Improving accuracy is what precision shooting is all about. It is a constant cycle of continual improvement through long hours of practice. But how much affect does your choice of equipment have on consistently hitting the target? Turns out it can play a much larger role than you might think.
MDT’s Ryan Steacy decided to find out just how much by performing a simple in-the-field test shooting and comparing groupings with a Savage Model 11 in .308.
Distance: 100 yards
Zeroing: 10 round maximum scope adjustment prior to each test
Targets: 4 Benchrest paper targets
Groups: 5 rounds per target
Test #1: A stock, off-the-shelf Savage was used to fire standard grade ammunition (.308 FMJ, 147 gr).
Results: While all rounds were on target, the groupings were broad and inconsistently centred on the paper. This is indicative of inconsistent round performance.
Test #2: The same stock rifle was then loaded with premium grade ammunition (.308 Match Grade 175 gr)
Results: The groups became noticeably tighter, however the groups wandered around the paper. This is indicative of the performance associated with a plastic stock that is unable to hold the action firmly for consistent performance.
Test #3: The Savage action was taken from it’s plastic stock and placed in an MDT LSS-XL aluminum chassis. This was done on-site at the range in approx. 3 minutes. The same premium ammunition was fired for this test.
Results: The group size and placement became significantly more consistent - illustrating not only the repeatability of quality ammunition but in the capability of an engineered aluminum chassis to hold the action firm and provide consistent performance.
Test #4: An International Barrels Inc. barrel replaced the factory Savage barrel. (Twist: 1/10, 20” long) This was also done at the range in approx. 10 minutes. This was a brand new barrel, never been fired. Premium ammunition was again used.
Results: Group size and group placement was exponentially improved. Combined with the ammunition and LSS-XL chassis, the barrel made the target placement incredibly consistent.