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Just curious how many shots you guys use for a groups and how you arrive at that figure.

I typically shoot either 5 or 10. These numbers work good as ammuniton is normally boxed 20, 25 or 50 (Winchester makes a 40 rounder for 223). Primers are typically in rows of 10, and since I shoot in my back yard it is convienient to load 10, go shoot 'em, reload those cases, go shoot 'em, reload those cases, well you get the idea.

With my 38-55, I find that the barrel holds enough heat that there is a difference between the size of two 5 shot groups and one 10 shot group, the two 5's making a smaller group overall. So I shoot two 5's.

My 357 and 44 seem to have little preference, two 5's or one 10 will usually average right at the same.

I changed my lube today, and the 357 exhibits an interesting grouping. Randomly it will throw the 1st shot 1/2" to 3/4" wide of shots 2 and 3 which make one hole, but it will also throw shots 1 and 2 into one hole and the third shot out by 1/2" to 3/4" Weirdness. It is an improvement however, as this load would typically throw the fist shot as much as 2" wide of the main group everytime, and so far there are no signs of leading.

As a hunter I've always felt that 3 shot groups were adaquate for hunting purposes as one rarely needs three and as rarely puts 2 shots onto the game, so the consistancey of the location of the 1st shot to POA to me is most critical, so I always watch this as I'm shooting and won't accept a load for hunting which throws the first shot wide of POA.

Anyway, what's your criteria on this?
 

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I with ya on your last paragraph, all of my guns are hunting guns with only a few for varmints, 3 shot groups tell me all I need to know, with that first important shot out of a cold barrel being the most important of all. The varmint calibers need at least a 5 and 10 shot group is better ta let ya know what to expect when the barrel gets warm as in colony shooting. Then it's just a good idea to have more than one rifle with ya to swap em out for cooling.

Tim
 

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<<As a hunter I've always felt that 3 shot groups were adaquate for hunting purposes as one rarely needs three and as rarely puts 2 shots onto the game>>

Well ya know what I say, if you can't kill it with a 50 round clip you shouldn't be hunting. :-D

I shoot 5 round groups. By then the barrel's hot enough to possibly scatter them after that. Last time I went PD hunting a week or so ago my barrel got so hot I started missing. That's when I switched to my .17 HMR.
 

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I also agree with your last paragraph. When I'm working up loads, I load them in groups of three. There are so many possible combinations that it's gets expensive enough doing it with groups of three, especially when your using premium bullets like Barnes and Swift. I usually pick one bullet that I like to try first, then I'll pick what I consider to be the best three powders for that bullet, then I'll load several different powder weights to try. Once I have the best powder weight I shift to playing with COL and load several different lengths for that. For some reason, that I can only blame on liking to play, I always end up trying several different bullets. Sometimes that works to an advantage. If I can get a long range bullet and load combination, and then find a short range bullet and load that can be shot without adjusting the scope, then I feel it's worth the extra cost. I have never felt the need to use three bullets when hunting, so that's also a consideration when using loads in groups of three.
Don
 

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For me 3 shot groups have always been satisfactory. If I do go to 5 shot groups I take my sweet time. The first shot out of a cold unfouled barrel has always been the most important to me and I note it always in my log book at the range.

Norse
 

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Mine too if the barrel gets warm, I usually take 2 quick shots, then wait a bit for the 3rd, it's pretty much how a hunting scenario might play out...sometimes the 3rd shot is with the other 2, sometimes it's not, but it's always inside 1½" or less, usually a lot less.

Tim
 

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JPH;

I'll have to say five shots with everything I shoot. As far as an accuracy report. Man, I've been doing this since I started shooting rifles.
But here lately; I've been doing some 10 shot groups, five then cool, then five more.
A little while ago, I posted about a ten shot group in 223 using PMP ammo. I fired the first three, cool, then seven more in order. Was able to get a very respectable 1.5 inch group for ten in my Ultra Varmit.
And like I said before, now I have a FMJ round that shoots great, it seems like a new rifle to me. And it goes with me to the range EVERY time I go there. It must have over 2500 rounds through it.
Dang, I love that Ultra Varmit in 223.

Dennis :D
 

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I'm a firm believer in shooting as many shots as you need...if you don't shoot a-lot of varmints...then going for a average group ...5 shots works great...seeing if you need to do something different to your gun...then maybe more...like 10 shots...working up load data...10 shots initially...then 5...then 3 shots for point of impact change and comparing it on the same target......when the tempreature is the same as what your going to hunt at...1 maybe 2 shots for practice...especially if your carrying your gun in the cold all day and your only going to get 1 or 2 shots...if you are going to hunting varmints and shooting mainly from a hot barrel...then 1 from a cold barrel...to see where the first shot goes...then as many as your going to shoot... from a hot barrel...

Mac
 

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The only people that need to worry about how it shoots for 5 or 10 shots are prarrie dog shooters and paper shooters.

If it ain't dead after 3 something is wrong, and it's not the gun.
 

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I use (2) 5 shot groups-5 at a time with extended cool downs between shots. Then I recenter my sights or scope to the center of the group. ...then I fire off another 5 in the same fashion and follow up with adjustments aswell.

My personal basic rule is all shots must be covered with the palm of my hand(approx 3" in dia) at any range(given the specific rifle's duties) to meet my demands.
 

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Back when I hunted, I left the barrel fouled during hunting season. That first shot out of a cold clean barrel was too erratic for me.

A trick I like when shooting three shot groups is to stack a fresh target over the previous target. When I am done shooting, the bottom target will show me whether the three shot groups were consistent. It's not unknown to get three shot groups that look good, but moved from group to group even with a lengthy cooldown period.
 

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Once I have my loads set, and the scope zeroed, I like to keep my rifles clean and oiled up until it's time to go hunting. A few days before hunting, I'll run a clean patch through to remove any oil, then shoot one fouling shot, let it cool, and then fire a test shot to see if the rilfe is still on. After that I'm ready to hunt.
Don
 

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I'm a firm believer in the five shot or more group. I like to average four five shot groups to come up with the accuracy potential of the rifle.

Now, I sorta differ with you three shot group for hunting load guys. Here's why, and DJ pretty much explained it in his post when he said:

A trick I like when shooting three shot groups is to stack a fresh target over the previous target. When I am done shooting, the bottom target will show me whether the three shot groups were consistent. It's not unknown to get three shot groups that look good, but moved from group to group even with a lengthy cooldown period

I'm a firm believer in using a PBR system for my hunting sight in. And, not talking the one that your ballistics program spits out :grin: . If you analyze what leftoverdj said above you see that while he is shooting three shot groups, his bottom target is telling him what size group to use for calculating his PBR. A rifle that can't do any better than 4 moa will shoot some fantastic three shot groups every now and then. It's the optimistic side of Murphy's law, "if it can happen, it will".

If you don't apply the best group your rifle can shoot under field conditions using at least ten shots for a group or two five shot groups when developing your max PBR, you will be heading into the field with an erroneous idea of what your rifle and you will be able to do.

I agree completely with the need to mitigate the barrel heating aspect of the group and think that with a Handi it's probably a good idea to shoot your 10 shot groups two shots at a time with a complete cool down after each two shot string.

If you do as leftoverdj suggests and fire four or five two or three shot groups with a fresh target over the last each time you will be looking at a group that can be truly useful in analyzing your the field potential of your rifle.

Sorry to ramble but that's my .02 cents worth.
 
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