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Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected?
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms
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Blaine
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

If you browse the forums frequently, you can read all sorts of accounts about the accuracy folks are getting from their favorite guns. Groups of under .20" at 100 yards and under 2" @ 500 yards etc. yada,yada,yada. A lot of these accounts are about "target" or "custom" guns with barrels the size of a rake handle and tuned by the leading gunsmiths to eek out every last .01" of group size. While this makes interesting reading, I wonder what us "average" folks are getting for accuracy from our "sporter" barrel guns with no special "tuning" or other alterations. I love to shoot my guns, because I like to see how small I can make those groups in preparation for my REAL passion.....hunting. During load development I use sand bags and a 100 yard range to test my latest "recipes" to see how they fare. Shooting over a "Chrony" shows me what the load is capable of, but will my gun (and I ) be able to deliver? My goal is to get each gun to shoot consistently under an inch, the more under an inch, the better. I have a 20 year old Savage (270 Win) that has seen over 3000 rounds shoved through her, and I can still expect 5 shot groups under .75" with it if I do my part. I just bought a Stevens 200 in 308Win that has given me a 5 shot-group of 1" with a "best 4" group of ....believe it or not....... .092" center to center. Although I have not been able to duplicate that, I know that the gun can do it.

Bottom line time.........What do you reasonably expect from your "sporter" weight hunting guns, and what would you consider unacceptable performance for hunting situations? I realize that the range one expects to encounter game has a lot to do with that, but if you thought you might possibly have an opportunity at a 150-200 yard shot, would you feel comfortable about taking it with your gun/load?

A lot of folks consider 1 MOA to be the "Holy Grail" of hunting rifles. Do you consider this to be realistic, or what do you "shoot" for? (pun intended) Do you think that 1 MOA is not good enough?

Blaine

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DallanC
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I would concider .25" a "holy grail" ... something you shoot for but never or rarely obtain.

I a have factory, unmodified rifle that shoots .5" with factory ammo (my WinM70 in 7STW with the crappy remington ammo LOL). Other hunting rifles I like to be in the 1 MOA range and find with minor modifications, is usually achievable.

My wifes .243 is the upper limit of accuracy that i will accept in a hunting rifle, 2.5 MOA. I will be floating that barrel in the next few months & I hope we get groups half that. Still, shes killed alot of deer and pronghorn with that gun.


-Dallanc
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george20042007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I'm amazed when some get groups within .45 inches, that's the diameter of most bullets I shoot Shocked

I sight in at 200 yards & try to get groups within 2 inches, and all my rifles, store bought, nothing expensive(except for my AR-15), get's that kind of grouping using my handloads. That's what I'd expect.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I think if you keep the groups within reason to range it shouldnt matter what you get as a group size at 100 yards or 200 yards. I figure the gun should group better then about 3inchs at the max range your shooting. Smile

Reasoning is I figure if your shooting 3inch or better at your max range I figure double it to account for feild conditions so you'd really be getting 6 inch groups at worst (doubling it is alittle exessive but I'd like to have a margin of error greater then needed on anything I do for a "safety factor" Confused ). Which should still produce a clean kill on the big game animal your hunting. Cool

A gun could get 1 MOA groupings at 100 yards and I myself wouldnt use it for anything farther then 300 yards. Smile

Dimitri

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Spacedone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

it actually depends on what your hunting.

my 22 spuirrel guns i expect a half inch at 100 yards.

my deer rifles i desire 1 inch groups at 100 yards but people must realize when your shooting deer in the sweet spot {heart/lung shots} you actually only have to hit a 10 inch circle.

no one and i mean no one can honestly say there guns shooting at deer at 100 yards will group at 1 inch or less. for a number of reasons.

game movement
heart beat increase
wind
elevation differences

shooting off a bench is alot different than shooting real life.

at 200 yards freehand your heartbeat itself can make your groupings grow alot.

if my gun shoots 2 inch groups at 100 yards freehand i believe i can kill any major game one shot every time.

bench shooting is not really practice for hunting. it is so you know about where your gun will shoot and how bad its going to stomp on you.

i know alot more bench shooters who shoot half inch groups who cant even hit a big buck than i do hunters whos guns shoot 5 inch groups off that rest.

average people cant afford sub MOA firearms. most people are hunting with 300 dollar guns instead of top of the line bench shooting guns that cost many thousands of dollars.

the average family in missouri rural earns between 9000 and 15000 dollars a year and those hunters as a rule use 30-40 year old cheap guns ie remingtons and marlin 30 30s instead of winchesters and more expensive guns.

the only complaint i have about this site or any hunting site online is the posters talk more about bench shooting than about real hunting.

yes you can shoot sub MOA groups from a benchrest but that doesnt put meat on the table.
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I only expect about 1.5" at the worst or I start bedding actions and doing trigger work, checking scope mounts and scope it self. I expect alot better from Heavy varmint rigs and even better from custom rifles.
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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I agree with Spacedome. Most deer hunters cannot shoot better than 1 inch groups. I suspect that many of the .25" groups are shot at the computer keyboard and not at the range. I am happy with 1 inch groups and can live nicely with 2 inch groups at 100 yards. All the best...
Gil

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Spacedone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

off a bench using sandbags my 88 year old 1917 eddystone 30 06 with a half ruined barrel {to much corrosive ammo with poor cleaning} will shoot 1 inch groups at 100 yards and i paid 160 dollars or so for it and 80 dollars for the 3x9 stirling scope using factory ammo.

my 4 303 enfields 2 no1s and 2 no 4 longbranches which cost 140 each with stirling scopes off a bench with sandbags will shoot under 1 inch groups at 100 yards all 4 being made about 1944 using factory ammo.

using one of the enfields i have never ever had to shoot a deer twice except for humaine head shots once theyre down in 39 years of using them. i dont think i have ever hit within a inch of where i was aiming. most shots are 3-5 inches of where ive aimed luckily theres that 10 inch circle target area.

on deer sized and bigger game missing your target by as much as 6 inches is still a one shot kill shot.

i pull the trigger i have meat.

im 47 years old with glasses and can no longer shoot those half inch groups freehand like i could when i was a kid.

benchshooting doesnt give you anything to brag about. bragging rights comes from good freehand kills in the wild.

test yourself

have your wife/friend pace off 160 paces from your target then you freehand shoot 20 shots at your target. i will bet good money your not going to have a sub MOA grouping. you will if your a good shot cut a hole
4-6 inches across.

shooting off a bench is like having a machine shoot for you. the real test is how YOU SHOOT FREEHAND at many odd distances and not how the firearm shoots locked in a gun vice or off a sandbag setup.
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

I agree, Shooting from a bench is no measure of a marksman, But it does give you a real good idea about how your equipment will do for you.
Also, I practise with the rifle or handcannon offhand that I'm intent on useing for what ever season.

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Blaine
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

Actual hunting conditions certainly affect where your shot will go....no argument there. What I was really looking for was what do you expect from your GUNS. Every shooter has his/her own abilities, but the gun is constant. The reason I shoot from sand bags and a bench is so that I know what my gun will do.....the rest is up to me and dealing with actual field conditions....ie heart rate, wind, game movement etc. all has to be factored in. I just want to know when I draw down on a deer, for example, that my gun can make the shot. If I miss, I know who the culprit was Crying or Very sad

Blaine

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george20042007
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

Like I said, within 2 inches at 200 yards, at the range. Like you, I want to know what the"gun" is capable of before the hunt.

Do you think some of the above folks sight thier guns in before the hunt? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Spacedone
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

i sight my scope in at a inch high at 50 yards.i hunt in brushy rough country where a extreme shot is 300 yards.

i set my scope the first time i shot the gun i put it on i then never change my scope settings unless it gets bumped off line.

my scope on my first enfield hasnt been changed in probaly 20 years.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

Spacedone: I appreciate and agree, in part, with your orientation toward field shooting. I would add that in your example of 160 paces or in cases where game is targeted beyond that distance that use of a kneeling or sitting position is better than off hand.

Once in awhile shots beyond, say, 300yds occur and when I take them it will usually be with the aid of a rest, such as a tree stump or log, or, off the rested backpack.

Accuracy off the bench is an aid to making killing shots at the longer distances. Knowing your rifle's capability and honing your own shooting skills are the components that comprise an excellent shooter. Being a good hunter involves other stuff.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

Spacedone: I appreciate and agree, in part, with your orientation toward field shooting. I would add that in your example of 160 paces or in cases where game is targeted beyond that distance that use of a kneeling or sitting position is better than off hand.

Once in awhile shots beyond, say, 300yds occur and when I take them it will usually be with the aid of a rest, such as a tree stump or log, or, off the rested backpack.

Accuracy off the bench is an aid to making killing shots at the longer distances. Knowing your rifle's capability and honing your own shooting skills are the components that comprise an excellent shooter. Being a good hunter involves other stuff.
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squirrelbait
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Sporter barrels- What is reasonably expected? Reply with quote

Yikes, I am feeling like I should not even be in the woods!
20 shots at 160 paces in a 4-6 inch group offhand, and 1/2 inch groups at 100yds--off hand. Not even in my best of days, and that was a long time ago could I do this.
I always grab support if it is around. I think the bottom line is you shoot within your limits to cleanly kill your game.
People shoot off the bench for a lot of reasons including target, testing guns, and testing themselves and breath control, trigger control, etc.
I enjoy seeing if I can improve what my guns will do with different reloads. I also do a lot of "stump shooting" when I can and not upset the farmers who let me do that.
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