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Posted: 6/25/2001 8:08:37 AM EST
When I was driving home from the range yesterday I started to think about accuracy. I CAN see the need to hit a person at 100-200 yards with an AK or AR, or place a nice shot with a hunting rifle. But how much does the rifle really help? Say you have a rifle that can shoot 1/4 MOA at 100 yards. You could never shoot that standing up aiming at a deer in the middle of the woods, right? How many people can shoot that well? I'm not sure I could even notice the diffence between a 1/4 or 1 moa gun.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 8:18:37 AM EST
This comes up again and again, usually in the form of "Well, that gun's not real accurate, but it's okay because it shoots better than I can hold..." At that point I grind my teeth a bit and suppress a scream. Remedial math: Let's assume that your offhand "wobble area" is, say, 12" at 100 yards. That means that every shot you fire will hit within 6" of where you wanted: IF your rifle could shoot zero MOA groups. But it can't, so: If your rife shoots 2" groups, that now means that all your shots will hit within 7" of where you wanted. If it's hard to grasp, picture a shot touched off when the sights were on the very edge of that 12" circle: the 2 MOA rifle's worse senario puts the POI one inch outside the circle. The 1/4 MOA rifle puts the same POI 1/8" outside the circle. It doesn't matter how well or poorly you can hold...the more accurate the rifle, the better you'll do.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 8:19:08 AM EST
I dont think it matters that much in combat clooser than 300 yards...I think just a lot of people want to be snipers not infantry (up close) they feel its safer and for gurilla tactics it probably is. my 8mm mauser has sights set for 2000 meters i dont think i could hit a center mass shot on a man farther than 500 without a scope maybee evan with. my AR is a 16inch. plus most place except mountians and sloping flat lands you cant see farther than 200 meters.. also I think about 75% of the U.S. population couldnt hit the broad side of the barn world population probably 50% IMHO In the U.S. only 1% of 3% have actual military training.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 8:22:50 AM EST
Burn: I'll certainly agree with you on one thing. As an NRA firearms instructor and hipower RO, in my personal experience the "average" person can shoot about as well as the average Democrat can keep a promise.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 8:54:41 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:01:47 AM EST
Having run "Hunter sight in Day" (our club runs them on six Saturdays in the fall) for a couple years, I think Celt is being too generous. Only about 2 to 5 per cent have more than a rudimentary grasp of how shoot a group or adjust their sights. Many are completely clueless. It's quite common for a person to show up with a new rifle/scope combination (not bore sighted) and a single box of 20 rnds to sight in with and expect to have hunting rounds left over. Most are quite happy to get 2 out of three on a pie plate at 100 yds from the bench.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:07:37 AM EST
I would say the "average" person couldnt hit a paper plate offhand at 50-60 yards every time
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:08:44 AM EST
Celt: I would agree with you there on that one. Probably the average person due to all of the new PC crap wouldnt know how to take the safety off to shoot the damnthing!
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:11:04 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:27:19 AM EST
I'm confused as to what a good shot with a rifle is. It seems pretty good to hit an 8" plate at 100 yards. What is good at 100 yards with iron sights standing? With a 10x scope? Bench with a 10x scope? Prone with iron sights? I'm just trying to get some goals here.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:43:07 AM EST
My thoughts on your questions: At 100 yds standing the 8" plate with most iron sights would be a suitable target. Hitting the plate would not be to difficult to do 9 out of 10 times. I don't think the 10x scope standing would be much better than iron sights. The scope tends to magnify any movements and I would rather shoot at this range with a scope at 4-6x. With a 10x scope at the bench sub MOA groups centered on the target would be possible with the right gun, right ammunition, no cross wind, etc. I have shot sub MOA 3 shot groups at this range with my bolt action rifle and I am sure that this could be duplicated with a semi-automatic firearm capable of sub MOA groups. Prone with Iron sights the 8" target would be much easier than standing. You could actually be able to get a real group in this position. I would consider myself a better shot than the average joe, or weekend hunter. I shoot a lot and I reload too. Most of my practice is centered on technique and can be practiced in the back yard with a pellet rifle, or pistol. At 10 meters my pellet rifle is capable of 5 shot single hole groups from a bench rest. I am not capable of duplicating that feat on even an occasional basis. But put the gun in a ransom rest and it will shoot to the same point nearly every single time. I believe that if an accurate rifle (1 MOA capable) is used you cannot blame your misses on anything but the shooter. The rifle is easy to get, the competency takes practice. It doesn't matter what you practice with as long as it is more accurate than the shooter.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:48:45 AM EST
I'm confused as to what a good shot with a rifle is. It seems pretty good to hit an 8" plate at 100 yards. Depends on what you are shooting, from the bench, prone, standing or whatever. Also depends on what you are shooting at and the situation. In some situations I would be perfectly happy to hit within 8" of where I was aiming at 100yds. What is good at 100 yards with iron sights standing? When Im out goofing off with my shorty AR, I am happy with a 6" group from standing with no support. The heavier the rifle the easier it gets to shoot small groups though, small muscle twitches don't affect the heavier gun as much. With a 10x scope? With a 10x scope standing I would probably be happy with a group around half the size of my normal one so 3-4" would be okay to me. Bench with a 10x scope? From the bench I get rather picky because I know, no matter what I do that I can do better. Im really not happy unless all of the rounds are touching. But it rarely happens like that and not every firearm is capable of shooting such groups. I expect my Rem700 30-06 to have a pretty small group from the bench at 100yds, no bigger than 2". If its bigger than that, its because I screwed up. Prone with iron sights? Again, it depends on the gun but my prone group size usually isn't much bigger than my bench groups. Prone is a pretty stable shooting platform for me and I don't mind getting a little dirty when Im out shooting. I'm just trying to get some goals here. Just go out and have fun. With practice you will get better, so just shoot a lot and you will see improvements. Remember, most people will never shoot their guns till their full potential. Its hard to get so good that your gun is the limiting factor. I wish I was that good. Michael
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 10:07:15 AM EST
I'm confused as to what a good shot with a rifle is. It seems pretty good to hit an 8" plate at 100 yards.
What is good at 100 yards with iron sights standing?
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Good questions. Okay; the black on the 200 yard NRA hipower offhand target is 13" across and holds the 9 and 10 rings. If I can't keep them inside that, standing, unsupported, no sling, I'll not win anything that day. I'm classified HM, and most MA and HM will hold that no problem. So say 7" at 100 is pretty good with iron sights.
With a 10x scope?
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I shoot silhouette with an 18X and a 6X. If you get half the animals, you'll probably do okay in a club match. The chickens at 200 meters are about 6" of "aiming area", so that's about the same.
Bench with a 10x scope?
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I test loads with a 10x scope, and hitting nickles at 100 is kinda boring once I've found the load.
Prone with iron sights?
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The 200 yard black on the reduced hipower target for the slow prone is 11.79" across, but that includes the 7 ring. If I can't hold the 10 ring, with maybe one or two out in the 9 ring, again, I'll not win anything that day. So call it about 3"-4" at 200 with iron sights is my average.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 10:08:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By burn: my 8mm mauser has sights set for 2000 meters i dont think i could hit a center mass shot on a man farther than 500 without a scope maybee evan with. my AR is a 16inch. plus most place except mountians and sloping flat lands you cant see farther than 200 meters..
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The 2000 yard range was for long range volley shots by groups of infantry. Theory back then.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 10:14:58 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 10:24:01 AM EST
A lot of very good information here. Thanks to all for contributing, I now understand where I should be and I am not so dissappointed with some of my results...
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 11:46:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/25/2001 11:43:46 AM EST by Orion]
I think maybe some people read about other people's performances (their groups) and feel that if they don't get into the sub-MOA, they suck at shooting. I would think that, unless you are actively shooting for competition, anything under 2" would be pretty darn good! IMLTHO
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 12:00:24 PM EST
i went to re qualify at the range about a month ago and an acadamy class (LE)was shooting too only abotu 15% had ever shot a hand gun and most couldnt hit a man sized target at the 25 yrd range with out instructer help.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 12:21:09 PM EST
If you ask me, it has to do with what size target you are slinging lead at. For me, I focus heavily on being able to hold 3/4 inch or less for as many shots as possible, most recently I've finally got a handload that holds 3/4 inch for 10 shots. I stress being able to shoot to this level of precision or better so that I atleast know that I have the ability to hold the rifle steady enough that 400 yard shots on squirrels is not going to be a problem accuracy wise, it leaves me with only the elevation and wind adjustments to consider. It's hard enough worrying about compensating for trajectory and holding for wind, having to also worry about whether or not I'm holding the rifle steady enough to make the shot is something I'd am glad I don't really have to worry about. I also need that level of accuracy from my rifle/load combination for making hits at 400 yards, a squirrel when standing is right at 3-4 inches wide and that's within the accuracy of the 3/4inch rifle/load combination so if I'm ontop of my game I should be rewarded with a hit after factoring in the elevation and windage adjustments. If these were 400 yard coyotes a sub-MOA rifle certainly wouldn't matter, but a squirrel at 400 yards is right at or possibly even under the sub-MOA size range with respects to their width and the that could either be represented by them crawling on the ground or when they are standing. It gets hard, either you've got to be within 1MOA windage wise when they are standing or you have to be within 1MOA elevation wise when they are crawling if you want to make a hit. Of all the skills I need to improve, atleast I've got out of the way the ability to hold a rifle steady and shoot with precision. I can shoot pretty precisely at just about any range once I've got a working zero for that range, the problem for me comes with spotting a target at an unknown range and making a first round hit. On squirrel sized targets I have a problem with this once the distance extends past 300 yards, 100-200 yards is a piece of cake and at 300 yards it becomes a little "iffy". 400-550 yards and it's mostly just take a SWAG on the elevation knob and if you're close use a quick "kentucky windage" holdover on it till the squirrel either gets in it's hole or until you make a hit. I have gotten good enough on my dials that usually I can get within about 6 inches of a squirrel at distances of 400-550 yards and from there I use little changes in hold over till I make the hit. To date my best shot on a squirrel at long range was done within 3 shots at 400 yards and the time between the first shot and the 3rd shot was about 10 seconds. I have yet to nail a squirrel at the 450-550 yard line, I get close where I'm putting bullets under their bellies or kicking dirt in their faces but just haven't made a jackpot on one yet. As for bigger targets? After shooting at squirrels for so long my confidence level of being able to quickly make a hit on a larger target has gone up significantly. Most of my shooting is done with high power optics and from a prone position though. With iron sights I can hit pretty well at 200-250 yards on plates as small as 8 inches square in size from a standing position. My skills with iron sights or shooting from various positions is being stressed and is improving with each action rifle match I shoot.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 1:13:16 PM EST
Take the average hunter, who probably doesn't score well when shooting, and put him out in the woods on the first day of deer season. Along comes a buck and the first blown shot is followed up by a series of shots at a white tail bouncing through the brush. No wonder the ammo manufacturers stay in business. Next time you are in the woods for opening day, count how many shots you hear. It's bound to be at least a 9x multiple of the number of deer taken.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:01:12 PM EST
I remember a few years ago firing my new SKS at some kind of small bore pistol target, about 6 by 8 inches, at 100 yards. I was about jumping up and down with joy to find that all 10 rounds hit the paper, firing off a bench with iron sights. Any time I keep most of my shots with any iron-sighted rifle in less than 3 inches at 100 yards off a bench, I think I'm really doing great. In unsupported standing position, I'd say a 8 inch group with occasional flyers was pretty good shooting. At CMP matches I've fired in, I've seen a couple guys who seem able to shoot into about 2 inches or so prone with a good AR, and they always beat me. But nobody I've fired against has been any better on average than me in the standing position. The guys I work with talk lots about shooting 1 inch groups and so on, but if I try to get them to go shooting with me they always have to take their wives someplace, cut firewood, fix their cars, etc. Or maybe it's just my bad breath.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 9:13:48 PM EST
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