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CodyDawg

Gun Accuracy

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CodyDawg

So recently I went to the range to sight in my shotgun for the opener. Really, to just check to make sure I was "on". So I shoot 3 shots each at 50 yards and 100 yards and am happy with the results (just a tad over 2" at 100 and less at 50). Plenty good enough for me...pretty typical of my gun. I know it isn't rifle-like accuracy, but it will get the job done. So I am happy but know that I can't blame the gun for any miss grin.gif. Here is the point that got me though. The guys on either side of me are shooting a 270 bolt, a 30/06 auto and 2 more bolts of unknown caliber. They asked me about shotguns and said too bad I had to use that...like it was just junk. This kinda irked me a little, cuz I am happy with my results, but that is the thinking these days. So we go down to see the targets and the BEST of their groups was over 6" at 100 yds and the worst was all over the paper. These guys were saying, yep, these are pretty good. I just couldnt help but show them mine saying, shotguns arent just too bad guys. Man, you should have seen their faces!

Then I looked at all the thrown away targets by other shooters ( I prolly saw 25 targets). What a complete shock. The accuracy that I saw was horrendous...and these are the guys that go to the range! I was really shocked. Except for 2 targets that were absolutely awesome, the rest I bet averaged 6" groups or more. as the longest range is 100 yds, I was astounded. Most of these were rifle targets as well. What an eye opener. Have other people seen this as well or was this just an anomaly?

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Big-Al

The question is were they shooting freehand or bench rest? There is a huge difference in the groups you will get.

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jwhawkridge

Cool! I was able to sight my 49 year old 30-30 (with a 35 year old scope) in at 80 yards: all six shots were within 6 inches of each other.

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CodyDawg

Since this occurred at a range, I believe all the shots were benchrest shots.

Careful with the hammer on that 30/30, statistically, if it is a lever action, it is by far and away the most dangeroug gun out there.

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BobT

Interesting statement, CodyDawg. I feel a gun is as dangerous as the person holding on to it.

Why do you feel the 30-30 lever is more dangerous than any other action? You might be referring to past models. With recent designs it is not possible to accidentally actuate the firing pin by hitting the hammer due to a safety plate that extends up between the hammer and pin. In fact, I would be more inclined to think that the latest design makes them as safe if not safer than any other type. My .44 pistol has this feature and it is perfectly safe to load all six chambers in the cylinder. Something considered a no-no in past revolvers.

Bob

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CodyDawg

Yes Bob, I was referring to the 49 year old gun mentioned above. They have recently made changes to make them safer. Statistically, they are 3-4 times more likely than any other action to be involved in an accident according to the graph I have seen from the MN DNR. The exposed hammer and the fact that you have to cycle the cartridges through the chamber in order to unload it make it dangerous. Please note, before you hand a kid one of these, put some thought into it.

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analyzer

I was at the range recently in Oakdale. At 50 yards with a scope and rifled barrel on my shot gun I got about a 2-3" grouping, although, slightly up and left...

The open site was more like 6 inches, with an occasional stray.

I went to the 100 and didn't bother with the open, I don't have confidence to get a decent kill shot. was able to hit the colored portion in the middle that's about 4 inches in diameter, about 50% of the time. I think I'll restrict my shots to 75 yards or less.

What was interesting to me. One of the workers, working the 100 yard range, was shocked I could hit the target with ANY accuracy with a shotgun. He works there and didn't know it was possible.

So I looked at the other shooters on the 100 yard range, and they were all sighting in rifles. But the guy next to me had a 3-shot 1" grouping. I was impressed with the accuracy... he was dead on. But not free hand.

I've had lots of people tell me they can shoot a shotgun accurately to 100, some even to 120... it surprised me that a range worker had no clue. But then, maybe he doesn't work the long range often or something.

I don't have any issues with my shotgun, although, I have huge issues with buck fever, I definitely shake too much, and sort of counteract any ability I have to have a tight grouping... I'll have to buy one of those steady-sticks or whatever they call em.

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analyzer

I think at my sons gun safety class, they told us they were the worst as well.

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Deitz Dittrich

Some of the targets you may have seen were people sighting in... if there are bullets all over the paper, that would account for that. I myself would not be happy with a 6" group with a gun at 50 yds... I would be willing I could come fairly close to doing that with my bow...

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EXTREME

I used to work at the "Rifle Sight in Days" in Grand Rapids and have seen some dandy's out there. One time a guy brought .30-30 Win. ammo for his 32 Win Special...didn't touch many riflings on the way down...didnt' hit the target much either. Another time a guy put his scope on with the left right function on the top. Another dandy was this kid brought in a shotgun one time that had no sights and a broken stock. He hit the paper one time out of 10 at 25 yards and called it good enough. The point I am trying to make here is that some people are really poor shots...others buy really poor equipment. I think we owe it to the deer to shoot good and practice. I don't think that 6" groups are out of the question at 100 yards because most people don't shoot that far....plus the vitals are bigger than that. But if you can't hit a paperplate off a bench everytime...you have some issues.

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CNCMike

I used a 12 Ga with slugs from the age of 12 until 31. Then my wife bought me a 30-06 for deer. I never missed with the slug gun. I absolutely loved it. I love my 30-06 as well. I never used a scope on the 12 yet dropped a 6 point at @ 105 yards in 98. To be honest, I wouldn't allow myself to shoot either if my groupings at 100 yards were more than 4".

I can't understand the awe from these guys. You drop grouse and pheasant, ducks and geese with shotguns all the time, and they are flying. Why be shocked that you can be accurate with a still target? JM2C

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CodyDawg

I took into account that some people could be moving their scope. But you should see tight groups regardless and I certainly didnt see that. I was just really amazed at how poor the targets were. I knew there were some people that were bad shots, but man, there were soooo many. And at a range with sand bags and stuff, the groupings should be much, much better. Remember, the purpose of sighting in a gun is to sight in the GUN. Remove the human element. From what I saw, I would be willing to put my shotgun up against rifles anytime and it would win more than half the time. And that just shouldnt be.

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BobT

Quote:

I myself would not be happy with a 6" group with a gun at 50 yds...


Off a bench I would agree with this. Freehand would likely be much worse.

Bob

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Ferny

I have seen some pretty large groups and guy's pack up "ready to go" How many times do guy's show up that have just had a new scope mounted and bore sighted and don't hit paper at 100? They think it's magically going to hit the bulls eye! It's just to get you on paper at 25 yards isn't it?

I've noticed with my own big bore shooting that my groups get bigger if I shoot more than 1 box. I call it the painful flinch factor! You have to find the right ammo and work on your form to get tight groups with any gun.

I have to laugh at your Oakdale GC comment. I was over there sighting in my 30-06 semi auto last week. One of the old timer range snobs comes over and starts ridiculing my gun! "It's not a real gun unless it has a bolt" and "That thing must jam all the time" "I wouldn't rob a bank with it because it would jam" WOW! I had to laugh since they should be there to help! Your welcome for spending $15 supporting your club dork!!! Could imagine a new shooter hearing that and have his confidence eroded by an old snob like that?

Ferny

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Scott K

I have a 11-87 remington, rifled barrel, cantel scope with a 1x4 Leupold scope on it. At 50yds 5 shots 1" grouping, 100yds 1.5-2" grouping, 150yds 5" grouping.

My 30-06, 3x9 Leupold scope, from 50-150 its within 1", 200yds starts to drop and vary abit more 3" with one being off 5". At 300yds it would drop about a foot, but all holes were within 6".

There is no comparison, rifle is much more accurate, but it depends on the shooter, wind, bullets, gun, and just how sore your shoulder gets! If you spend time sighting the scope or sights in, the better the shot you will be, I just seem to be picky, I want them within 1" at a 100yds, and I will keep at it until it is.

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Blair Nelson

One thing I have noticed about watching people sight in is an absolute lack of bench technique. Helped friends get ready for an elk hunt by sighting in from a bench and they ignored the sandbags (front and back) until I showed them how to use 'em. Breathing and trigger squeeze matter too.

I was in the same boat as they were until I started handloading a couple of years ago. Nothing like a few hundred rounds of load development over a spring/summer to work on shooting technique and hone in on loads that shoot well.

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SkitterPopper

I agree with the previous poster. I think it is unethical to go out in the woods without be able to have a good grouping at the range. I heard a guy brag about not sighting in his gun in 5 years and it still knocks down deer. If you buy a license and want to harvest a deer, do everyone a favor and spend the two hours on a October afternoon and check your gun.

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Cheetah

All this talk of people with poor gun skills doesn't surprise me too much. We see a lot of the same with archery. Very few people shoot in the off season, and then right before deer season opens they take their bows out and can hardly hit a paper plate at 20 yards and figure it's good enough. confused.gif

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CodyDawg

Just for the record, I did not mention any club where this took place.

Yeah, it sure eroded my confidence in the accuracy some live with and it surely enforced my belief that hunters stretch the truth as much as fisherman. My shotgun shoots almost identical to the one mentioned above, with a pretty similar setup. Beretta 390 with Hastings cantilever with a Burris 1.5X6 shooting Federal Barnes Expanders. We have 4 setups exactly like this (one is a 20 ga) in our party and all shoot exactly the same. 1" groups at 50 and 2" groups at 100. Like I said, based purely on what I saw I would put this shotgun up against rifles any day and would beat more than half of them. It wouldnt beat the good rifle shooters, but I no longer think there are that many of those out there!!

Kudos to those of you who have put in the time and patience to get your guns shooting accurately. Go ahead and slap yourself on the back. And the deer thank you too.

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analyzer

For the record, I want to note that I like Oakdale Gun Club. I think they run a smooth, safe operation, at least when I've been there. It was just the one comment that caught me off guard.

Dietz, I wasn't happy with a 6" grouping at 50 yards with my open sites... that's exactly why I bought a rifled barrel and a scope. Maybe it's my vision, or tendency to shake, but I needed the better accuracy I get from the latter...

However, my son is coming with me, and I couldn't afford another $200 for a second set up. So he'll get the scope and rifled barrel in his blind, where he's more likely to have a 50-75 yd shot.

I'll get the open sites, where I really don't anticipate much over 40... and most would be in the 25-30 yd range.

But it's different with a bow. You can't afford to stick him in the shoulder. If my slug hits his shoulder it's blowing right through and taking him down. With a slug, I generally aim 5-6 inches below the hump in his back. A little high I get vertebra, I little forward I get tracea, jugular, maybe portion of the lung, a little back I get lung, a little low I get both shoulders or heart. There's a fair amount of room for error. 6" grouping probably works, but considering my shake, I'd really prefer 3.

If I were bow hunting, I'd have to wait for quartering away, and put it in the exposed vital shot behind the leg...

READ Doctor Ken Nordburg's books on shot placement... and it doesn't necessarily have to be behind the leg, with a gun... in his opinion.

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analyzer

That was "whitetail hunters almanac" btw, 3rd edition maybe?

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vister

as far as grouping goes, are you using rifled slugs with the rifled barrel? i think that is a no no, as rifled slugs are for smoothbore barrels. rifled slugs are rifled to create the spin out of the barrel of a smoothbore. rifled barrels only make the spin worse, making them shoot all over the place.

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Deitz Dittrich

Analizer- Great post.. I wasn't posting to you personally! I hope you didn't take it as such... I respect you all that much more for giving the more accurate firearm to your child.. That is great.. get them hooked on hunting/fishing!!!! I wish you and your family the best of luck this season!!!

The kill area is quite large on an animal... off by 6" will usually do the job quite well.. I only state that we do our best to make the best shot in case that we are off by more than that 6"....

You seem quite in tune with knowing what is a humane shot!. and I commend you for that, and assume you are teaching that to your children as well!!! Cudo's to you!

Good luck!!! and please post picts when you harvest!!!!

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The Donk

I guess confidence would play a big part in it, I bring my gun out a couple weeks before opener and fire 2 sets of 3 through it, 3 from 30 yards, and 3 from about 125. Its always the same, a grouping of an inch or 2 and a grouping of 3-4 inches. I think its good to check, but the gun/scope shouldn't have moved from last year unless you dropped it boys.

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analyzer

Thanks Deitz, I'd like to post a pic of last years buck, and the story, but I don't know how.

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