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Global Skywatch

precision rifle shooting

This morning I was led to the Precision Rifle Shooting blog (PRS blog.com). It is an absolute treasure trove of information on, well, precision rifle things.

It occurs to me as I read and ponder this topic that precision rifle gear and precision rifle men are of no value whatsoever in the wrong place or applied to the wrong target. Information, and more importantly, refined information also known as “intelligence” are a whole lot more important.

While not really good at radio, information gathering and/or information processing, I am a whole lot better than average. I also am putting a higher priority on improving those things compared to improving my shooting skills and gear collection. Again, not that I don’t value high-level rifleman, just that they are one tool in a balanced toolbox.

The article that got me introduced, and hooked on the PRS blog was a comparison of two high-end semi-automatic rifles to a high-end bolt-action rifle. Why do all long-range shooters use bolt actions in competitions? I have guessed wrong until now: 1) reliability 2) shorter recoil impulse time.

If you disagree, don’t whine to me. Go read the article: 6.5 Creedmoor AR Showdown

Appended onto the comparison article were the significant bits from a really important article on How much accuracy at the upper end really matters? While we all wanna have that magical rifle that can hit a dime at half a mile time after time, is it worth the time, effort, money and weight, were it even do-able?

Excerpted here is the appended bit to the comparison article on how important ultimate accuracy is.
Take the time to understand what he put into the chart.
Then, of course, go read the article for the full picture.

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Let’s Put This In Context

Last year I wrote a series called “How Much Does It Matter?” and that included a post that looked at how much group size impacted hit probability on long-range targets. The results surprised a few people, including me. Look at the graph below, and notice that the increase in hit probability from using a 1 MOA rifle to 0.5 MOA rifle improves your odds by just 8% on the 10” circle at 700 yards, and by less than 4% on the 20” circle.

effect-of-tighter-groups-on-hit-probability1.png

Don’t get me wrong, we all prefer tackdriving rifles. There is something innately satisfying when you stack 5 shots in one ragged one. But when you are comparing rifles like the JP (averaged ~0.7 MOA) to a Surgeon (averaged ~0.5 MOA), you’re just talking about a 2% improvement in hit percentage when it comes to these long-range targets. To learn more about where these numbers came from, read the post: How Much Does Group Size Matter?

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