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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:20 PM #1
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Zeroing with different types of ammo?

When you zero a rifle which ammunition do you choose to do it with? Match? Inexpensive range ammo? Does it matter?
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:39 PM #2
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:41 PM #3
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My handloads that I load.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:48 PM #4
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A 5 inch group at 50 yds is a pretty big group. Its not necessarily you since you shot a dime size group with the match ammo. Non match ammo can have greater variance in weight or even concentricity from 1 bullet to another, greater variance in powder weight from 1 cartridge to another, and even vaiances in weight or concentricity of the brass. The exact geometry of the bullet can add a variable as well ( i.e. hollow pt, spitzer, softpoint, spire point, how elongated the spitzer mught be, etc). Further, different weight of bullets, different manufactures, etc, will usually change the point of impact somewhat. In Hunters Safety we instruct the student to both sight in their fireams and practice with the ammo you expect to hunt with ....just because of potential variance in the point of impact. Oh, yeah, you can see some change in the grouping and point of inpact between a cleaned and oiled barrel and a fouled barrel. Thats why I am loath to do a cleaning of the bore of my rifles after I make the final sight in check just before hunting season. Unless I hunt in the rain or something, I try to leave the bore a bit fouled from that last sight in until I'm finished hunting for the season. Its not usually a huge difference between a clean and fouled bore , but often is a couple inches or more at 100 yds (double that at 200 yds).
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:49 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savageShooter View Post
My handloads that I load.
I'm going to guess those loads are close to match quality.

First time zeroing anything I used range ammunition and got mixed results. Switched over to match ammunition and hit the bullseye 3 times in a row.

I'm guessing it was a coincidence as I was really making sure I had everything set. I didn't want to waste $1 per round ammunition. That maybe I wasn't so concerning with the cheaper stuff.

All the zeroing articles and videos talk about distance to zero and how to do it but none talk about ammunition.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:50 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilot25 View Post
When you zero a rifle which ammunition do you choose to do it with? Match? Inexpensive range ammo? Does it matter?
What kind of firearm is it and what are you trying to do? I usually try to zero with what I'm going to be shooting with. I'll get on paper with cheap ammo then zero with the ammo I plan to use. If it's a target AR I use 55gr NATO to get on paper then my 77gr loads that I plan to shoot out of it the most. If it's a range toy with a red dot I zero with 55gr NATO at 50yds then confirm the 50/200 zero at 200yds and call it good.

With a 22 I pretty much only use minimags and that's what I zero with too.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:53 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxs View Post
A 5 inch group at 50 yds is a pretty big group. Its not necessarily you since you shot a dime size group with the match ammo. Non match ammo can have greater variance in weight or even concentricity from 1 bullet to another, greater variance in powder weight from 1 cartridge to another, and even vaiances in weight or concentricity of the brass. The exact geometry of the bullet can add a variable as well ( i.e. hollow pt, spitzer, softpoint, spire point, how elongated the spitzer mught be, etc). Further, different weight of bullets, different manufactures, etc, will usually change the point of impact somewhat. In Hunters Safety we instruct the student to both sight in their fireams and practice with the ammo you expect to hunt with ....just because of potential variance in the point of impact. Oh, yeah, you can see some change in the grouping and point of inpact between a cleaned and oiled barrel and a fouled barrel. Thats why I am loath to do a cleaning of the bore of my rifles after I make the final sight in check just before hunting season. Unless I hunt in the rain or something, I try to leave the bore a bit fouled from that last sight in until I'm finished hunting for the season. Its not usually a huge difference between a clean and fouled bore , but often is a couple inches or more at 100 yds (double that at 200 yds).
I didn't know any of this. I guess it is often assumed by the writer when writing zeroing articles.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:53 PM #8
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As generic answer :

Do initial sight in with low to medium cost ammo of the same weight bullet . After sighted with that, then shoot your match/ premimum hunting ammo , to either verify same poi, or make final corrections.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:54 PM #9
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If I'm preparing to shoot at a range, for competition or just for skill enhancement I use standard velocity for 22LR, or match ammo I plan to use. For hunting prep I zero with the ammo I will be using, at a zero distance about mid-range for the distance I anticipate shooting. For instance, in 6.5 Creedmoor for some game I might be using 140 gr. I've found for hogs I'm down to 100 gr Noslers. Hogs don't bleed a lot. On smaller size animals that are the best for eating, heavier bullets are often through and through, producing an animal that runs away and dies much later. Little blood trail means a lost pig. I want something that offloads more energy in the animal. I zero for the ballistic characteristics of that round. It's situational.
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Old August 10th, 2017, 11:56 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bountied View Post
What kind of firearm is it and what are you trying to do?
1:7 twist piston carbine. Manufacturer recommends 77 grain ammunition. They state they use BlackHills 77 grain OTM Mod1 when testing each build. I used this and was accurate. 62 grain Federal, significantly less expensive, was less so.

So your recommendation follows the results I was having exactly.
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