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Thread: Are rifles getting better?

  1. #1

    Are rifles getting better?

    Do folk think that the proliferation of custom gunmakers offering bughole accuracy is forcing mainstream manufacturers to offer more accurate rifles to the public or is it just something simple like higher manufacturing standards being made ecconomical by the likes of cad-cam machinery.
    15 years ago groups of 1.5'' to 2'' were considered perfectly acceptable in rifle reviews, now no-one gets excited unless a rifle shoots sub 1'' 5 shot groups.
    What do folk think?
    Are we any better off than we were?

  2. #2
    it's true that manufacturing techniques are constantly getting better and cheaper. The thing is unless your target shooting sub 1" while desireable isnt really all that necessary. Sub three inch, heart/lung = a dead deer!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by andibrains View Post
    it's true that manufacturing techniques are constantly getting better and cheaper. The thing is unless your target shooting sub 1" while desireable isnt really all that necessary. Sub three inch, heart/lung = a dead deer!
    I cannot agree with this statement. If you are already at best getting 3'' groups at presumably 100yds you already have a depleted margin of error. If you start pushing your shots out to 200-250yds what has your group stretched to then? Certainly of a size that you could not possibly be certain of striking in a vital area.

    Everything else we tack onto our gun, moderators that help reduce recoil and therefore a possible flinch, bipods to assure a good rest and quality optics are only part of it.

    In my mind if I am shooting 1/2'' groups at 100yds then there is nothing left to chance at greater distance. It is as they say, down to me.

  4. #4
    I wonder whether it's the rifles getting better, or just that we expect better accuracy and strive harder to get it?

    I have one deer rifle rifle which I bought new, and one old one, about 20 years old.

    Both shoot 1" groups (or a little less) at 100yds quite happily, but only with the ammunition they like; and it took some testing to find what that ammunition was.
    It struck me that formerly, one might just have bought a packet of what was available and zeroed with it: if the groups were 2" or so, that was that.
    Last edited by Dalua; 03-09-2010 at 22:57.

  5. #5
    The bullets are better now than they used to be . However I am not so sure about the rifles . There is a lot of cost cutting done in their production now.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    I cannot agree with this statement. If you are already at best getting 3'' groups at presumably 100yds you already have a depleted margin of error. If you start pushing your shots out to 200-250yds what has your group stretched to then? Certainly of a size that you could not possibly be certain of striking in a vital area.

    Everything else we tack onto our gun, moderators that help reduce recoil and therefore a possible flinch, bipods to assure a good rest and quality optics are only part of it.

    In my mind if I am shooting 1/2'' groups at 100yds then there is nothing left to chance at greater distance. It is as they say, down to me.
    Although this may be the ideal, I believe the reality is that even if you shoot 1/2" groups when zeroing /practising with your rifle the chances of you replicating the shooting conditions in the field are virtually non existent. You will not have the luxury of a shooting bench / comfortable position to make the shot, you will be shooting off sticks , leaning against a tree, offhand whatever position presents itself at the time. Of course the opportunity to take the shot off a substantial rest will present itself, but it is not the norm, so it is not unreasonable to expect your groups to grow, therefore the thing to do is practise regularly off sticks etc.

    Back to the original question are modern guns more accurate? I believe they are more accurate but I would not like to comment about whether the quality has improved or not, that I believe is a separate question

    John
    A clever man knows his strengths, a wise man knows his weaknesses

  7. #7
    Hi
    Whether rifles are more accurate I’m not sure, but I do believe that what you feed and the person using it is the biggest variable,
    I had some factory rounds that did reasonable groups and some reloaded rounds,
    I shot the factory rounds then followed with the homeloads letting the barrels cool time between each shot, and I tried to maintain the exactly same set up position every time.
    The group from the factory were ok with the homeloads much much tighter,
    The point I’m trying to make is that some people may think that there rifle is not as accurate as it should be but the ammo you feed or the person using could be a bigger factor then you may first realise.

    Smithy

  8. #8
    Better bullets certainly have a lot to do with improved accuracy, factory ammo is also a lot better than 10 or 20 years ago. My 22/250 will shoot Hornady factory 50gr Vmax into about .4-.5"

    My view on most modern factory rifles is that the barrel and action aren't too bad, and generally can be made to shoot quite well.

    The problem with most rifles is that the stock, magazine, trigger etc are f**king rubbish. Look at the Steyr Mannlicher Prohunter, a really good rifle let down by a rubbish stock. The wooden stocked Mannlicher Classics are actually really nice rifles.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JAYB View Post
    Although this may be the ideal, I believe the reality is that even if you shoot 1/2" groups when zeroing /practising with your rifle the chances of you replicating the shooting conditions in the field are virtually non existent. You will not have the luxury of a shooting bench / comfortable position to make the shot, you will be shooting off sticks , leaning against a tree, offhand whatever position presents itself at the time. Of course the opportunity to take the shot off a substantial rest will present itself, but it is not the norm, so it is not unreasonable to expect your groups to grow, therefore the thing to do is practise regularly off sticks etc.

    John
    Yep, I agree. hence the comment regarding 'if the rifle is accurate' the rest is down to me, which includes finding a rest, judging wind etc. What I don't want is having to work out all the other elements as well as contend with a rifle shooting at best 3'' groups at 100yds.

    If rifles are now shooting tighter groups as the original post suggests, even if some disagree it is necessary, it surely still has to be a good thing. I cannot think of anything negative regarding that. So therefore we must be better off.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    Yep, I agree. hence the comment regarding 'if the rifle is accurate' the rest is down to me, which includes finding a rest, judging wind etc. What I don't want is having to work out all the other elements as well as contend with a rifle shooting at best 3'' groups at 100yds.

    If rifles are now shooting tighter groups as the original post suggests, even if some disagree it is necessary, it surely still has to be a good thing. I cannot think of anything negative regarding that. So therefore we must be better off.
    I am not all together sure, if rifles are more accurate or not now than they were maybe they are but in general the build quality is not so good, why are so many of us having actions floated and bedded, if the rifle was built properly to begin with there would be no need, same thing with synthetic stocks fitted to make a better rifle , no they are fitted to make a cheaper to produce rifle, while I agree that there are good synthetic stock, a lot of them are rubbish.

    I agree that we want as tight groups as we can get, and one hole accuracy is nice if we are truthful how many of us can shoot that well regardless of how accurate the rifle is, I know that I can't, we are stalkers not target shooters
    so our shots are taken from all different positions and distances, so can never expect to get the same results in the field as on a target, if you can place all your shots from any position prone kneeling sitting of sticks etc. at all distances out to 200 yards or a little bit more into a tea plate sized target thats all you need.

    I am not the best shot in the world, but will shoot confidently out to 300 yards from a prone position, would never take a shot at a deer at that distance, unless it was wounded, 200 yards maximum and prefer to get closer than that.

    Kneeling sitting or of sticks I limit myself to a 100 yards further than that its a prone shot, if thats not possible its a case of try and get closer

    everybody's capability's are different, I know my limitations, as should everyone.

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