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Thread: Secrets of accuracy

  1. #1
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default Secrets of accuracy

    This is a neat article I found. I think it is worth reading.

    http://www.rifleshootermag.com/shoot...curacy_062904/

    I have seen a lot of talk about free floating barrels and I have known and would like to let others know that free floating the barrel is just one of a few ways to find accuracy in a rifle. Some rifles dont do well fully free floated or floated at all.

    Some of the tricks I try whenever I set up a rifle

    1) Make sure the action screws are snug

    2) check the scope. If the rifle is not shooting well it could very well just be the scope. I have that happen myself with loose screws on the rings.

    3)From there it is the ammo ...at least it has been for me anyways. I have not owned any trully bad shooting guns. Well my Nylon 66 has seen better days. Every time I put a scope on it I get 4 inch groups at 30 yards.

    4) would be the stock Although I have not had to go to step 4 before.

  2. #2

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    I once read an article on the pioneers. If they ran out of round balls they made do by finding stones in the river that had been rounded by rolling along in the current. They then custom patched them so that they were tight in the bore. I'm guessing they killed a lot of pot meat shooting rocks and I bet they would be happy if they shot into 4 inches at 30 yards! It'd beat the heck out of a sling shot.....just musing!

  3. #3
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I find pennies shoot best in my sling shot. They are cheap and shoot like gangbusters. They fly amazingly straight for as far as I can hit anyways. I think it has to do with the much better release with the flat surface.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    This is a neat article I found. I think it is worth reading.

    http://www.rifleshootermag.com/shoot...curacy_062904/

    I have seen a lot of talk about free floating barrels and I have known and would like to let others know that free floating the barrel is just one of a few ways to find accuracy in a rifle. Some rifles dont do well fully free floated or floated at all.

    Some of the tricks I try whenever I set up a rifle

    1) Make sure the action screws are snug

    2) check the scope. If the rifle is not shooting well it could very well just be the scope. I have that happen myself with loose screws on the rings.

    3)From there it is the ammo ...at least it has been for me anyways. I have not owned any trully bad shooting guns. Well my Nylon 66 has seen better days. Every time I put a scope on it I get 4 inch groups at 30 yards.

    4) would be the stock Although I have not had to go to step 4 before.
    When I want to have an accurate rifle I do the following.

    I take my factory bought rifle and if the barrel groups pretty good I do not replace it. If it doesn't then I put a Shilen or Lilja on it with the twist, length and contour I want.

    Then, I put the stock on my rifle that I believe will tighten the groups, which usually is a B&C Medalist and have it bedded and the barrel free-floated.

    Then, I put a fine trigger on it or if it had a good trigger I have if tuned.

    Then, I put good basses and rings with a good scope that meets my required hunting needs for the use of the rifle.

    Then I have my experience as a hand-loader and knowledge of the little things that over the years I have learned that really make load development work well.

    Then I make sure my shooting technique is up to my standard and I have at that point a very well shooting rifle.

    This is just a brief summary of what I do because I could write a paragraph or two for each of the above points concerning some of the details that each of the above require.

    We only live for a short time on this mortal coil we call earth and there are just so many years of your existence here that you will be able to hunt. So if you are a young hunter or old one, make sure you don't buy a bunch of rifles looking for that magic one that is what we call "one in a thousand." Take what you have or buy a good basic rifle and build something you would be proud of and that you will have confidence in and you will be the better for it. You say you "Don't have much money". Then save up for a while and it will not take as much as you might think to have a fine well balance, well shooting rifle.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    First we need to define what we consider as acccuracy.

    Is 3 shots center to center (ctc) 1 1/2" or better at 100 yds accurate? Is it 3 shots ctc 1/2" at 100 yds accurate, is it 5 shots 1/4" ctc @ 100 yds?

    I can't think of a single factory bolt action I've had that won't put 3 shots into 1 1/2" at 100 yds, most will squeze that down to 1", and many of them would be breathing on 1/2" with some load work.

    There really are no secrets in shooting accurately, start with a decent gun, mount a good scope solidly, tune the trigger to a clean break, and start load work with bullets and powder known to work well for the given chambering. Pick a bullet seating depth based on magazine or throat constraints and work up to max for the given powder. Once you know max for the gun see which group worked best, then bracket it either side 1/2 charge difference from your original workup. See what shot best then you are either done with load work or play with seating depth.

    I'd also suggest that one would be well served to have at least one truly accurate rifle to see what you are capable of. It doesn't have to be a full on br competition gun, but a quality varmint rifle with decent glass will give you a good idea of what you are capable of. Once you know that, then you'll remove the self doubt regarding your other rifles.

    One last thought, don't waste your time and money trying to make a mediocre to poor gun shoot well. If I can't get a rifle dialed in within a few range sessions, it either gets a new barrel or traded off for another gun. I just don't have the time or patience trying to find that magic combination. Nine times out of ten there is no such magic load, and my money and time would be better spent investing in a barrel or rifle that will shoot most any load well, with minor or no load work.

  6. #6
    Member SteveJCootie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    When I want to have an accurate rifle I do the following.

    I take my factory bought rifle and if the barrel groups pretty good I do not replace it. If it doesn't then I put a Shilen or Lilja on it with the twist, length and contour I want.

    Then, I put the stock on my rifle that I believe will tighten the groups, which usually is a B&C Medalist and have it bedded and the barrel free-floated.

    Then, I put a fine trigger on it or if it had a good trigger I have if tuned.

    Then, I put good basses and rings with a good scope that meets my required hunting needs for the use of the rifle.

    Then I have my experience as a hand-loader and knowledge of the little things that over the years I have learned that really make load development work well.

    Then I make sure my shooting technique is up to my standard and I have at that point a very well shooting rifle.

    This is just a brief summary of what I do because I could write a paragraph or two for each of the above points concerning some of the details that each of the above require.

    We only live for a short time on this mortal coil we call earth and there are just so many years of your existence here that you will be able to hunt. So if you are a young hunter or old one, make sure you don't buy a bunch of rifles looking for that magic one that is what we call "one in a thousand." Take what you have or buy a good basic rifle and build something you would be proud of and that you will have confidence in and you will be the better for it. You say you "Don't have much money". Then save up for a while and it will not take as much as you might think to have a fine well balance, well shooting rifle.
    Please excuse my stupidity, but what is left of the factory rifle if you do indeed replace all the above mentioned items? Would it be feasable to have someone custom build you a gun? I just purchased a Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .300wm to replace a bad Weatherby Vanguard and was considering some fine tuning although the gun shoots very well and something in my head says don't mess with it. I would probably consider a lighter trigger. Any suggestions?

  7. #7
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJCootie View Post
    Please excuse my stupidity, but what is left of the factory rifle if you do indeed replace all the above mentioned items? Would it be feasable to have someone custom build you a gun? I just purchased a Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .300wm to replace a bad Weatherby Vanguard and was considering some fine tuning although the gun shoots very well and something in my head says don't mess with it. I would probably consider a lighter trigger. Any suggestions?
    Have your factory trigger taken down in weight of pull to a clean breaking safe 2 and 1/2 pounds. I would not spend a lot of money on a factory action rifle, unless you do your own work. Today the custom actions are the best place to start from.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJCootie View Post
    Please excuse my stupidity, but what is left of the factory rifle if you do indeed replace all the above mentioned items? Would it be feasable to have someone custom build you a gun? I just purchased a Ruger M77 Hawkeye in .300wm to replace a bad Weatherby Vanguard and was considering some fine tuning although the gun shoots very well and something in my head says don't mess with it. I would probably consider a lighter trigger. Any suggestions?
    Steve said, "Please excuse my stupidity, but what is left of the factory rifle if you do indeed replace all the above mentioned items?"

    Nothing but the receiver I find that a lot of fun to take a factory rifle and do some things to it to see just how good I can get it to shoot. Now some rifles I have added nothing and only tuned a trigger here and there and then sometimes bedded the stock that came on the rifle. I try to get 1/2" and under with a five shot group if I can. In doing so some rifles require a full custom job done on them and some don't. That said, not one of my custom guns from Remington receivers, to Sako TRG receivers, to Weatherby Mark V receivers have failed to give 1/2" and some under a 1/2" when fully customized.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    ... to Sako TRG receivers
    Don't recall you ever mentioning shooting TRG's, did they need much customizing?

    I would hope not...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    ... Today the custom actions are the best place to start from.
    With all due respect, custom actione are no doubt better than factory actions... but how much better??? .1 MOA, .25 MOA, .5 MOA?

    How about a Sako action? I'm very impressed with them

  11. #11
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    When tuning or trueing an action means re cutting the receiver threads on any action There is a down side, you will always pay for. You have made the receiver on the action thinner.

    The chances of damage to the receiver have just gone way up, from the simplest thing you yourself can do. Change the scope mount and make one mistake with stock base screws and your just wiped out all the work you did to the action. There is no forgive when you do this. What has happened is you will flatten the barrel thread the base screw hits. Now you shorten the screws so they do not protrude in to the barrel screws you are OK. If you put the screws back in out of order and flatten one action screw on top of the barrel thread, it game over. When you unscrew the barrel you will wipe out all the good work on the receiver threads as the barrel is unwound it's going to gaul the receiver threads.

    Custom made actions have a much higher resale value than and action that has been re cut. When you get a bad custom action you return it to the manufacture and he sends you a replacement. When you get and action and true this action and then wipe out the receiver threads, you send it to the scrap bin.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    With all due respect, custom actione are no doubt better than factory actions... but how much better??? .1 MOA, .25 MOA, .5 MOA?

    How about a Sako action? I'm very impressed with them
    What is a good action? How do you know if the action is good for accuracy?

    There is a vary easy way to know if you can get the best accuracy from any rifle action. If you know by looking at the brass fired in the action has a primer pocket that is dead true in the center. Your barrel has a dead center chambered and the barrel threads are in-line with all else and the firing pin strike is off center of the primer. You have just found out your receiver is not in-line to all else. How much does this mean on paper at 100 yards? That is hard to give exact numbers for. But I can tell you this, five five shot targets in a row are not going to give you a decent agg.

    Remember we are talking accuracy here, NOT hunting accuracy. For me hunting accuracy means the ability of the rifle to put a bullet in the size of a moose's hump at 200 yards. I do this and the rifle is a good deadly hunting rifle. Get a bullet in the bung hole of Mr.moose or the head neck juncture of the spine and I'm vary happy with any rifle that will do this for hunting.

    But when you talk about accuracy, you are talking a no holds barr all out rifle where nothing is left to chance.

    This is why we need to define what is acceptable accuracy up front!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    Don't recall you ever mentioning shooting TRG's, did they need much customizing?

    I would hope not...
    I have a Sako TRG that I turned into a 30-06 Ackley IMP and I put a Shilen barrel on it and a special trigger assembly.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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  14. #14

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    I'm with Paul H on this topic!

    If your paper punching in competition then you can't get enough accuracy. However for a hunting rifle 1 1/2 MOA is plenty good enough for me.

    Back when mother and I first tied the knot I was so poor that I couldn't pay attention. In those days I hunted with a badly neglected old Remington ADL in 270. The bore was as ugly as any I've ever seen. That old gun shot about 3 inches with what ever you fed it. Two Missouri whitetails and a dozen coyotes had no idea that it shot that bad! Like Paul H, I can't remember an out of the box rifle of any make since that rusted out 270 that wouldn't shoot at least an inch and a half with little fuss.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    I have a Sako TRG that I turned into a 30-06 Ackley IMP and I put a Shilen barrel on it and a special trigger assembly.
    Sounds like a reach out and touch African gun to me

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    What is a good action? How do you know if the action is good for accuracy?

    There is a vary easy way to know if you can get the best accuracy from any rifle action. If you know by looking at the brass fired in the action has a primer pocket that is dead true in the center. Your barrel has a dead center chambered and the barrel threads are in-line with all else and the firing pin strike is off center of the primer. You have just found out your receiver is not in-line to all else. How much does this mean on paper at 100 yards? That is hard to give exact numbers for. But I can tell you this, five five shot targets in a row are not going to give you a decent agg.

    Remember we are talking accuracy here, NOT hunting accuracy. For me hunting accuracy means the ability of the rifle to put a bullet in the size of a moose's hump at 200 yards. I do this and the rifle is a good deadly hunting rifle. Get a bullet in the bung hole of Mr.moose or the head neck juncture of the spine and I'm vary happy with any rifle that will do this for hunting.

    But when you talk about accuracy, you are talking a no holds barr all out rifle where nothing is left to chance.

    This is why we need to define what is acceptable accuracy up front!
    I guess we all have different defintitions of accuracy. Hunting accuracy to me used to be about 1 MOA. Now I'm looking for 1/2 MOA or better for longer shots or maybe a tight qurtering away shot or whatever. There are a great many variables in the accuracy game and I'm no expert in all of it. But I'm guessing, a good gunsmith can put together an action (factory), custom barrel and stock and get a 1/2 MOA shooter out of it in most cases as long as the action is in descent condition. If I was shooting competition, then yeah, a custom action would be the way to go. But I think with the proper care a factory action can produce 1/2 MOA or close to it, or maybe a little better. This is based on the fact I could get .75 MOA out of my old out of the box Ruger, with a handload that I didn't spend a lot of time fine tuning and no formal barrel break in etc. It could shoot some factory loads a little better than MOA.

    Are custom actions better? You bet... in most cases anyway...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I'm with Paul H on this topic!

    If your paper punching in competition then you can't get enough accuracy. However for a hunting rifle 1 1/2 MOA is plenty good enough for me.

    Back when mother and I first tied the knot I was so poor that I couldn't pay attention. In those days I hunted with a badly neglected old Remington ADL in 270. The bore was as ugly as any I've ever seen. That old gun shot about 3 inches with what ever you fed it. Two Missouri whitetails and a dozen coyotes had no idea that it shot that bad! Like Paul H, I can't remember an out of the box rifle of any make since that rusted out 270 that wouldn't shoot at least an inch and a half with little fuss.
    I agree, in most less than 200 yd hunting situations a 3 inch rifle will do the trick. But let me tell a little story... This spring I was bear hunting, walking down a forest service road, came around a bend and there was about a 300 pounder walking down the road about 100 yds in front of me. I am hunitng with my Ruger 7RM which is shooting about 2 1/2 inches. I start following him, trying to close the gap and hope for a good shot, and not a Texas heart shot. All of a sudden he changes direction and starts coming my way. I get down on one knee and put the cross hairs on him and wait till he gives me a good broadside or wait until he gets maybe 30 yds for a front shot under the chin because I want resonable assurance the bullet is going to go where I point it. Don't want to be chasing any wounded bears. Long story short... it changed directions quick and hopped down the hillside into some thick stuff. I followed a little way but never saw it again. Bottom line... if I had a sub MOA rifle that bear would be a rug. But as it is, it's just another *almost* story

  18. #18

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    Maybe you can shoot moa off the knee but this old fart can't do that anymore if I ever could! Ya shoulda charged him!

  19. #19
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Shooting 2 1/2 inches would have made him a rug for me.

    I had a rifle that shot 1 1/2" and took a bear at 250 yards with a shot under the chin. Not much wiggle room there but a lot less than 2.5" at 100 yards.

    The frontal vital zone is lot bigger than 2.5".

    ---

    There is no sense in beating yourself up over it though. Live and learn.

    It is always a double edge sword. One one hand you did not wound it and on the other hand a shot not taken is always a miss.

    I have passed up both Black Bears and deer due to not feeling confortable with the shot presented. Both times I was hunting with a 22-250 and needed to thread the needle so to speak. I am positive I could have made a hit but not confident it would have been the necessary rib shot.

    --

    I also think I am more acceptable to 4" kill zone hit rather than minute of angle hit for hunting because I like to hunt with open sights. There is no way I am going to shoot MOA with open sites. The Black bear I passed on was with open sites at around 200 yards.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Maybe you can shoot moa off the knee but this old fart can't do that anymore if I ever could! Ya shoulda charged him!
    That's just point of having a better than MOA rifle... to help compensate for field shooting

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