Shooting tip of the week - keeping target records

Posted by Wayne Chapman on

Keeping track of load performance can be done by recording group spread along with your other loading data. For example, your .22-250 Remington handload of 42 grains of H-380, Winchester brass, CCI 200 primer, 55-grain Sierra BlitzKing at 3,644 fps grouped fiveshots into .847 inch. All that data should be entered on a line in your records. One glance down the “Group” column provides a quick and easy assessment of load accuracy, but I find an actual target provides additional information. Seeing that cluster of holes adds something to one’s understanding. The distribution of holes can sometimes indicate bedding problems, too, such as a consistent, vertical pattern.

Saving targets, however, can be a mess unless you standardize dimensions.

 You can buy a big supply of whatever target you like for consistency. The larger sizes remain difficult to store. Do you throw them in a big drawer, pile them on a shelf? For organization, I like lined, three-ring notepaper because it can be stored in a binder with tabbed sections for each rifle.

Some chronogrtagh apps like my Caldwell one  allow you to take a pic of the group to store with the velocity information.

A great visual tool, but those that like to have a paper based record can opt for a  simple solution by storing the targets in a ring binder or clear file.

For Targets, i like to use the Hornady self Adhesive ones, they have  a half-inch grid pattern and multiple aiming points. the vivid white bullet holes provide long-range visibility without binoculars or spotting scopes.


Using the corners of the squares as aiming pioints i can shoot a number of groups on one target, so can easily visually compare different loads for the same rifle.


I  can fit two targets on a normal IPSC sized cardboard target (i use this as backing with a IPSC target stands) so can alternate between shooting 2 rifles, allowing cooling between strings.

Using the corners as aiming points allows me to concentrate on shooting consistent groups, to easily compare loads without fear of bad aiming.

On my Caldwell app i can record cartridge/bullet/load information and take a pic of the target. I can also measure the group and record the size on there too.

If you are wanting to keep the targets, write on them with a marker pen, and you record date, rifle, caliber, load, etc. Often I’ll write load data beside the group, too.

I tend to sight in abou 3" high at 100m as this gives a very usuable max Point blank range without scope adjustment for most hunting.



Share this post