Practical Accuracy for the common man..


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ssyoumans
January 13, 2011, 11:02 PM
Ok, so I read on here all the time, “my rifle shoots ¼” group at 100 yards, or ¾” group at 200 yards” and I’ve got to ask, what your setup is?

I recently purchased a Marlin XS7 in 243 Win and have a Nikon 3-9x40mm Prostaff scope for it. I haven’t even taken it out to the range yet, but I would like to know what a common shooter should expect for a 3 shot and 5 shot grouping? I don’t shoot off of a lead sled, I shoot off of sand bags on a table. I have a quality 3-9x scope on it. Assuming I find the right ammo for the gun (I do reload), how accurate can you be with a 3-9x scope shooting from sandbags at 100 yards, 200 yards, 300 yards? 3 shot group, 5 shot group?

Not to call BS on some of the stuff I read on here, but I often wonder what power scope or setup some of these guys have that are shooting ½ MOA out to 300+ yards (that’s around 1.5”). I wonder is that what they consistently shooting, or “best ever”, never to be repeated. I wonder what power scope they are using, and what their setup is, because I don’t really know what to expect, but I think I’d be happy with 1.5” at 100 yards. Any thoughts?

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brandon_mcg
January 13, 2011, 11:12 PM
i use 4-12 on my .308 rem 700. i dont really measure my groups for MOA or sub moa and i currently down do any bench rest shooting. i shoot from my deer stand at targets placed at 50, 100, 200, and 250 yards out. if i can hit those targets i can kill a deer. thats practical accuracy for me.

i do shoot for fun every now and then but nothing serious.

WNTFW
January 13, 2011, 11:29 PM
SS,
I have shot a 3 shot 1/4" group at 100yds. That statement is a fact. What some people read into is I am claiming:
I always shoot 3 shot groups that are 1/4"
My rifle always shoots 1/4" groups.
I could shoot 2.5" at a 1000

Then they go off on a rant explaining the way everything rifle related works. We have all see the guys here saying 3 or 5 shot don't mean jack. I think it means what it means. To a guy just reaching that plateu it is a milestone to shoot a s shot 1/4" shot group. Now he can go for the 5 shot 1/4" group.

I have seen some claim I think are ludicrous. But there is room for error including maybe I misunderstood what the claim was or it lost (or gained)something in the delivery.

The flip side is I have heard guys say a stock rifle won't shoot under so many MOA and they are flat wrong IMHO.

You are right about best ever vs ongoing average accuracy. An outstanding group that I shoot just tell me 90+% of my shooting is sub par.

My best shooting has been prone/bipod/rear bag. I think the reason is that my bench technique is not so good. Also some benches at some ranges are shaky. Even if you have a concrete bench that stool you sit on can detract if it is not good.

I shoot offhand, prone and sitting. Recently I shot a killer group sitting in practice. I also another decent group or two on that same piece of paper. Plus some I am not proud of. Some of focusing on the better to best groups and forgetting the bad is positive reinforcement. We learn our lesson from the bad & move on.

Scope power is not as big a factor as some other things. I would worry about parallax & cheek weld over power. Natural Point of Aim (NPA), trigger control and breathing. NPA and position can be huge in terms of repeatable accuracy. Good ammo or handloads can make giant difference. You can make a bad bullet shoot right. I have even had to look at reduce the target from moving at outdoor/indoor ranges. The target itself can make a difference. Even with a scope you need to concentrate/focus on the crosshairs just as you would the front sight.

16X is adequate to 600 and you can get by with less or you can use more.
As MOA drecreases all the nitpicking details plague you more.

radshooter
January 14, 2011, 12:22 AM
I have a Rem 788 .308 with a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5-20 scope. I bought it third hand from a guy my wife worked with at the time. I don't shoot near as much now as I used to, but "back in the day" the rifle would put 3 rounds in a ragged hole at 100 yards if I did my part. On a bad day, my groups were still around 1 to 1.5 inches.

I shot from a bench, but nothing fancy. I usually used a bag or two of potting soil for the front rest. For the rear, I just held it to my shoulder and used my off hand for support. I found out early that my breathing technique was critical to success.

I had the best success with my reloads, but it took a lot of shooting and experimenting with the reloading press to get a recipe that the rifle really liked.

Durty
January 14, 2011, 12:25 AM
Hey guys-- I am brand new to hunting and shooting sports in general. I went to the gun range last weekend with a buddy who has a 243 rifle and a 9mm pistol. It was so fun. I am going to get into deer hunting next year and I am really considering buying my first rifle soon. I would like something that I can shoot a deer up to 800 yards away with. I talked to a guy at a gun store where I live and he recommended a 300 ultra magnum for long range deer hunting. What do you think? My step dad has about 4 acres in Oklahoma and he said he sees deer that he says are about 800 yards away from his cabin. I would like to shoot those deer from the porch. If those deer are not on his property, am I allowed to shoot them since the animals are owned by the state? Since I will buy a state hunting license I assume I am allowed to shoot deer in that state. How far can a 300 winchester ultra kill a deer? What types of scopes do you recommend? I think the BSA scopes look cool. Any advice you guys have I would be really happy to listen! Thanks!!!

JDMorris
January 14, 2011, 12:29 AM
I shoot a Howa M-1500 that has shot some .5"-.75" groups at 100, apples at 200, and a 2.25"x2.50" group at 300, I had a Nikko Stirling Gameking 3.5-10x44 IR.
Now it wears a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 with BDC reticle, which I haven't had a chance to shoot groups with yet, but will saturday.

Durty, a .338 Lapua magnum would suit you better, and you should create your own thread, not try to change this guy's threads subject.

788Ham
January 14, 2011, 12:37 AM
My .223 is a Rem. 788, Simmons 6.5 X 20 x 50 mm scope. I know some folks laugh at a Simmons, but for $109.00, I can put 3 rounds into a spot I can easily cover with a dime @ 100 yds. I've never known how to measure for MOA, but I'm satisfied with the shooting. Some days I've shot better, some days worse. Reloading has helped my shooting more than anything, and I stick with one brand of bullet, one brand of powder and the same grains of powder for each cartridge.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
January 14, 2011, 12:39 AM
Pretty much all my rifles are capable of sub moa at 100 yards. But that does not in ANY way mean that I am capable of it on every single outing at the range. Everyone has their off days. Just not everyone on the internet are willing to admit it. On any given day, I can and have shot sub moa 5 and 10 shot strings and on others I couldn't hit a barn wall while shooting from INSIDE the barn. 9 out of 10 firearms can outperform the shooter attempting to operate them. Some, like my custom .308, are so finicky about bullets that a non handloader would end up wrapping it around a tree. But once I found the "magic load" the thing will one hole at 100 yards at any given time. Try any other load with it and you are lucky to hit paper. Some firearms just have to have that extra little something to make them shine. Others, like most every savage I have ever bought, will shine right out of the box. Some may not be so pretty, but last time I checked, I was taking them out to hunt not taking them on a date.

From what I have read and seen, that new Marlin XS7 model seems to be a pretty darn good firearm. The setup you have should perform very well. Some Marlins, don't know about this model, can be very picky on loads so if it doesn't like the first thing you feed it, don't get all down on it. It may just take a little attention to detail like a different load, or maybe a tiny little bit of relief of some stock in the barrel or receiver bed. Maybe just a hair bit of shine on the trigger. Sometimes it can be a VERY minor little thing that is easily over looked and can wreak havoc on your groups. Then other times (and this is more likely) you just can't shoot that particular weapon worth a darn. Some people and rifles just don't mesh well.

Good luck with your new weapon. Hopefully you and it will mesh like 2 peas in a pod!

WNTFW
January 14, 2011, 01:04 AM
Durty,
If you are new to hunting & rifles:
Don't shoot on deer @ 800. yds.
You need to be able to make a good hit and have a bullet perform in regards to terminal ballistic. Most guys I now that I have seen shoot extremely well in matches will cut their comfy range by 1/3 or 1/2 of what they do in matches. Basic shooting is one thing. shooting in the wind is a life long exercise.
Buy a caliber you can afford to shoot. Even if money is not an issue recoil will have a price. I takes more practice than even I like to admit. If money is not an object get a .22lr, a smallish caliber centerfire preferrably with common caliber and good bullet ammo selection and shoot often. Then get the big dream caliber. You will make a better decision and a better rifleman/hunter.

W.E.G.
January 14, 2011, 01:35 AM
Me and a couple of my kin had an AK-47 contest.

Wallowed-out bore.

Folding metal stock.

Iron sights.

Offhand.

50 yards.

Rapid fire.

Full magazine fired at each target.

8.5 x 11 targets.

I won (my target on left).

This is why "high capacity" magazines are absolutely necessary.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/targets/underfoldermagdump.jpg

(shots marked with black pen were already on the backer)

Tedzilla
January 14, 2011, 01:39 AM
Durty,
Welcome to the sport of hunting. As a practical matter deer hunting from the porch is often impractical because of extreme temperatures and the risk of carnivorous insects. I usual do my long distance deer hunting from the kitchen window for the aforementioned reasons and because it’s closer to the refrigerator.

StrawHat
January 14, 2011, 07:54 AM
Durty ... I would like something that I can shoot a deer up to 800 yards away with...

You already have it, your keyboard.

Before you try 800 yard shooting, try 50 or 100 yard shooting. As for cartridges, consider the 308 or the 30-06. Plenty accurate for hunting out to any practical range. You will have to define practical range. To me it is 150 yards or less, and I will try to stalk to half that or even closer. Other hunters will shoot fartrher, that is their choice.

I would bet the Ultra Mag the guy tried to sell you is one he has not been able to sell to anyone else. A lot of recomendations are based on what is gathering dust and needs to be sold.

StrawHat
January 14, 2011, 07:58 AM
ssyoumans ...because I don’t really know what to expect, but I think I’d be happy with 1.5” at 100 yards. Any thoughts?...

For hunting accuracy, I use a paper dinner plate and try to keep my shots centered in it and away from the edges. I am content with 2MOA fired offhand or sitting. As for how many shots in the group, I don't care, usually 5 or less because non of my rifles hold more than 5 shells.

When I competed with a rifle, I wanted every .001" I could get.

Dave B
January 14, 2011, 08:33 AM
Durty, shooting across a fence or property line can get you some jail time. Your 30 cal mega blaster probably won't pawn for enough to make bail money.

Tirod
January 14, 2011, 09:06 AM
Practical accuracy is relative.

The military standard is 2MOA, about a two inch group at a hundred yards. That will still hit a 8" circle at 400, which is still about half the size of a human torso. Lake City and the DOD test accuracy with a ten shot group, and measure the average deviation in inches from the calculated center of it.

If you are testing accuracy and insist on milspec, then that means ten shot groups. Anything else is suspect as advertising hype.

Rifles that can shoot 1/2MOA or less are certainly out there, what's amazing is that so few understand what it actually takes to get it. Most accessories don't make the rifle more accurate, they just prevent the shooter being inaccurate. Pile them all on a gun with a 2MOA barrel, it'll still shoot 2MOA. You can't shoot the wings off a fly if it's not capable of 1/2 Minute of Fly Wing. It's just a spray and pray gun for flies.

At 2 MOA it's still combat rated and a decent hunting rifle, tho. Bragging rights about accuracy beyond that have plagued the American shooter since before the War of Independence. They're testosterone based, and we should just ignore the chest thumping for what it is. Save it for the range, already.

Sheepdog1968
January 14, 2011, 10:54 AM
AT 100 and 200 yards distance with 10 shot groups, I typically shoot 3 to 4 MOA. I'm sure I've had some better groups than this but it's the norm. My ethical hunting distance is 200 yards and I'd prefer to be within 150 yards.

Picher
January 14, 2011, 11:04 AM
Practically speaking, a deer hunter needs to place ALL shots in a 6" circle from any position and at any distance he/she intends to shoot at a deer. Confine your shots to shooting positions or distances where you can do it. Learn where that 6" circle is located on a deer observed at different angles.

If you practice enough to know what distances and from which positions you can shoot that 6" circle, you'll be way ahead of many hunters in the field. Ability to hit a 6" diameter circle varies with conditions, including weather, light, and physical condition at the time.

I like a rifle that when shot from a solid benchrest, will group my hunting ammo inside 1" at 100 yards. I LOVE rifles that will do 1/2" or better, but really don't need that level of accuracy for deer hunting.

BrocLuno
January 14, 2011, 11:29 AM
Who puts 10 shots into a deer or a hog? Lordy, I'm worried.

First shot cold barrel sitting with a sling if you have one - better be close to middle of the dinner plate? Next one better be too? After that, it's whatever you want :)

Hunting accuracy and bench time are two different things. Yeah, it's nice to know that your pet rifle will shoot 1" at 100. It's nice to know what it will do with a hot barrel. But it ain't necessary. Knowing what it will do with a stone cold barrel is necessary :what: More so than all the other data you can find out :banghead:

Sight that new one in and let it rest in the shade for a 1/2 hour. Pick it up and put one on target. Make up your mind if that's where it was supposed to be? If so, you are good. If not, adjust and do all over again.

Shooting SPBT hand loads is one thing, Shooting Wally-World Remington Cor-Loks is another. Which are you going to use in the field - on game?

What did you buy the gun for - deer & hogs, or paper? Sight-in and test for that scenario. If you are going to shot groups of bowling pins, maybe a hot barrel counts? If you are going to shoot a tree full of hanging long line and swinging water balloons, I'm sure it counts (good way to learn lead on moving targets).

I like a repeatable rifle as much as the next guy, but I really want to know where that first one is going :cool:

Art Eatman
January 14, 2011, 11:38 AM
The quality of machine tools is such that almost any modern bolt-action rifle should be capable of around one MOA. That's the rifle itself. After that, it's shooter skill and knowledge. A scope helps, of course, but magnification of above 4X for 100 yard tight groups isn't really necessary.

As far as the distance in deer hunting, I'm pretty much a believer that one's limit in the field is whatever disance one can reliably hit the end of a beer can. That's field position, whether offhand or from some sort of hasty rest.

I've been at this game for a helluva long time. The idea of shooting a deer out at 800 yards means a really, really long learning curve and a ferocious amount of money in rigging up and in practicing. From what I've seen for most truly skilled shooters, around 400 yards is a practical limit.

BrocLuno
January 14, 2011, 11:47 AM
Heck Art, at my age I wouldn't even try 3/4 of that :(

CraigC
January 14, 2011, 12:15 PM
At 2 MOA it's still combat rated and a decent hunting rifle, tho. Bragging rights about accuracy beyond that have plagued the American shooter since before the War of Independence. They're testosterone based, and we should just ignore the chest thumping for what it is. Save it for the range, already.
So wanting to shoot better than what the military deems "adequate" makes me a macho man chest thumper??? That's a very interesting generalization. I would think it to be quite egotistical and arrogant to presume to tell every other American shooter what level of accuracy should be acceptable....to them.

Hangingrock
January 14, 2011, 12:50 PM
Center fire hunting rifles I only have two remaining from a one time large collection. One is a Winchester M70-LH in 30-06 with a Leupold 1.75-6X scope and the other is a Winchester M-94 in 30-30. At 100yds the M70 shoots just under a minute of angle and at 200yds ¾ minute of angle. The M94 isn’t as precise.

That said I operate under the 8-inch circle rule. That’s to say stand up and shoot if all your rounds stay with an 8-inch circle no matter the distance that’s your maximum effective range from standing.

That’s bringing the rifle to shoulder and shooting in a compressed period of time to let the shot off.

Of course if you shoot at the end diameter of a beer can your maximum effective range is going to be some what different.;):)

KodiakBeer
January 14, 2011, 01:03 PM
I would like something that I can shoot a deer up to 800 yards away with.

You should not begin hunting until you are mature enough to understand that you owe the animal a clean kill. Anyone shooting at a deer at 800 yards is a cretin.

merlinfire
January 14, 2011, 01:34 PM
You should not begin hunting until you are mature enough to understand that you owe the animal a clean kill. Anyone shooting at a deer at 800 yards is a cretin.

I tend to agree, however, would we make exceptions for those crazy long-range .50BMG hunters?

Still, 800 yards seems like I would have a hard time hitting anything at all.

brandon_mcg
January 14, 2011, 01:41 PM
800 yards for deer??? you may want to reevaluate your stand placement and/or stalking skills.

magnatecman
January 14, 2011, 01:55 PM
:cool:SSYOUMANS, you said

"I don’t really know what to expect, but I think I’d be happy with 1.5” at 100 yards. Any thoughts?"

Well, here are my thoughts - You have a fine rifle for whatever you just paid for it. I got my boy the same rifle in a youth stocked version for Christmas.

I bought some Federal 80 gr. factory loads to sight it in with just a cheap 4x BSA scope that I had laying around so he could go try it out.

First 3 shots at 50 yards, after I boresighted it were inside of a half inch and on target, then we moved out to 100 yards and I shot 3 more 3 shot groups all under an inch.

Then I pronounced it dialed in good enough for the boy to shoot. He is ten years old mind you, and he proceeded to shoot about a 5 inch, 6 shot group from 100 yards. Keep in mind the scope nailed him on the second shot and yet he was still able to keep a fair group on paper. I need to upgrade his scope to something with more eye relief.

I love the trigger just the way it came out of the box, even though it is adjustable I don't think it needs any tinkering really.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!:cool:

Welding Rod
January 14, 2011, 03:29 PM
All my best groups have been with RRA stainless HBAR ARs, Match ammo, and a Leupold Mk4 4.5-14 x 50.

I haven't shot them much but I have had 5 shot groups sub 3/4 MOA at 500 yards and sub 1/2 MOA at 200 yards.

Vern Humphrey
January 14, 2011, 03:43 PM
I would like to know what a common shooter should expect for a 3 shot and 5 shot grouping?
A 3-shot 2" to 3" group at 100 yards, all things considered, would be fine in a hunting rifle. A 5-shot group would probably be about 40% larger.

To really measure a rifle's accuracy, you need a skillful shooter and a lot of groups -- the American Rifleman standard for evaluating rifles submitted for test and comment uses 5, 5-shot groups, reporting the diameter of each group and the average.

FullEffect1911
January 14, 2011, 04:05 PM
If you can hit your intended target consistently and repeatedly then you rifle is good enough for you. Think about what kind of group sizes you would be happy with or need and strive for those. Perfection is the enemy of good enough, I say work more on practical shooting and less on trying to squeeze out every bit of precision.

Of course we all shoot for different reasons, so strive for what gives you the most joy.

Art Eatman
January 14, 2011, 04:49 PM
"Intended target" oughta be a specific place on Bambi, not just "somewhere in the brown". :)

Vern Humphrey
January 14, 2011, 04:56 PM
"Intended target" oughta be a specific place on Bambi, not just "somewhere in the brown".
Perfectly true -- the worst mistake you can make is "aiming at the whole deer."

But that said, a 12" group centered on the heard and lungs is plenty good enough.

henschman
January 14, 2011, 07:39 PM
Any doofus can shoot MOA or less from a bench rest or with sandbags front and rear or with his friggin rifle clamped to a table. Be a man and get down on the ground! I am not impressed in the slightest when people come back saying how they shot X size group off a bench. The ability to shoot good groups off a bench is good for one thing only... shooting groups off a bench. Accuracy from practical field positions is what impresses me. Rifle marksmanship is not golf. It has a deadly serious practical application that everyone who loves liberty should be prepared to engage in.

If a man can CONSISTENTLY shoot 4 MOA from sling-supported field positions, he is doing better than about 99% of all gun owners in my experience. I would actually be impressed if someone were to post up a target with 5 1" squares shot at 25m with 5 rounds on each square with every round in the black from prone unsupported. OK, if you can do that, now try it from seated. If you can pull that off, try it kneeling, then standing. Anyone who can consistently shoot 4 MOA from standing is a steely-eyed RIFLEMAN.

MythBuster
January 14, 2011, 07:44 PM
I agree 100%

MythBuster
January 14, 2011, 07:48 PM
I know guys who can shoot one hole 100 yard groups but they could not even hit the berm at 100 yards if you take away their bench and sand bags.

I listen these "experts" every time I go in the gun shop and they get more and more ignorant every day.

They know as much about real world shooting as I know about flying the space shuttle.

Tirod
January 14, 2011, 07:50 PM
I would think it to be quite egotistical and arrogant to presume to tell every other American shooter what level of accuracy should be acceptable....to them.

It would be - except posters do it here and at the range every day. If a shooter doesn't appear to exhibit serious skill levels, the locker room atmosphere and comments paint the shooter as a lesser human being.

I understand the desire of a shooter to know where a first cold barrel shot will land, but I have to ask, how much different can it be? Again, 2MOA will do the job on most medium American game, that IS a practical reality. Are we insisting that a 1/2" difference in the first cold shot is significant when hunting, or is there really an underlying issue of barrel quality?

If it moves so much as to ethically challenge the shooter, I'd be more concerned about returning it to the shoddy maker.

Pacsd
January 14, 2011, 08:37 PM
OK, you asked "what do you think". I think you are living in a dream world. Take a few steps back and get practical. A tyro with a 300 ultra mag shooting at deer 800 yards away? Get real. Learn the basics of marksmanship with a Ruger 10/22 and work you way up to high powered calibers under adult supervision. How old are you any way?

smartshot
January 14, 2011, 08:45 PM
every year my buddy and I would go hunting up in the adirondack mountains of new york. I would have always practiced my butt off and bring a rifle that shot 3/4 MOA at the range. My buddy would bring his trusted rifle that "hit an apple at 30 yards" after taking one practice shot a year. For the first couple years, I would generally miss the buck completely and he would generally make a perfect shot because shooting at an animal is all about taking your time and aiming. To answer your question though, for hunting purposes, you should strive for 1" at 100 yards and not be too disappointed if the group is 2-3" at 100 yards because you can still make a vital shot within 200 yards.

Hangingrock
January 14, 2011, 09:02 PM
Henschman: Be a man and get down on the ground!

The heck with the ground I say! Stand up like a man and shoot. I say stand up-stand up!;):D

Hunt480
January 14, 2011, 09:08 PM
I bought the new Marlin in 270. I have been getting 1" groups @ 100 yards when I do my part. This is with reloads using 130 grain PSP CoreLokts. Its a good deer gun.

henschman
January 14, 2011, 09:34 PM
The heck with the ground I say! Stand up like a man and shoot. I say stand up-stand up!

:D:D:D

Geno
January 14, 2011, 09:40 PM
ssyoumans:

Welcome to THR. Great thread topic here!

For me, it depends on what rifle I am shooting, and if I intend to shoot steel targets or a game animals. It also depends on the distance I want to be able to shoot.

For heavier rifles, such as my 19-pound M700 Police with a 42X Nightforce scope, and a 4 ounce trigger, if I had larger than 0.50" groups at 100 yards, I would quickly begin to question my trigger pulls, and/or my loads. This same rifle groups in the 0.75" range at 300 yards. It is my varmint rifle, that I keep zeroed at 300 yards, and of which and I demand 1-shot-kills.

Now, for my Weatherby Mark V in .300 WM, if my groups are in the 1.0 to 1.5" range at 100 yards, I would keep developing loads and tweak, but that level of accuracy wouldn't be all bad for deer. I keep that rifle zeroed at 300 yards, and take my shots on deer at distances out to 525 yards. I never have failed to drop a deer, ram or boar with that or any other like-accuracy rifle I used.

My answer: it depends on the rifle, and the intended use. Cool thread!

Geno

BrocLuno
January 14, 2011, 09:59 PM
[I] ...I understand the desire of a shooter to know where a first cold barrel shot will land, but I have to ask, how much different can it be? Again, 2MOA will do the job on most medium American game, that IS a practical reality. Are we insisting that a 1/2" difference in the first cold shot is significant when hunting, or is there really an underlying issue of barrel quality?

We've had a few show up around here lately that will string them out as much as 5" as the barrel heats up. If you chase that string, you will build a rifle that shoots first shot somewhere you are not looking :(

There is a post here in the last few days asking for help with a rifle that always throws it's first shot 2" left and low. All the rest of the group go into the same area. That ones a bit scary for shooting small stuff :what:

I know these guns need to be figured out and I guess they will, but my old dad has had more than one rifle that puts a cold steel shot one place and number three a bit away. Many old levers do this in my experience. Some feather weights with very light barrel tapers do to.

Point of my comments is to take you time and teach yourself to hit accurately on a game sized target from a cold rifle and field position. You can shoot bench groups for fun, but don't adjust your scope for that unless you return it to first shot cold barrel setting when your done. AND, if the scope is not repeatable - you need to figure that out too :confused:

RNB65
January 14, 2011, 10:12 PM
Practical is good. Not everyone is meant to be a marksman. Using a front rest and my shoulder as the back rest, I usually use golfball, baseball and softball as my practical expectations.

50 yards with a scope, I'm happy with golfball size groups - 1.6"

100 yards with a scope, baseball size is fine - 2.8"

100 yards with open sights, softball size is good to go - 3.8"

SlamFire1
January 14, 2011, 10:12 PM
Any doofus can shoot MOA or less from a bench rest or with sandbags front and rear or with his friggin rifle clamped to a table. Be a man and get down on the ground! I am not impressed in the slightest when people come back saying how they shot X size group off a bench. The ability to shoot good groups off a bench is good for one thing only... shooting groups off a bench. Accuracy from practical field positions is what impresses me. Rifle marksmanship is not golf. It has a deadly serious practical application that everyone who loves liberty should be prepared to engage in.


I like the way you think. :D

All you have to do to win NRA week at Camp Perry is shoot 2 MOA all the way out to 600 yards. To date, no one has done it, for four days. Sheri Gallagher came the closest this year setting a National Record. http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2010/08/sherri-gallagher-uses-260-rem-to-win-national-hp-championship/

I am certain Sheri's hold is 1/4 MOA when prone, and her rifle is less than 1/2 MOA, and yet, 2 MOA standing, sitting, prone with a sling, is not a gimme.

I remember how happy I was to break 2300. And that took years.

jcwit
January 14, 2011, 10:28 PM
For those of you that think its a piece of cake shooting off a bench and shooting sub minute of angle 5 shot groups, try shooting for score off a bench, 1 shot per bull 25 bull target then come back and post the target with a score of 250 and 25 x. Lets see this easy piece of cake.

Hunt480
January 14, 2011, 10:36 PM
When I was a kid my ole man could take a 30/06 in a standing position free handed and hit a gallon jug at 100 yards with iron sites we did'nt use scopes back then. I really did'nt know how good of shot that was at the time. He was an amazing shot with a 22 rifle also. I have never been able to match what I saw him do but even now after Im sited in I always practice free handed or like I will actually do in the woods.

CraigC
January 14, 2011, 10:53 PM
Any doofus can shoot MOA or less from a bench rest or with sandbags front and rear or with his friggin rifle clamped to a table. Be a man and get down on the ground! I am not impressed in the slightest when people come back saying how they shot X size group off a bench.
Impressive or not, I don't really care about how well 'you' can shoot. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the shooter who can do well but that's not information I can use. I want to know how well the rifle or handgun shoots, not the shooter. Think about a publication that only printed groups shot from the offhand or prone position. The numbers would be worthless. Don't misunderstand, shooting ability from field positions are all that matters "out there" but for testing and informational purposes, bench testing is all that's relevant. This is our baseline, our starting point.

I also strongly disagree that "any doofus" can do it. Shooting well off the bench takes a good technique and fine trigger control. Probably less than 5% of shooters ever shoot a sub-MOA group, regardless of position.

christcorp
January 14, 2011, 11:03 PM
My definition of "Practical Accuracy for the common man".

WIth iron sights or a 1x Red-dot hitting a 4" circle, "About the size of a soft ball or roll of duct tape", at 100 yards, just leaning on a table, tree, etc... The MINUTE you mention "MOA"; yes, I know what minute of angle is; you are no longer dealing with "Practical Accuracy". Practical accuracy is being able to hit your target. Practical accuracy isn't positioned on a bench rest and spending 60 seconds before firing a round. If I can hit a 4" circle at 100 yards with iron sights or 1x red-dot sights, then my target is dead. If I wanted to be a sniper, shooting at 500+ yards, that ISN'T PRACTICAL, and it's definitely not for the COMMON MAN.

Art Eatman
January 15, 2011, 12:07 AM
IMO, when talking about hunting, the bench rest is merely a means of testing the rifle and ammo as to capabilities. Generally, how tight the groups will be, and the relationship between the first shot from a cold barrel (whether clean or having had one fouling shot before use) and the following shots.

After that, pretty much, only field position competency on the part of the shooter is what's important--which is why I bring up the bit about the end of a beer can as a control for one's distance limit.

killchain
January 15, 2011, 12:30 AM
Minute of man.

longsman
January 15, 2011, 08:19 AM
Here is a simple variation on the deer hunting rifle theme. Any self respecting deer hunter should be able to hit deer's boiler room (aka heart), which is 6" or 15cm in diameter. That means that your rifle of a choice needs to meet the following accuracy standard:

-6" expressed in MOA at various distances:

distance MOA
[y]
100 ..... 6.3
200 ..... 3.2
300 ..... 2.1
400 ..... 1.6
500 ..... 1.3
600 ..... 1.1
700 ..... 0.9
800 ..... 0.8
900 ..... 0.7
1000 ..... 0.6
1100 ..... 0.6
1200 ..... 0.5

The above table (please, excuse my formatting) clearly shows that you do not need 1/2 MOA rifle until you get to hunt deer at 1,200 yards. Even up to 300 yards, you will be OK with quite sub-standard rifle. No names here ;-)

Now at 1,200 yards the accuracy of rifle becomes much less important, because point of impact will much more depend on your ability to make an accurate wind speed call. A small error in a wind speed estimate, at such a distance, would produce a miss equal to several yards. As one can only accurately estimate wind at its own position, longer distance shooting mostly depend on luck and calm weather.

TCB in TN
January 15, 2011, 08:51 AM
Everyone has talked about their opinion of "practical accuracy" and so now you have some goals. What do you do to get to them?

Years ago when I hunted quite a lot I decided I wanted to get "good at shootin". So I bought a decent Ruger .270, put a nice redfield scope on it and started practicing, early in the spring. A box or two of center fire rifle and a bunch of rim-fire every weekend. By the time summer ended I had gotten to where I could regularly put 5 rounds into 2in at 200 yards. Of course that was sitting at a table with a good rest. Went out hunting that year, missed a couple, hit a couple. Was frustrated because most of my hunting shots were not so easy.

Me and a couple of buddies talked about it and decided that we needed to change how we shot. So we started practicing shooting off hand, kneeling, and resting off a tree. To start went from shooting those 2in groups to about 8-10 in at 200 yards. Kept practicing and got to where we could shoot just about as good kneeling or off a tree as off the table. Made a lot more shots, and missed fewer that year. Still missed a couple of shots when I was stalking/driving that I shouldn't have.

Got to thinking about it, and realized that my heart rate at practice was nice and low, but when you have been moving around hunting or are real excited then it feels a lot different. So we started throwing some activity into our shooting. Do 50 push-ups, pick up your rifle and take a 100yard shot. Run 50 yards, pick up your rifle and take your 200 yard shot. Shoot in bulky clothes, shoot when the wind is up, shoot in the rain. The more different conditions you shoot in, and the tougher you make your prac the better you are going to be for real. The last season I hunted I took several deer, and about 15 or 20 coyotes, and I didn't miss much.

Now I don't hunt much these days, don't shoot near as much either, but have been showing my boys the difference. I may be out of shape now, but I know how to handle it and so I still out shoot them. At least for now.;)

KodiakBeer
January 15, 2011, 10:55 AM
Now at 1,200 yards the accuracy of rifle becomes much less important, because point of impact will much more depend on your ability to make an accurate wind speed call. A small error in a wind speed estimate, at such a distance, would produce a miss equal to several yards.

Wind drift begins well short of that - see table below. More importantly, wind estimation between the shooter and target are little more than a guess which makes practical accuracy for a standard hunting round (even in a light wind) a joke after 500 yards. And the joke isn't very funny when you realize the punchline is a gut-shot deer.

http://www.rifleshootermag.com/shooting_tips/RSwind_values480B.gif

BrocLuno
January 15, 2011, 11:04 AM
And this page has all the real deal stuff for practical accuracy - well said gentlemen :)

That's why at 60+ and out of shape as the next average Joe - I limit my shots to Lever Action distances, even with a bolt gun :(

armoredman
January 15, 2011, 11:08 AM
"Practical accuracy" is an interesting concept. Let me share a few thoughts on that , if you don't mind.
I think the definition of practical accuray has mainly to do with the intended task of the rifle. For instance, this is a 200 yard group I shot with my CZ 527M, supported, NOT benched. Scope was a 4-12.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/527/527at2002.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/527/527Matnewplace.jpg

I can live with that, but would like it smaller. Now, here is a 200 yard target shot with my vz-58, optics was a 1x EOTech, now gone - the optic, not the rifle. Also shot seated, supported, not benched.


http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/vz%20at%20200%20yards/016.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/vz%20at%20200%20yards/010.jpg

I can live with that, too. The task of each rifle is completely different, even though I use them both for the same thing - punching holes in paper. :)

Last a target shot by the CZ 527M at close range, 50 yards, for load development. This was shot using my brand new bachrest bags.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/527/527Mcast4.jpg

Based on that target alone someone would say my rifle/me combo couldn't hit squat at 200 yards, but this is developing a cast bullet load, so practical accuracy is at 50 yards while finding the sweet spot to move back to 100 yards, etc.

Anyway, that's my take, with some pictures. :)

Rollis R. Karvellis
January 15, 2011, 12:22 PM
The best 3, shot group with one of my rifles was just over.3. This was off a bench, with bags, and almost perfect conditions. When I'm, doing well most groups will produce in the.7 - .9 range. The funnest group was, a 5 inch group with the same gun, and load at 100 yards prone, with bipod, for 50 shots.

Welding Rod
January 15, 2011, 02:20 PM
ssyoumans - to answer the question you asked, I would expect it to do 2" or better for 5 shots at 100. With no wind the group should maintain its accuracy pretty closely in MOA out to the 300 yard mark you asked about.

ssyoumans
January 15, 2011, 05:47 PM
Thanks all who replied.. Very interesting takes on the topic.
The Marlin XS7 in 243 will eventually see some use for deer, but I'm not a big time hunter with access to land w/o joining a hunting club, which I'm considering when season comes around. The last 2 times I went hunting, I brought my Marlin 336 in 30-30, but I didn't see any deer. I'm confident I can hit the boiler room out to 60-70 yards standing or leaning up against a tree, and probably 125 yards out of a tree stand on a calm day. Most places where I've been, your shots are limited to about 75 yards due to the denisty of the trees. I get about a 1" 3 shot group at 60 yards from sandbags with Hornady FTX. I should take up "TCB In TN" method of testing what I'm capable of at different distances and differnt shooting positions. Sounds like a fun challenge.
Since deer season has ended here, I'll probably be simply punching holes in paper for the next 9 months unless I get invited to try my luck at coyote hunting.

So, general target shooting for fun was really where my question was focused, just what could a stock gun, with a normal barrel (not a match grade), shooting off of sandbags with a 3-9x scope could expect. Sounds like the scope & rifle with ammo it likes should be capable of close to 1" - 2" at 100 yards, but the big question, am I?? That I'll have to work on. The range I go to only goes out to 100 yards, so I didn't know what to expect for 200 or 300 yards, cause I don't even know what a 1" target circle looks like through the scope at that distance. I'm sure again, it will be as people have said before, the shooter is the the real limiting factor, heart rate, breathing, trigger control.

Again, thanks to everyone's input and take on the topic.

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