View Full Version : How do you shoot your groups?

January 24, 2010, 10:04 PM
Do you let your barrel cool for a certain amount of time between shots or do them back to back?

Brian Pfleuger
January 24, 2010, 10:05 PM
I shoot them with bullets.;)

Just kidding.

I do both, with cooling time and without. If I'm looking for maximum mechanical accuracy then I allow time to cool. If I'm not then I just shoot whenever I feel like it.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
January 24, 2010, 10:33 PM
Personally, I shoot in groups.

I used to always shoot 5 shot groups, but at least with my hunting rifles and pricy premium bullets, have gone to three shot groups.

If the weather is cool enough, I can sometimes get by with doing 2 - 3shot groups back to back, but normally I allow a cool down period between groups.

I do not rush the groups, but probably shoot a 3 shot group within no more then a 5 minute period or less.

Then, as said, I do allow a cool down period, shooting another firearm or making a trip to the targets.

During hot weather, it is good to have a number of rifles or handguns with you during a range session, as barrels are not quick to cool sown in such conditions.

A friend used compressed air to speed up the cooling, but he was shooting close to his shop.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

January 24, 2010, 10:54 PM
This is a pretty open question. With my pencil barrel hunting rifles, I wait about five minutes or more between shots to make sure every shot is cold bore, to simulate the first (and hopefully only) shot in the field. With my bench rifles, I don't pay much attention to time between shots, as the barrel diameter is nearly the same at the muzzle as it is at the chamber and heats up much more slowly than my hunting rifles. I watch the wind instead of my watch. Sometimes I shoot all five rounds as fast as I can poke them into the chamber if the wind isn't going nuts.

January 25, 2010, 07:42 AM
It really depends on the rifle and the use to which it will be put.
Hunting rifles - as stated by another poster - try to simulate what it will do in the field.
Target rifles - try to mirror what it will do in a particular stage of a competition (these groups are not shot from a bench).
Testing ammo - I shoot five shot strings, about a minute a shot, and then stop and rack the gun for a few minutes.

January 25, 2010, 09:07 AM
When working up loads is what I was wondering about, I should have said that. Thanks for the replies!

January 25, 2010, 09:24 AM
When developing a round for my guns, I start with the cold bore shot. Then I look through the scope, or spotting scope to note the position of that round, and inspect the case. This is done only to observe the difference between my cold bore shot and the rest of my group. After that, I shoot the next four as soon as all the other factors are correct(ie. round chambered, sight picture, breath control, etc etc) I dont wait any longer than that for a cool down- After the five round group is shot, I walk to the target, evaluate, make adjustments, check brass, and shoot a second group of five in the same manner. Hopefully-If I've done my part- the two groups look similar!

January 25, 2010, 11:08 AM
If I'm looking for the rifle to be possibly stringing I'll shoot 10. If I'm working up a load I'll shoot several 5 shot groups with complete cooling in between. If I'm checking the POA on a rifle a 2 or 3 shot group is ok with me.

January 25, 2010, 11:40 AM
I simply don't have the patience to be a serious target shooter. I like working up loads though. Typically, I take 2 rifles along, sometimes even 3 rifles. I put 3 shots through each, not really rushing but not fiddling around either. Then I walk up to the targets and change them out, come back to the truck and write down the details on the targets and do it all again. When I come up with a couple 3 shot groups that looks promising, then I will shoot a 5 shot group with those loads (I typically load up 8 rounds for each different load), perhaps spending just slightly longer in between shots.

January 25, 2010, 06:33 PM
I generally shoot 3 shot groups. One right after the other as long as I keep it steady and well aimed (Not rapid fire). That's the accuracy I expect from my rifles :D Won't do if the first shot's dead on, then the 2nd is left, 3rd is farther left,etc.etc.

3 shot groups with expensive bullets, 5 shot groups with softpoints or handguns.

Sometimes I don't bother shooting a group. If the gun is a known grouper (1-1.5") and I want to check and make sure it's on, I fire one shot at a target. it's on. That's fine.

January 25, 2010, 06:53 PM
After the five round group is shot, I walk to the target, evaluate, make adjustments, check brass, and shoot a second group of five in the same manner. Hopefully-If I've done my part- the two groups look similar!

Yep, exactly the same way.

James R. Burke
January 25, 2010, 07:11 PM
I shoot five or seven shot groups leaving the barrel cool between. It does take awhile doing it this way. But if you leave it cool each time it cools faster than if you take a couple. I found shooting five or seven shot groups will get you zeroed faster, and most the time save you ammo if thats what your trying to do. You will know right were they are going, and also were the flyers are going. I found making a shot or two and adjusting pretty soon your out of ammo, and buying more, and then doing it again anyways. You could be adjusting on a flyer. I reload so that does help, and when your working up the load your making adjustments also. Most the time by the time I have the load worked up I am good and zeroed in. Then I like to go back and play around with it. Also keeping that bore clean is important.

January 25, 2010, 07:26 PM
12 dry-fires, shot, 12 dry-fires, shot,... Gives the hunting barrel time to cool and me time to warm.

January 26, 2010, 12:08 AM
Shoot a fouling shot then 3 shot groups letting the gun cool about 5 minutes between groups.

James R. Burke
January 27, 2010, 06:37 PM
I do the five minutes between shots, and do a five or seven shot group. Get you there fast and accurate, your not adjusting on flyer's.

Bart B.
January 27, 2010, 09:42 PM
I usually shoot 20-shot groups. 5-shot groups have only about 55% probability of being what all shots will group at. Averaging several few-shot groups gives a number representing what half the groups fired will probably be no larger than. But the other half of the groups will be larger; sometims much larger. Real accuracy one can count on is the size of the group all shots will go into.

And I fire each shot about 20 to 30 seconds apart. Never worry about barrel heat; it doesn't matter if the barrel's properly stress relieved and fit properly to the receiver. Thick or thin barrels, heat had better not change point of impact.

If impact changes as barrel gets hot, the barrel and/or its fit to the receiver is bad; very bad. But many factory rifles do this because the barrel's torqued in against a receiver whose face is oiut of square with the chamber axis and the hardest contact point on the receiver puts stress on the barrel at that oint.

With due respect to folks shooting skills, some folks stop being repeatable in holding their rifles the same way for each shot. Subsequent shots strike away from the group center because the rifle's being held differently both when fired and when the bullet's going down the barrel.`

January 27, 2010, 09:52 PM
For load develpoement groups I shoot so that each shot is at the same temperature. By that I mean on a hot day, i shoot slower, maybe 5 minutes between shots. On a cooler day, I'll wait 3 or 4 minutes.

For zeroing groups, I set a timer for 3 minutes between shots minimum. It is not as srtingent as the load developement technique, but zeroing is less demanding. When I am developing a load - by that I mean verifying the best amount of powder, or seating depth, or neck sized cases vs full length sized cases, I want to be SURE I'm geting the right representation of the load.
Once I have the load shooting the way I personally consider acceptable (basically 1 hole at 100 yards for a 5 shot group - that is my standard and it is acheivable for any rifle in good condition, with proper bullet weight and type, powder type, and seating depth) I move out to other ranges and shoot less scientifically - like I would in the field.

January 27, 2010, 10:36 PM
12 dry-fires, shot, 12 dry-fires, shot,... Gives the hunting barrel time to cool and me time to warm.

Excellent method! I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing.

January 27, 2010, 10:48 PM
I try to shoot succedding shots within a minute of prior shot. keeping the muzzle elevated and bolt open. If conditions are varying fast, then shoot as the condition are equal.

For highpower, @ 200yd standing & 600 prone, will load round into mag, after first shot and wait till target elevates with score note it then mount and fire, according to conditions.

when testing loads, do three shots with a minutes between. first off bench , then from prone with sling.

January 27, 2010, 10:58 PM
(how do you shoot your groups?) As tight as I can get them. :D:D I shoot open bolt let cool and shoot again. And repeat process.

January 28, 2010, 10:56 AM
I like to go to the range with a clean bbl, shoot my first shot, and take note of where #1 hits before letting bbl cool (about 90 seconds is all I do) for second shot. Then I let bbl cool (appx same time) between shots until I've fired 5 rounds. The reason I like to note where #1 went is because I consider it a fouling shot. I like to measure the total group including the "fouling" shot, and also without (if I measure without, I'll include a 6th shot, so as to still have a 5 shot group aside from my "fouling shot.") With some of my stuff, I find that after having run one through the tube, the remaining shots tend to stay closer together. If this is the case, I'll always have run one through by the time I start hunting with it (unless my "fouler" is within 1/2" of the rest of the group.)

I then like to run a BoreSnake through between groups. I also like to limit range sessions to only 3-4 groups for rifles. My thinking here is that I'll become more proficient by shooting 15-20 rounds over 5-7 sessions than I would shooting 100 rounds in one session.

James R. Burke
January 28, 2010, 06:09 PM
No doubt a 20 shot group would give you the best to make a zero with. The more the better. I still believe in letting it cool down between shots. Yes it can mess the group up by aiming alittle differt, or the way your holding the rifle, but that can happen just has easy after one shot. I clean barrel after a certain amount of shots, and do make a fouling shot. When I go deer hunting most the time I shoot quite a few thru it, and clean the bore, and oil good. Before season I go back out, and shoot five to ten thru it just to foul it out, and double check things. I then dont clean it till the end of season unless I get into alot so shooting, and if I do clean the bore again I make a few fouling shots again. But this is just me.

Ignition Override
January 28, 2010, 11:10 PM
It doesn't matter.
Am fortunate to have quick access to two different areas of a river (near bridges), and blast anything at the bottom of the opposite bank from
80'-150', :)or floating by it.

Savage .22, SKS, Mini 30, LE #4, #5, Yugo Mauser.