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Normal Topic Some food for thought (Read 1517 times)
50BMG
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Some food for thought
Aug 10th, 2018 at 8:34pm
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At my previous work we insisted on 5 and 10 rd groups - For those who think a 3 round group is OK.

http://www.bealeinnovations.com/stats-3shotgroup.pdf

In the end, you will draw your own conclusions, I cannot be convinced that a 3 round group serves any real purpose as it is statistically underwhelming - if you throw 1 round 33% of your data is corrupt.

  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #1 - Aug 10th, 2018 at 10:12pm
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three shot group serves a lot of purpose. saves ammo on development to find out if a load just doesn,t work. if im doing load work i dont throw shots and if you can then why not say 100% of your load work could be wasted.

For hunting id say theres no point in doing more than a three shot group cause if your first three shot miss then then animals gone or your just spraying and praying.

even if im doing my f class loading ill still do 3 shot groups to get started then do a 5 or 10 shot group before fully committing to comps with it but nothing usually changes.
  
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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #2 - Aug 11th, 2018 at 7:18am
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Recently i did a bit of load development after changing powder type that i was using in a particular rifle. I loaded three rounds each from minimum to maximum loads in .5 grain increments, to see which load best suited that rifle. that meant 24 rounds fired. waiting for the rifle to cool significantly between each group. Took a good part of an afternoon to get my result. At ten rounds per load of powder i would have needed to fire 80 rounds and spend the whole weekend. I reckon i will be happy with what result i got. Wink
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #3 - Aug 11th, 2018 at 8:24am
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I no longer hunt (too decrepit) but still do F Class shooting.

When load developing I used to always load 5 rounds at each 0.5gr increment for medium capacity (eg 284W) cartridges, 0.3 or 0.2 for my Hornet.

I can quickly tell by experience whether a load is going to be worth progressing after 3 shots, sometimes less. Often I would fire a couple of shots at one load and then stop at that point and jump one complete increment – you need to know what you are doing here and what signs to look for!  Consequently I would come home and have to strip lots of unfired rounds.
I have now, over recent years dropped back to 3 rounds per increment, at the initial stage of load development.

I can get a feel with 3 rounds whether I will pursue that load. I then will progress to five or ten round strings at which point I am doing my final ES/SD and accuracy assessments. Adjustments to seating depth may also occur and sometimes primer changes but generally I stick with the same primer brand and type.

So, one good five shot group doesn’t constitute a closure/job well done. We can all shoot the odd tight group. Satisfaction is only after a series of five shot groups and then results on the long range targets.

Load development in my hotter rifles is a balance between shooting sufficient rounds so the results aren’t statistically sus but also conserving the shot count/barrel life. Not much point blasting away a 100 rounds doing development when the barrel life may be 800 to 1000 rounds.

  
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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #4 - Aug 12th, 2018 at 7:23am
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It really comes down to what you are using the rifle for

For my Benchrest Rifles I always shoot five shot groups when testing & then 5 with sighters once really getting serious, moving in 0,2 grain intervals.

For my customer rifles, which are usually light weight hunting type rifles, three shot groups are called for in 0.5 grain intervals.

At the start of a session whether the rifle is clean or not I shoot a 4 shot group to isolate the cold bore shot, sometimes its in the group sometimes it isn't
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #5 - Aug 12th, 2018 at 4:00pm
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Kiwi Greg wrote on Aug 12th, 2018 at 7:23am:
It really comes down to what you are using the rifle for


Given this is in the longe range section that is the context in which the question is asked.

I am always amused observing how much gets spent on the best possible kit, time and effort gets put into meticulous case prep, pedantic attention to seating depths etc and then a general reluctance to do the hard work gathering good data.

I totally agree that a 3 rd group gives a quick indication and 5 rds is better. The point seems lost however that investing effort into firing larger groups will tell you a lot more. 3 rd groups are always a triangle and give no indication of what is actually happening. Basically, they are simply a snapshot of how the combination performs under the current conditions and tell you nothing more. They are a go/ no-go indicator if you a really serious about precision.

5 rd groups provide considerably better data and to the experienced eye work reasonably well. They still n do not allow for a decent observable pattern to form on the target and therefore do not properly allow a full diagnosis/ understanding.

10 rds allow the firer to observe not just group size but also average group shape, pattern and when individual fall of shot is recorded, pattern trends.  These all combine to inform exactly what to expect under a range of different conditions and when considered with the actual numeric data sets provide a very powerful tool to determine exactly which load is the best for the intended use.

The upshot is that three 10 round groups can tell you far more than 10 3 rd groups ever will about the same load. You juts have to be prepared to put the work in.
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #6 - Aug 12th, 2018 at 6:53pm
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If you are a long range hunter 10 shot groups are irrelevant.  In fact in most sporting contour barrels the last 2 shots open up the group size in a 5 shot group.  That isn't a function of the rifles accuracy, it simply reflects a barrels ability to resist heating effect.

10 cold clean barrel single shots might tell you something, but I'd lay a bet that you would probably know the same answer after 3.

Accuracy is not improved the more shots you fire when group shooting, but a larger margin of error is introduced with barrel heating when you do.

The resultant accuracy you might get firing 5 and 10 shot groups, when using heavy barrels, speak nothing to the 1st 3 shots out of a lighter weight hunting rifle barrel.  Its perfectly possible that the first 3 shots from such a barrel is going to be just as statistically accurate as the first 3 shots out of a heavy one.  However there is likely to be a huge variation between the different barrels with larger groups. 

The conclusions reached regarding accuracy mean you either carry around a truck axle for hunting needlessly, or you turn up to a precision target competition with a lightweight thinking that you might be able to compete shooting 5-10 shot strings.  I understand that larger group sizes might prevent the later, but they only contribute to the former unnecessarily.

If your point is about the use of larger groups for the purposes of load development, I'm with Mr BJAI...  its to do with the predictability of where the shots are hitting when you do your job properly.  You need to be able to see the target on a shot by shot basis, but who you do it often enough you certainly start to get a feel well before needing 5 shot groups..

Where I might concede is in final load selection after screening groups in a heavy target barrel application.  Then improved statistical results from larger groups might actually mean something.
  

"But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangmen and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice!"  Nietzsche
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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #7 - Aug 13th, 2018 at 7:54pm
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sidney wrote on Aug 12th, 2018 at 6:53pm:
10 cold clean barrel single shots might tell you something, but I'd lay a bet that you would probably know the same answer after 3.


That is not entirely wrong. The question is actually how much more can you learn and how useful will that extra info be?

I have had the good fortune to work where money was not an obstacle to examining such things. We did all sorts of R&D  and field product testing/ evaluations for military, police, firearms manufacturers, munitions manufacturers etc.

One of our main test range rigs had 6 doppler radars units, weather stations at 50-metre intervals along the entire 4000-metre range, electronic targets,  running through an Oehler ballistics research station. The firearm was connected to the chamber, mid bore and muzzle pressure and temperature sensors, 5 accelerometers to collect data on the what was happening during firing. An array of IR, Hi-speed and hi-def cameras, as well as pressure monitors and temp detectors, monitored the muzzle to capture the entire sequence of events there.
Every shot was captured including velocity, actual trajectory and windage deviation alongside weather datapoints at .01 second intervals. We also made extensive use of optical and ultrasonic barrel observational/ diagnostic gear.

The total data per shot was phenomenal

One of the areas we explored was how many rds should a group be for
a) quick evaluation / zero confirm 
b) ballistic/ performance analysis
c) firer effectiveness
d) zeroing

Among other things

The last tool in our toolbox was the good old paper target to analyse against the info from firer and coach with the data supplied by all the metrology.

The interesting thing was that if you really understood how to analyse a shot group on a target and the correct data was recorded by firer and observer as the group was built up90 % of the conclusions reached with all the kit listed above could be reached with a 10 round group.

(here is one interesting fact we discovered, for most common hunting type calibres in hunting or heavy hunting contours the barrel got no hotter (actually measured) for 10 rounds than it did for 5 at a moderate rate of fire)

In short 3 rd groups fall far short of providing all the info available. My thoughts are that why should you not go that bit more and maximise the results on your efforts and expense reached before hitting the range?
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #8 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 5:16pm
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Maybe because you dont have time to warm up your barrel to group satisfying status when shooting at game. After the first shot its probably on the move. Cheesy
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #9 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 6:20pm
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jakkos wrote on Aug 14th, 2018 at 5:16pm:
Maybe because you dont have time to warm up your barrel to group satisfying status when shooting at game. After the first shot its probably on the move. Cheesy



You are missing the point. Gaining as much info as you can under controlled circumstances gives you more options later.  You talk about game. Over ninety per cent of my "hunting" was two-legged targets that shoot back.

Believe me, when your target is one that can shoot back you become more open to gaining every single advantage you can.
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #10 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 6:44pm
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50BMG wrote on Aug 14th, 2018 at 6:20pm:
jakkos wrote on Aug 14th, 2018 at 5:16pm:
Maybe because you dont have time to warm up your barrel to group satisfying status when shooting at game. After the first shot its probably on the move. Cheesy



You are missing the point. Gaining as much info as you can under controlled circumstances gives you more options later.  You talk about game. Over ninety per cent of my "hunting" was two-legged targets that shoot back.

Believe me, when your target is one that can shoot back you become more open to gaining every single advantage you can.


Yes but as you mentioned you had unlimited budget & time, (as there should be for that theatre) not too many Guys have access that here.

A half MOA hunting rifle is golden for hunting as long as the first shot is bang on  Smiley

Just remember we hunt four legs here not two....however plenty of Guys here have hunted two in previous endeavors...
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #11 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 8:12pm
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KiwiGreg

I agree with your premise that a 1/2 MOA is golden. I am also well aware of who is here.

Answer these

What happens if we stop asking what is possible?
Where would we be if the no one explored beyond black powder?

Then think about what I am suggesting

"Is near enough truly good enough?"

Because the near enough argument appears to prevail here.
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #12 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 8:46pm
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Well near enough is probably OK for purpose, and that appears to be the point that you are avoiding...

Sure more data provides more information which can contribute to better performance and better reliability, but the other factor that you are not considering is that of diminishing returns for effort.

Nth degree information is after all only valuable for nth degree performance.

Bigger variables exist at the extreme range of performance, like wind for example....

But I am really interested in your information about barrel heating.... ..

  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #13 - Aug 14th, 2018 at 9:26pm
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50BMG wrote on Aug 14th, 2018 at 8:12pm:
KiwiGreg

I agree with your premise that a 1/2 MOA is golden. I am also well aware of who is here.

Answer these

What happens if we stop asking what is possible?
Where would we be if the no one explored beyond black powder?

Then think about what I am suggesting

"Is near enough truly good enough?"

Because the near enough argument appears to prevail here.


Near enough does the job just fine when its 1/2-3/4 MOA in a hunting rifle, as mentioned we hunt 4 legs here & if we miss or have a technical in digression it isn't the end of the world or us.

The other thing is most exciting trendy long range hunting cartridges are rather hard on their barrels & don't have the luxury of a several thousand round barrel life so as previously mentioned shooting heaps of rounds once the rifle is sorted isn't going to happen for a few reasons, time & cost being the main ones.

As mentioned if it consistently shoots sub MOA it is more than fit for the purpose we chose to use it for, long range hunting & shooting, so why wear it out prematurely.

I always suggest to my customers to not be afraid of using their rifles so they get better at using them, ie shoot some small rocks at distance once you have finished hunting, no more than 3 shots at a time, the first shot is the most important.

But I/we have suggested all this before.

I'm looking forward to you getting your range set up.
I would love to bring some of my bigger toys out to play, its been way too long since I've used them, I've been too busy with short range bench rest.....
  

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Re: Some food for thought
Reply #14 - Aug 17th, 2018 at 7:15pm
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The other thing is most exciting trendy long range hunting cartridges are rather hard on their barrels & don't have the luxury of a several thousand round barrel life so as previously mentioned

The issue here is finding a way to produce the desired velocity without the throat/ leade damage typical in such applications.

1 10 rd group will tell you far more than 3 or 4 3 rd groups and preserve barrel life. Then applying some reasonable physics change to a slower powder, get better velocity and tighter es with less barrel wear.

Very basic reasoning.

Proven beyond argument.

Too hard for most to accept? as it seems so simple! so lets merrily wear out barrels and spend money needlessly because we can spray testosterone around and appear to comply with current "wisdom

or we can be smarter, save money in the long run and be able to do even more for less.

Ignorance versus curiosity. I know where I will look.
  

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