Larger groups at 200?

littlepod

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I've been trying to practice fundamentals and taking the online training. Finally have the rifle recoiling straight back so after the shot it's right exactly back on target.

With my Tikka T3X .308 I've been shooting 5 shot groups at 100 consistently at around .7".

But as I move out to 200 I'm usually around 2-2.5" groups. No wind.

So my stupid marksmanship question is what makes my groups open up so much at 200 vs 100? I'm shooting prone in the same location. Can reach 100 and 200 with very minor changes. Also checked the parallax as well to adjust at 100v200.

Thanks for the tips.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Happens. I'm sure there's a precision explanation, but really; it's mostly a thing about "knowing your gun", which includes knowing yourself.

I'd rather know how to fix it, than know precisely how and why I missed. We do our best, and learn how to settle for our best. If we don't, frustration will get to us.

If I had to guess, I'd say, Yep, no wind (at the shooter). Just 'cause you can't see it at 150yd doesn't mean it isn't there.

Also, natural dispersion exists, it's real, and it's not always a consistent thing. Bore/barrel temp, degree of bore fouling, ammo temp, all these things conspire to alter dispersion, and more.

For example, air density can very along a trajectory, and that changes the predictability of wind effects.

Thermals are vertical drafts. They go up, but air cools and what goes up comes down. Meanwhile, air at ground level flows from the downdrafts toward the updrafts, and can flow at any one of 360 degrees. It's a jungle out there, and what's worse, it's largely invisible.

Look for the hawks, they know this stuff better than any of us ever will. When their wings rock, they know they're found an updraft.

Air is never stationary. Nor does it move in straight lines. It is driven by the sun's effect on terrain. Darker ground absorbs solar radiation and warms the adjacent air. This brings updrafts which rise because they are less dense. This allows denser (cooler) air to move in. But it also cools the ground, disrupting the potential for a steady flow. Wind is chaos, a learnable kind of chaos.

Chaos was the first creature. It never had parents. It existed first, and from our viewpoint, has always been a factor. Fighting it has precisely the same result as not.

Embrace Khaos, and accept that she's neither predictable, nor hostile. She just is. Do that, and you'll have a valuable edge.

When I shoot the distances, I lean the trajectory into the wind, and allow the wind to blow it back onto the target. This is a crucial wind strategy. We don't fight the wind, we enlist it. Watch trace and you'll gather exactly what I mean by leaning, and blowing back ontarget. As winds change along a trajectory, paths get altered, and the trajectory becomes something more complex than simply a parabola.

But even knowing all these things and precisely how they work does not change the fact that no matter how well you work the solutions, you're still going to need to settle for the best you can do anyway.

Nobody's that consistent.

Give yourself a break. Allow for a little bit of imperfection.

Perfection is hard, it's stressful, and even when you can achieve it, it's boring...

This does not mean you should let up at all. But accept that mankind needs to let things go once in awhile, simply as an accommodation to mental health. If you're not making progress, let off and try again a bit later. Sometimes that's all it takes; a change into a fresh mind.

When you get your act together, even when you're not perfect, you're probably about as good as the next guy, if not a tad better. Usually that's all it takes. Remember, you don't need to outrun the bear, just be able to outrun your slowest companion.

If there wasn't some discrepancy from try to try, there'd be no need for competition; the same guy would win all the time. But they don't and that's a good thing for all the rest of us.

Discrepancy makes it all a little more worthwhile. Every perfectionist I've ever met had a frown on most of the time. Don't let your own mind be your worst opponent. When I fail, I'm the one that fails. Just me, not someone's influence, not something's influence. I fail because I didn't take the important things into proper consideration.

My thinking on accuracy centers on the term "adequate". I think less about groups than I do about "defeating the target". When you do that, you'll know, regardless of the fractions or decimals.

Greg
 
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Currycure

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I consider anything under 2" to be good at 200. I generally zero at 300. If I get a load to shoot 2" at 200 then I figure it is worth taking out to long range. IE 1000. Seems that that 2" group at 200 will often times make 10" or less at 1000. I don't think I can shoot any better than 5" at 1000. I try to shoot, even from the bench, in a fashion that I would in the field. No lead sled or bipod. I just don't seem to be able to shoot as well from a bipod. I shoot well from a bag under the front or stix prone or a backpack. This allows the rifle to recoil more freely. Just my style.
 
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Milo 2.5

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I've been trying to practice fundamentals and taking the online training. Finally have the rifle recoiling straight back so after the shot it's right exactly back on target.

With my Tikka T3X .308 I've been shooting 5 shot groups at 100 consistently at around .7".

But as I move out to 200 I'm usually around 2-2.5" groups. No wind.

So my stupid marksmanship question is what makes my groups open up so much at 200 vs 100? I'm shooting prone in the same location. Can reach 100 and 200 with very minor changes. Also checked the parallax as well to adjust at 100v200.

Thanks for the tips.
3 things come to mind, accuracy of the rifle, accuracy of the load, or you. I.t's your job to isolate which one. You never stated if you are shooting handloads or factory ammo, if factory ammo, it may be as easy as a trying different offerings.
Do you get 3 tight shots at 100 and then it opens up, or is it just a solid 3/4" gun? I would shoot some groups at 50 yards and measure, then 100, then decide if it is opening up as you go out. If it shoots 3/8" at 50, then 3/4" at 100, so getting a 2" group at 200 is not bad considering things are opening up as it goes out.
Have a friend you know can shoot run the 100 to 200 test, may give some insight.
 

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Whatever you do, do it the exact same time every time. Theoretically, the same cheek weld would negate the need for parallax adjustment. Of course, it is still very helpful
 

littlepod

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Thanks everyone for the advice, I'll keep shooting. I only have 25/100/200 available at my range so I'm mainly shooting 100. I did a 6x5 @ 100 and all groups were 0.55" - 0.9". Then I went on to 200, and only did 3x5, but groups were 2", 2.5", 2.5". Now yeh, could be me, could be a lot of things. I'll keep playing around.

This is factory ammo, PPU 168gr Match (75c/rnd) so it's not great, but I had figured if it could @ 100, maybe it could stay submoa at 200. I don't really know how ammo works and how ammo opens up, etc.

I also have some 175gr Prime and 168gr FGMM to play with that just came in the mail. I'll give those a whirl next week.

In a few weeks I'll be taking a test to have access to shoot with a friend @ a 600 yard range. I get 5 shots to land a hit on a 12x12 target @ 600. And if I pass they'll let me shoot there.

Thanks everyone for the tips.
 

theLBC

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what optic and magnification? were you maxed out in magnification at 100 yds?
are you shooting off bags or a bipod? was everything exactly the same (bag and rest placement)?
 

littlepod

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what optic and magnification? were you maxed out in magnification at 100 yds?
are you shooting off bags or a bipod? was everything exactly the same (bag and rest placement)?
Athlon Ares 4.5-30x56. I was shooting at 30x @ 100 and 200. Verified parallax @ 100/200 before shooting just in case. I do try to practice consistent cheek weld. The get up / get down dry fire kind of practice.

I was shooting off a bipod, and precision underground rear bag. Everything was more or less the same, slight adjustment in rear bag height to be on target @ 200, since the 200 yard berm is slightly lower elevation.

This is an old picture with my rimfire and a fortune cookie that I was using until I got my ELR bag @ 100. The 200 is to the right of it, shot in the bay right next to me.

7115643
 

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PPU is not terrible, and the brass is quite good enough for reloading. Try HDY 168 HPBT-Match, CCI 200, and 44.0gr IMR-4064. I also like this brass, and buy it for my 6.5 Grendel, 7.62x39, 308, and 223.

I've been shooting this in my 24" Savage 11VT; and it's good enough, and cheap enough. Once the primer crimp is removed, it reloads nicely, too. It also conforms exactly to the aim points for 100-300yd with my Bushnell AR Drop Zone 308. I'm guessing that it won't be that far off at 400-600, either.

I was going to use it when I bought my CMP Special 308 Garand, but it's looking like that purchase probably won't be happening now. Still good ammo anyway.

Greg
 
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littlepod

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PPU is not terrible, and the brass is quite good enough for reloading. Try HDY 168 HPBT-Match, CCI 200, and 44.0gr IMR-4064. I also like this brass, and buy it for my 6.5 Grendel, 7.62x39, 308, and 223.

I've been shooting this in my 24" Savage 11VT; and it's good enough, and cheap enough. Once the primer crimp is removed, it reloads nicely, too. It also conforms exactly to the aim points for 100-300yd with my Bushnell AR Drop Zone 308. I'm guessing that it won't be that far off at 400-600, either.

I was going to use it when I bought my CMP Special 308 Garand, but it's looking like that purchase probably won't be happening now. Still good ammo anyway.

Greg
Thanks Greg, quick question. If I find FGMM 168gr for $15 a box, is that ammo generally regarded as solid? I saw some for $15 a box during July 4th and swooped up 200 rounds, maybe I should buy more. I'll test it out to 200 this week. Found a local range doing a prone competition at 500 yards so that'll be fun to participate and learn.
 

acudaowner

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keep at it never quit and never surrender ...
you can do it ..
 

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Yes, the IMI is the Israeli MilSpec version of FGMM, more or less. I have been able to handload the equal of FGMM occasionally, but I can't make up anything that's actually better. I'm fairly certain your testing will answer your own question; but I think that FGMM is "the Gold Standard" for commercial 168 Match ammunition.

I try for 1 MOA or smaller at 100yd to 300yd. My wind skills are fallible, and I find that my POI's open up a bit beyond 300yd. Holding the 9 ring or better at 1000yd (F Class target) is my customary goal.

My version of FGMM2 (175gr) is commercial brass, Fed 210M primer, 42.2gr of IMR-4064, and 175SMK at 2.815" Cartridge OAL.

I'm reloading the IMI brass with CCI BR-2 primer, 42.5gr of IMR-4064, and 168SMK loaded to 2.815" COAl.

My charges are all weighed to a standard of .1gr on the RCBS Chargemaster Lite. That's likely better than the IMI, and probably comparable to the FGMM. I also pull and remeasure the IMI 150gr 7.62x51 M-80 ball equivalent ammo, using the original powder, weighed to the 1.gr standard; tightens things up considerably.

I pull 100, get the average charge weight, round down .2gr, and then load to .1gr weight standard. I don't specify a charge weight because charge weights for MilSpec Ball Ammo is typically established separately for each lot of canister powder, based on by-lot velocity performance. It may be possible to load develop a more accurate charge, but with limited quantities of a variable burn rate powder available, I just don't have that kind of time on my hands.

For reloads, I use the Hornady #3037 150 FMJBT W/C seated to the cannelure, and 43.5gr of IMR-4064. Sometimes, I just substitute this charge when I'm doing the above do-si-do.

In my experience, once ammo and marksmanship basics are resolved, the improving rifle's ergonomics then deliver the most additional improvement. I use the Hawkeye Adjustable Cheek piece on the Choate/Savage tactical stock with three (3) Choate LOP spacers added for a 16.5" LOP, accommodating my own 6 1/2' frame. lately, I do pretty much all my shooting off Bipods, ala F T/R.

Greg
 
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308pirate

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I did a 6x5 @ 100 and all groups were 0.55" - 0.9". Then I went on to 200, and only did 3x5, but groups were 2", 2.5", 2.5".
So at 100 yards your groups are .5 - .86 MOA and at 200 they are .96 - 1.12 MOA...………...I'd say it's you.
 

Milo 2.5

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So at 100 yards your groups are .5 - .86 MOA and at 200 they are .96 - 1.12 MOA...………...I'd say it's you.
So if the ammo does not shoot that great, or the gun is a half moa rifle at best, groups size progressively opening up as he goes out in distance is not normal?
 

65shootmoor

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If you don't have experience going long, you may be wobbling more than you realize, not holding the same poa when the shot breaks --or-- it's ammo related. You can have absurdly high SD's hide in a tiny group at 100 that will become more noticeable the further you shoot. I'd err on the side of "it's me" until you are sure it isn't. Abilities at short distance don't transfer completely at longer but the reverse is true.
 

littlepod

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I definitely can account for a large chunk of my shots missing POI due to whatever issue I have when the shot breaks. When shots do break cleanly like the bang happened right when I pulled the trigger and it felt good, they usually land right at the impact point. I did bullseye tests today with 3/8" bullseyes, 1 shot at each. Went 3/3, and then had some where the shot broke about .25" high, hit .25" high. I had 2 that I swear felt great but went 1" left. I wasn't quite sure wtf happened. Did only 1 shot @ 100 with FGMM to see if it had the same POI as PPU, and it did so I went for 200 to see.

Not the most scientific tests today but I put in FGMM 168gr and shot 5x group at 200, and a 5x group of PPU at 200. Same POA, just readjusted my scope to go above the target and below the target. I did come off the rifle to reload the next 5 shots and let my fiance shoot.

Anyhow with just 1 5 shot group, landed me at 1.5". Best I've ever shot a 5 shot group at 200. And then I shot a 3" group on the PPU. Now I could've been a lot more wobblier on my second go with PPU than I thought. I was hoping to shoot above the bullseye for FGMM but I didn't click it up enough, brain fart math in my head.

Will keep doing more tests when I get more time.

Also when talking about cheaper ammo, having higher SD in velocity, and on a negligible wind day, the variation in impact should just be up & down right? The left & right is really the shooter? (Assuming no wind). In the below picture, the majority of the variation from the PPU is L&R. So that is all me just not shooting well.

7116752
 

Dthomas3523

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I definitely can account for a large chunk of my shots missing POI due to whatever issue I have when the shot breaks. When shots do break cleanly like the bang happened right when I pulled the trigger and it felt good, they usually land right at the impact point. I did bullseye tests today with 3/8" bullseyes, 1 shot at each. Went 3/3, and then had some where the shot broke about .25" high, hit .25" high. I had 2 that I swear felt great but went 1" left. I wasn't quite sure wtf happened. Did only 1 shot @ 100 with FGMM to see if it had the same POI as PPU, and it did so I went for 200 to see.

Not the most scientific tests today but I put in FGMM 168gr and shot 5x group at 200, and a 5x group of PPU at 200. Same POA, just readjusted my scope to go above the target and below the target. I did come off the rifle to reload the next 5 shots and let my fiance shoot.

Anyhow with just 1 5 shot group, landed me at 1.5". Best I've ever shot a 5 shot group at 200. And then I shot a 3" group on the PPU. Now I could've been a lot more wobblier on my second go with PPU than I thought. I was hoping to shoot above the bullseye for FGMM but I didn't click it up enough, brain fart math in my head.

Will keep doing more tests when I get more time.

Also when talking about cheaper ammo, having higher SD in velocity, and on a negligible wind day, the variation in impact should just be up & down right? The left & right is really the shooter? (Assuming no wind). In the below picture, the majority of the variation from the PPU is L&R. So that is all me just not shooting well.

View attachment 7116752
If you’re at a fairly negligible range, like 200yds, the up and down is likely shooter.

Up/down = breathing
Left/right = trigger control (too much, too little, slapping)

At further distances, then yes, the powder charge can be an issue, as well as a few other things having to do with ammo.

But at 200yds, you’d need a huge change in velocity to see even a .1 mil difference.
 

littlepod

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If you’re at a fairly negligible range, like 200yds, the up and down is likely shooter.

Up/down = breathing
Left/right = trigger control (too much, too little, slapping)

At further distances, then yes, the powder charge can be an issue, as well as a few other things having to do with ammo.

But at 200yds, you’d need a huge change in velocity to see even a .1 mil difference.
Thanks for the feedback. So at 100,200 yards, crappy ammo / wide SD variations only causing a .1 mil shift - which is going to be sub moa. So I should be able to drop to surplus 30-40 cent 308 ammo if I'm just practicing my fundamentals? I'd love to shoot a ton more, but shooting FGMM everytime is too costly.

I shoot my 22 LR better almost @ 100, and I am guessing that's mostly because there's no recoil, no innate flinching, or breath holding, etc, as I'm waitng for the big boom to happen. My 22LR is setup identical, scope, rings, stock, LOP, etc. It's just a little lighter due to the barrel/action. I've shot 1500 rounds on my 22LR practicing, but only 300 rounds so far through the 308.
 

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What ammo one trains with is not as crucial as many think.

As long as that ammo shoots in a consistent manner, then its departure from that consistent manner can be used as a reference of how the shooter's skills are performing.

...Within reasonable limits. Garbage in = garbage out.

Greg
 

Dthomas3523

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Thanks for the feedback. So at 100,200 yards, crappy ammo / wide SD variations only causing a .1 mil shift - which is going to be sub moa. So I should be able to drop to surplus 30-40 cent 308 ammo if I'm just practicing my fundamentals? I'd love to shoot a ton more, but shooting FGMM everytime is too costly.

I shoot my 22 LR better almost @ 100, and I am guessing that's mostly because there's no recoil, no innate flinching, or breath holding, etc, as I'm waitng for the big boom to happen. My 22LR is setup identical, scope, rings, stock, LOP, etc. It's just a little lighter due to the barrel/action. I've shot 1500 rounds on my 22LR practicing, but only 300 rounds so far through the 308.
Takes like 100fps at 200 to move my 6cm .1 mil.

So, yea, at that distance, as long as the ammo shoots out of your rifle, you’re fine.

And yes, you are shooting your .22 better for several reasons:

1: all you mentioned above

2: the .308 is exploiting your recoil management weaknesses. Recoil management can also cause some vertical stringing. If you’re not behind it correctly, it’s going to exploit it. The .22, you can damn near free recoil everything and it won’t matter.

I run an AI, so it’s easier to change barrels. But I run a 6.5cm as trainer and run either American gunner or eldm for practice ammo. And use 6cm for matches.

The 6.5 has better barrel life, cheap ammo, and enough of a recoil increase that I need to build good positions.
 
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littlepod

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Takes like 100fps at 200 to move my 6cm .1 mil.

So, yea, at that distance, as long as the ammo shoots out of your rifle, you’re fine.

And yes, you are shooting your .22 better for several reasons:

1: all you mentioned above

2: the .308 is exploiting your recoil management weaknesses. Recoil management can also cause some vertical stringing. If you’re not behind it correctly, it’s going to exploit it. The .22, you can damn near free recoil everything and it won’t matter.

I run an AI, so it’s easier to change barrels. But I run a 6.5cm as trainer and run either American gunner or eldm for practice ammo. And use 6cm for matches.

The 6.5 has better barrel life, cheap ammo, and enough of a recoil increase that I need to build good positions.
Thanks everyone. Okay just more and more practice I guess. Going to see if I can find some bulk ammo to lower my costs.

Ammoseek has it like Aguila 150gr for probably 55c / round shipped. I think that's the cheapest brass cased ammo at least on Ammoseek.
 
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littlepod

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So I'm a little stumped. I went out today, 25 rounds, 3 x 5 of PPU 168gr. 2x5 of FGMM 168gr. I aimed at the center always, and dialed my scope, .6 mil up/down, .6 mil left/right. Finished at the center. Alternated PPU and FGMM.

I did notice a few things. 200 yard hash on my parallax was not parallax free at 200, I was rushed yesterday so didn't really pay attn. I made sure to adjust until I was parallax free. I also noticed my hand position was not correct when I was shooting, so trigger finger wasn't parallel straight back, but more like a hunter style grip instead of vertical grip. I adjusted for a straight trigger pull. I also noticed my scope is not perfectly aligned, I forgot my atlas bipod, and luckily had an older bipod that had a no cant feature. I'll fix that tonight... Anyhow I just made sure to shoot consistently. It's only off by maybe .4 degrees.

Top 3 groups are PPU, and bottom 2 groups are FGMM. I alternated between ammo, always aiming at the center. Not enough grouping to really make a judgement call (and my last 2 groups (bottom left, and center) it got dark, so it was pretty dim). Groups overall are tighter than yesterday, but FGMM is performing very, very well in my rifle I guess?

Besides SD variation maybe causing some minor vertical shift, what other variances from ammo? Is centerfire ammo matched to rifles similar to how 22LR ammo is finicky between rifle to rifle?

7117434
 

Dthomas3523

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So I'm a little stumped. I went out today, 25 rounds, 3 x 5 of PPU 168gr. 2x5 of FGMM 168gr. I aimed at the center always, and dialed my scope, .6 mil up/down, .6 mil left/right. Finished at the center. Alternated PPU and FGMM.

I did notice a few things. 200 yard hash on my parallax was not parallax free at 200, I was rushed yesterday so didn't really pay attn. I made sure to adjust until I was parallax free. I also noticed my hand position was not correct when I was shooting, so trigger finger wasn't parallel straight back, but more like a hunter style grip instead of vertical grip. I adjusted for a straight trigger pull. I also noticed my scope is not perfectly aligned, I forgot my atlas bipod, and luckily had an older bipod that had a no cant feature. I'll fix that tonight... Anyhow I just made sure to shoot consistently. It's only off by maybe .4 degrees.

Top 3 groups are PPU, and bottom 2 groups are FGMM. I alternated between ammo, always aiming at the center. Not enough grouping to really make a judgement call (and my last 2 groups (bottom left, and center) it got dark, so it was pretty dim). Groups overall are tighter than yesterday, but FGMM is performing very, very well in my rifle I guess?

Besides SD variation maybe causing some minor vertical shift, what other variances from ammo? Is centerfire ammo matched to rifles similar to how 22LR ammo is finicky between rifle to rifle?

View attachment 7117434

What’s stumping you? S.D. has zero influence at this range.
 

littlepod

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What’s stumping you? S.D. has zero influence at this range.
I know the sample size isn't very large, so shouldn't my groupings with PPU and FGMM be really similar? I don't know much about how bullets are made, so besides inconsistencies with load (SD) which has no real effect at this range, what other things come in to play? Does my rifle just like FGMM more? Some other measurements that make the ammo shooting through the barrel more consistent? Or maybe it's all just within the normal range of error, I'll keep shooting regardless - 80 more rounds of PPU left. But 75c for PPU vs 85c for FGMM, I'll just pay the 10c more.
 

Dthomas3523

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I know the sample size isn't very large, so shouldn't my groupings with PPU and FGMM be really similar? I don't know much about how bullets are made, so besides inconsistencies with load (SD) which has no real effect at this range, what other things come in to play? Does my rifle just like FGMM more? Some other measurements that make the ammo shooting through the barrel more consistent? Or maybe it's all just within the normal range of error, I'll keep shooting regardless - 80 more rounds of PPU left. But 75c for PPU vs 85c for FGMM, I'll just pay the 10c more.
Different barrels like different factory loads. Same when hand loading. Different powder charges and seating depth work with different barrels.

Your groups appear to be between .6 to 1moa. This is acceptable for training ammo.

Use the one your barrel likes the best (looks like fgmm) when shooting groups to assess your fundamentals and the cheaper ammo for practice on steel positionally.

You’re overthinking this a bit.
 
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littlepod

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Different barrels like different factory loads. Same when hand loading. Different powder charges and seating depth work with different barrels.

Your groups appear to be between .6 to 1moa. This is acceptable for training ammo.

Use the one your barrel likes the best (looks like fgmm) when shooting groups to assess your fundamentals and the cheaper ammo for practice on steel positionally.

You’re overthinking this a bit.
Thank you very much, I'll do exactly this. Thanks everyone for all the feedback, it's been very helpful.
 

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Do you "warm-up" or assess the fundamentals with some dryfiring on the 200 yard targets to confirm a rock-solid position? You might see some subtle movement while pulling the trigger that you wouldn't notice under recoil.
 

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49
Kirkland, WA
Do you "warm-up" or assess the fundamentals with some dryfiring on the 200 yard targets to confirm a rock-solid position? You might see some subtle movement while pulling the trigger that you wouldn't notice under recoil.
So when people say subtle movement when dry firing, are they saying when the trigger is pulled there's movement? With a 1lb trigger, there's no movement at all on the dry fire. Now can I work the bolt without any movement on the target, no... am I supposed to be able to work the bolt and have no movement? Maybe that's the fundamental I need to work on. Is my shoulder/rear bag/rearbag hand keeping the rifle always locked in and my trigger hand should be able to let off the rifle without any movement? Feels like when I let off the gun to work the bolt, I lose some of the pressure on my shoulder that's keeping everything locked in.

There's a lot of movement when I'm working the bolt, maybe that's a sign I need to figure something out better...