"Inherent accuracy"...

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by STL_Shooter, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. STL_Shooter

    STL_Shooter Well-Known Member

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    I know many of us hold this opinion, but I bring this up for the benefit of new members.

    May I suggest that when we deem a cartridge inherently accurate or inaccurate we are fooling ourselves. I believe the bullet tuned to the barrel is what matters.

    If the caliber you want to shoot has bullets of consistent quality available, you can get a rifle made with decent machining technique to shoot around .5 to .75 MOA.

    I have found that all my rifles will do this, regardless of caliber. And most will do much better.

    Recent testing with my AR-50 has produced a number of 3 shot groups at 200 yards in the .3s. I had four shots the other day in really windy conditions in .35 MOA. So, so much for the "inherently inaccurate" .50 BMG.

    Other than for incredibly mismatched cartridge/task combinations, say, like the .444 Marlin for 1000 yard benchrest, do we really believe that one cartridge is more inherently accurate than another?

    Now maybe, just possibly, some shooters are more inherently accurate than others... [​IMG]
     
  2. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    The PPC family of cartridges have clearly proven that some cartridges are more "inherently" accurate than others.

    However, a rifle built by a skillful gunsmith, using quality components, is far more important to accuracy than any particular cartridge. At least in my opinion.
    VH
     

  3. STL_Shooter

    STL_Shooter Well-Known Member

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    OK, let's define the task at hand. If I want to be competitive at 100 yards shooting 10 shot groups (uh oh, here we go!), yes, the 6mm PPC has had so much thought put into load and projectile development that it will beat most everything else most of the time. For that task.

    Now, back to long range hunting. Most agree that .5 MOA is perfectly acceptable. Of course, I want more... But my point is that once we leave the .1s benchrest game, and start evaluating cartridges to kill game at long range in difficult conditions from various positions and rests, we can make just about any cartridge do the trick with the proper amount of input.

    [ 03-25-2004: Message edited by: STL ]
     
  4. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

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    STL

    You are such a trouble maker. [​IMG]
     
  5. Dave King

    Dave King Well-Known Member

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    STL said...

    Now, back to long range hunting. Most agree that .5 MOA is perfectly acceptable. Of course, I want more... But my point is that once we leave the .1s benchrest game, and start evaluating cartridges to kill game at long range in difficult conditions from various positions and rests, we can make just about any cartridge do the trick with the proper amount of input.



    I believe this statement says it all!
     
  6. Jake in NC

    Jake in NC Well-Known Member

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    STL said -- ".. Now, back to long range hunting. Most agree that .5 MOA is perfectly acceptable.."

    ..Ya know I can't resist a good controversy.. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    .. That said, with .5 being "perfectly acceptable" what is it we really need for LRH..?? Would a load combination that hits within .5" of point of aim every time not be a good thing.??

    ..Holy cow..!! That could possibly run into groups as big as, **GASP** 1"..!! [​IMG]
    ..But in theory you'd still be shooting within .5MOA, if point of aim was the consideration instead of just group size.. Which sounds more practical for hunting purposes, IMO.. A .5MOA rifle that shoots great groups hither and yon is an annoying thing if you're not a point blank benchrester going strictly fro good groups.. Shooters for score being a whole different ball'o'wax.!! Heehee... d:^) JiNC

    [ 03-25-2004: Message edited by: Jake in NC ]
     
  7. STL_Shooter

    STL_Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Jake I agree with you that a rifle that puts the bullet .5 MOA from point of aim at any distance every time can definitely be a workable LR rifle.

    In fairness to BR rifles, I can't conceieve of a competitive BR gun that shot great groups, but put them all over the place due to a functional problem with the rifle. The dispersion would likely occur from one shot to the next, which would blow out groups.

    But you do have what I think is a great point in the discussion. Namely, that wind deflection, flight time and energy matter in a big way to us hunters! If there are difficult conditions, a 90 grain .243 bullet running 2950 fps into .18 MOA at 100 yards will flat out lose in a big way to a 7mm or 30 cal. bullet with a BC over .6 running at 3200 fps in .5 MOA when both bullets are shot at long range.
     
  8. Jake in NC

    Jake in NC Well-Known Member

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    .. Hehehe.. I may have exaggerated a tad with the "hither and yon" quantity.. I've seen good bench guns that would change POI from day to day.. But nothing big enough to really throw it out.. [​IMG] JiNC


    PS- I have seen a formula somewhere for figuring a cartridges "potential" accuracy.. I think the "inherently" accurate cartridges may be the ones that fit well in it.. (PPC's, BR's, .308 based)

    [ 03-25-2004: Message edited by: Jake in NC ]
     
  9. MAX

    MAX Well-Known Member

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    Well Howdy Doodoo! [​IMG]

    I am of a multitude of thoughts on the subject, and not feeling too bashful, I'll share a few!

    Separating needs and wants for starters, if you can put the bullet on target at whatever range, does the theory really matter? Bullet and barrel quality is far more significant in my eye than the issue of "inherent accuracy". Especially bullet quality. "Inherent" is a slippery word, and has no basis in engineering in this context.

    A cartridge case is nothing more than a gasket, pure and simple. It's interior shape does have small influence on issues of interior ballistics, but I'm unaware of research that quantifies this in a measurable fashion as relates to ACCURACY. It's salient point is volume, and little more. There are certainly issues relating to case quality that are significant, and I suspect this plays with the PPC cases to a degree. I read once not too long ago that the reason the .222 Rem. fell by the wayside vis-a-vis the PPC's has as much to do with production quality of brass as anything else, and since Mr. Shilen was attributed with that thought, I'll buy off on that.

    There are about a gazillion things that influence accuracy, and case design is of small importance. People want to FEEL that they have something special, but that is not a point involved with ballistics.

    Case size does have something to do with accuracy, as does the pressure at which the cartridge works at. Smaller case head means less bolt thrust and less action stress. Same story for lower pressure rounds. It means that small capacity cartridges are more forgiving of errors that induce stress in the action. It does NOT mean that accuracy cannot be found at the other end of the rainbow, and there are a multitude of you folks that demonstrate that on a daily basis. Quality design, fabrication, and assembly can and do deal with the issues just mentioned quite nicely.

    And even a .444 will get to the target at 1000 yds with the proper bullet. There was a thread I posted some time ago regarding the .50BMG round for LRH and a great many issues relating to why NOT to do that were raised, many of them valid I'm sure. Well, somebody out there has figured that stuff out because I read of a rather impressive .50 cal group awhile back at 1000 yds., around 3.something inches. Last time I checked that is LESS than 1/2 MOA. I'm not saying it is the best cartridge for LRH, but it is viable IF you want to deal with the issues. All things being relative, at 1000 yards it is more "inherently accurate" than the 6mm PPC. And it really isn't even being tested at that range. JMO
     
  10. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

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    You guys bring up good points, but I'm still contemplating this one...

    I will say, I am leaning to the side that claims "inherent" accuracy does exist.

    If I was a BR shooter, it would probably be something I would be more interested in understanding why that is, if that were in fact true.

    Because I am a mere long range hunter, I understand there are more pressing issues that outweigh a bullet leaving on the same exact path every shot. (that's not to be discounted though)

    When it gets to the level where you have very acceptable accuracy, which most any cartridge is capable of, and you are wanting even more gain due to inherent accuracy, you'll never see that much extra accuracy manifest itself at LR I'm affraid. OK, so I implied it's a small gain, if it exists. Just my speculation, of course. [​IMG]

    I have heard some very good arguments on both sides, and even with more I doubt I'll ever really know for sure.

    [ 03-26-2004: Message edited by: Brent Moffitt ]
     
  11. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    I believe that certain case designs have been proven to be "inherently accurate", more so than others.

    With a match barrel, proper gunsmithing, quality reloading and load development techniques, almost any cartridge will give .5 MOA at 100. However due to bullet design, ballistics etc, many will not do that at longer distances.

    Some bullet mftrs bullets run all over the scale on tolerances and others are much closer. If you shoot out of the box your groups at 1000 are going to open up unless you sort the bullets by weight and bearing surface. Proven time and time again. Several guys have been working with the metplat trimmers for over 4 years now and have proven by uniforming metplats you cut down vertical dispersion. That is why the Amaxs and others with good quality and plastic tips make very good out of the box hunting bullets and target bullets, inherently more accurate.

    Some components are just better, more efficiant than others and easier to work with. I could with enough money get a mack truck to run 200 mph, but it will never beat a NASCAR car. Just not worth the time or effort and same thing with some cartidges.

    Lapua makes both the PPC case and the 222 Rem, so quality is the same. The 222 rem was the darling of the BR communitiy until the PPC came along. The PPC case has proven to be more inherently accurate than the 222 Rem, no question about it.

    Short fat cases with long necks are proven easier to make shoot more accurate. Can someone take a long skinny case and make it shoot as good most of the time, probably, but not without more work and difficulty.

    Most BR shooters will tell you or anyone else that over 80% of the guns on the line are not in tune at the time of matches. Now if they run into that imagine what it is with the lr hunter type guns. Keeping a gun in tune is challenging at times and you are smart to do everything you can to mitigate the factors working against you.

    Just my 2 cents.

    BH

    [ 03-26-2004: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]
     
  12. Richard338

    Richard338 Well-Known Member

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    STL,
    If we say that there are no cartridge designs that are better than others, we are saying that all of the various parameters which define a cartridge are unimportant.
    Think about this, I'll bet you could purposely design a cartridge that would be worse than anything available. Some just have to be better than others. In reality many cartriges share a lot of the most important features, leaving only minor variations.
     
  13. STL_Shooter

    STL_Shooter Well-Known Member

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    I brought this up because I read a number posts made lately by newcomers asking about the inherent accuracy of a cartridge for long range hunting.

    I am saying, as many of you are, that a cartridge case is just a powder bottle. The bullet, tuned to the barrel harmonic, is what matters for the .5 MOA average we need to do our job. This assumes no gross negligence in chambering, crown, bedding, scope mounting and assembly.

    If you take an average shooter and hand them Tony Boyer's rifle, do you think they'll shoot groups in the .1s? .2s? .3s?

    I don't think so. You hand them just about any rifle, Tony's or one that at least meets the criteria in paragraph 1, and look, wow, it'll shoot about the same in their hands.

    Now, hand them a rifle that shoots a real bullet with a real BC at real velocities that we need to do the job. Now you have recoil, muzzle blast, vertical control, the whole deal. I guarantee whether they shoot Ric's .300 WSM, my Wolf, or any of Len's super 7s, we won't see a huge statistical difference

    So I think we sometimes chase our tails around in this .5 MOA accuracy game. Especially when we argue the merits of, say, the 6mm Remington over the .243 Winchester, the .300 Winchester Magnum vs. the .308, traditional "long" magnums vs. the shortys, and talk about the "inherent accuracy" of one over another.

    It makes us feel better about the gyrations we go through to get the job done (Please understand that I'm not against feeling better!) but in the process, the newcomers can get confused and spend alot of money needlessly.
     
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    STL

    Agree, that most any "reasonably put together" (barring mftr defects in barrel and chamber etc) rifle with average reloading skills can reach the .5 MOA threshold.

    You can take an out of the box Remington, Winchester, or Savage or other heavy barrel, tune the trigger, bed it, lap the lugs and go to work (cost is max $200 on top of gun). Add tapered base or signature rings, decent scope (BL 4200 or similar) for under $400 and for for about $1000 have a rig that will go minimum of 800 yards with MOA or better groups at that distance.

    It is when us tinkerers or ones pushing for that last .001 in groups run into the other issues.

    BH