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Old 12-27-2010, 08:36 AM   #1
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Default the 50-200 yard zero

I have heard a lot about using a 50-200 yard zero, but would like to know how well it really works. Will a rifle sighted for 50 yards (ascending bullet) really be on target for 200 as the bullet descends? Are there any good guides as to how to compensate for crosswinds?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
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just depends on the round..understand that your bullet is on the up at 50, and on the way down at 200...
understand that when ya look through the sites, your barrel is actually pointin upward, basically a rainbow per say when the bullet leaves the barrel.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:15 AM   #3
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With most high velocity rounds it is.. I use this meathod with my 270 30-06 and 300winmag works for me... Itl be within a inch of center at 200
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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Yeah...it totally depends on the caliber. All calibers fly at different trajectories...making their point of impact different at yardages.

I look at where I'm hunting and the distance of my average shots.

At our farm in WV...we have guys that set their guns up to shoot 3" high at 100 yards. Probably 5% of our deer are killed over 100yards, but they zero their guns for around 250. Never made any sense to me that they would rather hold 3" low on 95% of the shots than hold 3" high on 5% of the shots. LOL
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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There are too many things to consider to make the assumption that 50 = 200. How high above the bore is the line of sight, etc. High rings, low rings, see through rings? Bullet and velocity?

Maybe it will work for your rifle, maybe it will not. The only way to know the answer is to actually shoot the rifle.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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i think generally its close but yeah its all in the caliber, bullet weight etc.....for example my ml load is a 200 grain sabot shooting 110grains bh209....im 2.75 high at 50, 4" high at 100, deadon at 200
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:01 AM   #7
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I truly prefer to sight my big game hunting rifles dead on at 200 yrds. For most of them it ranges from 1.1 to 1.5" high at 100 yards. But you won't know for sure if it is dead on at 200 yards unless you shoot your rifle at that distance. My elevation is between 7,800-12,500 feet the trajectory is a tad different than sea level so I don't go buy what the manuals say I find the drops on paper at the range. But some of the new ballistic calculators online are pretty close if your dealing with elevation changes. A lot of guys are going to the idea of using a maxium point blank range zero for practical hunting applications. Which if I hadn't had my drops programmed in my head for decades it would seem like the logical thing to do. You'd be dealing with just a few inches of rise and drop in elevation from 0 to 300 yards in most rifles in that 3000 fps mark.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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Let's look at a couple of examples, per one of my favorite ballistics programs that works really well for me.
a Federal American Eagle 223 55gr FMJ factory load, zeroed at 200, has it's initial POA/POI at 44 yards...granted, not much difference at the 50 yard mark (.2 inches).
Next, let's look at 308WIN, same manufacturer, 150 grain FMJ. Again, we'll zero at 200.
Initial POA/POI is at 36 yards, but now, the difference is .5 inches at the 50.
Next, let's look at a Federal Power-Shok 22-250 55 grain PSP...again, zeroed at 200.
Initial POA/POI is 55 yards, giving a 50 yard difference of .1 inches low.
If you're shooting matches, it's a huge difference.
For hunting purposes, the 50/200 rule works, as the differences are nominal (easily minute of deer, elk, coyote, rabbit, etc.), as the variances are very small for the application. It's not like a difference of minute of trash can lid.
So, depending on your application, and your desired precision, yes, it can work.
As for cross winds, it's totally dependent on wind direction, angle, bullet spin, and distance.
As the bullet travels from the muzzle to the target, it slows progressively.
Meaning that, the further it has to travel, the more cumulative the effects of wind and gravity.
At 200, depending on caliber, velocity, and projectile weight, the effects will be lesser or greater, based on your selection of cartridge.
Admittedly, at 200, there will be small variances, less than at 500, but more than at 100. How much? Depends on a variety of factors, and without knowing your application, I can't give you an idea as to what those are.
I know that a 15 mph cross wind at 90* to my shot, using my 300WSM gives me a variance of about 8 inches at 300 yards. That's using a 165 grain Nosler BT Fed Vital Shok ammo, 1/10 twist Savage 16 bolt gun.
Alternatively, in my 308WIN Rem 700, using the 170 grain PSP, same wind, same conditions, I have a difference of 24 inches.
What's the main differences between the two rounds? About 400 FPS velocity difference and the bullet ballistic coefficients are dramatically different, the PSP being about half as efficient at the BT.
My suggestion to you is this - figure out what round you're looking for that information for, then find a decent ballistics calculator program that allows you to input your specific information for your chosen cartridge. Most will.
Then, using the tables for basic reference, test out the tables vs. real life conditions, and see what your rifle/ammo combination does.
Then build your specific table that's tuned to your rifle/ammo, and tape it to your stock for reference.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:19 AM   #9
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The height of your line of sight over your bore will make a huge difference. All of this other stuff is completely dependent upon this.
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:50 AM   #10
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You should look at all ballistic chart data. Then choose the 1 you like. I use the "point blank" method. This takes the guess work out while you are in the field hunting and it is tried and true for thousands of hunters. Remember you have to hit an 8" vital zone of deer sized or larger animal. You sight in 3 1/4" to 3 1/2" high @ 100 yds. This allows you to hit the vital zone from top to bottom @ any distance out to about 350 yds. This is like zero @ 200 yds but you only need a 100 yr range and it is much easier. Jim
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