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Miseryguts

Measuring performance

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Hi, I am interested in how everyone measures performance of their shooting or a specific load. I use On Target software to analyse my targets, and am interested to know which is the best measure of  the quality of a group. There are several measures - Mean Radius, Extreme spread, and Group size(Width and Height).

Another variable seems to be number of shots in a group  - some say 3 shot, others 5, others more. I always go for 10 shots myself, but there are not many occasions there isn't at least 1 flyer!!

Then there is what one should be expecting to get at the various ranges  50,100, 200, 300, etc

Then there is the capabilities of Pistol calibres(Gallery rifles 357M,44M, 45C), centrefire rifles(223,243,308 etc), and the ubiquitous rimfire(22, 17HMR)

Total confusion reigns (for me anyway)

M

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For group analysis and especially for ES/SD measurement, I always use 5 or 7 shot groups as statistically, they are the sweet point of statistical relevance V's economy.  I don't bother with target software the data would be lost in translation due to the number of shots fired annually.  Comparison of groups for me has to be done on a day by day basis as a group shot last year with a load may produce very different results than one shot today despite theoretically me shooting the same...too many variables to get hung up or stressed about the conclusions, not least of which is weather. I do analyse groups for technique and for comparison a la OCW, and also pay attention to velocity measurement when load developing.

I do keep a notebook and do try and learn from data of last outings (DOPE), working this into any planned alterations of load, shooting position, technique and such-like.

Expectations are fully dependant upon conditions and rifle being shot for me.  On a good stillish day with my 6.5, I would expect 1/4moa at 100 yds all being well but be happy with say 1/3rd moa.

At 200 yds, I would want to see 1/2moa.  At 600, I would want to see 3/4 moa (my last outing saw ten shot groups bang on 4 inches) and at 1000, I want to see no more than moa which I think is reasonable for an off-the shelf factory rifle and decent ammunition, so my expectations are not that high compared with competition shots. I know that these goals are within my/my rifle and load capabilities and as I don't shoot for competition my shooting is geared around practise for more surgical vermin control, yet I rarely take shots on anything live over 400 yards (ie I limit range for certainty of outcome).

Confusion doesn't reign for me at all.  I approach my shooting and load development using a very detailed, systematic methodology and keep good records.  Where I do strive for perfection though is for me perhaps the most challenging aspect of shooting...first shot on target centre shots at distances both known and guesstimated.  This is the real skill for me as load development is really quite straightforward and the means to an end. It's then what I do with a good load that matters more to me.  This is where one of my real shooting passions kicks in which is the study of ballistics as this for me is where the real interest lies.  It's the skill of putting all that hard earned knowledge and practice together to pull off that one shot, one target bang on centre result.  I still struggle with this but am getting better.  I can usually land my first shots somewhere handy up to 1000 yards, usually within 2 to 3moa conditions dependant, but that's not good enough. I would like to manage moa terminal goals for first shot, and that takes a hell of a lot of practice and learning to read conditions properly.  The reason for this is that now, when in the field on vermin control, my confidence and ability to 400 yards is such that I'd be very disappointed to miss what I'm aiming at first shot, and after a good number of years practice I can say with some honesty, that I rarely miss these days.

I don't compare my shooting with anyone else's and just strive to improve my own technique and knowledge as part of enjoyment of the sport. I do try and learn from others more learned than my self as there are so many advanced shots and knowledgeable people out there (and on here!) from whom to learn and adapt.

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I don't shoot competitions, either......I guess I'm a plinker, home made bipod, butt bag, and second hand rifles...................but I get a lot of fun out of seeing just how good I can get. I reload for 223, 308, 6BR, and 6,5x47, and a typical good day for me is attached. Shots 1 and 2 are sighters...........and there was a very light wind (Century.)

If only I could do it every time....................

Re-Pete

P 8 Muzz 6BR 2.0 RS52 105 Sc.jpg

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Varm, you mention another thing that really gets me -with my 223,  first shot from cold barrel is always off. As per pic below(the first shot is 0.85in from bull centre, distance to target 105yd). How do you get round that?

M  

223 53gn Vmax with 25.8gn H335 - 05-11-18.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Miseryguts said:

Varm, you mention another thing that really gets me -with my 223,  first shot from cold barrel is always off. As per pic below(the first shot is 0.85in from bull centre, distance to target 105yd). How do you get round that?

M  

223 53gn Vmax with 25.8gn H335 - 05-11-18.jpg

If it always does the same thing as per the pic then aim off by that amount. Looking at that pic, aim a shade low of the 9 to the left..

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If it's cold shot from a clean barrel, I first fire a fouling shot before my scoring shots.  Some barrels just do shoot off on the cold bore (clean barrel shot). The other factor is technique.  It didn't take me long to suss that my first shot was always (almost always) not correct on technique, so now when I settle down I do everything by the numbers, move head away, return to cheek weld and check cross-hairs.  If off target even by a smidge, I shift body position and try again and repeat as many times as needed until consistently on the bull with the cross-hairs.  I also twigged that my first shot was with too tight a grip on the trigger finger hand so deliberately use a very loose grip now, and concentrate on consistency with trigger pull with hardly anything touching the rifle except the trigger finger.  These few bits of discipline have done more to tighten up groups than firing off group after group and blaming the loads...when all along it was me.  Finally, a stone cold barrel has a round in the chamber that has powder at ambient temperature.  Even if the rifle has only fired a few rounds, the chamber temp' comes up very quickly and any subsequently chambered rounds will see a rise in propellant temperature which can (and does) make a difference.  None of the above could be factors MiseryGuts for your case or some or all of these things might figure?

 

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