I thought I’d do a quick review of a software program I’ve been using to analyze my precision rifle target groups. It’s called “OnTarget.” If you want to skip the “intro” or “review” of what shot group size means and want to get right to the OnTarget shot group calculator software review and demonstration, click here (or scroll down).
How am I doin’?
A competition or precision target shooter is always interested in measuring his or her performance. Precision shooters are all about the… well… precision (and accuracy) of his shots. We take a “group” of shots and measure them. The tighter the group, the better. A tight group means the shooter (and the gear) are CONSISTENT.
The size of the group is dependent on a number of factors, including the aforementioned consistency of the shooter and gear (rifle, optics, ammunition, etc.). Other factors include the distance from the target and environmental factors, such as: wind, temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, and even humidity.
The BIGGEST variable is the SHOOTER, of course. 😳
But, ultimately, small groups is what jazzes precision shooters. It’s the same satisfaction as a dentist gets from smooth, sealed crown margins! 😎 Precision shooting is right in the “wheelhouse” of dentists! It involves science (and math) and a bit of art!
A “primer” on group measurement…
Shot group size is traditionally expressed as an angle. The shot group is measured in inches (or metric) on the target and then converted into an angular format (the angle formed by two imaginary lines from the borders of the group extending back to the muzzle at the shooting line). So, it’s converted from inches to “MOA” (minute of angle). You may recall that there are 360-degrees in a circle. A “minute of angle” is 1/60th of a degree. There are 60 “minutes” in 1 degree. Roughly, a one-inch spread at 100 yards equals one minute of angle. More precisely, 1.047-inches at 100 yards equals 1-MOA. Since it’s an angle, the linear spread of the angle gets proportionally bigger as distance increases. At 200 yards, a 1-MOA group is roughly 2-inches across. At 300 yards, it’s roughly 3-inches across. So, a 1-inch group at 200 yards would be roughly 1/2-MOA. Make sense?
Perhaps not coincidentally, a 1-MOA shot group is considered the STARTING of “acceptable” precision performance. Precision shooters don’t really start to get excited until Continue reading