How Easy is It to Shoot 30 Shots Into One Group

A couple of days ago someone on AR15.com posted a picture of a guy on another board that showed a small ragged group and said that he had shot this 30 shot group at 100 yards with his AR-15. The picture was too small to accurately measure the group, but it was one ragged hole and looked to be less than one inch, maybe around .75 inch.

As so often happens, a heated discussion resulted. Some said it was “not likely” that he did this group. Others said it was “impossible” to do it with the equipment that he had. Much arguing resulted.

But, you know me.

There is only one way to know what is possible. You have to go shooting. So that’s what I did today.

Now, my purpose is not to call this fellow a liar. I do not know him, and don’t know if was serious or joking around. But I will do some shooting to see how likely it is that such a small group is possible.

Some folks thought that maybe he shot the group at 50 or even 25 yards. That would sure make it easier.

Someone else said that the guy said he was shooting M855 military ball ammo. That resulted in more gnashing of teeth and arguing. Was it even possible to shoot a one inch group at 100 yards with M855 military ball?

Before we get started, let’s discuss “fliers”. When target shooters shoot groups, they find that every so often most rounds will go into a small group, and then one or two rounds will be well outside the main group. These outliers are called “fliers”.

What causes fliers? It may be that a round had a bullet that was slightly lighter or heavier than the other rounds. Maybe the neck tension was more or less than the other rounds. Maybe a gust of wind pushed the bullet out of the group. Or maybe the shooter didn’t hold his rifle as steady as he did for the rest of the groups.

But one thing is sure……If you shot it, you MUST count it in the group size. Some guys will say, “I shot a one inch group, but a flier opened it up to 2 inches. But I’m going to disregard the flier and call it a one inch group.” No, you shot it, so you own it. You have a 2 inch group. (If you are honest.)

And therein lies the problem with 30 shot groups. The more rounds shot into a group, the greater likelihood of fliers opening up the group. Large number groups will always tend to open up.

Okay, enough pontificating. Let’s go shooting.

I will be using my DPMS AR-15. I have proven that it will shoot “One MOA All Day Long” in the contest, where I averaged .761 MOA in the Unlimited Class. It is a great shooter.


I will be shooting at 100 yards.

 


I will be shooting my handloads that I shot in the One MOA contest. It is a good accurate load in this rifle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

There was a gusty right to left wind today, but I shot it anyway.

Long story short, here is the 30 shot group.

 

Continued below...

 

It measures 1.73 inches, and subtracting bullet diameter gives us 1.506. The aiming point was where the red arrow is pointing.

Notice that 22 shots went into a .964 group, or adjusted to .74 inches, but the eight fliers opened up the group to 1.506 inches. You will see that with groups with large numbers of shots.

 

 

But, we can’t ignore the fliers, so I shot a 1.506 inch group.

Since the guy also said he shot it with military ball, I decided to give that a try. I did not have any M885, but I do have some IMI M193, which I believe is more accurate than M855.

 

 

I shot 20 rounds into the group and then quit, as it was obvious that it wasn’t going to be anywhere near 1 inch.

 

It measured 3.448 inches, or 3.224 after subtracting .224 for bullet diameter. That did not surprise me, as military ball is not anywhere as accurate as many believe. It is manufactured to meet certain MOA requirements, usually 2 MOA or 3 MOA, and that is all it will do. It did about as well as I expected.

Conclusions:

1. Is it possible to shoot 30 rounds at 100 yards into a one ragged hole group of less than .75 inch?

Maybe. But it is very highly unlikely. Maybe with the best bench rest rifle, excellent handloads, perfect weather, no wind, ect. But the average guy shooting a stock AR-15? I doubt it.

2. Is it possible to shoot a 30 shot .75 inch group at 100 yards with military ball ammo?

I will go out on a limb and say, No, it is not possible.

And before anyone says, “Well, I can do it!”, you had better be ready to have your name placed on the “Wall of Claim” in the One MOA All Day Long contest.

3. One thing I know for sure, it is fun to shoot stuff.

3 Comments on How Easy is It to Shoot 30 Shots Into One Group

  1. Don, if you could mail me about 200 rnds of various ammo, I would love to backup your data with my own results.
    Thank you,
    -Adam

  2. Old_Painless // April 28, 2016 at 10:34 am // Reply

    I’ll get right on that. 😉

  3. professorstein // July 10, 2016 at 6:59 pm // Reply

    What’s the twist rate on that DPMS? I’m just curious. Twist rate has strange impacts on military ball ammo I’ve noticed.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*