What Constitues Grouping?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MrNornIron, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. MrNornIron

    MrNornIron New Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    This is probably the most basic question ever asked on this web site, but here goes anyway.

    I got my first rifle, a Marlin 60, with a Bushnell scope last week.

    I zero'ed it in pretty good at 25 yards and am now punching holes in playing cards at 50 yards.

    I am resting the rifle on two sandbags, to give it a stable base and am able to group at about 2" at 50 yards.

    Is this the shooting position that is being used when folks on this site speak of grouping? I want to know how I am doing - if the grouping should be measured when in prone position for example, then I want to start using that position as a measure of how I can compare myself against all you experts on this site. If I should be free standing, well then I have quite a bit of work to do!

    Thanks for everyone who contributes to the forums on this site - I have found your insight, amusement and forethought to be very useful!
  2. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2009
    welcome to the forum all i can say is 2" grouping at that distance sounds darn good to me i use sandbags everytime i shoot nothing wrong with that

  3. First off WELCOME from So. Fla. :D
    1TFF WELCOME.jpg

    LOL when I saw the Question I was like What ?
    (Im old in the 60's & 70's GROUPING ment a TOATLY differant thing!)

    LOL Sorry :)

    2" @ 50 yards aint bad Thats about where Im @ with my Model 60
    Sitting on Bags.

    I would venture to say I think alot here would use "Rests" @ the ranges.

    Try it Prone & Standing you'll get better as you keep shooting.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. rcairflr

    rcairflr Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    Wichita, Ks
    To improve your groups you may have to play with different types of ammo. Every gun seems to like different ammo to get the best out of its accuracy capability. Also pay attention to your breathing and trigger pull.

    For an inexpensive .22 rifle, 2 inches isn't bad but is definitely not great.

    Read the below, from a guy who tested different ammo with his .22:
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    a group is the pattern of shots left on paper when you fire multiple shots at 1 point of aim. It doesnt matter what type of rest you use. Standing offhand will give you the biggest groups because your unsupported and the rifle is left to chance and shooter steadiness, and benched with front and rear sandbags will usually give you the tightest groups. Prone is generally considered as stable as benched with sandbags so take your pick.

    Heres an example of a group i shot at 200 yds with a rifle benched from sandbags. and another example of a group i fired at 100 yds sitting in a folding chair with a 'walking stick' rest (hunting from a pop up blind position).

    Attached Files:

  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Two types of "Groups" for me. One is off a steady bench with a solid rest. This is what I use to sight in a rifle and to test the rifle and ammo for accuracy.
    My son.

    The other is shooting off hand to test my ability to hit what I am aiming at. I must admit, my ability to shoot well off hand is getting worse with age. Oh well, another excuse to practice/shoot more.
  7. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    First, Welcome to the forum! I learned a long time ago that I am not Annie Oakley, or Wild Bill! I can't shoot with the best, so I don't try. I shoot against myself, and myself only. I'm always looking to better my last shot! Try different brands of ammo, different bullet weights, and always try for that one hole group! You might be surprised!
  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    What Constitutes Groping?

    When you get yourself a new firearm and you finally get to be alone with it. Running your hands all over the warm wood and the cold of the steel. Constantly squeezing the trigger over and over, waiting in anticipation for the snap of the firing pin. Rubbing it down with oil on it's first cleaning and wiping it down afterwards. That constitutes groping. :D
  9. Grizz

    Grizz Active Member

    Welcome! I use sandbags too, but make sure to try different ammo. I like to shoot the .22 cci bullets because they are very accurate in my gun, so I bought some frangible cci (same velocity) and my groupings went from 1" to 3" just like that. I don't get it?
  10. prof_fate

    prof_fate Former Guest

    Jan 20, 2012
    Western PA
    What's your goal or purpose?
    Using bags on a rest will allow you to eliminate you as the variable as much as possible - great for sighting in or choosing ammo, perhaps practicing trigger control.

    But if you hunt are you taking your sandbags and benchrest with you into the woods? I doubt it. So you need to practice in the position/conditions (low light or from a treestand or whatnot) so that you are as accurate as possible under the conditions you actually need to be.

    I guess you could hunt rabbits or deer prone but I can't say I know anyone that does.
  11. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I have to agree! Hunting is not the same thing as target shooting. Sand bags, and gun rests are just not availible while hunting. However, there are trees, and limbs, along with shooting sticks, that will give you some support.
  12. Juker

    Juker New Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Land of Lincoln
    If you're shootin' for groups, go for it. But consider this - some types of competitive shooting involve just hitting the target (steel plates, silhouettes, etc.) In the Army (at least in my day), expert with the M16 was hitting 36-40 pop-up silhouettes from a foxhole. I don't have the exact specs, but they're about 20" wide and three feet tall. So it's a matter of application - what you're shooting for. A lot of us are out there on the range shooting golf balls, cans, bottles, etc. - just hitting the target, knowing your gun and being comfortable and proficient with it. Sometimes I'll spend an hour just shooting groups, other days I'm shooting mass as fast as I can. Point is, there are several levels of shooting. If you're hitting playing cards at 50 yards, I say well done, and keep at it! Unless you're hunting bees, most anything you shoot won't be any smaller than that card.
  13. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2006
    If your rifle, when benched, can consistently hit playing cards at 50 yards (notice that I said "your rifle", not "you") then when you can use that rifle and consistently hit those same cards while shooting off hand, you and the rifle are one.:D

    If your rifle can't consistently hit the cards at 50 yards when benched, then anytime you shoot offhand and hit a card it is more of an accident that anything else...;)

    BTW, shooting 20 or so rounds and finding 3, 4 or 5 that are grouped doesn't count unless they were fired consecutively.:eek:
  14. Brass Tacks

    Brass Tacks New Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    NW Arkansas
    removing human error is needed to find how the weapon is shooting group size wise and determine how the sights are situated in relationship to point of impact. needed is a solid support at the front of the rifle and a squeeze bag at the toe of the stock with your shoulder there to absorb the recoil. knowing the rifle is capable of shooting X" groups and the rounds are hitting where you are aiming you can then work on technique for off hand shooting
  15. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman Active Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    From my Hornady reloading manual in the definitions section.

    That is what a "group" constitutes; but your question asks the common use.

    I find that most of the time when people are shooting groups, they are testing their equipment.
    So if you are testing your equipment, you "cheat" as much as you can to eliminate shooter error.
    When I am testing my rifle, I'll shoot with the forearm resting on a sandbag, and a beanbag under the stock near or right at the butt-plate. Some people use a "lead-sled" as to hold the gun securely to eliminate trigger pull error.

    But it doesn't end there.

    After I am sure my rifle is shooting properly I don't shoot groups anymore. But I know a lot of people shoot groups to test themselves or to compete in shooting matches.
    If you are shooting groups to test yourself, you would want to fire in all the shooting positions; prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing/offhand. Whereas, one usually notes on the target the position shot from.

    Now hunters are mostly interested in a clean kill without undo suffering. So they usually "cheat" as much as they can, to insure an ethical shot. So they shoot off of things found in, or brought to the field along with the basic shooting positions.
    I'll practice off a fence, prone with the rifle on a log, and all the shooting positions. Some people add the use of a bi-pod or shooting sticks.

    So basically it all depends on what the intent is of the "grouping" shots.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012