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Old September 16, 2009, 08:02 PM   #1
Dearhunter61
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How Accurate is good enough for you to head into the field to hunt?

As Deer Season approaches and we are all going to the range for some practice as well as making sure our rifles are sighted in good enough I was wondering what you consider to be good enough?

3 shot groups?

5 shot groups?

1/2" at 100 yards?

1" at 100 yards?

2" at 100 yards?

3" at 100 yards?

1/2" at 200 yards?

1" at 200 yards?

2" at 200 yards?

3" at 200 yards?

Thanks,
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:20 PM   #2
eddyb74
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I put 3 rounds into a paper plate offhand at 100 yds.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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3 shot group, 1-1 1/2in at 100yds.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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5 rounds of Winchester cheap slugs without lowering my shotgun to rest into paperplate size group at 65 yards is my maximum deviation... I prefer a softball to pie plate size group.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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It's good if your rifle will shoot a good group from a bench. But, in the end you are going to either have to be close enough or have a good enough rest that you can keep the crosshairs in the vital area long enough to make the shot. If your crosshairs are wandering about then get closer, get a better rest, or wait for another opportunity.

In normal hunting it would take a really bad shooting rifle to be to blame for a missed shot.

Some of these extreme range shooters might be a different story.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:30 PM   #6
DiscoRacing
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one shot...one kill... i go out with 1" at 100yds... hopefully less than 4" at 300yds.... depending on which caliber I actually carry that year.... .06, .270, .308, or 22-250
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:31 PM   #7
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I don't use a shotgun, just a 30-06 or my Bow, but, If I hit my 12" picnic plate with the -06 at 75 yards with the first shot, I don't shoot again.

No need to really because if you miss, it's not going to be in the same place after you work the bolt, and if you hit it where you pointed, it's not going anywhere.

Extreme range shooters are NOT hunters if you ask me. They behave like adrenalin tards, and, if they can't get close enough to shoot their animal without a scope, they ain't worth a darn in my book.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:31 PM   #8
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Oh yeah... with the Marlin .30-30 it is 3 to 4 or 5 inch 6 round group at 85 yards offhand.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:32 PM   #9
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I practice my shots kneeling and sitting, supported on knee with the other arm, and triangle support sitting.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:33 PM   #10
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From a rest, 1" MINIMUM (1/2" to 3/4" is normal), so I know my loads/rifle/scope are still on time... But offhand, with a .270 Win., if I can put 3 inside of 3" at 100 yds, I'm happy.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Hey, KoolMink...

If my Browning came with ironsights, I'd have my scope sittin' on see-thru mounts, cuz woods huntin' doesn't call for a scope... But there are days when some of Our eyes aren't the best, too...
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:40 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Some of you guys need to seperate hunting accuracy from target accuracy.....


There is no need for 1/2 or even 1 inch groups at 100 yards unless you plan to take 400 yard shots. If your shots are limited, as most are, to 200 yards or less then 2, even 3 inches, is enough at 100.

Do I WANT better than 3 inches? Yes. Is it necessary to effectively and humanely kill a deer sized or larger animal? No.

Sure, some guys are hunting where there might actually be 400 yard shots with a good rest. In that case, yes, 1 inch is probably max at 100 yards.....

but for the other 90% of deer hunters who either cannot even SEE 200 yards in the areas where they hunt or are relegated to shotguns which limit shots with even the BEST rounds to under 200 yards.... well, 2, 3 even 4 inches is enough.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:46 PM   #13
Christchild
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I agree 110%, PeetzaKilla.

I just view a small group from rest as "removing one more variable" because You, as a Hunter and a Sportsman, are faced with ENOUGH variables and Very-Non-Perfect elements in the field, and the better You can group from rest at the range, the better the odds are to make a one shot, quick, humane kill.

That's just my outlook.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:52 PM   #14
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CC, I am in the opposite camp... I feel the more accurately you replicate the realistic shooting conditions of your style of hunt than the more realistically you can expect the hunt go as you intended it... I don't care if I can clover leaf 10 rounds into 4 holes at 500 yards from a rest and bench... If you standing up firing off hand without sticks, your chances are low if that is not how you prepare to shoot.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:55 PM   #15
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depends how you hunt...for me, no more tree stands or blinds...just still hunting and tracking , i practice shooting 3 shot groups in the standing position... 3 to 5 inch groups at 150 yards is good enough for me(where i hunt i am not sniping deer at 600 yrds) just make sure you're barrel is "cold" when you practice your groups, or at least try to mimic the environmental conditions you will be hunting in when sighting in the deer slayer....


cheers
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:58 PM   #16
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I haven't shot a animal over about 40 yards in at least a decade. Only over 50 yard shot I can remember was Louann shooting a hog one afternoon in a fire lane. Woods are to thick most of the time. Besides that I really hate to wound a animal so I want him close.

With that I feel good with the .35 Rem putting them in 3 or 4 inches at 100 yards.

On the other hand if I was stuck with 200-300 yard shots on the prarrie then I'd have to do a lot better! Would not feel properly set up without being sure I could do the 3-4 inches at 200 yards with something other than the old .35!
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:01 PM   #17
Christchild
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That's also why we DEVELOP loads. Why spend hard earned money on premium components and not strive for full potential?

And that's why we spend our hard earned dollars on premium bullets...similar intended outcome...One Shot, Quick Kill.

I live in Louisiana, where most of our hunting is in the woods, but that's not ALWAYS the case. An occasional shot is longer. 250 in some cases, to 400 yards max, usually where a powerline has a long clearcut underneath. I shoot .270 winchester, that's MY only centerfire rifle these days...Every other rifle I've had has been sold. It's a Browning with a Douglas Air Gauge #4, and I've got a Nikon Monarch 4-16x50mm BDC Reticle.

Alot of folks hunt with fixed 4x scopes, so my lowest setting is just that, plus my scope has a 50mm Objective, so my F.O.V. is wider, and light transmission is excellent. But in many situations, more magnification may not be MANDATORY, but it suuure is nice! My .270 is my Do-It-All. If I went up to visit my Dad in Michigan, I can take long shots across the many acres of cleared land, and kill. I don't need a .300 Mag, Bro.

I have 2 shotguns for other situations, a Double PistolGrip Mossberg 500 8 shot, and a Remington 870 Express SuperMag, for any and all shotgun situations, slugs if I wanna...

Accuracy, even "Target Grade Accuracy", is very beneficial, especially to a Gorgeous WhiteTail. Long Deaths are INhumane.
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Last edited by Christchild; September 16, 2009 at 10:59 PM.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:04 PM   #18
darkgael
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accuracy

A subject near and dear to my heart. I rarely shoot from a bench - don't even know what my primary hunting rifle will group. I use an O/U .30-06. If I can consistently put both barrels into a palm sized area at 100 yards, then I believe I am good to go.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:07 PM   #19
hogdogs
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CC, I won't expect to try a shot much beyond 100 yards with my .30-30 firing the cheapest 170 grain Winchester sub $13 per box ammo Scope is a 79 dollar 4-12 walmart Bushnell... I am super utilitarian aka CHEAP!!! I try to keep my meat under $.10 per pound
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:08 PM   #20
Lavid2002
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Quote:
How Accurate is good enough for you to head into the field to hunt?
lol
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Math>Grammar
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:08 PM   #21
Christchild
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Also, even when the oilfield was doing great and I was making great money, the last thing I wanted to do was have a trainload of guns. I prefer plenty components and quality tools and supplies.

Other than big Bears, I can humanely kill any animal that walks in the lower 48.

I see where You're coming from, and I back You up, 100%. At rest accuracy and in the field opportunities are two totally different animals. I couldn't agree more.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:18 PM   #22
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I'll disagree with peetzakilla. For it completely depends on what a person is hunting and how.

With my shotgun for deer 3" groups at 50 yards is good enough. With my 22-250 for fox it had better less than an inch. With my 30-30 for coyote 2"-2.5" at 100 is fine but 1-2" is better. With my .22LR for squirrel 1-1.5" at 50. etc etc.

But accuracy is needed. The more inherant accuracy a gun/ammo combo have from a bench the better your chances of connecting when shooting field positions. Let's face it, 6-8" groups will kill a deer at 100 yards. But if your shooting a gun only capable of that kinda accuracy from a bench you'll miss 50% of the time (or more) using feild positions.

But to answer the question: Varmint/predator guns need to be under 1". Deer centerfires under 2". No current production centerfire gun should shoot worse than that. If it does shoot worse, it's has issues that need attention from a smith or the factoy.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:20 PM   #23
Dearhunter61
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Wow, These responses have been pretty interesting.

I do shoot and practice on the bench. Although I would prefer to spot and stalk where I hunt that is impossible so I hunt out of a stand. Although I am not sitting at a bench I do have a good rest and shooting on a bench does help me. The shots I have run anywhere from 20 yards out to 250 yards or so.

I am not happy with my rifle unless I can shoot 1" 5 shot groups and duplicate them. Then after I have been able to do this I make sure I fire 1 round out of a cold barrel and confirm it hits dead on. Once I have done this then the load I have put together passes the test and my rifle passes the test.

I realize that there is a large kill zone when hunting deer but I believe I owe to myself as well as the deer to make sure I shoot as accurately as possible.

Some of you will probably think this is extreme? Perhaps it is but it allows me to have complete confidence in the loads as well as the rifle I am hunting with so when I pull down on an animal and place the crosshairs on the heart I never think twice about anything but squeezing the trigger and putting the deer down and doing so as humanely as possible.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:31 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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I don't think it's extreme. I do think it unneccesary and quite often impossible to meet that standard.

1) I do not and can not hunt with a rifle. Shotguns only.

2) Even if I could hunt with a rifle, the longest shot I have been offered in 18 years of deer hunting is about 125 yards.

Like I said above, if you're in that small percentage of hunters taking 300 or 400 yard shots then, yes, you better have 1 inch groups at 100. If you're like the rest of us, especially shotgun hunters, you can hope for 3 or 4 inch groups at 100, even from a rifled barrel and sabot slugs in most cases.

I also agree with the idea that what matters is how well I can shoot off-hand or kneeling or sitting.... When I haven't moved in 3 hours, I'm covered in snow, my fingers are cold and I have to twist around in unatural ways to shoot a deer that is only 40 yards away but just happened to show up in the worst possible places. Which, I don't know about anyones else, but that's the way my shots usually go down.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:31 PM   #25
Christchild
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KillKenny, and DeerHunter,

My point exactly. Target accuracy only plays the role of removing some variable. And it's not so much the gun, it's the Nut Behind the Bolt.
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