Originally Posted by Goofycat
Bart, I'm 74 and still feel I know nothing about the ins and outs of reloading. I feel honored to fantasize about just hanging around at a range where guys like you shoot...and do nothing but ask questions, hoping I wouldn't get kicked out for being a pest. While you folks are shooting in the 1s, 2s and 3s, I'm happy to shoot anywhere from the 5s to MOA.
Thanks for your comments. But us high power competitors don't shoot in the 1's, 2's and 3's during matches. We need rifles that'll shoot that well but there's no way we (nor anybody else) can shoot under the 3's hand holding a rifle against our shoulder with no support except our elbows on the ground while in prone.
Consider the following about the accuracy we shoot in matches with rifle and ammo that when fired from a machine rest will indeed shoot in the 3's or better at 200 yards, 5's or better at 600 and 7's or better at 1000. First off, we don't hold perfectly still. Chatting with other top long range shooters about the area their sights move about the target, they'll hold about 1/2 to 3/4ths MOA; in calm winds. They try to break shots inside 1/2 MOA about the target center. Then there's the non-repeatability of their position. Reloading after each shot means every part of your body has to go back into the exact same position for each shot. Otherwise, the recoil while the bullet's going down the barrel will move the bore axis around differently. Each shot leaves at a slightly different place 'cause we ain't perfect in positioning ourselves. And this adds 1/8 to 3/8 MOA to your holding area. Along comes the wind that we try to judge how much to correct for, make the correction on the sights then get back into position to shoot again. Even the best wind dopers ain't perfect so this adds another 1/4 to 1/2 MOA to the group on paper.
Totalling all this stuff up means that whatever the rifle and its ammo alone performs at long range, the shooter and the elements add another MOA or more to the group. So the best of us end up shooting about 1.6 MOA on paper at long range on a good day which will win most of the matches. When all goes perfect, we'll end up with all shots inside 1 MOA on paper and set a record putting all 19 shots in the 6 inch X ring at 600 yards. Or 19 shots in the 10 inch X ring at 1000. 1 shot barely leaked out in each discipline.
And from sitting and standing positions, it gets worse. In standing, the best of 'em hold about 3 to 4 MOA and 2 to 3 MOA in sitting.