Author Topic: Revisiting "Rifle Accuracy 1776"  (Read 3043 times)

Offline Habu

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Revisiting "Rifle Accuracy 1776"
« on: April 11, 2015, 11:41:32 PM »
Back in Sept '13-Feb '14, we had a thread going discussing the accurate use of rifles during the RevWar.  In that thread I reported some test results at known distances using an original Dickert rifle. 

One thought stuck in mind though, a comment made by Candle Snuffer
A good test of skill would be a range set up with unknown distances to the Rifleman, as the Rifleman would then have to determine his shot through what his hunting experiences had/has taught him.

After some thought, I set out to do some further tests along these lines in order to get an idea of what might be expected.  Testing began in March 2014, and ended in February, 2015.

Targets were the same copies of IPSC silhouettes used in the previous tests, this time with the torsos spray-painted red, and a white strip at the top of the "head" to simulate a white wig.  Targets were placed at distances unknown to me, along a typically 3-mile walk.  The target setter marked the area from which I was to shoot by setting a stake with a piece of orange ribbon as a marker.  At each stop, there were 2 targets posted side-by-side about 20' apart; one would be shot from a modified prone position, the other from offhand.  There were a total of 10 stops along each walk, so 1 day's testing amounted to 20 shots. 

This course of fire was run a total of 93 times (1,860 shots).  During the course of the test, the rifle/load were chronographed every 100 rounds (95 shots).  Additionally, I sneaked in some hunting (14 shots), and shot two matches (120 shots).  Total round count was 2,089 shots, if my math is right.

I was primarily looking at the question of what hit probablilities might be expected at ranges of 200-425 yards.  I think I got some answers there, at least for me.

(Secondarily, I was looking at some thoughts on rifle handling in a combat zone: as Dan Phariss once put it, "a place full of people who will kill you for fun, profit and personal satisfaction".  The rifle was immediately reloaded after every shot.   The lock was removed for cleaning and lubing every few weeks, but the bore was never truly "cleaned", as we would think of it today, until the testing was over. )

From a modified prone position, I had 87% hits at 200 yards.  From 200 yards to 300 yards, that dropped to 53%.  From 300 to 400 yards, that dropped to 12%.  At 425 yards I had 5% hits. 

As in my previous tests, I think the biggest factor was reading the wind.  Those times when I could see dust kicked up by the impact of the ball, I usually had the elevation right, but windage would be off. Range estimation was the next factor that gave me problems: on more than one occasion I saw dirt kicked up in front of the target.   

Offhand, I had 71% hits at 200 yards, 29% hits at 300 yards, and 1% hits at 400 yards.  I didn't touch the target at 425 yards.   I'm sure reading the wind and range estimation were factors here, but shooting offhand is an unstable-enough shooting platform that I'm not sure they mattered.

Offline Standing Bear

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Re: Revisiting "Rifle Accuracy 1776"
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2015, 02:31:39 AM »
Great shooting, Habu and really interesting info.  Link below confirms the Rev War capabilities of longrifles.
Nothing is hard if you have the right equipment and know how to use it.  OR have friends who have both.