Groups size ? Is it over rated ?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Iron Worker, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Iron Worker

    Iron Worker Well-Known Member

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    Were all trying to get consistent 1/2 or less MOA at 100 yds. Thinking that will mean 1"MOA at 200yds. My AR-15 RRAs coyote on a good day gets 1"MOA at 100. But any day I can shoot water filled 16OZ Rock Star cans up 400 yds. ( With a perfect rest) Point is I don't think we need to sweat it if we can't get a 1/2 MOA at 100 .
     
  2. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    1/2 MOA at 800 yards is around 4 inches. That means if everything I do is correct (all the variables including weather, how I read that weather, loading, listed BC, my math, my ballistic program, fevering, my rest, scope zeroing) I could miss by 4" (2" if my scope is perfect zeroed for my goup i suppose). 4" can be a complete miss on a Coues deer. I don't always get everything 100% right. I'm hunting, not shooting of a bench with flags telling me what the wind is doing. I like high BC bullets and super accurate, consistent loads. I want to minimize the amount of error in every shot. Most guys on here take pride in their ability in being able to make that 1st shot count. I know I would be somewhat let down If I make a marginal or poor shot on an animal. A lot of guys here are perfectionists. They see no reason to shoot anything less than their best. I'm in the same boat, I see no reason to settle. I'll try to get the best I can out of what I have.
     

  3. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on your quarry and your max range. For whitetail, mule deer, antelope, coyote, out past 600 yards I think .5 moa or better adds insurance for making a clean kill particularly if wind or mirage plays into the shot. I also think that working with rifles that shoot at .25-.5 MOA helps to keep your shooting skills honed in. It's one thing to have a rifle that shoots that accurately, it's another to actually use it in a hunting environment where conditions are not optimum.
     
  4. bkondeff

    bkondeff Well-Known Member

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    I will say that I believe quoted group size is likely very overrated. I don't doubt many quotes are true, occasionally or once, but rarely a true average and definetely not worst case. Too many guys quote their off the shelf guns always shoot under .25 out to X hundreds of yards, which is not likely the case with most $4000 custom guns. To think otherwise would fly in the face of some of the better smiths and would mean the 1/2" guarantee's they give are not that valuable.

    Of course us boys are always interested in size!!!!
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Groups have always been controversial and opinions range from not nessary to never good enough.

    The main reason some place so much emphasis on group size, it tells them what the rifle is capable
    of under perfict conditions and if no mistakes are made by the shooter. It does not however
    guarantee perfict hits every time.

    A rifle that is capable of 1/4 MOA eliminates any excuses that I may have for less than a perfict
    shot placement And places all of the burden on me to perform at a higher level.

    Also a good group does not mean that you your rifle and ammo can duplicate that "Best Group"
    but it does mean that the rifle is capable of it from time to time with every thing correct and
    the shooter at the top of his game.

    For the long range hunter/shooter it proves consistency and gives him confidence to take an otherwise
    impossible shot.

    Is group size for every one? Probably not. but for some that never stop trying to improve, it
    is a benchmark that every thing related to accuracy and consistency is based on.

    Is it nessary for everyone? No. Especially if they don't shoot beyond there rifles ability or there
    own skill level.

    Just my opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    Couldnt agree more. You hear people say "I cant shoot paper but I have no problem on game" well thats because any hit on the rib cage or shoulder is in their mind dead on. They dont like shooting paper because there is no longer a "right in there" effect. You can see exactly where the hits are going... at 400 yards I can shoot a pop can and feel pretty good about myself, however if I am shooting a pop can sized group on paper at 400 I feel like crap. so I like many thers strive for the tiniest most consistent groups possible, because I know if I can hold a 1 1/2" group at 400 there is no excuse to miss that coyote or deer or whatever. My mother has a model 7 in 243 that thing shoots terrible on paper (3 inches) but when hunting out to 300 or so yards its like she cant miss. she has no idea how that rifle shoots in reality but it is all relevant to the game and the shooter and that shooters standards.
     
  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I seriously doubt this. And I've yet to see this as prevalent at any forum..
    I doubt there are 100 shooters here who have tested and come to recognize their true cold bore accuracy potential. Fewer who have cold bore load developed.

    Accuracy is defined with one shot, center of mark to center of impact.
    So yeah, a 1moa grouping gun can be accurate despite. In fact, it can be incredibly accurate -for one shot.
    With this, it's just a matter of how consistently the shooter/gun combo is accurate -for one shot.
    And the next, and the next.
     
  8. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying that most guys are the Bob Lee Swagger types who can make a 2000meter shot cold bore all day every day. I know there are much, much better shooters and wind readers than me on this site. I take pride in being able to put my bullet where I want it to go at the ranges I feel comfortable with consistently. I do not own a rifle capable of nor shoot good enough to tell you exactly where my 2nd shot will hit based solely on where my 1st shot hit.




    If I have a rifle that starts to string when it gets hot, I sight it in for 1st shot, POI (my 223WWSM strings towards 2:30 pretty bad when it is hot). It takes me a few trips, but that's how I do it.

    If I have to shoot half a box of shells at animal to make a hit, I'm wasting a LOT of my time. If I wasn't confident, all the time and effort I put into loading, shooting, practicing, learning how to read wind and correct for it, and learning internal and external ballistics is a waste. I try and get the best groups possible so that my mistakes in reading conditions will be minimized. Sure, I could read the wind wrong and my 2MOA rifle could luckily shoot to compensate for my mistake in the read. But it is just as probable that that 2MOA accuracy could not go in my favor, and I could miss badly.

    Look at it as an expiriment. You should only change one variable at a time. If I have a 2MOA rifle, I'm changing all kinds of variables. If the shooter knows their rifle, loads, drops, and wind calcs are precise, the only variables are the shooter and their ability to read conditions. Are 1/2MOA rifles necessary to consistently take game? Not at all. I can only get better at reading conditions when I know there are no other variables at work. I've made some lucky shots before with rifles I would not shoot today because they won't group. I've also had bad luck when I did my best and made good hits. My biggest short coming is able to read the wind correctly. If I know my gun is consistently precise enough to achieve 1/2MOA, I can tell when I have made a poor judgement and correction. If my rifle is only capable of 2MOA I could seem way off or incredibly spot on. I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, unless I knew my rifle was not the cause of the error.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    It's relative to atleast a few things;
    #1 it has to be understood as cold bore ACCURACY capability(in the field), and not hot grouping(off a benchrest).
    #2 is X-Distance to Y-killzone to Z-Accuracy
    #3 is your plan

    I guess I'm one who does consider grouping as more or less irrelevent to hunting.
    If you're sure you'll be taking more than one shot on a mark, well, consider that grouping not fixing your first shots, isn't fixing second shots either.
    Long range hunting is not a crapshoot with a boomstick. It's preparation, strategy, and dicipline.
    Well,, it should be.
     
  10. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. I want to know if a made/missed shot is due to equipment or my ability to correct. I definitely do not want it to be a crapshoot and hope it is "good enough". I suppose I like to see my rifle's ability to be accurate so I can become more precise in my ability to make corrections for everything else.
     
  11. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Good groups translate to confidence in your rifle. But good groups mean different things to various folks. If my rifle won't consistently place 5 shots around half MOA and I miss, I would tend to blame the gun, not myself. Could be very wrong to do so, of course.
     
  12. IdahoJoe

    IdahoJoe Well-Known Member

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    This article may describe it best.

    Group Therapy - The Problem: How Accurate Is Your Rifle?


    what your looking for is the standard deviation of you bullet from the average point of impact. Group size is one way of estimating that.

    For big game I would say you want a cold barrel group. With your AR if used for ground squirrels etc. you might want a "normal group".
     
  13. loosesniper2000

    loosesniper2000 Well-Known Member

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    I agree to the above statement. I'll take it a step further and say that if you have a gun shooting 1/2 moa or less you have confidence. I can attest to this.When I competed in 1000yd benchrest in the I.B.S the mentality game played a huge role in winning a match or not. If I knew I had everything the way I wanted and the gun was shooting great I usually won my relays. If things were not together I might as well stayed home.
    I can't explain it outside the realm of confidence but like Gene said, if there's a miss you can learn a lot knowing it wasn't the gun. That way you could teach yourself how to read wind and calculate condition.
    So yes, good grouping is essential if you're going to shoot long distance.
    Dustin
     
  14. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I think group size is important as many have stated. Just my opinion, but the consistent group that you can achieve out of a cold barrel whether it's the shooters capability, or the rifle's should determine the maximum distance you should be shooting at game.