Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Magazine Articles > Ian's Corner - Discussion


Degrees Of Rifle Accuracy by Ian McMurchy

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 04-30-2008, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,153
Degrees Of Rifle Accuracy by Ian McMurchy

This is a thread for discussion of the article, Degrees Of Rifle Accuracy by Ian McMurchy. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.

Ian passed away just before Christmas, 2008. Read the tributes to this giant of a man HERE
What's In Len's Backpack?

See Len's take on his own 51 items.

Last edited by ADMIN; 01-21-2009 at 09:48 PM.
Reply With Quote

Unread 04-30-2008, 01:32 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,787

You have degrees of accuracy because you have no defined rules for groups or accuracy of measurements universally accepted across the board. Therefore accuracy is in the eyes of the beholder.

Some guys say that their gun will shoot .250. yes, one time out of 40, but the rest of the time it is at .750 or so. That is not a real .250 gun but that is the one pic that is always posted and quoted.

Now is that 3 shots, 5 shots, 10 shots or even 2 shots?

Is that measured with calipers or "eyeballed" or interpolated off "minute of bucket or minute of rock". We have all seen any of the above posted here and all over.

The short range BR guys have open challenges for "factory" rifles that their owners think that they are real .250 guns. Come shoot five .250 groups back to back in one of their matches and win some money. Guess what, no one has won any money yet on that bet.

The short range BR guys look at 5 groups of 5 shots and what is the agg.

The LR hunter and regular hunter tends to look at 3 shot groups and best ever shot. Seldom do we see the five shot group. The concern is here is first round hit.

So which is right or wrong. Once again, no universal answer.

You are correct the encores are amazing time after time too.

Reply With Quote
Unread 05-01-2008, 04:26 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,227
For LONG RANGE HUNTING the right answer is always -first cold barrel shot -hits it's mark. That's what accuracy really is, and if group shooting at all, the spread should be taken to center of bull.
This is also from field rest and conditions only. No BR, no bench, no martini(shaken, not stirred). And finally, it includes shooting as a 'system' including strategy, ranging, stalking(with all equipment), condition measurement, calculations, corrections, timing, and the sense to know all is right before commiting(with your one shot) to hit your mark.

BR shooting is about PRECISION, CONSISTENCY, SPIRIT OF COMPETITION, and not at all about ACCURACY. In fact, most winning groups in BR are quite larger in MOA to their actual mark, and many BR guns would fair poorly in cold barrel accuracy. The equipment isn't designed for accuracy, the loads are not developed cold, and competitors rely on sighters instead of ballistics. The challenges are different.

I wouldn't rule out factory guns and factory ammo for accuracy potential based on poor grouping.
Forget grouping, it matters not.
Testing them in grouping is of no value as you are testing them -out of their element.. Far away from their design..
Instead, develop a cold barrel load, and shooting system, which you can rely on to hit nearest your mark. Do this with each gun in your safe and I bet you'll be surprised by the new order they fall into w/resp to accuracy.

There was a gunrag test that raised a stink a few years back. Several factory rifles and a BR gun built by Speedy. All shooting factory ammo. Speedys gun lost to the lineup, and of course this irritated many. Didn't surprise me at all.
I engage in a local accuracy contest each year(for the past 2). 1 shot at 200yds, 1"bull, off a feed sack full of dirt on a weathered(and warped) picnic table. You make it, you go to the back of the line. You miss, you're out. 1 winner takes all. It usually starts with ~35-45 shooters who prep for this way ahead of time but only one shoots at a time.
It went 9 rounds the year I won with a 26wssm custom. But last year I was whipped unmercifully(and so was everyone else) by a brand new Savage with Hornady 22-250 ammo. That surprised me, and another who had pre-demonstrated that he could cut a ragged hole all day with his LV6ppc. But it shouldn't have surprised us. We weren't hitting the center, the temps changed, the bag was packing, and timing between shots was ever changing(from hours to minutes). I'm sure it sounds easy, but nobody has won it twice in a row. And group shooting does not prepare you for this. It takes alot more work.
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-01-2008, 08:12 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,088
Originally Posted by Mikecr View Post
For LONG RANGE HUNTING the right answer is always -first cold barrel shot -hits it's mark.

This begs the question: How many folks shooting at long range fire a spotter?
( I am assuming that you are far enough away so that the sound of the rifle shot will not spook the animal....> ?? )

Reply With Quote
Unread 05-01-2008, 10:14 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,089
For a hunter, in order to develop a load you must use some criteria to determine the precision of a load in striking the target in the same place repeatedly. A group that is two inches left and three inches down during load development does not bother me because I have knobs on my scopes. Shooting groups is how most of us do it. The 0.148 inch 3 shot group I shot last Sunday was fired over a 30 minute time frame. In other words each and every shot was cold bore. The way I shoot half MOA past 1K is the same - 10 -20 minutes between shots. I detest load development because it is a tedious business requiring nerve racking patience.

I beleive that Darryl Cassel and his shooting of spotters tries to hit at least 100 yards away from the elk. I have never found an elk dumb enough not to know it was shot at (brake or no brake) if you actually shoot at it. The last shot I took on an elk was about 1425 yards and the whole herd took off. I would love to find a dumb bull who would let me get a second shot. The same can be said for the antelope I have encountered. Even when you have a clean miss at 1400 yards and a braked rifle of small caliber they run like crazy. The last antelope I killed clearly knew I had shot at him but he didn't know where I was located because of the brake and actually ran from 1000 yards to about 800 yards.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club

Last edited by Buffalobob; 05-01-2008 at 03:24 PM. Reason: type in haste and repent at liesure- I said something too stupid to leave as it was
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2008, 11:10 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 190
Rifle Accuracy !

I like what you said about 1/2 " groups out of the box! I purchased a Tikka 7mm-08 for my girlfriend matte black finish put a Burris Fullfield 2 scope on it with the Tikka rings provided with the gun and have shot just about all the factory ammo available and can't even come close to the FACTORY GUARANTEE of 1" but now with handloads and some run of the mill Hornady 139grn. bullets and some 760 powder we can get .625 and less groups at 100 yards.
I don't know maybe like the Vanguard MOA. The Tikka was picked for handloads only !
Reply With Quote
Unread 05-02-2008, 12:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Youngsville, NC
Posts: 434
Degree of accuracy of a rifle..

A "good" factory rifle, with "good" ammunition, and "good" scope, rings and bases, with a "good" rest and finally and most importantly a "good" shooter should be able to get 1. moa accuracy from a factory rifle.

Trouble is today we are short of the "goods". Quality has gone south when price has gone north. Good shooters are far fewer than a few years ago.

I build custom rifles and last night I tore down a Remington 700 5R milspec from the custom shop. The owner had fired approximately 400 rounds through this rifle. The best group he had acheived was 1.5 moa at 100 yards. I found the upper lug was not engaging by over .020. At the owners request I am truing the action and rebarreling with a 26" Broughton 5C 1:10 barrel. When this project is finished I hope to have a sub .5 moa rifle.

Weather my customer can shoot is another story. That is why I will do some load development and shot his rifle before he picks it up.
A/k/a Nat Lambeth,
Custom Guns and Ammunition.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Degrees Of Rifle Accuracy by Ian McMurchy
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ian McMurchy Rifle Raffle winners, donors and prize breakdowns ss7mm Forum Announcements 0 06-16-2009 11:32 PM
We have 2 winners! - McMurchy Benefit Rifle Raffle Len Backus General Discussion 8 05-30-2009 01:56 AM
Ian McMurchy Memorial Benefit Rifle Raffle Is Under Way Len Backus Forum Announcements 7 03-11-2009 02:59 PM
10 degrees F changes accuracy of load??? cjk Reloading 7 07-09-2006 08:51 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:12 PM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC