10+ round groups

WeiserBucks

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Aug 16, 2016
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How many of us shoot more than the traditional 3 or 5 round groups and why ? I was doing some confirmation on a recently developed load for a new rifle. I happened to have 17 pieces of primed brass on hand so I loaded them all up with a load that showed promise in a previous 3 round group.

Over the course of about 30 minutes I fired them all through the chronograph into one group. ES wasn't horrible, but not great either. Consistent accuracy on the other hand, surprised me . I've never shot any groups greater than 5 rounds before today, but I managed to stack all 17 rounds into one ragged hole about 5/8".

What does this tell me ? I'm not sure other than I managed to squeeze the trigger properly 17 times in a row.
 

CaptnC

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Jun 21, 2017
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I can just barely do it 3 times with punching the trigger...good concentration...impressive!
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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3 shot groups are good for a hunting rifle under most hunting situations.

5 shot groups are good to tell you if the SDs are consistent and as the rifle heats up at what point the POI may change.

10 shot groups are good for all the above and test the shooter and the consistency of the load SDs and ESs beyond normal shooting needs. They also tell you that your rifle is not fouling bad enough to screw up the accuracy.

I would consider it the ultimate Group test, any more becomes just fun.

J E CUSTOM
 

BallisticsGuy

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May 8, 2016
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Heck
Every time. I shoot 5-shot to 10-shot rapid fire strings in each stage when I'm competing so the loads I build have to be able to perform in those string sizes. My normal procedure in load development is to find something that'll spit 3 into a shots touching hole to begin with and then start in on the 10 round cycles from there on.

Here's an example of doing load development in 10 shot strings with my .243AI. Left to right are at charge weights of 43.5, 44, 44.5, 45.5 and the one group below is 45gn. The 45.5gn load won with 4-6fps SD's and it always groups like that.
img_21711.jpg


EDIT: And oh yeah, what JE Customs said.
EDIT2: Since I've been asked a couple times, the target is from boxtobenchprecision.com. They're excellent targets. Check the articles for a review I did of them some time back.
 
Last edited:

Hondo64d

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May 27, 2003
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541
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The Big Country
How many of us shoot more than the traditional 3 or 5 round groups and why ? I was doing some confirmation on a recently developed load for a new rifle. I happened to have 17 pieces of primed brass on hand so I loaded them all up with a load that showed promise in a previous 3 round group.

Over the course of about 30 minutes I fired them all through the chronograph into one group. ES wasn't horrible, but not great either. Consistent accuracy on the other hand, surprised me . I've never shot any groups greater than 5 rounds before today, but I managed to stack all 17 rounds into one ragged hole about 5/8".

What does this tell me ? I'm not sure other than I managed to squeeze the trigger properly 17 times in a row.

It tells you a couple of things. 1st, you have found an exceptional load, 2nd, you know what you’re doing behind the trigger.

Rifles shoot their rounds in a cone. A number of shots is required to statistically predict with some certainty where the next round is going to go. Three won’t do it. Five is better. Ten is a pretty good indicator. Then there’s those pesky flyers. Most are so willing to blame flyers on their own ability rather than their rifle, scope, mounting system or load, when in reality they may not have muffed the shot at all. Rather, the flyer isn’t out of the group, but is actually part of the group. That is why the next three shot group may have a slightly different point of impact or maybe two in and one out.

For whatever reason three shot groups have become the accepted standard for light barreled rigs. Three shots, in reality is a very poor indicator of where the next shot will go. Five is better, but still lacking.

If the three shot group advocates don’t buy that though, I challenge them to this. Take your rifle that shoots those little bitty three shot groups and shoot a group and let the barrel cool. Shoot another three shot group AT THE SAME POINT OF AIM. Let the barrel cool. Repeat until you have shot 10 shots at the same point of aim. It won’t be anywhere near as small as the original three shot group. What you will have is a good indication of how the rifle really shoots and a reasonable certainty of where the next shot will go.

John
 

okie man

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Dec 21, 2013
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800
I’ve done not just too test loads but it helps you too tell what your inconsistencies in shooting form are! I like too set a 6” gong at 500 yards and take shots at it at random when doing testing loads in other guns at shorter ranges!
 

cjuve

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Feb 15, 2011
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SPRING CREEK, NEVADA
Only you can be the judge of what it tells you but it would tell me that it is time to go to 1000 yds and test. At the end of the day consistency on the target is what I place most value on.
 

WeiserBucks

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Aug 16, 2016
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I'll take it beyond 1100 next weekend. I know the rifle is more than capable, I'll spend the next few days tweaking the load a little and hopefully the weather will cooperate come Saturday.
 

cjuve

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Feb 15, 2011
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SPRING CREEK, NEVADA
I'll take it beyond 1100 next weekend. I know the rifle is more than capable, I'll spend the next few days tweaking the load a little and hopefully the weather will cooperate come Saturday.

I have a 7 ultra that shoots tiny groups at 100 yards consistently, if you were to chrono that load you would say that there is no way it would ever group at 1000 but I routinely get sub 1/2 MOA at 1000 with very little vertical. I could probably get it to shoot better but there are only so many shots left in that barrel.
 

Smokinghole

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Oct 18, 2017
Messages
136
Once I settle on a load I do the same thing. I send 10-20 downrange to see how it plays out. The amount beyond 10 depends on the barrel weight and my patience. When I show groups on something like AR barrels it's 10rds fairly quick. My "heavy sporter" 7saum barrel gets hot fast. I do it slower but still probably faster than most. I think 3 shots doesn't tell much, 5 is getting close, and 10+ shows you and the rifle are working together.
 

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