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Thread: Practical Hunting Accuracy ( PHA )

  1. #1

    Practical Hunting Accuracy ( PHA )

    Having seen discussions on rifle accuracy and seen spending loads of money to gain almost nothing , I just wanted to know what you forum users see as practical hunting accuracy for stalking deer . Not for foxes.
    This for body shots or head/neck shots at reasonable range .
    I would see this in a deer rifle for UK use both on the hill and in the forrest . Rifles in the 243/270/308/30-06 class .

  2. #2
    I think for body shots out to 300m on the larger deer 1.5" is probably good enough. Personally, I would want better than that, but that is confidence thing. For Roe and smaller, it would need to be 1" at worst.

    Neck shots are a different ball game. 1.5" off POI on a neck shot is a complete miss or a complete cock up. for a rifle to be used on neck shots further than about 60m, both the rifle and the man using it need to be capable of sub moa all the time - under field conditions, not off the bench.

  3. #3
    + 1 what CD says.. Certain safe humane despatch is the object, not just "I can kill it". The rifles are usually capable , it is the human element that fails. Just my personal feeling.

    Average Clients struggle to achieve 3 shots inside a 2" circle at the range, much more under field conditions. I don't enjoy cleaning up the mess they make.

    Rant over.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler
    Neck shots are a different ball game. 1.5" off POI on a neck shot is a complete miss or a complete cock up.
    Could not agree more.

    The first hind I ever shot, I hit in the neck, it spun round once and fell to the ground and did not move. I waited a couple of minutes and still no movement so I walked over. As I got to the hind it jumped right up and ran off never to be seen again.

    I can only asume I hit it slightly high and grazed the back of it's neck.

    I have not had this happen since thankfully but it has made me pay more attention if going for a neck shot.

  5. #5
    A good eye opener is to shoot the DSC1 test at twice the distance ie sticks at 80m, sitting at 140m and prone at 200m. Forget group size, just look at whether or not all the holes are in the kill zone.

    Now, whilst sat at the computer, most people would say 'no problem', meanwhile, back in the real world, an awful lot of people would pull one or two shots. I have seen plenty of people fail or take a couple of attempts to pass at 40m,70m and 100m.

    To be fair, the standard of accuracy from stalkers has improved alot over the years. I may even go so far as to say that the standard of bench/bipod shooting (largely due to equipment/ammo improvement) has improved too much giving people false confidence in the field.

    If I had to sumarise, DSC1 standard for occaisional stalkers, twice the distance DSC1 standard for those that consider themselves experienced is pretty realistic.

    As for head and neck shooting wild deer, well, that debate has been overdone already but the best advise is to forget it accept for very occaisional circumstances. (please don't bother to comment on that last paragraph as life is too short!)

    I'm standing by to be pelted with rotten fruit and veg but I'm just giving my opinion. JC

  6. #6
    Why anybody could say OK, that'll do, I can't get my head round it, I want the best my rifles are capable of, (usually better than the nut behind the butt), I cannot imagine using a load / rifle combo that was in any way wanting. If my rifle & load can bughole (One of Muirs terms) at 100yds, then I know it's good to 400 with correct conditions such as favourable wind, ground etc. We, (Mike & Myself) headshoot rabbits with .223 around 200yds regularly, applying the same loading prep & practice to the larger calibres it's possible to smash clays set out on stakes at 600yds, On the other hand,if a rifle & load is only getting three in a four inch circle (just), then that translated to say 250 yards is going to be a shot in the dark & quite likely a miss altogether

  7. #7
    This thread is a spin-off from the custom rifle thread. While "good enough" may well be good enough for most people, it does not inspire me with confidence.

    My criticism of the majority of factory rifles is a lack of consistency. By that I mean predictable group sizes off the bench every time, without any unexplained shifts in POI. To be honest I have very rarely seen a factory rifle that would deliver a consistent group (whether that is .5" or 1.5"), to the same POI, week in week out. The weak links in the chain, ignoring the shooter for now, are the bedding, the scope mounts and then the trigger, in that order.

    I would agree with Steve, I want the best I can get out of a load / rifle combination. I cannot shoot 0.5" from a field position, but it helps me to know that the rifle can so my mistakes are minimised.

    If a rifleman can deliver 3" groups at 200m, he will get the job done every time, if he confines himself to chest shots.

  8. #8
    I know that my Sako, with me shooting, will put up 3/4" groups @100yds on a still day off the bi-pod laid in a field with federal 140gn factory loads. I also know that I have seen competition shooters, as well as myself, struggle to post decent groups at the same distance in a gale.

    But given reasonable conditions I am confident on heart lung shots on roe or fallow at 200yds. My 6.5 drops fast after 200yds so i find it better to try for 150yd maximum. The fun after all is the stalk.

    Neck shooting for me is something done at very close range indeed, 10 to 50yds, and is only done if there is no alternative.


  9. #9
    I dont think the question is about what we would like, its about where we draw the line. My Sauer will consistently group sub MOA and my 375 is even better (had her free-floated sort of) but what happens if you have to borrow a rifle.
    I had the most awful loaner of an estate rifle when I went to Botswana which grouped about 2". The stock was cracked etc etc
    The 2" group was however very consistent so hunting was excellent with 16 impala down all clean heart lung shots. The rifle however was not very precise. The trick is assessing the rifle and working within its limitations.

    There is a very interesting definition of accurate and precise in this link


  10. #10
    Stalking in close is for most, the ultimate aim, to beat nature at her own game on her terms, just once in a blue moon your deer will be out of normal stalking" in" terms, say maybe 300 ish out on a clear fell, you won't close to anything like 70 yds on that stuff, (What fool decided to call it "clear fell anyway"), so if that deer is going to the larder, you need to be able to have confidence in your rifle & load.

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