What is a reasonable group for 30-06

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Pheroze, May 16, 2014.

  1. Pheroze

    Pheroze BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    There is a lot of discussion about how well a gun groups. I recall seeing somewhere a discussion of the realistic grouping one should look for but I cant find anymore. If one considers a basic plains game hunt, as it is what I will do first, is there a threshold to consider in determining whether the gun is accurate enough for the adventure? On a related point, when siting in for maximum point blank range what size vitals do you assume (6" was my thought)?

    For example, I was working with 2" high at 100 yards and I note for a maximum point blank range with 180gr would be about 260 yards (calculation courtesy of Nikon Spot On program). So, if the spread of the bullets at 100 yards is about 3" is one safe to point and shoot with this load out to the maximum point blank range for a vital zone of about 6"? Or, should I assume a larger/smaller vital zone when considering spread and maximum? Am I wasting my time trying to understand this?

    If they had asked us these types of questions in math class I probably would have been a more attentive student!

    I am presently experimenting with various factory ammo but do plan to switch to reloading in the near future. However, some practical advice would prevent me from driving myself batty trying to create one ragged hole at 100 yards!
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think if you take a compass and draw a 2" circle at 200 yards that would be fairly accurate, 3" okay. At 300 yards a 3" circle would be good but a 6" circle to me is too much, which is kinda like a pie plate.
    For the most part your shots should be up and down, there should not be too much right and left, unless wind drift is bad.
     
  3. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I don't think I would use the vital zone as a gauge for accuracy. The majority of bolt action rifles can hold 1.5" or better at 100 yards with most ammo and a rock solid rest/position. If your rifle is not doing better than 3" then I would recommend analysing your shooting fundamentals or if you are confident in those have a good look at your rifle for loose screws, scope problems etc...

    As for max point blank range it depends on the size of your target. However you need to be very aware of your own shooting skill at distance when looking at this.

    I would recommend finding a load that works well in your rifle then start putting rounds down range in field shooting positions. Leave the benches and lead sleds out of it. Your maximum point blank range will be whatever range you can hit the vitals every time.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Cheers,

    John

     
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Don't care what rifle.
    If I can not put a three shot group under a quarter ($.25) at 100 yards I think there is something seriously wrong.
    Me, the rifle or the load.
    I have to figure it out before I ever hit the field to hunt.

    Confidence in the accuracy under perfect conditions allows me to have a little room for error in the field.
    My excitement to ranging issues.

    6 inches on a Springbok is way different than 6 inches on an Eland!

    You pay full price if you get a trophy picture or only see drops of blood!!!

    That should help you make a decision about practical accuracy.
     
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  5. Biggdawg

    Biggdawg BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    couldn't have said it better myself. that is exactly what i look for when developing loads for my weapons.

    i pay most attention to where the first shot goes each time i go out so i know where the cold bore shot is going.
     
  6. Pheroze

    Pheroze BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    ok, that really helps me better understand what needs to be achieved when practicing. Much appreciated.
     
  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Yeah I have to agree with Brickburn here too. My goal for any rifle is under 1" with 3 shots at 100 yards. It's not that you necessarily have to have that kind of accuracy depending on your hunting. But, since I've started reloading, I haven't found a bolt action rifle I couldn't get that kind of accuracy in. And it's one area I have some control over, so I optimize as best I can this particular variable.

    I would also add, once I feel I've found the best load. I'll try it a couple more times to ensure it's consistently giving me those groups. One time is not enough. And I also like to see it working with nearly clean to fairly fouled barrel.
     
  8. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    if l get 2 1/2 inches at 200 metres im pretty confident to shoot out to 300 , with the 30.06
     
  9. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    There are several elements here, the first one is the accuracy of the rifle and the second is the skill of the shooter. If you are preparing for a hunt, shoot from a hunting stance, either offhand or from the sticks, and see if you can put every round into a paper plate at 150 yards. If you can, then you and the rifle are ready to hunt. It is that simple.
     
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  10. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin AH Senior Member

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    h5uz260.jpg

    Here is a 3 shot 100 yard group from a 30/06 I used to have. Not one ragged hole; one hole.

    Now before you become too excited, this was done with a rifle that I couldn't depend on to do better than 1.5 to 2.5 inch 3 shot groups at 100 yards.

    So, if you shoot only 3 shot groups, you may be deluding yourself. If you really want to know gun consistency, throw a few more bullets down range and you'll sometimes see what you thought to be fantastic accuracy a little less than that.

    As far as what accuracy you need goes, it depends on the size of the animal and the range. A gun that gives 5 inch groups at 100 yards may be very adequate for 25 yard or 50 yard shots. That said, I'm not particularly happy with a bolt action rifle that can't consistently do less than an inch at 100 yards.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
  11. tim416

    tim416 AH Veteran

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    "Used to have"? If I had an ought six that shot groups like that I would get rid of my wife before giving that rifle up.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
  12. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin AH Senior Member

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    Yea, used to have. As I mentioned, by far the majority of groups weren't close to that good being more in the 1.5 to 2.5 inch range. If I had taken one more shot, it's quite likely the group would have been much worse. I'm much happier with a rifle that will consistently put them all into 0.75 inches than with one that will rarely put 3 shots into a dime sized group.

    h5uz278.jpg

    I'm pretty happy with this group shot from a 444 Marlin handgun because I've shot enough 3 shot groups with it to know it's capable of doing this consistently.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2014
  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello Pheroze,

    If planing to hunt typical thornbush conditions in Africa (here in N. America we'd call it "woods hunting" conditions), the following accuracy thing has worked very well for me:

    If your scoped rifle can shoot tiny groups, that is a good thing to know (bench/sand bags, etc).

    Nobody wants to see a shotgun pattern from a rifle, not even me, fortunately most of my scoped rifles will put 3 shots into an inch from the bench.

    However, I do not fall apart if one of mine will only put 3 shots into 2", at 100 yds/meters, from sand bags, as that's fine for big game rifles in most safari conditions.

    Once you determine your rifle will do that from a concrete bench, then set some 8 oz paper coffee cups full of dirt, at 100 yards/mtrs and practice from standing and shooting with use of your sticks, until you can splatter those cups pretty much every time you shoot at one.

    Once you've got it (not that difficult), then practice touching off each shot as soon as your cross-hairs are on a cup, and running your bolt from your shoulder between shots.

    In other words, do not aim for a long time at each cup and do not remove your rifle from the firing position, the rifle butt stays in the shoulder pocket, when running the bolt, (Sgt York style).

    If you get pretty good/pretty fast at that, (the speed and accuracy combined is not as easy as it sounds but pretty fun to practice it), then you can move your targets further out, but no serious need to practice this drill beyond about 200 yds with coffee cups, use a bit larger targets at 200.

    Just busting the cups in fairly swift fashion from the sticks at only 100 yds/mtrs will ensure that your African critters will be in the salt every time you let slip (provided you use enough gun and properly made bullets for the species you are after of course) and if you can manage it further out, that is excellent.

    In the most common African hunting conditions, (thornbush) this works so well it will make you giddy.

    If however, you plan to hunt open places like The Eastern Cape or most of Namibia, the above accuracy standard is not nearly so valid.

    Those places are more open and long shots are common, you will need to practice out to at least 300 yds and out to 400 is so much the better, FROM YOUR STICKS but no need to use 8 oz cups way out there, (nor to hurry your shots so much) instead some grapefruits or small pumpkins will do nicely LOL (actually, I use 1 gallon water jugs at the longer distances,,,,,,,,,LOL not called for......OK, maybe it is).

    Any whooo, that's my whacky accuracy standard for my scoped safari rifles, provided they are chambered in bottle necked cartridges suited to such types of shooting, like .30-06, .300 H&H, .375 H&H, blah, blah, blah.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
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  14. Pheroze

    Pheroze BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I thought I would post again to report a little. I went back to basics and bought five boxes. The cheapest ammo grouped best:

    WP_20140517_001.jpg

    cheap ammo...I love that in a gun :)

    I really appreciate the advice because I now have a way to approach all this training. I had to laugh because Enysse's comments about a vertical string came to mind when I saw the following group:

    WP_20140517_003.jpg

    What the heck? a straight line across the page.

    Trigger control seems to be my issue now. But great advice for me to follow this year.

    Thanks
    Pheroze
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    No problem, glad I could help you. Definitely looks like trigger pull. I have found cheap ammo shoots best sometimes too. I don't understand why people get angry about Core Lokt or something like it shooting quarter groups. It helps build your confidence.
     
  16. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Nicely done!
     
  17. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Enthusiast

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    agree 100% with this post,rather practice shooting off the sticks especially if you are hunting Africa in the thicker bush areas
     
  18. Stocky

    Stocky AH Veteran

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    Check your screws lately?
     
  19. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am rather obsessed when it comes to accuracy myself.
    If I can't get a gun to consistently(read always) shoot sub 1" 3 shot groups at 100 meters, I sell it.

    But the reality is that most hunters don't need that accuracy when it comes to practical hunting.
    Usually a rifle that groups sub 2" at 100 meters is good enough.
    And the reality is also that most factory guns group sub 2", but many have problems to consistently group sub 1" at 100 meters.

    I think that many get to focused on the accuracy of a gun. Myself included.
    If your gun or shooting skills are not good enough to shoot a Springbok at 300 yards, get closer :)
     
  20. Pheroze

    Pheroze BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I will check the screws thanks. I have received lots of great advice to build on. I believe the gun seems willing to shoot straight but I want to work on pulling the trigger a bit to see how much I can remedy the situation. Then off the bench! The speed drills suggested by Velo Dog will be more effective once I get that under control I think.
     

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