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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

Shoots poor close, shoots well far? (confused)


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I'm trying to get slightly ready for the West Point 2 gun next week. Took my rifle out to double check the zero again. 16" 1-7 Saber barrel and 62gr Privi ammo. Not great stuff, nor screaming fast out that barrel, but it always shot pretty good. Not as good as the heavier stuff, but still 1.5" groups? I shot it last sunday and had sort of a top of the dot 100/bottom of the dot 200 zero going. I just wanted to double check that today.

Today I set up an old no shoot at 100 yards with a 2" brown square on it, shooting off the bench and sandbags. First four shots are 6" high and all over! (?)

Next few are low! I'm really confused. I check the gun over, the scope, mount.. wondering if something is loose. I really try and settle down and still the best I can do is a 5-6-7" groups! I'm devastated. No time or ammo to play games and find what's wrong, or time to get/try new ammo. I don't know what to do.

I was shooting with a friend and we put out an 8" round steel. For the heck of it I took a few shots at it at 200 yards. I was shooting at it off hand and considering I was waving all over the places the hit to miss ratio was to be expected. But it piqued my curiosity.

So we moved back to 300 yards and I went back to shooting while sitting down, off a rest. At 300 yards I had no problems. I could go 8 for 8 or whatever number, unless I did something stupid or obviously wrong, but I pretty much hit it every time. It was no problem.

So how is it I can't shoot a better group than 5-7 inches at 100 yards, but can't miss an 8" plate at 300 yards? (forgetting all about why all the sudden)

I am confused and not at all happy.

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It can sometimes take time for bullets to stabilize.

I have a load that'll shoot 1 MOA (average dispersion) at 200 yards and .8 MOA average at 300 yards. It's about 2" MAX deviation at 100 yards though.

Edited by DyNo!
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What is different between when you shot the first time and the second time? Did you shoot from a bag on the bench both times?

The head position and cheek weld can change quite a bit between standing and bench and this can have a bigger effect than you might imagine. This can be particularly true with an AR where you are not getting the kind of solid cheek and head support you do with a bolt gun. Changes in head position may mean that the eye relief and reticle focus that is correct in one position may be poor in another. Everything combined can result in a change in POI and in many cases a much more erratic spread.

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Out of curiosity how large is the dot in your reticle? I have noticed I sometimes have a difficulty shooting groups smaller than the aiming point in low powered scopes. For instance in the meopta I am using right now say at 200 yards my group shot with the central dot on an 8" plate might be 4". At 300 yards using the fine tip of the first holdover mark the group might be the same size or smaller and the same deal at 400 yards. The rifle and ammo in question is sub moa with a target scope.

I have also seen the same thing as dyno with my 75gr load, it doesn't shoot that well at 100 yards but doesn't spread out at range as much as the 100 yard group would suggest.

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So how is it I can't shoot a better group than 5-7 inches at 100 yards, but can't miss an 8" plate at 300 yards?

This might be a hard sell, but mentally convince yourself that since you can hit the 300yd target you can hit anything you want closer. Otherwise, going in without the confidence that you can make the hits has already sunk you. Daniel Horner said in an interview that anyone can win (beat him) in a 3GN shoot-off but if the person he is shooting against goes in thinking they can’t beat him then he’s already won before the first shot.

What you know:

- The gun is accurate enough at 300

- There’s no way the bullet can be off 5-6" at 100 and tighten up that much at 300. (my opinion)

The bright side:

- Anything real close (<50yds) will be paper (IDPA) = 8” down zero and down 1 is huge. So you can score on these.

- Anything far away (>50yd, most likely >100yd) is going to be steel, the match info says rifle steel will be: 1. MGM Flasher (10”cir+5”square on top), 2. Larue (12” wide x 24” tall), 3. Larue “auto reset”? Not sure what size the "Auto Reset" is but with either your 100yd or 300yd accuracy you can hit at least 2 of 3 of these no problem.

Last year had MGM flashers out to 375.

I'll be shooting Sunday.

I don't believe in luck, but good luck anyway. :cheers:

David E.

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