Q: Thanks for the advice. I bought a 6.5 Creedmoor on a Howa 1500 platform. I am wondering how high to sight it in at 100 yards for a practical point blank range for hunting with Hornady 143gn ELD-X projectiles? “Expert” advice on the internet ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 inches for a hunting zero, but often don’t specify the weight of projectile, and they come up with different zeros for the same weight bullet. I checked out your 9th edition reloading manual figuring that the velocity and weight for the 140gn bullet in the 6.5×55 Swede are so similar that the 3.3 inch zero would be pretty close. Would that be right? I am also planning to remove the scope from my No.1 Mk III SMLE and resorting to the open sights, This would make it good in thick scrub at short ranges. However, I have never used open sights before. What is the best way to check that the sights are accurate?
A: Before you can calculate the maximum point blank range for any bullet, you need to know the exact muzzle velocity and the bullet’s ballistic coefficient. The bullet’s weight is not so important, The Hornady 143gn ELD-X bullet has a G1 B.C of .623, however, you don’t say if you are shooting factory ammo or a handload? For a hunting zero where the muzzle velocity is listed as 2700fps, I recommend sighting-in 3 inches high at 100 yds for a 250yd. zero and drop of 4 inches at 300. The only way to check if the open sights on your SMLE are zeroed is to shoot it at a target. I am enclosing a ballistic table for the 6.5 Creedmoor factory load.