Question on shooting groups

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Totosdad, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Totosdad

    Totosdad

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    I have a question on shooting to get groups when trying different loads.

    Would you use a rest, or shoot them the way you would in the field.?
     
  2. jpx2rk

    jpx2rk

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    I would use a rest and every other aid possible to get the best load combo I could, then start shooting it "out in the field" style to see if it holds up to the bench version.
     
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  3. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Gold $$ Contributor

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    I want to remove 'myself' (and all the possible variables I would input) as much from the results as possible. Therefore shooting off a rest is my answer.
     
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  4. Totosdad

    Totosdad

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    Thank you
     
  5. Webster

    Webster

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    I would always develope loads from a bench. Some people will say the POI is different holding the rifle. I shoot on the bench and in the field with a bipod. It would take an extremly good shooter to consistantly shoot small groups prone holding the rifle. I would think the groups would be bigger prone, makig it impossible to evaluate loads. I see guys at the range using a rest that have no idea how to shoot small groups. They shoot one shot when the wind is blowing hard the next when it's still. I spent years learning to improve my bench skills. It isn't easy. I don't remember ever missing a GH out to about 325 yards. Maybe I am lucky that my POI is the same from a bench or prone. If there is a difference I suspect it has to do with gun handling skills.
     
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  6. K22

    K22

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    Like others have already said - load development should be conducted by eliminating as many variables as possible so the most stable bench position with stable front and rear rests should be used and it should be used consistently. I try to conduct load development on over cast days to eliminate the affects of mirage and when there is little to no wind.

    Once I have a load that meets my standards I do all my final sight in work and practicing in the manner in which I will use the rifle - for me that means shooting off my shooting sticks for varmint / predator / deer hunting.
     
  7. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

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    test the LOAD, not the shooter
    as was mentioned, remove as many variables as possible when LOAD testing
     
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  8. Homerange

    Homerange

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    You need minimise all possible errors when evaluating loads. Rests, trigger weight and optics used are all variables you might not use in the field however they all dramatically reduce errors in group shooting.
    Eg, you won't want to lug a 24x scope into the field unless for varminting whereas a 4x scope is more than adequate for bush stalking......just don't try to shoot sub MOA groups with one !
    Mindset too, a target is not about to run away so no shots need be hurried and in fact it's best to be relaxed and methodical in your approach. Allow heaps of range time initially until you get a system that works for you.
    Good shooting and good luck.
     
  9. Sieg

    Sieg

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    Manufacturers testing facilities use a machined fixture for the action, locked in a vice, and shot in a climate controlled indoor environment. Eliminate all the variables possible to determine the accuracy of the barreled action and ammunition.
     
  10. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Rest for sure. I have seen guys shoot boxes and boxes of ammo and still not be properly sighted in because of there wobbling around. Same for load development. Use a rear bag always.
     
  11. Ned Ludd

    Ned Ludd Gold $$ Contributor

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    I do all my load development shooting off of a bipod/rear bean bag, exactly the same way I shoot the rifles in matches (F-TR). I do not find it to be a major impediment to evaluating or interpreting load development tests, although that is certainly discipline-dependent. In fact, I view load development as yet another opportunity to work on form and consistency behind the rifle. If I make a noticeable mistake such as jerking the trigger, which happens to almost everyone on occasion, I immediately record the exact shot/information in the data book so that I will know later, for example, that "shot #4 on group 5 was out low and right because I jerked the trigger like a doofus".

    I should add that writing down highly appropriate adjectives such as "doofus", "idiot", "dick-nose" and "moron" in the data book whenever I make such a mistake can be an effective training aid because whenever I look through the data book again and see them, they serve as a reminder to shame me into not to making the same mistake again ;).
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020
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