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Good article about accuracy!

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Good article about accuracy!

Old 02-28-2011, 01:33 PM
  #11  
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The name sounds familiar, i think he wrote a article for American hunter? On how you should use nothing less than a 300 RUM for elk. His reason was that he was hunting on the boundry line of the yellowstone park shooting elk before they crossed back in and almost lost a elk he poorly shot, a buddy with a 300rum had to finish it before he lost it in the park.

Last edited by stapher1; 02-28-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:38 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by stapher1
The name sounds familiar, i think he wrote a article for American hunter? On how you should use nothing less than a 300 RUM for elk. His reason was that he was hunting on the boundry line of the yellowstone park shooting elk before they crossed back in and almost lost a elk he poorly shot, a buddy with a 300rum to finish it before he lost it in the park.
Sounds like a job for the .340 Wby! haha.

Who doesn't want accuracy? Course I like a quality looking rifle too. Not sure why factory rifles can't offer both?
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:04 PM
  #13  
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I'm anal about accuracy...I use my deer rifle to hunt groundhogs as well...Two inches at 100 yards doesn't float my boat at all...I'd be pillar bedding, floating the barrel, replacing the barrel, working on loads, whatever it took...

Now, I know guys that can't keep a 2 inch group at 100 yards...But I'm not one of them...
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:45 PM
  #14  
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I knew that artical would strike a nerve with a lot of you!!!
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:56 AM
  #15  
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Most rifles are more accurate than the person shooting them anyway so why not strive to find the rifle you shoot best and then the bullet the rifle shoots best. keep it simple but a clean kill is the goal not a perfect bullseye. I am not comfortable shooting past 200yrds at deer for fear of a nonfatal wound. Therfore a rifle that shoots a consistent 1"-2" group will work. I like to read mr Hawks articles but have found that he and most other writers have a talent for"complicating the obvious". shoot what you like and shoot it well!
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:21 AM
  #16  
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Not that ole chuckie is so far off beat, just a lot of his summations don't match what I've actually done in the field or the range. Range shooting is controlled, you don't have to go to the range on a windy day, you don't have to go to the range and shoot in snow or rain, you don't have to go to the range and shoot off a stump. Field shooting is when it happens where it happens. Not enough people practice prone, kneeling, standing shooting positions. Because if you want that bull of a lifetime you may at one time have to throw that rifle to your shoulder and take a shot down through the trees at hundred plus yards. Or quickly set up for a 400+ yard shot on a hill side where the elk are already on the move and the bull might stop just one time before he crests that ridge. Yeah in a perfect world I can do amazing things with a rifle. In the field that's not a guarantee. I myself practice just as much off hand shooting as I do on a bench.

Now onto the MOA's that's all we talk about anymore moa moa moa. Most of my rifles do shoot under 1 MOA at 100yds. If you don't then get on the reloading bench and play around until they do too. But here's the thing from what I've seen on the range I can get a group at 200 yards that's not much different than 100 yards. 300 yards shooting a 2 inch group is pretty common if not the standard or under. 400 yards 3" or slightly larger is common. 500 yards 6" groups all day long. So where's all these multiplying MOA's.

I'll tell you what it is. If you got a rifle that shoots 1" or under groups at 100yards the rest is Trigger pull, breathing, and shooting position on the rifle every time you shoot. Most rifle will out shoot the shooter 10 to 1. And the biggest group killer of them all concentration.

While I don't want to disagree with chuck but I see it match after match shoot after shoot and some of these great shooters are poor boys with the basic savage 110's.

In the field I find most can't take a shot unless conditions are perfect or beyond perfect. That's where all sportsman need to practice. Once the rifle is zero'd and you know your drops at ranges get off that bench and practice for hunting conditions.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:21 AM
  #17  
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Though I do not shoot competititive target, I know from Dad, military training, years of experience and NRA training that Blackelk is correct on his evaluation. Most rifles are more capable than their shooters. Most people do not practice enough or get any training. Too many of them go into the woods without even checking the sighting of their firearm. They do not remember what the trigger felt like and it's progression. Their arm muscles are not practiced at holding steady. The sight picture is a memory.

Being accurate is a learned skill. As such, it erodes if you do not shoot. If you do not practice, you will forget the "process". You will not be relaxed. Since we know that small mistakes widen with distance, the further you generally shoot, the more important practice becomes.

I agree with Mr. Hawks that the MOA discussion is not really that important for the average hunter. For those of us that hunt in the woods, distances are short. "Average" groups will do the job nicely. For those who hunt where distances are 200, 300 + yards, it takes on more meaning. The lesson I think he was trying to get across was simply to make sure you have a decent group consistantly at the furthest distance you are willing to shoot.

I shot 500 yards with iron sights and no glasses(which I needed) when I was an 18 year old Marine. I could put 10 out of 10 in a reasonable group all the time. Today, with glasses and a scope, I would would not take that shot. Why? Because I do not practice at that distance and I do not know the drop of the rounds I would be likely to use in an open area. If I knew that a shot like that could occur, I would do my homework and required practice.

If you call yourself a hunter, you owe the animals enough respect to practice, know your firearm and your limits. My opinion.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:40 AM
  #18  
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I think the Hawks article is pretty much right on. I do agree that the end of the article that disparages cartridges that don't look like the .30-06 comes out of the blue and is unsupported.

With reference to how much accuracy is needed IN THE RIFLE to promote effective hunting, I think Hawks is right. In my big game hunting experience, more of my shots have been under 100 yards than have been over 200 yards. So how much accuracy do you need to hit a pronghorn in the vitals at 250 yards?

I also agree that typically the limiting factor on accuracy is the shooter. I am not a target shooter. I find it difficult to focus and shoot well. When I do, my rifles all seem to be able to shoot 1.25" five-shot groups at 100 yards or better. The problem is, I usually can't keep focused for all five of these shots. I lose my concentration and one flyer is 2" or even 3" away from the center of the group. That happens more often than I would like to admit. And this shooting if from the bench with a rest under my hand holding the rifle. I do shoot from a sitting position, and I do notice that my shooting is not as accurate in that position.

If I were to summarize Hawks's article it would be "If your rifle shoots 2.5 MOA or better, focus your attention elsewhere -- your own marksmanship, physical strength and endurance to be in good shape to take the shot, your stalking skills, the quality of the bullet in your chosen cartridge." For example, I think he says he would trade off 0.5" MOA for a quality bullet versus a mediocre bullet. I can't see that this advice is wrong or bad.

By the same token, like everyone else -- probably Hawks included -- I prefer that my rifles be more accurate rather than adequate. Still, I know I'm the weak link in the chain.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:56 AM
  #19  
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He creates more questions than answers....

"For the hunter using a 100-150 yard hunting rifle, such as rifles chambered for what are fundamentally pistol cartridges (.357 Magnum, .44-40, .44 Magnum, etc.) or low pressure cartridges like the .38-55 and .45-70, a 4 MOA group will suffice. 4" groups at 100 yards don't look very impressive at the range, but 4 MOA groups mean all bullets within a 6" circle at 150 yards, about the maximum useful range of this class of cartridges. A .44 Magnum rifle that will put all of its bullets into a 4" circle at 100 yards is a deadly deer rifle, as accurate as it needs to be."

If you take into what he listed as factors....

"At 400 yards the merest twitch by the hunter, or a puff of wind 200 yards away, will throw the bullet clear out of the kill area. The inherent accuracy of the rifle has become a secondary consideration compared to other variables."

Let's not forget the spin of the bullet changing impact point on longer shots or that the animal can move at the same time you break the shot, that a percentage on those shots could miss the 6" kill zone. His article doesn't state practice more, or use the right components to get the best accuracy, it states being mediocre is fine.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:47 AM
  #20  
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I basically agree with the article as far as "minimum accuracy" goes, hitting 6" with any given cartridge at a given range.

That said, I do not understand his distaste for the "PPC design" cartridges like the WSM's, WSSM's, or SAUMs. I definitely agree that any hunting rifle needs to feed reliably, but I'm not quite certain there is a REAL arguement that the steep shouldered cartridges do not feed. My brother in law runs a .243WSSM AR-15/10 that has managed to feed just fine, and I've been running a .300WSM repeater since they first arrived 10yrs ago (wow, has it really been that long?)

I agree, a rifle needs to feed if I'm going to use it for hunting, but realistically, ANY repeater needs to feed, whether it's in the field or on the bench... The article denounces other shooters for speaking about that which they have not experienced, but then he claims, without evidence, that steep shouldered cartridges aren't reliable? Now who is making unbiased claims here?

But again, I agree with the general premise that a 4MOA rifle is at least "good enough" for most hunting. I often use a .44mag revolver off-handed for stalk hunting whitetails in thick cover. At the other end of the spectrum, I also often use a .300WSM heavy barrled bolt gun off of a rest in a box blind... I've never had much arguement from anything I've dropped the hammer on with either.
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