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Thread: I think I'll stick to heart shots...

  1. #1

    I think I'll stick to heart shots...

    The recent ‘missed headshot’ thread got me surfing… Unfortunately I ended up with more questions than answers. I’ve never taken a head shot, which is a probably a good job.

    My technique for selecting ammunition, and zeroing, has been to shoot three shot groups and select, or adjust, according to the results. Apparently I may as well have been pissing in the wind.

    To get any meaningful data my group size would need to be larger (At least 5) and repeated several times (At least 5). So my ammunition has essentially been selected by chance. In terms of zeroing, because the exercise has been repeated several times, it has at least got me into the ballpark.

    I often shoot impressively small, three shot groups, and when these happen to be in the bull I’m chuffed and leave the range with my ‘zeroed’ rifle. The next time I’m down at the range I sometimes find my group has shifted slightly or am baffled by a flyer.

    However practically every shot lands on a small Shoot N C Target (7cm/3inch diameter) at 104m so accuracy is sufficient for heart/lung shots with a margin for error but clearly not for head shots.

    None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who approaches the subject scientifically. For reasons which haven’t completely got my head around, but that are subject to general consensus, a 1” rifle will put 95% of five shot groups into between ½” and 1 ½” with no change in real performance.

    So, coupled with imperfect zeroing, imperfect shooting technique and variable conditions means, that whilst it might be possible for me to regularly shoot small groups, they may not be at the point of aim.

    Group Size Analysis
    Group Statistics
    Measuring Accuracy

  2. #2
    You practice and you are happy to go into the field ??
    The range and the shot is up to you is it not ??
    All this means nothing under "field conditions"
    I have shot many in the head and hate it.
    Boiler house or neck for me by choice.
    All shots have the potential to go tits up its the riflemans dilema and up to him.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by www.yorkshireroestalking. View Post
    You practice and you are happy to go into the field ??
    The range and the shot is up to you is it not ??
    All this means nothing under "field conditions"
    I have shot many in the head and hate it.
    Boiler house or neck for me by choice.
    All shots have the potential to go tits up its the riflemans dilema and up to him.
    could not of put it better myself and need to say no more, well done YRS

    CF

  4. #4
    I agree each to their own - I know stalkers far more experienced than me, who head shoot, and I wouldn't criticise them from my position of relative inexperience.

    I can't however agree with 'all this means nothing under field conditions'. This may be true when heart shooting, but when dependant on hitting a two inch target, isn't it precisely this type of error that can contribute to a failure.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bestman View Post
    I agree each to their own - I know stalkers far more experienced than me, who head shoot, and I wouldn't criticise them from my position of relative inexperience.

    I can't however agree with 'all this means nothing under field conditions'. This may be true when heart shooting, but when dependant on hitting a two inch target, isn't it precisely this type of error that can contribute to a failure.
    2 inches??? Pygmy Roe???

  6. #6
    I think what John is saying is it really dont matter how tight your groups are on the range they will be no were near that in normal stalking senarios. At the right time on the right day wind and eliments permitting i can get my bullets in a 1inch group on the orange dot . But stick me in a field after walking a few miles and watching and waiting for a deer to stand still and settle my shooting is some what differnt. For me it is heart area and if i can only see it low neck. But i will not say never to any shot.
    2inch is about right for the kill area on a roe deers head. You will get away with a little bit more because of the damage cause by the bullet and fragments getting sent in to the brain but would you like to decided the fate of a deer with shrapnal.
    Last edited by 6pointer; 05-01-2011 at 22:54.

  7. #7
    It sounds to me like you are not entirely confident with either your equipment or your own abilities. This is not a bad thing as your confidence will grow with experience, and there is little worse than being overconfident with your abilities too early!
    Shooting wild animals in the field is entirely different than punching paper targets on a range and introduces a whole array of variables into the equation! Many of us shoot deer for numerous different reasons and some may 'need' to take shots that others may choose to leave for another day.
    The most important thing though, is that we know and are comfortable with our own limitations as well as those of our equipment. It sounds as though you know yours which I believe is good!
    MS

  8. #8
    MS,

    And I would add that TOO MUCH shooting at paper doesn't help.

    Zero you rifle and check it every time before you go out. If it doesn't change then check it less frequently. You'll get down to a routine that means you really only shoot at deer, not paper.

    Remember, expanding ammunition can only be used on deer AND FOR ZEROING not for target practice

    If it ain't broke........

    Stan

  9. #9
    Boiler room for me................Taking into account wind, rain, midges and other conditions encountered in the field I am simply not a good enough shot at this stage to consider head shots..............Saying that mind you, I have nothing against them if the nut behind the butt is up to the job.

  10. #10
    There are so many situations whereupon the need to shoot from various situations always arise.

    Providing you are a competant shot with the rifle you have and have found the right round for the rifle and the job required.

    The taking of a shot is down to the conditions being right and the target is in the right placing for a shot and the shooter feeling collectively calm and confident and all is as good as it can be, then consideration should be given to taking a shot.

    Heart shots also carry a risk of a wounded runner as well as any other shot placement, overall I find the heart shot is better for clean kills.

    Looking at carcase damage neck and head shots are great, no meat damage, at the end of the day, the main thing is to ensure a quick faultless shot for the beast targeted ensuring a quick dispatch.

    The correct placing of a shot is the all time aim, it is up to the stalker to ensure his /her shot is the best one to do the job, if there is any doubt, leave it for another day until everything is right for the best shot, providing the conditions are right for a clean kill. A wrong shot is a bad shot, measure twice, cut once

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