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Old September 16, 2009, 09:47 PM   #26
Swampghost
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I zero at the bench to ensure the accuracy of the rifle then fire from all possible hunting positions to help the accuracy of ME.

When hunting I always try to find a brace or rest for longer shots.

The 'cold shot' is always the most important. You may let your barrel cool down at the range but generally there is only one cold shot.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:49 PM   #27
fisherman66
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If your cold bore shot (@ 100 yards) is always within a couple inches of your last cold bore shot you should be pretty good out to standard MPBR distances; say 250 yards or so for broadside heart/lung shots. The vast majority of field accuracy problems are the shooter and not the rifle.
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Old September 16, 2009, 09:53 PM   #28
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And PeetzaKilla,

You can't hunt with a rifle. Very understandable. There are many places where that's the only option, and some places and times where a bow is the only option, and we have to live up to those things. A shotgun is accurate within it's abilities, and within the abilities of the hunter... Likewise with a bow.

And You're right... Almost 100% of the time, shots at game aren't far, and are rarely the perfect (or even ideal) situation for a shot that would produce a 1" or less group, if the "same" shot was taken 3 or more times. You're dead-on with all of that.

But when the time comes that deer or hogs are MY quarry, I hunt with the venerable .270 Winchester, and tight groups on the bench is where my hunt begins. I practice offhand, sitting, leaning on a tree and anything else I can think of, and when I head out on a hunt, my scope is always at 4x.

I don't have a Muzzleloader or a bow, so I have to wait 'til Modern Gun Season, when the deer and hogs have felt the pressure of hunters long before I get there. And since the bottom has dropped out of the oilfield with this economy and I haven't worked since JANUARY, the last thing I can afford to do is go out and obtain what I don't have. I understand my situation also. Like You, I gotta.
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Old September 16, 2009, 10:03 PM   #29
Brian Pfleuger
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Christchild,

No argument from me, brother.
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:47 AM   #30
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All of my rifles will outshoot me from any field position with the exception of sling supported prone. I believe that there is no such thing as too accurate right up to but not beyond the point of diminishing returns. I sight in 4 rifles per year and expect more accuracy from the bench than I can produce using most field positions.

Scoped 338 RUM < 1 MOA
Scoped 30-06 < 1.25 MOA
Ghost Ring sighted 45-70 ≈ 2 moa
Scoped 243 Win < 1.5 MOA

When I practice from field positions and a hit is poorly placed I know absolutely that it was me and not the rifle.
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Old September 17, 2009, 01:13 AM   #31
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I'm a freak when it comes to my rifles and sight-in. This is probably because when I'm not hunting, I do a lot of long-range work. So I tend to do a lot of fine-tuning to tighten things up as much as I possibly can regardless of whether I'm heading out after game or looking to kill some paper. If I can't get a decent 1-1.5 MOA from sitting, I tend to keep on tinkering. From supported prone I'd better be able to be near single-hole if not indistinguishable. When I hunt, it pays off in my own head knowing as long as I do everything right I can make what would otherwise be a questionable shot and still put a bullet right where I want it to go.
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Old September 17, 2009, 02:57 AM   #32
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Shooter + gun + ammo + field position + maximum expected range = consistent 4" groups or better centered on the aim point.
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Old September 17, 2009, 03:42 AM   #33
HiBC
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Of course,we enjoy accuracy.
Johnska is correct,too.
It wasn't that many years ago when a 1" rifle was pretty special.

And,a darn good rifle had a WW2 milsurp bbl

A non-floated pre-64 model 70 was quite a rifle

Ammo wasn't nearly as good and a Weaver K-4 was a darn good scope to show up with.Reciever peeps were still common.

A 2" group was pretty good.

Actually,I think a Hunter can use a rack .303SMLE or 30-40 Krag and do just fine.
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Old September 17, 2009, 06:00 AM   #34
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If I can shoot a 1.5" group or better with three shots at 100 then I'm good to go for hunting. I practice with only the forearm supported as I usually only use bi-pods, day pack, or shooting sticks in the field. When I've taken standing off hand shots they have generally been snap shots inside 50 yards.

Accuracy and load testing I always shoot 5 shot groups from a bench.
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Old September 17, 2009, 06:04 AM   #35
darkgael
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Accuracy

Quote:
When I practice from field positions and a hit is poorly placed I know absolutely that it was me and not the rifle.
That brings up a point that has been percolating on the back burner.
How much shooting from field expedient positions do y'all do? I ask because, thinking about the range that I use in PA, I rarely see anyone shooting from any position off the bench. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have seen any shooter over the last few years try his skill at a target offhand.
Is it that shooters just assume, since their gun will shoot cloverleafs, that they can make any shot necessary? (I know that is not a question that can be answered definitively.)
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:14 AM   #36
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Quote:
That brings up a point that has been percolating on the back burner.
How much shooting from field expedient positions do y'all do? I ask because, thinking about the range that I use in PA, I rarely see anyone shooting from any position off the bench. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have seen any shooter over the last few years try his skill at a target offhand.
Is it that shooters just assume, since their gun will shoot cloverleafs, that they can make any shot necessary? (I know that is not a question that can be answered definitively.)
Pete
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Kinda what I'm thinking. I haven't shot a rifle in several months. Had and lost the interest in just shooting a couple of decades ago. But, I guarantee I can go shoot a 1 1/2 inch group right now off of a bench with a couple of hunting rifles that are as old as I am. If you have a rifle now days that won't it's an anomaly.( Of course, all forum rifles shoot 1/2 MOA)

Anyhow, big elk or deer is not likely to let you set your bench up.

There is obviously no downside to having a rifle that will poke them all in the same hole, but those that say they practice from hunting positions are on the right track.
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:57 AM   #37
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I'm with Peet

I like to shoot 100 yard, 3 shot groups. Then I shoot a 10 shot string over the chrony to spec that load to satisfy my rifle looniness. Then, I shoot from field positions to see if I can keep my shots on a pie plate at 100 and 200.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:22 AM   #38
taylorce1
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I don't shoot much at the range from field positions. I hunt varmints and shoot prairie dogs on a regular basis so I practice mainly with my varmint rifles from field positions. My hunting rifles don't see much practice this way, but my varmint rifles are all walking varmints, so the weight is similar to what I'll hunt big game with.

Plus it really depends on how you hunt. If you hunt from a tree/tower stand or a permanent blind, shooting game isn't much differnt than shooting off the bench. So how much practice from field positions would you actually need? It would be good to practice but I probably wouldn't spend much time on it if I hunted from a stand or blind.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:30 AM   #39
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Good groups at the bench does not a good hunter make. The very best hunter I know is a superb hunter, not a shooter. He comes to the range in early fall and checks the zero of his Knight muzzleloading rifle. If the first bullet is in a 4" bullseye at 100 yards he quits and goes home. Every year that man kills whitetail and mule deer in at least three different states using that muzzleloader. He always gets an elk or two and one or more pronghorns. He also kills lots of hogs every year.

The retired Army colonel has his very own butcher shop complete with walk in cooler and walk in freezer.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:52 AM   #40
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I killed a bull elk this year and a good whitetail buck both while standing without any rest, nothing presented itself at the time.

If you are a young hunter it is a good idea to practice this way to know what it's like and what your capability is. The worst case scenario may be all you get.
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Old September 17, 2009, 08:53 AM   #41
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I've never hunted deer with a rifle. I'll probably give it a try this year though. I do hunt squirrels with one though, and I can tell you that I have never taken an offhand shot at a squirrel. I can always find a rest somewhere, even if it's just my hand on the side of a tree, or I don't take the shot. Since I don't HAVE to kill a deer, I don't think I'll do anything different. I doubt seriously I'll ever shoot at a deer more than 50 yards away. Actually I doubt I'll be able to SEE one more than 50 yards. At least not well enough to take a shot. I figure if I can hit a squirrel at that distance with a 22, I should be able to hit a deer.
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Old September 17, 2009, 09:25 AM   #42
Huntergirl
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Interesting that some posters feel it necessary to tell other posters that they don't have to be as accurate with their shooting practice. Tighter accuracy allows more room for error in the field. That is common sense.

Last edited by Huntergirl; September 17, 2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old September 17, 2009, 10:59 AM   #43
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Wow this is getting hot!

I have a few things to say, but first to Christ dude.
Quote:
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...
I fully agree, I love tunnel mounts specifically for that purpose.

Quote:
Accuracy, even "Target Grade Accuracy", is very beneficial, especially to a Gorgeous White Tail. Long Deaths are Inhumane.
OK.

Several of you have stated that the death of the stalked game must have a Humane Death. And, I do not fully agree if I am to be guided by my Christian beliefs that the good lord said these beasts are ours to eat... Back then there were no Sig's nor Mausers, nor Winchesters, Etc. They got clubbed or stabbed repeatedly if they were wild, and likely just a slice on the throat if they were kept game.
Now keep reading... If guided by my Human nature, I surely don't want the animal to suffer! But, if said animal is going into my freezer, I really don't give it much thought. I think that anyone who gut shoots an animal is a slob, unless it was a fluke of circumstances, rather than a poorly placed shot. And I'm also sure that nobody shoots an animal to wound it (lawyers and politicians excluded)

Now that that part of my wrangling of words is out of the way....

When I got shooting with a new gun and then once a year after that, I zero it in on a bench preferably with a sandbag... That's only about 5 shots to get the gun sighted in perfectly at about 75 yards.

After that, my gun is perfect! If I shoot it 3,000 times while out blowing junk to pieces, and drop it 3 times, then shove it back in the safe for several months without even cleaning it, and then the season comes around... I take it out and put a pie plate at 75 yards. I take me a nice breath and shoot it, just like it was a game animal. Then I go through a vigorous routine to tire myself like I've been climbing mountains all day and finally see something big enough to take home. Then I shoot the pie plate again. If I miss totally or just barely make it on a 10" pie plate. I stay and practice my shooting some more because it's simply NOT good enough to hit your plate (or your silly 1" 4 shot pattern at 200 yards) after climbing out of your truck and seeing your game, simply because it almost never happens until you've been out walking for 2 to 5 hours and are fatigued.

Pre hunting season, I shoot the pie plate exactly like it was a Deer/elk/Gopher/Hummingbird etc... I shoot it to kill it, not to wound it, I believe this is the goal of EVERY hunter that squeezes the trigger after he takes the safety off! TO think otherwise would be silly!

If I hit my plate after all that and I hit it exactly where I wanted to or within 2 or 3 inches, there's no further need to practice shooting game because there's no need, you've proven to yourself that you can kill it, now it's time to get the plinkers out and shoot golf balls at 200 yards or something fun like that....

I think that EVERYONES posts have been helpful, and will assist the original poster in achieving his goal of understanding what is proficient in order to take his game when he finally makes it into the field to hunt. I wish him good lucks and Big Buck's!

Sorry for being so long winded but occasionally I can't shut the heck up.


koolminx
P.S. I shoot my pie at 75 yds because I'm the sneakiest still hunter the world has ever known, and my game wouldn't DARE be more than 75 yards away from me when I decided to take it....
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:00 AM   #44
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Quote:
Shooter + gun + ammo + field position + maximum expected range = consistent 4" groups or better centered on the aim point.
an exellent standard John.

You should get gun's capabilitys during load devlopement.
You should know your own abilities from different shooting positions.
you should know your ammo's performance and trajectory.
there for you should know well in advance of dear season how far game should be to allow you to make a clean kill.

All I want to check before I head into field is does POI=POA.
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Old September 17, 2009, 11:35 AM   #45
Wild Bill Bucks
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The country I hunt does not allow for shots any further than around 100 yards. Most of the shots I get are looking at a piece of the deer, not the whole deer. I have taken several deer by having to shoot between trees that only allow me a 2 or 3 inch window of vitals. I have taken three deer in the last 5 years, that have only given me eye-ball shots.
Because of this, I spend a lot of time at the range with my rifle, and I try to maintain a 3/4" group at 100 yards. I know my rifles trajectory from 10 yards all the way to 100 yards, within a 1/4 of an inch, so that I can feel comfortable taking these kinds of shots.
To me a 3 or 4 inch group would keep me from taking a lot of shots, that would otherwise put meat on the table, and in some cases would have meant going home empty handed.
I don't take shots that I am not completely sure with, and I never take shots free hand or in a hurry. This has cost me some deer, but I feel better than the guy walking around looking for a deer that he did not get a good shot on, and has had to track blood for a 1/4 mile.

A lot of the hunting accuracy of the rifle has more to do with the terrain you will be hunting, than it does with how tight the groups have to be at the range.
At the very least, I want my rifle to be as accurate as it can be, so that any missed shot is my fault, and not the rifles inability to put a good group together.
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Old September 17, 2009, 12:20 PM   #46
wyobohunter
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Quote:
How much shooting from field expedient positions do y'all do?
Prolly not as much as I should. I was fire forming cases the other day and used that as an oppurtinity to check my offhand skills. I qualified "Expert" 3 times while in the USMC so I'm a decent shot and thought that the shots would just reaffirm what I already knew. Groups were not quite as good as I hoped but I saw an improvement from first to last group. It was enough to get me practicing the unsupported offhand a little more.
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Old September 17, 2009, 06:46 PM   #47
James R. Burke
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You can shoot a pretty big group and still be in the killing zone on a deer. It comes down to what you feel is good enough for you, and human for the animal. Lots of folks can shoot sub 1" groups at 100 yards off the bench, but try it off hand. It changes real fast. I feel best around 1" at 100 yards, and then practice alot a differnt ranges off hand. Sitting, standing, laying down, etc. You will know when you are confident on what you are doing.
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Old September 17, 2009, 07:25 PM   #48
hogdogs
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90% or more of my shots are fired from offhand annually. I may, on rare occasion, opt for an IRD (improvised rest device) such as a tree trunk etc...

Being a florida boy, I am limited heavily in comfortable seated/kneeling spots, we gots them thar "FAR AIN'TS" That sting like... well... "FAR"!!! We also got ticks in most of the woods as well... My severely bad back makes standing upright my closest thing to comfort. My knees make getting up a chore.

But as far as bench shooting, I do run a few rifle rounds preseason from a bench or porch rail to make sure sights/scope are still where I left them and do the same with slugs to reaffirm to myself that I remember the "your eye is your rearsight" rule. I shot 30 rounds of .30-30 from the bench recently, making that the most I ever fired from a bench at one time and real close to the total from a bench in my entire life.

I rarely shoot paper, I do shoot a squirrel per week or so for Junior's snake... and a bunny now and then for the dogs. At this home, I am not free to bust off several hundred rounds due to some sorry neighbor folks.
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Old September 17, 2009, 09:37 PM   #49
wyobohunter
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Quote:
90% or more of my shots are fired from offhand annually.
I need to get back to this, most times tall grass and brush make other positions impossible where I live and hunt.
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Old September 18, 2009, 12:14 AM   #50
Crankylove
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Quote:
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.
I droped my antelope last year with one shot from 525 yards........and that range is not really out of the ordinary for the area we hunt. On the flip side, where I hunted Elk last year, a 250 yard shot would have been a freakishly long shot.
I am happy if I can keep 3 kinda quick shots in a 4-6" group shooting off hand at 100 yds. From a rest, my rifles will outshoot me anyday, so unfortunately for me, if I miss, I can't blame it on the gun.
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