The lonely 200 yard line

The lonely 200 yard line

This is a discussion on The lonely 200 yard line within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So, I am a member of what I feel is an excellent private shooting range facility here in SW Ohio. They have enough shooting bays ...

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Thread: The lonely 200 yard line

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    The lonely 200 yard line

    So, I am a member of what I feel is an excellent private shooting range facility here in SW Ohio. They have enough shooting bays that I can usually get one to myself except on a really busy weekend. And when I say bay, I am talking an area probably like 25 yards across, and then 25, 50, 100 or 200 yards deep. They also have a dedicated shotgun area, host 3-gun, IDPA & SASS matches, etc... Anyway, nice range.

    I have however noticed a phenomenon whenever I go there. I have been a member for a number of years now, and can count on one hand all the times I recall there being someone on the 200 yard range when I wanted to use it. In fact, the 200 yard line is usually not being used at all based on my observations. It isn't that the club members don't shoot rifles, I see all sorts of rifles being fired in the shorter bays. I just don't see them being used much on the 200, and the 100 yard bay is generally the second least busy. Now, on one hand this is great news for me, because I can usually drive on out to the range, and get in all the 200 yard shooting I want.

    That being said, I really cut my teeth on shooting longer distances starting in Parris Island, where everyone who goes through has to have some proficiency with hitting a man sized target on a pretty consistent basis at 500 yards. I remember doing a SAW training range later with my unit that was iron sights out to about 800 yards (it helps when you are using the SAW as an area weapon vs point weapon). And shooting at vehicle sized targets at over 1,000 yards with Ma Deuce. So, 200 yards to me seems like a relatively short distance to be shooting a centerfire rifle. It is actually the shortest distance of the Marine Corps known distance range qualification, and is shot from offhand, sitting and kneeling (no prone).

    I get that there are plenty of reasons to shoot rifles at shorter distances. Today for instance, I started with a 50 yard bay, because I recently swapped some scopes and had to re-zero as well as wanting to do some pistol work. I also worked on some shooting on the move, reloads, transitions, shooting from cover, and things like that on the shorter bay with the AR. All perfectly valid (to me), reasons to be using a rifle in a short bay.

    I guess that I am just a bit dismayed that I don't see more people utilizing the longer distance range. It is a bit more of a pain to walk the targets out, but with hi-vis targets and a scope you can spot hits from the firing line, so I just put a bunch out at once. Any centerfire rifle with decent iron sights or a scope should be able to make 200 yard shots. Even a properly zero'd no magnification RDS is perfectly capable of a 200 yard shot. 200 yards is short enough that the wind should have a pretty negligible effect on a centerfire bullet unless you are in a hurricane. With the trajectory of most rounds, there isn't much of a need to adjust scopes or sights for the distance either.

    I realize that I have had some formal instruction and lots of experience shooting at longer distances, so maybe that skews my perception that 200 yards isn't a really long shot? Does anyone else see similar trends at their local shooting spot? Lots of close (<50 yard) shooting, and not a whole lot beyond that? Does the average shooter feel that 200 yards really is a long shot?
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    Member Array vminghelli2's Avatar
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    The range I go to is an out door one. It's the same way. They have a 25 meter zero and it's always full. Their 100 is some what busy. No seems to shoot out farther. The most fun I had in the Army were on KD ranges. I have watched plenty of people zero hunting rifles at 25 then walk off. I like to confirm at at least 100 with my hunting rifles and with an AR I confirm at 300. My 45-70 when I take it, all shooting is done at 100. That's as far as I will take a shot with it on hogs due to the terrain.
    As for why people don't shoot long rang, who knows. Personally I like the challenge.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Could be a lot of different thinking going on.

    A lot of guys that are hunters feel like a zero at 100 is a perfect or good enough place, allowing for sufficient trajectory at longer range with the flat shooting guns of today.

    Or, it could be that a lot of people with AR style rifles, never carried or used one in the military, and figure that 100 yards is good enough for their purposes.

    Like you, the 500 yard KD course with iron sights in the Marines gave me a really good perspective and opened up an entire new way of looking at rifle shooting and potential.

    If your experience was like mine, the 500 yard, 10 shot string was where my money was. Off hand at 200 yards is the only place I had any chance of dropping a point or two.

    Come to think of it, doesn't Ohio only allow pistol caliber rifles for hunting?
    That might be a lot of it right there.
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    We've got a 200 yard range at the gun club I go to. It actually gets quite a bit of traffic.

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    100 yards max is almost standard here. Few ranges exceed and the furthest (without it being a military base) I have seen is a 200 yard range.

    I've exceeded 300 yards on my own property which almost seems to amaze people around here. The majority of people I have seen at ranges around here are either sighting in a hunting rifle/confirming zero or college students who buy a short barreled AK or handgun and want to practice some skills at close (50 yards and in) range. Up here there aren't many opportunities during hunting to shoot past 100 yards.

    I've always found the further out you shoot and practice the better your closer groupings get. Of course this was learned when I first shot out to 300 yards at a man sized target consistently and then moving into 100 yards it was faster and closer groupings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Could be a lot of different thinking going on.

    A lot of guys that are hunters feel like a zero at 100 is a perfect or good enough place, allowing for sufficient trajectory at longer range with the flat shooting guns of today.

    Or, it could be that a lot of people with AR style rifles, never carried or used one in the military, and figure that 100 yards is good enough for their purposes.

    Like you, the 500 yard KD course with iron sights in the Marines gave me a really good perspective and opened up an entire new way of looking at rifle shooting and potential.

    If your experience was like mine, the 500 yard, 10 shot string was where my money was. Off hand at 200 yards is the only place I had any chance of dropping a point or two.

    Come to think of it, doesn't Ohio only allow pistol caliber rifles for hunting?
    That might be a lot of it right there.
    We caught a bit of a reprieve a couple years ago:

    Legal deer hunting rifles are chambered for the following calibers: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/stra...iled-deer-ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post

    Come to think of it, doesn't Ohio only allow pistol caliber rifles for hunting?
    That might be a lot of it right there.
    That could be part of it. Although for some of the "straight walled pistol cartridges" allowed, like the .45-70, a 200 yard shot is rather short. For a shotgun with rifled slugs, or something like a .357 carbine, the 100 yard line is probably a more realistic place to be shooting.

    But I'm not just seeing hunting rifles being shot. I see plenty of bolt actions in the .30 calibers, old mil-surp bolt guns, ARs, AKs, SKS's, etc... So I think it has to do more with mindset than hardware.

    I would love to have somewhere I could regularly shoot out to 800-1000 yards. Not that I have a whole lot of experience at those distances, but I would like the challenge, and would finally feel like a .338 Lapua or .50 BMG was justifiable. Like you, the 500 was where I made my money on the range, although it actually got harder at the 500 when we went to ACOGs for quals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    We caught a bit of a reprieve a couple years ago:

    Legal deer hunting rifles are chambered for the following calibers: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/stra...iled-deer-ohio
    It actually might get even better this year. But still no bottleneck cartridges.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    We caught a bit of a reprieve a couple years ago:

    Legal deer hunting rifles are chambered for the following calibers: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/stra...iled-deer-ohio
    The more commons ones, (even the least common ) still have quite a rainbow trajectory, compared to even a 30-30.

    Of course I'm just pontificating, here, but a sight in at 100 yards would be quite sufficient for those, allowing for holding the sight on the back of the animal at a guestimated 200 yard shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    The more commons ones, (even the least common ) still have quite a rainbow trajectory, compared to even a 30-30.

    Of course I'm just pontificating, here, but a sight in at 100 yards would be quite sufficient for those, allowing for holding the sight on the back of the animal at a guestimated 200 yard shot.
    Yup, 100 yards is plenty for sighting an Ohio deer gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Yup, 100 yards is plenty for sighting an Ohio deer gun.
    It's not enough to see what it will do at 200 with Hornady SSTs though. Another excuse to post a pic of my 12 ga rifle.

    The lonely 200 yard line-hpim1255.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Yup, 100 yards is plenty for sighting an Ohio deer gun.
    Generally, yes.

    But by my nature I would still walk over to the 200 yard line, and shoot it there. Just so I knew what it would do at 200 yards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doghandler View Post
    It's not enough to see what it will do at 200 though. Another excuse to post a pic of my 12 ga rifle.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice pic. I'm not sure what you mean by see what it will do at 200. Bullet drop is listed on the box of most sabot rounds.
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    I see the same thing here. A nice 200 yard outdoor range, and guys shooting mostly at 50 and 100 yards. The one that cracks me up is the indoor range that belong to - I see guys shooting new AR's at 5-10 yards (standing). And not all of them are in the black.
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    I too was at PI (1983)so maybe its us ha. I'm cynical, I think most gun owners aren't shooters. They like shooting but just not that into it maybe. I wonder how many just buy them to impress others and haven't a clue. I've seen many like that. So that in mind they stay at ranges where they always shoot well. I've gotten strange looks just shooting a 1911 prone at 200 yd line. Finding someone with the desire to learn advanced rifle marksmanship is tough. If ya find one ...teach 'em. But sadly most lack desire imho.
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