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Discussion Starter #1
Heads up, this is a rambling thoughts/fishing for feedback type post. Thinking out loud kind of thing.

For years I have been of the idea, that while inexpensive guns were probably and sometimes obviously not as good as more expensive guns they were certainly good enough for the average man. And when I didn't get the results I was looking for I sure didn't blame my tools. I practiced more. I did more dry fire drills.
At some point I replaced my Smith and Wesson Sigma with a 1911 clone. It jammed on me the first time I shot it. I broke it down, thoroughly cleaned it, and took it out again. It jammed again. I took it down to the pawn shop and traded it in on a Keltec (before any of you have an aneurysm, I got cash and a keltec). The Keltec doesn't jam, but boy were my groups bad. I bought a G19 Gen5 a while back, and my shooting instantaneously improved. At some point my skills have improved to the point I was outshooting my tools. Or maybe I just don't have the skill to shoot the Ktec well?
A guy I work with invited me to go shooting with him this weekend. I have for years considered myself an okay rifle shot. I have shot expert on the Army qual, and I shoot expert on the much easier Air Force quals. However, I have struggled to get decent groups with my personal rifles. My work buddy brought his Cadex precision rifle. He spotted for me, and put me on 6" steel at about 390 yards. He had me shoot the last three rounds of the day into one group at 100 yards. I have never shot that accurately before.
We also broke out a couple of my rifles. I have my dad's old 7mm mauser, and my No4 enfield. Neither one of us was able to get the rifles to group. I believe the scope on the enfield needs to be replaced. I headspaced the mauser, and it is at the absolute max on headspace, so I suspect that's what's wrong with it.
Anyhow, I'm not about to go buy a $6,000 setup, but I do believe it's time for me to lay out some cash on a decent rifle or two.
I've also noticed that I shoot a bit better with my work M4 than I do with my Smith and Wesson M&P II. I need to figure out if that's a difference in optics, or a difference in rifles.
No matter what, I'm beginning to discover about guns what I learned years ago with tools. You get what you pay for. And I have repeatedly cheaped out on guns.
As for the group I posted below, I didn't think to include a fiducial to show the size, but that's the space between a ring on a 50 yard slowfire target off the edge to give some idea. The rifle could have probably stacked them all, but it's the best shooting I've ever done.
 

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It has been my experience that the "learning curve" for firearms is multi-faceted. You need to have a reasonably accurate firearm with which to learn, so that you can develop the skills of accurate shooting. Once you have developed some base level of skill, your confidence goes up. As your confidence goes up, your quest for increased accuracy gets more intense, and the search for more accurate firearms begins.

As a shooting instructor, I watched this cycle unfold in many individuals, all at their own pace, based on their enthusiasm (or lack of), their desire, and their checkbook. It is a learning experience that can last a lifetime. It can be sped up significantly with the application of money, by seeking professional instruction, and experienced advice in selecting firearms.

It sounds like you are doing just fine, progressing along the same path many of us have already walked.
 

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here are a hint or two.
your milsurps suffer from oversizeditis.

I bet the mauser will just about chamber a 30 cal bullet.
and bet your 303 will just about chamber a 323 diameter 8 mauser bullet. [the older 318 version probably for sure]
in their respective cases of course.

there is a way around them and blaming the tool is of course not the right thing to do but nobody can fix the issue for you
[well they can I know I could]
but what you need is not better 'tools' but more information.

you get information from measuring.
once you have measured then you know how to fix the problem.
so in this case the problem IS the tools, AND the ammunition your using in them.

you see it doesn't fit.
of course the cases go in the gun, and the bullet comes out the barrel, but anything other than that? NOPE.

the biggest difference between his fancy rifle and yours is his ammo fits his rifle.
if your ammo fit your rifle [and the barrel isn't 6 different diameters or has no rifling left] and your loads were suited, then the problem would be the operator.
obviously you can operate HIS rifle just fine.

sooo?
 

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.......obviously you can operate HIS rifle just fine.......
Could be the ammo, could be the rifle, could be the different ergonomics of the firearms, could be a lot of things.

I'm not a big fan of "mil-surp" rifles, so I bow to your expertise.

The OP has shown skill in the past with firearms he was trained on, and with his friend's rifle that was known to be accurate, so the OP's skill is not in question.

Personally, if I were wanting to purchase a new hunting/target rifle, I would find a KNOWN accurate brand and model of desired caliber (based on it's agreeable attributes, and ammo commonality), and set it up with a good quality scope, sufficient ammo for practice and application, and then train with it until the desired effect was achieved.
 

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there are quite a few bolt action rifles out there nowadays whos mfg's offer moa( or less) accuracy guarantees, mostly from $1-2000 dollars.

you might be able to get a $500 gun( not including optics) to shoot well, but itll be more of eitehr chance or some work put into it.

I agree though, most affordable firearms are just fine or even more accurate that the user will ever need them to be. but, at a certain point of expectation, a higher quality firearm will be able provide better applicable results. I've kinda stayed away from lrps(long range precision shooting) because i know i dont have the funds to play with the right toys( firearms or match ammunition). so i focus on more practical applications of shooting skills like self defense and carbine tactics.
 

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there is a little secret to accuracy nobody talks about.
you need 2 things.
a good barrel [straight bored, gauged and chambered properly]
and a good bullet [proper jacket dimensions and no voids in the core]

the key is to mate them up properly.
shape
[why do you think people try different brands of ammo in their rifles?]
well the shape determines how closely the bullet fits the rifles throat and gets the bullet started straight into the barrel.

and how the chamber is cut.
crooked?
your effed all the way to china.
oversized?
well that case is just laying in the bottom, or worse it's tilted [see above]

the idea is to get the bullet from the box [or the mold in my case] to the target with the least amount of damage.
 

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The greenest shooter in the world can shoot a "fine rifle" just as well as he could a cheap junk or worn out one. He will just never be able to judge if he is learning or just getting lucky a couple times. If you don't KNOW when you are learning, you are NOT LEARNING.

It is a cheap lesson in life to learn early you can buy the best first and once for what you will pay by the time you buy ALL the rest, over and over and over.
 

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If you're running an 8 minute mile, any shoes that don't make you trip or blister your feet will work fine.

When you start trying for sub 5 and then sub 4 minute miles the shoes become increasingly more important.
 

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Can't help on the rifle recommendation, but inexpensive doesn't necessarily mean cheap. I have a 1911 that was $400 new & I have some that cost more, but my accuracy is about the same with all of them. I figure that I pay good money for those "Shoot-N-See" targets, why not use the whole target!:rolleyes:

A range officer once tried my $400 1911. At 21 ft he put 3 rounds in a cloverleaf that could be covered by a quarter, just a tad low & left of the center of a 2" bulls eye, all in the black! He said "It shoots a mite low"!:p


P.S. The pistol is stock except for grips.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
here are a hint or two.
your milsurps suffer from oversizeditis.

I bet the mauser will just about chamber a 30 cal bullet.
and bet your 303 will just about chamber a 323 diameter 8 mauser bullet. [the older 318 version probably for sure]
in their respective cases of course.

there is a way around them and blaming the tool is of course not the right thing to do but nobody can fix the issue for you
[well they can I know I could]
but what you need is not better 'tools' but more information.

you get information from measuring.
once you have measured then you know how to fix the problem.
so in this case the problem IS the tools, AND the ammunition your using in them.

you see it doesn't fit.
of course the cases go in the gun, and the bullet comes out the barrel, but anything other than that? NOPE.

the biggest difference between his fancy rifle and yours is his ammo fits his rifle.
if your ammo fit your rifle [and the barrel isn't 6 different diameters or has no rifling left] and your loads were suited, then the problem would be the operator.
obviously you can operate HIS rifle just fine.

sooo?
I was considering rebarrelling the mauser and ditching the enfield. I'll keep them as they are, and sometime when I've got fewer irons in the fire, I'll go down that road. Thanks for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As a police and civilian Instructors we were careful in making recommendations.
There maybe some who are not dedicated gun owners. Should they purchase high-end firearms?
Didn't really mean to imply that. Just that I'm learning that there really is a big difference sometimes in firearms.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
there are quite a few bolt action rifles out there nowadays whos mfg's offer moa( or less) accuracy guarantees, mostly from $1-2000 dollars.

you might be able to get a $500 gun( not including optics) to shoot well, but itll be more of eitehr chance or some work put into it.

I agree though, most affordable firearms are just fine or even more accurate that the user will ever need them to be. but, at a certain point of expectation, a higher quality firearm will be able provide better applicable results. I've kinda stayed away from lrps(long range precision shooting) because i know i dont have the funds to play with the right toys( firearms or match ammunition). so i focus on more practical applications of shooting skills like self defense and carbine tactics.
I think I'm going to be in that camp with you for a while
 

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just hang on to them, you'll be glad you did at some point.
I dumped off, or cut up and repurposed a bunch of milsurps years back and I wish I'd kept [almost] all of them now.

as you go along you'll figure them out more and more, and new ideas are coming out all the time.

I have one friend that shoots a totally worn out 7 Mauser that was given to him because the barrel and throat was so over size.
we cast the bullets from a mold I lapped out for him and he double coats them in powder coat to get the size up to 291 or 292..
 

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There are some bargain priced rifles suitable for hunting/do all usage that give exceptional accuracy at very affordable prices. (some even sub MOA guarantees) Weatherby Vanguard, Tikka, come to mind and Savage 10/110 series rifles are usually quite respectable too. Nice group you posted too.
 
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