big guns means less accuracy


Well-Known Member
Dec 15, 2001
I love to read articles about large cartridges but as I read the articles there seems to be a consensus among writers that the really big Magnums (ultra's, and anything bigger than 300 WM) are lacking in accuracy abilities. Esentially they say there is a tradeoff between power and accuracy? Is this really the case?

As I read I have to wonder if the reason they are saying this is because they can't handle the heavy recoil.
I have never had a problem making large guns shoot. That said, I am not a long range hunter, but enjoy this forum as well as accurate rifles. For me the below group is acceptable accuracy. The load is a 250 grain Nosler Partition at 2950 fps from a 340 wby magnum.


This is comparing apples and oranges.

If they are referring to big magnums as compared to the BEST 6PPC shooting at 100 and 200 yards, I would say no. The 6PPC will out shoot the big mags.

Now on the other hand, the Best 6PPC won't shoot at 1000 yards very well and the big mags will. Here is the REAL trade off.

Which one now has the BEST accuracy?
It depends on which type of shooting the person does and who is making this statement.

You can take the big mags, put weight to the stock and heavy barrels and they will shoot in the .2 and .3 range (and smaller) at 100 yards. Ask Steve Shelp about his 338 group.

If your talking about a light weight rifle and lots of recoil from a Magnum, the average shooter can't get good accuracy with it.

So, it depends on the yardage one is shooting, how much the rifle weighs, is it off hand, prone, benchrest and many other factors.

Point is, most BIG mags are designed for longer shots and better accuracy downrange.
The smaller cartridges are designed for closer shooting. Both have their place in the shooting society.

Darryl Cassel
I guess it all falls back on the ignorance of most shooters, longrange for them is 100 yards. I was mainly referring to hunters, you know the ones that think they need a 300 RUM to kill deer at 80 yards. But I have heard alot of benchrest shooters bash the supermags. For the record, I know you guys are getting great accuracy with your big guns.

Darryl, very good point, one cartridge can't do everything. I must admit I don't have a supermag yet (I'm working on that
) Is it harder (take a lot more effort) to get them to shoot great?

[ 01-31-2002: Message edited by: sr90 ]
I think what the gun writers are talking about is that a factory .223 or 22-250 will usually shoot subMOA while the factory magnum will be 1MOA or worst. At least that's the popular consensus.

Every rifle has the load it likes. It is NO harder to get the big calibers to shoot well as compared the amaller calibers, just takes more powder and a bit more time to load them.

Tell John Voinida At Williamsport that there isn't accuracy in a magnum. He is the World Record holder and he shot 10 shots into 3.151" at 1022 Yards to give him that title with his magnum rifle.

Tell the 50 Cal boys that the 5 shot record they shot (3.500") at 1000 yards isn't accuracy.

Tell the IBS 5 shot light gun 1000 yard record holder (1.800") that big guns don't have accuracy.

Your right, for the average (walk in the woods) hunter, a mag may not be the correct choice.

Darryl Cassel
The caliber for Voinidas rifle was called the 30V---An Improved 30 Mag.
It was an older Clyde Hart barrel (30") long that had 1800 rounds through it when he broke the record.
Look in the Sierra Manual and you will see the Pic and target. He shot that in 1997

Darryl Cassel
I think it is much harder to get a big magnum to shoot well than a smaller cased cartridge. However my use of big magnums has been with relativley light (8-9#) rifles chambered to 300 Win Mag and 30STW. I have a light weight 243 that is a cinch to shoot well. I have a heavy 243 that is a cinch to shoot well. I have never worked with a 30# 30 caliber magnum though so maybe if I did and matched the recoil figures I would find that they are no harder. I think that for most hunters though who hunt conventionally (on foot with 8-9# rifles) that they will find it much easier to get a 280 Remington to shoot tight groups than a 340 WBY of the same weight. Rufous.

Your last sentence said it all and it's true.

You can shoot a smaller cartridged rifle of say 8 or 9 # with more accuracy (Normally) because your not taking the big recoil of a magnum that weighs the SAME.

Now take that mag and add 30, 40, or 50 pounds to it and see just how well the big mags will shoot.

Darryl Cassel
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