Field Accuracy

Yoda

Well-Known Member
#1
A very good article in this months Sporting Rifle by Andrew Venables.
Basically saying all the bovine excreta about accuracy isn't applicable to hunting in the field.
 
#2
Haven't read it but would hazard a guess I know where he's coming from.

Does he however pass comment on the psychological benefits to the stalker who believes he has the ultimate in terms of an accurate stalking rig?

K
 
#3
Does he however pass comment on the psychological benefits to the stalker who believes he has the ultimate in terms of an accurate stalking rig?
...and the ability to extract at least field-level accuracy out of it.

The number who can extract the ultimate accuracy from their stalking rigs are few and far between....nor do I honestly believe is it needed in most practical stalking situations.

Whoever invented the phrase "close enough for government work" got it about right ;)
 

Greener Jim

Well-Known Member
#5
The same Mr Venables who runs a business teaching people to shoot long range?
That's the one. I must admit, I like his articles. He seems to really relish the stalk over the shot. Recently bought a open sighted rifle from the early 1900's and spoke poorly of someone who took a tactical rifle on a plains game hunt.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
#6
I mentioned earlier about target shooting & hunting needing completely different approaches (in the .270 thread, I think?) I was actually once lambasted by mentioning this very thing on my own (now closed) forum & was told that the error increases as the range lengthens. This is quite right of course, but if you take the target area as being roughly the size of a soup bowl it would be a poor hunter who couldn't consistently hit that at reasonable ethical ranges..............say 200 yards maximum, in most UK scenarios? I've never given a blue fart if my groups are a couple of inches, for several reasons..................

One; My practice sessions are to try & replicate conditions I'll experience in the field: standing, kneeling shots from bipod, sticks and freehand. Show me a guy who can cloverleaf at 100 yards off the shoulder & we'll have found the New God

Two; As long as I can get within the kill zone diameter I see no advantage to be gained by hitting the middle of the heart, as opposed to being an inch or two out

Three; I don't shoot at long ranges (for no other reason than I shoot to hunt & target shooting doesn't appeal to me unless it's relevant practice)

My rifles are capable of far better groups than I can shoot from them, and this alone gives me the confidence to know that if I hold them straight the bullet is going to end up more or less where I need it to. And of course you're never going to be worrying about grouping on live quarry, so if you have the confidence that that first shot is going to find its mark you'll not mess it up through hesitating. And that's where practice and technique come in, as far as hunting goes anyway.

That's not a dig at the target guys though, far from it! I shot my .270 at 1000 yards last year (or near as damn it) with a No4 reticule on a 6x42 & although I managed to get a couple of rounds on the target (out of more than I care to recall :oops: :lol: ) it gave me a whole load of respect for anyone who can get any kind of consistency at that range
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
#7
I don't think the quest for accuracy is BS, but I agree that bench-rest grade accuracy usually isn't necessary. It does have a psychological value tho.

I enjoy shooting very accurate rifles but if given the choice between a 1/4 MOA rifle that fits me poorly and/or has an unmanageable trigger, or a 1.5 MOA rifle that fits me well and has a good off-hand trigger, I'll take the latter. The ability to utilize the available accuracy is much more important than pure accuracy levels.~Muir
 

ejg

Well-Known Member
#8
Getting good accuracy under field conditions is something one can work at. I have shot plenty deer where I relied on good accuracy. The rifle, stock, barrel must be of good quality and should be put together well. My main hunting rifles all shoot under half inch and that's the way I like them. I have a leveraction that I don't even know how well it groups at 100yds and it is therefore only used for close stuff.
Overall there is nothing wrong with good accuracy, a less accurate rifle will be of no advantage in the field.
edi
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
#9
...and the ability to extract at least field-level accuracy out of it.

The number who can extract the ultimate accuracy from their stalking rigs are few and far between....nor do I honestly believe is it needed in most practical stalking situations.

Whoever invented the phrase "close enough for government work" got it about right ;)
Too many people spend money on rifles and scopes, and time and money developing handloads, in an effort to cut 1/2 or 1/4 MOA off the groups. For most shooters, it would be better to practice and cut that 1/2 MOA off their own technique. A 1/2 MOA rifle is not much advantage if you have to take a shot without a rest and cannot hold 3 MOA, or in wind you are unable to dope. The best scope with tactical knobs will be of no value if you have to shoot quickly and misestimate the range at 300 instead of the 400 it is.
 

gmorrice96

Well-Known Member
#10
I can see where he is coming from and I hear lots of people saying that accuracy doesn't matter so long as you can hit the 4" DSC type target.

I however prefer to have an accurate rifle and if I can get down under 1" groups at 100 yards through practice and selection of ammunition I will go to the bother, I hand load now and accuracy is one of the several reasons for doing it. I used to be of the 4" target opinion but now I like to have the confidence I gain from accuracy.

for example I had one scenario where I had a young roe working its way toward me along a fence line where I managed to get in the prone position. the only shot I could get was a head shot when it came quite close as it was coming directly toward me. the only reason I took the shot is that I was prone and I knew my rifle was shooting 0.5" groups otherwise I wouldn't have even thought about it.

also for other shots off the sticks or in other positions, knowing the rifle is bang on takes out one variable which can lead to accumulation of errors. i.e. if you are shooting 2" groups for whatever reason, your shooting has to be a lot better to stay in the 4" target zone plus adding wind and such like makes things worse.
 

Vipa

Well-Known Member
#12
At the end of the day it all boils down to confidence... of course he is right.. better shots could be had from correct practice than being anal about load accuracy, just as I keep telling my mate who has just spent £6 grand on a new road push bike to save half a kilo... he would have been better buying the cheaper option, pocketing the £3k difference and stayed off the chips for a fortnight... net result = same! lol

however... in my head, I need to know that where that dot is in my scope, all other variables aside, is where the bullet will strike... If I don't have that confidence in the rifle and ammo, then all other confidence in self ability goes out of the window.... I'll keep wasting money and strive for .5MOA benchrest performance in ideal conditions ta very much... everything else out in the field is then down to me..
 

Taff

Well-Known Member
#14
Zero my scope about once per year, could not tell you my three shot group size, but shoot a 270 /3030 free hand or off the side of trees very successfully (in my opinion) . I have found a lot of casual stalkers (those who shot under 20 deer a year and purchase stalking) are always afraid of blowing the shot, and expect to be as accurate as on the range, so think they can take as long on a deer as they do on the range.
 

tackb

Well-Known Member
#16
That's the one. I must admit, I like his articles. He seems to really relish the stalk over the shot. Recently bought a open sighted rifle from the early 1900's and spoke poorly of someone who took a tactical rifle on a plains game hunt.
Poor form to speak poorly of someone else's choices!

Hes just another person offering training and an opinion.
 

Yoda

Well-Known Member
#20
I don't know how many of you have read the article but basically he's saying, separate the range from the field as they are totally different disciplines. Unless you can carry a bench and 20lb rifle round on your back all day he is right.
Why do you need a 5 shot clover leaf group when shooting Roe under 100 yards? you don,t. If you need to hit that sort of group to have confidence to go stalking Deer then maybe it's time to take up another sport, maybe BR.
Don't forget, you don't need all bovine droppings about accuracy to kill a Deer at sensible ranges. Very few people shoot as accurately as the gun can shoot anyway.!!
 

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