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  1. #1
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    Default 200 yard .22 cal. benchrest shooting

    I was introduce to shooting .22 cal. from the bench several years ago. I'am hooked. That is all that I shoot anymore. I have been shooting for 30 plus years. Pistols and rifles. How small of a group is possible with a .22 at that range. There are a load of variables to address and consider. 3 rifles and scopes, hundreds or even thousands of rounds of ammo, modifications equipment, and lots of talking, reading, research and testing. And I'am not satisfied as of yet. Various types of ammo and still testing. The best 20 shot group to date is around 3.5". I cannot thank this and various other forums and sites for all of the what seems to be end less supply of great information. I hope I did not take over any ones thread, it was not my intent. If you have not tried shooting benchrest .22 cal. out to 200 yards to make the smallest group, give it a try. It sounded kind of dumb at the time but, as I said, I'am hooked. john out.

  2. #2
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    Default Johncamsr...

    Howdy,
    I am going to have to give 200 yards with a rimfire a try. I don't think I have ever done it with a rifle. I was fresh out of the Army in 1992, trying to go back to school and support my family. Like anyone in those circumstances, I was BROKE! I used to go to this one gun store where the guy that ran it seemed to know a fair bit about shooting. One of his regular "loafers", other than me when I could, was going out as I was coming in once. He had a slick looking Ruger Mk 2 Slabside target pistol with a scope on it. I told him what a fine pistol it was, and he stopped and told me something I had NEVER thought of before.

    He said "I can hit a 14 inch square target at 225 yards with this thing benchrested". Now, I had the privilege of working with a couple of folks that could shoot when I was in the Army, and I used to pester one of them to death every day with shooting questions. I figured, probably wrongly, that he would call shenanigans on a .22 pistol hitting anything at 225 yards. So I about called shenanigans on it too. But then I thought, wait, he might know something I don't. I said, "how"? Joe just grinned real big. He said that the pistol easily shot into an inch and a half at 25 yards. I said I had a Ruger with a tapered 6 and 7/8 inch barrel I could do that with through the iron sights benchrested, so his could probably at least do that.

    He said inch and a half at 25, three inches at 50, and we both said 6 inches at 100 and 12 at 200 and 13 1/2 at 225 yards. Not counting wind, ammo quality etc. I said, then you sized your target for what you could do with no wind, and verified it already?
    "That's right", said Joe. "Then the fun began." I asked him what he meant. He told me that most folks around that area automatically challenged him and told him to prove it. He would say "well, yeah, I can prove it, but it is gonna cost you some money if I do, so we'll have to bet on it."

    Ol' Joe said he took a lot of money from a lot of people shooting that little .22 pistol at 225 yards. Then the word got out and he started running out of victims.

    I was still skeptical, and since all I could afford was some rimfire ammo, I thought I would give it a go with my Ruger Mk 2. I don't expect you to believe this, but you can try it for yourself sometime. I put an empty anti-freeze jug out at 225 yards at the same range Joe was talking about. A guy showed up with a varmint rifle and was kind enough to watch for the bullet impact in the dirt, and give me estimates as to how far off I was. It took about 80 rounds, and a bunch of sight adjustments, but I got to where I could hit the jug, not even close to every time, but enough to see that it was deliberate. Until I tried it, I would have never believed one could do that at anywhere near that distance with a .22 pistol.

    Joe got kind of sad once he ran out of victims to beat out of their hard earned dollars. He went back to the idea of "what sounds ridiculous that nobody will believe" to keep his interest, and income, high. He ended up taking a black powder .44 revolver and working up a load, and sizing his target to fit what the gun could do at 225 yards. All of the same ol' boys that paid him the first time around with a scoped Ruger slabside, ended up paying him some more, because they just did not think it was possible to do what he was doing.

    I don't remember trying a rifle at 200 yards. Think I'm going to have to give it a go. For a while, back in the 1930's, I read in an old American Rifleman that there used to be 300 yard prone matches. I can't even begin to imagine what the wind would be like!

    Welcome here!

    Greg Flannery

  3. #3
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    Aug 2010
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    Default

    Greg, thanks for taking the time to respond to my entry. By all means give it a try, We have this 200 yard .22 benchrest shoot each month at the shooting club that I belong to. Guys show up with all types of rifles/scopes gear and ammo. And shoot very well. The guys that almost always win have the best rifles/scopes gear and ammo. I enjoy the testing and trying too find ways to shrink that group size. I have not reloaded center fire in years and do not mis all of the work involved. Hang in there and give it your best try. john

  4. #4
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    Mar 2010
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    The middle of Big Corn - Iowa
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    Default

    Greg,
    to give you a bench mark of sorts, the standard German ring target for 200 yds is a 1.5" center (25 pts)
    with successive rings being 3/4" wide out to the 15 ring. Everything outside of that is zero.

    A really good score will be in the mid 240s. I have never shot better than 248, but I believe a handful of 250s have been recorded over the years.

    Brent

  5. #5
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    Aug 2010
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    Brent, thanks for that info. Off to the range this morning to try some other ammo. Week ends are for shooting. john

  6. #6
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    Default

    So, John, Greg, what happened?

  7. #7
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    Feb 2010
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    Default BrentD

    Howdy Brent,
    Pesky allergies are wearing me out!!!! I can't hardly see (might improve my shooting) and I have been like this for at least a couple of weeks. I don't know what is in the air, but it is getting the best of me. Between that, and ye olde honeydew list somehow growing exponentially, I am hung up at the moment. When whatever it is that is in the air starts giving my eyes a break, I will get out and try the 200 yard shooting. I am beyond sick and tired of pouring saline solution in my eyes every time the line stops at work. I dearly love Kentucky, but the allergy problems here can be murder.

    When you guys are shooting at 200 yards, whaddyado for ammo? Standard velocity with a moonshot trajectory, or something faster that is accurate (?????!!!?) for the distance?

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Default

    Greg, I know what you mean about allergies, mine are 24/7/365. Ammo, where did I start? let me see. Going back a few rifles, thinking that this 200 yard gig was a slice of cake. No way, not even close. I started with the cheap standard velocity, then I proceeded to purchase and try any thing local that I could get my hands on. I did not what to spend alot at that time and that held me back for some time until I figured out that the problem was not the equipment, I purchased what I always wanted. An Anschutz benchrest 1907Br and mounted a Sightron 8 x 32 on it. The finest rifle scope set-up that I have ever owned... After shooting that for awhile it was plain to see that I needed better ammo. Went with both Wolf's, SK jage, RWS, Fiocchi, Eley, three types, and now Federal Match, next Lapua Center-X. So far the Federal Match is working a little better then some of the others. I only shoot on the weekends and its just to test and record my results. I have a stack of targets to refer to. Getting the rifle to shoot out to 200 yards and still have some clicks left on my scope was a challenge that took some research and testing. /the Sun Optics base and ring combo from Champions Choice are now on two of my bench rest .22cal. rifles, either 1" or 30mm. Not very expensive at all and they work GREAT. This set up is fully adjustable for elevantion and windage. They are at first a little tricky to set up having all of the adjustments. and they fit the 11mm rail. Do not forget to purchase the high riser posts ! I had to file the base to port the ejection port opening, Its made of aluminum and not hard to do, just take your time. Or use a dremel tool. I could go on forever but, I will cut it short. Good luck john

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    The middle of Big Corn - Iowa
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    Default

    Greg,
    I hear ya on the allergies. I used to be wiped out by cool season grasses. But not much any more though. Seems I grew out of it, when I became senile.

    John,
    I use Eley Tenex that is rated at 1064 fps. I keep testing against others, but it keeps holding its own. There are lots of others to try though. I have fairly rigorous testing process so I'm pretty confident that I have good ammunition. The best ammo and the best barrel are the two most important things. Chambering comes in third I suspect. My rifle is a Winchester low wall that I (and 20 other people) rebuilt from an original. When I'm shooting at 200 yds, I use a Lyman STS 25x scope, or I use MVA irons.

    FWIW, I shoot a lot of Black Powder Target Rifle competition at Creedmoor distances (1000, 900, 800 yds). The velocities are pretty slow (1200-1400 fps depending on chambering). I wanted to find a way to simulate this distance shooting with a .22. With help of some software, it turns out that about 237 yds produces the same Minute of Angle/mile hour of wind effect for a .22 as does 1000 yds with the same wind using my .45-90 or .45-100. i have no idea what that might mean to others, but i find it interesting and I think shooting .22s at 200 yds or longer really helps with the long range stuff for my centerfire shooting.

    Brent

  10. #10
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    Default

    I should add, I have not shot any high-quality, high-velocity ammo. I don't really know if there is such a thing any more. I would like to try it, but my guess is that for 200 yds and in, the slow stuff will always rule. Maybe for something like 400 yds or so, a higher velocity will come through, but I don't think it will work for 200 and in.

    Brent

  11. #11
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    Brent, thanks for the response. The federal Match that has been giving me good results is rated at 1080 fps, thats about as hot as I think I want to go. I guess the idea is to stay below the speed of sound coming out of the barrel? The Eley Tenex is used by a shooter at our club and he usually wins the 200 yard benchrest matches, He has his rifle set up almost like a rail gun. I have seen one of his targets and I think that I'am right on his heels. john

  12. #12
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    Default

    I think you are right to stay under the sound barrier.

    Go get'em!

    Brent

  13. #13
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    Default

    Just for fun, from a good day at the 200 yd bench line, scored to the leaded edge ...





  14. #14
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    Default

    And the fifth target that was disallowed by the editing software...


  15. #15
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    Default Brent

    Howdy,
    Sweeeeeet! Did you post something the other day about flight times of the bullet being in the 2-3 second range? ANY wind has to be murder! Were you using the sled on the barrel that you told me about before?

    On a side note, I have always thought it would be fun to put a target up, have not decided on a distance yet, and spray it with sugar water. The most dead flies in a predetermined time period wins. Of course, somebody would always figure out a better way to draw flies to their target......

    A spider inspired me once......

    Greg

  16. #16
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    Mar 2010
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    Default

    Greg, yes I was using a muzzle sled for those targets. A free floated forearm is an impossibility on a flat spring highwall, so the sled is the way to go.

    Flight time in a 1000 yds BPCR match is on the order of 3.0-3.5 seconds. But for a .22 at 200 yds it is much less. Still, you can watch the bullet fly to the target with a 25x scope. You know the shot is going to be good or bad before it gets there usually.

    winds are tough, but tougher by a good bit for the 1000 yd bpcr match than the 237 yd .22 simulation. Even though the effect of a given wind will be the same for both bullets at both distances, the 1000 yds match has 3-4 or 10 different winds between you and the target. At 237 yds, there are proportionately, many fewer different wind gusts, so it is easier to cope with that. Still, wind is what makes shooting .22 at 200 yds so much fun. You watch the flags, you look at the grass and the leaves on the trees, and then you watch the mirage in the scope, make your best guess from all of that data and pull the trigger. Nothing better than holding at 8:30 on the 22 ring and watching that bullet curve out and down in the center of the 25 ring. Man, that will just make your day.

    Anyhow, that is about as good as I can do. I have shot better single targets but 5 targets of 240+ is a really really good morning. On that morning there was a light breeze, not much but enough to see dependably, it was pretty consistent and I shot fast before things could change much.

    Brent

  17. #17
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    Aug 2010
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    BrentD, nice shooting, I'am not familiar with the "Official 200 yard targets" that you have shot. Could you please give me the size of the 25 ring, 24 ring, 23 ring etc.? its hard to tell how small your group size is based on the photos. That way I can compare it to the targets and groups that I'am shooting. It will help me figure out where I'am with my shooting. Thanks for posting your targets. My next investment will have to be a digital camera. john

  18. #18
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    Mar 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johncamsr View Post
    BrentD, nice shooting, I'am not familiar with the "Official 200 yard targets" that you have shot. Could you please give me the size of the 25 ring, 24 ring, 23 ring etc.? its hard to tell how small your group size is based on the photos. That way I can compare it to the targets and groups that I'am shooting. It will help me figure out where I'am with my shooting. Thanks for posting your targets. My next investment will have to be a digital camera. john
    The 25 ring is 1.5" across. Each successive ring is 3/4" wide.

    Digital cameras are a nice way to store results of tests and what not. Usually, I write the loads on them and other particulars, but these were shot in a match so I just turned them in.

    I really don't know how good they are. Relative to shooters around here that shoot traditional rifles (pre1900), they are good. But relative to what the modern br rifle can do, I don't know. I would like to see what they can do, but they are so preoccupied with shooting 50 yds.

    I should add that those targets are "official" to any schuetzen competition (ASSRA, WSU, ISSRA and also the National Muzzleloader Rifle Association). Equivalent targets can be obtained from any of them. This target dates back at least 1.5 centuries if not 2 or 3.

    Brent
    Last edited by BrentD; 08-18-2010 at 08:28 PM.

  19. #19
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    Mar 2010
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    Durango, CO
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    Brent, I shoot a sport called 22 Benchrest Silhouette which is shot at 65, 75, 100, 150 and 200 meters. All our shooters are using match ammo from Wolf MT to Eley 10X. I am currently using a lot of Eley Match at 150 and 200 meters which I chronograph at 1022 with an STD of 7.56 in my custom Anschutz at 7000 feet elevation. We get a sight in period at any range we want before the match starts, then draw for starting range. You then shoot in rotation until you have shot at all range but you get no additional sighters. We use a piece of surveyor's tape at each berm to judge the wind.

    Besides the fact that match ammo is more accurate, it has much less wind deflection than high velocity does, especially at 200 meters.

    It takes between .8 and 1 second to travel the 219 yards to the target. At first you think you missed but then the target falls over ever so slowly.

    On practice days, I use a paper target that I then measure with On Target to see if my windage hold was correct and if my elevation due to the wind is correct as well. We do not adjust the horizontal for the wind as we only get 5 minutes to fire all 10 shots. The circle on the butt where I usually aim is 4 1/2 inches in diameter and these are typical groups.





    In the six years I have been shooting this sport, I have seen all ten targets knocked down about 10 times and I have been lucky enough to get all of them 4 times. The average knocked down in the master class is 7.
    Last edited by MKnarr; 08-19-2010 at 01:55 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default

    BrentD, thank you for the target bull and ring size info. looks like you are putting most of your shots inside of a 3" area. Good Shooting. What type of rifle and scope did you say you were using? John

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