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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been playing with a ballistic calculator for my 357 max and have become interested in sighting for maximum point blank range. For a 158 grain jsp at 2400fps, sighted in at 25 yards, the bullet zeroes again at 150 yards and never deviates more than 1.8"s high or low out to 175 yards and 4.5" 200 yards. When sighting in at 100 yards the drop is 1" at 125, 2.6" at 150, 4.9" at 175 and 8.1" at 200. It seems to me that this method would completely take out the guess work on medium sized game out to 175 yards. Anyone use this method?
 

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I sight all my hunting guns using the max point blank method. It makes it a lot easier to hit with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You have to insert your exact bullet ballistics into a calculator and it will tell you the max point point range and what distance to sight it in at. This is the link I have been using. http://www.biggameinfo.com/BalCalc.aspx Make sure your ballistic coefficient and velocity are exact; The results are highly dependent on it. Both factory ammo and bullets give the coefficient on the package or website.
 

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You need to use a ballistics calculator which you can find as a free download. You'll need to know the ballistic coefficient of the bullet, weight in grains, velocity, temperature, wind speed and angle to the shot, height of sights above the bore and geographic elevation. If you plug in the number of clicks on your scope for one Minute of Angle, usually 4, it'll also tell you how many clicks up or down you'll need to correct to zero at any given yardage. I just went through this with my .38-55. Sighted an inch high at 40 yards, it is dead on at 150 and point blank to 185 with plus or minus about 2.5 inches anywhere along the journey. You're doing well holding that close hunting. If you play with the calculator you'll soon see the optimum sighting in distance for your load. Remember, a bullet passes through your line of sight twice. Once rising a few yards in front of the muzzle and again dropping to the target. I sight in where it crosses line of sight rising; say 25 to 40 yards and then double check it at the long range zero point. It generally comes out pretty darned close to reality if you feed the proper info to the calculator. I hope this helps. It is easier than it sounds.

Pete
 

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I use a ballistics program (shoot) to do the math and determine the max point blank range.It also determines the proper distance for your sight in range target. ( I use 25 yards) After you get it sighted in you can shoot at the different ranges to check it out.You do need to chronograph your loads for an exact report. Factory and reloading data can vary a lot from rifle to rifle as far as velocity goes.
 

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One of the older Sierra books had that info published using their products.
Basically you decide how much higer and lower you are willing your bullet to be from your line of sight.
Check the ballistics ( curve) of your specific load and where the bullet drop below the limit you set, that is your max point range.

You can use the Hornady Ballistic Calculator to get a fair result by changing the zero distance into their program.
 

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sambo1022,
Here's a good free downloadable program, http://www.huntingnut.com/index.php?name=pointblank[/color]

Interestingly called Point Blank. It'll give several different pages of data including Table data, Wind drift, Trajectory,,,
under Misc, it'll give Point Blank hold for several different size tagret areas 2",4", 8" ect,,
Once you found that data you can go back to the front page and change the "zero distance" info to find where the bullet path is at 25-50-100,,, and sight accordingly.
It's an intereting excersize in number crunching that can help a feller understand whats going on.

We used it for a friends 223WSSM that clocks an amazing 3860fps with a 55grn bullet, he's got a 4" point blank hold out too 396yrds :eek: ;D . We used the data to find a reasonable measurement at 117yrds to "zero" his rifle.
He uses it as a varminter and regularly bust milk jugs at 400 for practice.
 

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I use JBM Ballistics and they have some other neat features like printouts of Mil-Dot drop charts if you have a Mil-dot scope and such. ;)
 

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IMHO this is moot when talking about this caliber... You all know I am a huge proponent for this caliber. BUT its because its good at CLOSE range performer.

The maxi never was and never will be a 200 yard deer caliber... Site it dead on at 100 and maybe push it to 130 yards or so but if you need to shoot game at longer distances BRING MORE GUN!

The SD of these bullets and the relatively low velocities they move at cause them to loose vel and energy quickly. Making them IN-efficient at ranges longer ranges... It's physics, its simply the way it is.

IMHO we OWE more to the game we hunt than to attempt doing this,

CW
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I want to start this comment by mentioning that I have not hunted medium sized game at all. The above statement confuses me because I have heard of people shooting deer with 357 magnum revolvers at 50 yards plus. According to the ballistics calculator, there's equal energy at 200 yards in a 357 maximum rifle compared to a 10" 357 magnum revolver at the muzzle. It just confuses me. I haven't even hunted, but I would not worry in the slightest about shooting a deer, muzzle touching, with a 357 magnum at over 1500 fps. I just don't get it
 

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sambo1022 said:
I want to start this comment by mentioning that I have not hunted medium sized game at all. The above statement confuses me because I have heard of people shooting deer with 357 magnum revolvers at 50 yards plus. According to the ballistics calculator, there's equal energy at 200 yards in a 357 maximum rifle compared to a 357 magnum handgun with a 10 inch barrel at the muzzle. It just confuses me. I haven't even hunted, but I would not worry in the slightest about shooting a deer point blank with a 357 magnum at over 1500 fps. I just don't get it
That's because "paper" ballistics only get you so far... Reality trumps paper...

A 357 mag handgun and a 50 yard deer is a good combination. MAYBE 75yards tops. BUT, that's IF the shooter is accomplished in hunting abilities and shooting prowess. For the majority of hunters, a 50 Yard maximum is better.

The 357 Maximum is a great close range caliber. I have shot more than a dozen with it. The bullets have poor sectional density and are not moving all that fast as hi power bullets go. Just look at how fast that bullet drops. The "window" of good bullet performance is very small. Bullet that works well at 2000fps becomes a solid when it drops to near 1000.. Its more percentages than actual numbers. That's a 50% drop in velocity... Think on a 30-06, the maximum looses 50% within 200 yards, the 30-06 probably does that in 400 yards plus! there are MANY unforeseen variables at work.

My point is site it dead on at 100 and enjoy the caliber. Don't try to make anything more of it then it was intended to be.

CW
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't want to sound like I'm trying to argue. You obviously have way more experience than I do. I guess I'm just easily convinced with numbers and pictures. These pictures are what made me think the max could be stretched out to 200 yards:
 

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sambo1022 said:
I don't want to sound like I'm trying to argue. You obviously have way more experience than I do. I guess I'm just easily convinced with numbers and pictures. These pictures are what made me think the max could be stretched out to 200 yards:
***** 10/22,
No argument, not at all. No offence taken or offered. I simply have a strong moral compass and this to me is fool hardy and shows a lack of respect and regard for the game we hunt. You are new and asking questions so I give you allot of credit. Lets see if I can bring you around to my way of thinking...

Now, back to your pictures, OK, nice expansion. But what do these pictures truly tell us? That that bullet will expand at that velocity right? Lets look deeper...We do not know how deeply will they penetrate? Also remember both of these are pistol bullets. They are designed for and to work at 357 MAGNUM ballistics. NOT maximum ballistics. They where not designed as a hunting bullet and NEVER at yardages like 100 yards, let along 200 yards. In short, it dosen't take allot to get such a bullet to mushroom like these are.

I offer that neither of these bullets will provide thru and thru penetration on game. IF these where recovered form game, My comment is proven. IF shallow penetration occurs and your shot is off just a bit you risk wounding and loosing that game. You where far better off NOT shooting. This is the part where my comment about owing more to the game we hunt than lobbing rounds in on them hoping for a killing shot.

Having said all that, If I HAD to shoot at deer at 200 yards with this caliber, I would use the Hornady 158 FP XTP bullet and get it moving as fast as good accuracy allowed. I have shot this bullet into and thru a number of deer in Magnums and Maximums and it performs as a good hunting bullet should. With little weight loss, thru and thru penetration and good expansion. It should be a good performer at extreme distances. Even then, the deer would need to be in the open and calm. the shooter would need to know how to hunt and have experience "reading" animals. Then he would need the moral attitude and experience to know when its time to drop the hammer.

CW
 

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This is the one I use:
http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj_simp-5.1.cgi

BTW, except for really long shots, a moderate error in ballistic coefficient won't make a huge difference. For example, using my 147gr FMJBT bullets with a BC of ~.4, if I change the BC to .2 it only adds a half inch of rise and drop between 0 and 225 yards (with a 185yd zero). So, for typical hunting distances the error will probably be less than the velocity differences you'll see from gun to gun. So, they are still useful for getting a good idea of where you want to zero, but actual practice is always a necessity to actually develop a feel for where it will hit and at what ranges.
As far as .357Max. A 158gr bullet at 2200fps will still be traveling at almost 1500fps by 200 yards. If a HOT .357mag from a handgun (and [email protected] is a hot load for sure) can take a deer at close ranges, and a .357Max from a rifle has the same ballistics at 200 yards, there is absolutely no reason the same terminal effectiveness would not be achieved. So yeah, I'd say about a 165yd zero would be good for deer, which would give a 2.5" rise and a bit under 4" of drop by 200. Now, you'd need a good amount of practice at range estimation and stability, because if your POA is 2" below the ideal hit location, your POI is going to be 6" low (not even including variances in the precision of the rifle), which would likely result in a lost deer or at least a lot of tracking.
My .308 is the first and only rifle-caliber firearm I've had, but even with .22s I always zeroed for maximum PBR, depending on the size of the targets I was trying to hit. That did often result in 100yd zeroes (about 2-2.5" of midrange rise, depending on the ammo). I have my .308 zeroed about 2-2.5" high at 200 yards, with puts me about 0 to 1" low at 200 yards. I'm not a good enough shooter to get any more accurate estimations than that :p .
 

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JMcDonald said:
....................... I have my .308 zeroed about 2-2.5" high at 200 yards, with puts me about 0 to 1" low at 200 yards. I'm not a good enough shooter to get any more accurate estimations than that :p .
You got a typo there I believe ;)
 

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*****,

+1 on CW and 357 Maxi range. While the 357 Maxi is capable of being accurate @ 200 yards ( I can hit a bowling pin with mine at 200 yards, once I learned the holdover) it really is a marginal round for deer size game at that range. Just not enough energy delivered to the target at longer ranges. With that said, I am sure somebody has killed a deer at 200 yards with a 357 Maxi, but I would expect that most 200 yard shots with a 357 Maxi will result in wounded or missed deer and not meat in the freezer. If you want to hunt deer @ 200 yards with the 357 Maxi I would suggest you look at the 357Maximum website (i forget the exact website address) as there is extensive information on this caliber and deer hunting and bullet/powder selection etc. Good luck hunting.

BB
 

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If we agree that accurate hits can be made, and we agree that a 158gr bullet from a handgun can easily kill a deer at 50 yards....how can we not accept that a Max pushing a Bull fast enough to maintain similar velocities for another 200 yards cannot kill equally well at that distance? I mean, with a MV of 1500fps, a 158gr bullet is down to about 1350fps by 50 yards. The same bullet from a Max rifle has that velocity at almost 250 yards. A deer absolutely wouldn't be able to tell the difference if two identical projectiles hit it at the same terminal velocity, but one originated 50 yards away and the other 200 yards away.
 
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