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Old June 2, 2014, 06:26 PM   #26
hooligan1
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Man I'm never happy until all my ammo is gone and I get to load more. I believe its testing loads that does it for me...cause Im pretty sure my worst loads can take deer nicely but I like cool groups aand work hard to get to that point..and I do it with cheap second-hand rifles with "ugly plastic stocks".
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Old June 2, 2014, 06:46 PM   #27
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Bart, My reply was meant to be a light, tongue in cheek response. I will always treat my loads as if I'm trying for 1/2 MOA, regardless of gun or caliber (I sometimes will do all the "benchrest stuff"; weighing cases, trimming to .002", processing primer pockets and flash holes, loading to +- .1 grain of powder, but I ain't kidding myself, some of the stuff is of little or no value). I sincerely doubt if I'll ever hit that "goal", and even though I love reloading, don't have many "pet" loads, and just keep on trying...
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:40 PM   #28
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I'm a deer hunter and load only game, not target bullets. My shots are all 300 yards or less. I'm satisfied with 1.5 MOA and tickled pink at 1 MOA.
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Old June 2, 2014, 07:47 PM   #29
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It's easy for me I find a load I like and from then on all I buy is the same powder , bullets , primers .
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Old June 2, 2014, 08:59 PM   #30
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The ultimate quest for a a single hole is what keeps me going. Sometimes I wonder whether I shoot just to reload.

For my hunting rifle (I only own one as up until this year, we could only use shotguns on deer and everything else I hunt is with a shotgun, except for coyote), I am happy with 1/2 - 3/4 MOA. Once I found a load that would consistently do that, I stopped chasing anything smaller. Most of the time I shoot it at the range, it is between .4 and .7 MOA, and that is "good enough" for me.

For all my other bolt action rifles that I target shoot with, the phrase "good enough" has never crossed my mind.
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Old June 3, 2014, 07:40 PM   #31
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Mag Wheel, you're not alone. Maybe it's a disease. I have a .270 Win that put 3 shots in a 1 inch group at 200 yards with a 150gr Hornady bullet. Good enough? Nah! I had to see if I could do the same or better with a 130gr and 140gr from Sierra, Hornady, and Speer! And that included flat base, boat tail, SST, SP, flat point. What ever I could get my hands on. Just need to experiment. Now understand. I have 2 M700 Rem., a Win M70, and Sako in .270. When I think I've finished with those, I turn to a Browning 7mm, Win M70 .338, Browning and Win70 IN .22-250, former W70 .270 converted to .25-06, Browning .30WSM, and Savage .270WSM. I'll never stop experimenting. Probably explains why I'm married to the same woman for 47 years: like I heard today: the difference between "complete" and "finished." If you marry the right woman, you're complete. If you marry the wrong woman, you're finished. If you're caught with the wrong woman by the right woman, you're completely finished. To avoid that problem, I experiment with bullets.
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Old June 3, 2014, 08:59 PM   #32
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Accuracy is where you want it to be. To me-I am never satisfied. Once i get the group I want i make the bullseye smaller,once that is done I move back another 100 yards. My rifles are match rifles so closest I shoot is 300 yards minimum.
I am now out to 1200 yards and having more fun than one can imagine. Never stop trying and never be content.
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:15 PM   #33
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My last group shot with my 5R/.308 @ 100 yards was almost small enough to hide under a quarter. I'm ok with that but I always think I can do better...and I can. With that particular group I used a pillow and the front end of my friends Ford pickup truck as a rest. What if???????
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Old June 3, 2014, 09:19 PM   #34
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What is "good enough"?

(dons AR-FF entry level suit).....

I find that I can't hold to anything better than 1.25-1.5" @100 from field positions on my best day with my hunting rifle ...... of what value is wearing out a barrel and my wallet shooting up hundreds of rounds in a quest for a load that shoots less than 1" at that distance from a bench?

Other than as an academic excercise (how tight can I make this group?) ...... which I got bored with within a year of learning to reload ..... I don't see any benefit to it.
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Old June 4, 2014, 01:15 PM   #35
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matches at least once a month

At some point I gotta shoot.
That's when I'm done.


For that moment, ay?



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Old June 4, 2014, 02:07 PM   #36
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My standard for good-enough accuracy, applicable to rifles and hand loads;

1. 1 MOA with scope.
2. 2 MOA with iron sight.

10-shot group shot from bench rest at 100 yards.

-TL
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Old June 4, 2014, 03:35 PM   #37
Brian Pfleuger
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Good enough depends on what I want to do and what I think the gun can do.

My varmint gun, I better be getting 3 shot groups under 1/2" at 100. Heck, I better be getting 5 shot groups under 1/2" at 100.

Deer guns, I'd like to get the same but, honestly, 1" at 100 for 3 is plenty good enough.

My standard is variable. It's pretty much set at the worst of the best I've been able to get out of the gun. In other words, yeah, I once put 3 shots in a group you could cover with the end of a AAA battery but that same load and gun usually shoots around 1/4" and sometimes 1/2. My standard is 1/2" or less, not the AAA group. Why settle for worse than the worst of the best?
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Old June 4, 2014, 10:48 PM   #38
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If I can get 1 MOA or less I am happy (and our range is limted to 100yds)

I don't shoot accurate guns either (or not tack drivers). Mil Suplus or Mil Sporters.

Got some 5/8 a few times, thats nice.

22 I want a B eye at 50 yds each time, but then I have a good solid CZ 22 with a scope. More a matter of the ammo than me at that point.
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Old June 4, 2014, 11:14 PM   #39
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Same here. 90% in my collection are old military arms of different sorts. The only exception is a 25 years old Remington 700 bdl in .30-06 with a redfield wide view scope. That's the one that shoots better than 1 MOA. I manage to make most of the rest to meet my standard. One or two I am still working on.

I don't plan to win any match or to break any record, but to out shoot my own self every now and then.

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Old June 6, 2014, 12:45 AM   #40
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I'm old enough to remember when 2 MOA was considered good for a factory bolt rifle and production ammo. I've never had a center fire bolt action or single shot that would not shoot less than 1 MOA with my handloads, and I've had most of the big magnums: 375 H&H, 416 Rem, 458 Win. My 35 Whelen AI has fired sub ½" groups at 100 yards, and the 416 shoots under an inch with almost every load I've put through it. For me MOA is good enough, but it's really nice to see them under a half.
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Old June 6, 2014, 07:19 AM   #41
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I've no interest in seeing how small a group a few shots will go into. The smallest few-shot group represents what happens when one of two things takes place:

One is when everything (rifle, ammo, shooter and conditions) is perfect and 100% repeatable from shot to shot.

The other is when enough of all the variables of those four things cancel each other out.

Problem is, there's no way I can always tell which one it is. I've shot a couple of 4- or 5-shot groups about 1/4 MOA at long range; 600 and 1000 yards. Both when using aperture sights; not a scope. Fired slung up in prone, my holding area on target was about 3/4 MOA and I tried to get shots off inside 1/2 MOA. My calls were plotted to show about 3/4 MOA at worst. And I made wind corrections for most of them. That's proof to me that those two tiny few-shot groups were the result of a lot of variables cancelling each other out. Both were part of 20-shot strings that measured about 1.5 MOA on paper.

I prefer to do what I can to keep the largest test groups as small as possible. Those are the ones representing the ammo's real accuracy, along with the other two things in the system; rifle and me, as to what can be counted on all the time. I cannot care less about the size of the tiniest few-shot groups in a many-shot test group. The odds in favor of shooting a really tiny few-shot group are much higher when the largest many-shot group is as small as possible.
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Old June 6, 2014, 07:49 AM   #42
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my thoughts are shooting 10 shot groups, slow fired, allowing a minute or a few ( as the barrel progressively heats up ) with the bolt open, between shots, & seeing what I can do, with both my skill, the ammo's available potential, & the rifles ability to hold zero as things warm up...

perhaps 1 MOA groups in 10 shot strings, are as good as I should set my goal for, until I have all my rifles shooting them, then start picking out my favorites, & working those group sizes down...

also should probably mention, as practice "should" improve skills, just by shooting 10 different rifle calibers regularly out to 300 yards ( which is currently the limit of my personal range ) I should be able to improve my group sizes over time, even using the same rifle & ammo, by improving my skills...

I'm actually looking most forward to working on my 17 fireball, as that should be one of the more challenging at reading wind, & my 6.8 SPC, will likely be more elevation challenged than most others in this group, & having target backers at every 50 yards, should give me some interesting data for my shooters note book for those rifles
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Old June 6, 2014, 09:52 AM   #43
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Bart,

Check out, if you can, the How to Train Your Brain segment of the 'Can Our Minds Be Hacked?' episode of Through the Wormhole. If you follow the link and scroll down, it's the third and last clip, at the bottom. 230% increase in speed and accuracy of marksmanship training. This is demonstrated with archers, but applies to any kind of shooting, as anyone who's ever been in the zone can attest. See what you think. Natty headbands for shooters?


All,

One thing Pathdoc touched on earlier needs to be emphasized, and that's the difference between precision and accuracy. Group size is precision. Centering the group over your intended point of impact is accuracy. Usually we want both; the group both small and centered where we want it. Precision is adjusted by gun tweaks, ammo tweaks, and shooter hold and trigger techniques. Accuracy is adjusted with sight settings.

One place the two cross over is in the kind of shooting Bart does: long range. That is because part of the shooter technique is reading (doping) the wind. If you can't dope wind, you can't get either precision or accuracy. This is because keeping the holes close to one another depends on spotting wind changes or looking for lulls or steady moments. Adjusting the sights for best accuracy also depends on identifying wind speed and direction.

It seems to me you could break up the combined precision and accuracy skills into three broad areas:

1. Equipment: getting your gun and ammo to shoot precisely and having sights you can see and know how to adjust.

2. Shooter Mechanics: Getting the positions and trigger skills in place to take maximum advantage of 1.

3. Shooter Mentality: Training your mind set so you repeat what you trained for in 2., even when your adrenaline and excitement levels are up. Training your routine of shot release to include correctly identifying your target and conditions so you automatically remember to compensate for condition variables such as light, temperature, altitude, and, most of all, for doping wind at ranges where it matters, so you can take maximum advantage of both 1., and 2.

I don't think most people get past 1. Every Fall, I see lots of guys getting zeros on their hunting rifles off the bench, but rarely see one bring a shooting mat and try sitting or offhand or prone or rice paddy prone or improvised support off a vertical, much less do any of these things with a sling. And if you don't do those things, how do you know what your field precision is?

I think Jeff Cooper had a good solution for field shooting at medium and larger game. He assumed an 8" lethal zone (based on two-footed varmint silhouette targets) and declared a 4" circle to be point blank range for the ideal trajectory. That allows 4" for sight adjustment error, and almost 7" for shooter error. Those number are not obvious, but they are because combined error sources add as their standard deviations do, which is as the square root of the sum of their squares, and √(4²+6.9²) = 8".

The above happens because combined error sources don't tend to influence a bullet's point of impact in the same direction of point of aim at the same time. Rather, they usually head somewhere in between adding to and subtracting from each other along each axis. Another way to look at it is the area of the circle the group falls into, and therefore all the possible places the bullet could land, grows as the square of its diameter. Combine the area of a 4" circle with the area of a 6.9" circle and you have the area of an 8" circle. Thus, the two contributing error sources each contributes its own number possible impact points to the combined group, but do not contribute the diameter they happen to be when no other error source is present.

And, finally, looping back to the OP's question, there is a unilateral tolerance to group size. That is, a gun's grouping ability can be too large to be effective on certain targets at certain ranges, but there is no penalty for that group being tighter than necessary. Most of us don't know what all the shots will ever be that might come our way, so we may generally conclude there is no such thing as a group that is too small, except where it exceeds our practical ability to achieve it. Generally, we take it where we can within the constraints of our time and wallets and inclination to consume barrel life playing with it.
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Old June 6, 2014, 04:40 PM   #44
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Unclenick, that's a good video on the archers. And I think it does apply to marksmanship with arms.

When the USN Rifle Team I was on was in Annapolis prepping for the Interservice and National Matches, we also spent a week with the Naval Academy plebe class of some 1200 freshmen covering small arms marksmanship with the M1 rifle and M1911 pistol. The rifle part was easy and those Middies did well as most of them had no bad habits to break. But the pistol phase blew their minds.

We gave them basic holding, aiming and trigger pulling instructions then had them shoot two magazines (10 shots) at a 25-yard bullseye target and they kept their target. That afternoon, they were given two more magazines to shoot at a reversed target paper; bullseye was on the back side. They were told to hold center of mass (like they would shooting at a bad guy 'cause he won't have a bullseye on his clothes) with good sight picture and squeeze the trigger the same way as before. Then they brought their targets back scoring their back side where the bullseye and scoring rings were. Every one of them shot 15 to 30 percent better scores. They shot on reversed targets on their qualification day, too. 98% qualified expert, the rest sharpshooter on the standard Navy Qualification Course.
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Old June 6, 2014, 04:47 PM   #45
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One thing Pathdoc touched on earlier needs to be emphasized, and that's the difference between precision and accuracy. Group size is precision. Centering the group over your intended point of impact is accuracy. Usually we want both; the group both small and centered where we want it. Precision is adjusted by gun tweaks, ammo tweaks, and shooter hold and trigger techniques. Accuracy is adjusted with sight settings.

The Above say's a lot. I see lots of people posting targets with good groups,but 3 inches high and 4 inches to the left or right.
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Old June 6, 2014, 05:20 PM   #46
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Bart,

Yep! When my dad was still OSU's pistol team's coach, he pulled the flipped target on people frequently. It seems the urge to ambush the ten ring by yanking on the trigger when sight alignment with the bullseye is momentarily perfect, is a universally tough thing to convince yourself won't work. Take the bullseye away and you not only take away the ten ring to ambush, but you also take away the temptation to shift focus off the front sight and part way to the bullseye.

I heard an explanation of why you can't simply get a good, but displaced, group by trying to ambush the ten ring. It was on another of the Wormhole shows, called, I think, "Is there any such thing as luck?" A professor showed that because polypeptides in water in the nerves are subject to quantum randomness in their behavior, your reflexes have different speeds from one yank on the trigger to the next to the next. He used trying to control tossing a coin to land always the same way up, as an example. Even if you start with the same coin side up and try to control its vertical velocity and rate of spin by making the same motion every time, because of the nerve speed randomness, you don't. He was able to calculate that, due to nerve control randomness, it fell with just about the same 50:50 chance of heads or tails coming up as when you aren't trying to control it.


4 runnerman,

You do see that. Sometimes it's on purpose. Using a 6 o'clock hold to hit the center of the bull is the most common example. Benchresters don't like their holes changing the appearance of their aiming point. That's why they have those targets with both a circle and a square. But probably most folks just haven't dialed the sight in correctly. It's very easy to screw that up by "chasing the spotter" and getting into an adjustment oscillation.
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Old June 6, 2014, 07:24 PM   #47
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Chasing the spotter.. . . . . .

When coaching a team match some years ago on the 600-yard line, a young man was doing pretty good shooting a lot of 10's some X's and an occasional 9. Then on his 11th or 12th shot he called it good but the target came up with the spotter way out in the 8-ring at 2-o'clock. His resonse to that while he was reloading was: "I should make a sight change, right?" My reply was: "Well, your last several shots have been pretty close to call as well as pretty well centered. I think that last shot was a SWAD." With a dumbfounded look on his face, he asked: "What's a SWAD?" My reply: "It's something we all do. Abbreviated S-W-A D. An acronym. I don't think you need to make any sight changes. Come a half left for the wind change that just happened and shoot the next shot."

Closed the bolt on his Garand, went back into position and fired the next shot. "Deep 10 at 9!" was his call coming out of recoil. I'd watched the trace of that shot go into the target close to where he called it. When the target came up with the spotter out at 9-o'clock just off the X-ring maybe half an inch, he turned his head back to look at me as I commented: "That was a very deep 10 at 9. You gotta start calling your shots a lot better." . . .as I winked at him. He winked back, reloaded shot his next shot and called it "Down the middle." The target came up with a dead center X as the 3" spotter appeared perfectly centered in the X-ring. The rest of his shots were 10's and X's plus one deep 9; all well centered on the bull.

After that string of fire was over, he said that's when he really learned to center the group, not each shot.
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Old June 6, 2014, 08:59 PM   #48
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Unclenick- not sure what you mean?. I do that during load work only, Once I have my load I zero on bullseye and that's were they go. IMHO 5 or 10 shots in a group left,righ,high,low is 5 or 10 misses, other than during load work,when you are going just for groups anyhow
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Old June 7, 2014, 12:53 AM   #49
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For accurate pistol shooting I have found it relatively easy to hold on center and gently squeeze off accurate shots. For rifle, shooting off hand, I have never been able to do hold steady. Even with good body alignment. I only found success (and fairly good success) with a controlled jerk. Where I start dropping the muzzle at the top of the bullseye and squeeze off when I get to the center. A rest or braced position is different but offhand I was never able to hold steady usually cleand 200 yard standing. And still do pretty well offhand though I am now usually just shooting at a plate.
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Old June 7, 2014, 06:43 AM   #50
Bart B.
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Quote:
but offhand I was never able to hold steady usually cleand 200 yard standing.
On the NRA SR target with a 7" ten ring?

That's amazing; good on you!!!!!
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