targets melting.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Like a black circle about 2 inch diameter so I can see the cross hairs against the white paper .

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    I use round stick on dots of various diameters for different ranges/guns. Not the best for ultimate accuracy testing but OK for hunting guns and pistols.

    I believe a square with thick lines is a good target for rifle accuracy testing. Put the crosshairs in the middle of the square and keep the four little "boxes" formed by the crosshairs and open part of the square even.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    Don't forget that paper plates come in a bunch of sizes. Minute of deer, minute of Roe deer, Minute of black bear, etc. The platters hung up long ways are minute of drug dealer. Just don't mention that one at the range.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I too am a fan of paper plates. I shoot swingers mostly but occasionally I will try to shoot for groups.

    I buy rolls of 2" stick on dots on Amazon. They come in several colors.

    An orange dot on a white paper plate works great.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That is it works great until my grandkids rat me out.

    "Grandma: I just bought paper plates. Where did they go?"

    "Grandson: Papa shot a bunch of holes in them."

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    +1 on plain white paper plates. I get mine from a restaurant supply store (about 2/3 the cost of supermarket) and have made up stencils to spray paint 2" or 3" dots in center...I use the 2 inch @ 100 and the 3" @ 200. Takes less than 15 minutes to do a couple dozen.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  17. #17
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I use 8x11 squares of yellow carbon paper, can get all I want free from work. I find they are much easier to see than just about any commercial target and you can easily put squares or bullseyes on with a big marker.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    I put a small can 3" on a 8x11 piece of white and spray paint paper so I get a white center that way I can see the cross hairs on it, works good for me , I shoot at about 150 yds.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    My late FIL would use a broad-tipped marker to make a big X on a paper plate. Using a scoped rifle, when he saw the 8-legged spider, he squeezed the trigger. For those who still see well enough for iron sights (or like me use low-power thick crosshair scopes) to to www.PrecisionPlusTargets.com and check out their "victory rifle" target.

  20. #20
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I loaded for my Dad's Marlin 30-30 336 for years. He called me once and told me that he thought there was something wrong with my loads, they were not as accurate as they had been. I told him we would check when we visited for Thanksgiving (he was in Front Royal, VA and we were in WVa.).

    Got to his place and he took a brown grocery bag, put a 2" black circle on it with a magic marker, and went out to the mountain. He put the target up about 60 yards away, rested the rifle on the top of his truck, and looked through the 4 power scope. And he kept looking ... and looking. He looked at me and asked "We did put a black mark on that bag, didn't we?" I allowed as how we had. "We put it in the center, didn't we?" I told him, yes.

    Bang, bang, two shots ring out.

    We walk to the target, two holes, less than an inch apart, an inch above the bullseye that he could not see.

    "It's not my ammo, Dad", I said, "You need new glasses!"

    He allowed as to how I might just have a point.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

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