Am I dumb or am I missing something here?


May 23, 2006, 11:14 PM
I hear people say all the time "My factory unmodified rifle will shoot 1/2 MOA all day long if I do my part" or I was at the range over the weekend and a guy told me he can shoot dime sized groups out of his factory Rem 700 at 200 yards. Something just doenst match up there. I try and try and although I do get the occasional sub 1/2 moa group, I'm far away from doing it consistently. My idea of consistently shooting 1/2 moa is like 9 out of 10 five shot groups will be 1/2 moa or less, and that tenth one will be like .6 moa or something.

Am I just retarded that I can't get these mysterious 1/2 moa groups or do people just stretch the truth a bit and say 1/2 when they really mean 3/4, if even that?

My average is about .7" at 100 yards.

However, I can say (very cautiously however) that I have found a sub 1/2 moa load for my .308. 43.3 grains of Varget with 168 SMK seated at 2.825. I have shot 4 groups with this load, and they are as follows... .503, .468, .375, and .63. This is only 4 groups and that doesn't prove much, but I'll try that load again and see if I can do it a few more times. I just never liked it because it hits about 3" lower than the zeroed Federal GMM, but if thats what gets me such groups, then fine.

Regardless, can someone give me some realistic CONSISTENT averages that I can compare to? People post pictures of one or two good groups and say that its consistent but I have a hard time believing that. But then again, jsut because I cant do it doenst mean someone else cant.

Input anyone?

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May 23, 2006, 11:55 PM
I can't speak for everyone, but this is how I see it. One or two very good groups could be luck. Several very good groups means that the rifle is accurate and I was having a good day. Consistently tight groups mean that the rifle is accurate and I shoot it well.

For example, my 700 LVSF in .17 Rem using 20 gr. V-maxes has printed several 3-shot groups that are better than .5 MOA, but most of the time I am closer to .7 or .8. Given the fact that there have been more than a few of the very tight clusters (which don't look so tight with such small bullets:( ), I will say that the rifle is half minute. When speaking of what I can do with the rifle, I will say 3/4.

It has been my experience that most decent bolt guns are MOA capable once you find the pet load. Most varmint guns seem to be sub MOA without too much fuss. However, my .17 rem. is the only gun I have that I consider half-minute. My .223 Howa, accurate as it may be, has never produced a significant nuber of groups in the half-minute range. It is consistently at or slightly above 3/4. Same with my .17 Mach II and my 6mm rem. Most of my hunting rifles hover right around MOA with the right load (always Sierra GK, usually IMR powders and CCI primers). My .375 Ultra has never produced MOA, but I am quite sure that is a function of my ability shooting a rifle with over 80 ft/lbs of recoil. Tough to really settle in on that one.

Edit: I forgot to mention how these groups are achieved. I shoot off a bench that is built for my height and use front and rear sandbags. I do not touch the rifle with my off hand. The .17 Rem. is a Remington 700 LVSF that is stock except for the 1 lb, 3 oz. trigger. It is topped with a Weaver V-16 4-16x 42mm 1/8 MOA dot reticle. The problem with this rifle is that it is half-worthless on a windy day. That, and it is a PITA to load for.

May 24, 2006, 12:01 AM
One sub moa group, does not make a sub moa rifle!
I only have one rifle that will do .5moa at 200 yds consistantly! and it took alot of mojo going into it, I can't say you won't get one out of the box.. but the odds are against you.
Look at all the ads for sub MOA rifles for sale.. Most of them are very custom and very expensive! 2k +
If your getting an honest .7 moa group contantly.. your ahead thousands!!!! You know what your rifle can and cannot do!
I sense alot of brovado flowing around here. Look at a major authority on snipers..Maj Plaster. from the ult. sniper.. He pretty much said with regular practice. with a tuned rifle he will ave about .75moa!! consantly
I don't doult that many can do better.. but if your getting that GREAT of groups with a stock rifle.. Start making some money in the benchrest games!

May 24, 2006, 12:09 AM
I have a Savage 10FP that has the old trigger but a new stock. With 168 grain Black Hills match ammo it will shoot under an inch all day long. It averages .70ish with half an inch not out of the question. With surplus crap it still does an inch or so if I do my part.

When shooting for tiny groups ammo choice makes a huge difference as does skill and a certain amount of luck. I had one day with the above Savage where I shot several 3 shot groups that were same holers or about .3 of a inch. I have had other days where I shot.....well AK groups with cheap ammo and no concentration.
May 24, 2006, 12:23 AM
So there are a couple of things that just jump out at me there. The first is an obvious question. Are you measuring your groups from the outside edge of the farthest pair and deducting bullet diameter? Frequently this simple bit escapes folks. Second, are you allowing time for cooling and cleaning if needed? Tons of groups open up with either fouling or heat. I can consistently get a sub moa group as long as I give myself and the rifle breaks. Further, I do all my accuracy shooting from the bipod supported prone position. Some of my friends swear that this is somehow limiting my accuracy in comparison to the benchrest. To that I can only let the groups speak for me. After all, my main motivation is to be able to hit my target on my first try. Once the rifle has shown it's potential, I figure anything lacking is on my end.

Car Knocker
May 24, 2006, 12:39 AM
And to keep it apples to apples, how many shots are in each of these groups? Three-shot groups averaging 1/2" is a whole lot different than ten-shot groups averaging 1/2".

May 24, 2006, 12:43 AM
True about letting the barrel cool and the shot numbers. I usually measure three shot groups and take my time (let the barrel cool between groups). I have had one five shot group that was spectacular but most start to open up or I pull a flyer at this point.

May 24, 2006, 12:44 AM
I don't know about all this MOA trash either. It'll be a cold day before I carry a set of digital calipers to the "shoot'in hole". If I can consistantly touch bullet holes (scoped high power) at 100yds with the occasional flier (most likely something I did) and the distance between the bullet holes are under 1" total spread...I'm fairly happy with the outing. There was a guy last year at the range with a Marlin 45-70 shorty. His group was about a 4" inside a 6" paper plate (scoped). He was using "custom loads" and they were rocking him HARD. He was happy with the group (it was for deer hunting and he said 300 grain bullets). The fact is that as hard as this thing kicked, his group most likely was pretty good. Could he do the job of hitting a deer at 100yds every shot? Yes is the correct answer. Personally, I would have dumped some FPS and grains to achieve a tighter group (and a more mild recoil), but that's me. But it's fun trying for the one hole group though.

Headless Thompson Gunner
May 24, 2006, 12:51 AM
It's possible that a stock unmodified rifle can shoot 1/2 moa. It's pretty unlikely, but it is possible.

That said, most of the stories you hear about other folks shoting 1/2 moa groups are BS. How often do you see someone at the range using a ruler to measure their groups? Groups tend to look a lot smaller when you don't have anything to measure them with...

Most rifles can't shoot 1/2 moa. Most ammo can't shoot 1/2 moa. Most shooters can't shoot 1/2 moa. I won't bother to guess what (if anything) you might be doing wrong. But I think it's safe to say that you're not retarded.

May 24, 2006, 01:13 AM
The size of a group only matters for bench rest shooters and load developement. The whole point of bench rest shooting is the smallest group. For load developement, group size only matters when compared to other loads.
An average of .7 at 100 is nothing to sneeze at. It means your rifle is consistently accurate with match grade bullets. That is sub-MOA. However, change the weather, humidity, etc and your group size will change.
" hits about 3" lower..." Sight adjustment required. Not at all unusual. Any rifle will shoot different ammo differently. Changing ammo, like you have by loading your own ammo, means you have to sight in again.
I wouldn't worry too much about what other shooters say their rifle will do all day. Your's is just dandy the way it is.

May 24, 2006, 01:53 AM
One sub moa group, does not make a sub moa rifle!That's the rub, for a lot of these "sub MOA" guns. I can take my FAL out, and if I shoot enough three-shot groups, I'm certain to get one that makes this thing look like a sniper rifle shot by Hathcock himself. That's called "probability". I might run myself into the poor house buying ammo, but I it will eventually happen.

What matters is what the rifle does most of the time. There is a term in statistics called "regression to the mean." You might go out and shoot a hole in one at golf on your first tee shot of the day. Wow! You're a great golfter! However, the more you golf that day, the more average you look. Why? Because you're an average golfer, and the more you golf the more you golf like an average golfer.

In the "glass is half full" department, if you go out on your first tee shot and send it straight into the water hazard, playing more golf will probably make you look better, because you're an average golfer, and the more you golf the more you golf like an average golfer. Unless you're me. Then it makes you remember why you hate golf and would rather be out shooting. ;)

What this all means is that in order to get a good picture of what your rifle can do, you need to shoot the rifle and record all of your groups. Not just the bad ones, not just the good ones (though, I'd be posting those on the net, regardless). There certainly are sub-MOA rifles out there. And there are also a whole lot of people who see one sub-MOA group and decide their AK is a real tack-driver.


PS No AK hate! I just had to balance out my FAL comment!

PPS My FAL is 2-3 MOA. Probably closer to 3.

30-06 lover
May 24, 2006, 02:32 AM
For an unmodified gun, I have to say B.S. Not only will most factory guns not shoot sub, most shooters can't consistently, me being one! If I do my part, my Rem 700 will shoot 1 inch at 100 yards consistently, but I am not that consistent. Unless you shoot every six days, you are not going to be that consistent. For an unmodified gun with a guy that shoots once a month or less sub is just not going to happen every might some of the time, but surly not most. For me...I am thrilled to have my gun shoot one inch groups, more that enough for anything I'm likely to kill.

P.S. Here is a group of my unmodified Rem 700 30-06 on one of my better days...

May 24, 2006, 03:48 AM
i believe both your views are correct, some stretch the truth , allthough they may be, in fact close, and some just got an off the shelf very acc gun. Let me show you what my pawn shopper mod 60 does at 100 yds, with several dif types of rounds, it is quite astounding.
those are one inch dots at 100 yds, just using front and rear sandbag rests. the scope is a Barska 6.24.42. I actually have many more pics of diff rounds doing this , but i figured this was enough.

May 24, 2006, 07:15 AM
I was at the range over the weekend and a guy told me he can shoot dime sized groups out of his factory Rem 700 at 200 yards. He must be the same guy I met. You know, the one that didn't happen to bring THAT rifle today. :)

Seriously though, I do think people tend to exaggerate how small their groups are, just like fishermen do with how large their bass was. I guess it's just the nature of the beast.

May 24, 2006, 09:15 AM
My Krag shoots .25 MOA at 100 yards 100% of the time with hand loads. I tried hand loading it for the first time using fire formed brass (it has some sort of improved chamber), just loaded up four rounds to see how they shot, took it to the range, shot this group...{6FA6B65B-D251-485E-BA1C-DA677000AF14}/picture.JPG{C8B15C99-930B-431A-BC80-CD46B2EA0CC9}/picture.JPG

...said, "yep...that'll do", called it a day and that rifle hasn't left the safe since. :D


I know...I know.:(

May 24, 2006, 09:54 AM
I know a guy who goes for same hole shots at 200 yards with 22-250. He shoots very precise handloads with a custom rifle. Precision shooting with that one rifle is his hobby.

I don't reload and I don't shoot expensive ammo much at all. I shot a PTR-91 last week and put the first 20 rounds into an 8-10" circle at 100 yards. In my book, that is good for the first time ever shooting the rifle. I didn't wait between shots and was using surplus .308. :D If I need to get precise, I'll get the scope mount working on my K31.

The funny thing about the braggers is that when you ask what position they were shooting in they will start telling you they were standing or they can shoot that good from any position. It is just like the guys who say they shot the deer between the eyes at 637 yards with a 30-30. There are a lot of guys out there who can shoot really good, but sometimes I have to see it to believe it.

May 24, 2006, 11:26 AM
that claim sub one inch groups at 100 yards are clamping their rifles in a Ransom like rest. I see it at the range all the time. Me, I just put the forestock over a sandbag and shoot. If I get a good group, it is a good day. If I don't, I better quit or practice more..........If you are not holding the gun, how can you claim you shot the group..........chris3

May 24, 2006, 12:29 PM
I know that the custom rifles will shoot way below half moa with good handloads. I always see targets in the garbage cans of my shooting range that have several groups of .25" or less from 100 yards, but those of course are $3k+ rifles, not factory ones. I'd honestly be happy if I got near half moa consistently. I still have a long way to go before that however.

Also, Would it be better to get something like a TRG22 or build my own rifle?

May 24, 2006, 01:48 PM
There are a bunch of great guys at my gunclub/range.But I believe about 1/2 of what I hear from 90% of them!
Seems to me any time somebody SHOWS me (not talks about) a stock factory rifle shooting 1MOA on a repeatable basis I know several things. 1)they know how to shoot well. 2) They have made great decisions on glass, mounts,cleaning,and ammo or handloads.3) they got an above average factory gun.Some of the custom rifle builders will promise as little as 1/2 moa but only with selected ammo and conditions. This is no easy goal.
Now there are folks out there who with custom tuned guns and handloads think that 1/2MOA isn't all that difficult but for most of us mortals is is a significant and difficult goal
Sounds like you are shooting very well indeed!

May 25, 2006, 08:44 AM
I'm happy hitting a gallon paint can at 100 yards with a .308win, so call me a redneck or whatever, but that makes me happy and doesn't require a lot of extra's besides rifle and ammo. I do admire people who are better shots than me (lots of people) and I do wish I could shoot those 1 inch groups, but don't see it happening unless I find a way to spend a lot more time and money shooting. Sometimes I get lucky and put a couple of holes right up close to each other, but might take 10 rounds to do it. Yeah, I know I'm not a sharp shooter, but I think about it alot...LOL:)

1911 guy
May 25, 2006, 09:08 AM
I have two factory rifles that I like a lot and hunt with. One is a Remington 700 VLS in .223 Rem., the other a Savage short action in .308. The Savage has racked up a few deer, drops 150 grain bullets into the boiler room with regularity. With my "super secret handloads" I get an honest MOA out of it from the bench. The .223, on the other hand, with WWB 45gr HP's, will put an entire box (40) in one jagged hole if I take my time and don't screw up the rifle doing it's business. Again, off the bench. Offhand, I'm only good for about a 3-31/2 inch group at 100 yards if it's ideal conditions. Hunting deer or varmints I use a bipod or "field expedient" rest.

May 25, 2006, 11:35 AM
If I started telling friends that I was shooting 1/2 inch groups they would laugh me out of the county. They all know most of my shooting this year was done at 200 yards with iron sights . And I do fair...... But certainly NOT that fair.

Red Tornado
May 25, 2006, 11:59 AM
am I missing something here?

It appears from your groups that you're missing the flyer that opens it up to about 2 inches.:D (Or 4 inches :( ) I ALWAYS have one of those. I guess you can practice until you learn how to flinch properly.

Seriously, it looks like you found the load and have the skill to start taking money from people whose mouths are writing checks their rifles can't cash. :evil:

May 25, 2006, 12:03 PM
Shooters, like fishermen, stretch the truth a lot. IMHO.


May 25, 2006, 03:38 PM
Almost every 1/2" group I see (true center-to-center measurement) is a 3 shot group. OCCASIONALLY a 5-shot group. I shoot 10 shot groups. I usually have 1 or 2 flyers that are my fault (and I can usually call them)...a few good 3 or 5 shoot groups ( say 80% from a benchrest) means the gun and ammo combo is accurate...If 50% of my 10 shot groups are 1/2-3/4 MOA that means that not only is the gun accurate, my I'm shooting well also (and the moon, the sun and the planets are all in proper alignment!). I'm not impressed with anything less than a 10 shot group into one hole, on a fairly regular basis.

May 25, 2006, 03:58 PM
I would say that:

-Sub-MoA rifles are uncommon
-Sub-MoA ammunition is common, but only in handloaded rounds
-Sub-MoA shooters are rare indeed.

For the rifle, the best out-of-the-box rifle that's actually useful (read: good for more than just taking three or less shots at an animal in the woods somewhere--e.g, an "evil assault weapon") is a DPMS Panther .308. This thing is easily capable of 3/4 MoA, and possibly even .5, out of the box. Of course, using handloads for any shooting in which extreme accuracy is required is essential...

May 26, 2006, 12:05 AM
Depends on your definition.

If your definition of sub-moa is that the rifle NEVER shoots a group over moa regardless of ammo choice then it's pretty hard to attain.

If your definition is that the average 10 shot group at 200 yards with a variety of factory ammo is sub-moa, that's also pretty hard to attain.

If your definition is that when you take your time and use ammo the rifle likes, you can shoot a 3 shot sub-moa group pretty much every time you take the rifle to the range, that's a bit easier.

I don't keep average accuracy specs on my rifles, nor do I typically shoot 10 shot groups. I don't get to the range with my rifles very often and when I do, I usually spend most of the time sighting in/picking ammo and then I use the rest shooting a few groups--maybe 2 to 4 three shot groups.

If I take a rifle to the range and can find some commercial ammo it likes, and if in the course of running through 20-40 rounds of the ammo it likes, I can bear down and shoot a 3 shot submoa group with the rifle and the other groups are in the neighborhood of moa then I feel good about saying that the rifle will shoot submoa.

Jon Coppenbarger
May 26, 2006, 08:03 AM
I have a few rifles that are pretty acurate or at least I think they are.
At 200 yards they will put the round where I call it. I find what messes me up is either my bad shot or the wind moving me around left to right or the dang light changes that effect elevation. I will catch them most of the time but not always.
Now I will do some practice and get good groups but I usually judge my groups on what I put on the target on match day. But that is 20 shots in any condition with other rifles going off beside me. Now being prone slung up works well for me and I shoot better groups laying on the ground than on a bench. But that is because that is what I am used to I guess.

now I will get the 1 moa groups over 20 shots once in awhile at 200 yards with my open sighted ar15 but most of the time it is like 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 as it does not take much of a mistake to shoot a wide 10 in the wind or just screw up the shot. like dang that was stupid and you know it is a 10 at 1 o'clock. or that its a 9 at 3 (LOL).

Now when I start the group if it is someplace in the middle 1 minute I will usually leave it alone unless the conditions call for a change. yeah it cost me a few X's most of the time but if my low shots are mid ring 10's and my high shots are mid ring X's why mess with it.
I do hand load and after the first couple of years of shooting I settled on a few pet loads but I also experiment and to tell the truth sometimes I get some groups that are really scary or wierd. I have one saved target that like 13 or 14 of the 20 are right in a line right threw the middle of the target and I mean in a line. It gave me agood example of how the wind changed the impact on a windy day when I saw the target real well. Maybe I will post it sometime.

Gotta go to work bye

May 26, 2006, 08:19 AM
i too think like fishermen, there are many shooters out there who may stretch the truth a bit.

few weeks back i shot a 6+" group of 20 onto cardboard at 100 yards with my ak. 3 of those 20 were a small clover leaf. So some of that 20 shots was sub MOA. :D weeeheeeee!!!

May 26, 2006, 08:52 AM
Jon, this wont do you much good while hunting, but it might be helpful at the range. Take some masking tape or ribbon with you and hang about a 3 foot piece on the bottom of your target so you can see the wind direction and strength.
Where we shoot our benches are pretty well sheltered from the wind, but our 200 yard targets are wide open, so that is how we figure out where it is coming from, and roughly, how fast.

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