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Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

 
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  #1  
Old 07-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Ever since I started shooting Ive had drilled into me that I want the smallest group possible. 3 shot, 5 shot, 10 shot whatever. People throwing out stats like 1/2 MOA, 1/3 MOA, I can cover X shots with X coin. For a hunting rifle why should I care where the 3,4,5.... shot goes. I only care about my first shot and maybe may second shot.
I'm as guilty of this as anyone else I have stacks of targets with center to center distances measured and documented. Then used this data to make my component choices powder, brass, primer ect.
I was looking at said stack of targets and started thinking how cool would it be to be able to lay a stack of the same targets on top of each other and see all my first shots line up and second shots line up. In other words a grouping of just cold bore shots and follow up second shots. Then that got me thinking that powder, bullet ect. that I thought Ill never use that again its junk or I just cant get that whatever to group in my gun. What if all the first shots were smack on top of each other and the second was a predicable upper right or whatever. Now the 3,4,5 shots could look like they came out of a 12ga and I wouldnt care.
Heres my thought I have a stack of 100 new targets. Shoot one recipe in say the upper left of three targets. A second recipe in the upper right and so on. All fouled cold bore shots with a semi-quick second shot. Then overlay the three targets and compare the first shots of each group. Keep in mind I am only talking about hunting not competition thats a whole other process. Thoughts???????
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:01 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisPA View Post
Here’s my thought I have a stack of 100 new targets. Shoot one recipe in say the upper left of three targets. A second recipe in the upper right and so on. All fouled cold bore shots with a semi-quick second shot. Then overlay the three targets and compare the first shots of each group.
Sounds like you have the luxury of shooting very close to home.

I like your basic idea of testing cold bore shots (only), but I have to drive 1 1/2 hours to get to where I shoot.

Another way of basically doing the same thing is a "dedicated" cold bore target. Put it up, with your other targets each time you go to the range, but only fire the very first shot at it. Then take it down and save it till your next range trip & do it all over again. After a couple of trips to the range, this will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from your rifle.

P.S. On my hunting rifles, while working up loads, I will shoot a series of two shot groups (rather than 1-2 five shot groups).
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:04 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

1 word answers your question. Confidence
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:36 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Thats why i take my dog with me to the range. Take today for instance, I'mm in the middle of working up a load for my 7mag using 168gr Matrix VLD. I shot all loads round robin. I would shoot one and go throw a ball for my dog for a while and then shoot another 5, 10, 15min later. Didn't worry about the time or what ever. I'll say this though it took the whole morning (5hrs) to go through 25rnds. The mutt thought it was neat s^%t too!
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Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

Joe
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:55 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Yes I do most of my load development at my home but I am also a member of a club that I can go to if I need to shoot longer distances. But Im also the guy that will show up with a hand full of rifles to shoot and a .22 to practice technique between loads with my center fire rifles. Im not debating that this would be a very time consuming type of load development because it would.
I am more so questioning the usefulness of shooting the 3,4,5 shots if I dont see how I would ever get myself in that type of hunting situation. How does shooting those additional shots add to my confidence? My confidence in taking game is going to be in my first cold bore shot and if need be what point of impact change there will be for a second shot.
If recipe A gets me a .5 5 shot group but my cold bore shoot can be anywhere in that .5. Or recipe B gets me a 1 group but my cold bore shot is consistently is that same spot. Why would I choose A over B for hunting?
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:40 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

I don't know what kind of hunting you do or have done but I can't count the bucks I've taken on the third or fourth shot. So it's really a plus to have the 4,5 shot sitting right next to the first cold bore shot. Having a good smith usually solves the problem and with the proper load the group is nice and tight even when fired consecutively as in a hunting situation.

When you jump the largest buck you have ever seen and he's bouncing down through the timber 200 yards below you and you have missed your first two shots because of brush you did not see or a bad angle you gonna let him go because your 3,4 and 5th shot are scattered like the shot out of a 12ga shotgun? I don't understand your thinking.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: Why should I care about groups for a hunting rifle????

Dennis I think the same way, follow up shots are needed because the 1st did not do it's intended job. Bad shot, bullet failure, ect. but I also agree that the 1st is the most important shot period. My personal opinion is that 99.999999% of the time that first shot is missed the fault lies with the nut pullin the trigger.

kcebcj I've let the buck and 2 bulls of a lifetime go because I didn't feel that I could make the shot for 3 different reasons, I did that because I learned that lesson the hard way, and all three where well in my theoretical range. To be fair though I do strive for a load that will put the first and subsequent shot in the same place.
__________________
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

Joe
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