This thread was not started by me, I am just a contributor to the topic.
My feelings of factory rifles and their accuracy and consistancy performance is pretty general. In generaly, they are neither of these things in a repeatable manner at least.
That said, I have witnessed sample rifles from each of the major rifle makers that if all factory rifles performed as they did, I would be out of work because they shot so well.
I still hold to the comment that I personally have NEVER seen a factory rifle, sporter, varmint or any other style that was a legit .1 rifle. Certainly not saying there are none out there because I am sure there are and we have been offered results that show this is possible but it is a rare thing.
I try to not get hung up on 100 yard paper groups to much. In fact, I often tell my customers the best way to burn out their barrel is trying to find that mythical magic combination of loading componants for a specific rifle. In most cases, this only leads to "the grass is always greener" attitude and before you know it your barrel is ready to be replaced.
For me personally and my recommendation to my customers. Look for a load that produced a low Extreme Spread which I like to see below 20 fps and if possible below 15 fps consistantly. Even more so important is a load that the rifle will put into a group that will get you what you need down range for the goals of the rifle.
I like to hold a load standard to 1/2 moa at 100 yards. If I get a load that will do that, I will get off 100 yards and jump right to 500 yards if this is a long range rifle. You learn MUCH more at 500 yards about your rifle and load then you ever will at 100 yards. In fact, I have seen many a 1/2 moa rifles at 100 yards fall apart at 500 yards group size.
On the other end of the spectrum. If your using very long, very high BC bullets driven to upper level velocities, if I see any group producing consistantly round or even triangle groups at 100 yards of 3/4 moa or smaller, I will again test them at 500 yards.
With this type of bullet, I have often found that your 100 yard MOA measurements are really not what the load will do at long range. For example. My lightweight 7mm AM was a 3/4 moa rifle at 100 yards and no better with the 200 gr ULD RBBT loaded to 3200 fps. I was not overly impressed when I started testing the rifle. Figured I went to small on barrel contour in attempts to keep rifle weight down. Still I tested at 500 yards just to see what it would do. First three shot group out of the rifle at 500 was a 2.3" ctc even triangle!!! Now this will not get anyone really excited but I was expecting at lest 4" groups. That was not the case at all. In fact when tested at 700 yards, the rifle still held 1/2 moa.
After checking this, I returned to 100 yards and shot three, three shot groups just to see what was happening at that range again. Same exact results as before, perhaps even slightly larger average then 3/4 moa.
So, my point is simply this, if your shooting a BR rifle at 100 and 200 yards, obviously tight little groups are your only goal.
If your setting up your long range rifle, find a good load that will get you at LEAST 3/4 moa and preferrably 1/2 moa groups or better but when you find a load that will do this with consistant velocities, get off the paper and get out to farther ranges to see what happens as again, you will learn MUCH more about your rifle, load and your shooting at 500 yards then you ever will at 100.
Then, after you find a good load, get off paper totally except to check zero when needed and spend your time shooting at variable range targets to practice your drop chart and doping skills. That will serve you much better then trying to discover that magical load that will get you into the .2 or .1s at 100 yards. Plus, your rifle will last you MUCH longer and will serve you many more hunting seasons that way.
Will some factory rifles do this, certainly they will, will they be consistant week after week or month after month or year after year, that is generally their weak link compared to a custom rifle.
Please also remember my comments are directed to those using chamberings that are not terribly barrel friendly but very high on performance. If your shooting a 308 Win, shoot as much as you want!!!
Allen Precision Shooting
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