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Thread: Accuracy vs Speed?

  1. #1

    Default Accuracy vs Speed?

    I like a good discussion so I thought I would throw up a little rehtorical question. Maybe one or two of us might learn something?

    Which is better...

    3200 fps with a .7 MOA

    or

    3100 fps with a .5 MOA

  2. #2
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    There is a difference?

    ----------------------


    Seriously, when I work up a load I am looking for the highest velocity.

    Narrowed down next to which powder gave me that velocity with the least amount of powder.

    Finally I check the accuracy. If it is under, near or almost an 1" at 100 I will be happy and load more to shoot and hunt with.

    I have not had a problem getting good accurancy with nearly any rifle and any bullet. So for me accuracy is the easy part.

    --

    I have never gotten barnes X bullets of any kind to shoot as well for me as other bullets. I have not done much depth seating testing with the X bullets. In turn just keeping a mental note to keep my 3 moa X bullets reserved for shots under 300 yards. Which has not caused any problems as I have shot nearly every one of my game animals at 250 or less.
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  3. #3
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Nooo, really...it depends!

    Upon which end of the FLEA that you're shooting!!!

    Get serious! Unless you are shooting 0.5MOA vs. 0.7MOA at 1000yd range and looking for a head-shot on a moose it isn't going to matter a hill of beans. CRANK UP THE HEATER!!! Get that bullet MOVIN'!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4

    Default depends

    I can't boil it down to those choices as the most important trade-offs. I don't prefer one over the other.

    I let the gun do the talking. I don't even worry about velocity differences in terms of impact on game till they get up around 300fps or more. And for hunting big game accuracy differences don't worry me till they start topping a 1 MOA difference between loads. At the ranges I typically shoot big game, I don't even notice the difference between a 1 MOA load and a 2 MOA load, much less 2700 fps versus 3000 fps or 3000fps versus 3300fps. I'm more likely to adjust velocity downward to put it in the optimum range for a particular bullet construction than upward for tiny gains in trajectory.

    My "most accurate" big game gun will barely break 2 MOA on a good day. But it's the easiest to shoot well offhand of any gun I own. I can shoot rings around my .5 MOA guns with it in the field simply because it's easier to point and hit with. I'm only worried about MOM, MOE and MOD in my big game rifles: Minute-of-Moose, Minute-of-Elk and Minute-of-Deer.

    If I was still shooting competitively, yeah, I'd be humping the accuracy game at the expense of velocity. In the rifles I use for shooting sod poodles in the Southwest small changes in accuracy are important due to the small targets, and I'll take a half MOA change over trajectory gains any day. I can make corrections for trajectory on small targets, but I can't do anything about it when group size gets wider than the sod poodle.

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default A rhetorrical answer...

    I know you're not supposed to answer a rhetorical question, but I'll add my consideration. I had to step back and ponder your scenario a bit, due to lack to information (caliber, bullet, distance, target, etc.), but then it became clear. When working up a load, you work up and fire test groups along the way.

    So, you were at 3100 fps shooting 0.5 MOA. When you bumped the load a tad, you got 3200 fps, but the accuracy dropped to 0.7 MOA. So, this is what needs to be considered: A 3.2% increase in velocity, which corresponds to a 6.6% increase in bullet energy, resulted in an accuracy loss of 28.6%. Pretty big drop in accuracy for such a minimal increase in speed and energy.

    So it all comes back to the missing info. If longer distance and/or smaller target, such as a sniper in the desert, then you go with the more accurate load even though it is a tad slower. If you're just trying to eat moose within 60 yards, then you'd probably consider the extra energy, but in reality it probably doesn't matter as much as shot placement, so you could still go with the slow/accurate round.

    All in all, I find more reasons to take the higher accuracy over the minimal velocity increase presented in this set of numbers, but I would reserve final judgment until all those missing elements are provided.

    Winter is Coming...

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  6. #6
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    I really do not care if the load I am developing is going as fast as possible. I also usually stop load development if the rifle will shoot 3 shot groups averaging 1.5 MOA every time I take it to the range. I do have a couple of rifles that shoot better than that but it was not because I worked on it, I just got lucky.
    I would rather spend my extra time with offhand practice than on the reloading bench. If I lived in the lesser 48 and was shooting varmits or pronghorn at 400-500 yards things would be different but up here for the most part it doesnt matter. Been hunting up here for over 30 years and only once did I shoot an animal close to 300 yards away (sheep) and that was before the days of range finders so who knows how far away it really was.
    In fact, I have not even taken my chronograph to the range in about 10 years.
    Give me a consistent 3 shot group within 1.5 MOA with a well constructed bullet in a rifle that feeds and ejects well and I am a happy customer. The rest is just fluff.
    Tennessee

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    Default

    I put more emphasis on shot placement, so I will take slow and accurate anytime.

  8. #8
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    Default Trajectory

    Faster with acceptable accuracy is mo' better. I don't have a range finder and tend to shoot game at long range (deer and sheep) so if I can keep the bullet travel from 4" high to 4" low out to XXX yards. I am good. Center the crosshairs and let it rip.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies, a lot of interesting comments. I guess the bottom line is that *it depends*... up close and personal against LARGE CRITTERS and possibly dangerous speed = energy = shock/stopping power. Longer shots on smaller to medium game like sheep and goats might want more accuracy?

  10. #10

    Default

    Interesting approach to loading RMiller. Maybe I'll work up to max loads for 5 or 6 powders using 1 or 2 rounds at each half grain increment then work back down for the fastest and most accurate using 3 - 5 rounds each...

  11. #11
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default Example with MY 30-06 loads

    I loaded these 165 TSX in my rifle.

    R22 62 = 2657
    H4350 58 = 2795, 2801
    H4831 62 = 2742, 2729
    H414 56.5 2830,2827

    With these I would pick the H414 and the H4350 for accuracy testing. I expect both of them to shoot well but if one is a dud in the accuracy dept I will scrap it.

    If all velocities were exactly the same I would pick the two best that had the lowest amount of powder to get said velocity.

    Now that I have an extra can of R22 I will load up a bunch of target practice bullets at a starting load to plink with.
    -----------------------------------------------

    I once had a 300 win mag that shot 2900+ with 200 gr partitions. One load was 79grains retumbo and the other was 72 gr H4831.

    Both loads were accurate but I went with the H4381 load as it kicked less using less powder.

    ---

    With a 300 ultra I had, accuracy was good with any 200 grain bullets that I tried but there was a 300 fps difference between the few different powders that I tried.
    ---------------------------------------------

    This is not hard to do and does not take much time. An afternoon of loading and a couple hours shooting and I am set.

    I get bored quickly with load developement and paper target shooting. I like to get a hunting load set and then prefer to shoot from hunting positions and offhand at soda cans or debris at various distances.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  12. #12
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default Every one will do it different

    but a couple years ago I started using one grain increments. Loading one for each step except for maybe the two highest loadings. I started this with the 300 rum as it is a pig for powder.

    THIS IS AN UNNACCEPTABLE WAY TO LOAD UP SMALL CASES PROBABLY ANYTHING SMALLER THAN 30-06.

    I showed my 30-06 loads in the thread http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=26080 .

    I use "one book/one caliber" load books and do not go over the highest load listed in the book.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  13. #13
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    them 2 are good shooters and I would be quite happy to get that with either loads.....in any rifle.

    for me minute of moose is easy to get but.....I like pin point accuracies in any of my rifles and won't settle for less. Thats me.

    Example 1: All the hubbub of the velocities I see for the .338-06 is not what I opt for - it is always the best accuracy. My 225grn. North Fork are .6" @ 100yds with 52grns. of RL15 with an average of 2501fps with a 20"bbl. This is with using a Leu. Vari III 1.5x5 hvy. duplex and suppose if I had a higher mag. scope this rifle could do better-or not.

    Example 2: My J.C.Higgins .30-338 bedded and Timney trigger with 240grn Woodleighs @ 100yds with 2564fps is .75" @ 100yds. That is with a Leu. Vari III 1.75x6 hvy.

    Sometimes needling a bullet thru a tough shot calls for a good shooter and I have done that numerous times with many of my rifles. That is if coffee and Copenhagen don't rattle the nerves don't matter the trigger job, good reloads, etc.........got to have some vices.

    regards,
    Last edited by grizz106; 03-10-2008 at 23:29. Reason: believe the .30-338 with the Woodleighs are actually printing better than what I gave, need to look up data.

  14. #14

    Default Boom

    Take the accurate load; bullet placement is far more critical than the velocity increase your speaking of; PROVIDING, these velocities are acheived with the SAME bullet.
    Use the decreased recoil/noise, and extra powder to practice more often.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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