How Much Rifle Accuracy Do You Need?


Today, people talk about rifles that are capable of sub-Minute of Angle accuracy.  What does that mean?  Minute of Angle or MOA is an angle that is 1/60 of a degree.   As you stand in a field you have a 360 degree view all around you.  MOA is 1/60 of one of those 360 degrees.  A MOA is a very thin wedge shape that expands the farther out is gets from the origin.  At 100 yards the MOA wedge is approximately 1″ wide (1.047″).  At 200 yards the wedge has expanded to 2″ and at 1000 yards the wedge has expanded to 10″.  Most paper targets have circles for the bullseye.  If you have a rifle capable of MOA accuracy you could shoot all of your rounds into a 2″ circle at 200 yards, a 5″ circle at 500 yards and so on.

Minute of Angle accuracy is amazing when you stop to think about it.  If you could shoot with minute of angle accuracy you could shoot and hit a coin the size of a quarter at a distance equal to the length of a football field.  That’s incredible!  When you start talking about rifles capable of sub-MOA accuracy, that is mind blowing!

Say you are shooting a sub-MOA rifle at 800 yards.   Your groups are averaging 6 inches in diameter.  That means your bullets are striking the target within three inches of your aiming point.  At a distance of nearly half a mile your bullets are hitting the target within three inches of where you are aiming?!  Mind blown!

Its been said that only accurate rifles are interesting.   The engineering, design, fit, finish, and quality of components; everything that is required to build a sub-MOA rifle is very interesting indeed.  Lets face it, a super accurate rifle is cooler than hell.  Pillar bedding, floating barrels, crowning barrels, lapping bolts, lapping scope rings, working up handloads then going out and from a long range hitting what you aim at is like bowling 300 or a hole-in-one in golf.  Damn satisfying!

Taking your old lever action to the range may be fun, enjoyable, nostalgic etc.  But if its shooting patterns instead of groups, that’s not very exciting.  Taking that tack driving, hair splitting, bull’s eye punching bolt action and hitting tiny objects at a great distance is thrilling.  How much rifle accuracy do you need?  You can never have too much.



About krasinsk1 Big John Tutorials

I've been an active shooter, reloader and gunsmith for 30+ years. I hold a Bachelor's degree from Montana State University and a Master's degree from the University of Oregon. I enjoy studying, collecting and shooting just about every type and kind of firearm.
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