How accurate are rifle shooters

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Poconolg, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I remember standing in line behind a guy at the gun counter at cabelas once who had brought back a 22 he had bought to get fixed. He said he keeps shooting at the rabbits in his garden and never hits any of them. The sales guy asked if he ever sighted it in and the guy said “what does that mean?”. He went on to show how the scope caps come off and showed him the adjustment dials and explained what they do. Brand new information for him. I guess someone needs to check with people if they know any of that when they buy them. These guys are out there in the woods trying to shoot deer.

    My brother in law works at a sporting goods place and he says he is fairy confident that when he laser bore sights everyone’s rifles in the back of the store that about 50% of them go straight out to the woods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
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  2. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    This would be comical if it weren’t true.
     
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  3. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Great. I learned something new today. Thanks
     
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  4. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Your guess on % is on the low side based on my son's feedback for his store. I would hazard the majority of rifle scope combos are shot and hunted as-is without adjustments. There is one store with an indoor range here that asks people if they want a 100 yard or 500 yard zero. They adjust with a collimator then tell customers not to touch the caps or it will mess up the gun. Customers can test fire on the 25 yard range to prove its done right.

    Personally find it ridiculous and I'm sure the setting is the same regardless what the customer chooses. Regardless it's probably good enough to be minute of deer at the 50-75 yard range most shooting houses are set up around here to the feeders so people seem to be perfectly happy.
     
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  5. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    You had his name closer to truth the first time...

    But yeah, it was this guy:

     
  6. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I'm NOT an average shooter, having been shooting turkey shoots with hunting rifles, benchrest competitions with various calibers/cartridges, and a varmint hunter that used a .30-06 with a 2.5X Weaver, as practice for deer hunting...killing chucks out to 400+ yards with it, but averaged about 200 yards. I also shot turkey shoots both prone and offhand at 100 yards and shot rimfire benchrest competitions, including starting the program at Capitol City R&P...running matches for several years.

    In competition, I once shot two perfect rimfire benchrest targets (25 bulls) in a row and a third target that got a 9(of 10) on the last shot...that I believe was a bad round. (That's 75 record shots, plus sighters.) The 10 ring is 0.20", and I shot 74 of 75-10s. Of course, shooting for score isn't group shooting. Rimfire benchrest shooting is not as precise as centerfire benchrest because the ammo is more variable and bullets are more susceptible to wind deflection. Range is only 50 yards. (I've never been a 3-position rimfire target shooter, but respect those who do and realize the commitment.)

    The best offhand game shots I've made were on varmints. Two running foxes at approximately 130 yards each, offhand, with my .223 Rem., scoped bolt-action sporter...one-shot kills! My best shot with a handgun was on a woodchuck kill, one shot...at 100 yards, with my .22LR High-Standard Victor... through the head. (Actually, I thought it was a rusty 1 gallon can and was surprised with the hit made a "plop" instead of a "ding". (I'm disappointed that I happened to be alone that day.)

    My most difficult and rewarding shot was from a tree stand, at a buck that "made me" as started to pick up my rifle off the platform...he started running flat-out, directly away, starting at 50 yards, down a woods road. I picked up my rifle left-handed, flipped off the safety, and shot it in the spine, killing it. I sat there...proud as heck and with a huge smile!
     
  7. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    My guess is a good number of people posting on this thread are not average shooters...
    There are so many different disciplines of shooting from air rifles and pistols to ELR (Some of those shooting pistols too:D), and the majority of average shooters probably do not have any consistent competitive experience.
    If they did, they would cease to be what is being described as average here.
    I guess I would be more interested to hear in what we are doing ourselves to equip and or mentor shooters and hunters to be better?
     
  8. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    I decided to spend more time coaching and reloading for our state junior teams.

    I have been a competitive shooter for going on 40 years in one form or another. I focused on high power for years until I went distinguished and made Presidents 100 at Camp Perry. After that I focused on pistol shooting but found it just wasn't my forte'. I'm still an above average pistolero shot but chasing leg points was not as rewarding as when I was doing the same with a rifle. I kinda got out of it for a few years but then came back and decided to coach instead. I've coached Whistler Boy winning teams and juniors who have gone on to join the service and shoot with their respective teams (AMU or MMU). I also reload a LOT of ammo for them. They provide their own practice ammo, we supply all the match rounds for them. I've gotten as much satisfaction from teaching an 11 year old who's never really handled a high power rifle then watching HER grow up to be one of the best shooters in the country as I ever did slogging away chasing leg points!

    As well as my own kids, and now grandkids...I think it's especially important for ALL of us that we keep the younger generation interested in the shooting sports.
     
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  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Work at a 'public sight in day' at the club you belong to and you'll find the 'average' rifle owner's group can be measured in FEET.
    I was at one range and a guy brought a BAR .30-06 with a 2-7 Leupold, and at 50 yards, it looked like he was shooting buckshot at his target. "There must be something wrong with the gun or the scope." I asked to try it, fire three offhand in a nice cloverleaf, about 1 foot down and to the left. I said, "not the gun or scope, but the zero is a little off. I fired another cloverleaf after moving the elevation knob, it was at the level and a foot to the left. Fired three more rounds in a cloverleaf after adjusting the windage, 3 in the bull, 1/2 in. off dead center. I handed it back to him and said, "it's all on you now...."

    4-H County Rifle Leader for 10 years, HS SCTP coach for 3. My older son has taken up the torch in mentoring young hunters in deer hunting. He's had several kids harvest their first deer with his AR.
     
  10. CryptKeeper5

    CryptKeeper5 Member

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    Doing my part! Teaching my 6Y/O grandson how to deprime cartridges! 20210410_140841.jpg
     
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  11. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    This is it in a nut shell.
    Of the people I know. Most can run MOA with a decent rifle. A small handful are less dangerous at 100 yards than a good bow hunter.
    I am selective of the people I allow around me with guns.
     
  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I’m not sure of how I rank as a shooter but I am pretty certain that in a large pool of hunters that I would be in the 90th percentile.

    Of the hunters on THR, probably closer to the 50th. There is some good company around here.

    Just the other day I went to the range with a few hunting rifles. One in-line muzzleloader and my Ruger American 450 BM that I wanted to test some new ammo out with. I also had my Caldwell Rock BR rest and bag to take as much of the human element out of my shooting as I could. I was looking for mechanical accuracy, you see. Not my own accuracy.

    Well I shot a group that I could cover with a 50 cent piece at 100 yds. By the parameters of the OP I did pretty good.

    My muzzleloader was a different story. I could barely hold a 3” group. What happened. Well, I know I can shoot a sub-MOA group because I just did that with my 450. The muzzleloader was just not as mechanically accurate. It is a 3” rifle with that load. I could do some experimentation and maybe shave an inch off by I am happy with that because it is good hunting accuracy and will kill game.

    These groups were shot with an above average rest and mediocre shooting bench (lightweight wood construction). Most field positions would triple those group sizes for me.

    For me, shooting has an end goal. Hunting. I don’t strive for small groups for their own sake. I like small groups because that imparts a supreme confidence in my equipment.

    If you have confidence in your equipment then it’s all on you from there. Since confidence in equipment, if done right, also leads to confidence in yourself, it makes for very little anxiety about your equipment t come hunting season.

    How accurate you are is a combination of your rifle, the weather conditions, your own shooting conditions (bench type, rest type, etc) and your own abilities and experience.
     
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  13. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Never been too concerned about where I rate on the marksmanship scale compared to others, so no guestimate as to my personal standing on that graph other than to recognize the fact that it isn't what it once was.

    @earlthegoat2 nailed it as to the importance of shooting groups off of benches, however. Confidence in one's equipment is extremely important to good marksmanship.

    34931632143_b21b6d2e57_o.jpg
    Confidence builder off bench but couldn't stand prosperity and threw 5th shot flier.....NOT the rifle!:(

    Different rifle, back in the day, put the equipment to the test in field positions.
    35611090761_4a311960a5_q.jpg 34900899614_7cb2846652_m.jpg

    Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for marksmanship skills to decline with failure to exercise the skillset, but that's what they make shooting sticks for.....still hold minute of coyote most days. :evil:

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  14. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    You're not alone!

    I should be able to hit well at 500 regularly since I've got steel at 400 and 547 right off my back deck. I practice frequently and generally can connect with a plate for 1st shot, but there's times, and it doesn't take much of a missed wind call, when I don't connect. I also been connecting well, when the next shot goes elsewhere, again a wind call that I'd missed. It gives me a every good idea of what the conditions will have to be like to take a shot at that distance on game.

    I just spent weeks and a chitload of ammo practicing for a successful WY antelope hunt a couple weekends ago. Multiple sessions when we shot from 200 to 547yds: prone un-supported, supported, sitting, kneeling etc. Most of my effort went into sitting using a tripod, cause that was the worst possible shot I believed I'd encounter due to vegetation. It was also my weakest supported position for the long shots. We also made it a point to practice when the conditions sucked, wind and light (although my bright idea of shooting into the setting sun did NOT, go that well). Turns out I popped mine at an easy 246 yds prone...a chip shot compared to what we'd been practicing for.

    I'm also one of those guys that really doesn't spend much time on a bench other than load development and zeroing. I get much, much, more enjoyment from position shooting on steel. I understand ben resting is important, but it bores me to tears. Probably got something to do with that "train as you fight" stuff they filled my head with for 26 years or more likely ADD.

    cfeS85Zl.jpg

    XvIqJAzl.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
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  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    Chuck, that warms my heart to see someone practicing those. go read this post from years ago for tips on how to shoot way more accurately off a tripod https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/cant-go-prone-try-a-tripod.810158/
    net is getting front and rear support using the legs rather than shooting off the top. and there's another technique you can use to push your gun a little farther forward and then put the back of your sling on your foot or leg and use it to hold tension to pull the gun into the tripod and steady it
     
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  16. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Pretty freakin EXCELLENT!!

    THANKS!
     
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  17. Bruce D Pease

    Bruce D Pease Member

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    According to my former LGS ( 950 mi away now). Most younger rifle shooters are into AR because the optics of them make it easier to get “hits”. He personally favors dealing with “old line” shooters who grew up with iron sights and slings. I never shoot with bipeds etc. I’m old school. I’m trying to keep the skills I developed as a lad. In my time in service I shot high in the sharpshooter range using my body and sling to support my M1. I still do. At 600 yards I don’t think I will do as well as I did 60 years ago, but at 300 or less if I can see it I can still hit it no problem. I have changed to an M1907 sling it helps. I’ve never been into competition shooting but a minute of center of mass is still good enough on a bad guy
     
  18. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    I posted this in another thread, but so much of it involves the same thing.
    Some guns are easier to shoot in field hunting conditions than other guns.
    An optic can make things easier and sometimes it can make things more difficult if the wrong optic is chosen.
    Learning how to use nature’s field rests, and also carrying practical field rests and learning how to use them, can make shooting on demand much easier when moving away from the bench and into the field.
    Styles of hunting, can go from basically shooting off a bench at 100 yard animal with feeders going off, to very difficult hunting in high country when you don’t have any horses or animals to help carry things out and you’re packing everything on your back.
    People who are already familiar with weapons, and shoot different guns, can move to hunting sometimes with relative ease or sometimes with difficulty.
    I do not buy into the thinking that a person needs so many hours of practice before they can go hunting with type “X” weapon.
    I have taken non-shooters, and beginning shooters, and in a relative short period of time can have them hitting 10” targets out to 500 yards on steel with relative ease.
    This is with both rifles and single shot specialty pistols
    When you move out of just shooting, and into hunting there’s some other skill sets that need to be learned, but it’s not as difficult as some of us make it sound.
    It is much easier to teach someone to shoot adequately with a rifle, single shot specialty pistol in a straight wall cartridge in a contender or encore and than it is to get them proficient with a revolver or semi automatic for hunting.
    One of the big things I emphasize is learning how to use good functional field rests for hunting.
    This applies not only to a rifle, but also to handguns.
    I am not proponent that the only way to hunt whether with a rifle or pistol or the true definition of a rifle hunter or handgun hunter is shooting off hand.
    If you want to do that I’m perfectly OK with it, but if I can get a rest of some kind, I’m gonna get a strong solid support as I can get.
    It makes my shot placement more sure, and it extends my ability in terms of distance.
    Every person is different.
    Some people, will require a lot of practice before they can hunt with a specific weapon, while others can be ready and proficient with much less time.
    I treat people as individuals, and take them wherever they are at and work from there.
    If I was new to hunting and read some of the thoughts that are expressed on forums like these, I would be discouraged at times.
    I have worked with first time hunters, who were still basically new to shooting, and helped them from the range into the field, and help them take their first animal.
    I know some of you guys do this, and I want to encourage more of us to be doing this when possible.
    Several years ago I took of man in his early 30s who had never hunted before.
    He had some guns and shot every once in a while, but wasn’t necessarily good.
    He had a customized Mauser that his grandfather had given him, and he really wanted to take a big game animal with it.
    It was a 30-06, so we bought ammunition, and worked with him on the range and practiced and practiced.
    The gun was hard to shoot, and it recoiled hard for him. It also had a very heavy trigger.
    I also had him shoot some of my single shot XP-100's while we were there. And I had him run out to steel with it out to about 500 or so yards with my XP-100.
    He applied and got a buck antelope tag. My main purpose was for him to get his first animal. I had another friend with me he was also helping there were a number of bad shots, some due to the gun being difficult to shoot, and other to excitement. His fundamentals had gone to pieces and he was yanking on the trigger because the gun was going to hit him and his body was trying to protect itself, and you know what happens then...bad shooting.
    After a morning of frustration and four failed opportunities we found buck that was just over 200 yards away after we had done some crawling.
    While we were going to the location before we found the buck, I encouraged him to quit trying with that rifle, as he was extremely frustrated.
    I had him dry fire my center-grip 6mm Creedmoor XP100 pistol. It has a very light trigger, and he had shot it before.
    This time, with a gun that was easy to shoot and with the trigger it did not take much effort, he put a clean kill on that buck in a little bit 208 yards and had the success of a lifetime. Although he did not use his grandfather‘s rifle, he overcame his mistakes with a different weapon, and was able to take the first big game animal lovers life, and had extreme joy in the process.
    I am convinced that if his grandfathers rifle had been a modern one, with a short action cartridge, that had a better stock design, and a better trigger, he would’ve closed the deal with that rifle on the first attempt.
    In this case, he could be both precise and accurate with a single shot Specialty Pistol compared to the rifle that he actually owned.
    Not all weapons are created equal.
     
  19. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Thanks, taliv! :thumbup: Never could figure out how to use a tripod, that third leg just seemed to get in the way. I guess they're just too complicated for an old dog, but never thought of shooting off the legs rather than the top, either. Front and rear support would be great, especially from standing position. May have to revisit them.

    I didn't quite understand the
    , however.

    I love a bipod for calling coyotes, as it gives you ease of large windage adjustments by simply picking up and repositioning the sticks/& rifle with one hand, if necessary. I usually call while sitting in a short chair and not sure I could manage sufficient windage movement w/a tripod, especially if rifle clamped to top.

    Shooting technique w/sticks is different depending upon your position. Standing, you need to lean forward to put a load on the sticks. I prefer to grasp the rifle sling and the sticks in weak hand while pulling sticks and rifle back into shouler while leaning forward, thus your body forms a tripod, of sorts with the sticks. Minor windage adjustments can be made by moving body slightly; larger ones by picking up sticks & rifle and reposition the sticks.
    35572531161_db14ba6c00_z.jpg

    Sitting, I prefer to let the rifle just rest on sticks and pull rifle into shoulder w/weak hand. Note sling looped over sticks to keep them from slipping.
    35534423032_fa4f0d483a_z.jpg

    A simple set of sticks can be made from garden stakes and para cord.
    35703381485_98148f7556_m.jpg 34861987824_45235a1a26_m.jpg
    Add a bit of ghillie net and you have a very portable mini-blind and they can even be pressed into impromptu long range target frame service in a pinch. :)
    35703381665_18328148c3_m.jpg 35713998135_7d46164a08_m.jpg

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    here's my shooting stick project: .18 lbs! https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/shooting-stick-project.666989/#post-8264793

    using 2 of the tripod legs for front and rear support. i still have my bipod attached to the rifle, and the legs of the bipod deployed, even though they're not resting on anything. I'm left handed, so the gun is on the RIGHT side of the tripod. I pull the rifle rearward til the left bipod leg catches the front tripod leg. it isn't necessary but helps return to the same spot after recoil.
     
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  21. Picher

    Picher Member

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    We taught some kids how to reload a bit, but kept them away from powder charging, due to knowledge of problems with other kids double-charging a few cases.
     
  22. shootstraight57

    shootstraight57 Member

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    Just went to the range yesterday and shot a 1" group at 100 yards and was hitting the 6" gong at 250 yards. Shooting my Mossberg Patriot .308
     
  23. xphunter

    xphunter Member

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    This is one of my XP-100's purposely built with elk on down in mind.
    gVgA97rl.jpg
    Sometimes the level of accuracy hunters/shooters attain, is due to some teaching or lack of it-You have to get the fundamentals down.
    Sometimes the level of accuracy at short or long ranges is also dependent on the weapon's capabilities, and how easy it is to shoot as well.
    Add those two together, with a couple of other things, and you can see improvement and success.
    I worked with both of these folks before they ever fired a shot, and I am very proud of them.
    Tuesday afternoon I was able to spend some time with Jake and Cheyenne. Jake needed to chronograph some loads for a elk hunt, and do a little bit of practice on steel out past their maximum hunting distances. Of course I brought out a couple of specialty pistols, that I thought they might enjoy shooting as well. Jake put up an 8 inch target at 420 yards, and then we placed a 10 x 12 target at 595 yards. After the chronographing of a load, and confirmation of drops, I pulled out a couple specialty pistols and both of them shot my BCG center-grip 280AI XP-100.
    Cheyenne was the first to shoot it. After some dry fire practice, she hit the steel at 595 yards on her very first try.
    After multiple hits, it was Jake’s turn, and Jake also hit the target couple of times, with his very last shot being dead center.
    They had a lot of fun, and I would not be surprised to see one or both of them do some hunting next year with a XP-100. This is the longest distance they have ever made on a target. I guess we’ll have to set a target even further next time 1f601.png
    Here is a video of Jake shooting it.
     
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  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Ernie's a bad motor scooter with a "pistol". :)
     
  25. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    "A simple set of sticks can be made from garden stakes and para cord."

    Yes, or just a couple of wooden dowels and a stove bolt.

    Looking at the targets left on the 100 and 200 yard backboards at my gun club range I would say most shooters aren't real great and that is shooting off a bench.
     
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