When do you call it good enough

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Kroberts, Aug 27, 2015.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. Kroberts

    Kroberts Well-Known Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    At what point of fiddling with the rifle and load do you call it good enough and quit stop trying to make it better?
    With the rifle I got back from the smith a few weeks ago. Which is my first heavy rifle and is a Stevens 200 short action, pac-nor 284win 32" 1.30" #8 contour 8twist 5 groove, with a laminate stock and the Rifle basix 2 trigger. I've finally found the point I'm happy with it. Though the smith told me he isn't happy with the grouping and wants to tear it down and start over. If it grouped like it did with the firat powder I tried, imr7828, I would have let him. It would do 2 Moa on average withe the best being 1moa. With an ES in the high 20s. The bullet I'm using is the 180 SMk. I switched to h4831 and the groups dropped to Moa at largest with every powder charge and seating depth. I finally found a charge that had, to me, a tight SD an ES, of 4 and 10 at an average velocity of 2851. When I did the last testing rounds playing with giving the bullet a little jump, all the jump amounts had almost identical SD and ES with and all grouping 1 1/2" down to 1" at 300 yards. All being 4 shot groups.

    So all that being said, I found a load that I'm happy with. Having an avg speed of 2851, SD of 4, ES of 10, and holding a consistent grouping of 1/2 Moa. I do need to fire more rounds to verify the numbers stay the same, though I'm petty confident if 20 rounds of the same charge only changing the seating depth 5 thousandths at a time and te numbers all stay almost the same. So should I call it good and be happy, which I am with that performance, or keep fiddling and try to make my smith happy?

  2. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    When is enough...enough? That is a very subjective call. For me, two factors have a direct bearing on the decision. The first is financial. The expected/anticipated incremental improvement in the accuracy of the rifle for the dollars spent (also known as diminishing returns in financial parlay). The second factor is much more subjective. It cannot be defined in general, but is specific to each individual shooter. It is that point where the equipment begins to exceed the current ability of the shooter.

    With the results you have supplied, I would say you are good to go. Get out there and shoot. Learn as you go and then think about another build once you have reached your limits with your current rifle.
  3. jpd676

    jpd676 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    I think you answered you own question. In your post, you say you are happy with the performance; therefore, you are good to go. I don't care what other people think of my accuracy, if I like it, I stick with it. The other part of this is to assume you have a good base/rings combo and a good optic on top.
  4. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    I'm terrible at this subject. I suffer from an insufferable disease called tinkeritis! I can't stop tweaking loads. I've owned a .308 Savage I put together several years ago. I still chase the white stag. I've had groupings in the low .1's and at worst a little over 1". Don't know what drives me other than new powders and bullets come out and I need to try it. I have however recently settled on AR-Comp and Sierra 175TMK's. Narrowed it down to a handful of loads. Think a tighter twist is in order, but the barrel I have now is so good, hate to change. Anyways, find a good load, stick with it. Don't come down with tinkeritis!!!
  5. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Mar 17, 2014
    This is me as well. I have several boxes of bullets with 25 or so missing and several pounds of different powder with only a load work up used out of them...
  6. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    If you're consistently getting .5moa out of it you might as well quit because the odds of doing better are extremely slim.

    If you just want to shoot, then shoot and have fun but a guy can waste a whole lot of time and money trying to better .5 and you may well end up terribly frustrated, thus no long having fun with it, in doing so.
  7. scrmblr1982cj8

    scrmblr1982cj8 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Jul 14, 2013
    I quit when I can consistently get 3 shots touching at 100 yards, since that is more than good enough for around here. In SC, the cover is thick, so at this point, 425 yards is the farthest shot I can take.

    I've got a R700 in .22-250. My groups with Rem factory ammo average .112". I'm not even going to think on working up a load since I'm not going to be able to do much better than that.
  8. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2012
    Good enough:

    Attached Files:

  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    I used to be like lilting until I got long in the tooth and wised up a bit. Oh, and after burning out 2 barrels of a great hot shooting rig.

    Then I kind of wised up a bit . . . I think.:roll eyes:

    Got to thinking that if a fella can shoot a 1/2 minute group centered on the precise point of aim any bullet is about 1/4 MOA from the POI. And the fact that, when I'm driving the rig in the field, a consistent 1/2 MOA rig at range is most likely 1 MOA in the field, and any bullet within 1/2 MOA of POI is good enough for this old man. And that's at its best due to long range with wind.

  10. mrb1982

    mrb1982 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Very interesting question. I am not as experienced as some of the others on here, nor am I in the same situation. I don't own my own reloading equipment. My buddy lets me use his and it is 425 miles away. So when I go back home to visit, then I get a couple days to do some loads. So I do some loads, then when I get home, go shoot them. Might be 3 months or more between stages of testing. So for me, I don't necessarily have the ability at this point to take the time working loads in .1gr incriments. I don't want to take 5 years to work up my loads. I start with loading 16-20rds for a seating depth test. Then when I have that under control, I load half grain increments for about 20rds.

    I guess it depends on the gun. I don't have a custom rifle at this point, I have a factory 270 BDL and a factory Sendero 7RM that I have done some upgrades on. I guess I was hoping for under .75 MOA for both of them. With my load work ups my 270 sits around .5 MOA, my Sendero shoots about .4-.45MOA at 1000yds. I feel that is probably fine. I am hoping to rebarrel my Sendero to 7/300 win for the 195's I got in the mail yesterday. With this gun, I am hoping I can maybe bring those groups in a little bit. But a 1/2 minute gun at distance is pretty good. I am not rebarreling for accuracy, I am rebarreling for a different bullet, and hopefully with the ability to customize the chamber a little, better performance. Theoretically, should I get better accuracy with a better barrel on a trued action over a factory rig? Probably. But if I don't, I will still have the pride of ownership of customizing my own gun with the accessories I want, and knowing that it should shoot good enough.

    To make a long post even longer, I say 1/2 minute is pretty good.
  11. MMERSS

    MMERSS Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2013
    Echo what Roy is saying. A group is a representation of precision. Precision is repeatability. If the purpose of a rifle/ammo combination is for paper groups such as competition the rifle/ammo precision should be measured for this type of shooting. If the purpose of a rifle/ammo combination is for hunting the precision should additionally be measured for this type of shooting.

    Two weeks past a new barrel was installed on a tactical rifle. After load development a 10 shot group was taken at 400 yards from the prone to measure target shooting precision potential. The first cold bore shot landing about .2 MOA low from a later group cluster of 8 of the 10 rounds. The last round in the remaining 10 shot group additionally landed about .2 MOA to the right of the 8 round cluster most notably due to a wind shift. The total measurement including all 10 rounds was .55 MOA. Strike out the first round and the round at 3 o’clock caused by a wind shift and the 8 shot group cluster measured .35 MOA. Either way, .5 or .3 MOA at 400 yards for ten rounds is a good group……….or is it? What is the repeatability intent of the rifle? Target shooting or cold bore first round shooting?

    The rifle is intended for cold bore first round shots. As such, this is where the precision potential or repeatability needs to be measured. One shot and one shot only is taken at a time on the 100 yard range to confirm zero and establish cold bore precision potential. The rifle is shot from the prone with support as was on the 400 yard range. All the gear is picked up, the gun is allowed to cool back to ambient temperature, and the rifle is set up again for another single shot. This process is repeated for a minimum of 5 shots. The more single shots taken the more confidence there is in the rifle/ammo precision. Cold bore precision results indicated the rifle is capable of .7 MOA groups that is center offset 1/8 MOA to the left. Is there a notable difference between cold bore grouping and target grouping?

    Factor in field rifle/ammo and now shooter precision potential combined with wind and any other uncertainties and an 8 shot .35 MOA 400 yard group won’t help much at all in the field without an understanding on how to unite the long range marriage between the elements that form long range accuracy.

    If I have no more than .7 MOA cold bore precision I move on. Over time the new barrel may settle increasing cold bore precision potential to a goal of .5 MOA or less. The target precision is there, hopefully the cold bore precision will follow. Until then, time and energy is better utilized with single shot cold bore practice…..not group shooting.
  12. engineer40

    engineer40 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2015
    I try to remember Pareto's Principle with everything related to this hobby.

    Money, Time, Effort... they all follow the 80/20 rule when striving for accuracy.
  13. BergerBoy

    BergerBoy Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2014
    Never.... but I am OCD

    I have to remind myself what a "normal" person would do and make myself stop.
  14. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    My views are quite similar to MMERSS. Getting a good group of sub .5 MOA represents only half of the work. Once I'm grouping at 100-200 yards, I spend time to:
    -Understand the repeatbilty of the velocity and ES which I look to get under 12FPS
    -Clean, cold, and warm bore accuracy. Dirty cold and warm bore within .25MOA of zero.
    -Temperature stability. I hunt from 80 to 0F, and altitudes from 350-5000ft.
    -Ability to maintain zero. If I'm off more than a click or two at different locations, something is wrong(with me or the rifle).
    This is a tall order which generally means a good barrel, and a supply of the same lot for brass, powder, bullets, primers, and time but I think it's well worth it. My goal is to get this performance for at least 1000 rounds with my hunting rifles.