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Tighter shot pattern

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Tighter shot pattern

Old 11-07-2011, 09:22 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Post Tighter shot pattern

Using a Browning BAR 30-06 w/Hornady 150gr. SST I am getting a 3 shot pattern of 7" at 350 yds., would like to get to 4". Any suggestions?
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:27 AM
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"Pattern" is something one does with a shotgun. "Group" is the term you're looking for here.

But it's not as simple as "here's my equipment, what do I need to do". Were you shooting from a benchrest, sandbags, prone unsupported, .....? What's your experience level? There are a LOT of influences that may or may not tighten your groups up. But, seven inches at 350 does bear that something's probably not quite optimum here.

One doesn't just pick up a rifle and become a 1 MOA shooter at 350 yards.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:55 AM
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First thing I would try is going to 165 grain. 165 grains have grouped the best out of every 30.06 I have ever owned. Second thing would be the trigger. How's your's?
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:20 AM
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The ol' bait and switch huh? I thought this was going to be a shotgun question!

2MOA at 350 frankly aint bad for a factory BAR with factory ammo, it ain't great, but I've seen worse out of them.

Like the HB said, you really didn't give much detail about how you're shooting. If you're shooting off-hand with iron sights and getting 7" groups at 350yrds, then there's maybe 100 guys on the planet that could help you improve. If you're shooting a high mag scope off a Ransom, then the potential is there, so the question becomes a quick process of elimination to figure out elements you can improve upon.

My first step, with the few details you gave, is to ask how well the rifle groups at 100yrds. How well it groups at 100yrds will tell us a lot about what the specific "problem" might be. 1) If you're getting 2" groups at 100yrds, and performing all of the proper steps to ensure accuracy, then I'd say you have a 2MOA rifle/load combo. Changing ammo would be the only suggestion I'd make at that point, or making improvements to the rifle. 2) If you're NOT performing all of the steps to ensure accuracy, and you're getting 2" groups at 100yrds, then you're a 2MOA shooter and the door is open for improvement. 3) If you're getting 3/4" groups at 100yrds, then you're obviously having issues either with bullet stability (unlikely), wind estimation, or most likely, technique.

Shooting 1/2" groups at 100yrds (1/2MOA) isn't the same animal as shooting 2" groups at 400yrds (still 1/2MOA).

I'm not saying you're NOT a skilled long range shooter, but you haven't given enough info to make a judgement either way... Give a little more detail and we can better seine out whether it's the equipment, the shooter, or a little of both.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:29 PM
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1-2 MOA is about the best anyone can expect when shooting a "out of the box" Browning Bar (autoloader vs bolt action) with factory ammo.


I zero in on a 100 yard indoor range with shooting rests - both front & back, where I expect to be under MOA all day long (with the exception of the occasional "flyer').

Once you move outside, even with the same set-up & start shooting 200,300,400 + yards...................well, your groups are going to open up !

Practice more often and you'll tighten up your groups (shoot different ammo to find the one your gun likes best) !!!

Last edited by Sheridan; 11-08-2011 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:46 PM
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I guess using the wrong terminology was a giveaway that I am not an avid shooter. I shoot from sitting position off sandbags which lay on 1 1/2" boards which rest across the corner railings of my back porch -pretty solid but not a concrete shooting bench.

The trigger slide is not as smooth as would be ideal, but the BAR trigger is not adjustable. I asked a local "gunsmith" about working on the trigger and he advised against.

The scope is a Leupold vx2, 3-9x50 set on 9.

I have part of a box of Federal Premium 165gr Sierra Gameking BTSP that can be tried.

I have a Rem. 7400 that I used before getting the Browning and it was so inaccurate I was afraid to use it past about 150yds, so just recently started shooting longer distances. I will be doing most shooting from the location described above as there is a field behind my house with about 365yds to edge of woods. Have shot a pig(355yds), this is what got me interested in shooting longer distances, did'nt really think I could hit him but thought I would scare him out of the field and surprise he fell in his tracks, but want to get my group a little tighter before shooting at deer.

Not sure what the 100yd group is with current setup as haven't shot that distance lately.

Thanks for your responses.

Where is the proper placement of sandbags under rifle for optimum stability?
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:41 PM
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One goes under the forearm/forend; be careful not to allow the swivel stud to touch your "sandbag".


The other "sandbag" goes under the stock nearest the butt plate (careful not to allow the swivel stud to touch your "sandbag").


Keep both of your arms on the bench/table & stay "in the scope" after the shot and get back on target immediately (called the follow through - most important IMO).
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:12 AM
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That helps.

First, I would suggest that you not worry much yet about the 350-yard shots. Bring your target back to 100 and get yourself comfortable there. I can only imagine your setup, if you're feeling any "spring" in the boards you're using as a pseudo-bench, I'd try something different. I have one of those inexpensive plastic folding tables that I've found surprisingly stable in the absence of a true shooting bench. Sandbag the forearm and the heel of the stock as Sheridan's already mentioned.

It's one thing to have an accurate rifle, it's another to do your part. The key is that every shot be much like the one that preceded it. So - the same ammo, the same bag arrangement underneath, holding your crosshair over the same point of the target (I recommend NOT using "bullseye" targets, get a square or diamond target intended for scopes), positioning of your cheek on the stock (and ultimately making sure your eye's looking through the scope the same way each shot), your breathing (many shooters let out half-a-breath, squeeze, BOOM, breathe, recover). You might google up the "eight steady hold factors" if you'd like more depth.

I know that some will advocate shooting five-round groups, though I prefer three. If you know you "pulled" a shot, note where the crosshair was on the target when the trigger broke ("call the shot") and re-shoot it. Get yourself comfortable at 100 yards and take the time to settle into the fundamentals before you march out to 350 (it'll save you some walking checking the target, too). When you're shooting consistent groups at 100 yards and satisfied, move to 200 and do the same.

Shooting for accuracy is a combination of very methodical and sometimes time-consuming acts. My wife wonders why I'm gone half the day when I'm "just going shooting." And you'd be surprised how quickly they'll come into play in "snap shooting" situations if you've practiced them correctly.

Good luck. Wish I had a back porch to shoot from!
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:13 PM
  #9  
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This evening after the wind lay I had enough time to shoot two three shot groups at 350yds., one with the 150gr. (control group) and one with the 165gr.. The 150 group was the same (6.5") and the 165 group was 3.25", so unless this was a fluke I will have to find another excuse to buy a new gun. Will shoot some more to confirm but it's encouraging. The 165gr. had about 5" more drop but if that is the price for tight groups, so be it.

Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:45 PM
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I'm glad that worked for you. I have always had better luck with the 165 grainers out of a 30.06. I hope it wasn't a fluke either and I'd bet it wasn't.
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