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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I'm recording in a different thread, I'm in the process of upgrading my 10/22 Compact that I've had for about 3 years. Most lately, a Hogue overmolded stock and a set of variable aperture Tech Sights (with the 0.086" rear aperture). Right now, I'm shooting mostly CCI Velocitors, because it's what I have most on hand (though will add at least one other round to the mix once it becomes available for less than $200/ounce).

For the record, I'm not new to shooting .22 rifles. Got my first one in 1967, although this is my first 10/22. However, I'm no marksman, and am not a ballistics expert, so I'm trying to understand what's going on with my target from last Saturday up at my friend's backyard range. Yes, it's a handmade target. Good enough for now and dirt cheap.

I've sighted in a bunch of rifles using both irons and scopes, but this is the first time that I've had to go from scratch with irons (technically peep sights) after replacing the entire rear sight. That is, unscrewing one sight post, and screwing in a new one (for the variable apertures). How high or low is a guess.

Oh, and after the first five shots or so at 20 yds, all subsequent shots were taken sitting with raised knees used for elbow support. At 33 yds, a boulder was the bench rest.

I'm including an image of the target for completeness. But it's complex and marked up. Here's what you need to know.

One, the bottom line is this: at 20 yds, I'm pretty much spot on -- minute of squirrel head. At 33 yards (the distance of the rock we used for a bench rest), I'm hitting consistently quite high -- an inch or more. I'm trying to understand why.

My hypothesis is that I'm actually zeroed far beyond 20 yds, and that I'm only hitting on at 20 yds because the bullet is still at a low point in its trajectory. (I have a reasonable understanding of .22 LR trajectories.) But at 33 yds, my POI is inches higher than my POA because the bullet is higher in its trajectory, and that if I shoot at, say, 75 yds, it may be zeroed.

Two, if you're trying to interpret the target:
  • My shot order goes clockwise from top right. There are five groups of shots. Each is numbered: #1, #2, etc.
  • #1 was surrounded by shots that were actually destined for target spot #2 -- I was hitting way high even at 20 yds. (Took me a while to figure out the adjustment system for elevation on the rear sight.) NOTE: even though I was hitting very high initially, the three shot groupings were remarkably tight, some nickle-sized. I was pretty amazed.
  • #2: nailed it at 20 yds.
  • #3: two 3-shot groups at 20 yds told me I'm on at 20 yds -- which by the way is a typical long shot for me. I'm not a distance shooter (though I'm going to be tempted to try some with these sights, which I really like).
  • #3B is a circle surrounding a group intended for the target below it from 33 yds. #4 also from 33 yds was intended for the upper left target.
Advice? Is my hypothesis reasonable, or am I totally out to lunch? (Don't ask some of my friends about that. :cautious:)

And a quandary for me is this: can I zero at 25 yds and still be reasonably on at 15 and 40?

I know that a brick of ammo could help me solve this, but with the ammo scarcity, I'm trying to reason this through before I shoot.

Here's the target, and I'll put the rifle down below as well for context.
Dearth sighting in.JPG

Dearth & Hornet - unsheathed.JPG
 
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The better the rest the better the groups for starters. Suggestion get sand bags for front and back. Better yet a Bi-pod for the front of the rifle and a bag for the back. Also with a peep sight. Concentrate on the front sight. I have a little Keystone Cricket. It has peep sights. No problem nailing cans at 50 yards with it. Movement will skew your results. Nothing wrong with home made targets. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@CoalcrackerAl , thanks for your suggestions. When I get to phase 2 sighting -- satisfied with zero at, say, 25 yds, ready to see what I can do at 50 -- I'll definitely try some bags. Probably won't go with a bipod -- I'm too much of a "mobile with the rifle" guy, and a bipod doesn't fit my style. But bags I can do for sighting.

I agree re the front sight focus. In fact, that's one factor that drove me to these sights: that tall front sight (now tipped with bright white paint). I became familiar with the peep sight model using an XS Ghost Ring sight on my .30-30 -- a pre-Remlin Marlin 336 (that I no longer own). Those ghost rings were fast to acquire a sight picture by fuzzing out the rear and focusing on the front, and I was good enough at reasonable ranges.

These are peeps, but the variable aperture offers a large peep -- currently 0.086" -- that can turn into an actual ghost ring by removing the urethane aperture entirely and just using the aperture ... aperture alone. It's like 0.125" or something. I'll try it eventually.

But for now, I want to understand more about what's going on with phase 1 shooting, especially -- is there a way to zero at 25 yds without being so high at 33?

I thought this thread would attract a bunch of opinions/hypotheses about that, so I'm surprised it's gotten so little interest so far. Maybe all the ballistics/target people are taking a smoke break.

But I wonder if I'm using the wrong toothpaste or deodorant? :confused:
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like that tool. I put it onto my shopping list. Spent for right now, but there's always hope in the future.
 
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Figuring out a trajectory curve (well, more like using someone's program) isn't very hard but you do need to have a number of factors 'in hand'. One that many don't think of (but has been more commonly considered since AR's became popular, yes, I am that old) is that the height of the sight plane above the bore is an integral part of the calculations. Back in my Smallbore competition days the 'Rule of Thumb' for trajectory was that your 50' and 50 yard zero's were very close to each other, the bullet having crossed the sight plane at 50' on it's way up and at 50 yards on it's way back down. For 100 yards we added 7 minutes of elevation (or used an alternate front sight location on a stepped sight base. Those numbers worked pretty well with standard velocity ammo and a sight plane about 1 1/2" above the bore. Both of those numbers will be different for a 10-22 shooting "Velocitors" (which I think you said were your current supply).
My Sierra Infinity Ballistics program lists the CCI Velocitor (40 grain Hollow point, muzzle velocity 1435 fps) as a choice to run a curve with. Let me know what your sight height is and the distances you want to check for drop and I will see if I recall how to run it (been a while but it's like riding a bike right?).

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now we're getting somewhere. Let me think on this a bit and get back later.

It's dinner time now. I'm just back from Camp 1 across the road and down in the woods. Been raining cats and dogs for over 24 hours; needed to check the new tarp/tent that I just put up yesterday. I totally love that thing -- I can already tell it's going to be one of the best camp shelters I've ever used. Thread is coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
... the height of the sight plane above the bore is an integral part of the calculations. ... Let me know what your sight height is and the distances you want to check for drop and I will see if I recall how to run it (been a while but it's like riding a bike right?).
Yes, I suspect so. At least, one would hope so. But I've got stories ...

The first clause in my quote of your post -- "... the height of the sight plane above the bore is an integral part of the calculations." -- really rang my bell. I'm no engineer -- I'm a biologist, and biological systems are more tinkered than engineered -- but I got that on some non-rational, intuitive level. Never really thought of it before.

Question: how do I measure "sight height" using a standard tape measure or ruler? Metric or English? I have no calipers. Front and rear? From what, to what?
 

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As JTJ said, center of bore to the top of the front sight post (or center of the front aperture if you are using one) is the most easily done measurement. These days it is pretty easy to convert metric to english and fractions to decimal (which is how it actually gets put into the program, inches/decimal). The changes are not 'earth shattering' if it is only measured to the nearest 1/16th of an inch, you will never tell the difference with a 10-22 when using that level of precision (and I probably could not tell with my 1813 Anschutz shot from the bench that I had only measured to the nearest 1/16th).

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This is (finally) turning into an interesting thread. Thanks. I hope others will join. I have two invitees in mind that I think could add significantly to the conversation. I'll invite them later if they don't just happen in on their own.

Tonight, or first thing Sunday, I'll get you that sight height measurement. Thanks to you and JTJ for clarifying. I'm into lunch time now, then heading over to camp to work on the new tarp/tent hybrid (a Whelen leanto) now that a 36-hour soaking rain has ended. I'll be there all afternoon and perhaps into the evening exploring the variable hang -- it can be pitched in an infinity of ways to match conditions; it's hard to explain without pics -- and adding an additional tarp(s) to the front for wind-rain protection. (Now that I have an open-face "tent", I'm planning to move the fireplace closer.)

And just to tie it back to this thread. This shelter is part of my 10/22 hunting strategy. In every place around here that I'm likely to set camp (at all but one of which shooting is allowed), there are gray squirrels within range from the tent (15 - 30 yds). So I can sit there all day and sleep there at night, then be there for the squirrels when they come out to do what ever they do.

Here, just for context. Like I said, full thread is coming ...
154823
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sunday afternoon. I'm going to call front sight height on my 10/22 1-3/16", from center bore to tip of front post.

I needed three hands and the help of a magnifying glass -- I was missing a third hand -- but I think that's close.

PS: my preferred range is 10 - 30 yds, but I'd be curious about the trajectory from 10 - 50.

OK, off to camp 1. Got the hammock up yesterday with all quilts on. Today's task: tarps.
 

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According to the Sierra Infinity Ballistics program, shooting CCI Velocitors at a mv of 1,435 ft/sec (yours may be different but it should be close enough and I am guessing you haven't chronographed them through that rifle) and with a sight over bore height of 1.19" ........

At the muzzle you would hit 1.19" low
At 10 yards you would hit 0.58" low
At 20 yards you would hit 0.15" low
At 25 yards you would hit dead on, as that was the zero range
At 30 yards you would hit 0.10" high
At 40 yards you would hit 0.14" high
At 50 yards you would hit 0.04" low
At 60 yards you would hit 0.44" low
At 70 yards you would hit 1.08" low
At 80 yards you would hit 1.97" low

As you can see the drop curve is parabolic while your sight line is straight, the trajectory intersects the sight line at 25 yards on it's way up and very nearly at 50 yards on it's way down, by 100 yards you are 4.56" low and it gets rapidly worse. If longer ranges were important the solutions would include a more distant zero range and/or a scope with multiple aiming points but that doesn't sound like what you are looking to do.

If you want to message me a mailing address I will send you a copy of the chart and graph.

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bruce, that's super useful and interesting. Thank you very much. I'm getting lunch together to head over to camp for the afternoon -- what a spectacular, warm, windless, blue-sky day (although the black flies may be atrocious today as a result) -- but I'll get back here with more later. Need to think about this some today while lying in the hammock.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So after thinking about the projected trajectory, it's clear that my original hypothesis about hitting so high at 33 yards is not accurate. Hypothesis rejected. There's something else going on. Part of it may be a problem with my eye sight and these brand new sights that I haven't fully gotten used to yet. Sight picture was very clear at 10 yards, considerably less so at 33. Clearly, more shooting is called for.

Fortunately, my friend with the range in his yard has bricks of Aguila, and he says shoot as much as I want. Shouldn't take much. I think my first step is to zero at either 20 or 25 yds -- I tend to think in increments of ten yards, so probably 20 -- and see what that does at 10 and 30. Then I can test out some Velocitors.

I'm pretty far into this new shelter project over at Camp 1 right now -- see image from yesterday -- and my friend is finishing his basement next weekend, so it may take a while -- unless I can find another range. (The ATV trails have opened for the season now, and some go into extremely remote areas not far from here, so ....). I'll report back with results when ever it happens.
154889
 

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So after thinking about the projected trajectory, it's clear that my original hypothesis about hitting so high at 33 yards is not accurate. Hypothesis rejected. There's something else going on. Part of it may be a problem with my eye sight and these brand new sights that I haven't fully gotten used to yet. Sight picture was very clear at 10 yards, considerably less so at 33. Clearly, more shooting is called for.

Fortunately, my friend with the range in his yard has bricks of Aguila, and he says shoot as much as I want. Shouldn't take much. I think my first step is to zero at either 20 or 25 yds -- I tend to think in increments of ten yards, so probably 20 -- and see what that does at 10 and 30. Then I can test out some Velocitors.

I'm pretty far into this new shelter project over at Camp 1 right now -- see image from yesterday -- and my friend is finishing his basement next weekend, so it may take a while -- unless I can find another range. (The ATV trails have opened for the season now, and some go into extremely remote areas not far from here, so ....). I'll report back with results when ever it happens.
View attachment 154889
I don't believe that there is any data for Aguilla ammo on the Sierra ballistics program but if you find out what weight bullet it is and the velocity I can run another chart (based on something CCI that is a close match). I don't know how significant the difference will be at close ranges but we won't know until we try.

Bruce
 

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Last week I tried a set of peep sights on my single shot 22lr rifle. I was shooting at 30 yards and it was so bad I put the 4X scope back on. I was all over the place and the rifle is fairly accurate. Today I tried red dots on a couple of 10-22's. I put a Sig Romeo 5 with 2 moa dot on my wife's rifle and sighted it in. Shot the 1" aiming dot out. I put a Vortex Venom 3 moa on my 10-22 and same results. I like a 30 yard zero. The red dots sit fairly low and not much adjustment needed between 10 and 60. I may try a red dot on the single shot. My wife's 10-22 is her HD and the Sig red dot is instant on.
Bruce, look at the Federal or Blazer 38 & 40 grain loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I sent an email to my friend about the Aguila; he'll get back to me soon and I'll post their specs.

JTJ, I hear you re scopes. I might end up someday with a scope on this 10/22. I've always used scopes on .22 rifles before. In both cases, they were Leupolds. I also like the looks of the Vortex scopes. Two things keep me from doing so now. One, I really like this rifle best without a scope. In fact, I like most rifles now without scopes. I just like the way they handle better. Admittedly, if I was going to attempt more than 50 yd shots, I'd have to have one.

Two, the cost. It's just not in my budget. Well, technically it is, but there are too many other things ahead of a scope, like, say, an LCRx in .38 spl.

Besides, I really like the idea of these Tech Sights ... IF I can make them work for what I want to do.
 

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My takedown is carrying a Leupold 1.5-4x20 in the lowest rings I could find. Backup is a set of Skinner sights made for the takedown. The peep fits in the barrel dovetail.
 
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