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Most & Least Accurate Rifle and Handgun Calibers?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by skydiver, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    With all things being equal for every caliber under consideration:
    1. The quality of the firearm.
    2. The skill of the shooter.
    3. The correct hand-loaded ammunition matched to the firearm.
    4. The environmental conditions.
    5. Distance to the target for the same caliber.
    6. Optics.

    In your opinion, what would be the most and least inherently accurate calibers?
     
  2. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    What makes a caliber "inherently" accurate. With all you've laid out the shooter is going to do to affect the accuracy of the cartridge more then the cartridge design.
     
  3. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    If you are talking absolutes here, you need to talk to the Benchrest guys.
     
  4. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    The 6PPC is the most accurate rifle caliber out to about 300 yards, unless conditions have no wind, in which case it is probably the most accurate to infinity. If wind is a factor the light bullets get blown off course too easily. Out to 600 yards the most accurate caliber is probably the 6mmBR or a variation based on that caliber, such as the 6mm Dasher or 6BRX. This case has the powder capacity to drive the heavier bullets, which is why it has the advantage over the PPC case (which is acutally a blown out .220 Russian case.) Out to 1,000 yards and beyond, I don't think there is a clear cut winner. Wind and mirage becomes such a factor that the skill of the shooter is more important than the inherent accuracy of the caliber.

    The AccurateShooter website has lots of information about the PPC and 6BR cartridges.
     
  5. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    An yet, neither cartridge owned the 1000 yard accuracy record in the last decade. That goes to the former owner, the 6.5 Super (now the 6.5x284) and the current owner, the 300 Hulk. The 6mm caliber in general holds many distance records, from many different pet cartridges. But the 30BR is dominating ranges from 100-300 yards.

    As otter stated, AccurateShooter website has good info, as well as 6mmBR.com You'll see distance rifles in many different calibers and cartridges. The 6mm seems to have a leg up on varieties, but there is TONS of data out there on how to do it, so it leads more people that direction. You don't have to start from 0 and you don't have to innovate.
     
  6. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    The 30BR is dominating score shooting at those ranges, but not because it is more accurate, (although it is one of the most accurate) but because the .308 bullet cuts a bigger hole than a .243 bullet. For group shooting, the 6PPC is still the caliber everyone wins with at short range.
     
  7. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression the formula they used to figure group size discounted bullet diameter. I could be wrong, I have never been involved in this style of shooting, just know what I've read.:D
     
  8. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Groups are measured center to center with a special attachement on calipers, so bullet diameter is not a consideration for group shooting. Where you thinking score shooting? I think you might be right about that...seems like I heard they now use score targets with a smaller X and thinner rings if you shoot a larger caliber. If I recall the rules were changed just this year. I shoot groups but not score, so honestly I don't know for sure. Like you I've only read about score shooting.

    I've considered getting a 30BR. I've read the barrels last forever and unlike the 6PPC it is easy to get them in tune and shooting good.
     
  9. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    No, I am a fan of the caliber development that is associated with it. I like to see the innovation of different cartridges. I am also a fan of the 6.5 caliber bullet and would like a hunting rifle in that caliber. Researching the 6.5x284 lead me into the reading on bench shooting.
     
  10. Rem725

    Rem725 Tracktown, OR Member

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    This really has another big consideration. The use parameters. It makes no sense to compare 338mag and 222rem. Nor to compare BR guns with average hunting rifles. We need more from you to work with.
     
  11. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Of course it make sense for the question at hand.

    Now Imma gunna make popcorn and watch this conversation
    :eatpop:
     
  12. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    There are things that make the 6.5mm bullet just very stable, especially bullets like the Sierra Match king. I have a 6.5 in a Rem 700bdl...most accurate rifle I own, and one of the most accurate out there,

    Most accurate pistol has to be the good old .22. All of the Olympic pistols are .22s. My best .22 is an old High Standard Trophy. I have slides and multipul barrels for both short and Long rifle. Super little pistol. Hammerli makes some really nice ones too.

    IMHO: To actually make a real world test would not be possible. There are just too many variables. Also, I don't think you would find anything valuable if you did go to the trouble.

    Ultimately, the most accurate pistol and rifle are the ones that you, personally, can shoot the best.
     
  13. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    6mm BR, 6mm ppc, 6x45, 6.5x284, 30 br and 308 win are probably some of the most common benchrest rifles. I'm thinking least accurate cartridges would be 30 carbine, 5.45x39 and 7.62x39, 303 brit
     
  14. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Where precision has to do with a single shot being placed correctly, accuracy has to do with repeatable precision. Two of the cartridges that come to mind immediately are the 308 and the 375 H&H. Both seem to have an uncanny characteristic of dropping different bullet weights into the same zone. This speaks highly of the accuracy of these two cartridges.
     
  15. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    But why are they the least accurate? Take the 7.62x39. I can get high quality components for it, brass, bullets and the like. And I could invest just as much time and money into building a rifle to shoot it. Then spend time developing the correct load for the rifle. I would bet you could get it as accurate as a .308. It's just no one does because ammunition is cheap. Savage builds a bolt gun in 7.62x39, with the same quality of ammunition there is no reason it wouldn't be as accurate as any of there other bolt guns of similar quality.

    I am not saying your wrong, just pointing out with the same time,care and money invested who know how accurate these can be. Heck, look what people are doing with a Mosin and the 7.62x54R cartridge.
     
  16. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    This is the discussion that I've been waiting for!
     
  17. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    Ah...not so! Pure inherent accuracy, regardless of the use parameters, is what I wonder about. If a .222 can out group a .338 then let it be so.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  18. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    Agreed there are many variables, but the fact is that all calibers share those same variables, so we do test them daily in the real world.
    What are the most consistently accurate calibers (with all those variables considered) is what I'm questioning.
     
  19. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I tried to choose cartridges with larger diameter bullets that are also light weight and generally come with poor bullet design for a lower B.C. and large primers as small primers tend to be more consistent/accurate and were made for semiauto/automatic rifles not designed for accuracy but reliable feeding and magazine capacity in spray and pray situations. Obviously there are cartridges that are inherently more accurate than others this is just my personal opinion/outlook and :twocents:
     
  20. Redtazdog

    Redtazdog Washington in the sticks Active Member

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    I agree on the 375 H&H as when I took mine out to sight it in I thought I was shooting like chit as I could only see one hole at 200 yrds
    until I went to check the target and and eight shots made a nice round ragged hole.
    The damn thing shot good enough that I made a can to remove some of the recoil and noise so I could shoot without
    the abuse.
    40calcan19w.jpg