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Thread: Group size

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Group size

    Given that most of the matches limit our BPCR to two piece stocks,exposed hammers and a weight limits that dictates barrel size/weight, what is the smallest size groups one can expect given optimum sights, loads, rifle and bench shooting technique. Basically removing the human and weather element from the equation. For sake of discussion.40 .45 caliber and say about a number 3 weight barrel. What are the smallest groups that you can reproduce with consistency at a 100 yards.
    I’ll start by saying I can get consistent .875 or 7/8 inch groups at 100 yard PP of course. This is with a Browning .45-70.
    Just trying to find out what is possible.
    Thanks a Richard
    Last edited by flatsguide; 05-08-2019 at 06:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    You are about there. Especially if those are 10-shot groups. There might be a few internet guns that do better I suppose

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatsguide View Post
    What are the smallest groups that you can reproduce with consistency at a 100 yards.
    I’ll start by saying I can get consistent .875 or 7/8 inch groups at 100 yard PP of course. This is with a Browning .45-70.
    Just trying to find out what is possible.
    Thanks a Richard
    Those would be "wallet groups" for me. I never shoot at 100yds. 200meters is the shortest most often and then 300 to 500m. At 200m it is the rare group that goes 2" or less for me whether shooting PP or GG bullets.

    I would guess but I don't know, the very best someone has shot becomes their standard in retelling about their ability to make accurate ammo. And that goes double if using the keyboard.
    Chill Wills

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    They are 5 shot groups Brent.
    Richard

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatsguide View Post
    They are 5 shot groups Brent.
    Richard
    That's still really good. You are really at the end of the line for equipment/load tuning. Now, when you miss, it's all the spotter's fault.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    LodiBPTRLR0508114065at800.pdf
    Hope this helps
    To give an idea of what is possible
    when conditions are right and the shooter
    is also at peak of his game.
    Have not attained such since.
    beltfed/arnie

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I could also say this is my "wallet group".
    beltfed/arnie

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I only shoot prone so cannot say exactly how small groups can get with these guns when removing the human element. Like Chills I never shoot at 100. I use either 200 metres or 300 yards for load testing. I have shot a few minute of angle ten shot groups at 200 but they are rare. I think I've done it at 300 yards maybe twice. I imagine the groups would be a little tighter from the bench, but I don't think by a lot, but then I am a poor bench shooter.

    My definition of accuracy has changed a lot since I started shooting these rifles maybe 9 or so years ago. To me, in order to be a good rifle it has to be capable of winning a match. Nowadays I define this by shooting a lot at 300 yards on the reduced 600 yard target. If the rifle shoots a lot of targets that score 100, and they don't spread them all over the ten ring, then I think that's good. I think somewhere about between 1 and 1.25 minutes of vertical at that distance makes me confident in the rifle.

    The best bench shooting I've done with black powder was with a CPA in .38-55 at 200 yards. I think this rifle is capable of minute of angle, or smaller, ten shot groups at that distance. In excellent conditions of course. Any amount of tricky wind and it all goes out the window. I also have a .38-50 Remington Hepburn that I think is in the same category but haven't shot it enough. These are very light recoiling rifles though.

    Chris.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Richard I would guess that you've probably got that rifle running about as good as it's going to get. Now the big trick will be to see if it will do it consistently, and on demand, and how will it hold up at longer ranges.
    The only time I ever shoot my bpcr's at 100 is if I'm getting one ready to go hunting, then I shoot it with the barrel sights from field positions.
    When working up a target load I am really happy to keep the groups at or below 2 moa for what ever distance being shot. That's about the size of the x ring on most targets, and about half the size needed for silhouette.
    Frame that group, be proud of it and let the keyboard nay sayers go off in the woods someplace and practice their self procreationg
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  10. #10
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    Nice shooting Arnie would love to be able to to as well in a match.
    They just opened up a new range here in GreenevilleTN that will go to 300 yds when done. It opens on the 29th but the rangemaster was kind enough to let me shoot after we chatted a bit so I’m looking forward to shooting at 200 and 300. I tried loadswith my Dual Diameter bullets out of a mold that casts the bases a bit larger than I asked for so I have to bump up the case diameter at the mouth a bit to get the bullet with patch in so it feed a bit tight and needed the cramming tool for one stubborn load. Problem is when I choose the paper for a nice fit for the section that slips up in the bore the belteted section is much to big in diameter. I may turn the bases smaller in my lathe, the lathe has a collet system that I can dial into tenths so I think I can chuck the straight section of the bullet and skim off a couple of thousandths fro the base, anyway that’s the plan for now. This bullet is an elliptical nose with a smaller nose radius than Arnies , actually I copied Arnies design, thank you Arnie! It seems the DDPP of bullets of Arnies work pretty darn good as they seem to be less finicky to powder charge. I can equal the accuracy of the DD bullets with straight slicks but when the powder charge is a bit low the accuracy falls off to a greater degree. I’m fortunate to have found a good rifle that shoots straight slicks very very well. Other rifles with throats and freebore most likely would se a very marked increase in accuracy with Arnies DD type of bullet. I reall want to thank you guys because if it were not for you I’d still be struggling to find a good load, now with the Internet and boards like this,a guy can zero in on finding what works and does not pretty quick. I trying something new that I have not seen done before and so far it works, but have only tried five round this way so really found out that is worth pursuing further if it works or doesn’t I’ll post the idea and results so stay toned. Probably the ODG’s tried it before, so not too much new under the Sun.
    Thanks for the help guys,
    Richard
    Tha

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    You might want to try some thinner paper. I've been using the Seth Cole 55y on the larger diameter bullets, and liking what the target is telling me.

    With the dual diameter bullets, I have some rifles that love em, and others that don't.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have some seethe cole paper both white and yellow that I’ll try.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    One of the best shooters in BPTR-BPCR that I know once told me these old guns were only good for 2 moa. I wanted to argue but since he can out shoot me I listened to him. He said you have to shoot 15 shot groups and be able to do it on call. That is putting 15 rounds into a tuna can at the chicken line.

  14. #14
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    I think there is a big difference in shooting for group in calm conditions and shooting for score where you are often making windage adjustments. I just got back from another prone practice session this morning at 300 yards. It was calm but "miragy" for the first target, maybe 0-3 mph winds from usually 10-11 o'clock. After my 4 sighters I made only one windage correction of only 1/2 minute. The ten shot string scored 100-5x and was 3.2" center to center.

    The next two targets were a different story as there were gusts up to about 8 mph and the wind was mainly a fishtailing headwind from maybe 10:30 to 1:30. Target 2 was only 3" tall, but 6.5" wide. Two points lost on one shot, and a lot of horizontal dispersion, were from a big wind gust. Lots of windage corrections made. Target #3 was a little less good yet, but mostly from me accidentally moving the MVA scope knobs in the wrong direction.

    I guess in summary, I think that in calm conditions these guns can shoot really close to a minute of angle for ten shots, assuming no screw ups on the string. When there is switching wind it's really easy to blow up the groups with horizontal.

    Chris.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Gunlaker,
    Paint arrows on those scope knobs.
    I learned WAY back to do so for my iron sights in HI HI Po service rifle
    when I lost a leg match because of turning the knobs wrong way. Painted arrows
    on my M1A sights and later on my AR sights.
    Nowadays I All of my tang sights etc are painted with yellow machine marker paint
    with "arrow L" and "arrow UP" And my scope knobs are cleaned so the "up and the Left show
    well.
    beltfed/arnie

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomokid View Post
    One of the best shooters in BPTR-BPCR that I know once told me these old guns were only good for 2 moa. I wanted to argue but since he can out shoot me I listened to him. He said you have to shoot 15 shot groups and be able to do it on call. That is putting 15 rounds into a tuna can at the chicken line.
    While I agree with this, it is entirely dependent on the specifications of what constitutes a group. 3-shot groups, 5-shot groups, whatever. I remember Garbe claiming only 20-shot groups at at least 200 yds. Well, 3-shot groups are at 1 MOA are awhole lot easier than 20-shot groups at 1 MOA. And, at 200 yds, one MOA is much harder than at 100 yds. At 1000 yds, it's pretty much a complete fluke, but all of that is not the rifle but the conditions and the inabilities of the rifle man.

    I use group size as a relative tool not an absolute. Generally 10 shots at 200 yds, but always only relevant to something else I've also shot for group at the same distance and number of shots.

    In the end, group size is about the worst measure of precision (never mind accuracy) that we have, but it so **** convenient and easy.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Arnie, Brent, how did things go today at Lodi?
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Ten years ago, or maybe even five, I would have read these posts and -------ah these blokes are talkin through their hats
    But then I have always been a ...."what if" person ------what if those blokes are doin it ?
    So .....I look at my own targets --I've had a couple of round ball guns that could do two inches at 100 yards - and on a good day I could shoot em into three off my knees (sitting position) with open sights (20 years ago, I cant see that good now!) - so on that basis MOA with a scope sighted slug gun off a bench should be something to expect?
    So .....I go look at a long range event at one of our clubs - at the time 45/50 would win it most times, not so now ....I had a 38/55 lever gun that would do 2inches at 100 for ten shots - nah you'll never do good enough to compete with a cowboy gun - forget it - went and bought a cheap SH IAB sharps that the original owner still wishes he never sold - told me just this easter that he followed up with five shilos that would not shoot as good as that old Marcheno - I was bone headed stubborn I was not gonna clean between shots - that thing leaded like crazy - two light patches of rust from a previous owner in storage - it took a two of us with a strong light and a jewellers loup to figure this out - just the faintest of marks - anyway the hacksaw cured it and eventually I figured out a load that works and I can keep it inside 2MOA vertical.
    have a 45/75 Uberti that will also do that if I do my bit. Have done some nice three shot clusters with both these guns right around an inch but dont seem to be able to keep the concentration or focus.
    Trouble is my bit is getting harder due to eyes - so any tips here are welcome - I only shoot tang sights not scope - and I find am losing the sight picture quite quickly - can get it all in focus for a bit but then it all starts swimming - If I look away - even just a couple seconds, maybe shake my head, and come back its good again. Do I need different aperture sizes? ....(yeah I know 20 years younger eyes would do it) .... just feel like I am missing something basic here.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Don McDowell's Avatar
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    Larger aperture front and rear may help that. Also staying well hydrated. If you're wearing progressive bifocals they can give you sight problems.
    Long range rules, the rest drool.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don McDowell View Post
    Larger aperture front and rear may help that. Also staying well hydrated. If you're wearing progressive bifocals they can give you sight problems.
    Thanks Don
    I wear about a number three for reading and 1.5 for driving, walking round town (inside buildings where light is a bit low) If its bright outside Itake em off and dont lose much at all. Shooting my open sight rifles I wear 1.5 or maybe a 2 - its a bit of a balancing act between target blurring some and sights clearer.
    (ya can pick old guys with dodgy eyes at a ML shoot - they shoot long barrels and the back sight is way down the barrel )

    I see peep sight picture best with no glasses (I found that a bit strange really?) so I use clear/plain glasses for that.
    Just got a parker hale hadley eyepiece so will try the bigger aperture - front is a lyman tunnel and the circle insert leaves a nice white ring round the bull.

    NO to the bifocals! proly should have em but not prepared to give in just yet!

    Hydration !!!!!!guilty yerhonor - I know better but never drink enough................

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check