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Old September 14, 2023, 06:05 PM   #1
stagpanther
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Dumb luck, bad technique or just a dream?

I live on an island in Downeast Maine and in 24 hours we're getting hit by hurricane Lee. An odd thing about big storms is that the day before is often dead calm and placid--so why not go out and try some long distance 22lr shooting?

My call was a good one--at the range it was in fact absolutely dead calm, not a whisper of wind in the air. Only time I've seen that this year. Set up at 358 yds at grabbed the Eley tenex. The first three shots grouped together at 1"--but I dropped the next two in the dirt in front of the target (the target was only about 5" above the ground. The shot below the group of 3 is from another group of shots--so it doesn't count.

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out--was it just plain stupid luck; or my technique just wasn't consistent enough; or maybe it's silly to even dream that a bitty group with 22lr at longer distance is possible at anything approaching consistency?



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Old September 14, 2023, 08:01 PM   #2
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Every shot counts. Generally when i have a group and then a poi shift, i lean towards something being loose. Id go through and torque your stock screws, then optic.
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Old September 15, 2023, 02:18 AM   #3
HiBC
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I'm as guilty as anyone for seeing significance in a three shot group.
After Unclenick wrote some on the topic, it takes more like 20 rounds to jump to a valid conclusion.

The way I look at it, however, I usually shoot centerfire and I don't want to use up a barrel shooting 20 shot bench groups. Its maybe not the best way to enjoy Eley 10X either.
I'd say "Great observation" to see an impending hurricane as a calm wind opportunity, and then great initiative to take advantage of it!

And darn good shooting to put 3 in an inch at 358 yds.

I'll take it at that,rather than overthinking the fun out of it.

Maybe it was the barometer!

I have had "stacked up stuff" for a front rest induce frustration before.

Last edited by HiBC; September 15, 2023 at 02:24 AM.
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Old September 15, 2023, 05:45 AM   #4
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Good result, especially from a cobbed up set up on the hood of a vehicle.
Any movement of the rifle, especially forward so your eye relief changed by less than 1/4 inch, would cause the drops.
At 50 yards, it might be 0.5 inches, at 358 yards it would be more than 7 times that.
At that distance it is easy to drop a lot.

Another thing that could contribute is variation in the powder primer burn.
You see that in 22LR ammo, even Tenex, especially at 100 yards. So shooting 3.5X that would make variations look even worse.
I was shooting an Anschutz the other day at 50 yards, and put 3 rounds into the same hole, then one dropped about 3/4 of an inch and it sounded strange when it fired. I fired two more and they were back touching the original three. I think it was a rare ammo problem, probably a 'light' spot in the rimfire primer.
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Old September 15, 2023, 06:11 AM   #5
stagpanther
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Quote:
Another thing that could contribute is variation in the powder primer burn.
You see that in 22LR ammo, even Tenex, especially at 100 yards. So shooting 3.5X that would make variations look even worse.
I was shooting an Anschutz the other day at 50 yards, and put 3 rounds into the same hole, then one dropped about 3/4 of an inch and it sounded strange when it fired. I fired two more and they were back touching the original three. I think it was a rare ammo problem, probably a 'light' spot in the rimfire primer.
Thanks guys.

I probably did move the rifle/eye position considering the improvised rest on the sloping hood of my Pontiac Vibe. I shoot almost exclusively tenex and RWS R-100 through my rifle--an expensive habit as you might imagine. But the consistency of the manufactured ammo is one of the biggest factors in longer range accuracy I've found, for a while I tried loading my own but gave up once I realized there was no way I could equal the manufacturer's precision of accuracy needed in components with a home-loading operation--even when using some of the best equipment available; which I have. I've shot a few 22lr 5 shot sub-MOA groups at 200 to 235 yards but wind, even very light winds, is always a major factor. The reason I ask "is it a dream" is my intuition tells me that when conditions are just right and the shooter is perfectly on--it should be possible to shoot very small groups with 22lr at long range--or maybe not?

When I was loading my 22lr ammo myself I noticed that there was a surprising amount of variation in rim and case thickness--maybe only in terms of a few 10,000 ths--but IMO that was enough to cause variation in the firing pin strike on the rim--or more accurately the outside circumference of the rim since that's where the hit is made.
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Old September 15, 2023, 08:50 AM   #6
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Hope you and yours make it ok through the storm, it looks like a bad one.
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Old September 15, 2023, 09:36 AM   #7
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Hope you and yours make it ok through the storm, it looks like a bad one.
Appreciate that--thanks. The temperature has dropped significantly since last night--so that will likely put a big damper on the storm. Biggest threat is from trees coming down--it's rained most of the summer and the ground is already super-saturated and trees in the summer with leaves are like sails in the wind. Power, phone and internet service will almost certainly go down--but you guys will get a break from my posts.
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Old September 17, 2023, 07:26 PM   #8
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I usually shoot 4 shot groups and it almost never fails, I get the one flier. I would like to chalk it up to the barrel heating up on shot number 4, but that isn't usually the case. Like was stated, you really need a larger test set of maybe 20 shots to see if there is a trend.
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Old September 21, 2023, 08:58 AM   #9
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You don't really have anything other that an anomaly with 3 shots. I do 5 shot groups to start, but then, most of the time, I'll do 4 groups of 5 shots each before I call anything good. An exception is the .338-06 that walks the 4th and subsequent shots all over due to the thin barrel. I'll just shoot 5 3 shot groups with that one.

Gas guns, I'll just go ahead and shoot the whole 20 round group.
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Old September 21, 2023, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimfire5 View Post
Good result, especially from a cobbed up set up on the hood of a vehicle.
Any movement of the rifle, especially forward so your eye relief changed by less than 1/4 inch, would cause the drops.
At 50 yards, it might be 0.5 inches, at 358 yards it would be more than 7 times that.
At that distance it is easy to drop a lot.

Another thing that could contribute is variation in the powder primer burn.
You see that in 22LR ammo, even Tenex, especially at 100 yards. So shooting 3.5X that would make variations look even worse.
I was shooting an Anschutz the other day at 50 yards, and put 3 rounds into the same hole, then one dropped about 3/4 of an inch and it sounded strange when it fired. I fired two more and they were back touching the original three. I think it was a rare ammo problem, probably a 'light' spot in the rimfire primer.
Rifle forward movement, could you explain the mechanism? If the shooter's head moves back, does it cause the same? Thanks in advance. I'm also shooting 22lr sort of long range. Just not shorter at 150 to 200yd with slight small target.

Ammo variation is indeed more frequent than our center fired handloads. I tend to be more accommodating in calling fliers. But I have a rule, the call must be correct for me to ignore the shot. For example, the shot sounds different when I fire. I call flier low. I check target. It is indeed low. Flier to ignore. I don't look at a low hit and try to recall whether the shot sounded funny.

-TL

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Old September 25, 2023, 05:43 AM   #11
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Ammo variation is indeed more frequent than our center fired handloads. I tend to be more accommodating in calling fliers. But I have a rule, the call must be correct for me to ignore the shot. For example, the shot sounds different when I fire. I call flier low. I check target. It is indeed low. Flier to ignore. I don't look at a low hit and try to recall whether the shot sounded funny.
The average shooter will never know what variations there really are in manufactured 22lr ammo--which is why the "best of the best" will custom order by-the-lot sorted ammo from a manufacturer's representative. Minute variations that regular instrumentation aren't precise enough to capture are enough to throw the consistency significantly off--which is why I don't think it's realistic to make analogies about rimfire ammo based on centerfire results.
Quote:
You don't really have anything other that an anomaly with 3 shots.
True--except the many other groups I've shot at the same or similar distances. So many variables go into consistency and 22lr is one of the best to "react" to the slightest variations; especially as the distances get long. It's the only cartridge that is routinely shot subsonic at long ranges in precision shooting as far as I know.
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Old September 25, 2023, 10:40 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StagPanther
Set up at 358 yds at grabbed the Eley tenex. The first three shots grouped together at 1"
Dumb luck.
Groups of that size are not consistently possible with a 22LR at that distance.
Any 22LR, with any ammo, and any shooter. Can't be done.


Shoot about 100 shots out there. Don't even bother trying hard, just sort of line up the sights and shoot, and then go down and see how many "three shot" "groups" you have that small.
There will be quite a few, I imagine.
They don't even have to be consecutive shots because randomness would have eventually created the same group on 3 shots that were consecutive, anyway.
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Old September 25, 2023, 11:39 AM   #13
stagpanther
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Quote:
Dumb luck.
Groups of that size are not consistently possible with a 22LR at that distance.
Any 22LR, with any ammo, and any shooter. Can't be done.


Shoot about 100 shots out there. Don't even bother trying hard, just sort of line up the sights and shoot, and then go down and see how many "three shot" "groups" you have that small.
There will be quite a few, I imagine.
They don't even have to be consecutive shots because randomness would have eventually created the same group on 3 shots that were consecutive, anyway.
100 shots would be close to $100--boy you're a Debbie Downer. But I get your statistical point of view.
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