A New Rifle and Scope?

So you have a new Leupold VX-1 nice choice. You mounted it on a new rifle 30-06 Springfield, on your favorite Rifle Manufacturer like Savage, Ruger, Remington, Winchester, Kimber, TC and many more.

For discussion sake say you have purchased over the counter Winchester ammo with Nosler 150 grain E-Tips for your hunt. A polymer tipped solid gilding copper bullet that flairs into a mushroom with petals.

etip image 3

Note: gilding copper leaves very little residue in the barrel unlike other soft copper bullets.

Lets go to the range and bore sight your rifle and scope at 25 yards. After that we want to shoot it at 100 yards to fine tune your shot placement and shoot for group.

375 Ruger and Leupold VX-III side view

And finally we want to determine your Maximum Point Blank Range (MPBR) with this Cartridge. If you are not familiar with this term let me explain. MPBR was developed so that the hunter can hit a kill zone of 6 inches from zero yards to a point where the bullet still falls in the six inch kill circle often well past past 200 yards.

But first things first lets get you sighted in.

(Muzzle velocity of  the 150 grain E-Tip is 2900 fps is written right on the box. This combo is great for short or long range as the e-Tip will stay together as it flairs.  It has an SD (Sectional Density) of .226 and is best for deer, black bear and elk according to many experts. It is great for large New England deer in the 200 lb plus class.) 

Sighting in –  Without spending a dime on bore sighting tools you can take the bolt out of your new rifle and do what is called bore sighting and you won’t have to use up your expensive ammo. If you like some aid in gadgets the Leupold Magnetic Bore Sighter is a great tool. Check it out on the web.

We will need a firm steady front and rear rest. Sand bag rests are great and cheap. My best front rest is a Caldwell for 39 bucks and a sand bag rear rest that cradles the stock.

Place your target that has a one inch grid pattern on it such as a Champion Redfield Sight in Target at a distance of 25 yards.

Redfield targets

Place your rifle on sand bags that hold the rifle with out you touching it. You can use bench rest leather or fabric sand bags or purchase a rest like the Caldwell as I said.

Look down the  bore where the bolt was, and place the bore in the bullseye of a target. keeping the rifle still adjust the scope left right up down so that the scope matches the bore image. You may have to get your rifle in focus by turning the rear focus ocular bell see your Leupold scope manual.

At 25 yards with a scope that has 1/4″ clicks for 100 yards, it will take 4 clicks to move your crosshair 1/4 inch at 25 yards and one click to move it 1/4 inch at 100 yards. If you are 2 inches left visually (no shooting yet)  at 25 yards then you will need to move the scope right. How many 1/4 inches are there in 2 inches? There are 8 therefore multiply  8 x 4 = 32 clicks. It will take 32 clicks to get the scope on the target bull.

Now take a shot. The fore-stock should be in the front rest and not the barrel.

The shot is one inch high and one inch left. Make the same adjustments with the 25 yard formula which is what?

For the one inch high shot you will need to come down 4 x 4 =16 clicks. The same 16 clicks to come right. Yes that is alot of clicks but because you are shooting so close it takes that many to move the point of aim.

Take a shot. Chances are you are smack dab in the x-ring. and you only took 2 shots to get there.

Now place your target at 100 yards.

Take a shot with the scope adjusted to 9 power for better visibility of the bullseye.

Ok you are 3 inches high and one inch to the left. You are almost done. Lets bring the scope down so you are in the bullseye. How many clicks? 12 is correct. And to the right you move windage 4 clicks. Now before I shoot for groups, I will tap a scope lightly with my knuckles like knocking on a door or tap it with a small rubber mallet to set the windage and elevation adjustments firmly into position.

Load a round put the safety on and take it off safe when you are ready to shoot taking 3 shots.

Shoot so that the sand bags do all the work of holding the cross hairs on target so all you need to do is keep the rifle firmly into your shoulder (need a good recoil pad) take a breath and let it out half way. Hold your breath and squeeze the trigger.  Wait 2 minutes or more between shots. Great Group! 3/4 inch at 100 yards! Nice shooting. Shoot another group and average them.

For the hunt you may want to know Maximum Point Blank Range for your 150 grain e-Tip traveling at 2900 fps. The 150 grain has drag Ballistic Coefficient of .469. This is a very good BC. Now go to the Hornady Ballistic Calculator in the header of this website and enter the speed of the bullet and the BC. Choose 550 yards for farthest shot at 50 yard increments. It is a hot day so I chose 80 degrees with a 10 mph wind. I zeroed the rifle at 200 yards.

hornady table 150g e tip


As you can see the bullet drops to 2.8 inches below center at 250 yards. Close enough to 3 inches low to call this your MPBR. In other words you are in the kill zone of a big game animal out to 250 yards by holding the cross-hairs dead on in the heart lung area. Wow! Just be aware that the bullet drifted 4 inches at 250 yards with the 10 mph wind so you should compensate or limit your shot to no farther than 200 yards. The wind was the limiting factor here.

Now practice without a bench rest from standing,  kneeling, using a tree to brace your rifle, a backpack as a brace and you will learn your best killing distance.  Learn to shoot with a bolt rifle by working the bolt between shots. Get back on target and shoot again. Practice that a lot so you can just do it at will. You will know when you are getting good! Good Hunting! ©


This entry was posted in Optics and Laser Rangefinders, Rifle Tests by Ed Hale. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ed Hale

I am an avid hunter with rifle and Bow and have been hunting for more than 50 years. I have taken big game such as whitetail deer, red deer, elk, Moose and African Plains game
such as Kudu, Gemsbok, Springbok, Blesbok, and Impala and wrote an ebook entitled African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow on how to prepare for a first safari. Ed is a serious cartridge reloader and ballistics student. He has earned two degrees in science and has written hundreds of outdoor article on hunting with both bow and rifle.