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Do Hunting Rifles Need to be more Accurate?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently read an article in one of the major gun magazines in which the author ranted about the need for .5 MOA or better hunting rifles. :shock:
(For any of you who are unfamilar with MOA it stands for Minute Of Angle, which translates to about 1" at 100yds). First of all the average shooter is not capable of shooting even 1 MOA so any additional potential would merely be wasted. What the author failed to recognize is tha accuracy is a three leg stool, consisting of the gun, the ammunition, and most importantlythe shooter. An ultra accurate gun only comprises 1/3 of the accuracy picture. Rather than more accurate guns, we need cheaper ammo and more time practice shooting technique. Remember an accuracy guarantee for a particular gun does not mean it will shoot that well in your hands, and also remember most deer hunting engagements are at less than 100yds.
 

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Well said and I concur, however. Can it not be said that if a particular rifle fits and feels the most comfortable to the shooter that could affect the results of the accuracy count? I would think it would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Without a doubt fit is very important and definately affects accuracy. technique and practice are the most important factors.
 

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A lot of time someone will say their gun doesn't shoot
"group" well. Most times it is either they haven't found the right ammo, or load that works well in that gun. Most guns will shoot and group well with something. You just need to find what that is.
 

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For us New England guys our average shot is less than 100yards. Many people ask me the question when looking at scopes as to how far the scope will shoot out to. My answer is always that the scope doesn't shoot it just gives the view of what you are shooting and the caliber of rifles you shoot, the ammuntition, and your practice and comfort comes into effect when shooting at a given distance. I'll admit I'm not a tack driver when I shoot. I've found that the remington core lokt ammo is the most inexpensive and gives me the accuracy I need when shooting out to even 200yards. I've taken 1 deer at 280 yards and was confident because I was shooting a .270 with 130 grain ammuntion, and I had a solid rest and a broadside shot. I'm not a competive shooter I just need to hit an area roughly the size of a paper plate when deer hunting.
 

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I believe that in all the years I've hunted, I haven't attempted but one shot that was over 100 yards.
I don't shoot enough to get that practice, practice, practice Earlthepearl but I agree with what you are saying.
The original question I think was is 1" close enough? I guess if you bring down a deer it is. If your entering a competition - probably not.
 

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I'd say that 1 inch at 100 yards is plenty enough accurate for hunting conditions. I am getting that from my New England Firearm Single shot 243 bull barrel at 200 yards...... Most the time anyway. I do shoot. Most weeks I shoot at least a half box of shells. Hey you got to shoot to keep in practice.
Small caliber guns are fun to shoot, and cheep to shoot. No sore shoulder after shooting a bit. 22 Mag-223-243 and smaller are cheep enough to shoot often. If your only going to shoot a week before the season you can't expect to shoot good. Maybe off a bench-OK, but not off a standing shot.
Get out there and shoot- practice practice practice.
I shoot red squirrels with the 243 just to keep in practice.
They don't sit long, and at times give you a few quick shots while moving to just see how good you are.
I guess some people live in ares that they can't do this though, but most places will have some type of range to go to. No excuses for not shooting your guns...........
 

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I voted NO but I just thought of one exception. If you are squirrel hunting in open hardwoods, I would say you MAY need to shoot better the 1" groups. Everything else is more than big enough that 1" is close enough to quickly kill it.
Mosquitos and black flies don't have an open season yet.
 

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There should be a season on em. Man, I've seen some mosquitos bigger than some deer I've seen.
 

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This thread got me thinking. I'm pretty much a still hunter. The furthest deer I ever shot was a spikehorn buck that was 125 yards away. I used a scoped 30-06 and it was the only deer I've shot where I felt I had plenty of time to ready myself. The second furthest was about 80 yards and was shot with a TC Renegade. All the others were less than 50 yards away. Most much less. The closest was probably about 15 feet. None of those deer required a less than MOA rifle. What I want in a rifle is one that has acceptable accuracy, carries easily in the field and is quick on target. Acceptable accuracy to me is 3-4 MOA.
 

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I agree with Maineboy........1" MOA is not a critical factor in my usual rifle shooting.
But do the calculations............you are shooting coyotes at 250 yards and your best group out of your stock .223 NEF handirifle is 3" at 200. The coyotes chest is a square averaging about 8x11. You are shooting at a vital zone half that size.......4x5.5 .
The margin for error is so extreme that most won't shoot that far. But upgrade to a boltaction and average groups shrink to 1" or 1 1/2". Now your talking 250 yard 'yote slayer.
 

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A few decades ago, I paid for a couple semesters of college by busting woodchucks out of farmers fields in the Mid-West. My Remington Model 700 Varmint special in 22-250 was capable of head shots at 400+ yards. The combination of rifle, the right ammo, and the right execution accounted for the degree of accuracy. Most current hunting rifles can outshoot the shooter. Practically all handguns can outshoot the shooter. I have nothing at all against having an "off-the-shelf" rifle being capable of .5 minute of accuracy under all conditions. The problem would be having to mortgage my house to buy it.
 

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It does not hurt to fine tune all the variables, so I agree that a .5" MOA rifle is a good thing to have, just because then you can't blame the rifle! It then comes down to practice. My dad in law can hit moving targets WAY better than me, because he has been hunting since he could walk basically. From the bench though, he is out of practice, and I can typically outshoot him. I need offhand practice the most. Fortunately, offhand is easier on the shoulder with the .45-70 1895 (loaded to 2100fps) and the .50Beowulf. I can shoot MOD (Minute Of Deer) just fine offhand most of the time, but I need more practice. Hell, the practicing is fun too! Might as well do it a lot!
 

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I'll have to find the link, but there was an interesting article I read about "brush guns" and such. Basically it opposed the theory that heavy bulleted rifles like the .45-70 and such are better in the woods because they buck branches and stuff. The Brush Buster is really a fallacy and it explained it very well. More or less, if a short fat bullet hits a twig, it yaw's and tumbles and never recovers, but a long higher BC bullet may deflect a bit, but will regain it's composure and continue on in a straight non-tumbling nature. Interesting article for sure! I still like carrying the 18" .45-70 or 16" .50Beowulf in the woods though! Carbines are handy regardless. You have to take into account a running deer, where you could be following it quickly and be in thick stuff with a 24" barrel and hit something on the swing. Clearcuts for moose? Grab the .30-06 bolt gun! Although, there is a guy in Alaska who shot a huge moose at 200yds with a .50Beowulf and dropped it with one shot. Shot it again to make sure it did not get up and head for the swamps though, as they tend to do in AK.
 
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