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bitmasher's picture
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Accuracy - what's most important?

Accuracy is a complicated event and I think it is important to figure out what affects accuracy the most. When I think about accuracy, here is what I think is most important to least important.

1.) The quality of the shooter.

2.) The quality of the gun.

3.) The quality of the ammo.

4.) The cartridge selected.

Notes: Great shooters can shoot most any gun well. Poor shooters will never shoot even the best guns well.

I put cartridge as least important because there is so much variation in the first 3 items that most shooters will never get to the point where what you picked as a cartridge will make that big of a difference.

Thoughts? What am I missing?

CVC
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Accuracy - what's most important?

What makes a great shooter? Or put another way, what does a great shooter do right and the poor shooter do wrong?

Don Fischer's picture
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Accuracy - what's most important?

Are you talking about a great target shooter or a great game shooter?

CVC
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Accuracy - what's most important?

Oh, let's go with target shooter.

I seem to recall a hunting show a little while back featuring an Olympic archery competitor (almost recall that he was a gold medal winner). Guess what, he missed his shot on the deer.

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Accuracy - what's most important?

Interesting topic bitmasher Thumbs up

What I find interesting is these folks that will come onboard, ask for advice, and after members spending considerable effort and time to help them; they go off on some consipated tangent because somebody brushed on what appears simple and easy.
Then the following day the same subject is selected again, but worded slightly different, with anticipation and expectation that someone else will confirm what they truly know is poor initial advice.
Those folks will never get any further,that's as good as it gets.

The list of 4 sounds like the right sequence to me Thumbs up

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Accuracy - what's most important?

I think that the thing that seperate's the best target shooter's is that they really pay attention to minor detail's. Rifle shooting is a science, not an art.

I'm not sure if a great shot could pick up an average rifle and shoot it well or not. The problem being he wouldn't be serious about it I don't think. Most of us go out looking to shave a quarter inch off our group's and those guy's go out looking to shave a thousandth. And they practice the disapline of shooting and returning to the same exact possition each time.

The quality of the ammo. Warren Paige noted in "The Accutate Rifle" one benchrest shooter that used one case and loaded as he went. Shoot a round and reload the case. He used a powder dipper! But I'll bet he didn't use a run of the mill bullet! I found it funny that for all the pain's taken with the rifle, anyone would load like that.

The cartridge? I think it's as much clicky as anything. Is a 22PPC really that much more accurate than the 222 Rem? I really don't know but have a feeling that a new cartridge came along that a guy was whipping people with so a whole bunch of people jumped on the band wagon. As a result, the 222 Rem simply fell out of vogue. I understand the the 6mm PPC is the darling now. I believe I read where Gail McMillian shot a .009" five shot group with a 222 Rem. Several years ago I hear that some guy from Vancouver, Wash shot a group that came close to that with a 22 Hornet. There for I think cartridge's come in and out of vogue.

Number one has got to be the quality of the shooter. From his mind set to his use of shooting disapline's to his understanding of the science.

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Accuracy - what's most important?

Seen bench rest shooters go goo goo over every little tiny detail to shoot one holers. Seen service rifle shooters have guns built to "shoot the X". Seen hunters in deer came with 30-30s that looked like crow bars but killed deer ever year. Were all the guns accurate to do what the shooters wanted? yup.

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Accuracy - what's most important?

I don't do long range target shoot but I like my rifles to shoot small groups consistantly.
I do like the rifle to be properly set up. Action tight, square and seated in stock.
When I get a rifle. I have it looked at by a gunsmith. If there is anything askew. I have it corrected. Action, stock and barrel. (lock, stock and barrel)
When I set up a round. I find the bullet that shoots the most consistantly through that barrel, at 100 yds.
If the rifle is to be used for hunting. I choose a round that will deliver a minimum of 1,500 +/- ft/lbs, of energy, at the Max PBR of the round and will have a recoil that is tolerable.
When these are accomplished. The remainder is left up to my ability.

If I cannot find a suitable bullet that will shoot consistant groups. I sell it.
The tightness requirement of the groups are dependant on the use for the rifle.
For hunting. I like to have them set up so they will shoot a maximum three inch group at their Max PBR. This gives me some allowance for windage or hold, under extreme conditions.

I once owned an out of the box 243 bolt action. I used this rifle on deer and smaller game for a good ten years or so. The accuracy wasn't the greatest, 1 1/2 to 2" at 100 yds, but it worked.
One day I decided to have a gunsmith look at it. He discovered that the barrel was very slightly off line with the action. A little milling to bring it in line and it shot 3/4" group with the same load.

I believe that it takes a conditioned shooter to maintain consistant accuracy but they will only shoot as accurately as the rifle can.

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Accuracy - what's most important?

I shoot 600yrd IBS and 1,000yrd benchrest compition and the funniest thing i ever heard is when a guy makes a bad shot he blames his equipment...... Brick Wall,)
it drives me nuts,,when you start talking accuracy in benchrest, we try to shave .001 off our groups and that could mean the difference between the world record or 10th place, it all starts with the barrel of the rifle then everything else built around it.... including the shooter but he must also have sound shooting technique even the best shot in the world wont shoot an average rifle great cuz its not interesting......... like they say in compition only accurate rifle are interesting. Thumbs up

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Re: Accuracy - what's most important?
bitmasher wrote:
Accuracy is a complicated event and I think it is important to figure out what affects accuracy the most. When I think about accuracy, here is what I think is most important to least important.

1.) The quality of the shooter.

2.) The quality of the gun.

3.) The quality of the ammo.

4.) The cartridge selected.

Notes: Great shooters can shoot most any gun well. Poor shooters will never shoot even the best guns well.

I put cartridge as least important because there is so much variation in the first 3 items that most shooters will never get to the point where what you picked as a cartridge will make that big of a difference.

Thoughts? What am I missing?

I would agree with this list as well but with disclaimers. Laugh The rifles would have to be close in quality. A great shooter can not make a 3MOA rifle shoot 0.5MOA but a good shooter can make a 0.5MOA rifle shoot 1.5MOA. And if a shooter starts with quality gear they can practice to get better at shooting but all the practice in the world does not make a bad rifle shoot better.

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Accuracy - what's most important?

Yes, I agree the quality of the gun is a very close second. One of the reasons I posted this is because I hear/read so many people spend time discussing the inherent "accuracy of a cartridge", when it is fairly low in the hierarchy of what is important in getting the bullet to go where you want it too.

For instance 6mmBR and 6mmPPC are so close, but yet some insist that 6mmPPC is more accurate in most situations. This is probably true, but even an above average shooter with above average equipment and ammo will probably not be able to shoot well enough to see the difference, ceteris paribus.

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