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Old May 19, 2010, 09:34 PM   #1
Savage Armed
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Question about 5 shot groups

When you read about testing rifles by 5 shot groups (or 3 shot or ten shot groups) are they hot barrel groups with the five shots being consecutive (shoot, chamber, shoot, chamber,etc....) or are they cold barrel shots (shoot, wait a while and let it cool, shoot, wait a while and let it cool, shoot, etc......)?
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Old May 19, 2010, 10:08 PM   #2
geetarman
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I do not know about others, but I generally shoot, chamber a new round and shoot when I get the sight picture.

I would only shoot 5 rounds like that and then let the barrel cool.

After cooling, I might shoot another 5.

I do not have any hard and fast rules about it but try to keep the barrel from getting too hot to touch.

I am interested in how others do it.

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Old May 19, 2010, 10:18 PM   #3
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Personally, I shoot a coupe of fouler shots, change the target, drink a little coffee or Dr Pepper, make fun of some retarded democrat, etc. Then I'll let go a 5 or 10 rnd string with anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds between shots. I don't have any of those pencil or mountain weight bbls- so I don't sorry much about that aspect. Plus, the hottest round I shoot is a .243 stepped up to near max. I keep everything else at more 'middle ground' pressures and speeds.

Anyway, shoot what seems like realistic shooting to you. Shooting under realistic conditions seems like the fairest measure of what I expect out of a rifle.
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Old May 19, 2010, 10:24 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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I use five-shot groups mostly for checking out a rifle which is new to me. I guess my rate of fire could be called "leisurely". I don't wait around for cooling, but I take my time in loading for the next shot. Put the empty case in the box, stare around at the world, tell myself to keep the rifle in the same place on the sandbags...

Once I'm assured of the basic performance, I mostly use three-shot groups. I'm usually testing a new load, or checking my sight-in. Three has always been enough for success on prairie dogs, coyotes, Bambi, etc.

Nothing hard and fast about it, though. I'll occasionally try a slow-fire ten-shot group just to see if I can do the same thing the same way, ten times in a row. With my pet '06, I could get a five-shot group reliably at 3/4 MOA. Ten shots, the groups ran maybe 3/8 MOA more, to 1-1/8 MOA. Still plenty good...
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Old May 19, 2010, 10:43 PM   #5
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I believe that the standard test protocol that used to be used was fire 3, and then go 3 minutes between subsequent rounds as long as your barrel stays touchable.

Things change. That may not be accepted anymore. Obviously, you may need to stretch that interval out a bit if you're firing an ultramag. what is important is that it stay hot, enough to have fully expanded the metal, but if you can't touch it, it's too hot.
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Old May 19, 2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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I usually fire five with about 30 seconds between each round. Then I switch to a 22 and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes. In the summer, a guy at the local range brings an electric air mattress fan and uses it to run air through the barrel. Not sure how much it actually helps.

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Old May 19, 2010, 11:13 PM   #7
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I do sight in like I'm gonna shoot, For example, I shoot a lot of High Power, which required 10 shot strings, so I sight in using 10 shot strings, be it, standing, setting rapid, prone rapid etc. So in sighting in the setting rapid for example, I shoot ten rounds in 60 seconds, with a mag change.

For my hunting rifles, I shoot 5 round groups. I limit it to five rounds because I shoot featherweights, plus I doubt I'll shoot that many while hunting.
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:14 PM   #8
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The reason I ask

Quote:
When you read about testing rifles by 5 shot groups (or 3 shot or ten shot groups) are they hot barrel groups with the five shots being consecutive (shoot, chamber, shoot, chamber,etc....) or are they cold barrel shots (shoot, wait a while and let it cool, shoot, wait a while and let it cool, shoot, etc......)?
The reason I ask is my uncle and I were discussing the groups that we got out of our 17hmrs. His groups were about half the size of mine, but then I discovered he was swabbing his barrel and letting it cool completely before firing another shot. I was firing my shots one right after another. Letting it cool down improves the accuracy so I just wondered, how do they do it for the magazine articles?
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:15 PM   #9
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For me it depends on what gun it is, and what its intended use is.

For my hunting guns, If ive got loads worked up already, Ill only shoot 3 at a time, then ill clean it and let it cool good, 99% of my hunting shots are from a cold clean bore so thats the way i sight it in.

My long range gun, (bolt gun) I just finished testing loads for and sighting in yesterday, is a differnt story. Ill pry end up shooting 10-15+ rounds though this pretty fast in a shoot, at each stage, so thats the way i worked up loads, On my final sight in yesterday, I zeroed 5 shots at 100 starting with a cold bore, then went right to 200, with 5 shots, then 5 at 300. I had dope charts set so all my adjustments for 200 and 300 were spot on. When done, I went back to 100 to check hot barrel shots, then the same at 200 and 300. I rotated 100-200-300 untill I had 7 rounds left, went to the 300 yard mark and shot a sub 3 inch group with the last 7 shots at 300. I figure shots were about 10-15seconds apart and shot 60 rounds. My next trip out with this ill shoot 1 cold bore shot at 200 and 300 just to check cold bore differance vrs some heat in the barrel.
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
For me it depends on what gun it is, and what its intended use is.
Same goes for me
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:26 PM   #11
Dallas Jack
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I shoot and eject the case, look at the target with the spotter scope, load another round, repeat for 5 rounds. Change guns and repeat. I give it about 10 to 15 minutes between groups from each gun. I never fire a round from a barrel that is still hot to the touch.

Even with my heavy barrel guns 5 rounds will make the barrel hot to the touch. I don't know that the groups will get bigger after that but don't care to waste my ammo finding out.

Their is one exception. My heavy barrel 10/22 always gets 10 shot groups and the groups are around .5 at 50 yards which is acceptable to me.
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:32 PM   #12
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I've been mislead by 3-shot groups so any load development requires at least 5 shots. One exception is my Contender pistol in .35 Rem. It kicks the stuffing out of me so I settle for two 3-shot groups.
Cooling time? In July and August I may need all day to fire 10-15 rds. Temps in the 70's and below I can fire up to 15 rds in an hour, but I usually don't get in any hurry. Best groups are fired with a cool barrel and no time pressures.
10 shot groups only reinforce the fact that I can't fire 10 shot groups except on my best days, whatever those are.
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Old May 20, 2010, 03:53 AM   #13
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Don't let the barrel heat up. If it's hot to the touch, you're shooting too fast. Also, I run a patch about every ten rounds. Walk to the targets, let the bore cool off.

Three shot groups if it's grouping. If you're getting fliers, it's not "grouping" and you have either ammo issues, poor match of bullet and rifling twist, wind, etc. I've seen plenty of shooters flinch off a bench rest. If you're able to get five shots in a tight group, there's every chance that three shots will show you were the gun and ammo are shooting.

But you heat up the barrel and your groups are going to string out.
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Old May 20, 2010, 04:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
discussing the groups that we got out of our 17hmrs
Ah-ha! There be a problem. You shouldn't expect identical results out of identical rifles- that's just not a good rule to go by. Were the bbls cut with the same reamer, close to the same time? Were the mounting screws holding the steel to the stocks torqued the same? Were the barrel channels cut the same? Or, do you both even have the same trigger pull habits? Sometimes similar rifles perform the same- but don't bank on it being a set rule.

Edit: I don't have a HMR- do they heat bbls to any tremendous degree? Anyone know?
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Old May 20, 2010, 04:31 AM   #15
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I don't remember where I read about this, but I have tried it and it does work. I reload so I can shoot as much as I want, mostly Mini-14 and 300 & 340 WBY's. When it's over 90 and I don't want to wait all day on cooling barrels, I take along a Large bottle of Isopropyl alcohol and after a 30 round mag or a 3 round group, I will soak an old rag and rub the barrel. Alcohol evaporates much faster than water and will not rust metal, and it only takes about a minute to cool a scorching hot mini-14. Has anyone else ever heard of or tried this?
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Old May 20, 2010, 06:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
I take along a Large bottle of Isopropyl alcohol and after a 30 round mag or a 3 round group, I will soak an old rag and rub the barrel. Alcohol evaporates much faster than water and will not rust metal, and it only takes about a minute to cool a scorching hot mini-14. Has anyone else ever heard of or tried this?
You may want to look into this first:

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/healthguide...cognition.html
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:03 AM   #17
Lloyd Smale
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how do they do it for the magazine articles?



mostly i think they just pick numbers out of the sky!
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Old May 20, 2010, 09:56 AM   #18
briandg
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I guess I haven't been paying attention, but lots of writers used to give at least a short description of their range process.

Quote:
I discovered he was swabbing his barrel and letting it cool completely before firing another shot. I was firing my shots one right after another. Letting it cool down improves the accuracy so I just wondered, how do they do it for the magazine articles?
Nobody who has to fire thousands of rounds of ammo through hundreds of guns over the period of a year and still analyze and write about that experience is going to do anything remotely like that. They are going to shoot from a hot barrel, and if accuracy testing is in progress, they will probably just spread the hundred rounds or so that would be expended in an typical ammunition comparison test over the course of a day.

With a big magnum rifle, cooling the barrel between rounds during summer would probably take 5 minutes. You're going to need an entire day to go through a half dozen boxes of shells.

The only time that stone cold barrel bullet placement or accuracy is relevant is hunting. In a match, you are on a schedule and there are time constraints.

I believe that your differences here are merely the differences between to men and two rifles.
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Old May 20, 2010, 02:25 PM   #19
A_Gamehog
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Here is a great answer to your question..

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.htm...f=118&t=279218

This guy is a very good writer and illustrator.
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Old May 20, 2010, 04:40 PM   #20
James R. Burke
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I am about like Art. Sometimes I have a few rifles and/or pistols with me so I can rotate a bit to let them cool down. But like he said I just take my time, and thats about it. I use five or seven shot groups.
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Old May 20, 2010, 04:50 PM   #21
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I generally do 3-shot groups with centerfire rifles. I do 5-shot groups with handguns and 22's; six shot groups usually with a 6-shot revolver or 5-shot groups with a 5-shot revolver.

I set a leasurely pace myself with centerfire rifles and a medium pace with handguns. I pretty much do what you said with 22 rifles and handguns. But it certainly doesn't sound like automatic rifle fire.
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Old May 20, 2010, 07:16 PM   #22
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It depends on how much time I have. I would love to let the barrel completely cool between shots every time out, but sometimes having a wife and two kids, and working ALLL the time makes that hard to come by. I hope this overtime lets up SOON! And I have decided to end the debate by shooting 4 shot groups.
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Old May 21, 2010, 12:53 AM   #23
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While i was unaware of the OHSHa guidelines for Isopropyl exopsure, I am not very concerned, because i use it only outdoors on a hot gun, and this is rubbing alcohol, not denatured or methyl alcohol. [I] would be much more concerned about the exposure to the petroleum distillates and solvents in commercial powder, lead and copper solvents. I'm not going to stop cleaning my guns because of the potential of these solvents, even though i consider them pretty insignificant. I am able to shoot more and longer using this method. I really think that my cigar smoking is more of a threat to my heath than rubbing alcohol used in open air on a hot gun. My granny would call this issue swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat.

Last edited by handlerer2; May 21, 2010 at 01:32 AM.
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Old May 21, 2010, 02:17 AM   #24
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In the field I have never had the opportunity to shoot 5 rounds at the same animal. As for group size I consider the size of the critter I'm after and its effective kill zone. When punching paper we have the ability to shoot from the bench, take our sweet time and go for minute groups. When hunting it is generally the first shot that either drops the animal, or misses its mark. I create a target the size of the approximate kill zone I'm shooting for, place it at the range I can expect to be from my game and shoot. If I'm in the kill zone the target (critter) would have dropped. If not I either missed or have a wounded animal on my hands to track. Shooting p-dogs I have a much smaller kill zone than say elk. If hunting p-dogs I use a small target. I either hit it in a lethal zone at 150 yards, or it lives to annoy cattle another day. Same goes for coyote, bobcat, deer, or whatever. A good hunting rifle is an entirely different instrument than a good target rifle. My 17HMR will hold a 5 shot group from the bench if allowed to cool between shots. It doesn't have a chance to cool off in the field.
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