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Joshua M. Smith 05-08-2011 08:06 AM

Accuracy Expectations?

I am wondering what kind of accuracy expectations you folks have from your iron-sighted bolt action rifles?

With handloads, I'm getting consistent sub-2" groups at 100 yards (maybe a shade over; I used a GPS to measure), and, at times, I get a cluster of three with two close fliers. Still working on that.

I've not used a lead sled or anything; my shooting is strictly front rest only, and my eyesight in my aiming eye runs around 20/40, so I'm sure the rifle is capable of touching the holes consistently.



Sniper03 05-08-2011 03:20 PM


That is certainly and acceptable group. Since you probably do not have what would be considered a real solid rest position. And I certainly know about the vision issue. I use scopes or optics anymore. With some vision issues you also have to figure the clarity and focus with the Front sight. May have some factors? As far as one comment you made. If you were referring to attempting to shoot a 5 Shot Group? And if I understood you correctly? You fired 3 rounds and then had two fliers #4 & #5. If you shot all 5 rounds in sequence it is not unusual for a hunting rifle to heat up after 3 rounds and string the next couple of rounds. We had an Interarms M-X 308ca. Rifle on the Team several years ago. It was a skinny barrel. A hunting rifle if you will. It was extremely accurate as long as you only shot 3 rounds in sequence. If you shot #4 or #5 it would string them out about 2-3 inches from the first 3 rounds. Or fliers! In my opinion that is what is happening to you on those over 3 rounds. If you fire a round and let it cool off each time between shots that should prove the theory if you want to check it out.
And even some good quality Sniper Rifles first cold bore shot impact point can be a slight amount different than the following rounds. Some by 1/2" to an inch at 100 yards.

canebrake 05-08-2011 03:49 PM

This is a variable based on the age of your eyeballs! IMHO :eek:

jpattersonnh 05-08-2011 04:07 PM

Joshua, are we talking Surplus rifles? or old hunters?, Maybe and old target or varmint rig?
I have open Iron sight .22's that will shoot NRA small-bore w/ very high scores, My 1952 is one of my favorites shooting prone.
Surplus or Hunters, I'm good w/ busting clays on a rack at 100 yards, off hand.
It really depends on what the rifle is intended for! My 9.3x57 Husqvarna M46a is a small ring 1896 action w/ no felt recoil to speak of. It has express sights (rear sight has no adjustment) set at 150 yards. You can change the distance by changing the front sight blade for a different hight. 150 yard works great for what I use it for. 2" high at 100 yards, 3.75" low at 180 yards. That 286gr bullet drops fast, but still packs a wallop. The velocity at 150 yards is 1800fps, but the energy is 2100 fp. It is still effective using the 1500fp theory on elk to 300 yards, but the bullet drop is substantial.
Now for old military rifles, My Swede's M96 or M38, K31, and 1.TRZ yugo 24/47 are all close. one day the Swedes take it, another the k31, another the 24/47. I't is more operator then anything else. I understand shooting off a bag, I do sometimes. Mostly I shoot freehand, standard 3 position, never use a bench.
I hunt, never saw a bench in the woods. I know your a 91/30 guy, but my only 91/30 that will keep pace w/ the others is a Finn capture 91/30 w/ 1970's Yugo heavy ball. I don't obsess about group size, I like shooting objects. They react and I don't have to walk.

Joshua M. Smith 05-08-2011 05:41 PM

Hi Gents,

Yes, it is a 91/30.

Because of the product I make, I am constantly developing new ways of doing things. The front sight covers about 2" at 100 yards, so I'm thinking about making myself a finer sight.

Now, this 91/30 is made the way it was intended to be -- bedded and such. The Russians figured battle accuracy was good enough, but I see potential for much more.

That's what I'm working on, and right now the rifle can still outshoot me. When the opposite becomes true, I'll do more accuracy work.

I'm looking for a realistic baseline as to what I can achieve, compared to others. If the baseline were left up to me, I would be frustrated with anything that wasn't a one-hole cluster.


jpattersonnh 05-08-2011 06:02 PM

With the loose tolerances I think you expect to much. I'm not saying your overall thought is wrong, but at the end of the day it is still an 89.00 rifle. It was used as the M1 Garand for volume on an area, just took more guys. Get a Swede M96 or 38, a K31 and compare them as stock rifles. They don't compare in any way, shape, or form. I've had matching K98k's and M99 rifles that should have been great shooters, but boy did they suck. War time production changes everything. I like them for what they are, not for what I would like them to be. I shoot the sh!t out of all mine, and have a second for when, or if they wear out. I don't waste my reloading supplies on experiments. Again, not saying your wrong. I have a buddy in SC that shoots an old K98, that he also has tried to make shoot better. He reloads w/ a lee hand press and is obsessed w/ it. After 15 years he is still at it. Just know when to move on.

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