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Can a Rifle’s Accuracy be More Consistent at Long Range than it is at Short Range?

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Can a Rifle’s Accuracy be More Consistent at Long Range than it is at Short Range?

The Summary
I’ve heard more than one rifleman say that its possible for a rifle to be more accurate at long range than it is at short range. On first hearing this, I assumed they were talking about MOA, rather than actual group size. For example, I thought it might be possible that a rifle could shoot a 1-inch group at 100 yards (approximately 1 MOA), and print perhaps a 1¾-inch group at 200 yards (which is a larger group size but slightly smaller MOA). But, after clarifying, some riflemen say overall group size can indeed be smaller in certain guns with certain loads. They might say, for example, that a rifle’s three-shot group average is .75-inch at 100 yards, but that it averages .65-inch at 200.

They often cite bullet stabilization as the reason, claiming that in some rifles a specific bullet will yaw (a loose term for bullet nutation) and demonstrate poor accuracy before stabilizing and rotating perfectly to become more accurate at a specific longer distance. Because I have never seen this phenomenon occur firsthand, I’m inclined to call 1-800-BullShooters on it. So I investigated.

(*Note: While this question can likely be answered in a complex formula via mathematics and physics, BullShooters is about exploring hunting and shooting via practical side of things—it’s a lot more fun this way. But we welcome your comments and theories on this matter, whether practical, or mathematical.)

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