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nick500ss 08-11-2008 03:31 AM

New member, New gun!
Hey everyone!

I'm a new member here, not new to the shooting world though. I just purchased a Browning A-bolt chambered in .223 WSSM to be used as a long range varmint/predator rifle. I am trying to find a good distance to site it in to. I was thinking maybe a 200 or 300 yard zero, could anybody help me?

Dillinger 08-11-2008 06:32 AM

Welcome to the forum Nick.

As for a site in distance, that will depend on the field you will be shooting on, to be the most use.

If you are engaging a large quantity of your 'hogs at 200 or 300 yards, then that makes sense to zero your rifle at one of these ranges.

On the other hand, if you are frequently engaging your targets at 100 yards, and don't plan on using a Mil-Dot to provide the "hold under dope" - it wouldn't make sense to put your zero at double or triple that distance.

.223 WSSM is a cartridge that is capable of some decent terminal ballistics out to about 500 yards, according to some charts I have seen. You can probably stretch it further, but the velocity drops off, which means the energy impacted also drops. On gophers/groundhogs/small varmints, probably not a super serious concern.

Of concern to me, on the surface at least, is the ability to push a .22 caliber projectile at such outlandish speeds ( 3700 to 4000 fps ) :eek:. That will probably make your gunsmith happy if you are going serious groundhog shooting for a long weekend and putting hundreds of rounds downrange. You might need to buy replacement barrels in a six pack. LOL

Out of curiosity, what is your twist rate on the barrel and what loads are you shooting?


nick500ss 08-11-2008 04:33 PM

Most of my shooting will be 500+ yards but I want to be able to shoot at 100 yards if presented with a shot. I don't want to have the gun sited in so far out that I have to aim 10 inches under at 100 yards but I don't mind having to aim high at long ranges. To answer your other question, I believe the barrel has a 1 in 9 twist and I shoot winchester ballistic silvertip 55gr. bullets, they were built for varmints.

Dillinger 08-11-2008 06:09 PM

Well, one of the tricks we use in the shop on Varmint Rifles is to sight in at a decent mid range and call that zero ( let's say 300 ). Then get your zeros for other areas of concern, like say 100 yards, 200 yards, 500 yards, and write that all out. Take some white medical tape, the thin stuff, and put it around the top of the adjustment knob, so as not to hide the numbers, and mark on there in pen what your 100 yard zero is, what your 200 yard is, whatever. Then, if while you are hunting and you see a group open up, you simply dial in based on the tape. No counting come ups or downs. No checking the stock for the count. No having to worry was that four up, or was that five? You just ease off the eye relief, dial in the new zero, and bam, back in action.

Question though - How are your groupings? I haven't done anything with the .223WSSM, but in doing some reading, it looks like a lot of guys are having some real nightmares trying to get them to group consistantly.

Apparently some of the Winchester & Browning sticks came out with the wrong twist rate barrels for heavier bullets, and they had to be sent back and rebarreled, if the guy wanted to hunt with them, and the owner had to pay some reduced rate for a "new" factory barrel that would handle the heavier stuff.

Just curious...


nick500ss 08-12-2008 11:24 PM

I'll have to try the tape thing, it sounds very clever. I haven't shot it yet on target, I'm waiting on a bipod and I haven't finihed making my shooting bench yet.

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