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Old July 27, 2009, 04:59 PM   #1
Eskimo
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Accuracy of single shot rifles

I'm interested in hunting with a .243 or .270 single shot. I have heard that single shots are bad about accuracy, but would this be a big factor at less than 100 yards? I will be hunting in heavy brush so I won't be taking long range shots. Thinking about getting one of those handi-rifles or an H&R.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:08 PM   #2
chris in va
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Funny...I've heard the opposite. No first hand experience though.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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I owned several Ruger #1 rifles some years ago. None of them would shoot 5 shots in less than an inch at 100 yds but none of them did worse than 1.5" groups. IMO, the single shot rifles have plenty of accuracy for hunting out to 300-400 yds with good loads and good scope. I hunted deer successfully with the Ruger #1's for 10-12 years. For comparison, some of my bolt action rifles would shoot 0.3" and 0.5" five shot groups.

True hunting story: I once fired 3 shots in less than 30 seconds with Ruger #1 in 6mm Rem and killed 2 eight point white tail bucks about 25 yds apart.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:52 PM   #4
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I used to have a Ruger #1 Varmint in 25-06 that was sub MOA, except for the flyers every 7- 10 shots. So I considered it not sub MOA. I traded it. I have a Handi rifle in .270, that consistantly gives MOA with Remington CL 150grainers. Its my backup antelope rifle.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:58 PM   #5
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Guess that answers my question.. even 2" at 100 yards would be good enough for me.
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Old July 27, 2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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My 1874 Sharps rifles are as accurate as any bolt/semi auto or other actions.
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Old July 27, 2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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My #1 RSI (full stock) 7x57 shoots 1.5" with most factory ammo. I get just a hair over 1" with Hornady. Figure a well zeroed rifle and the group is only .75" from point of aim at 100 yards.

My first ever group with the rifle was 2" using just iron sights. My first shot is always spot on with rapid follow ups stringing at shots #4, #5, ect.

Yep, single shots are born to be purebreed hunters. Mine is sensitive to forearm pressure having a muzzle cap, so I use a hold on the bench that I use in the field. I can use a sling (I actually use an elongated carry strap) with just downward pressure.
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Old July 27, 2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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I have had and do have Ruger No.1's, TC's (Encore and Contender) and Winchester, Browning, and Uberti 1885's in cartridges from 22 Hornet up through 45-70.

All but one proved to be capable of MOA or better with handloads, one No.1 chambered in 30-06 was not (its best was right around 1.5" @ 100 yards).

In its defense I did nothing other than have the trigger done and handload for it. With a little TLC I'm sure I could have gotten it under an inch as well, I just don’t have much love for the 06 so I didn’t invest much time or money into it.

I also have single shot bolt actions that rival any repeater that I have owned but I am pretty sure you were speaking of actions other than bolt.
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Old July 27, 2009, 07:19 PM   #9
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The most accurate rifle I've ever owned (and that's been quite a few ) is my out-of-the-box Ruger No.1, chambered in .220 Swift. M.O.A. all day long with Hornady factory ammunition.
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Old July 27, 2009, 08:08 PM   #10
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It depends on the type. Break actions seem to be the hardest to get to shoot. Maybe because most of them are economy minded guns. The falling blocks like the Rugers are a little easier to get to shoot straight. Single shots can be just as accurate but it is easier to set up a bolt rifle to make it right.
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Old July 27, 2009, 08:45 PM   #11
roy reali
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Break Opens

Yes, those beak-opens are worthless. Every digit that is added to the price of a gun shrinks its groups by 50%. They are very complex peices of machinary. It takes hours of reading the manual and practice before one can even load one. Follow up shots are at muzzle-loader speed.

I think Ferrari's are worthless cars. I have never owned one, but I decided to formulate an opinion anyway.
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Old July 27, 2009, 08:50 PM   #12
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My youngest brother started with a H&R and just added bbls. for different cals. It wasn't a tack driver but meets your parameters. He sure dropped a lot of game with it.

In the majority of hunting situations for medium to large game you don't need a MOA rifle.
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Old July 27, 2009, 09:33 PM   #13
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I owned a Ruger RSI in 243 - it shot its favorite load into 3/4" at 100 yds - and that was with a full length Mannlicher stock
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Old July 28, 2009, 06:28 AM   #14
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I've never driven a Ferrari, so I won't have an opinion on one.

But I have shot enough break action rifles to know that about 2MOA is what to expect. Some will do better, but as the OP has already stated most people who buy them are happy with that kind of accuracy. There is also no doubt that kind of accuracy will kill a deer at well past 100 yards.

I do not consider them a good value for the money however. You do not have to add another digit to the price to get better accuracy. Most break action rifles sell new for between $250 and $300. Spending under $400 will get you a Weatherby that comes with a 1 1/2" guarantee from the factory and most will shoot 1". For $325 a Stevens 200 will most likely give you 1" groups although they do not guarantee it.

The falling block actions such as the Ruger and some others mentioned earlier gives a better lockup in the action and better accuracy. But at a higher price. The Ruger is probably the cheapest rifle mentioned and you will not get much change back from $1000 after paying tax on the rifle. Never owned a Ruger single shot either, but have several friends who do. All of them eventually became good shooters. About half out of the box, and the other half after being returned to Ruger.
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Old July 28, 2009, 07:04 AM   #15
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I'm a single shot lover... & while there are cheap rifles out there ( & some expensive ones too ) that don't shoot better than hunting grade... there are also others quite capable of way less than MOA accuracys

break actions can be the cheapest to manufacture, & often you'll find your worst shooters in this catagory ( but not necessarily ) aside from chambers, rifling, barrel harmonics & crowning ( normal "bolt" rifle accuracy issues ), you have head space issues ( the gap between the case head & the breech face ) & the ability of the manufacturer to get the breech face true to the bore alignment on a break action gun... if everything locks up true & tight, the potential for accuracy is no worse than a good bolt action...

part of why I like single shots, is because as a handloader, I can adjust the bullet seating depth to engauge the rifling ( if it's more accurate in that cartridge / rifle combo ) often times, the most accurate load may end up being longer that what will feed through a box magazine

of course my favorites ( well ok... I do really like my Contenders... they would be Encores in the calibers you are looking at ) are the rolling blocks & falling blocks
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Old July 28, 2009, 07:47 AM   #16
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My Ruger #1 will throw the odd flyer when it gets hot, but shooting it slow or only a couple of rounds for hunting it's fine. I have had customers with Handi Rifles in .223 that were sub MOA accurate out of the box with the stock mounts and Simmons scopes. Some people carry them on their boats for inexpensive defense guns, but they do shoot.

I'm a lefty and I can hold a couple of rounds cigar style in my weak hand and reload just as fast as I can reach over and fumble with a right-handed bolt action gun.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:23 AM   #17
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Yeah, I think it's just the opposite; it just doesn't get more accurate than a quality single shot rifle.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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I own a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70 gov't and I've hunted with a NEF Handi-Rifle in 30.06 and both are very accurate. As a whole, I'd guess that single shots generally as accurate as bolt actions.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
I'm interested in hunting with a .243 or .270 single shot. I have heard that single shots are bad about accuracy, but would this be a big factor at less than 100 yards? I will be hunting in heavy brush so I won't be taking long range shots. Thinking about getting one of those handi-rifles or an H&R.
Under 100 yards?
Heavy brush?
I would think that neither of these two cartridges are ideal for what you want. You might want to consider a larger caliber. Say 30-30, 35 rem, or even 45-70.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:43 AM   #20
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I've got several of the NEF and H&R guns, and more barrels than receivers.

Only one is a problem child. The rest shoot MOA or less. My 22 Hornet, My 223rem Ultra Varmint, my 22" Hornet rechambered to 225Win, and my 25-06 all shoot 1/2 MOA or less. My open sight 22" 45-70 will do ragged one holes at 50yrds all day long with Win Super-X 300gr JHP's, and cloverleafs at 100yrds then next day.

Blanketly calling these guns junk or such is as ignorant as one can be. And only shows one's lack of experience and/or snobbish mindset.

For the snobs out there, you might want to read about the Prince and the Pauper where a $275 H&R performs better than a $9000 Dakota.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:51 AM   #21
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Of all my rifles the cheapest and most accurate centerfire is my old break action H&R 308. Not so hot with lighter bullets but a consistent 2" at 300 yards with a good scope and 180 gr Remington Core-loct bullets. Sounds like you need to try different bullet weights to find the one that your gun likes. Took me awhile too but once found I set my others aside for use in other guns or by other people.
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Old February 4, 2010, 06:14 PM   #22
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I have at least 15 single shot rifle from 22 lr 1885 to 338x74r Hagn I have found that using a single shot rifle makes hunting more interesting. Every gun in my collection will shot well below sub/moa with the proper ammo I have a Hall F action that will place 10 Berger 155 palma match bullets in less that a half inch all day from the date it was built that being said the more money you spend on a single shot rifle the higher expectations you can demand from the builder. I went to Africa 10 years ago and only took two rifles a Custom Hagn in 300 H&H and Heym double rifle 375 H&H and shot 24 head of plains game and one very mad hippo with the single shot rifle(note it was the only gun I had in my hands when thing went south)) I find that I only take shots that I am be sure that I can put the animal down cleanly if I can.t I wait till the shot is right and please note I have hunted days with out firing a shot since i couldn't be sure of the shot so I did not take it and have come home empty handed . But if you give them a chance you will not go back to the dark side(bolt, lever, auto guns)
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Old February 4, 2010, 07:31 PM   #23
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This is typical of what my 25-06 Ruger #1V does with my handloads. This target was at 150 yards and I was shooting off the hood of my pickup.

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Old February 4, 2010, 07:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
I find that I only take shots that I am be sure that I can put the animal down cleanly if I can.t I wait till the shot is right and please note I have hunted days with out firing a shot since i couldn't be sure of the shot so I did not take it and have come home empty handed .
Any true sportsman would abide by the same predilections-irrespective of the firearm action type being used.
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Old February 4, 2010, 08:14 PM   #25
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My wife has a Ruger No 1 A Light Sproter, and I have the same one only a 30-06. I use to have the .416 Rem Tropical. Thay all shot very accurate out of the box. The two we have now have 3x9x40mm Leupolds on them. They will shoot inside 1" all day long at 100 yards if I do my part. Someone younger I am sure would do better. Just my 2 cents. Forgot to say my wifes is the .243.
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