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Accuracy
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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 03:27 PM
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SavageShooter



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This isn't a post where I'm going to share some little nugget, that if someone takes the advice will start shooting like David Tubb or even those who want to emulate Carlos Hathcock.

I see a lot of posts about people wanting to squeeze more accuracy out of their factory rifles and how they want to buy new triggers, replace stocks, free float barrels, crown barrels, bed the action and so on and so on.

Hell, we even suggest our PET loads for a particular caliber in question, our primers of choice, bullet selection & Ballistic Coefficient, COAL, brass manufacturer and the list goes on and on.

Well I've been guilty of it myself with chiming in and suggesting what I'd do if it were my rifle. But one thing that rarely gets said (well, I've said it maybe once or twice myself) but the fact is; I personally feel that most people don't shoot their rifles enough! Yep, I said it. Some people shoot about 20 rounds through their prized rifle that they just purchased or built and then complain that it's not shooting a gnats ass sized hole inside a hole at 100 yards!

I've got rifles that I've shot 200+ rounds through before I even started getting concerned about accuracy. And that's after I've passed it around like a two dollar whore to anyone and everyone who wants to shoot it, thinking that it's ME that's the problem instead of my loads/rifle. And most times, I've found that it is indeed me who's the problem. I've got more stories that I'd care to admit to with similar situations. That's why when I shoot, I normally do it with KimberPro (my hunting buddy) and if a rifle/load is not performing well for me, I let him get down on it and see if it's doing the same thing with someone else behind the trigger. Most of the times, he proves it's me. Same can be said with him as well. I can pick up his rifles and prove he's having a bad day as well.

I don't want this post to seem like I'm venting at folks, because I'm not. But I feel that sometimes, we (or I) offer up advice to correct a problem that might not even exists because someone really hasn't even settled into their own rifle and have learned to shoot it.

So my advice, if you want to get that sub-MoA group...practice, and practice a lot. Only when you become consistent with your shooting day in and day out should you look to modify/improve your rifle/loads.

Just my 2 cents...now where's my change back?



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 03:34 PM
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Plainsman
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These are excellent points, and too often overlooked. Remember the old adage "Beware the man with one gun!" Familiarity can be elusive, especially when we don't shoot the gun in question enough. Most of us would be better shots if we owned fewer toys.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 03:55 PM
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trhodes
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No argument here. I've gotten some videos about shooting; Bryan Litz and Todd Hodnett and they echo what you say. Especially when it comes to making wind calls - their point is you have to shoot a lot in the wind to learn how to make those calls. (I'm guilty of saying it's too windy to go shoot)

I'm pretty new to this so the videos and this web site are about the only sources of info I have. But more range time would be a big help.

I'm fortunate to have a 100 & 200 yard range not five miles from home. Still, I don't get there enough.

It's 8 above now - supposed to be 38 tomorrow. Maybe I'll get their tomorrow - if it's not too windy. :sofa:



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 04:22 PM
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swampratt
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How true.
One little thing i do to people is i load their gun or my gun for them to shoot and i chamber an already shot round.
dummy load so to say...
You will be surprised how many people flinch.

I load 6 or sometimes 4 rounds in the 357 mag for my wife it is a dual action 6" revolver and she shoots it single action style..she will keep clicking untill there is no more bang!

She never flinches and she shoots that thing like no one can.
I agree with 200+ rounds down the pipe, at least for my savage 10fp that was the case...over 800 rounds later and she is shooting really sweet..or is it me:confused:



 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 04:37 PM
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Crockett
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Well said SS. As for helping with being a better shot in the field. Try to get out everyday and shoot one shot, differnt ranges and target size each time. Not at the range but in the woods, if you live where it is possible. It will not help you shoot MOA but it will help you hit venison. It is hard to do when you work for a living, but is it great training for a kid that is learning to shoot.



 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 05:14 PM
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williamwaco
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Savage,

Your title says "How to attain that coveted .5 MoA or better" but your post states sub-MoA group.

If I step on any toes here, I appoligize in advance. I am fully aware there are exceptions to what I am going to say but very few.

Most shooters I know, including people I really like and who I consider good friends make statements like:

My .xyz Remchester is a half minute rifle!

My .abc Savage/Ruger.Sako Model xx will put them all in a single hole.

In most cases, this means that once, year before last while sighting in for hunting season, their buddy, shot three shots that were touching. He forgot about the four other three shot groups that were 2 and one half inches.

To me, a half minute rifle means it will shoot three shot groups of less than .500" at least four out of five times.
( I am not intersted in five shot groups because I have never managed to fire more than three shots at the same varmit in my entire carreer. )

I have owned around 200 rifles over the past 60 years. All but a handful were bolt guns with scopes and most of those were target or varmit designs. ALL were expected to beat one MOA. VERY FEW DID.

I have owned exactly three that were half minute rifles.

1 Winchester 54 .22 Hornet.

2 Remington 722 .222 Rem.

3 Remington 40Xb-BR .222 Rem.

The Hornet would do it only on a completely calm day.
The .222s required no more than a barely detectable breeze.

Expanding on my definition, one minute rifles are rare too but today's rifles are much more accurate than those of yore.

I Spend a lot of time on the shooting range and I see people every day shoot 50 rounds into five shot groups. They will range from say 7/8" to 3" inches. Average around 2 1/2. The shooter will take all but the 7/8 incher to the trash and take the 7/8 inch group home with him. I wonder if he tells his friends about the 9 groups he trashed to keep the one good one.

Even a novice shooter will eventually shoot a half incher if he tries enough times.

I think the "average shooter" has zero chance of shooting a half minute except for a rare fluke regardless of the rifle.

I think a good shooter, with a superb rifle and ammo might do it once in five trys.

I think a superb shooter with some wind doping experience might do it four of five with an exceptional rifle with careful load development and good weather ( Assuming no mirrage ).

SO.

I agree completely with your conclusion.

"So my advice, if you want to get that sub-MoA group...practice, and practice a lot. Only when you become consistent with your shooting day in and day out should you look to modify/improve your rifle/loads."

A two-minute shooter, is not going to shoot a sub-minute group except by accident.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 05:24 PM
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Halfmoa
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williamwaco wrote

To me, a half minute rifle means it will shoot three shot groups of less than .500" at least four out of five times.
( I am not intersted in five shot groups because I have never managed to fire more than three shots at the same varmit in my entire carreer. )

I have owned exactly three that were half minute rifles.



Agreed.  In my life, I have owned (and thankfully still do) one half minute rifle. All the rest I am "working on" and that's what keeps my handloading most active these days. Not that I'm complaining!  If suddenly all my rifles were consistent half minute guns, then I'd have to start a new project gun, or else I'd no longer be a "handloader" but instead just a "reloader".  How boring that would be! 



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 07:31 PM
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DesertMarine



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Well said Savage. You might have a rifle that is capable of .5" or better groups, but if you are not a .5" or better shooter, you can't really take advantage of that rifle. Only way to become a better shooter is to practice, practice and then practice some more.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 07:47 PM
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Ozark Ed



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Right, comparable to this situation:

"You've been divorced three times, hell, maybe it's you."



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 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 09:31 PM
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Mike E
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I think most people don't shoot their hunting rifles enough to even know what they are capable of. I see a lot of my buddies do, less than a box of shells a year...

I do have one exception to all the above said rules. I bought a used Ruger #1 in .220 Swift about 10 years ago at a gun show. The guy who sold it to me threw in two boxes of Remington factory ammo. He said it shot well with it. It had a 20X scope on it, I cannot remember the type. Anyway, I had a range at my house, It it took it out the bench to see what it would do. The only thing I did with it was clean the bore really good and get it completely free of any chemicals before I shot it. I bagged the hell out the rifle and shot 2 consecutive 5 shot groups at about 100 yards. I had no spotting scope at the time so I didn't really know how the rifle was shooting. When I went up to the target one 5 shot group did .5" and the other did something like ,7". I put the rifle away that day and didn't shoot it anymore until I took it to shoot rock chucks a few more times in the last few years. I only brought out some more of that factory Remington ammo, and that my friends is what I would truly consider a sub-moa gun...



 Posted: Thu Feb 6th, 2014 09:59 PM
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Rockydog



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It always amazes me that folks will buy and try every gimmick known to man to make consistent ammo. They turn necks, wear chambers darn near out using a Stoney Point tool, measure case run out, bullet run out, weigh charges to the 100th grain, weigh primers, weigh cases, weigh bullets, measure individual bullet ogives, put loads in SAAMI chamber gauges, measure headspace, uniform primer pockets, uniform flash holes, use bushing dies, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Then they go to the range and hang targets in a sloppy fashion so they can't use the lines on the paper to consistently level the cross hairs on the target. Sit at the bench in a fashion that is not comfortable and doesn't lead to consistent rifle hold, set the rifle in a front rest on the barrel rather than on the fore end, set the sling swivel stud just ahead of the front rest so that the recoil drives the stud into the front bag, fire twenty rounds in 2 minutes so that you can fry an egg on the barrel, and then bitch about the worthless powder that someone on the net thought was so wonderful.

Not preaching just sittin' and watching what goes on around me. RD



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Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:18 AM
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swampratt
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That is so true Rockydog.
I actually seen a guy come with his own benches and a nice target set up. THEN he took this 1.5" wide strap and layed it over the barrel and cranked it down to pinch the rifle against the lead sled rest he had ..actually 2 of them ,
His buddies gun and his...Dialing in the scope.

WOW! all were fliers and i mentioned the free floated barrel
and his strap...he said it keeps the muzzle from jumping.

I walked away.
My 10fp savage .308 has rewarded me with many many sub 3/4" groups quite a few .3-.4" stuff
My 30-06 stays around .75"
Sure is fun shooting them.
and letting others shoot them .

I pick out 2 spots on the target when i shoot.
I have a mildot scope so one spot on the target gets the lower dot and the other spot gets the center of the recticle.
This way i am lined up the same every time.



 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:22 AM
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Skoot
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Boy-o-boy. I'm real new to all this, but this might be the single most educational post that I've read in the last year..

I just learned that I'm not a good enough marksmen to even know if I've developed a good hand load.

Kinda' a catch 22 for us new guys.. I can't shoot, so I don't know what I'm developing on the bench. Maybe I have the best shooting day ever, and the load is.. well.. crap. Maybe I luck into the perfect recipe for my rifle, and I shoot like crap. Either way, I've either lost or will mis-use that info.

I guess this is a lesson that I needed to learn. I have a long way to go, and alot of practice to get under my belt... but I am very determined to succeed.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:25 AM
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dogtheshooter
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I've done most of what RD just mentioned and then some. Live and learn.
Practice makes perfect.

I need more than just one rifle... What are you supposed to do while one barrel cools.



 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:39 AM
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SavageShooter



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Skoot wrote:
Boy-o-boy. I'm real new to all this, but this might be the single most educational post that I've read in the last year..

I just learned that I'm not a good enough marksmen to even know if I've developed a good hand load.

Kinda' a catch 22 for us new guys.. I can't shoot, so I don't know what I'm developing on the bench. Maybe I have the best shooting day ever, and the load is.. well.. crap. Maybe I luck into the perfect recipe for my rifle, and I shoot like crap. Either way, I've either lost or will mis-use that info.

I guess this is a lesson that I needed to learn. I have a long way to go, and alot of practice to get under my belt... but I am very determined to succeed.


Skoot,

Don't lose heart. Make a load that your comfortable with that you feel shoots well. Then make up a few hundred of those rounds and just "PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and then PRACTICE" some more. That's what my main point was.

I see too many people shoot 20 rounds down the tube of their rifle and then bitch and moan that the load is crap, or that they need to purchase a new stock. Fact is, they don't shoot enough to know how to handle their rifle. Shooting 40 cartridges a year is not enough.

Example...I have a 22-250 that I'm confident that I can shoot anything I point it at out to 500 yards. Wind and all. How you might ask? Well, I've got thousands of rounds down the tube on that rifle. Matter of fact, I'm to the point I feel it should be losing it's accuracy. But it keeps shoot'n like the day I purchased it. If I was to guess, I'd bet that I have close to 5000 rounds down the tube...that's no bullshit. It's like anything else in life, you have to practice to be good.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:40 AM
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swampratt
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I walk around and watch other people while my barrel cools.
Pick up brass and spot for other people shooting near me.

Many people can not see the bullet holes with their scopes or eyes and i have no problem letting them use my rest or gun for spotting or shooting.
Made a couple friends that way.

Been a while since i have been to the public range.
All this snow and cold air!



 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:43 AM
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OLEJOE
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swampratt wrote:
How true.
One little thing i do to people is i load their gun or my gun for them to shoot and i chamber an already shot round.
dummy load so to say...
You will be surprised how many people flinch.

I load 6 or sometimes 4 rounds in the 357 mag for my wife it is a dual action 6" revolver and she shoots it single action style..she will keep clicking untill there is no more bang!

She never flinches and she shoots that thing like no one can.
I agree with 200+ rounds down the pipe, at least for my savage 10fp that was the case...over 800 rounds later and she is shooting really sweet..or is it me:confused:
I learned to shoot a handgun the same way at age 10. My dad did the loading and I could shoot all I wanted unless I flinched. He'd say "you're scared of it let's go. No amount of pleading would help either. At 10 years old I could out shoot most adults. That's why they call most shooting events disciplines.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 01:45 AM
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SavageShooter



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William,

No hard feelings here.

My message is practice, practice, and practice some more. Because most modern rifles are way better performers than the people using them. The only way to know this is to shoot it and shoot it a lot.

And sometimes we have bad days, this is why I pass my rifle around to people who I know can shoot, because they'll prove to me that it's the person behind the trigger and not the rifle or my loads.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 02:17 AM
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Rockydog



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Except for the current shortage fiasco the best way to learn to shoot is with an accurate .22 rim fire. It doesn't have to be expensive. Just accurate.

A Savage NRA 19, almost any Vintage Mossberg (Mossberg 44 military trainers, model 46B and 146B bolt guns etc.)Some Remington and Winchester bolt actions. Good sights are a must. Either quality peeps or quality scopes. Because there is no recoil, you learn to follow through on your shot. You don't pick your head up in anticipation of the recoil, don't flinch, and you learn to hold the sights on the bullseye until you hear the bullet smack.

Shoot smaller and smaller targets. My brother and I used to split .22 bullets on a double bit ax stuck in a chunk of firewood at 15 yards, breaking a balloon on each side of the axe. We'd shoot spent .22 cases at 25 yards. We didn't hit all of them but we hit enough to learn how to shoot well at a young age. He's always been a better shot than I am. His nerves are better. .22 Benchrest targets with a .10" X ring are a challenge at 25 yards let alone 50. When you can turn in scores over 235 or 240 out of 250 you've arrived. RD

See the USBR single target on this link for a life size target. There are 25 of these on a sheet with 3 sighters at the top. http://rimfirebenchrest.com/misc/target.html



____________________
“Those that beat their rifles into plow shares will plow for those who didn’t”. Jefferson

Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 02:33 AM
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Skoot
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Thank you so much, SavageShooter... I am not and I will not loose heart.. Ya' know sometimes a cold splash of water in the face is uncomfortable, but in the long run it is a very, very good thing. I love shooting, been doing it for 30 yrs almost, but not any competition stuff or anything formal, and I probably taught myself some awful habits (like my golf game).. as far as re-loading.. well, I'm very new at this. I think my approach to the reloading thing was a little off kilter. Perhaps I put the cart before the horse, so to speak.

I'll take your advice, for sure... no more 10 shot load ladders for me (for a while). I think I'll heed your wisdom, and hunker down behind several hundred "known" loads and look in the mirror, instead of looking at the micrometer.

Makes me wonder... any good shooting instructors out there??? Some of us need some help!! LOL!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:



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