ARE BIGGER CALS LESS ACCURATE ? " This should be interesting !"

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Down Under Hunter, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Down Under Hunter

    Down Under Hunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    912
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    I thought thihs topic might raise a little interest with a few of you !

    I have been doing some research on some larger factory chamberings. 408 CT, 416 BARRETT and 50 BMG and one thing I am noticing is that there seems to be an opinion among many that these cals loose accuracy to gain extended range capabilty ?

    Many of them quote guaranteed accuracy of only 1 moa, with Mcmillan Bros being the best I have seen saying the TAC 50 will shoot .5 at 100 yards.

    From my ltd experience with the 338 cals, I would not raise an eyebrow about a great shooting rifle unless it was .5 moa or better at 1000 yards. Maybe I am just spoilt ? But when your shelling out huge somes of money for these so called BIG NAME BRANDS you want the accuracy. I'm personally not interetsed in sacrificing freaky good accuracy to extend the range potential.

    Are the larger cals as capable of great accuracy ? I know the AM and Snipe TAC will do it, but I have not seen much else.

    Is the bigger round harder to get shooting tight ?

    Barrett and Mcmillan are huge dollars for what I think is so so ran accuracy guarantees

    This should be interesting !

    Lets get it on !!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Messages:
    3,029
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007

    If this theory is true, does that mean that a .243 is inherently more accurate than a .338rum? I think that if this theory about the very large calibers seems to hold up, it must have something to do with the build of the rifles, and the bullets being used. JMHO:)

    Steve
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,307
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    I will jump in and share my experience with this subject.

    I strongly believe that proper gunsmithing is the key to accuracy in any calibre.

    If you biuld a big bore rifle with a lightweight taper barrel harmonics will probably
    prevent it from shooting very well, but placed on a heavy barrel they will shoot
    with any light calibre.

    Obviously bench rest shooters don't shoot bigbores because of recoil.

    Assuming you could shoot in a vacuum and the quality of all of the components in the
    shooting system were best ( barrel,action,gunsmithing,brass,load quality and shooter
    skill ) they should shoot as well as small bores.

    The reason for going larger for long range is Larger bullets with high Blistic coefficients
    are less affected buy external forces (Wind ,humidity,gravity,ETC ).

    Heavy bullets tend to have better SD's than light bullets, where as it is tuff to get a light
    bullet below a SD of 10.

    Also on long range shooting shooter error is magnified .

    So I will say there is no reason that a bigbore should shoot any worse than a small bore.

    In fact the best group I have ever shot was a .031 and it was with a 400gr 416 bullet
    in a heavy ( #8 tapered barrel ) custom rifle.

    The new army tanks can hit at 4000 yrds and they are realy big bores.

    NEXT !!!!!
    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    These are only opinions here.

    1: I believe that accuracy and inherent accuracy are 2 completely different things. For instance, a good smith might build a 30-06 with absolute precision and it might be a very accurate rifle. But the reason you seem ore 6mmPPC's at the BR matches and never a 30-06 is because of the fact that 6mmPPC's are "inherently" more accurate.

    2: I also believe that accuracy has nothing to do with case size IN AND OF ITSELF. Please note, a 308 bullet on a 308 case is a very balanced load. A 50 caliber bullet on a 50 BMG case is also a very balanced load. Now neck the 50 BMG down to 308. Now we have a load way out of balance. Where do we draw the line? That is anybodies opinion. We build 300 RUMs and 30-378 Wby mags ect...IMHO these are not very well balanced loads BUT with top quality components put together with precise tolerances by smiths who know what they are doing, well you can still have an accurate rifle.

    Accuracy is a VERY subjective term here.
     
  5. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

    Messages:
    633
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    It's always been my belief that large calibers are less inherently accurate because of the increased mass of the 'moving parts', and the disturbance this causes to the shooting platform. If you are to get a large caliber rifle to shoot well, it had better be heavy.
    -Bryan
     
  6. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    669
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    I agree with Bryan but will add that a heavy recoiling rifle may be considered a POS that couldnt hit the side of a barn in one shooters hands but could be sub MOA in anothers.
     
  7. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    There is alot of truth to that statment. Heavy recoiling rifle's like to be "held" a certain way.

    This is why "heavier" rifles in large calibers that generate lots of recoil typically shoot much better. They are more forgiving if you dont hold them just right because they dont bounce around so violently. Also because they dont intimidate the shooter near as much either and the shooter is less apt to punch the trigger and flinch.
     
  8. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    810
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    I deal predominatly in the larger cases and big bores. Ive shot pretty much the same group sizes with 6mm PPC VS a 338 Snipetac. In the hands of a good shooter there will not be much difference. Like others has stated, the recoil is what has a lot to do with the accuracy. Big bore rifles need a heavier contour if your running a heavy bullet with heated loads, run the loads slower and you can get by with a lighter contour.

    On a given day my rifles will shoot under .5moa at 1000yds, but no one to my knowlege is going to give anyone that guarentee, there is just to many variables. I do give a .5 at 100yds, but that is pretty much a moot point, so what, big deal. 100yds is not going to give you much idea on how the gun shoots, especially with the HIgh BC bullets, most of them dont stabilize at close ranges, they are made for long range shooting. Hence, BR bullets for 100-200yd shooting are usally shorter in stature, they have to stabilize quick for extreme up close accuracy. The 408cheytac was not even made for 1000yd shooting, it was made for 1200 and out, the long pointed bullet it uses is more stable at longer distances. I have build lots of them and all pretty much have done the same thing using the cheytac bullets, 100yds 3/4" to 1" groups, move out to 1000yds and the groups are in the 6" range, so bullets are the factor here. I tested the Montana bullets last month in a customer rifle, same gun that shot 3/4" with the cheytac bullet, shot .102 with the Jacketed montana, it was hard to measure three shots in one large hole. You have to remember that companies have a hard time giving guarentees when factory ammo is being used. What is remington's? Winchesters? WBY?

    Its hard to compare apples to oranges, small calibers vs large calibers. Each has their own nich.

    There is a reason the longrange BR society dont allow any rifle chambered above 40cal for matches, wind drift, a real gusty day a 416 with a high BC bullet would have a greater chance walk away with the match. They did allow the 408cheytac in as it is still a 40 caliber. But there was at that time no real good bullets for that type of shooting. Now with the Montana jacketed HPBT i think you might start to see some interest in the rifle. Other issues with these large rifles is cost of materials and lack there of for the BR game. you have to have a good supply of components or no one is going to build a rifle around one bullet. For hunting and sniping that is a differnt story. The 408 was designed for Military use on man sized targets.

    There are days in 1000yd BR matches where not one target is under 5" due to conditions, and these are the best shooters with the best equipment. throw in some heavy calibers and High BC bullets and i bet they would take the prizes.

    Just a lot of my .02
     
  9. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    391
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005

    Did you mean Rocky Mountain Bullets ? for the 408 Chey tac, I just got a bunch to test...what did you use for a load ?

    Thanks,
    John
     
  10. Black Diamond 408

    Black Diamond 408 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    810
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Yea, i gets confused with all the different names out there.
    126 RE 25
     
  11. Marine sniper

    Marine sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    391
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Thanks,

    I have a Wind runner I am going to test them in.
     
  12. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Messages:
    4,803
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    In the LR BR game match grade bullets win, not calibers.

    in LR BR the reason people rarely use anything above 30 cal is due to one thing and one thing only, Quality match grade bullets. In the 338 you have the 300 gr SMK that requires extensive sorting and weighing but it is just not competitive still compared to the 30s. Your larger calibers normally have 1-3 bullets max that can be shot and then rarely match grade. That bullet restriction is often prohibitive from getting a winning LR BR combo developed. my 338 AI with SMKs would hang 10 shot groups in the .8 to .9 range normally, but that is not competitive for the Heavy gun class in LR BR as you need to be sub .5-.6 again and for 10 shots, not three or even five. That is however more than capable as a LR hunting gun. Steve Shelp and Dave Tooley probably have more experience running the larger calibers in the LR BR game than anyone and both will tell you it is the limited bullet selection.

    "Given Day" accuracy of .5 MOA for what I am betting is only 3 shot groups is not remotely competitive in the LR BR game. You have guys agging for 10 consequetive matches in the .6 range over a year, in all type conditions good and bad. Sure you have some days that not everyone can hold that small a group, but day in day out they will normally do it as the annual 6 and 10 match aggs are in the 6 inch range.

    To win a match you have to be five shots (not 3) in the .3 to .4 range for Light gun (17 lbs and under) normally. As for a realistic apples to apples comparision for three shot groups, it is quite routine to see three shot groups sub .2 at 1000 with LR BR guns.

    Plus, the reason that the LR BR matches restrict calibers larger than 40 cals has absolutley zero to do with the "supposed inherent" accuracy. It is all about the surface danger zone difference normally. You end up having to use a 50 cal surface danger zone versus a 30 cal which is a lot longer and wider and most ranges cannot get that distance.

    As for the comparison of the 6mmPPC and larger calibers shooting the same, any competitive 6mm PPC will put five consequetive five shot groups agging in the .1 range. I doubt very seriously that there is a 338 and larger that can or even has done that once, much less routinely even if superman was the shooter . IT IS THE BULLETS!

    Our current crop of bullets for 338s and larger just are not competitive. I am anxiously waiting the new 338 Berger and Hornady to try again.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  13. hammertyme

    hammertyme Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    357
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    I personally find that I spent nearly a lifetime competing with anything that would shoot. The builder and the quality of the barrel used and how you want your weapon setup determines accuracy.
    There is a custom gun builder in Idaho that gives a written guarantee of .003 accuracy if he sets the rig up regardless of caliber.

    Living here on Kodiak Island I have reason to shoot very large calibers. I do not own even one gun that shoots over .500 with the .416 Remington shooting that. My 358 STA shoots all 225gr bullets from day one into tight little groups with the Accubond being my first choice. The quality of the work and materials determine consistancy and how much work is needed to find a load that shoots well.

    As Dave indicated. Gurantees can be made but they are based upon the builder shooting the rifle as one can not guarantee just anyone that has money and wants a custom 338 Allen Magnum having the capabilities and hasn't shot anything but an o6.
    Just another opinion

    Neal
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  14. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    870
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    "gives a written guarantee of .003 accuracy if he sets the rig up regardless of caliber"

    Please post the name and contact information.