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Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

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Unread 08-09-2012, 10:43 AM
GCG GCG is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Anchorage, AK
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Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

I am fairly new to reloading so I went out tonight with two loads to compare. Started with load # 1( Retumbo ) with 4 shots @ 100yds. This was the slower of the two by 100fps but put two in the same hole & the other two within an inch.
The next load using RL25 was a little bigger grouping but still good. So then I moved to 200 yds. The groups then considerably opened up and the faster of the two loads had a flyer that was a good 4" off. So being dissapointed I moved back to 100 & the groups tighened up again. So my question is is possible that it is the loads, or is it shooter error & my ability not to concentrate much. For all the shots I was shooting off a bench with just a bag under the forearm. Also the barell got a little hot so when shooting the last groupings @ 100 I made sure to allow time for cooling off between shots.
Thoughts ?
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Unread 08-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: West Central Idaho
Posts: 1,219
Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

Well lots of variables to deal with. Have you shot a rifle with a load known to be very accurate (1/2" @ 100 yards) and were you able to hold consistent groups with it at a 100 yards and farther out? Is the rifle your shooting accurate? If the answer is yes then it's your load.

You need to have your skills and the rifles accuracy known before you can judge a reloads accuracy. Also remember we all have good and bad days so make sure you shoot the load enough to judge the load accuratly.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. Sir Winston Churchill.

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Unread 08-09-2012, 07:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
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Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

What Jim said.

Plus, the number of shots mentioned isn't sufficient to make meaningful decisions.

Give it another go and we'll go from there.

Good luck and good shooting.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Unread 08-09-2012, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 980
Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

The fact that you are asking these questions means you are fairly new to precision shooting. That is not a put down of any kind , just an observation.
So I can pretty much guarantee that your shooting technique will get better with time and practise and the groups will shrink some more .
Most any ammunition and gun combination can shoot better than most new shooters but in time that changes and you start getting better than the gun and ammo and then you start looking to improve things. You are already on that road by reloading and testing those loads .
At some point you also have to start considering wind and it's effect on your groups.
Your shooting technique is very important to get consistent accuracy and you have to do every thing possible to do it right and exactly the same each time including setting up the gun before you shoot or how you hold the gun.
The best thing is find an experienced shooter at the range that actually likes helping people and get him to watch you shoot and assist you to make those small corrections to your style . Even world champions need to go back and readjust their styles from time to time as bad habits kind of creep in after a while.
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Unread 08-12-2012, 06:27 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise IDAHO
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Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

Both load and shooter have to deliver the A game to be effective at distance. Especially for load development: try to isolate these two equally important issues. Load development is not target practice as you have not found the weapons capability yet, you can't test yours with it. If you brace the rifle front and rear and get it as supported as possible, then shoot slow and methodical letting the barrel cool to minimize everything except the rifle and ammo. Once that produces satisfactory groups, then start testing the shooter. If you try to test both at once you will never determine which one is lacking. Shooting in the dark.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 09:18 AM
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Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

what rifle ? scope?
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Unread 08-13-2012, 10:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Gillette, Wy
Posts: 272
Re: Accuracy, the load or the shooter?

1 load a piece for different powders? I'm assuming your using the same bullet. I myself would have at least 5 different charges of the same powder before moving to a different one. You should be able to see the pattern between the groups. The closer you get to the sweet spot the groups will tighten up, start going over and they will start opening back up.

2 in the same hole then 2 some where else on the first group. My guess is not enough cool time between shots. Load testing is time consuming. Take something else with you to occupy your time while waiting for barrel to cool. I take a .22 or pistols or both.

You said you bagged the the front, bag the rear as well.
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