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Thread: The fun continues, and the group grows

  1. #1

    The fun continues, and the group grows

    You probably need to read the first two installments before this one as this is a continuation of the group that started in this thread:

    Opinions on these groups

    and grew somewhat in this thread:

    The multi-load group gets bigger...

    The premise I sort of started with was that most stalkers can reliably and consistently shoot a 3 inch group and that a well engineered rifle will shoot any ammo you put into it much better than the stalker can, in fact a well engineered rifle will even shoot a random mixture of loads and bullets better than the stalker can. I also think that many people are put off reloading by all the, largely unsupported, stuff they are told they have to do to make accurate ammo. I don't believe, based on the experiments I detail in this thread, that they have to do the vast majority of these things. So, if you are new to reloading then read this thread before you go any further.

    After shooting the groups detailed in the above threads I acquired some 150 grain 308 bullets. I don't know what the bullet is, or who makes it, or anything at all about it other than that observation indicates it has a boat tail which, I'm assured, means it can be difficult to get it to shoot accurately.

    I loaded these bullets on top of a load that I use for 150 grain bullets. I loaded 5 bullets with absolutely no working up or experimenting.

    To add to the fun I also loaded them all at random different lengths. I started my seating die such that the bullet was loaded to about the limit of my magazine and each time I seated a bullet I screwed the die in by a random amount. The load I was using was down towards book minimum so I had no concerns that I might increase pressure beyond a safe level plus, obviously, I applied common sense.

    Today I nipped out and shot the 5 "mystery bullet and mystery lengths" at my target, as you can see there was one disaster which was certainly my fault as it was starting to rain and it was the last round and I was keen to jump up and run to shelter so the concentration was gone just like happens if the deer is about to run and you have to take a fast shot. It must be said that all 5 of the mystery bullet rounds appear to have hit the target within my nominal 3 inch group, which is what I can be confident of shooting in the field, and I'd go so far as to say that they are within about an inch of my expected point of impact:



    So, once more a total mystery bullet at totally random lengths appears to support my position that the shooter is the weak link and that much of the measuring and fiddling about which some insist you must do to reload accurate ammo is unnecessary for the stalker with a well engineered rifle designed to shoot a bullet where it is pointed. You might argue that my "flier" is actually down to the reloading, rather than the fault of the shooter, but if that is the case it is difficult to explain why 4 of the mystery bullet rounds are within the group plus at the time I knew I had a flier.

    For a bit of further fun I fired 4 more rounds into the target to make it up to a nice round 20. The 4 rounds represented 2 completely different loads and bullets:



    Now again this has grown the group slightly but these 4 were shot off sticks plus it was very windy indeed, the Met Office report that there was a 15mph wind with 38mph gusts at the nearest weather station (about half a mile from where I was shooting) so potentially I had about 4 inches of wind drift today. I didn't allow for wind but aimed dead on with each shot.

    I'm trying to think of anything else I can do to further add "unconstrained variables" to the mix but at the minute having shot 8 different loads, 7 different bullets including a mystery bullet stuffed on top of a random 150 grain load, 5 loaded at random lengths and 4 off sticks I can't think of anything else. Answers on a postcard...
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
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  2. #2
    I think i have the answer ,prepare yourself, your tests show that you can shoot any bullet, any size, any weight, any where ,and the bloody outcome is there all on target and you sir are a damb fine shot. hoping for further instalments on your quest. for the one. atb doug
    DONT START

  3. #3
    An interesting thread and fits with my feelings recently after some zeroing and practice. I left with a vague, "Not bad, but could be better" attitude to my shooting (all factory ammo in different calibres). A couple of days ago I needed to create some shelter for the chickens and got out the board I'd used to attach the targets to. Without the lines of the target, they were really good groups and a mental note was made to not to be as particular next time!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by AN DU RU FOX View Post
    you sir are a damb fine shot.
    Actually I don't think it demonstrates this at all - I think it shows that I'm an average shot but the rifle is able to shoot any load with a level of consistency and accuracy way beyond my skill level. The key here is the rifle as it would appear that it has been designed to shoot a bullet, any bullet, to where it is pointed and the only variation is in my ability to do the pointing. It also highlights that, especially for the beginner in reloading, the process to create good, accurate ammo is simple and requires little in the way of gadgets or complexity. The time others might tell you to spend measuring things or messing about with minor variables would actually be MUCH better spent practicing your shooting as this is where the major improvements can be made.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    I think it shows that I'm an average shot but the rifle is able to shoot any load with a level of consistency and accuracy way beyond my skill level.
    I can understand the concept of a rifle in a machine rest being able to 'outshoot' a rifleman who is actually holding that same rifle and shooting with it.

    What you've said I don't understand. Am I being particularly dense?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalua View Post
    What you've said I don't understand.
    In what way? I think you are correct in the sense that if the rifle were securely fixed then it would put all the loads into almost one hole and so all the significant error in the shooting is mine. If my mass produced rifle can do this then, in theory, so can any other one. However I don't have a machine rest and so have to rely on the fact that most stalkers using stalking scopes etc, including myself, can consistently shoot a 3 inch group. If the group had been 6 inches then you might reasonably claim that the lack of my applying some of the reloading mumbo-jumbo was a factor in the large group, and I'd have to agree. As it was the group was about the size I'd have expected when I use ammo that I know I can occasionally get very small groups from and so it seems fair to conclude, as I have done, that any well engineered rifle will shoot any bullet and load better than the shooter without the need for gadgets or any of the more arcane reloading techniques which we are often told are necessary to make "accurate" ammo. I suspect that there is no such thing as accurate ammo but only accurate rifles which is to say a well engineered rifle which will shoot anything to where it is aimed.

    This is important for the beginners who come on here looking advice and end up spending a fortune on "stuff," engaging in practices which are unnecessary and believing in "truths" which have little or no basis in fact in the context of stalking and shooting at stalking distances. The beginner should keep their reloading as simple as possible and only add complexity if they need it, and can establish that it makes a difference.

    However, there are some fundamental flaws and assumptions in my experiment. The big flaw is that what I've done is suggestive that I'm correct but comes far short of proof. The big assumption is that this applies to stalkers shooting deer at normal stalking distances.

    I started with a theory and gathered some evidence which, while far short of proof, at least supports it and provides no evidence that it is totally incorrect.

    When it comes to the longer range target shooting I have little knowledge of the factors involved and I also suspect that the issue is confounded by the tendency of people to display their best group as an example of their shooting, rejecting many other groups for a range of reasons. This can lead to delusions as to the actual size of group the shooter can repeatedly and consistently shoot. However, because of my theory my stated opinion is that, assuming a well engineered rifle, then the shooter is the next biggest factor and the impact of much of the reloading "mumbo-jumbo" would vanish into the noise or would be effective only at the psychological level.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  7. #7
    A very interesting and worthwhile thread. Sixty years or so ago when I started shooting most of us knew little or nothing about loads etc: We just bought what ammo we could, and went out and shot things. Memeory fades but I seem to remember doing pretty well. Now it seems people spend considerable quantities of money and time on trying to improve thier shooting, and there's nothing wrong with that, but do the overall results really merit it? I am not suggesting this applies to target shooting.

  8. #8
    Am I right in remembering that the squares are 1 inch?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mungo View Post
    Am I right in remembering that the squares are 1 inch?
    That is right.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    In what way? I think you are correct in the sense that if the rifle were securely fixed then it would put all the loads into almost one hole and so all the significant error in the shooting is mine.
    Ah. That isn't what I was thinking.
    What I was thinking is that for shooting consistently, a machine rest conceivably has an advantage over a rifleman - so a rifle in such a rest might outshoot the same rifle more-conventionally in the grip of a rifleman.



    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    If my mass produced rifle can do this then, in theory, so can any other one.
    So, we don't actually know what your rifle is doing at all.
    All we know is what you and your rifle/sight/ammuniton are doing in the weather you're doing it in: and it seems to me unlikely that, if your best shooting with a magic rifle that always shot exactly to point of aim was a 3" group, you would have managed to shoot the current 2" group with this rifle.

    As for any other rifle doing the same, well in theory I suppose - but in practice?

    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    However I don't have a machine rest and so have to rely on the fact that most stalkers using stalking scopes etc, including myself, can consistently shoot a 3 inch group.
    I think that this is where I am, perhaps wrongly, perceiving the disintegration of logic.
    You have so far shown that you can shoot numerous shots into a 2" group with the same rifle, but under a variety of conditions and using a wide range of ammunition.
    Onwards....
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    As it was the group was about the size I'd have expected when I use ammo that I know I can occasionally get very small groups from and so it seems fair to conclude, as I have done, that any well engineered rifle will shoot any bullet and load better than the shooter...
    A rifle might well be able to hold a smaller groups from a machine rest that when it is in the hands of a rifleman. Further, I can easily understand the assertion that under field conditions, most of us could probably with confidence hold a 3" group at 100yds.
    However, you have shown that you and your rifle with randomish ammuntion can consistently hold a 2" group.
    What I conclude from that, in the absence of any understanding of what the rifle itself is doing, is that you are good, consistent shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    ...without the need for gadgets or any of the more arcane reloading techniques which we are often told are necessary to make "accurate" ammo. I suspect that there is no such thing as accurate ammo but only accurate rifles which is to say a well engineered rifle which will shoot anything to where it is aimed.
    I agree about not needing arcane gadgets and it is consistent, rather than arcane, technique that is required.
    Yet my experience (and perhaps not this demonstration, either) does not support a denial of the idea that some ammunition works well, and some less-well, in a particular rifle. Slight, uncomplicated tweaks to seating-depth and charge seem in my case to have made useful improvement in accuracy.

    In summary, may I propose this thought:
    Assuming that, as you suggest, in the field most stalkers cannot consitently hold better than 3" at 100yds, the man who has ammuntion, rifle and sight that will hold 0.5" off a bipod under comfortable conditions on the range will be able to hold 3.5".
    The man who is happy with his loads shooting 2" on the range will be able to hold 5" in the field.

    Does that make sense?


    For my part, I am happy if I, with my stalking- and target-rifles, can put 5 bullets into under 1" on the range: I don't win target competitions, but any problems I've had stalking have not been rifle- or ammunition-related.
    Ideally, I want less from .22 centrefires - but I find them easier to shoot, which helps!
    Last edited by Dalua; 26-02-2014 at 19:25.

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