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Sorry if these are stupid questions, butt what type of rifle is the most accurate.

1. Is a bolt action rifle more accurate than an semiautomatic in the same caliber?
2. Does a longer barrel increase accuracy for the same model rifle?

Thanks
 

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Yes and yes. The distance between the front and rear sight makes a big difference (geometry). But it's also the shooter and the ammo. BRASS. Breath, Relax, Aim, Slack, Squeeze. Sight picture consistency, proper position, and so on. You'd be surprised at how many people really don't know the basics of shooting and think a more expensive gun will make them good shots. Don't expect the mechanics of the rifle to overcome the failings of the shooter. Same goes for handguns.

I've fired near perfect scores with a variety of rifles (and handguns) from .22 match to M1, M-14 & M16 issue guns, and the biggest variable is always the shooter. I've put .22 thru the hole in a Lifesaver candy at 50yds without breaking it. Don't muscle the rifle to get on target, use bone support. For example, in the prone position a slight movement of a leg in one direction or another can mean the difference between a bullseye and a miss. Time your shots between heartbeats. Read the wind. And many other factors.
 

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Accurate shooting essantially means good ammo and a skilled shooter.

Bolt actions are generally more stable than semi autos, thus are generally more accurate.

The longer barrel only increases velocity, It has the potential to increase accuracy if you use iron sights because it increases the sight radius, it can also increase accuracy at long distance due to the increased velocity, getting the bullet to the target quicker so gravity and wind have less of an effect on the bullets trajectory.
 

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Yes and yes. The distance between the front and rear sight makes a big difference (geometry). But it's also the shooter and the ammo. BRASS. Breath, Relax, Aim, Slack, Squeeze. Sight picture consistency, proper position, and so on. You'd be surprised at how many people really don't know the basics of shooting and think a more expensive gun will make them good shots. Don't expect the mechanics of the rifle to overcome the failings of the shooter. Same goes for handguns.

I've fired near perfect scores with a variety of rifles (and handguns) from .22 match to M1, M-14 & M16 issue guns, and the biggest variable is always the shooter. I've put .22 thru the hole in a Lifesaver candy at 50yds without breaking it. Don't muscle the rifle to get on target, use bone support. For example, in the prone position a slight movement of a leg in one direction or another can mean the difference between a bullseye and a miss. Time your shots between heartbeats. Read the wind. And many other factors.
How did you know it went thru the hole?
 

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Easy. Scotch tape it to the x ring on a fresh target. Hole in paper behind candy after the shot. Try it sometime.

It's been a very long time since I did this, so don't know if modern Lifesavers are the same size as the ones we used to get. The old ones were .25" hole iirc, so not much room for error even then. I'd be successful about 50% of the time.
 

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I'm happy with putting all my shots into a Reese's Cup at 25 yds. They are smaller than they used to be, ya know.
 

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If anyone really knew all the answers to that question, he could become wealthy. It is like asking what makes a car go fast. There are many factors, all of which have to come together at the right time.

While GunnyGene's "candy shot" proves he is an excellent marksman, I doubt he can do it every shot, on every day, with any old rifle he happens to pick up, with any box store ammo. I am sure he will say he could not. Even the best shooter needs top quality equipment, and everything working perfectly. Shooting is no different from any other sport. The best quarterback won't complete every pass; the best baseball slugger won't hit a homer every swing.

Jim
 

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If anyone really knew all the answers to that question, he could become wealthy. It is like asking what makes a car go fast. There are many factors, all of which have to come together at the right time.

While GunnyGene's "candy shot" proves he is an excellent marksman, I doubt he can do it every shot, on every day, with any old rifle he happens to pick up, with any box store ammo. I am sure he will say he could not. Even the best shooter needs top quality equipment, and everything working perfectly. Shooting is no different from any other sport. The best quarterback won't complete every pass; the best baseball slugger won't hit a homer every swing.

Jim
Already mentioned that :) , and you're exactly right. It takes a lot of dedication, concentration, self discipline, etc. that most people can't or aren't willing to, devote to it. In addition to all the other technical things you mentioned and a good coach. My teacher/coach was a Distinguished Marksman and had competed extensively. I was very lucky to have him. Btw, I was 13 the first time I made that shot. :D 55 years and I can still remember it like it was yesterday, right down to the last detail.
 

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Earflier today I fired 2 consecutive 1.25 MOA groups at 200 yds with my ratty ol 03A3
 

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Check out the difference between accuracy and precision. Any given gun can have high precision, but it will take an expert shooter to use the inherent precision to be accurate.
i.e. Precision = the ability to put repeatable shots in the same place. Accuracy = the ability to hit a given mark repeatedly.
 

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I am not sure about those definitions; that sounds more like sight adjustment than the difference between precision and accuracy.

But sometimes things just don't work. I recall one rifle that had all the precision a goodly amount of money could buy. Every part had been almost hand made, the barrel perfectly bedded and air gauged. The thing was made like an old time watch. And the owner, a skilled handloader, spent hours of time and paychecks worth of money to get or make the best ammo. Yet the best he ever got out of that rifle was about 3 moa. OK for "minute of deer" but not very good for a rifle that had cost close to five figures.

I don't think anyone ever figured out why the gun wouldn't shoot, but he finally traded it off on something else to spend his money on.

Jim
 

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Yes and yes. The distance between the front and rear sight makes a big difference (geometry). But it's also the shooter and the ammo. BRASS. Breath, Relax, Aim, Slack, Squeeze. Sight picture consistency, proper position, and so on. You'd be surprised at how many people really don't know the basics of shooting and think a more expensive gun will make them good shots. Don't expect the mechanics of the rifle to overcome the failings of the shooter. Same goes for handguns.

I've fired near perfect scores with a variety of rifles (and handguns) from .22 match to M1, M-14 & M16 issue guns, and the biggest variable is always the shooter. I've put .22 thru the hole in a Lifesaver candy at 50yds without breaking it. Don't muscle the rifle to get on target, use bone support. For example, in the prone position a slight movement of a leg in one direction or another can mean the difference between a bullseye and a miss. Time your shots between heartbeats. Read the wind. And many other factors.
Very well said, Gunny. BRASS, and the 7 P's of all initial military ops. also help. Interesting though, that a USMC Gunnery Sgt. would use a quote from a poem written by the late George Smith Patton, Jr. No slouch with a handgun, in a 1916 raid ordered by C-I-C Woodrow Wilson into Mexico, from where he was stationed at Ft. Bliss in TX as a cavalry Officer, 1st. Lt. Patton with his Colt 1873 SA Army .45 and five troopers armed with 1903 Springfield rifles were on horseback, patrolling when they were surprised by some of Pancho Villa's banditos- Patton, a great shot and equally a great horseman, circled the attackers and shot 4 of them stone cold dead while on his horse at a gallop- Not too shabby!!
 

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They have to be black in color,have flash suppressors,pistol grips,semi-auto and have high cap magazines(clips)according to Dum-o-craps and they are inherently accurate without human intervention. That was sarcasm but true but now for the truth I would reiterate what GunnyGene said.:eek::confused::bleh::D
 

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Very well said, Gunny. BRASS, and the 7 P's of all initial military ops. also help. Interesting though, that a USMC Gunnery Sgt. would use a quote from a poem written by the late George Smith Patton, Jr. No slouch with a handgun, in a 1916 raid ordered by C-I-C Woodrow Wilson into Mexico, from where he was stationed at Ft. Bliss in TX as a cavalry Officer, 1st. Lt. Patton with his Colt 1873 SA Army .45 and five troopers armed with 1903 Springfield rifles were on horseback, patrolling when they were surprised by some of Pancho Villa's banditos- Patton, a great shot and equally a great horseman, circled the attackers and shot 4 of them stone cold dead while on his horse at a gallop- Not too shabby!!
I have no problem honoring a member of another branch if they deserve it - and most do - inter-service rivalry notwithstanding.

Patton would have done well in any branch.
 

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Yes and yes. The distance between the front and rear sight makes a big difference (geometry). But it's also the shooter and the ammo. BRASS. Breath, Relax, Aim, Slack, Squeeze. Sight picture consistency, proper position, and so on. You'd be surprised at how many people really don't know the basics of shooting and think a more expensive gun will make them good shots. Don't expect the mechanics of the rifle to overcome the failings of the shooter. Same goes for handguns.

I've fired near perfect scores with a variety of rifles (and handguns) from .22 match to M1, M-14 & M16 issue guns, and the biggest variable is always the shooter. I've put .22 thru the hole in a Lifesaver candy at 50yds without breaking it. Don't muscle the rifle to get on target, use bone support. For example, in the prone position a slight movement of a leg in one direction or another can mean the difference between a bullseye and a miss. Time your shots between heartbeats. Read the wind. And many other factors.
Well I've got to tell you about my best shot ever. I was shooting a .45cal. flint lock at 100 yards. I spoted a knat crawling around on my target. I leveled down on him and shot his left testie off. Not being sure it was'nt a lucky shot I fired again blew off his right one. Now hows that for good shooting?
 

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Sorry if these are stupid questions, butt what type of rifle is the most accurate.

1. Is a bolt action rifle more accurate than an semiautomatic in the same caliber?
2. Does a longer barrel increase accuracy for the same model rifle?

Thanks
Generally speaking, yes, bolt actions have the potential to be more accurate than semi-autos. There are a couple of reasons. Firstly, semi-autos usually (but not always) have gas ports coming off the barrels with a piston/tube or other type assembly attached to it. This stuff being attached to the barrel can cause varying levels of stress on the barrel, especially as the rifle heats up. The most accurate barrel will be free-floating, with nothing attached to it, which is simply impossible for a lot of semi-autos. But secondly, semi-autos usually begin to cycle the action before the bullet has exited the bore (since they rely on pressure behind the bullet while still in the bore to actuate the bolt). This internal mechanical movement can, and will, affect the precision.

Others have addressed the longer barrel advantages. Mainly higher velocity and a longer sight radius. But it is possible for a barrel to be too long for good accuracy! For example, thin barrels can develop a "whip" reaction when fired. Thicker barrels such as bull barrels and fluted barrels are generally used to increase rigidity for this reason. The longer the barrel, the more whip action will be a factor. So depending on the barrel's cross-section, longer is not always better.

Honestly, though, I think a large number of rifles will see noticeable increases in potential accuracy from simple things like a crown job, and/or trimming back to fresh rifling (such as counterboring) on older rifles. Trigger work can make a large difference as well. I took a 1943 Enfield rifle that had been bubbatized by a previous owner (and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn) and turned it into a pretty darn accurate rifle with these type of modifications. Between the work I did on the rifle and a lot of practice (plus fine-tuning my handloads to that rifle), it now shoots at about 1 MOA.
 
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