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Accuracy

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by svtruth, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    Just read in a gun magazine: "Accuracy is, in its purest form a measure of consistency."
    And I have to say that is just wrong.
    Accuracy is hitting what you aim at.
    If you aim at the center of the target and put five shots in one hole in the 5 ring, that is precision, not accuracy.
    Sorry to rant but after a lifetime in science it gives me colic to confuse the two.
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine too, when people refer to precision as accuracy and vice versa. Just like the clips vs mags thing.
     
  3. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

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    Well, Col Plaster states that accuracy is consistency and consistency is accuracy.

    Is that really bothering you so much? I would think with so much else out there something more compelling might occupy a person's attention.
     
  4. wishin

    wishin Member

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    I guess the same can be said about inaccuracy. I know some shooters that are consistently inaccurate!:neener:
     
  5. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    It bothers me because it's flat out incorrect. Accuracy is hitting the bullseye; precision is group size (and thus consistency). The two are related, but are not the same. It would be like referring to torque as horsepower.
     
  6. pitsmile

    pitsmile Member

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    A chemistry teacher I had, a couple of semester's ago, stressed the difference between accuracy and precision. Unfortunately, ignorance is far too common.
     
  7. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    Wow of all the things to get worked up about....
     
  8. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    Yep. The term "accuracy", as used in the shooting sports, has a different use/meaning than in most every other area. And, yes, as an engineer, it bugs me. But, I've realized that there is plenty of jargon out there that assigns alternate meanings to all kinds of words, depending on the context in which those words are used. So, as long as I can convince myself that it is jargon, I've decided that it's not worth it to try and convince 98% of the shooters out there that they are wrong.

    So, in this context, what we (scientists, engineers, etc.) would call "precision" is called "accuracy" and is often described as "tight groups". And what we would call "accuracy" doesn't really have a name, but is often referred to as how a weapon is "shooting", meaning where a group is located on a target. (i.e., "I switched ammo and now my pistol is shooting low and left.")

    When I'm reading an engineering forum and someone is confusing accuracy for precision, they will be properly corrected. But, since I'm on a shooting forum, I'll continue use their jargon. Now, the whole mag vs. clip discussion I'll leave for the gun nuts to iron out while I go clip articles out of my latest shooting mag.
     
  9. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    [email protected] Member

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    Is this accuracy or precision?

    Untitled33.jpg
     
  10. o Unforgiven o

    o Unforgiven o Member

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    Assuming you were aiming at the + in the bullseye that would be precision, as not all of you shots are hitting it, but they are in a small group and all hitting each other. Then again assuming that would be within your tolerences it could also accurately be described as well, accurate.

    Precise shootin' there tex! :uhoh: ;)
     
  11. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    I'd say that what you have there is a fair amount of precision coupled with a decent amount of accuracy and an excessive amount of sarcasm. :)
     
  12. DragonFire

    DragonFire Member

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    But is accuracy ONLY hitting the bullseye? So anytime you don't hit it, you're inaccurate? It's really a matter of degree of accuracy not accurate vs inaccurate.

    Which would you say is more accurate: a 3" group scatter around the bullseye, or a 1/2" group slightly more than 3" from the bullseye? Which gun would you rather have?

    Is a rifle that hits the bullseye say once in every three shots more accurate than one the always come within 1/2" of it?
     
  13. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Accuracy or Precision? Try shooting for group, 5 rounds per group and 5 groups.

    Then take 25 bullseye's and shoot for score, 1 round per bull.

    Might be amazed at the difference.
     
  14. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    I have found that one of my Glock clips makes the gun more accurate than the other clip does... :p
     
  15. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Was that Accuracy or Precision?

    Neither.

    If you can put five shots in one hole, then you can move the hole around. I hate it when someone sees some of my targets, and their first comment is "You missed the bullseye!"

    Cluebat: When you shoot out an aiming point by shooting -at- it, your group is going to get larger. If I have to, I can click the scope a half-inch up, and be right there.

    To achieve a high degree of accuracy, you need consistency. Consistent powder, consistent bullets, consistent cases, consistent barrel conditions, consistent ride on the bags, consistent trigger control, and consistent reading of the wind.

    The consistency provides the accuracy, which can then be harnessed for precision. If you don't have the consistency, you don't get the accuracy, so you can forget about precision.

    Yeah, your inconsistent and inaccurate rig may occasionally land a round in the middle of the target. That's usually called "luck."
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    So the claim is if one can shoot 1 hole 1/4 inch groups all day long they can shoot a score of 250 25X on every target al day long! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOk

    That person needs to go to the super shoot.
     
  17. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    Yes.

    The first gun is more accurate, but it is not precise.

    The second one is precise, but is inaccurate.

    Of course most any of us would take the second, because accuracy is easily changed by a few clicks on the scope. Improving precision takes more work. ;)

    "Accurate" and "precise" are different words that mean different things. Just because they are both related to a similar concept does not mean they can be interchanged without changing what you are saying.
     
  18. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Haven't been to the supershoot for a coupla years - did they switch from shooting group to shooting score?

    If a rifle won't shoot sub 1/4 MOA groups, it sure won't be accurate for score shooting, much less group shooting...

    (BTW, wanna buy an ugly, but accurate, Panda with barrels in 6PPC, 6BR, and a short 22PPC? Chambers were cut by Ron Hoehn. Trying to get a business off the ground, and don't wanna sell it, but...)
     
  19. therewolf

    therewolf member

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    OTOH, you generally don't see accuracy without consistency.

    Much the same as you generally don't see large amounts of torque with

    little or no horsepower, or vice versa.

    IMO, being accurate just once in a while is luck, or statistical anomaly.

    Precision, or consistency, is what verifies and substantiates any claim to accuracy.

    But if you merely want to parse terms, OP, it would be precise to say you

    are accurate.(sir)
     
  20. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Guess I just don't know how to shoot, can shoot groups all day long both at 100 yds with center fire and 50 yd with .22 RF. Switch to ARA target, 22 RF at 50 yds. and its a whole different ball game.

    Would be nice to buy the rifle but Veteran Disablity check isn't big enough, but thats another story.
     
  21. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Is this accuracy or precision?"

    Looks like a turkey choke. :neener:

    I'm glad we're shooters and not scientists, we can use traditional firearm-related lingo.

    John
     
  22. Neverwinter

    Neverwinter Member

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    Marksmanship when I was in highschool covered both accuracy and precision in the same way that the OP describes it.
     
  23. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    All you have to do is move the sights to put the 1/2 inch group on the bullseye.

    The 3 inch group needs a (possibly) lot of other work.
     
  24. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Accuracy is hitting what you aim at.
    If you aim at the center of the target and put five shots in one hole in the 5 ring, that is precision, not accuracy."

    Me, I believe that if I aim at a spot on the 5-ring in order to hit the bull repeatedly I've accomplished my objective - I've hit what I intended. Call it what you will.

    I used to regularly shoot one of my uncle's many used rifles back in the '50s and '60s when he traded a lot of guns. I was the only one who could hit anything with that old .22 bolt - shotgun shells, .22 cases, squirrels, etc.

    I had figured out you needed to aim up and to the right of your target (at 45 degrees) 1.5 inches at 25 yards. Everybody thought I was accurate with it and the squirrels tasted good. Do you mean I wasn't accurate with it? Well dang, we must be in the new reality or something. :)

    What year did you go to "highschool"? I graduated in '68.

    John
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    BTW, I've had a subscription to Precision Shooting for many years, so it's not like a I'm a complete rube at this stuff. And I was a physics major in undergrad school fwiw.
     
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