Group sizes

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by beebop2000, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. beebop2000

    beebop2000 New Member

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    Although I like my Daystate Huntsman, I cannot help wondering if it is as accurate as other rifles/ I am as accurate with it as I could be with other rifles?

    Does anyone have any data that shows a clear difference in accuracy between a Huntsman and another rifle, assuming every effort has been made to make a fair comparison, e.g. optimised pellets, weighed pellets, shot in the same environment, etc.? I am particularly interested in a comparison with a HW100 or HFT500.

    For reference, my Huntsman and I typically shoot 35y groups ~10 mm center to center (n=31 groups, over many sessions), bench rested. I.e. me at a bench; indoors; rested on a bean bag; Hawke Sidewider 10x42; with optimised (Air Arms Field 4.52s) pellets, but straight out of the tin; shooting reasonably well in that I feel I am following through, can see the pellet in flight, don't move off aim, etc.

    At 45y, shot as described above, groups average ~16 mm (n=7 groups, over a few different sessions), varying from 9 to 23 mm depending on how steady I am. Perhaps that says it all: the gun is capable of a lot more (9 mm group) than I can always give (23 mm group)?

    Thanks,
    Lee
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  2. tillygti6

    tillygti6 Tilly's gun stocks

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    Quite hard to answer that really, you ought first to give your gun to someone who is considered a good shot. See if they can pull tighter groups with it.

    You need to rule out the variable, mainly the shooter.

    I've done plenty of groups with my tench built target guns over the years that are rediculous tight, but my mates couldn't pull the same groups with the same gun.

    The daystate could potentially do tighter groups (I'd expect) is it the gun?the pellets? The person pulling the trigger? Near impossible to say chap.
    I had a panther a while back and I couldn't group as tightly as id like with it. My mate could better my groups easily . To his day it's the only time he's out shot me.
    I sold it.
     
  3. TonyF

    TonyF SWEFTA FT Champion 2006

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    The SWEFTA Field Target Champion in 2012 and again in 2015 uses a Daystate Huntsman! .... :cool: ;)
     
  4. Darron

    Darron Trainee Dwarf Slayer

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    I think groups at a longer range would be more relavent. I've seen poor rifles group half inch at 35 only to group like a shotgun at 50?
     
  5. beebop2000

    beebop2000 New Member

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    45y

    OK, so 45y groups, shot as described above, average ~16 mm (n=7 groups, over a few different sessions), varying from 9 to 23 mm depending on how steady I am. Perhaps that says it all: the gun is capable of a lot more (9 mm group) than I can always give (23 mm group)?

    It's a good point about the FT champion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  6. Darron

    Darron Trainee Dwarf Slayer

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with a huntsman but if you look at how many have been used in the past 3 years Ft world champs the answer will be zero and you have to ask why?
     
  7. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    I feel myself climbing into my King Canute costume again.

    I'm not sure why but this seems a subject that irritates me.

    Regarding accuracy ... I asked recently what was an acceptable group at 55 yards and Conor replied and said that he'd like 15mm ( I asked edge to edge ) but he was happy if he was consistently getting 20mm or less.

    Here's a question for you FT guys ...

    If you took 10 top target rifles ... Steyrs etc and found the best pellets for them. Then took 10 non top end target rifles ( but good quality hunting pcps ) and found the best pellets for them.

    If you then got a top FT shooter to shoot 10 shot groups at 55 yards with all of the rifles. Would the overall groupings of the target rifles be obviously tighter than the other rifles?

    Shots taken rested indoors.

    My own views on this are ...

    To get an accurate rifle you need a decent barrel, and you need to find the right pellet for that barrel ( pellet batch ... not type etc ). You need an action that is delivering the air consistently so that the muzzle velocity spread over a decent string is tight ( under 20fps spread ... ideally under 10 ). You need a decent two stage trigger that can be set so that the second stage let off is light and crisp ( maybe you don't need two stage? ). You then need a stock that fits the shooter. So a stock that is either made to fit or is adjustable in length of pull, buttpad, fore end depth, cheekpiece. Maybe an option to adjust the weight at the front or the rear to get the balance right for that shooter.

    Now I can see why people just buy the target rifles and why the comment above about how many non target rifles used at the Worlds etc ... because the top end target rifles should tick all of those boxes above.

    However, are you guaranteed the best barrels on those target rifles?

    I've seen rifles that are basic hunting pcp's but with the right pellet the grouping is superb. I'd imagine the right barrel with the right pellet and a fairly consistent action would be more accurate than a top end target rifle where the barrel isn't fantastic or you can't find a batch of pellets that shoot superbly in that barrel.

    So, technically, if someone has a hunting pcp that happens to have a great barrel/pellet batch combo, and the action gives under 20fps and the trigger aint too shabbly ... and you pop that in a custom adjustable stock ... it should be as good as anything?

    Is there a situation in FT and HFT where it's almost becoming embarrassing to not be shooting with a dedicated out of the box target rifle ( Steyrs, Walthers, FTP900, EV etc [ and in HFT HFT500 or Goldstar ] ... so rifles from 900 quid up )?

    I have always understood that the top shooters ( maybe most shooters ) will want to have every last possible percentage of advantage to knock down every target.

    Ok ... for the decent FT guys on here that have been shooting FT for a few years now ... what advantage have you gained ( and what points ) from shooting one of the top end target rifles as opposed to an old pcp that you had that was in an adjustable FT stock?

    There was an example given below where a Huntsman had won the SWEFTA Championship in 2012 and 2015 ( so that's just last year). There must have been loads of decent guys using top end target stuff and coming in behind that guy ( I'm presuming it was the same guy ). We all know that it's the indian and not the arrow blah de blah.

    AA launched the FTP900 ( presumably as an upgrade from the EV2 ) but I think Andy Calpin still uses the EV and I think I read that Jack went back to the EV from the FTP. I know the EV is hardly an S200 or common hunting rifle.

    It's this old argument ... Everyone using top end target rifles and gimp suits etc probably gives a more professional image of the sport. How does that balance with how it may be offputting for any new interesting parties wanting to give it a go? They probably won't have the budget or inclination to spend that sort of money, just to see if they like it, but they won't see many people on the courses using less expensive ( maybe more basic ) kit.

    What are the cost differences between say having a decent hunting pcp with a decent trigger and spending money putting that into a FT style stock ( with hamster and adjustable cheek and butt ) ... and just buying a top end target rifle?

    What prices are the top end target rifles starting at? ( er just remembered ... the AR20 is cheaper than most higher end hunting pcps. Maybe we have to ignore that one as a lot of shooters won't class them as 'top end' although there will be examples that an AR20 is more accurate than a Steyr ).

    As an example ... can someone provide details of the Huntsman that won the SWEFTA Champs please? I'm presuming it wasn't in a standard Huntsman hunting stock etc?

    Sorry for all the questions ... it just interests me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  8. Tench

    Tench WHFTA World Champion 2016.

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    Shooting tight groups will show yours and the guns capability, how well the pellets are suited etc.
    Being consistently capable of putting the pellet in the right place in a variety of shooting positions is where the target rifle has a benefit. Nearly all target rifles if not all have a cheek piece top that is inline with the barrel bore. Many fixed stocks or "normal" rifles have hugely shaped cheek pieces to "look good" The shaped stock will not give a consistent eye position in a multitude of shooting positions so will be out performed by the target rifle.
    Manufacturers putting more emphasis on what they think looks good than actual ergonomics is something I have tried to address but the people who make the decisions don't understand as they are not shooters.
     
  9. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Simon.

    I love your last sentence.:D

    I understand that the dedicated target rifle with it's adjustable stock will give an advantage over a sporter stock. That's why I commented that a hunting rifle with a decent barrel/pellet combo and decent trigger ... with a custom fully adjustable stock ... should be no different.

    You use a BSA action that you will have worked on and got the barrel where you want it. I think it's then in a Ginb adjustable stock. I'd imagine your rifle will be as accurate as anything and the stock gives you that accommodation of consistent position.

    My point really was that there must be loads of standard pcps out there with perfectly good barrel/pellet combos that would give Conor's suggestion of sub 20mm at 55 yards. So all they need is a decent stock and they would be fine for FT or HFT.

    So, having said that, is the reason that people don't do that because it's just as 'cheap' to buy a top end target rifle than it is to get a stock for a decent hunting pcp, or is it because it's just the trend to use a dedicated target rifle and you may look out of place, or not up to modern ways, if you are still seen shooting a hunting pcp in a custom stock, even though there may be no difference in accuracy, or points scored?

    To be fair, I suppose a hunting pcp action in one of the older ( 80's/90's ) custom FT stocks that were made out of half a tree, probably looks just as intimidating to a newbie as a skeletal style modern target rifle does.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  10. Tench

    Tench WHFTA World Champion 2016.

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    Colin, yes my BSA has been extensively reworked over a few years and had a Ginb stock, its accuracy is outstanding as its suitability to multi position shooting, but it has been retired!:eek:
    I wanted a better trigger and a stabiliser so I could follow the pellet to the target by eye so I looked at all the options and bought an Anschutz. The trigger is awesome after what I have been using and it is totally dead to shoot, no more accurate or suitable but far more refined and other than the 12ft/lb conversion it required no modding.

    This route I have gone was cheaper than buying some of the alternatives and then adding a good stock. The engineering quality in this rifle is just beautiful, no comparison, I had to have it!

    Group size off the bench it is no better but points on my card is what matters to me!
     
  11. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Si

    So you've noticed an improvement in the trigger and probably as cheap as paying out for a fully custom stock plus action. So that's answered a couple of questions.

    Tench not shooting a BSA. A milestone for sure.:D

    Good luck with it fella. Will you be up to speed with it for the Worlds at Kelmarsh? I always expected you to sneak that one year with a BSA.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  12. Tench

    Tench WHFTA World Champion 2016.

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    Yes I was close that year Colin, top score on day 1 but didn't have a good day 2 to back it up, you are right Greg won it that year.
    The Anschutz is up to speed already. I have not shot the BSA since the last Uk round in October which I cleared so that was a nice last outing for it earning me and it a gold rat badge!
     
  13. TonyF

    TonyF SWEFTA FT Champion 2006

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    Yes, Steve also finished 2nd in 2011 and would have been right up there in 2013 & 2014 had he been able to complete enough competitions!

    The Huntsman was purchased from new and the barrel is original. It has a Dave Welham regulator which was overhauled several years ago. The chosen pellets that suit the barrel are JSB Exact 8.4gn and the groups size have been further improved on this gun with the use of a silencer. The trigger and general maintenance/setting up of the gun is done by Steve himself.

    SteveF_Dartmoor 2015.jpg
     
  14. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks Tony.
     
  15. TonyF

    TonyF SWEFTA FT Champion 2006

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    As has been said before, you don't always need a 'top' end of the market gun. ;)

    In the right hands and with the correct pellet /barrel combination and plenty of practice of course, good results can be achieved using much cheaper equipment. :)

    I've just remembered that the SWEFTA Champion in 2014 was using a BASIC AIR ARMS S400, totally unregulated gun that was standard apart from the trigger mechanism which was overhauled and set up by Nick Jenkinson. :cool:

    And yes, there were plenty of 'top' end guns being used by the competition ..... :eek:
     

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