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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Talking with a few of you on another subject got me thinking: What do you consider acceptable hunting accuracy and range? There's obviously no law, so opinions will probably vary a bit.

For me, acceptable hunting accuracy must fall within these criteria: Either I have to be able to shoot it 1.5 MOA or better, or not miss a 6" target. That's me shooting from the position I'll be actually in when I have game in my cross hairs. When one of those is exceeded, then I have hit the limit for my range on acceptable hunting accuracy.

Hopefully I didn't confuse. For example, I have a 1/2 MOA .308 FN SPR that is a laser off of the bench. However, shooting it seated off of my Trigger Sticks with a backpack under my shooting arm, I am a consistent 1.5 MOA shooter. That limits me to 400 yard shots with this setup as 400 x 1.5 MOA = roughly 6" (which is what I really consider about the max range anyway for most .308 hunting bullets to function reliably ~2,000 FPS). Ive shot it to 400 this way to verify, and I have a ~90% confidence that I'll hit a 6" target on a cold bore/cold shooter scenario as long as im set up properly.

In reality, the farthest I've shot at a deer with this rifle is only 241 yards, but with my personal standards I managed to punch the heart and didn't have to track the animal as it died within a couple steps.

During load development:
20210505_161206.jpg


Three shots from field position at 350 yards (about 4"):
20210712_114806.jpg



With my .30-06, I have an extremely accurate old rifle, but with a scope left on 6x and no drop reference points, my 90% confidence in hitting a 6" target cold bore is limited to 250 yards seated off of my Trigger Sticks. Even though the rifle is well, well under MOA from the bench, I can't shoot it and guess holdover well enough to take it out ethically (in my opinion) past the 250 mark. That's worse than 1.5 MOA, but I'm still with the 6" catch-all.

My new 7mm Rem Mag is another accurate rifle. I shoot this and will hunt with this off of a bipod. So far, I've only confirmed my data by actually shooting it out to 450 (1 shot at 500, but that doesn't count). However, I'm under 1.5 MOA, and under 6" (in this case a 3" radius) groups out to 450, and probably beyond. I'm confident to my maximum practiced distance of 450 yards. I'll probably range it out after hunting season further with whatever ammo is left over.

7mm final load confirmation group at 100:
20201209_130917.jpg


7mm at 450 yards. I mistakenly labeled this 400 the first time.
20210712_124047.jpg


7mm at 400 down to 250 yards. I was shooting my way in, verifying data.
20210712_124133.jpg


Hopefully not too confusing. The boxes are where I placed a piece of duct tape to aim at.

***

So what are your opinions on how accurate your rifle and you need to be? I'm interested to hear.
 

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Heck of a good write up man.
 

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This isn’t something I worry much about. A pal of mine is crazy about accuracy and as mentioned in another thread has tossed out several nice rifles because it wasn’t what he felt was tight enough. He is on me all the time and I always tell him the same “all I need is to hit is something the size of a softball” I’m not saying accuracy isn’t important but in my case it’s not something that merits much worry simply because I don’t hunt anywhere I can take more than maybe a 75yd shot (if that) honestly most are in the 30yd range. Big reason I bow hunt so much. Last year my longest (and only shot) was 13yds. Longest shot ever was 200yds on a doe in the power lines out of my cousins condo stand with my BP dropped her right where she stood. I’ll brag about that forever!
 

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As I said in the other thread, I “expect” basically “one hole“ accuracy off the bench out of all my rifles, but I agree it’s more than likely not possible in a hunting situation. In my current hunting situation, I could have a shot at a deer out to 200 yards. Most of my serious deer hunting is now done with a crossbow, so my stands are set up accordingly with shots being under 40 yards.
I shot a buck with a muzzleloader in 2019 at 175 yards, and the last buck I killed with a rifle was in 2017 at about 200 yards.

As to hunting accuracy, hitting a 6 inch target should be good enough for deer size game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This isn’t something I worry much about. A pal of mine is crazy about accuracy and as mentioned in another thread has tossed out several nice rifles because it wasn’t what he felt was tight enough. He is on me all the time and I always tell him the same “all I need is to hit is something the size of a softball” I’m not saying accuracy isn’t important but in my case it’s not something that merits much worry simply because I don’t hunt anywhere I can take more than maybe a 75yd shot (if that) honestly most are in the 30yd range. Big reason I bow hunt so much. Last year my longest (and only shot) was 13yds. Longest shot ever was 200yds on a doe in the power lines out of my cousins condo stand with my BP dropped her right where she stood. I’ll brag about that forever!
You and Retrieverman made great points about short-range shots. You can just about use a Brown Bess if you're going to be rock throwing distance away.

I did manage to get one buck at about 40 yards with my bow last year. It will be my final bow kill, as I bought that Excalibur crossbow (technically a bow obviously, but still different to me) this year to use from now on. It was a good way to retire the bow for me.

Here, I seem to be shooting rifles mostly in the 125-175yd range, but I'll be backing that up a little bit as more stand-off allows me to be less disciplined while I'm sitting there, bored out of my mind.

I still haven't forgot about the swap. Waiting to hear from the VA, so I can head up that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I said in the other thread, I “expect” basically “one hole“ accuracy off the bench out of all my rifles, but I agree it’s more than likely not possible in a hunting situation. In my current hunting situation, I could have a shot at a deer out to 200 yards. Most of my serious deer hunting is now done with a crossbow, so my stands are set up accordingly with shots being under 40 yards.
I shot a buck with a muzzleloader in 2019 at 175 yards, and the last buck I killed with a rifle was in 2017 at about 200 yards.

As to hunting accuracy, hitting a 6 inch target should be good enough for deer size game.
I love one hole accuracy too...but often the B-hole behind the trigger manages to yank one out of the group.

My mock scrapes and licking branches are all 18-22 yards away from where ill be sitting during bow seasons as well.

I think 6" (3" radius from point of aim) is an acceptable margin of error with most decent hunting cartridges as long as the shooter is taking a high percentage (not head/neck) shot.
 

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I got schooled in the ways of the VA with my ex FIL he was always waiting it seemed. My uncles father ww2 vet died in the waiting room of that same VA he was there about 6hrs before they noticed he had passed away. My uncle a Vietnam vet now refuses to go.
 

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Yes, great write up Diggler!
I’m pretty much in the camp of 1 moa is adequate for most. I like to play at longer ranges though because I can.
We have to kill a lot of does on the DMAP and my main hunting area is an open field typically planted in milo or wheat. 400 + yard shots are pretty common.
Several years ago I became enamored with the .243 WSSM round in the AR platform. Amazingly accurate and blazing fast. Currently own two. One in a 1:12 twist for 55 grain loads that chrono 4170 fps, and a 1:8 for 88-100 grain at 3400 fps. Both Shilen select-match grade barrels that have been hand lapped.
They shoot better than I do, but the occasional three holes touching can come off the bench.
With high speed bullets, drop becomes less of a factor when the kill zone of a deer is approximately 9”.
For larger game like elk I use the Browning Stainless Stalker in 30-06 shooting Barnes 165 grain TTSX copper bullets. One shot kills on elk out to 590 which is stretching the limits of my skills. I tape ballistics info to my buttstock so there isn’t any guessing. A good rangefinder is required.
 

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Yes, great write up Diggler!
I’m pretty much in the camp of 1 moa is adequate for most. I like to play at longer ranges though because I can.
We have to kill a lot of does on the DMAP and my main hunting area is an open field typically planted in milo or wheat. 400 + yard shots are pretty common.
Several years ago I became enamored with the .243 WSSM round in the AR platform. Amazingly accurate and blazing fast. Currently own two. One in a 1:12 twist for 55 grain loads that chrono 4170 fps, and a 1:8 for 88-100 grain at 3400 fps. Both Shilen select-match grade barrels that have been hand lapped.
They shoot better than I do, but the occasional three holes touching can come off the bench.
With high speed bullets, drop becomes less of a factor when the kill zone of a deer is approximately 9”.
For larger game like elk I use the Browning Stainless Stalker in 30-06 shooting Barnes 165 grain TTSX copper bullets. One shot kills on elk out to 590 which is stretching the limits of my skills. I tape ballistics info to my buttstock so there isn’t any guessing. A good rangefinder is required.
That was the rifle I was trying to remember from the ENS in Ponca

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I expect to hit what I’m aiming at and with that we’ll see you next and keep ‘em in the 10 range! Dangit what shooting show used to end like that? I’m having a brain fart.


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Shooting USA with Jim Scouttin.

My personal theory on hunting accuracy is it's more of a big deal to be as accurate as possible on game than it is on paper. So I always tried to get be a better shooter that I was last year. My ballistics thoughts revolve around the kill zone diameter of a deer, aprox 12" but I want to hit inside of 6". My .270 Win zeroed at 200yrds is 1.5" high at 100yrds. At 300yrds it's 6.5" low, so at 300yrds is where I need to start holding my crosshairs right at the top of the back of the deer and be back in the center of the chest. 400yrds is where I have to dial in a click of elevation because I don't want to guess 12" at 400. Windage to me, is the biggest guessing game out past 300
 

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I don’t know that I would take a shot out 400 on game I’m capable on paper but personally don’t know that in a field situation (if I had the chance) I don’t know that I would trust myself that far. I took the 200yd shot with my BP and that was only because the weather was perfect I knew for certain my gun was on and also being in the high lines where she was standing I was able to know exactly how far the shot was. Being that I don’t have a shot over 75-50yds I don’t bring along any glass or rangefinders I measure and flag trees for yardage around my stands.
 

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I have a spot that ranges 475 yards at the far edge, have never shot until they cross inside of 200 yards because they are walking my direction for the 1st half of when I can see them. I can actually see them for another few hundred yards in the woods and if anyone is in our inside sit they can see them before they get to the food plot and they should be sending a text to say they are heading my direction. Of course I have also seen them enter at the other entry which is only 30 yards away and there was nothing I could shoot, so you send the text telling them what is heading that way and then you deer watch.

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Shooting USA with Jim Scouttin.

My personal theory on hunting accuracy is it's more of a big deal to be as accurate as possible on game than it is on paper. So I always tried to get be a better shooter that I was last year. My ballistics thoughts revolve around the kill zone diameter of a deer, aprox 12" but I want to hit inside of 6". My .270 Win zeroed at 200yrds is 1.5" high at 100yrds. At 300yrds it's 6.5" low, so at 300yrds is where I need to start holding my crosshairs right at the top of the back of the deer and be back in the center of the chest. 400yrds is where I have to dial in a click of elevation because I don't want to guess 12" at 400. Windage to me, is the biggest guessing game out past 300
Yes. Yes.


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