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Why 10 shot groups are better

This is a discussion on Why 10 shot groups are better within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Lets say that you go shooting for four days in a row and on each day you test the same new load by firing one ...


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Old January 28th, 2014, 01:59 AM   #1
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Why 10 shot groups are better

Lets say that you go shooting for four days in a row and on each day you test the same new load by firing one three round group each day. On each of these days you get nice looking 3/4" groups like these;


You're very happy, but over time you notice that your zero seems to wander, you always have to move your sights a few clicks up, down, left, or right and there seems to be no pattern to why this is happening. You begin to spend a lot of time and money trying to tune your rifle by changing optics, mounts, sights, you bed the stock, etc. Finally you become so frustrated that you give up and sell the rifle because it wasn't accurate and you tell everybody that all rifles like that one are inherently inaccurate and you wouldn't recommend ever buying one.

The true problem might have been your use of three round groups while developing your load. Each of those three round groups was a subset of the true group size for that load/rifle. What's more, each of the three round groups simply moved around the true zero point so they created the impression that the group zero was moving, when the truth is that you never really found the true group zero.

If you had fired 10 shot groups while testing your load you would have found out what was really happening. Here is what your ten shot group might have looked like;


Notice that each three shot group above is part of this ten shot group. The true group center is within the three shot group below.


It's very important to shoot 10 shot groups if you want to get a more accurate idea of the grouping capability of your ammunition/rifle. 5 round groups are a compromise used to save money and ammunition but they are a reasonable substitute for the 10 shot groups if you fire several at a time and compare these groups to each other, taking note of the center of each group (compared to your point of aim). If the centers are about the same distance from the point of aim and the group sizes are pretty much the same size then you can be pretty confident that the 5 round groups are similar to what you would see with a 10 round group.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 04:38 AM   #2
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Great write-up. I do think a few folks here need to read this.

Thanks Dick!

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Old January 28th, 2014, 05:49 AM   #3
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Very true. More expensive in the short term, however you will save in the long run in both money and most of all, aggravation.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 07:51 AM   #4
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Do you think firing from a cold barrel vs warm barrel has any effect? I read an article one time (a long time ago, when I still read gun mags) about how, as far as hunters are concerned, the first shot from a cold barrel was The Shot you wanted to measure because that would replicate the (hopefully) single shot you would take from a cold barrel on game.

10 shots would certainly warm the barrel up... :)

As a matter of course, I usually run a magazine through my weapon first before I sit down to run groups. That seems more real-world to me, along with the 10 shot group.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #5
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I recommend this be made a STICKY

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Old January 28th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #6
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Ten shots for another reason.

This is an excellent Post for those of us that pursue the quest for accuracy in our M1A's/ M1 Garands.

Often the mistake is made, when evaluation accuracy, of using the common practice of " Group size" as a measurement or standard. That statement may sound confusing unless this sentence is added. " How capable is my rifle of hitting my selected target"... Of course the question then comes up, "In how many shots?' There two types of accuracy, both are important but not necessary related,...

Two of the most common practices that the folks I shoot with are: Five shot group size, allowing several bore warmers. Second: How many centers can I cut out of a given number of them.

Here is a typical example of how we shoot centers, mostly with the assortment of 22 cal rifles we own. This contest is fired at 50 yards using any sight or ammo off the bench. The target has 25 1/2" centers printed on it,,, 18"x 24 in total size.". No wind flags are allowed, one shot per center. If you enjoy shooting of this style lets hear from you and your total centers out of 25 centers..

My choice of 22 cal rifles is a 1941 Springfield M2 with a 10 power, very old, Unertl scope. It is no match for the other 22 cal. rifles my buddies own, nor is the scope. This rifle, when it appeared on the market guaranteed 1/2 min. accuracy at 50 yards. shooting Wolf match ammo I. can do a little better than that. The loser of these matches buys lunch, i have not spend a dime for lunch in a very long time, my best is 14 centers out of 25 attempts.. This low number came as a shock to me also... Art

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Old January 28th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #7
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I like to shot 10 round groups, but most of the time I shot 20 round groups while testing out a new military surplus ammunition find. Been doing it longer than I have been on this Gun Board. Good post RAMMAC.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:24 AM   #8
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Very interesting. Thanks!

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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by art luppino View Post
This is an excellent Post for those of us that pursue the quest for accuracy in our M1A's/ M1 Garands.

Often the mistake is made, when evaluation accuracy, of using the common practice of " Group size" as a measurement or standard. That statement may sound confusing unless this sentence is added. " How capable is my rifle of hitting my selected target"... Of course the question then comes up, "In how many shots?' There two types of accuracy, both are important but not necessary related,...

Two of the most common practices that the folks I shoot with are: Five shot group size, allowing several bore warmers. Second: How many centers can I cut out of a given number of them.

Here is a typical example of how we shoot centers, mostly with the assortment of 22 cal rifles we own. This contest is fired at 50 yards using any sight or ammo off the bench. The target has 25 1/2" centers printed on it,,, 18"x 24 in total size.". No wind flags are allowed, one shot per center. If you enjoy shooting of this style lets hear from you and your total centers out of 25 centers..

My choice of 22 cal rifles is a 1941 Springfield M2 with a 10 power, very old, Unertl scope. It is no match for the other 22 cal. rifles my buddies own, nor is the scope. This rifle, when it appeared on the market guaranteed 1/2 min. accuracy at 50 yards. shooting Wolf match ammo I. can do a little better than that. The loser of these matches buys lunch, i have not spend a dime for lunch in a very long time, my best is 14 centers out of 25 attempts.. This low number came as a shock to me also... Art
Sounds like the NRA .22 cal competition string of fire. I used to do competition shooting back in high school and remember trying to get those pinwheels (hitting the little dot in the center of the small bore target bullseye).

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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #10
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Just what it was..

Many of the High School ROTC programs had Small Bore Rifle Teams, the Springfields was one of several 22 rifles used. I'm not certain, but didn't the HS Teams shoot at 17 yards? Standing, kneeling and prone?

Shooting for group is far different than target score shooting besides the different positions.

The most valuable information needed concerning your private rifle is, where dose the first round impact at a given range, after that it is recreation, just an opinion..

How are you doing in the new Machinist career?

Best to you,,, Art

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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by art luppino View Post
Many of the High School ROTC programs had Small Bore Rifle Teams, the Springfields was one of several 22 rifles used. I'm not certain, but didn't the HS Teams shoot at 17 yards? Standing, kneeling and prone?

Shooting for group is far different than target score shooting besides the different positions.

The most valuable information needed concerning your private rifle is, where dose the first round impact at a given range, after that it is recreation, just an opinion..

How are you doing in the new Machinist career?

Best to you,,, Art
Yup, I believe it was 17 yards/ 50 feet, something like that. I just remember that that small pin point was a heck of a target, I used to get 7 or 8 out of 10 pin wheels pretty regularly...back in the days when my eyes really worked well.

Still doing school actually, starting to learn to work with CNC machines. I'm making small parts for myself and friends, it's pretty neat making my own parts and having them work.

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Old January 28th, 2014, 01:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie98 View Post
Do you think firing from a cold barrel vs warm barrel has any effect? I read an article one time (a long time ago, when I still read gun mags) about how, as far as hunters are concerned, the first shot from a cold barrel was The Shot you wanted to measure because that would replicate the (hopefully) single shot you would take from a cold barrel on game.

10 shots would certainly warm the barrel up... :)

As a matter of course, I usually run a magazine through my weapon first before I sit down to run groups. That seems more real-world to me, along with the 10 shot group.
If the rifle is built properly and everything works well then you won't have first round flyers...but that's pretty hard to guarantee with an M14 style rifle.

As a hunter I'd recommend that you do your group tests using 10 rounds to find the best load and then zero the rifle by firing single shots that are spaced far enough apart in time to let the barrel cool completely between the shots.

Thanks from JEFFJP_N_JJ
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