How do U compensate for various distance with your ML?

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by Larry (Omaha), Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. Apr 29, 2019 #1

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    This post is in reference to fixed sights & target shooting only
    If a rifle/smoothbore is zeroed at 25 or 50 yards:
    Do you, or how do you, compensate for longer/shorter distance? I personally use more or less powder, but wondered if others might just use Kentucky windage by eyeballing the front sight either up or down some. We all have our ways but I like to know how others compensate/adjust for variable distance.

    Flintlocklar :rolleyes:
     
  2. Apr 29, 2019 #2

    bang

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    I think it's best to figure fartest effective range or at least how far you would atempt a shot. Your powder load should be what shoots the projectile at best accuracy and use that no matter the range. Set sighting to hit in top half of kill zone at around between 1/2 and 3/4 max range. Check shot at around 1/4 range. Shot should be low half of kill zone climbing to top half of kill zone at mid to 3/4 range then drop back down at range. With some minor adjustments in sights you should be able to accommodate any shot with visual adjustments. It's all going to depend on the actual trajectory the load creates. You might get the low short and high mid shot but still need visual adjustment at range. Or visa versa. Know how it hits along the trajectory sight for nominal range and know difference at long range. Muzzleloaders have a trajectory like a mortar and drop like a rock. The shorter shots are easier to calculate mid is doable, long is subjectable.
     
  3. Apr 29, 2019 #3

    Grenadier1758

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    Its Kentucky windage. You need to know the proper sight picture for each of the ranges you shoot. You want the most accurate load. It is far better to adjust the sight picture than to open up the group by changing the powder charge.
     
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  4. Apr 29, 2019 #4

    ADK Bigfoot

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    When shooting competition, I shoot at 25 and 50 yards with one powder charge (i.e., 70 grains). When moving to 75 yards or 100 yards, I up the powder charge to 85-90 grains. That pushes the trajectory curve out further and allows the same sight picture. When hunting, I load with the higher charge and hold "on" at all distances up to 75 yards, which is my personal limit on live animals. The difference in trajectory between 20-100 yards is smaller than the kill zone of a deer, and I seldom have lots of time to worry about trajectory!

    ADK Bigfoot
     
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  5. Apr 29, 2019 #5

    rafterob

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    Kentucky windage. I don't want to have to remember to load different charges for different distances. Seems more natural for me to adjust my sight holds.
     
  6. Apr 29, 2019 #6

    Kansas Jake

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    Years ago with my TC Hawken and FFG BP, I would target shoot 50 grains at 25 and 50 yards with a 6 o'clock hold on the bull. At 100 yards and longer I would use about 70 grains with a center hold on the bull. This was with the patridge stye primitive TC sights. It seemed to work pretty well for me. I used the 70 grain charge for hunting and just aimed center. I haven't tried that loading with the gun for years and need to validate it from the bench to see how it holds up. That was with a tight mattress ticking patch and spit lube for targets and crisco or wonder lube for hunting.
     
  7. Apr 29, 2019 #7

    Howard Pippin

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    Hi Flintlocklar. When I was young and 22 shells were six dollars for 500, I did an awful lot of shooting with open sights. My experience with it said that you were better off using the same sight pattern, that you use, to be on target, using the information you know about bullet drop, and then aim at a point that far above the target, or in some cases below. It especially applies to hunting with a scope, to use What they call "holdover", Or "hold under." Being as how Any difference in sighting radius would have a detrimental effect on taking more or less of the front sight. If you are able to make it work taking more or less of the front sight, more power to you, I just thought the other method was easier to use.
     
  8. Apr 29, 2019 #8

    hanshi

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    I generally sight in for a point blank range 50yds to 100yds depending on caliber and whether hunting or paper target. For the .32 - .36 it's 50yds so that a 6:00 o'clock hold can be used at 25 and 50yds. Deer hunting calibers are sighted in for a pb range of about 100yds. This gives my loads a 6:00 o'clock hold at 50-60yds and virtually dead on at 25. Careful Kentucky "windage" for any precise shot.
     
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  9. Apr 30, 2019 #9

    Tom A Hawk

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    Many years ago I shot metallic silhouette competition with iron sighted handgun out to 200 meters and used the front sight elevation method favored by Elmer Keith. The front sight is held higher in the rear sight notch for extended ranges and its positioning on the target remains the same. I grew very confident with this aiming method and do the same with ML rifles.
     
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  10. Apr 30, 2019 #10

    Logcutter

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    Same site picture of front and rear site no matter the distance for me. Just hold a little higher the farther out the target is. I only shoot out to 75 yards so my adjustments are small. I don't really even think about it, just do it.
     
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  11. Apr 30, 2019 #11

    Grenadier1758

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    I used the raised sight method when shooting metallic muzzleloading silhouettes. Dead on for the center of body crows and the neck for groundhogs. I held level target on the hump for Buffalo silhouettes. The turkeys were always a difficult target and I held half the front sight above the rear sight aiming at the center of the back of the turkey. I used the full front sight in the rear sight with the top of the front sight on the bear's ear into the wind. I didn't hit every target, but I did hit a lot of them. Of course my eyes were a lot better back then when the front blade could be easily seen in the rear sight notch.
     
  12. Apr 30, 2019 #12

    Rifleman1776

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    I didn't respond yesterday because I just wasn't sure how I handled it. On reflection, I believe the best advice is to get to know your rifle. The couple rifles, especially my flint longrifle, were shot so many times the correct hold for different ranges just became second nature. I'm still getting there with my new Little Fella. But, for the most part I was center of bull at 50 yards, held at top of black bull for 100 yards. Oddly, 25 yards gave me fits. For a standard bullseye target it was center hold. But if shooting novelty or animal targets I invariably hit low. e.g. on the infamous 'nightmare' target I usually scored lousy. POI was below the head where the 10 score it. To hit the 10 I would have had to cover the desired POI with the muzzle and, just sorta instinctively wouldn't do that. Doesn't make a lot of sense but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
     
  13. Apr 30, 2019 #13

    Juice Jaws

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    I use Kentucky windage past 75 yards. The only time I use more powder (10 grains over normal charge) is in my smoothbore when shooting gongs or sil's over 100 yards. Not sure if it real helps but makes me think it does.
     
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  14. Apr 30, 2019 #14

    Richard Dittman

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    I’m fairly new to bp shooting, but shoot in competition only. I have a T/C 50 cal Hawken and a 50 cal T/C New Englander. I usually adjust the elevation of the rear sight. Although I do adjust the powder charge between 50 and 100 yards. I am still working on developing a good load and sight elevation for the various ranges
     
  15. Apr 30, 2019 #15

    Rifleman1776

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    For offhand shooting, I am not a fan of messing with the sights for varying ranges. Work up your load for best group at 50 yards, then adjust your sights for center hits. Without changing anything shoot at 100 yards using the same hold. Where you impact will tell you how much drop to expect. After a few rounds you will learn how to hold for the increased ranges. That experience will also be invaluable when hunting. Bambi doesn't always stand exactly on the 50 yard line. ;)
     
  16. Apr 30, 2019 #16

    bubba.50

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    My guns are usually sighted-in at 75yds. I guesstimate over/under from there.
     
  17. Apr 30, 2019 #17

    BrownBear

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    Some might call it a cheat, but I use the Elmer Keith handgun approach on both muzzleloaders and handguns. I raise the front sight, always using the top of it for a fixed aiming point. The "cheat" comes in with the little index marks scribed on the back of the front sight, which I align with the top of the rear sight. Old Elmer had it right. It's absolutely astounding how accurately you can shoot at distance when you have a sure aiming point with the front sight and a sure elevation point with those index marks. If I was shooting competition, you can bet the match marshals would have me blackening that front sight to hide those index marks.
     
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  18. Apr 30, 2019 #18

    Artificer

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    Larry,

    I'm glad you mentioned this is for target shooting only and do I take it to mean you will be shooting mostly or all Offhand when doing so?

    If you are mostly talking about Offhand Shooting, then forget trying to change the sight "picture" for different ranges, as it won't work unless you spend many, Many, MANY more hours dry firing and shooting than most folks can or will do. It is far better to use the sight picture that best works for you for the best accuracy. This may be the top of the front sight blade is equal to the top of the rear sight or it may be the top of the blade is down at the bottom of the rear sight notch. Doesn't matter, just whatever works best for you and DON'T change it at different ranges unless you are doing 200 yards or longer shots.

    Next I assume you will be shooting from 25, 50 and maybe at most 100 yards, is that correct? If that's true, then there is NO NEED to use more powder than your accuracy load, because it will just open up your group size and cause lower scores. All the ball has to do is punch through the paper, after all. Also, it is best to have the accuracy load that shoots the tightest groups when the wind comes up and pushes on the ball. You compensate for more wind by aiming a little towards the direction of the wind and you find that out by shooting more in the wind, checking range flags and even trying to aim left or right a bit when there is no wind at different ranges you shoot - to see how much the ball moves.

    I am convinced most of the old boys used what we today call the Maximum Point Blank Range approach, when they hunted. This meant they aimed "dead on" and fired that way from very short range to the maximum distance the bullet drop kept the ball on their target. The ball would rise above their point of aim along the way and fall at longer ranges, but they still aimed "dead on" until the distance was so great the ball would drop below the bottom of their target. Now of course that won't be the best way to do it for targets and to get the best score.

    You need to shoot at the different ranges you will compete at to find out how much the ball raises or falls from the center of the target at each range. You will also need to see how the groups move from the center of the target at each range. You may find you need to adjust the rear sight so the rifle shoots a little to the right or left at 25 so it hits center at 50 and then only a bit to the left/right at 100. This will tell you where you need to sight in on the target at each range.

    You absolutely must record this information, as well, or you can bet you won't remember when shooting matches at different ranges. I don't know the medical reason for it, but when you write something down, you are telling your subconscious mind the information is worth remembering. If you make a "Data Book" or "Shooter's Log Book" while you are shooting, it will help a great deal as well. You can also go back to that book later, to remind yourself before you shoot at different ranges.

    Gus
     
  19. Apr 30, 2019 #19

    Tom A Hawk

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    :thumb:
     
  20. Apr 30, 2019 #20

    Larry (Omaha)

    Larry (Omaha)

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    Gus,
    Thanks for the nice reply. My post requested input for fixed sights, so adjusting a rear sight for wind is out. Using the best shot group charge does not work (for me). I shoot a dead center POA, and the same sight pic every time. It would be nice to use that most accurate charge all the time, but with variable size targets at different ranges, I do not know another way. I even up my pistol charge for 50 yrds.
    Flintlocklar
     

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