In your accuracy quest...

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by c_bass16, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. c_bass16

    c_bass16 Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    When you're building your load for accuracy...where do you finally say "enough is enough"

    What I mean you have calibers you strive for Sub 1 MOA, others Sub 1/2 and yet others closer to .25?

    At what point do you stop wasting components in search of "better" and just accept what you've gotten as "good enough for the purpose of the rifle"

    I'd love to hear some of your thoughts.
  2. TimeOnTarget

    TimeOnTarget Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2011
    great question, looking forward to some answers.

    Personally i guess any rifle that will hold .5 MOA is good enough in my book.

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I like to start with a raged hole at 200m after that consistency is king, never really cared for measuring after that, but I have done it.
  4. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    It's certainly easy to waste components in the quest for "the" accurate load. A lot of people never consider their barrel twist before spending a lot of money on different components. I guess that's part of the learning curve.

    I get the best accuracy in my hunting rifles (7mm Rem Mag, 25-06) with lightly compressed loads and heavy-for-caliber bullets using powders that are on the slow side. I zero at 200 yards and am disappointed if I can't put 3 out of 5 shots in a bottle cap. It takes a bit of work to get there and when you do it's almost boring to shoot the gun. Properly tuned handloads bring out the best in any gun.

    Don't be afraid to make radical shifts in components if something is providing only marginal performance dispite you best efforts to improve accuracy. My 223 Rem is a high end Kimber. I dang near gave up on it using conventional wisdom for multiple types of 55 grain bullets. It looked more like a shotgun pattern than a group no matter what combination bullets and powder I tried. I switched to a 40 grain bullet that I use on my 221 Fireball and literally had to put tape on the target to be sure shots were going through the same hole at 100 yards. Same good results with a 63 grain bullet.
  5. Browninglover1

    Browninglover1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    First thing you have to establish is how good really is good enough? Is the rifle straight from the factory or a custom job? Will it be for high volume target/varmint shooting, long range targets and low round varmints, big game, F-class, bench rest, etc. ?

    When I first got into reloading I didn't care how well my loads shot, I wanted to play with different powders, bullets, primers, and any other variable I could to see how many loads I could get to shoot well. I found my best load early on but it didn't stop me from constantly trying to find a new one. In the long run it was a waste of barrel life but the lessons I learned were invaluable and it gave me a ton of trigger time.

    When I picked up my Browing X Bolt 300 WSM I decided I would stop looking for loads if I could consistently get 5 shots under 3/4 MOA. The second load I tried shoots a very consistent 1/2 MOA for 3 shots and keeps 5 under 3/4. I quit doing load development and spent more time practicing in the field instead of at the range.

    My 22-250 is for prairie dogs and feathered vermin and I wanted a load that would keep 5 shots under 1/2 MOA consistently. I found that load on my first day at the range and it's probably the only load that gun will ever shoot again unless component availability forces me to try something else.

    My 6.5 creedmoor is my only custom rifle and I wanted it to be a consistent 1/4 MOA rifle. 5 trips to the range yielded every load between 1/2 and 3/4 at 100 yards. I was frustrated that I couldn't get the loads as precise as I wanted them but then I realized I had a gun that was shooing 10 different loads under 3/4 why the heck was I complaining? A little tweaking with the best load produced sub 1/2 MOA 5 shot groups at 100 and has been boringly consistent at longer ranges in the field.

    I guess my "standard" for a factory rifle would be 3/4 but I'd probably try and tweak it to get 1/2. A custom gun should definitely hold 1/2 MOA and I've never owned a bench rest rifle but I imagine 1/4 MOA would be a good starting point. However, some times playing with different loads is the funnest part and I will probably always try something different just to keep things interesting.
  6. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2012
    I dont target shoot. My rifles are used to kill game with. I have a self impossed max range of 500 yards. If my rifles shoot moa thats good enough for me. Anything less is just a bonus. Exception to that are my varmit rifles which i like to see shoot 1/2 to 3/4 moa.

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2008
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I build rifles for a specific purpose and based on that use, have pacific needs for accuracy.

    Each rifle will show you there likes and dislikes, so I like to work on there likes and try not to force them to use anything that they don't like or anything that will not work the best for it's use. (Hunting
    bullets for targets and target bullets for hunting.

    First I try to get the SD's down to single digits or in the very low teens.

    Next I try different seating depths.( some rifles like the bullet very close to the lands and others
    like them well away from the lands) I will normally ether load them .020 off the lands or mag length if it is for hunting and work from there.

    Now for your question; I look for the best accuracy I can get from a given rifle based on the needs
    for it's use. Typically I am never satisfied with more than 1/2 moa and with care and good loading
    practices I can normally beat that.

    When I have exhausted every trick that I know and I am down to changes of only a few thousandths in group size I will stop trying for any more accuracy as long as it is accurate enough to do it's intended job.

    Rifles that have all the right stuff, Good barrels, stocks, bedding, Smithing and good loads will normally shoot under 1/2 moa with little problems and often shoot under 1/10th MOA.

    There is nothing like placing the RIGHT bullet In the RIGHT place at the RIGHT distance. so I believe in the most accuracy I can get from a rifle system and don't stop just because its Ok, But because that's all there is available in the rifle.

  9. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2011
    In my factory rifles, I go for .5-.75 MOA. In my custom rifle, if it is not around .3-.4 MOA then it is either me or something that I did wrong in the reloading process.