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  1. #1
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    I've hunted deer (and other stuff) since I was 8. And I've killed a lot of deer, most of them with rifles. But I'm not a gun guy. I like them but I'm not into them. I have a few deer rifles. They were sighted in many years ago. I check them each year and they are still dead on. My Dad was a gun guy. And he did all of the sighting in. I've done some but not a lot. Well, two things have changed. First, Dad has got severe Alzheimers now. So he can't help. Second, I've got his rifles now. Two of them are sighted in, no problem. But three of them are not.

    My first inclination was just to sell them. How many deer rifles do you need? But, I got to looking at these guns and even though they are not super fine guns, the three guns in question are interesting guns and I'll keep them and use them (mostly for hogs since I don't deer hunt that much now).

    Ruger 77, which is hardly interesting but it is chambered in .358 Winchester which is kind of neat and might become my go to hog gun.

    Sears J.C. Higgins 30-06. These guns had Belgium Mauser actions and stainless barrels. Fine gun in a very modest package.

    Smith & Wesson .308. These probably are fine guns. Beautiful blonde wood stock with dark fore end. Made in Sweden by Husqvarna. It is probably sighted in and was an absolute tack driver in the past.

    Anyway, I mentioning all this to say that I've got to sight in at least two of these guns (I just put scopes on them). I bore sighted here at home. I know all the basics, how to adjust the scope and all that but my question is about the truth of what Dad always told me, which was to sight it in at an inch high at 100 yards and you could still shoot dead on out to 200.

    And to clarify, I do not do any long range shooting. I don't think I've ever taken a shot over 150 yards and probably would not consider a shot over 200. Most shots are well under 100 yards.

    So is the 'inch high at 100' a reasonable rule for the type of range I'll be shooting at? It seems like this has worked in the past with our 30-06's, 308's and 270's.....would it still apply with the .358 or should I put it dead on at 100?
    George
    South Carolina

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    I always bore sight, and then start at the range on the 25 yard target. It is pretty simple to make the adjustments to zero it there. From there, I go to 100. And then 200, and 300(local range has 300 yard range). I always sighted my 308 165gr loads at 2" high at 100. It was 2" high at 100, on at 200, and 8" low at 300. 150gr loads were similar, but more(9") drop at 300.

    Looking at my Speer book at a moderate 220gr .358 load, it was 3.6" high at 100, 0 at 200, 15" low at 300. It was a low muzzle velocity, with a much lower ballistic coefficient; it is slower and not very aerodynamic.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Ballistics vary with muzzle velocity and bullet shape. Your fathers 1 inch high at 100 yards is close enough for minute of deer at 200 yards with most 270, 308 etc, but generally not good enough for minute of wood chuck.

    I have a couple of 358 Winchesters. Since you do not have a good working knowledge of firearms and ballistics my guess is you do not load shells either. The 358 would make an excellent hog thumper but factory ammo is hard to find and expensive when you do. As a rule most factory loads you find will be a 200 grain load with kind of a semi spitzer bullet at about 2500 fps. A 2.5 inch high at 100 should put you about on at 200.

    That Ruger 358 is a dandy by the way!
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Based on what your stating about your hunting shots, your weapons, etc I think you will be fine at 1 inch over at one hundred, all would be good to 150 - 200 for deer, as storm56 says, the exception is the .358...

    Rich

  5. #5
    Silver Member JWR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Your family tradition of " 1 inch high at 100 yards" is ideal for almost all real hunting situations, especially for deer. No matter what bragging you hear, patterns are more than an inch in diameter with extremely rare exception. That leaves nothing but trajectory to understand/predict where you are. Remington used to publish very good ballistic tables that were easily understood and practical for the most common ammo. I assume that is not hard to find nowadays on the web from multiple sources. Look at the tables for your .358 and weight of projectile and see what drop you get between 100 and 200 yards. I guarantee it is nothing you can't compensate for by aiming a little high if you are out close to 200 yds. Note: the old Remington tables were published in two sets -- one based on sighted in at X inches high at 100 yds and the other based on X = 0.0 inches. If you study those tables a bit you will get a good understanding of the variables and a feel for what you want.

    But back to the deer: You won't really be shooting deer beyond 200 yards or even that far because it makes such little sense. The country is overrun with the beasts, they are everywhere, and if you can't sneak within 100 to a lot less than 200 yds of a deer (and make a clean kill) go back home cause you ain't a hunter. That means the 1" high at 100 yds setup hits the deer well within the good killing spot anywhere between 40 and 150 yards. Especially since you have several rifles you really should sight them all in the same way because your habits and judgement on-the-fly will make a far bigger difference than some far-fetched exaggeration of a sighting in method. I use a Ruger Model 77 all the time with a Redfield 3 to 9 scope. I have NEVER seen it get detectably away from being sighted in. Solid as a rock.
    jwr
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  6. #6
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Thanks guys. I think I will put the 30-06 and the 308 an inch high at 100 and the 358 dead on at 100. It would be a rare occasion that I shot the 358 past 100.

    Storm56, I have about 100 rounds of factory Winchester 200gr Sliver Tips and another 100 rounds that my Dad's buddy reloaded for him after they did a lot of trial and error research. These are 200gr Hornady bullets in Winchester brass. And while I agree that you hear a lot of bull about how accurate some guns are, Dad saved the targets with bullet data on this 358. There are two or three of these targets where each of 3 or 4 shots is touching with the reloads. One of them looks like a clover leaf! And Dad was a good but not amazing shot. So out to 100 yards this 358 should knock down a hog pretty good.

    JWR, I'm with you on long range shooting. I think it is fine for those who are good at it and have done the hard work, bought the expensive gear and practiced to the point of perfection......but everyone else should leave it alone. At best you get a rare amazing shot, most of the time you miss, some of the time you cripple a deer for no good reason. The vast majority of my shots are within bow range. Usually sitting against a tree on the ground. I only take easy shots these days. It used to kill me to let one walk but now it doesn't for some reason. In fact, I have not killed a deer in two years because I have been taking my daughter who sits with me. She has gotten three nice eights in the last two years and for me that is a ton more fun than shooting one myself:

    -383348_110419532443128_2034326216_n-jpg
    George
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    George - Do not underestimate that 358 Win. With proper sight in and the right loads, 300 yards is not at all unreasonable. The 200 Hornady Spire Point is an excellent bullet in that gun for deer & hogs, although not the best for longer range work. Like your father's, my 358's are quite accurate so the small groups do not surprise me.

    While I like to close the range to my hunted quarry, there are times when it just does not happen. For the experienced rifleman there is nothing wrong with shooting longer ranges, even past 300 yards, when using the right setup and conditions warrant it. The 358 is not the tool for this work. I have done quite a bit of longer range work out to 600 yards. While I agree that the average hunter should limit their shots to under 200 yards, (some well under!), for those that have done their homework and paid the dues, longer shots can be easily made. I have shot several animals from ground hogs to elk at ranges to just shy of 500 yards verified with a laser range finder.

    Happy hunting!
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  8. #8
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    I'm not knocking long range shooting. But, like most everything else, it should be reserved for those who know what they are doing. (And too many folks don't know...that they don't know what they are doing....) For me it is not really an issue. I hunt in the woods and you rarely get a shot over 200 yards. I do not have any fields but my B-I-L whose farm is next door has some expansive fields where you can see for many hundreds of yards. And while I do not have any desire to shoot deer out across his fields, he would very much like me to shoot hogs and coyotes. I got an ugly but very accurate Remington 700 in 270 which could do the job if I took the time to sight it in for longer range shooting but it too is sighted in at 1" over at 100 yards. It has been such a good performer for me all these years that I would be hesitant to mess with it. Also, I have no long range scopes. Most of these guns have Zeiss, Nikon or Leupold 4x scopes on them which are fine for in the woods. The 270 and the Husqvarna 308 have 6x scopes but those are the most powerful scopes I have.

    I remember once as a teenager I was hunting a long straight woods road which I was not used to. A buck came out way down the road and I took aim, on a rest, and pulled the trigger. I still remember the dirt flying up behind him where the bullet went between his legs. He ran off untouched (I am a meticulous tracker and there wasn't even a hair). My Dad came by and I showed him where the deer was standing and he laughed and asked me how far I thought the shot was. I said about 200....he said it was over 300. So I learned early that I did not estimate range well, nor know how to shoot at long range.
    George
    South Carolina

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Remington Shoot is free software that lets you choose various calibers, types of ammo etc. Gives you a decent idea of where to zero your rifle for the distances you hunt at, ammo you use etc.

  10. #10
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Relative Noob Sighting in Deer Rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by charlz View Post
    Remington Shoot is free software that lets you choose various calibers, types of ammo etc. Gives you a decent idea of where to zero your rifle for the distances you hunt at, ammo you use etc.
    Cool. Thanks.
    George
    South Carolina

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