Are you getting the most out of your long range precision shooting rifle? In this part of our series, I’ll start talking about long range rifles: how to select them, and how to improve their performance. Let’s start by discussing inherent accuracy and the main factor that determines it: barrel vibration.

Inherent Accuracy

The inherent, or intrinsic, accuracy of a rifle is its ability to shoot tight groups.  It is gauged by measuring the average group size at a given distance, usually 100yd or 100m, and is measured in MOA. It is measured as an angle because, in theory, if a rifle is capable of shooting 1MOA groups at 100yd, then it is able to maintain that angular spread at all distances. This is only the theory though. In practice, the spread widens as the distance lengthens. Occasionally, the grouping spread may be wider at shorter distances, due to dynamic stability issues, but that’s an exception to the rule of thumb. In general, measuring the group spread at 100yd is a good way to predict the accuracy of a rifle.

But what makes a rifle accurate?

Ammo quality and consistency have a lot to do with the level of accuracy you can achieve, but I will talk about it in a future post. For now, let’s just concentrate on the rifle.