Originally Posted by DAVETOOLEY
Let's see the 60's; model 70's, one or two barrel makers, surplus 4831, "Match bullets" kind of a misnomer.
Dave, there appears to be a few things you need to be aware of.............
Winchester 70's with 30 caliber barrels have been shooting sub 1/2 MOA test groups at 600 yards and sub 3/4 MOA ones at 1000 yards since the late 1950's and early 1960's. They used IMR4064 in .308's and IMR4350 in Fred Huntington's .30-.338 Win. Mag. with Sierra's then new HPMK bullets that tested in the ones in Sierra's 100-yard test tunnel. Some of the test groups fired decades ago make current bench records look huge by comparison. Lapua bullets had one 10-shot 600-yard group in the American Rifleman in late 1971 pictured in their ad; it was 7/8 inch and just one of several in that range shot that day from a Hart barreled Winchester Model 70. Even well rebuilt 7.62 NATO M14NM's and M1's would shoot good lots of commercial match ammo inside 4 inches at 600 yards all day long back then.
When machine rests weren't available, top competitors would test their shoulder fired rifles prone resting the stock toe and fore end on sand bags. Rifles were held virtually wiggle-free; close to how free-recoiling benchrest ones were shot. Much better than even the best prone competitors could hold since the early 1900's. Top scoring ones would hold 5/8 to 3/4 MOA on paper then try to break their shots inside 3/8 or 1/2 MOA. As they have to go out of position to reload for long range matches, getting back into exactly the same position for each shot was and still is near impossible. Then add the inconsistant shoulder fired rifle holding and it's no wonder a 1/2 MOA (at worst) long range rifle shoots 1-1/2 MOA on paper for the most part. The 20-shot prone 600 and 1000 yard records on bullseye targets just fill the 1 MOA X ring.
Long range benchrest rifle 6- and 10-group aggregate records tell me things are no better these days; individual groups range from about 3/4 to 1/4 MOA. As far as I knoe, no single 5-shot record holder also holds a 6- or 10-group aggreate record; such is the odds of benchrest.
But give me a break; I'm a weirdo in high power rifle accuracy. To me, accuracy is what one can count on all the time; not that 1% of all groups fired that are at the tiniest dimesnion possible. Note that all benchrest few-shot record holders know that all their other groups are larger. They just don't tell us how much larger. There's just as many really tiny ones as there are really big ones.