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How good are you – really?

8330 Views 139 Replies 58 Participants Last post by  gkainz
We all know them. They’re the ones on the internet that can shoot one MOA, “all day long.”

Here are the targets for NRA High-Power Rifle Competition:

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With all of these people who “can shoot 1 MOA, all day long,” why do we not see more 500-50X scores at matches? Okay, maybe 490-40X, because standing offhand is hard.

I don’t think all of the internet 1 MOA shooters are telling the truth. :cautious:

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From Accuracy to Inaccuracy . . .

The specification accuracy for an M4A1 Carbine is that ten shots will be fired and the extreme spread of those ten shots will be less than 5.6 inches at 100 yards. Or, more simply: 5.6 MOA. With the M14 was an extreme spread of 6.1 inches, but later tightened up for a figure of merit (FM) that would be 3.2 inches. The FM is just the average of the extreme vertical and the extreme horizontal spreads.

My god! How can we issues such an inaccurate things? 6 MOA? 5.6 MOA? The horror, the horror, the horror . . .

Well, let’s say we have one of those super talented shooters that can actually shoot a 500-24X on an NRA National Match Couse, and he was issued one of those horrible 5.6 MOA carbines, how bad would he do?

Assumptions: The shooter never makes an aiming error at the ten ring, and the distribution across the maximum dispersion (5.6 MOA) is normal and that 2 standard deviations falls inside out 5.6 moa limit.

Based on the size of the 10 ring (in MOA), how it compares to the 5.6 MOA, and the percentage of bullet fall in each standard deviation, you get:

For a National Match Course of fire with 50 rounds and maximum of 500 points, our expert shooting with a 5.6 MOA Carbine would probably* shoot a 470 plus or minus ten points, That’s not bad.

If we go back to the early 1960s and give another expert marksman one of those 6.0 MOA M14s and let’s see (statistically) how he should do on the old “A”-course.

The “A” Target has a black filled 5 ring (highest score) 12 inches in diameter and is used on the 200 and 300 yard line.

The “D” Target is a human outline filled with black 19” at the shoulder and 26” tall, this is also valued at 5. This target is used for the 300 yard prone rapid string.

The “B” Target has a black filled 5-ring 20 inches in diameter.

Stage 1 - 10 rounds, standing, Off-hand, slow fire, at 200 yard at an A-Target, 12 inches is 6 MOA so 50 points is possible.

Stage 2 - 5 rounds, sitting, slow fire at 300 yards at an A-Target. 12 inches is only 4 MOA, so statistically you will average 24 points.

Stage 3 - 5 rounds, kneeling, slow fire at 300 yards at an A-Target. Again, 24 points.

Stage 4 - 10 rounds, prone slow fire at 500 yards at a B-Target. The 20 inch 5-ring is again only 4 MOA, so statistically 48 points.

Stage 5 - two magazines of 5 rounds, standing to sitting, rapid fire at 200 yards at a D-Target, (see below).

Stage 6 - two magazines of 5 rounds, standing to prone, rapid fire at 300 yards at a D-Target. The black silhouette of the D-Target is 19 inches wide, the height is 26 inches, with the ‘head’ being about 7 inches, so the body rectangle is 19” by 19”, the 6 MOA dispersion is within the black. If you do your parts, you get all 50 points for these two stages.

Probable score if the shooter make no errors – 246.

That will get you that Expert badge.

So, the Indian can have a pretty bad bow and still kill many deer, if he’s a good Indian.

How good are you?

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* If he shot an infinite number of matches, his average score would be somewhere in that range.
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I shoot a lot for HP practice so I’m at the range frequently. I almost never see anyone shoot MOA, especially me. We have a 200 yard line that is nearly always empty except me or a small handful of regulars, so the 100yard bench thing is real, but if they are having fun…more power to them! I’ll also say that I don’t consider any of my competition service rifles to be sub MOA even from the bench. I do pay attention to mean radius numbers.
 

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Face it there's quite a few people that can shoot a keyboard
a lot better than a rifle. Put a rifle in their hands though & quite
a few of them would be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn
while standing inside of one .
 

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I've never been in any sort of competition, nor do I really care to. I guess for me, it's more of the personal satisfaction of knowing I can do it. Not that this is an apples to apples comparison, but these targets are two of my best. Remington M24, from a bench, on bipod, with a rear bag.

The first target is a NRA 50 yard pistol target (1.5" X-ring). Center group is 100 and 200 yards mixed together, with the one cold bore outside on the left. Bottom group measures 2" exactly on center, and was a 5 round rapid (and I mean RAPID) string at 300 yards (I forgot my holdover).
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Bottom target is a 1/2" square load development target from the local "Fleet Farm", shot at 300 yards.

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I haven't ever reloaded my own ammo or developed loads for this thing. It's off-the-shelf Federal stuff I use to hunt with.

For the record; I'd consider myself an average shooter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Extreme spread is actually a horrible way to try and assess the "accuracy" of a rifle (or pistol, or whatever). You are basically taking the two worst outcomes of a number of events, and trying to establish the most probable outcome.

For acceptance criteria, it is "okay," as long as you realize the the sample size has a huge impact on the possibility on possibly accepting nonconforming material. This is why the M4 and M14 extreme spread criteria seem so big at 5.6 and 6 inches at 100 yards.
 

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Extreme spread is actually a horrible way to try and assess the "accuracy" of a rifle (or pistol, or whatever). You are basically taking the two worst outcomes of a number of events, and trying to establish the most probable outcome.

For acceptance criteria, it is "okay," as long as you realize the the sample size has a huge impact on the possibility on possibly accepting nonconforming material. This is why the M4 and M14 extreme spread criteria seem so big at 5.6 and 6 inches at 100 yards.
The reason Big Army decided on AMR for a while?
 
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Shot competition for a number of years, both XC and Long Range, and really never heard of anyone claiming to shoot minute of angle in such matches, it was always about the score at the end of the day. For me and others if the shots were on one side of the 10 ring and other shots on the opposite side of the 10 ring, it was a score of 10 either way, same for X ring, also a 10 score. Now the avid bench shooters often talk about their rifle and loads delivering sub moa and way back stated that they had shot some groups of 5 or more that were "ones, twos, etc." and at first did not know what they were referring to, but found out they are referring to 1 tenth, 2 tenths, growth of the grouping for all 5 rounds and that is impressive. This kind of performance is of course from a stable bench, adjustable rest platform, optics and very precise loads, but still impressive performance, for the rifle itself. From a bench with rest and optics my LRB M14SA NM nor my Rem. 40X will not deliver such small groups of five, but always under 1moa with close attention, not by much but less than 1 moa. I do have an AR15 which is a rough clone of the SPR Mk 12 mod O and with 77gr SMK, Lapua brass and AA 2520 powder, Federal match primers, will routinely shoot half moa. Range is 100 yards for these rifles. Have to give credit to Douglas Barrel Co. for they supply those barrels to the military for their SPR versions of the AR 15, good barrels. Due to age and accompanying health reasons, no longer shoot competition but do go to local range and shoot two to three day a week but running low on ammunition and will have to get back on my loading bench and crank out some more ammo.
 

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We deal with it all the time and you can come at it from many different directions…

I want a 1/4moa guarantee? Oh really?

On snipershide….a gunsmith/shop builder is contemplating on making a small run of rifles and will guarantee 1/8moa with box Federal Match ammo in 308w bolt guns. I asked questions like…

One three shot group? A 5 shot group? I’d like to see five x five shot groups. If you can do a 5 x 5….and the gun/shooter avg. a 1/8moa…take that 308w bolt gun to the next BR Nationals…you will win everything and smoke the 6PPC shooters. I don’t see it happening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
The reason Big Army decided on AMR for a while?
For weapons acceptance, the Army has always used extreme spread. It's quick. It's easy. No math, just hold a ruler up to a target.

For ammunition acceptance, the Army would rather know how "accurate" the ammunition is, so they go with mean radius (MR), or radial standard deviation.
 

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I ain't as good as I once was
I got a few years on me now
But there was a time, back in my prime
When I could really lay it down
I ain't as good as I once was
But I'm as good once
As I ever was

Get well soon, Toby
 

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Too many variables, but I ain't no 1-MOA shooter if we are talking about a 3-postion match with iron sights at 200 yards, never mind 300 yards. Off a bench? That's a different story.

One example: Shooting my T44E4 replica at 100 yards on a bench, supported by sandbags (w/ just iron sights). It can sometimes shoot a 1-MOA in a 5 or 6 shot group....but inevitably in a 10-rd group, it will enlarge beyond 1 MOA. I think the trigger puller is the issue re those 4 shots that went high, but perhaps the rifle's POI was also getting squirrely from thermal changes(?). There is very often a significant difference b/t a 5-shot vs a 10-shot group with iron sights (& middle-aged eyes/strain).
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Same retro rifle, same ammo, and same shooter - but at a 200-yard match shooting off-hand (aka awful-hand)? Umm, that's a solid a 2.5 MOA combination on a good day. I think I'd throw a party if I could shot 1-MOA in this position at 200 or 300 yds - but it ain't going to happen.
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So that combo of a very retro rifle + shooter + ammo is not good enough for a gold or a silver medal in Modern Military class, but it can sneak into a bronze like I did in 2021 at CMP Eastern Games. (If I could spend weeks practicing for such a match, that also might help my scores...but my schedule doesn't allow such luxury).

So again, lots of variables. Indeed, my score in the prone position vs awful-hand are usually quite different. That said, give me an accurate rifle with a decent optic, and the equation changes, with 1-MOA becoming slightly more possible.
 

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I have shot very few ( 5 shot ) groups at < 1 MOA at 100yds. Of course it is from a bench on sand bags....I am in my 70's!! I used to play golf and I think every shooter ought to get a "mulligan" every once in a while ( you know that single stray shot that is "way out" of the group. :LOL:

Now shooting "offhand".......I can do Minute of Barn Door.

***Is it even possible to shoot a 1 MOA 5 shot group OFFHAND?? :oops:
 

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With a pistol - not that bad.

NRA Master, State Champ in a couple pistol disciplines, and at least 1 Olympic Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) in air pistol - back in the day...

With a rifle - not that good.

Shooting 1 MOA off a bench or bag doesn't qualify in my opinion. Even I can do that.

The real test is shooting with a sling, and especially off-hand. You're not "good" until you can shoot solid scores, in position, at distance, in competition.

I've got a ways to go...
 

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.........

Shooting 1 MOA off a bench or bag doesn't qualify in my opinion. Even I can do that.

The real test is shooting with a sling, and especially off-hand. You're not "good" until you can shoot solid scores, in position, at distance, in competition.

I
I guess it depends on your equipment and ammo.


WIth an standard factory SA M1A and off the shelf ammo I would say 1 MOA would be exceptional on the bench with bags!

Springfield Armory ( std ) new rifles only guarantee MOA of 1.5
 
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Gentlemen, As Lysander noted, extreme spread group size is highly dependent on the sample size. 5 shot groups are not as large as 10 shot groups. In fact, the extreme spread continues until the sample size (number of shots) is about 70. The rate of group size increase diminishes with each addition shot.

It is incorrect to compare shot groups of different sample sizes. I personally believe that shot groups of less than 10 shots are highly questionable.
 
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