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Which of these two statements re: accuracy is more true than the other?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow, Jul 10, 2009.

?

Which statement is closest to truth?

  1. The barrel/rifle is more important, and can "overcome" poor ammo to some extent

    13 vote(s)
    43.3%
  2. Ammo consistency/quality is more important, and can "overcome" a mediocre barrel to some extent

    7 vote(s)
    23.3%
  3. They are exactly equal components of mechanical accuracy

    10 vote(s)
    33.3%
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  1. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    See poll.

    In other words, is it easier / more likely to get sub-1MOA accuracy with a Saiga & match grade ammo, for example, or with a high end gun and milsurp ammo, in your experience/opinion?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  2. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Those examples are kind of extremes though, aren't they? Does the ammo have to be milsurp?
     
  3. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Sub-MOA accuracy requires a good barrel/action and excellent ammunition. Due to the rifle being consistent, however, it's more likely that you'll get an unusually accurate Saiga, and be able to achieve under 1MOA with fantastic ammo, as opposed to having a guaranteed 0.5MOA precision rifle, and coincidentally getting super-consistent mil-surp ammo. The mil-surp ammunition has far less of a chance of being as consistent as match grade ammo, compared to getting an accurate example of a generally less than super-accurate gun.

    Still, it's very unlikely to get sub-MOA from even a cherry-picked Saiga, even with match grade ammo. It would be one hell of a ringer rifle.
     
  4. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    GG, good points, but that's really not what I'm asking. I'm not asking for unusual examples of guns or ammo. I'm asking which factor contributes more on the whole, generally, to mechanical accuracy, even if only by the tiniest amount of importance over the other? Clearly, they're both extremely important; that's not the issue here.

    Even if not sub-MOA, which one of the extreme examples gets you the best grouper: horrible ammo & fantastic barrel or horrible barrel and fantastic ammo?

    So yes the examples need to be extreme - that's the point I'm getting at.

    Take the worst brass imaginable, poorly resized, the worst primers imaginable, the worst powder imaginable, the most inconsistent powder charges, terrible horrible bullets with lots of imperfections, inconsistent seating depth, poor crimp, bullet not aligned perfectly, etc. etc., and shoot this ammo in the best McMillan or GA precision or AIG or Sako barrel/rifle you can come up with.

    Then take a terrible QC WASR AK that shoots 8-10 MOA with commie milsurp ammo, and shoot it with the best, most consistent, perfect ammo you can possibly come up with.

    Now which one do you pick if you see a squad of Al Quaida sneaking up on you with intent to kill at various ranges, from 50 to 200 yards? Disregard semi-auto vs. bolt action issues.

    There may not be an answer than anyone can prove.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  5. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    There are so many other variables that I hate to vote.
    But, all things being equal I'd say the barrel is more important than the ammo, at least that's been my experience with two friends that have savage rifles that are exactly the same, but one has a match barrel installed.

    The reason I say it's hard to decide is because crappy barrels come on guns that aren't good for accuracy to begin with. Nice barrels come on guns that are better platforms to begin with.

    In your example, a Saiga is a semiauto with loose fitting parts and a barrel that has a stock touching it. Those attributes don't make for good accuracy.
    Compare that to just about any modern bolt action that has a bolt that fits with very little (or no) movement, an action that fits nicely in a stock, and a barrel that is usually free floated or at least has minimal stock contact.
     
  6. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    You're gonna have to define horrible barrel; does it still have enough rifling to stabilize the bullet?

    If yes, then horrible barrel and fantastic ammo.
    If no, then horrible ammo and fantastic barrel.
     
  7. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Yes, the barrel has adequate rifling to stabilize. :) Please take a look at how I edited that last post of mine for clarification. Thanks.

    OK, well there you go, thanks. :)
     
  8. SN13

    SN13 Member

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    Dr. Tad.

    Speaking only from my experience. My Saiga in .308 will shoot 1-1.25" groups with Federal Gold Metal Match. 2-2.5" groups with Lithuanian Mil Surp and 6-8" with Brown Bear Steel cased.

    I doubt even the best barrel in the world can do under 2" with brown bear **** ammo. That stuff SUCKS!
     
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Given only the two choices: surplus ammo in a match barrel or match ammo in a "surplus" barrel, I'll take the match barrel every time. My Krieger #10 MTU barrel in .30-06 will shoot surplus M2 ball ammo at about 1MOA at 100 yards.

    Don
     
  10. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Harmonic repeatability is more important than anything else, ergo poll choice #1 wins..
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Since I didn't take your question to mean you were going to put a match grade barrel on your Saiga, I voted Ammo, and SN13's post #8 sums it up nicely.
    I have seen similiar results in many mil-sups and AR-15's.

    Match grade ammo will shoot rings around mil-sup, or Wolf, or Brown Bear ammo in any barrel you have.
    But especially the Saiga one.

    rc
     
  12. SHvar

    SHvar Member

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    Id say depends on the rifle, and ammo as a whole.
    My Ruger M77 target rifle shoots very very tight groups with Barnaul Brown Bear, PMC, etc, etc, etc. But its easier to shoot tighter groups with better ammo. I can fire it one handed off of the bipod and get 1/2 inch groups with brown bear, but PMC will group overlapping bullet holes with all 4 rds in the mag.
    With my DPMS and its heavy barrel I can get 1 inch groups with the brown bear, but it takes more to do so. With my gas piston AR it takes more to group tight with brown bear.
     
  13. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    I'd rather have a match quality barrel with crappy ammo.
     
  14. HB

    HB Member

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    I don't really think you can answer this question... at all. You can't tell how a rifle will shoot by just looking at the barrel. I think it is fair to assume that if it is rusted and dinged that it will shoot worse than if this wasn't the case, but the only way to test is to shoot it. Same with ammo. You can't just look at ammo and expect it to shoot a certain way. While it may be extremely consistent, it doesn't mean your rifle will like it.
    I have a heavy barreled savage MKII .22 LR that can shoot 1'' groups fairly easily on dead calm days. That being said, when i shoot crap ammo, I get flyers. When i shoot good ammo I don't. I think thats all that can be said. I don't know if it was the ammo or the barrel!
     
  15. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    HB, ok fair enough. But answer this specific question asked:

    ?? You can answer that specific question, I think. :)
     
  16. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    Ive shot match grade ammo out of junk, and have used top shelf iron to shoot junk.

    It has been my observation that once the bullet leave the coddling hands of the barrel, it (the bullet) is on its own and relying on its own merits, if you will.

    If the projectile is unbalanced, lop sided or whatever it wont ever have a chance to stabilize and snap too before arriving at the target.

    If on the other hand you have a junk rifle but launch top quality match out of it, the projectile may not have had a clean and or symmetric release, but may stabilize before the target is reached, yielding better accuracy than the first scenario.

    This is an thought that is wide and deep and will probably lead to much math and debate, There is a lifetime of debate to this....

    Ever wonder why you can get a 22lr to shoot crap ammo pretty well given a long enough, and quality enough barrel? Contradictive aint it. Maybe its because there isn't much between the bullets of high quality(read expensive) 22lr lead swag form bullets and lesser quality(read cheap) projectiles of the same process.

    Must be the powder, prime, headspace(rim thickness) et cetera.... But given the projectiles are of merit, they seem to do well, even if launched from a launcher of lesser build/ material quality. Consistency is the word with accuracy.

    :D
     
  17. HB

    HB Member

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    Lol, ok. I didn't read the entire thread admittedly. Of course the match grade ammo. But I don't think you can use that as much of an example. What if said AK had no rifling and match ammo... If you use one extreme you have to use the other.
    If I had to give my opinion though, I would say that the rifle is more important. With a crappy barrel you shoot everywhere, often. With a good barrel and crappy ammo it seems you get occasional flyers.
     
  18. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    You make either component crappy enough, and the result will be non functioning or completely inaccurate. This boils down to an argument over the definitions of "crappy ammo" and "crappy rifle."
     
  19. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    Without a Match/good barrel the ammo won't really matter.
     
  20. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

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    :D:D Tad... you would have to ask one of the unanswerable universal questions..... :D:D

    It's like cruising the beach and seeing a completely vivacious, penthouse model like chick on the arm of an overweight, balding potbellied, wrinkled old dude... Hey, I resemble that description, damn....

    Or......

    Same beach and here comes Mr.Universe, muskles all poppin' out, full head of hair, narry a wrinkle on him and huggin' up to him is a 4' 3", 445lb, ingrown toenail, wart with hair it on her nose, gal.....

    Which is right.... which is wrong?:D:D

    :D

    OK...I'll stop!
     
  21. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I've seen good handloads shoot amazingly through a horrible barrel, so that is how I voted. But all the posts make enough sense that maybe the barrel I'm referring to wasn't as horrible as it looked.
     
  22. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    as usual I believe the real answer in this poll lies in between the two choices.

    You can have a crappy rifle and stick match grade handloads in it and it might shoot better but it will likely still by no means be considered an accurate rifle.

    However in my experience you can stick crappy ammo in a match grade rifle and it may still shoot surprisingly well. Not as accurate as with match ammo by a wide margin but still many times more accurate than the crap rifle fed the best ammo.

    [​IMG]
     
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