Varmint Survey-click dial or hold over

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by Flybuster, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Flybuster

    Flybuster Gold $$ Contributor

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    I was just interested in what most other varmint hunters preferred. The use of target knobs, dialing in on the varmint. Or holding over, the use of reticles such as mil-dot or varmint hunters. I do both.
     
  2. chino69

    chino69

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    I try to not touch my knobs once I'm zeroed at 200 meters. Most of my varmint scopes have duplex reticles and I use the bottom post to put me on at 300 meters versus turning knobs. The reason I try to leave my knobs alone is that I have gone one complete revolution up or down too many times and have missed the varmint. Several summers ago I crept along a treeline in camo., concealed by weeds, to get the drop on a cagey groundhog that had been eluding me. The range was only 206 yards and should have been a piece of cake for my .243 A.I. with an 87grn. V-Max and a healthy dose of H4831. This was a proven load and I had all the confidence in the world. The hog stood up in his hole, I put the crosshairs in the middle of his eyes and started the firing sequence. The Ackley boomed and the hog dropped from sight. I stayed on target and was surprised to see him stick his head up about a minute later. I repeated the same scenario about six times and was totally perplexed and deflated. A trip to the range to re-verify showed my POI to be high as I had gone one complete revolution up. This has happened more than once and that is why I try not to change my knobs if at all possible.
    Chino69
     
  3. 500YardHog

    500YardHog

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    I have been using the hold over method and it works for me most of the time but the 450 yards and over shots get kinda hard.I moved to a 300 yard zero this year and its working well.I do want to get into the click up method though it seems to be more fool proof.
     
  4. Cochran

    Cochran

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    I agree. Once you get past your point blank range, cranking knobs is the only way to go.

    Jeff
     
  5. PepeLp

    PepeLp

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    I dial for elevation and hold for wind. Also use a mil-dot reticle to make the windage holds easier. For windage corrections, I watch for the bullet strike measure the distance it was "off" with the mil-dot reticle, then hold that much more the other way. Very fast once you get used to it.
     
  6. milanuk

    milanuk Team Savage Gold $$ Contributor

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    I generally go w/ a 200yd zero, and I tend to hold 'under' on the critter,where the varmint's silhouette meets the ground). I figure if they're closer... I'll hit them center of mass in the torso. If they're right around 200yds... I'll hit them right at the base and 'suck' them out of the hole or off the mound. If they're further... I still have a chance for a 'frag' hit when the bullet grenades on the mound.

    If I have a reticle that facilitates hold over, like a mil-dot... I may use it for a couple quick shots @ further distances. If I've done shot up all the close-in vermin, and all that is left is the further shots, I'll take the turret caps off and dial in to about the average distance of the mounds in that area, and go back to holding over/under.


    YMMV,

    Monte
     
  7. Linefinder

    Linefinder

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    When I first started pdog shooting, I attempted to use the holdover method with a 200 yard zero with my 6mm Rem. Any dog much past 325-350 yards was fairly safe.

    I started using a comeups table for all 3 of my pdog rifles,.223 Rems and 6mm Rem). 450 yard hits with the .223's are fairly routine and a 650 yard dog better beware of the 6mm nowadays.

    An added benefit,one I didn't think of beforehand) with the comeups table,elevation only), is that when the wind is blowing, it takes half of the variables out of the equation. I can concentrate on wind, and not have to worry about elevation. It makes things much more simple.

    Mike
     
  8. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have my elevation knob calibrated in 100 yard increments out to 550. Range find the critter, move elevation knob up...dead critter.

    The problem with hold over is that it is so imprecise...not repeatable because you are holding over for elevation and for wind also. Every time you change targets 50 yards, seems as if you are starting over.

    As soon as I got completely away from the hold over method,I used to zero for 200), my hit ratio's went way up.

    Many people are scared to crank on the knobs all day, but I have done it for years. B&L, Bushnell, Pentax, and Leupold all work fine.
     
  9. wolf

    wolf

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    i use both as well hold over out to 250 click up past that.
     
  10. people

    people

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    I have a mil dot scope and just use hold over. If I was shooting at ground hogs I would dial it in. I never have shot at them just PD and I never touch the dials. I have my guns sighted in for about 350. I actually think it is 360 but can not get an accurate measurement off the target. I hold under for closer shots then over for the longer ranges. This only really works well if you are shooting plenty of rounds.
     
  11. vmthtr

    vmthtr

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    I use the Target knobs and crank in elevation. I also use a range finder and know how far away they are before I crank in the clicks. I have a scope with drop dots from Premier Recticle and like it. No craning out to 600.

    Mike
     
  12. benjamin199

    benjamin199 Gold $$ Contributor

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    I use a combination of both. I use the Leupold VX-III varmint hunter reticle that has additional elevation aiming points at 1.81 moa, 4.13 moa, and 7.02 moa. Using a printed ballistic table I can use the closest wire and use clicks to fine tune for mid way distances, this way the most elevation I have to add out to 600 yards would be about 3.5 moa to the bottom cross hair, .204 Ruger zeroed at 180 yards ). The cross hairs also give me windage points of 1.7, 2.86, 3.54, 4.09, 5.31, 5.49, 5.72, 8.17, 10.99, and 11.12 moa. I use a range finder and kestrel wind meter and this has worked very well for me. While this does take a little more time at first, once you get used to this method it is very quick and accurate.
     
  13. PepeLp

    PepeLp

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    I forgot to add that I put a piece of masking tape around the turret. I mark this at "0",100 yards), then mark it with a number at 100 yard intervals,2,3,4,etc.). I also put a tic mark at 50 yard intervals. The last mark is a short horizontal line as low as possible at the "0" mark. With this system, you don't have to count clicks, just range the target, turn the dial to the appropriate mark and shoot. Obviously, if the target is 475 yards, you would just split the difference between the 450 yard tick mark and the "5". The horizontal line gives you a visual reference for the "0" so you don't get a full turn off.

    Instead of using tape, you can paint the turret and then mark on it . The paint is more permanent, but I've had the tape last for over a year. You can also get a custom knob made.

    The drawback to this system is that you only get one revolution of vertical adjustment. With M1 knobs, it will get me to 800 with a .243, with M3 knobs, to over 1,000.

    This system's main advantage is speed. I live on a ranch and shoot at coyotes as targets of opportunity when I'm out feeding or checking pastures. I don't usually have a lot of time. I range, dial, guess at the wind and shoot.
     
  14. RonSuttle

    RonSuttle

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    I always dial my turrets. I missed a lot of groundhogs using the hold over method. Now I just estimate the range using a laser range finder along with knowledge of the fields I hunt in, and dial my turret to match the distance. Below represents a Leupold target turret. I zero at 100, and go from there. The numbers in red, I have verified in the field, and the numbers in black are based on a ballistic program. The black numbers should be accurate. ,I drew my turret, and then scanned it in as a JPG. Then you can use just about any editing program to write on the template)
    I used print it on a 3X5 card and tape it to the inside of my stock. But my eyes can’t focus that close anymore, so I printed it on an 8-1/2 X 11” piece of paper, and keep it in a plastic sleeve on a clip board.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. sscoyote

    sscoyote

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    I almost always apply reticles these days for long-range shooting. I've found interpolation to be quite accurate in the field, once an accurate system of reference is applied. Many believe that interpolative zeroing is not accurate but if a system is applied that divides each stadia "unit" into tenths of that unit's total subtension, then an accurate sytem of reference will be established,horizontal as well as vertical). I've proven that it's very accurate many times. Recently my 70 y.o. mother shot a 2.5" 3-shot group @ 425 yds. dead center for elevation on a 17" steel plate using a 3-9X 22 long-rifle "specific" ballistic reticle on a custom AR-15,www.rapidreticle.com), that had been recalibrated for the trajectory of the load i was using.

    Interpolative zeroing must be accurate--if it wasn't then reticle-rangefinding would have no validity.

    Here is the system i use-- www.ottllc.com/specialtypistols/sp20.pdf
     
  16. Savage99

    Savage99

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    I hold off or get closer. I have had scopes with knobs that were easy to adjust since 1955 and I hardly ever changed them in the field.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. AckleymanII

    AckleymanII Gold $$ Contributor

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    One thing that very few folks think of is that whether or not you use use the hold over method or have your scope marked for different yardages, is that the wind conditions, wind angle, altitude, and %humidity does change your zero. When you are dealing with a 15 or more MPH wind quartering at you, your zero has is not worth spit. When you are shooting with a direct head wind, your zero had changed a LOT! If you are shooting a 15 MPH cross wind at 300 yards, your preset zero is useless!

    I learned a lot from a National Champion Over the Course shooter Mid Tompkins shooting an M1-A. He explained to me how he dialed his knobs for the elevation, and windage for the predominant wind condition for that day. I watched him shoot off hand out to 550 yards with amazing accuracy. We met at the range often, and we would tell me how he read the wind and climate for that day, adding a click or two for this or that...changed my mind set to know that you had to be aware of wind direction and speed along with atmospheric conditions for that day. Was the air heavy like it was going to rain, or was it a bright and clear day with the air thinner.

    I think that the proper mind set is to think in terms of a floating zero for the range you are shooting and the wind,angle and speed) that you are shooting.

    Let me give you an example. I took a guy that was later to become my hunting partner on a dog trip to SD. I had access to a p. dog town that was 11 miles long and 3 miles wide and rarely if ever got shot because the owner was a real SOB to white folks.
    I had 6 guns in the truck and my partner had 12. I had Leupold 6-20 with target knobs on everything, zero'd at 200 and clicked up from there. My partner had all kinds of various makes and powers of scopes sighted in for 200 and held over 300-450...we never had to shoot past 450. It seemed that every shot I made was a loud plop, I was constantly cranking on elevation and windage. If I hit a dog low, I would crank in two more clicks. If I were hitting them in the back legs on a broad side shot when aiming for the shoulder, then I would dial in 4 more clicks left or right, then aim for a head shot. You would wipe out all of them in a certain area and you could hold over/under just a little for shots 35 yards out or in.

    My hunting partner got so mad! A 10 MPH wind in SD is a calm wind to say the least! Constantly changing directions, one side of the truck to the other got him so frustrated. He finally asked me to explain what I was doing with the knobs. After a short explanation, I loaned him a 22/250 with 6-20 leu with knobs. He hit almost ever shot out to 300 on the first shot, he did have a muzzle break on the gun so he could tell if he was also hitting the animal low or high/ left or right and adjust knobs for dogs further out accordingly. Well, he shot up all the ammo for that rifle, and I told him he would have to go back to his rifles.

    He got so mad when he went back to shooting his rifles, he threw a 40x 22/250 over the side of the truck screaming how "no good" the rifle was! He told me I could have the XXXX rifle. He had trouble with all of his guns.

    We shot up 6000 rounds apiece in a 10 day trip. On the way home, he told me that he thought that my hits were 5 times greater than his and He would have good scopes with target knobs for the next years trip and muzzle breaks on his rifle. I informed him that I was going home for 3 weeks and coming back for another two week trip, he was welcome. That guy must have spend $10,000 dollars on guns, scopes, and barrels in the next 3 weeks!

    On the next trip, he knocked the heck out of the dogs with those rifles that had target knob scopes. The dog town looked like it had rained dead dogs from Heaven, there were so many white belley's face up across the prairie. By the end of the trip, he had totally mastered the use of the target knobs and his miss ratio was minuscule compared to what he had been using before on the hold over method.

    I carried many guys to SD and Wyoming over the years. Everyone of them use the "sight in at 200" method, and everyone of them were completely dissatisfied with their hit ratio because they could hear the loud "plops" of my bullets whacking dogs at just about any distance. One of two things happened from them watching my hit ratio shooting dogs in the wind and different angles, either they got scopes with target knobs or they would not go back with me.

    Some guys just do not have the patience nor want to be bothered with screwing with knobs...it's just too much thinking and it takes out of their fun. Other guys don't have the money to convert over to scopes that are quality en ought to use target knobs. If you are only shooting 250 yards or so, you don't need target knobs at all. Some guys think that shooting at a dog 2-3 times before you hit him is OK, and that is a bunch of BS. Most guys think in terms of the wind being calm and 250 and under yard shooting.

    To a guy that uses the hold over method, his worst nightmare is to pull up in SD and have a clear day with a 20 mph wind which happens often, like on the leading and trailing edge of a front moving in or leaving. How in the Hell do you use the hold over method when your zero has changed 12-14 inches horizontally and 4 inches vertically at 200 yards? In strong winds, all the dogs go down for 450 yards down wind, so the old theory of shooting with the wind is out the window! Strong winds make for just about an impossible day of shooting to a guy that uses hold over. To a guy that has target knobs, I angle with a direct cross wind, dial in 2=3 minutes of wind,4 clicks to a minute on a 1/4" scope and 8 Clicks to a minute on a 1/8" scope). The wind blows the sound away from the dogs on a direct cross wind, and I will kill all of them that stays up between 200-450 yards in a 20 mph wind shooting a 243 AI with 70g BT at 3850.

    The rifles that do the best with a fixed zero are in calm winds and the super flat, fast shooting calibers.
     

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