How accurate is accurate enough?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Johnny5, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Johnny5

    Johnny5 Member

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    I'm not sure if this is the proper category to post this in but I'm sure the mods will move it if it's not.

    My questions to all those who have significant experience is: how accurate (under ideal conditions and in the hands of a proficient marksman) should a rifle (338 calibre) be before you would stop screwing with it? 1 MOA, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4.....ect....?

    I am really interested in what someone could expect from a truly top notch 338 Lapua/Edge/ etc... So for those who have witnessed or shot precision 338's how accurate is kick ass accurate?

    -John
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Accuracy is an individual thing and each person has his/her maximum and minimum.

    Most people hope for 1/2 MOA at any distance and this is a very good accuracy to settle
    for, but the distance and the game one wants to shoot really dictates the minimum group
    size required.

    If your hunting 400 to 500yards 1 MOA will work. (500 yards 5" groups) but the further
    out you shoot the tighter the group should be. (1000 yards most would prefer 3/4 MOA
    or less for 7.5" groups.

    At 1500 yards a 1/2 moa rifle should produce around 7 or 8" groups under perfect conditions
    (Which is rare) so you can see that the accuracy requirement is determined by the distance.

    Like most on this site I never stop trying to improve accuracy in any weapon but I do limit
    the shots to the capabilities of the rifle and myself.

    Also just because a rifle will shoot 1/4 MOA at 100 or 200 yards doesn't mean it will at 800
    to 1000 yards . This can only be verified by shooting at these distances.

    And in answer your question about the 338s mentioned. A well built 338 with good loads
    and good optics in the hands of a competent marksman should be capable of sub 1/2 moa.

    Kick ass accuracy would in my opinion be 1/4 MOA or less.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Your target and range determine this

    Needed MOA = ((KillZone-BulletDia)/(Rng[yds]/100)) x .955

    So if your KillZone is 8", minus .338" = 7.662"
    If your range is 1000yds then 7.662" Divided by 1000/100 is .7662[IPHY], times 95.5% is .732MOA

    1/2MOA would be needed for that Kz to 1460yds

    Groundhogs provide considerably less Kz...
     
  4. hammertyme

    hammertyme Well-Known Member

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    How accurate is accurate enough_ if all bullets follow the first bullet into the same hole at 1 and 200 yards then I am satisfied. I currently have 4 handguns that if I do my job that day will shoot 2-3 inches at 500 yards.

    Example below:

    [​IMG]

    Neal
     
  5. Johnny5

    Johnny5 Member

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    Interesting responses. I'm trying to gauge whether I should stop having my 338 Lapua tinkered with or not. It's a Timberwolf action, sentinel stocked rifle wearing a krieger barrel. I am currently averaging around 1/3 MOA out to 500 meters. Normally I would be extremely pleased with this however I have been spoiled by my tuned up Remington 700/AICS in 300 win mag. With that rifle I average around 1/4 MOA out to the same distance.

    I know there's not alot of difference between 1/3 and 1/4 MOA however I think I might be a little OCD and am obsessed with wringing the last little bit of accuracy out of my rifles.

    I am wondering if my accuracy isn't being restricted by the loads I am shooting. I had the 338 throated so I could load 300 grain Sierra matchkings to the lands and still run them through the magazine. This winds up having the base of the bullet seated around even with the case body/shoulder junction and from what I understand this is not optimum for accuracy.

    I am hoping the berger 250's come out soon so I can give them a whirl and hopefully load them to a more sensible length.

    -John
     
  6. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on how anal you want to be. If you are satisfied with the groups then your good. Just remember, you can have a rifle that will put the bullet through the same hole, but if the shooter can't make the shot then the rifle won't. I've seen several people, granted it was with regular hunting rifles shooting under 200 yards that sold a rifle because they could only shoot it @ 1.5" @ 100 yd. The guy buying it using the same bullets took his time and shot a .75-1" group. So its not always the gun!
     
  7. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    Good replies.

    I'd like to bring up some additional considerations.

    The groups that the rifle/shooter are capable of is a relatively small part of the picture as far as LR hunting is concerned.

    I think there are a lot of rifles/shooters out there capable of shooting 10" to 15" groups at 1000 yards. However, I think there are very few rifles/shooters out there who can hit 10" to 15" targets at 1000 yards on the first shot.

    I think many shooters falsely believe that if their rifle shoots 10" groups, then they can hit 10" targets. It's not that easy. The important knowledge that's required to center shots on the aimpoint at long range is often overlooked. This important knowledge is of course related to ballistics.

    The topic is addressed in this article: Hitting Targets at Long Range

    It's important to tune your rifle to shoot the smallest groups possible, BUT that's only a prerequisite for hitting small targets at long range. When you consider the challenge of addressing all the ballistic effects, it puts the 1/3 MOA vs 1/2 MOA question into perspective. When 2 degrees of cant cause you to hit over 10" wide of your aimpoint at 1000 yards, it doesn't matter if your rifle shoots 1" groups at that range, you still miss.

    This is pretty common sense stuff that doesn't disagree with anything that's been said. I'm only bringing it up because it's important to keep questions and answers in proper perspective.

    Best of luck,
    -Bryan
     
  8. Johnny5

    Johnny5 Member

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    Excellent discussion and good points. Thanks.

    P.S. Bryan, really looking forward to the release of those 338 bullets and I'm especially interested in how the 250's turn out. Any idea if there will be some coming into Canada when they are first released or are we going to have to wait and watch our neighbors shoot them for a while first? Thanks for all your efforts.

    -John
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Well said Bryan
    And I didn't mean to imply that a 1/2moa gun was all needed to hit an 8" killzone at 1460yds..

    For this to hold, I believe it would take 1/4moa cold barrel ACCURACY -to 1460yds, -perfect shooting conditions
    (1/4moa in every direction from center of mark).
     
  10. cfvickers

    cfvickers Well-Known Member

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    Bryan, Your writing style is unmistakable. I knew that was your response before I finished the second paragraph and before even looking at the username or signature. Funny. Your response to any ballistics question is always respected. And I agree. I am not that good and would not take a shot beyond 600 yards on game at this point. I can shoot 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards but beyond that the variables continuously multiply. While rifle/load consistency will make up for some slight error it can never make up for the human factor completely.

    Make it shoot as well as you can and learn to shoot the range you intend to shoot. 1/3 moa is good for a long way out there on game. But the gun only does part of the work.