--** Is This Normal? **--


October 14, 2011, 11:35 PM
Kinda new to reloading, got my basics down anyway. My question is, I shot this group at 100 yards, is this what I should expect or should it be better? This is from a .270 winchester that I will be shooting white-tail deer with and an occasional coyote. Don't need to shoot 500 yards, just want to be able to reach out and touch them up to distances of 300 yards.:confused:

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Mal H
October 14, 2011, 11:46 PM
In my opinion, that actually is fairly normal for a reliable load out of a hunting rifle. The group is a little over 1 1/2" (or 1 1/2 MOA at 100 yds). That is entirely satisfactory for deer hunting accuracy.

Can you get better groups? Most likely, but you don't need to unless you want to spend a bunch of time (and money) finding the sweet spot in the velocity range that your particular rifle likes. Heck, you might already have that spot, but aiming, wind, consistency of loading, etc. may be affecting the accuracy. Often, the human factor (careful aiming, trigger pull, flinching, etc.) is the one that makes the most difference.

October 14, 2011, 11:50 PM
The answer is "it depends"

Obviously folks do get better groups. But there are lots of factors to contribute to the groups.

Adjusting your load may reduce the groups.

Different bullets may improve your load.

Improving the bedding on your rifle may improve your group.

Improving the trigger let off may inprove your groups.

Better shooting control may improve your group.

The list goes on.

1 inch at 100 yards (nominally 1 MOA) is kind of the de facto standard for rifle accuracy but it depends on what you are hunting. 1-1/2" groups at 100 yards are pretty good for larger game.

1-1/2" groups at 100 yards should be about 4-1/2" at 300 yards. Not bad for deer if the shooter does his part.

October 14, 2011, 11:52 PM
Routinely on a group like this at 100 yards, how different would it look at 300 yards?

October 14, 2011, 11:55 PM
I think before I start putting alot of money and time into finding my guns so called sweet spot, I need to get me a scope with a little more magnificaion.

October 15, 2011, 12:20 AM
I'm thinking that if a person can place a bullet within a 2" circle at 100 yards they can successfully hunt most anything including bunny rabbits?

Mike Kerr
October 15, 2011, 01:25 AM
What magnification scope do you have on the rifle now?



October 15, 2011, 02:00 AM
Why would scope magnification make a difference? It doesn't make you hold the rifle any better.

October 15, 2011, 04:13 AM
As others have said, provided your load will consistently shoot about 1.5 MOA and provided you're taking broadside lung shots on deer, your load should be good for deer at 300 yards. Coyotes, being a bit smaller would be more challenging but doable.

As for scope magnification, I have a 2-7X scope I can easily use on small targets out to 300 yards. The benefit I see to more magnification is that barrel movement will be more apparent to you and will help you tighten up hour shooting technique. The downside I see, depending on the scope and magnification, is that more magnification means a larger heavier scope and the possible necessity to adjust for parallax at different ranges.

All that said, I would be a bit disappointed with a rifle load for a scoped rifle that did only 1.5 MOA though for a scoped handgun that would be OK for me. I want a rifle to be able to do no worse than 1 MOA as I don't subscribe to the "minute of deer" philosophy.

October 15, 2011, 10:58 AM
Sorry to take so long, but the scope currently on there is a Simmons ATV, it is a 4.5-14x40.

October 15, 2011, 11:17 AM
How experienced are you with your 270, or with 308, 30-06, etc and other rounds in the same power range? Do you have a flinch? How do you perform with standard ammo. After working with my 22 for a year and returning to the bench with my -06 and reloads, I started shooting MOA groups. I blame myself more than the groups, the scope, etc, though it was pointed out to me that my scope may be causing an issue as I tend to make 2-3 ragged holes on a target rather than one.

How much time are you allowing for barrel cool-down between shots?

Are you using a benchrest machine? If so are you accustomed to it? I used a bench once for about 15 rounds and was consistantly making 2in groups. Went back to my bipod for the next 5 and kept everything in a 1" circle in the center of the target.

Don't let it frustrate you, you should be good for deer, but I have a hard time believing that your rifle won't group MOA if it's a new 270, but then, I tend to blame myself a little too much sometimes for my groups to the point that I can't see equipment failure, but definitely check your breathing and your trigger control first.

good luck.

October 15, 2011, 12:47 PM
If you have a 4.5114X scope, magnification is not your problem.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 15, 2011, 12:54 PM
Routinely on a group like this at 100 yards, how different would it look at 300 yards?
Easy, multiply the error times three! A 1.5" group at 100 yards will most likely spread out to 4.5" groups at 300 yards, 9" groups at 600 yards, and so on -- all things being the same (same hold, no wind, etc).

October 15, 2011, 12:59 PM
I think it's an acceptable grouping. Having said that I'm OCD and constantly chasing the "perfect load." If it were me, I'd do some minor tinkering-- changing only one variable initially, i.e. powder charge, bullet seating depth, etc. If you change too many things, you don't know what worked..... All aforementioned is void if the weak link is you. I say that as some days I'll just be "off"-- using same load, gun, etc. yet unable to produce groups that I've done in the past. Maybe just do the same load another day...

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 15, 2011, 01:10 PM
I haven't read every post, however I can say that a poor trigger will cause many riflemen to shoot somewhat poorly! This is especially true if the trigger is long, hard and rough to the point where you keep wondering to yourself "when is this thing going to go off!"

I have a 60-year old bolt-action 22 single shot rifle which I just threw a cheapo scope on it. I know the rifle is capable of excellent groups at 50 yards, however, the trigger is so long, hard to pull, and so rough-feeling, that I think I shoot poorly just from the trigger alone! When I see how the trigger moves the bolt with each pull, short of having a tool and die maker or machinist-gunsmith working on it, it ain't going to be touched. I have ten dollars into a cheap Tasco 4X scope including rings that works, I am not about to put any more money into this thing, it shoots about 2" groups at 50 yards.

October 15, 2011, 01:13 PM
My question is, I shot this group at 100 yards, is this what I should expect or should it be better?

How did you shoot this group? As Geckgo said, if you DID NOT shoot from a good solid bench, with at LEAST front and back sand bags, you can't say what your rifle is really capable of.

Other things enter into the equation, what was the load? You say you're new to loading, how was the powder measured? The list goes on to really nail down what to do next, IF this group is not acceptable.

October 15, 2011, 02:06 PM
If it were me, I'd keep this reload recorded and play some more. A little of this, a bit of that to see what happens is why reloading is fun. If my groups did not improve, I could always go back to the 1 1/2" load...

Rollis R. Karvellis
October 15, 2011, 02:38 PM
A couple more questions. 1) How many groups did you shoot. This could be your worst group, of a great load. Also this could be the best group of a poor load. 2) Does your scope hold zero with your factory ammo. Power is great, but it is worthless if the scope is poorly made, and does not have a clear picture.

October 15, 2011, 05:01 PM
How does factory ammo shoot in it? You have tried other ammo and have a baseline, right?

Don't blame scope power, 4.5-14X is enough. I wouldn't even stress over how solid the bench and bags are. I can shoot 1.5" at 100 yards with iron sights over a front rest, magnification is not the answer. (Now somebody is going to tell me that's not possible, so I guess I should get to the range tomorrow and provide proof... :rolleyes: )

Really, if you're new to loading and don't have a comparison to both A) how well the rifle shoots with other ammunition and B) how well YOU can shoot with a different rifle, we can't tell you if that's good, bad or indifferent. I do know that if a rifle will shoot 1.5" for 5-shots reliably, any time, with different powders and bullets, I would keep it.

October 15, 2011, 05:23 PM
As stated above shoot some factory ammunition as a base line.

Next reload the above cartridge cases and shoot these reloads and see which is more accurate.

NOTE: The biggest cause of inaccuracy in reloaded ammunition is the fact that the expander button pulls the case necks off center due to the decaping rod being off center when tightened down. (excess bullet run-out)

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