View Full Version : First Outing, Need help...

Critter Control
08-03-2009, 01:41 AM
A couple of friends and I are preparing to go to our first groundhog shoot where we will be shooting at 100, 300, and 500 yards. I am just curious on what all should be brought, along with any tips that may help. I plan on taking a ruger target .204 with handloads, and an XR-100 22-250 with handloads. THe scopes will be a vx-2 leupold 6x18 with the 1/8 target dot, and a burris 4.5-14 with ballistic plex reticle. I will be using a benchrest Harris swil bi-pod, and sandbags for shooting. I do not have target knobs and was thinking about getting them, but was wondering what all I should pack. I have cleaning supplies, ammo, guns, bipods/sandbags, hearing protection, and my reloadidng notebook. I just started reloading this year and am looking for ANY tips or advice even if it seems off subject.

Kory in OH

Dick Grosbier
08-03-2009, 06:05 AM
Spotting Scope to see your bullets at 500yds.

Critter Control
08-04-2009, 02:02 AM
ok. I have a Burris 12-24. What power will i need to see bullet holes at 500 yds? What about windflags? never used any, any advice there?

08-04-2009, 07:41 AM
As far as wind flags go, I suppose if you knew where your quarry lay you could set the flags out and they would help. I don't know if you'll have that kind of opportunity if you will be moving around from site to site. Kentucky windage will be your friend.
I don't know what information you have in your reloading notebook, but a drop chart for your handloads would really help. This would require a chronograph, or if you don't have one at least estimate your velocity as close as you can and create a chart. This will at least get you close and you can fine tune your chart from there. If you happen to have a 300yd range to shoot at you could find your drops at that range, zero your scope there and then you'll have a relatively small amount of hold over or under for most of your shooting. If you know that the 500yd shots are going to be few and far between, maybe a 200yd zero is better.
A laser rangefinder would also be a great asset. If you haven't shot to 500 yds before you might want to find out what kind of retained energy your .204 has at that distance. I know that round shoots very flat, but you'll need to talk to someone else who has shot that far and see if they have had success with consistent kills at that distance. The last thing you want is to have a bunch of half dead chucks limping around.
The wind will really pust around a 30-40gr bullet at greater distances so don't be too disappointed if your shots don't always land where you want. I was out with my brother-in-law shooting my savage .223 with 69gr sierras. Dead calm at 550yds nice (for me) 6 inch group. Wind picked up maybe 5-8mph and the bullet drifted a good 10-12 inches (I am not a long range shooter so the wind may have been a bit less or more, but it wasn't blowing very hard).
Good luck,

Critter Control
08-05-2009, 12:30 AM
I'm actually getting ready to load up about 70 .204 rounds here in a little bit, and tomorrow a friend and i are going to shoot 300 yrds and see what it does. but i will be zeroing in for that, and then adjusting from there for 100 and 500. but he has a range finder and that is what we will use to sight in for the shoot on Saturday. But i appreciate the input. I am getting ready to start a thread about bullet jamming for OAL, and what tools people use to measure it and stuff like that, so feel free to spread your knowledge there too. thanks for the help again, i think i am almost ready for the tournament although shooting in the wind at such a long distance may prove tough to find paper if i miss it the first time...


08-05-2009, 08:07 AM
Ha! I totally missed the "shoot" part of the groundhog shoot!!
I am so sorry. I was completely on the varmint hunting topic. Please forgive me.
As far as OAL goes there will be those more qualified than I to guide you through. I use a fireformed piece of brass, seat a bullet long and chamber it. I measure the length, polish the bullet, and rechamber it, if there are smaller marks on it I measure that length, polish rechamber and measure it again. From that method I can get a very good idea of where the bullet hits the lands.
Hope this helps and again accept my apologies for misreading your post.
Good luck at the shoot.

Critter Control
08-08-2009, 05:06 PM
No problem. Any information is more than welcome. I am trying to take in any info that will help me improve my shooting. But when you see groundhog it is hard to not think of varminting.. :)