Memtb460
(newbie)
10/12/19 07:01 PM
Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

OK, not to create turmoil, but would like the opinions of those that hunt big game. While I did a bit of handgun hunting ?many? years ago, being youthful and over zealous, I would probably take ?less than? completely ethical shots. Fast forward, I?m trying to get back into handgun hunting. Handgun: X Frame 460, from shooting sticks. So....what size groups (3 shot) should I consider acceptable for: #1deer/antelope and #2 elk? This group size will help me determine what should be my personal range limits. Thanks, memtb

Willicd76
(member)
10/12/19 07:44 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

My old BFR would do less than 6" at 100yds with irons and a 335gr hcgc at 1700fps. I would have felt comfortable on elk to 150yds with it.

jamesfromjersey
(Shootist)
10/12/19 08:30 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

Many years ago I read at whatever distance you can keep you shots inside a 8" paper plate you will be able to put them in the vital area of whitetail... Its worked for me. The best of luck on your hunt.....

Zee
(Gun Slinger)
10/13/19 10:17 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

I don?t accept accuracy. I expect it. Far too many folks settle and I think it?s one of the reasons handgun hunting is looked at sideways.

I?ve been down this rabbit hole before on here. There are differing opinions on acceptable accuracy and what it takes to achieve it. My standards are higher than some.


RSW
(member)
10/13/19 10:19 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

I agree with James.

Steve in PA
(journeyman)
10/13/19 02:09 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

Depends on the shooter and gun/sight combo. I hunted for years and was quite successful with a scoped Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum. It was sighted in at 100 yards and from a rest, I could keep 5-shots in a 2-3" group.

Lately, I've been hunting with T/C Contenders. In fact, I just got back from the range shooting a .44 Magnum and 7-30 Waters. These are the groups I strive for hunting.

14" T/C Contender in .44 Magnum, shooting 240gr XTP over H110. First shots were low, then I adjusted a bit too high. Last group was dead on.


[img]http://i.imgur.com/SdyBzSN.jpg?1[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/rzNo2Jk.jpg?1[/img]


14" T/C Contender in 7-30 Waters, shooting 139gr SST and Varget. Low drops were me, but the rest are dead on.


[img]http://i.imgur.com/uNWX0e5.jpg?1[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/rzNo2Jk.jpg?1[/img]


longhunter
(enthusiast)
10/13/19 05:29 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

 Originally Posted By: Zee
I don?t accept accuracy. I expect it. Far too many folks settle and I think it?s one of the reasons handgun hunting is looked at sideways.

I?ve been down this rabbit hole before on here. There are differing opinions on acceptable accuracy and what it takes to achieve it. My standards are higher than some.


I agree completely! For me my big bore handguns must keep everything within a 3" circle at 50 yards, for rimfires it's 1 1/2" at 35 yards. Anything less and I'll sell the damn thing.


Ernie
(Distinguished Master)
10/13/19 06:15 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

If something doesn?t shoot to my expectations, I either sell it or fix it.

Memtb460
(newbie)
10/13/19 07:56 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

Thanks! Some of you helped answer the question, which perhaps was poorly stated. I?m trying to determine what is considered an ethical kill zone size, at expected revolver velocities, on the questioned animals. This in turn will help me determine what is ?my? ethical range....be that range 5 yards or 150 yards! Thanks for any and all info in helping determine what the kill zone size to be! memtb

Chance WeldonAdministrator
(Distinguished Expert)
10/13/19 09:21 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

If you ask 10 different hunters, you'll get 10 different responses. The most commonly quoted one I've seen is keeping a full magazine/cylinder of shots on an 8-10" paper plate with the same type of rest as you'll have in the field, the maximum range at which you can do this being your personal maximum.

Vance in AK.
(Pooh-Bah)
10/17/19 02:52 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

I'm with James & Chance and assuming that the gun has acceptable accuracy.
That means the rest is up to me.
If I'm shooting groups I obviously want them as small as possible.
BUT I don't really worry about groups when it comes to establishing my max range. I want to be able to put my FIRST shot on a steel plate (I have 8" round, 8x10 rectangle, & 10" square. I think any of those is fine.) 9 out of 10 times. The max range I can do that at from field positions is my max hunting range. I will often change positions (or at least break & reestablish position) after every shot when practicing with an established -0- and load.

I used to do a lot of traditional bowhunting. When I would go to the backyard to practice I would only take one arrow so there was always a break between shots & the first (only) shot was always the one that counted. All hunting is about the first shot in the kill zone not group size.
i DO understand the importance of firearm & load accuracy as I also shoot precision rifle. Shooting tiny groups at long ranges is a blast but it's a different ball game. A gun & ammo combo that shooting at it's best will extend my max hunting range because it takes one of the variables out of that first shot.


Willicd76
(member)
10/19/19 06:36 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

The "paper plate" criteria is probably as good as any under field conditions.

Ernie
(Distinguished Master)
10/19/19 11:17 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

 Originally Posted By: Memtb460
Thanks! Some of you helped answer the question, which perhaps was poorly stated. I?m trying to determine what is considered an ethical kill zone size, at expected revolver velocities, on the questioned animals. This in turn will help me determine what is ?my? ethical range....be that range 5 yards or 150 yards! Thanks for any and all info in helping determine what the kill zone size to be! memtb


Determine the the kill zone shape and the kill zone size of the animals where you hunt.
Then, practice from the field rests you actually hunt from.
What handgun will you be hunting with?
Iron or scope?
Ethical distance for you will not be a fixed distance.
It isn't for me anyway.
Physical weariness is a component, the type of shooting rest, the atmospheric conditions (Especially wind).
Your excitement level is part of this as well.
It is not the size of the vitals, plus what you can do on your best day though.
Hopefully this is a better answer.
Most of the time you will be the limiting factor, not the revolver in question.


bluecow
(old hand)
10/20/19 08:34 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

 Originally Posted By: Willicd76
The "paper plate" criteria is probably as good as any under field conditions.


This. Plus it's also comforting knowledge if ya ever attacked by a rouge paper plate ;\)


jcp161
(member)
11/01/19 08:19 AM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

I like the paper plate criteria but also like what Vance said. First shot is always the most important and, if you want to take it a step further, it should probably be a cold barrel shot.

There was an article in a hunting magazine a few years back that talked about preparing for deer season where the author recommended practicing twice a week shooting at 8 inch bullseye targets at ranges from 50 to 100 yards from various positions. That circle seems to be the standard and the program could easily be adapted to handgun hunting.


billa
(old hand)
11/01/19 05:51 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes

I also use the keep all shots on an 8 inch circle philosophy for big game range limits. As stated by the others this is based on shooter skill and position. I want my gun and ammo to do much better than that from the bench. Dialing this in a bit I suggest that the majority of your shots should be within a 6 inch circle at comfortable shooting ranges.

Memtb460
(newbie)
11/01/19 09:22 PM
Re: Acceptable Group Size for Hunting Purposes


Thanks guys, I?ve heard about the paper plate criteria for many years. But, wanted to hear from dedicated handgun hunters! Thanks again! memtb