Author Topic: What is accurate  (Read 6429 times)

Offline smylee grouch

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What is accurate
« on: October 10, 2018, 06:38:54 AM »
I have been coming to this site now for several years and the topic of good shooting and loading technique has been hashed over many times. One problem I see is that what is good shooting to some is not even close to others. I myself want my guns to shoot groups as good as the gun can produce but others are satisfied with min. of deer,good enough, or adequate for the job. Maybe we should all define " what is accurate " to get an idea as to what other people think.

Offline flinchrocket

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 06:50:40 AM »
Jed Clampett could shoot flies off the front gate,but I don't recall he give the yardage.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 06:59:29 AM »
Accurate is achieving one’s objective when shooting. “Minute of deer” seems a mocking phrase but apparently means one can deliver a fatal shot at deer one considers in range under local conditions. “Minute of squirrel” might mean one is able to routinely make a head shot on a squirrel at ranges up to possibly 40 yards in the woods. A chunk gun or bench rest shooter may want better than minute of angle accuracy from their rifle, so with all the human and environmental variables, hitting the x ring would not be accidental. It’s all about the goal and being able to achieve it.
Andover, Vermont

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 07:10:31 AM »
Well put Rich, I agree with you. Min. of deer was not meant to be a mocking phrase but to show the different accuracy requirements of all the different shooters which you did in your response. Thank you for a better way of saying it than I did.  :)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 10:38:36 PM by smylee grouch »

Offline alacran

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 01:17:12 PM »
I think if you are talking about accuracy, one needs to look at what has been done in the past.  That is, look at the records. Look at the targets that those records were shot with.  Also  consideration must be given to weather you are talking about offhand shooting or shooting of a rest. You are comparing the potential of your rifle to what has already been accomplished. This would apply to MuzzleLoaders, Modern rifles , Crossbows etc. What is 25 yard offhand accuracy for example.
Since we are talking about muzzleloaders here, lets look at the NMLRA's 50 yard 6 bull target. That target is shot at 25 yards with an 8 ring black. The 8 ring measures 2.89 inches across, the 9 ring measures 1.89 inches across, the ten ring measures .89 inches across, and the x measures .39 inches across. The flintlock record score set at the spring shoot at Friendship on that target is 50 with one x. Three different people have shot that score since 1973. So you may conclude that at 25 yards . Offhand accuracy would be keeping 5 shots in a .89 circle at 25 yards.
For myself any time I shoot a 46 or better on that target I am a happy camper.
So obviously if you are shooting off a rest at 25 yards, the rifles potential accuracy should be much better than that.
There are no rest matches shot at 25 yards at NMLRA's shoots except for sub Juniors.
You can establish a rifles potential accuracy by shooting off a rest at 50 yards. But you need to know what it is you are striving for.
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Offline bones92

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 04:14:05 PM »
I'm still the new guy on this forum, but I think of accuracy as a trait inherent to the rifle... meaning, how consistently can the rifle put a round ball into the same circle, given all other factors are consistent.   Some rifles can be locked to a concrete bench with a mechanical trigger activation and still throw a wide pattern, whereas others would put lead balls through a ragged hole out to 50 yards or so.

The human factor (loading consistency and procedure, steadiness of hand, sight alignment and trigger control, eyesight, etc) is a whole different issue.  Then there's external factors such as wind, lighting and even mirage effect.

My concern is that I will rarely find out just how accurate my rifles are because of the human factors. 
If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 04:58:53 PM »
I can see this turning into a Long thread.  :-)

My idea is hitting what you're aiming at.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 06:11:20 PM »
I mostly shoot targets now.  The rifles I shoot regularly, any rifle, or handgun,  must be able to hold the 10-ring off the bench,  X-ring accuracy would be preferred.  The actual group size will be different for each discipline.  If it can not shoot to that degree of accuracy there no point in shooting it in competition.  You'd never know if the miss was due to you or the rifle. 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 06:24:39 PM by Scota4570 »

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 07:28:14 PM »
I don't shoot offhand any longer but am having a good time with the table matches. Table matches are shot at 30 yards from a rest, not a bench rest but a 3 legged table with a pyramid of 2X4's on top. I thought I was doing well in the Fall at Friendship with a .724 string and a group a hair wider than a nickle until one of the fellows shot a .49? string with a group the size of a dime. These were 3 shot groups and strings for the record. I don't feel that is to bad for 3/4 century old eyes but can still be improved.
Mark
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 08:21:27 PM by smokinbuck »
Mark

Offline Daryl

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 10:00:27 PM »
Accuracy is unto the beholder.  Many people have different ideas of what acceptable accuracy is and that is the jist of it all.  There are those who strive to

always be in the winner's circle and those whom we shoot with to whom winning has no value, however, they still take pride in hitting the gongs on the trail.

I for one, have heard the phrase "Minute of Deer" or "Minute of Moose" too many times & oft times, from people who I feel who lack the responsibility requisite

of an ethical hunter.   
 
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline hanshi

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 12:49:32 AM »
Rich, Daryl, I agree.  An individual's accuracy needs are simply what they need or desire.  A deer hunter doesn't need 1" at 100 yards but maybe a competitor does.  I'm satisfied with lesser accuracy because of eye problems. 

IMHO the gun and the shooter are not separate issues but rather a combined "shooting system".  A tack driving rifle is splendid for a superior shooter but the so-so shooter won't ever know it drives tacks.  The mechanical accuracy of the rifle would be lost on that him.  And a so-so rifle would be a disappointment to the champion level shooter but would probably satisfy many of the less skilled. 
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
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Offline WadePatton

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 01:15:13 AM »
As Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder,

Accuracy is in the Eye of the Judges scoring your Target.  ;D



or in your ability to bring home the nut cutters and sech.


Hold to the Wind

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2018, 06:31:27 PM »
  Well I got to agree with Mike Brooks. I admit I am not a target shooter. It bores me to know end.
  I only use paper to sight in. But I love shooting poker  chips at different yardages. Got to see the target move or break I guess. Figure if I can hit them I won't wound the animal I'm hunting.
  Good that everyone has different goals when shooting.  Oldtravler

Offline Bob Hatfield

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2018, 01:11:43 PM »
I too shoot in NMLRA offhand flint.  I'm 63 and and struggle with the eyes at times. If I can keep every shot in the black I am more than satisfied because I know I'm wobbling even as the cock is scraping the frizzen.  In the past year or so I've sold about all of my Muzzleloading rifles including custom built ones (nobody to leave them to that is a least bit interested). At this time I'm shooting a Pedersoli Ky. flint rifle I happened by and for some reason it is more accurate than one would expect. It has shallow rifling with a 1/48 twist.  I shoot 2f Swiss and a .490 ball and .015 patching lubed with TOW mink oil.  Nothing special except the Swiss powder.  It will shoot fist size 5 shot groups at 100 yards from a rest with several of the shots almost touching.  At 50 yards it is a really good and close group and at 25 a ragged hole. You would think that it wouldn't shoot for s##t with scratches for rifling, but the recovered patches have a nice brown ring without evidence of burn through.  Now accuracy shooting it off hand is where my ability comes in to play so I am tickled pink if they are in the black somewhere. Then I know my score relies on whether I zigged when I should have zagged when I yanked the trigger.
The takeaway from all this gibberish I just wrote is that if you're satisfied with the accuracy you're getting then the gun is accurate enough.

Bob
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 01:15:18 PM by Leatherbark »

Turtle

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2018, 01:52:46 PM »
 Even when shooting at a big target that doesn't require great accuracy from the gun, I shoot better knowing that the gun is accurate. It's a mental thing with me.
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Offline JBJ

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2018, 06:15:17 PM »
To my simple way of thinking there are two components to this issue - rifle and shooter. First, does the rifle have the ability to deliver the ball to more or less the same spot shot after shot. Secondly, there is error introduced by the ability of the shooter. It also seems to me that the two components can interact. If we assume that a rifle fed a suitable load can deliver a 1 inch dispersion (group) at 100 yds. but the shooter (shooter #1) for miscellaneous reasons can only achieve a 4 inch group with that rifle, then the "apparent" accuracy of the rifle is 4 inches. We might be led to label that rifle as only a "so, so" accurate rifle. If on the other hand, a shooter possessing both mental discipline and physical ability (shooter #2) handed that same rifle might be able to bring forth the inherent capacity of the rifle and its load to produce a 1 inch group. We might then say of that rifle that it is an "accurate" rifle. Now let's assume that a rifle mechanically capable of only delivering a 4 inch group is placed in the hands of our accomplished shooter (#2). The result is going to be close to a 4 inch group and a label of a mediocre accurate rifle. This then leaves me wondering what happens with a mechanically mediocre accurate rifle in the hands of shooter #1. For any one shot is the possible error as much as 8 inches (rifle potential error of 4 inches + shooter error of 4 inches = 8 inches) at our 100 yard target.  For my part, I choose the to pursue a rifle that is mechanically capable of the smallest group possible and then hope that the rest of this old carcass doesn't fail too badly when making the shot. I think I better understand why many shooters of the past and present went/go to great lengths to control as many variables as possible (mechanical rests, elaborate benches, scopes, etc.) in pursuit of extracting and understanding all of the potential mechanical "accuracy" in their rifles.
J.B.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2018, 07:31:17 PM »
I think JBJ has a good grasp on the mechanics of accuracy.  But I also think the question in the title of this thread is, "What accuracy potential do muzzle loading rifles possess?"  And this extends to "What do you consider to be accurate?"  The first question has concrete foundation.  Witness the accuracy that Hugh Toenjes posts for the barrels he produces, using a machine rest for testing.  This is the base line.  History of this kind of accuracy abounds in texts featuring the work of shooters and gun makers from the days of muzzleloading rifles. 
Now you introduce the human element and the philosophy of striving for the nirvana of accuracy.  Many of us are caught in this quest and there is no hope for us.  But it is a pleasant pastime and a worthy pursuit. For those who for whatever reason do not seek this goal, and are happy with the simple joy of shooting, that is fine too.  Each of these folks has the answer to the second question.
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Offline Mike from OK

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 07:19:35 AM »
I don't know what accuracy is...

My scores on paper are pitiful. I mean sad. I'd be ashamed to post pics of my attempts to shoot a paper target.

But every squirrel I knock down is brained.

Explain that one to me.

Mike

Turtle

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2018, 01:52:16 PM »
 Mike, I have a similar experience making great hunting shots, but being less than an average target shooter and have asked the same question. For me- I think it comes down to concentration. When hunting, the world disappears from my mind when I sight on an animal, but when target shooting I get easily distracted and loose focus.
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Online Bob Roller

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 04:29:45 PM »
Jed Clampett could shoot flies off the front gate,but I don't recall he give the yardage.

I heard "old Jed" could take the head off a running chicken at 100 yards with a pistol ::)

Bob Roller

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2018, 09:05:29 PM »
Sure admired his daughter, Ellie May!
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline hanshi

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2018, 11:15:38 PM »
I've had a similar experience and call it "being in the zone".  It usually occurs when hunting; but in some target shooting it sometimes happens as well.  A good example would be a deer I once shot with a smoothbore flinter.  The deer was running and when I shouldered the gun I felt as if the deer was connected to my gun physically.  It all happened in no more than a second.  I swung ahead of the critter and got the double lung hit I always try for.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 07:29:40 AM »
I've yet to achieve the accuracy I desire. Today my best groups are from a rest of some sort just one of my concessions to age and health. But back in the 70's and 80's I was shooting offhand groups almost just like these, I won a lot.



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Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2018, 07:41:15 PM »
Two nice targets Darkhorse, demonstrating the potential of the rifles' accuracy.  I too have difficulty holding like that offhand whereas thirty years ago, it was routine.  Most of us may have passed our "Best Before" dates.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: What is accurate
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2018, 08:12:31 PM »
Speak for yourself there, Taylor!  Couple years back I had cataracts, and a great surgeon.  He corrected my younger-days 20/400 eyes to 20/20 left, 20/15 right.  Pistol 25 yard scores went from 265/300 to 298/300.

I have always enjoyed rifle shooting, up to 1,000 yard with a WWII rifle.  But it became so very much better with good eyesight.  I no longer shoot at 1,000 yards, but I do very well at 400 yards with that same rifle, and with my BP ML, usually am in the black at 100 yards.  Thinking about trying the 200 yard range this coming weekend.

Back to the original "what is accurate" - varies per customer, but it is very difficult to shoot well with a rifle or pistol that doesn't shoot well!  For me, hitting the target is GREAT!
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.