« An Unequal Progress in Accuracy | Main | On Government and Accountability »

January 09, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Gun Nut at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/gun-nut.

What Makes a Good Shot - the Shooter or the Gun?

I'm indebted to one of you for giving me this idea but I can't remember who it is. In any event thanks, and don't expect a small-frame 28-gauge in the mail.
      
Mostly, it's the shooter. If you'd like an illustration of this, go to a benchrest match where everyone's rifle can send five shots into .12245-inch (or something of that size) under ideal conditions. Yet if one of these  guns is put in the hands of a non-benchrest competitor, you'll get half-inch or one-inch groups. The reason? Tiny groups come not only from the rifle, but from a shooter's ability to dope wind and mirage at a supernatural level.
      
A bad rifle in the hands of a good shooter will produce bad groups, but a good rifle fired by a poor shot will also turn in poor groups.
      
For shotguns, it's somewhat different. A really skillful hand can shoot just about anything well, but to turn in his best shooting, he has to have a gun that fits him perfectly and whose balance works for him.  Uncle Robert Brister, who was the best I ever saw with a scattergun, could take anything and outshoot anyone (almost), but if he had his druthers, he would always go to a gun that particularly suited him.
      
A fellow named Dave Crosby, who worked for various gun publications and was a wonderful shotgunner, never used anything but a 30-inch-barreled Parker (I think) for everything. Skeet, trap, birds, it didn't matter. How he would have done with something else I do not know, but he was a wizard with that old side-by-side.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b54869e200e54fc6d13a8833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What Makes a Good Shot - the Shooter or the Gun?:

Comments

sarg

Breen, I used to own both the 7.7 and 6.5 Ariska. The earlier ones were a very strong action. A little weaker as the war progresed.. I loaded both and enjoyed shooting them, especially the6.5. You can load for the 7.7 by using 30-06 brass and .312 bullets, just have to trim a little off the 30-06 brass. The die are easy to find. You didn't say you load them, but is really cheap to for the 7.7.. The 6.5 you have to use the 6.5 brass.load

Gentlemen, Trivia Time: Does anyone know who the greatest shot with a Thompson was and where he was from?

Answer: Machinegun Kelly, Oklahoma

sarg

Hey guys, this subject can not go any farther without bringing in a gentleman from Tenn.( Not you Dr.Ralph). Not only an excellent shot with a military Rifle( Not you Clay) but smart also. someone who knew what to do when it was his time to shine. Alvan York. An old squirrel hunter with a natural ability to shoot and hit what he was aiming at. Any one disagree...

ishawooa

Not only was Alvin a great hero but apparently a humble one. He knew what to do and did it when the time came for him to take action. His philosophy was that he was doing his job and never expected the praise that he eventually and appropriately received. Even though it is filled with historical inaccuracies the old B & W movie SERGANT YORK starring Gary Cooper is worth watching if you can locate a copy.

sarg

Yes , that was a good movie, I have a few movies her, I don't have that one , but i was just thinking of him while reading this blog.I had to throw that in about Dr. Ralph and Clay, Don't reall know these guys but they sound like pretty nice fellows. I think Dr. Ralph is from Tenn. You know I never speak down on anyone who is in the military, A lot of times you can meet some a-holes but when it come down to it they usually , know their job. I,ve met guys that didn't know which end the bullet comes out but to put a track back on a ACP under bad conditions, they were great. Hey, you have a good day.

Clay Cooper

Shaky
It was the 300 Win Mag cases I had the problem with making 338 Win Mag. 7mm works fantastic!

Shaky

Thanks, Coop, for clearing that up for me. A couple old timers told me I had to anneal that 7 mag brass, but I didn't do it.
Too much trouble, I can still pick it up off the ground where I shoot, so until it gets harder to find, I'll just resize and shoot. Go kill another deer.

Clay Cooper

Hey Sarg
Alvan York? JUST KICK ME IN THE PANTS! It’s been so long I’ve seen the movie, I plum forgot about it! Man, now that’s an American Hero! A Man of God, Just happens to be a American and what a American He is!!!!
Another American Hero, remember Col. Oliver North? As a lieutenant in Vietnam, He knowingly and willingly with all odds stacked against him, went in to rescue downed pilots. It was considered a suicide mission, but he did it!!!
About Sudafed, I didn’t know how to explain it exactly; it cleared your sinuses and affects your nervous system to. Wining a match with a hangover? Must have really pulled himself together or real lucky. Regardless, I congratulate him for winning the match!

Hey Shaky!
I use to do it with my 25-06 and 22-250, but haven’t annealed the cases to form 338 Win Mag out of 7mm Rem Mag. I would run the neck thru a resizing die like a 300 Win Mag or 30-06 just to punch the neck out a little before running full length in my 338 die. It’s real funny on the range to see somebody pick one of those rounds up and compare it to another 7mm Mag round, especially some greenhorn trying to chamber one of those rounds.

Del in Kansas
When it comes to reloading smokeless powder, I can hold my own in that area against some of the best. But I never reloaded Black Powder, in fact the only experience I have is just in the two Muzzle loaders I shoot and occasional contact with other BP shooters. All I know is my Encore takes 150 grains of 777 behind a .429 Diameter Hornady 265 grain soft point that I shoot in my 444 Marlin and my wife’s Knight Cadet topped with a Tasco Red Dot, takes 110 grains behind a Hornady 45 cal 250 grain HP. The 265 44 cal Hornady Soft Point is my #1 choice for Black Bear and deer! I wouldn’t give it a second thought, that bullet would be my #1 choice for Bull Winkle Moose also! Thanks for reminding me! BP is a total deferent world!! Chances are I might find myself having a Ruger #1 built in 45-120 with a 26 inch barrel, but the way things are going lately, I don’t think I’ll have the time to do it? Just grab and go! Our Business is really picking up and speaking of it, I better get in gear got a full day plus Church tonight. By the way, my Wife is originally from California, Italian blooded and never shot a gun until she met me. That MZ with that Red Dot, she knows one thing, put that red dot on it and squeeze it off and She’s a better shot than a lot of the guys I know out to 100 yards and during rifle season she is content and confident in using it.
If you want to step away from the “FAD BULLETS” try the .429 Diameter Hornady 265 grain soft point!

Thomas

Guy's you are also forgetting about Carlo Hathcock. He was just another country bumpkin with a innate ability to shoot very, very well. He also was a Hero when he went back and tried to rescue his fellow servicemen on that burning transport vehicle. I have met the man twice in my life before he passed away. Once at Camp Perry, Ohio and the other time near his home in Virginia Beach, VA.

Del in Kansas

Clay,

I am by no means an expert on loading BP cartridge guns. I started reloading ammo around 1972. But I found out about the BP cartridge thing after buying my Sharps. The thing about BP is that you must always have a slightly compressed load if you want accuracy. Correctly loaded BP ammo in a quality gun is amazingly accurate. I loaded 63 gr. of GOEX cartridge BP (using a long drop tube) behind a 520 grain bullet that I cast myself fron a Lyman mold. Rem brass, Fed 215 primer and using the factory sights shot a 2" five shot group at 100 yd. That is by far the best I have ever done with open sights. Keep in mind you don't need pointed bullets. Flat or round nose is the way to go. You get about 1200 FPS. A 45-110 will probably get 13 or 1400. These big fat slugs really hold their velocity and penetrate well.
Remember Jake Spoon in "Lonsome Dove" shooting a sharps and the bullet went thru the wall and killed the Mayor of Ft. Smith Arkansas who was outside walking down the street. Well that is not a stretch with one of these guns. Mine is a 45-70 a gun buyer at the Cabela"s gun library did say they would pay more for a 45-110. You can put some cornmeal behind the bullet in a 110 to take up the extra space for a lite load. Also if you want to shoot modern ammo 45-70 is the only way to go. Smokeless powder does not work well in the larger BP cases. Venturino's book explains all this much better than I could. and of course 45-70 is the only (Sharps) BP round you can buy factory ammo for. I have 3 in-lines one mountain rifle and a custom made flintlock long rifle. The flinter is the most fun to play with. Your wife sounds like a keeper. My other half has put up with me for 34 years now. She gave me 2 beautiful children back in the 70's. One is a teacher the other is an Engineer for Exxon. My daughter will fish with me, but my son has no interest in the outdoors. Both are good Christians thank God. Gotta go for now.

sarg

Hey Clay, Have you been to Camp Perry latly? I have never been there, Would love to run up someday. What about spectators, are they permitted to go watch. My mother lives in central Ohio and I could Visit and then run on up. Like I said, Iwould like to watch.

sarg

By the way, Clay did you watch the series on the weather channel about how the weather changed history. It's about the battle of the bulge. I thought it interesting when the guys commented on how they liked their M-1 Garands..

Clay Cooper

Sarg
I was prime and ready in the 90’s to go to Camp Perry, but couldn’t shake loose from work to go. Too much research and development kept me from going not to mention my family life.
I have a M1 Garand and it’s the rifle that I won my NBPRP Match that made a bunch of shooters say I was cheating! They all had Super Match M1A’s and if it wasn’t for Mr. Ben Flanagan (Master) that caught on to my first round down range realized I was shooting like a house on fire and going to happen, had the match official watch me like a hawk, ask me to only open the issued ammo only on the line and not to have any other ammo with me, knowing at the end, there was going to be a fight! Blowing rain with volcanic ash really separates the sunny day golf players from the shooters and hunters!! The nastier it got, the worse they got, and the better I shot!!!

WA Mtnhunter

Compared to the Allied and Axis battle rifles, the Garand was the king of the battlefield. Match shooting notwithstanding, the M-14 was a finer battle rifle, as is the HK G-3 rifle.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Pratice, pratice is the oly way a poor shooter will ever be agreat shooter. I have 2 700's one a 25-06 and the other a 30-06. Both wil shoot l MOA at 200 yds if I do my part. Some days if I got a zillionthings on my mind I can;t do that, then others I can. So your mind does play a important role in shooting. As when hunting, all I have on my mind is seeing game and making a sure one shot kill. Know your range and stick to it.In past 10 ys I only made l miss shot and that was at 50 yds.My guns ae zeroed at 200 yds for the Rockies,and I never thought about that on this nice Buck at 50 yds,I just shot over him a tad. Now I have guns zeroed for 100 yds for hunting here at home where shots are 100 yds or less and the 200 yds guns go west with me. In the excitement of a nice Buck sometimes we forget the range, as with W-tails here, notime to range teh distance as you can out West in the Rockies. Last year I shot a nixce Buck at 345 yds, one shot down he went with the 06.I also shot a Lope at 325 yds with the 25-06 down he went. Shooting is not only good equiptment, ammo, but a clear mind and lots of pratice prior to hunting. Every hour spent at the range is worth it. Never just take l gun to the range,take seveal and do not let that bbl get hot. I shoot 3 rounds with each gun, allow to cool and start over again. If you only have one gun,then take a book and read about shooting and a snack to eat on, but a hot bbl will never pattern after about 3 shoots,at least for me. When you hunt you usually hunting with a cool bbl, and that first shot is the most important. As for fouling shots, when you leave the range the last time befoe going hunting, don;t clean that bbl, leave it as it was when you shot the final shot. I always place a small piece of elec. tape over end of muzzle and it stays there till I fire or season is over. You would be suprised at the junk that can and will get into a bbl and that tape stops all that,especially if it rains,. Pratice a lot and shoot often, prior to hunting, it will make you a better shooter. Adjust your mind to concenrate on shoting rather than other matters. Now and then you can and will buy a lousy shooting gun, before selling, have a coupe other guys try it out. Todays firearms usually have a good bbl, but now and then one will slp thru the check point and is lousy. I usually buy 4-5 different brands of amm when I buy a new gun, and try 3 shots with all, after the bbl cools between shots, < Then I use the brand that patterns best.What is 50 to 100 bcks for Ammo as compared to a 5K dollar guided hunt out west. But the best Amm you can find and the one that patterns best. The shoot till you completely satisfied and then go hunting. good luck,shoot-um-straight.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Hey you guys: What is your thinking on teh new Marlin Bolt action gun MArlin just came out with? Is it a old model 710 by Rem as they bought Marlin out, or was this new Bolt gun in the slot to come out regardless. If this new Bolt gun by MArlin is l/2 the quality of a 336 I want one in each caliber they now mmaking prior to Remington getting control of Marlin at the end of the month. I did notice that Taurus prices up by lo-12% after the rumor stsarted that Rem was going to buy them and get into the handgun business???.The Marlin is not a high dollar gun, about 400.00l,but if quality is there so much the better. It;s about time other Gun mfgers proved to the shooting world ( and I am a Remington fan for over 40 yrs)that other quality firearms are available for less or equal $. But to me Remington has gone $$$ crazy with the new owners, all they looking for is the profit they can make. I suggest if yo have a older 700 betterhand on to it. Ialso,saw that Remimngton is yet making the ADL for Wal-mart amd in the youtyh line, in both black syn and a few Camo's/ The ADl's I have seen lately at Wa-mart are not teh ADls of years past, much cheaper built, take a dollar bill try that trivck and also look at the safety metal.looks likea beetcan materialQuestion for all/If you own a open sight rifle and it shoots way to high, do you lower the rear sight or raise it.The rear sights on this Custom job ( 2 leafts that fold down).;ve lowered it about all it will handle, so looks as if Iwill need to have the blade front sight built taller, any and all suggestions appreciated. The firearm is built o a Mauser action withthe Mauser safety.Thinking of changing to a Gemtry safety, but if i do I loose teh 3 position safety and oly hafe a 2 position safety. Wood is Tur Walnut, with cheek piece and forearm is tappered to a about l/4"at the for end, a beautiful stock /metal with some engravig on them metal.Maker isun-readabe, as its all letters amd mumbers.Carried to many gun-smithjs and no one can decide where made. My opinion is Italy, Spain, Germany, sure not the USA.Any suggestions on any of the above appreciated. Plan to check out the Marlin bolt gun in Am if any on dealers shelves.

Jim in Mo.

RMH<
My Savage 111 has a very thin barrel .550 at the muzzle. I never test my loads with 5 shot groups its not fair to the loads I'm workin up. If I have a very new load (new powder, bullet) then its 3 shots cool, and I always pay close attention to the first shot every time as someone else mentioned in some other blog.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Jim in Mo: Have you seen or heard about the new Bolt gun by MArlin? I need info fast like. Can order, but if don;t like, then its 20% restocking fee plus the freight 2 ways, that is costly I Use Remingtons out west, but want a 4 wheeler/pickup gun for here to haul and beat around. Hate to scratch up my Walnut. Pickey I am. Been debating on the Savage or Mossberg, till read about the Marlin. If the Marlin has the quality of thier faithful 39 and 336, then that settles it. Not looking for a show piece, just a workable firearm that shots l MOA at l00 yds.With Remington getting into high $ guns, bet that Savage begins to move a lot more guns. The od faithful savage ll0 is a proven track record, but here it does not sell well, and especially on used market. They (Savage has a new gun that looks like the Rem BDL) at about 300.00 less I do plan a Rocky Mtn hunt this fall and want a Syn/stock 270 for thoe miserable, snowy , rainy days. Never owned a 270, only caliber I;ve missed best i recall up thru the 375 H&H which is nw more gun than I can handle. Being disabled, a 30-06 is about the maz and that with wt added to butt to total out at l0 lbs. All my hunting firearms carry Nikon Monarch optics, as well as Nikon, glasses and rangefinder and Spotter. Not a lk setup bt about middle of the road. I detest these packaged deals with a 29.95 scope mounted with cheap Alloy hardware. I use Steel Leupold Dual Doveail, and fr pst 3 yrs, wh flying and the way the baggage handlers handle our luggage, it has survived and is yet on 0 at 200 yds. O well, blabbed on, so will get off and bug a book I started on, written abot life in the late l980's,real good reading. One last item, whats yo take on a A. Uberti Single action 5 l/2' bbl in 44-40? Imported by Benelli from Italy, and Yes Ammo is not in Wal-marts, but in my safe. As you can attest, I am a gun nut, even at 73 ys old.I told my preacher, I preferred to pass on,at age 92??? sitting on my hunting , folding chair, holding my favorit firearm and a big old Elk or Buck lying nearby. Cold go on and on as guns and hunting keep me going. I began deer hunting at age l6, as had to drive 300 miles to find deer country, but shot rabbits and small game at age l0 with a 5 dollar Sears shotgun, o how I wish I had kept. Another mis-take, but did find a replacement which sits in my vault, not been shot in 35 yrs. Going to gt, have a good day, shot-um-straight and often.

Jim in Mo.

Rocky Mtn Hunter,
I wish I had seen your post to me back in Jan. Don't think its necessary to respond on the Marlin since we've pretty much talked it out. But you say you like the Nikon Monarch, so do I. Don't own one but looked thru them at Bass Pro and they were clear as any other and I've heard very dependable.
I really screwed up on that Nikon. I don't have money to blow but if I see a deal that will help me in the future I'll buy it. Well about 2 months ago Natchez shooting supply sent me their paper mag. and they were selling off their Monarchs for I think $170. I was going to order and just put the scope away for another future gun. I never called and missed out. Found out they were making way for the "new" Monarch that has the fancy side paralax focus (as if anybody has time but a prairie dog hunter). The new one costs about $400 and the old about $300 and I passed up $170!
You snooze you loose.

Clay Cooper

Rocky Mtn Hunter and the GANG
“Practice”, “Practice” and more “Practice” only makes a mediocre shooter. Why you ask? As my Shooting Coach jumped down my throat when I was seven years old said, “WHAT CAN YOU PRACTICE, YOU!!!! HAVE NOT MASTERED!” This, my friend is the very essence of learning how to win! This guy is more scarier and meaner than any Marine Drill Sergeant I know of for a 7 year old, no joke!

Ed J

You got that right, Clay. It don't do you any good practicing doing it wrong.
If tou limit youself to under 300yds then while your practicing also set a target at 350yds. Why that range? well how good are you at judging the range?

L2

Clay,

I believe you were talking about the Golden Crescent in your January 10th post. A new edition is actually being printed. www.TheGoldenCrescent.com.

L2

Chad,

I believe you were talking about the Golden Crescent in your January 10th post. A new edition is actually being printed. www.TheGoldenCrescent.com.




Our Blogs

Categories



Syndicate