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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
I sight my 270 in the same way
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Some really great points made.

No reason at all to shoot at game at 400, if you can get to 200. Absolutely none.

There is a big difference between accuracy from the bench, and accuracy in the field. Adrenaline can make one forget a lot of things, like wind speed and direction (among many other things). Boogering up a wind call by 10 MPH can mean the difference in a well hit or poorly hit animal at 300 yards that you are tracking for hours as you have noted.

*** one of many other factors thst will change point of impact is the difference in harmonics that switching positions will have on your rifle....ESPECIALLY if you do not have a free-floated barrel, or even if you do, but have a flimsy (poly/plastic) stock. I used to teach a class on this as a Marksmanship Instructor. My loop sling was marked for each position (standing, kneeling,sitting, and prone). The amount of pressure you had on your sling significantly effected point of impact...like 1 or 2 clicks.

^ Body position and how the rifle recoils differently based on where you are behind the rifle will do this too. Before competitions we would practice with three other instructors on the line, analyzing everything the shooter did..."You didn't mount the rifle into your shoulder the same way...You didn't present the rifle to the target last time like you did the time before"...etc...
 

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Shooting from a lead sled will produce a different Result vs shooting from the shoulder as well.
Even at the range I try to practice the same way as I would in the field which is shooting off a back pack.
Back in the day, bought a bipod that clamped on the barrel before understanding how harmonics could affect accuracy.
Learned a lot over the years by screwing up and learning from my mistakes.
Probably the biggest screw up was on a big ranch in Osage county. Got invited to deer hunt it in the late 80’s. Owners ranch hand was walking with me around the rim of a plateau. Biggest buck I’ve ever seen to date appeared 250 yards below us. I emptied my rifle, elevating more with each shot. It just stood there looking at me, finally walking off like nothing happened.
I got my shooting books out and poured over shooting uphill and downhill which is virtually the same.
Hunting in the mountains now, that education has served me well.
 

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This discussion has brought back some memories of the many email discussions I had over the years with a late friend . Sure miss him. One discussion I recall was over the optimal group size for hunting. He would always say that your group is always twice as large as it's measurement.

My friend would point out that we would shoot a three or five shot group and measure its center to center distance to come up with the magical 1" group size. My Friend would say you should actually consider to be two inches. He would prove that by firing 1 shot-the hunting shot he called it. Then he would take that single hole and draw a 1" circle from the center of that single hole around that hole, resulting in a 2 inch diameter. circle.

He would point out that the second shot of 1" group should hit some where with in that 2 circle, but where?

If you shoot a 5 shot 1 inch group and measure it lets say the widest spread is a bullet hole at 3 o'clock and bullet hole at 9 o'clock. When you fire the single shot, is it the 9 o'clock shot or the 3 o'clock shot? For that reason my friend would say you need to consider the group size for the first shot 2 inch. He would emphasize in the field only the first shot counted.

At the time that factory hunting ammo was consider good if it fired a 4 inch group. My friend would say that was not that great, as it really was an 8" group at 100 yards using his theory. So if you applied the MOA theory at 200 yards for that 4 inch group Factory ammo that you normally consider as being 8 inch at 200, applying my fiends theory it was actually 16" group size.

Eric's point was we need to shoot as accurately as possible; accurate ammo, accurate rifle, accurate shooter and shoot as close as you can get. The closer you get the smaller your group.

I did enjoy those discussions we had, thanks for bringing back some great memories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Good point.

For what it's worth, my 1.5 MOA expectation (self) means the total circumference around my point of aim. So my hit needs to be within a radius of ~ .75" at 100 yards, 1.5" at 200 etc...

I think your friend and I might be on the same page, but worded things differently.

This would take pages to explain accurately and contain a large amount of detail...hard to do when you're on a cell phone.
 

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Yes we had many years of discussion on the topic. I met him on the old GEnie internet in 2008. we met in person a couple of years later and become very close-almost like a brother. Talked to him more than my real bother. Emailed at least once a day, sometimes more. He died in 2018 of of untreated bladder cancer. We tried as best we could to avoid discussions on politics and religion. He lived in Idaho and when he was passing he asked me to come hold his hand and pray with him. I did. He told me to go with is wife and spread his ashes in the Pahsimeroi Mountains, which we did.

Sorry for the topic drift, this subject was one very near and dear to Eric and I-- forgot where I was.
 

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Tough to lose someone that close.
May he RIP.
 
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