Flyers or Shooter Error?

  • 662 Views
  • Last Post 04 January 2020
  • Topic Is Solved
GWarden posted this 28 December 2019

In the past there has been discussion on flyers and what is the cause. All kinds of ideas on the cause. For me the problem is not flyers; the problem with bullet, lube build up etc. For me it is the shooter(me). It is nice to blame the problem with equipment, etc. but I know that those bullets outside the group result with me. Confession is good for the soul, bad for the reputation. My shooter mentor hammered into me to keep meticulous records, even includes my mental attitude when shooting. I have two 30.06's  a 30.40 and a 6mm Rem. that I have shot enough and worked up very accurate loads with over the years. It has taken lots of time to get where they are shooting well. One of the biggest factors in improvement of group size was the bullet mix I use. I had tried all the normal mixes that are mentioned in forum and loading manuals. I stumbled upon a mix of 15# lead, 25# mag shot plus 2% tin added. How did I come up with that mix, accident, no other reason. This mix gives me the most consistent and smallest groups of any mixes I have tried. 

Ok, I headed down a bunny trail, get back to the topic. For me the biggest thing that affects my group size is consistent hold, pressure between rifle and shoulder. Each rifle gives the best results when I found the pressure it preferred on the butt plate and my shoulder. The attached photo was shot with a Rem long range 700 30.06, probably my most accurate CB with GC. This was a 100 yd 10 shot group. This is not a once in a blue moon target, but what it will do in good weather conditions, and I am consistent in my hold. The two shots outside the group were strictly shooter error, nothing else to blame.  A member on the forum got me started with the 6mm's and am getting the same results

Do others feel that on most occasions the problem of the shots outside the group is shooter related? Again talking about a rifle that you have worked up really good loads.

Bob

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • delmarskid
  • M3 Mitch
Order By: Standard | Newest | Votes
RicinYakima posted this 28 December 2019

Bob,

I am not the expert others seem to think I am. When I found this I did the one backer, and five ten shot groups on the front target. Are the 20% not in the group all in the same quadrant? Are they random? One target is not enough information. Some of mine was flinch, closed my eyes when the trigger broke. (I think to many big boomers from the bench!) Mine were all low right!

I did all the things people say don't help; weighted bullets, oriented bullets and cases, etc., etc. It did help.

What helped the most was shooting 40 rounds every week before the Nationals like every one was the winning shot. If the mechanics of the rest and your positions are good, if it isn't something "wrong", it is the shooter.

Now if you get 50 shots on the backer target and they are in a circle around the X, it is mechanical. Something isn't right, but I don't know what to tell you over the internet.

Best wishes, Ric

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
GWarden posted this 28 December 2019

Ric

You got it, practice , practice , practice. What I forgot to mention and what brought about this post was an article I just read in Dec. 1993, Precision Shooting, article by Lloyd de Vore on "An accuracy Fundamental". He shows targets and the results using the same rifle with a "loose" hold, and "tight hold".  I agree with you Ric about doing the things people say that don't help. I feel any little thing that helps improves accuracy, as small as it may be, it is helpful. Frank Marshall in a article in the Fouling Shot showed the results being beneficial to orienting bullets, could not argue with his target results on that issue. Thanks for your input. 

bob

Attached Files

Shopdog posted this 28 December 2019

OK,climbing out on a limb,ask yourself this; Do I want answers? Or Do I want insight? Answers are great if you have well defined equations. Any example that utilizes a skillset however,is open to interpretation. What colour is the sky? I see blue as a good solid answer,but it very well could be gray from your perspective. Both are answers,both can be correct.

If you view shooting with an eye on hierarchical scale and form it as a pyramid;putting the basics or fundamentals on the lowest and largest course. That can be an example of insight. An answer in this form would fall or be within,somewhere inside and often,closer to the top. It may be all you need to get past a specific issue so,saying insight or understanding "why" is always the preferred method,dosen't hold water.

It's sort of like; do you view moving your shooting forward work? or fun? In my pea brain it should be both,but that's me. Good luck with your project.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
BudHyett posted this 28 December 2019

A realization from several years back.I shot better when I did not know so much and owned fewer rifles. Ignorance was bliss as we shot, not knowing the many varied different possibilities for error.  (But this does not mean I will be having a fire sale this Spring at my gun safe.)

I have long felt that defining a problem and giving that problem a name is self-defeating. Too often on a flyer, the shooter analyzes the result, says to himself what mistake he made, and does not examine the cause. Root cause analysis and root cause corrective action.

An analogy is the common practice in medicine of diagnosing a disease condition, prescribing medicine and announcing the cure is there when you have not yet eliminated the original condition. The disease is not cured, only classified and set back with a prescription.

Back to Basics. When the weather breaks a little, I will be back om the range with the .22 LR match rifles to get back to basics and also to prepare for the .22 LR 200-yard fun matches at Paul Bunyan. Then careful examination (with notes) for pressure on the buttplate and cheek piece with a good lot of .22 LR match ammo.

Practice, practice, practice. Practice with a critical analysis of each shot and dedicating the time to be alone at the range with each shot.

Then repeat the above approach with the centerfire rifles and cast bullets. The nut behind the buttplate is often the first one needing adjustment, at least in my case.

Country boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
45 2.1 posted this 28 December 2019

 It is nice to blame the problem with equipment, etc. but I know that those bullets outside the group result with me. There are actually several reasons besides you. Why are you positive you are the only reason?

One of the biggest factors in improvement of group size was the bullet mix I use. There is more truth to that statement than most folks realize. The old timers always told you to match your alloy to you load. I see little of that going on here in the posts.

Do others feel that on most occasions the problem of the shots outside the group is shooter related? Again talking about a rifle that you have worked up really good loads. Flyers can result from improper load, hold, bad bullet, bad case, the nut behind the butt and so on. Most are from bad bullets in my opinion having gone thru that a long time ago. Cast good bullets with little to no weight distribution and those flyers disappear.

 

Attached Files

Ross Smith posted this 29 December 2019

Ok, help me think. If all the flyers tend towards one quadrant, is that the shooter? Cheek pressure? death grip on the rifle?

Attached Files

45 2.1 posted this 29 December 2019

Ok, help me think. If all the flyers tend towards one quadrant, is that the shooter? Cheek pressure? death grip on the rifle?

The one example of that I've seen was a sharp chamber edge shaving a bullet (due to the ejector hold it to one side until chambered) on the same position in a new chamber in an AR rifle. The flyer was at the same relative position on the target.

Attached Files

GWarden posted this 29 December 2019

 It is nice to blame the problem with equipment, etc. but I know that those bullets outside the group result with me. There are actually several reasons besides you. Why are you positive you are the only reason?

One of the biggest factors in improvement of group size was the bullet mix I use. There is more truth to that statement than most folks realize. The old timers always told you to match your alloy to you load. I see little of that going on here in the posts.

Do others feel that on most occasions the problem of the shots outside the group is shooter related? Again talking about a rifle that you have worked up really good loads. Flyers can result from improper load, hold, bad bullet, bad case, the nut behind the butt and so on. Most are from bad bullets in my opinion having gone thru that a long time ago. Cast good bullets with little to no weight distribution and those flyers disappear.

 

I know that almost always the problem is shooter relate, speaking for my shooting. I have tried different alloy mixes, and when I tried a mix of 15#Pb+ 25# mag shot+ 2% Tin I got fantastic reduction in group size. Why this alloy mix, just something I tried and it shoots better than any other mix with GC bullets for me.  With PB a soft alloy 25:1 many times. 

I have tried seating depths, primers, etc, etc and etc. and have eliminated most of the variables that can be tried. My cast bullets are uniform with little weight variations and are visibly inspected.

bob

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
John Alexander posted this 29 December 2019

It seems to me that it is difficult to talk intelligently about fliers and their cause/cure without agreement on what a flier is. The two shots in Bob's group surely seem to qualify. But from a lot of conversations with shooters over a lot of years I am convinced that most of what shooters call fliers aren't fliers at all in the sense that something special (bullet, shooting inconsistency or whatever) caused the shot.  They are just the normal distribution of the hits.  You might say they are the shots in the tails of the distribution curve.  We don't claim a distribution curve of a population shouldn't have tails.  But we often claim that the worst shot in a group must be from a different population (caused by bad shooting, bad bullet, etc.) 

Think about it. One shot has to be the one that enlarges the group of the other 4 or 9 shots.  Time after time I have had a shooter show a group or a string of groups and point out that the rifle "wants" to or "IS" shooting 1" groups but but a flier in each  group enlarges the average to 1.3".  If only they could find a way to eliminate the one flier in every group.  They don't seem to notice that one flier, and only one, per group is a pretty strange assumption.  This fallacious way of considering the worst shot in most groups as something needing to be fixed about that one shot and off we go weighing to .1gr. instead of to .2gr., eliminating the tiniest rounding or wrinkle and trying for perfect bases all based on the faulty assumption that bullet, trigger let off, etc. caused the problem.

When a shot doubles or nearly doubles the group size THEN we can starting worrying about that individual shot. I think Joe has a better definition of a legitimate flier based on better statistical thinking.

John

 

Attached Files

JeffinNZ posted this 29 December 2019

I had what some would call fliers yesterday but I am certain it was a ‘biological interface error’.

Cheers from New Zealand

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • RicinYakima
  • BudHyett
45 2.1 posted this 30 December 2019

 

I know that almost always the problem is shooter relate, speaking for my shooting. I have tried different alloy mixes, and when I tried a mix of 15#Pb+ 25# mag shot+ 2% Tin I got fantastic reduction in group size. Why this alloy mix.........Because you're closer to matching your alloy to you load.

I have tried seating depths, primers, etc, etc and etc. and have eliminated most of the variables that can be tried. My cast bullets are uniform with little weight variations and are visibly inspected. The other aspect to that is "Does it fit". Most all commercial bullet molds are undersize (especially in the nose area). You may be at the smallest nominal diameter to provide proper guidance. Some of your bullets may be a few ten thousandths below in critical areas. I've friends who measure the as cast diameters versus the weights of each bullet (usually for the 22 Hornet). There are variations there where the weight can be equal and the diameters different or the reverse where weights are different for the same diameter. Testing showed weight and diameter have to be equal to shoot very small groups. A difference in casting cadence can cause this. The solution is a custom bullet mold to actually fit (from impact throat slugs) what you have instead of trial and error or guessing. I've done that route and have improved my own shooting considerably.

 

Attached Files

Ross Smith posted this 30 December 2019

Actually, If I made the bullet, loaded the cartridge, and shot the rifle, it's my fault. So, now I start looking for things that help. new powder,new alloy,(currently switching from 40;1 to 20:1 in 2 rifles), etc. But it sure would be nice to have a few sacred cattle to blame.

If I read the wind wrong and the bullet goes into the next county, it's still my fault.

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • BudHyett
RicinYakima posted this 30 December 2019

Bob (GWarden) Below is a picture of a target I shot today, Dec 29th. Went to the range because it may be the last time I can get there for the snow. This is my heavy 30/06 Springfield with a #311284 cast 20/1 and sized .3105" I call your attention to the three "flyers" or "outliers" on the bottom right of the group. It was 34 degrees and my hands were cold. Each one of these was with the pad of my finger NOT on the center of the trigger, but pushing on the left edge. With numb hands it is hard to concentrate. Probably less than 1/8 inch of difference of finger placement, so little things matter. FWIW

p.s. Ten shots at 100 yards

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • Ross Smith
  • BudHyett
GWarden posted this 30 December 2019

Ric

Nice, doing well.

bob

 

Attached Files

M3 Mitch posted this 30 December 2019

It might be good to know where in the sequence of shots the flyers are appearing - you would just about need a buddy on the spotting scope to do this - but are they the first 2 shots, last 2, or do they appear randomly in each sequence.  Also if they are consistently on one "side" of the main group or are they distributed randomly? 

I have a hunch, and it's nothing better than a hunch, that if the flyers are consistent in sequence and in direction, they are probably some sort of mechanical problem and can in principle be done away with.  I think if they are random, they are probably inherent in the ammo/rifle/shooter/sights "system" and you are stuck with them. 

BTW both the groups pictured here are, IMHO, damn good groups, they would be damn good groups if you shot them with Sierra Matchkings.  They are truly outstanding cast bullet groups, "flyers" and all.

Of course, staying dis-satisfied with even groups like these is the only way we make any progress.  Theodore the Great would have said "bully!" to all this!

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • BudHyett
RicinYakima posted this 31 December 2019

Mike,

If I recall correctly, they are #3, #5 and #6, easy to see with 20X scope. I even know what causes them. I shoot with a "soft" rear bag and do little corrections by squeezing the bag. If my finger is pulling correctly to the rear, the  rifle doesn't move when the trigger breaks.

This rifle has a Huber trigger of one ball bearing sliding over another ball bearing and is set for one pound. Trigger take up is about 14 ounces, so if I am pulling crooked and squeezing the bag to correct 14 ounces of off angle pull, when the trigger breaks the rear bag moves the rifle. In this case I was squeezing 14 ounces left because my finger was not in the correct place. When it broke, the rifle "moved" right.

If you are shooting well, the crosshairs will come to rest at the same place at the end of recoil. Again, an advantage to a high powered scope. As for the groups, this Remington 1903 has been modified on the principles of Harold Vaughn's book Rifle Accuracy Facts, so it is shooting very well for me.

Ric

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
  • BudHyett
shootcast posted this 31 December 2019

I enjoy shooting all my firearms. The same alloy and mold will likely do the best with only my best rifle. Meaning that smallest groups without wild unexplained shots comes from a rifle most suited to shoot from the bench. Heavy rifle with a wide flat forearm and a very light trigger. If it rides the bags and you can pretty much shoot it free recoil the groups shrink. Yes there still can be flyers but the groups in general are always smaller. Learning to shoot well with a heavy or poor trigger is something I cannot do. A good group comes occasionally but not regularly. Some loads prove over time to be more consistent. Finding bug hole groups is something I have never achieved. We can all shoot something nice now and then. Even though I don’t want to blame myself I haven’t found a answer. 

Attached Files

John Alexander posted this 31 December 2019

The general assumption in this thread seems to be that the best way to improve accuracy is to improve your shooting technique.  i think a good case can be made for this and believe it usually applies to my shooting most of the time.

A secondary contention supporting the first assumption is that most,or all,"fliers" are caused by shooting technique.  I don't pretend to know if this it true or not. It is certainly different from the usual belief of a lot of cast bullet shooters whose favorite suspect is differences in the bullets.  [This belief in bullet inconsistency manifests itself in it weight sorting bullets ,often to the amazing precision or 0.1% or less.-- (0.2grain for 200 grain bullets).] It is probably overdue to give this theory a rest and think about shooting techniques instead.

Certainly a good case can be argued that shooting is the problem if the fliers are all, or usually, off in a similar direction. Ric's example is instructive because his fliers fly in the same general direction and he has even figured out what causes them.  So the hard part is done for Ric.  He just needs to stop doing it. OK I know that's easier said than done.

I don't know about others but i seldom see such a pattern in the shots out of my groups.  I may think I see one in one string of groups but looking at more groups usually ruins the pattern and the fliers usually seem random.  In fact I usually find it hard to believe there are fliers in the sense that something was wrong with the one shot. One shot has to be the worst and I think that is just how the cookie crumbles.  For evidence and arguments that this is what is happening see my two articles on fliers in TFS #221 and 223. 

One bit if evidence is that my fliers were worse in groups of match grade jacketed bullets than in groups of my cast bullets or of 22LR fodder from Walmart.

John

Attached Files

  • Liked by
  • M3 Mitch
M3 Mitch posted this 31 December 2019

A thought might be to have or obtain a really good .22 rimfire target rifle, shoot some groups, even at 50 yards, with that.  Use Green Tag or better ammo.  Maybe have a buddy who shoots better than you do, shoot some groups.  This takes the home cast bullet out of the equation. 

Or a good centerfire, outright bench rest gun.  If you are getting flyers with that, most likely it's you, not the gun, not the ammo.

BTW this month's Gun Digest Magazine has a good article on shooting, on how consistent hard holding helps get better groups, even (the author claims) higher measured velocities (like 20 FPS) with a good firm hold as opposed to letting the gun "free recoil". 

Attached Files

John Alexander posted this 01 January 2020

Good idea Mitch.

You will see for yourself that getting a better gun and/or better ammo will produce smaller groups but it will NOT eliminate fliers.  That rig in a machine rest will produce smaller groups yet but NOT eliminate fliers. I am talking about randomly placed fliers not like the group Bob presented in the first post.

Most of the things we call fliers will always be there.  The match grade jacketed bullet groups mentioned above were much smaller than the cheap 22lr groups. But the worst JB shot made the 5 shot group 52% bigger than the best 4 shots.  The worse 22LR shot in each group made the 5 shot groups 38% bigger than the best 4 shots.  if I had shot enough groups maybe the percentages would have converged.

Things aren't alway what "common sense" tells you.  The Earth isn't flat, the Sun doesn't rotate about the Earth, and better rifle/load combinations don't have fewer or less frustrating "fliers" -- just smaller groups.

You shouldn't believe this. Try it yourself.

John

Attached Files

Show More Posts
Close