TFB Writers ‘MOA All Day’ Challenge – Pete

As a follow up to the ‘Can You Shoot MOA All Day Long?‘ post from a few weeks ago, I asked a few of my fellow TFB writers if they would be willing to participate in an in-house precision challenge. If you remember from our original story, ‘MOA All Day’ is a simple test of a shooter’s rifle skills: five, five shot groups on one piece of paper.  Hopefully some of the other TFB writers schedule’s will allow them to pick a rifle, shoot and post up their targets with comments and observations.

MOA All Day is the rifleman’s equivalent of a time-trial – the only one you are truly competing against is yourself. Every time I shoot those 25 rounds I am reminded of how much practice I need and that in many ways I am still a beginner precision shooter. It’s a good feeling to be humbled every once in a while.

I had to shoot my MOA challenge from the 90 yard line (my 100 yard marker is in a thick growth of poison ivy at the moment). I’ve adjusted my calculations accordingly,

The Rules:

The rules of the ‘MOA All Day’ are pretty basic. I’ve laid them out in the original post here.
  • Rimfire irons/red dot: 25 yards
  • Rimfire magnified optic: 50 yards
  • Centerfire irons/red dot: 50 yards
  • Centerfire magnified optic: 100 yards

One target (piece of paper), five groups of five shots.

The rifle must be unsupported. This is a test for you, not your vise.

Measure groups edge-to-edge and subtract the bullet’s diameter.

Average the five groups and divide by MOA for your distance.

Take pictures of your rifle at the range, your target hanging on the stand, the groupings and a measuring device laid on the best group.

My Setup:


  • Federal Gold Medal 69gr BTHP (recorded)
  • Hornady TAP 75gr 5.56 BTHP (tested)
  • Federal Fusion 62gr SP (tested)

Photo documentation as required:


This is my rifle…



Range view



Target in place.



Target scored



Smallest group with caliper measurement.

Raw data:

.894, 1.26, 1.21, 1.17, 1.16

Subtracting .224 (bullet diameter) to get center-to-center measurements:

0.67, 0.946, 0.936, 0.986, 1.036

Average of five groups:

0.67 + 0.946 + 0.936 + 0.986 + 1.036 = 4.574/5 = .915

MOA at 90 yards:

1.047 x 0.90 = .942


0.915 / 0.942 = 0.971

Full MOA All Day calculation:

0.67 + 0.946 + 0.936 + 0.986 + 1.036 = 4.574/5 = .915/0.942 = 0.971 MOA


I had “fliers” on the top left and bottom right targets (maybe even the other two corners?) that opened up my groups significantly.

To be honest, I was disappointed in my performance. And I could make all kinds of excuses, but in the end, I just could have shot better. However, I’m pumped up enough to try and get 50 rounds on target two or three times a week for the rest of the summer. I’ll report back in late September (hopefully I will show some improvement).

Note: Before you start shouting at the screen at how easy it is to shoot 1/2 MOA at 90 yards, set up the MOA challenge and give it a go. Are you as good of a shooter as you think you are?

Shout out to Arma Dynamics for the use of their free downloadable targets. Visit them at


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • QuadGMoto

    I’m confused. There is a bipod in the pictures. But your challenge says “unsupported”. Is it “some support” or slings or freehand only?

    • Austin

      I believe that it is ment as no shooting vices, bipods and props are ok within reason as long as the shooter is still in complete control of the rifle.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Spot on. Thx.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      I should specify: unsupported in the rear other than a small squeeze bag. Front support with bipods/bags is ok.

      • QuadGMoto

        That makes sense. Thanks.

      • Austin

        Your being more generous than I would. I would say nothing but the shooter supporting behind the trigger.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          That’s the way I shot, but the rules allow for a small bag.

  • Steve

    While your results and own reaction were quite humble, there are no such thing as ‘fliers’. Just replace that word with ‘excuse’ or ‘mistake’ – first time I uttered the word ‘flier’ when I was target shooting my father I got quite the ear-full…

    In all seriousness, those results are nothing to complain about. If you’ve never used it before, I’d urge you to give TARAN target analysis a try. I have no personal connection to this online software aside from using it after just about every range trip these days.

    Search “TARAN 1.1 (yojeg1)” on Google and it’ll pop right up. Saves a TON of time by automating all the measurements and averaging by just uploading a photo of the target and clicking on the center of all the holes.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Thanks Steve. Much appreciated.

      • Steve

        Anytime – just out of boredom I plugged in the picture you posted and in about 2 min it spit out the results as a 0.944″ ES average coming out to 1.002 MOA across all five groups. Pretty close to the hand calculations you made!

        The software actually overlays a transparent caliber-sized dot as you are placing each shot – it matches up with the burn marks on the paper really well and I’ve found it to be more accurate than using a caliper and trying to judge the edge of the shot with tears in the paper.

        Factoring the POA into all 5 groups, you had a SD of 0.51 MOA, R50 value of 0.60 MOA, and R99 value of 1.53 MOA. This is the part I really like about the software – the R99 value basically tells you that with you shooting this rifle, 99% of your shots will fall within ~1.5 MOA.

        It’s also showing you are shooting about 1/8 MOA high and 5/8 MOA left of the POA with that loading.

        • Pete – TFB Writer

          That is very cool. Thanks. I will download it and give it a go.

          • Steve

            Never had much luck with the download – I just use the web-based version. It does let you save and load ‘projects’ locally, however!

    • Aries144

      Certainly shooters may blame errors on things outside of their control, but I’ve found that “fliers” aren’t necessarily shooter error either. Rather, they’re often over optimistic expectations of the mechanical accuracy of a given firearm/ammo combination caused by using too few rounds per group when determining mechanical accuracy.

      If you really want to know how well you’re shooting compared to what your firearm is capable of, you really need to vice a gun first and get a composite group of around 30 shots. If you can shoot to within 1/2 MOA of the mechanical extreme spread, you’re doing really well.

      • Steve

        The only time I’d personally let the word ‘flier’…fly… is the first group out of a cold/clean bore. It’s definitely important to know where your first cold bore shot will be landing, but until you foul the barrel with 5-10 rounds, you’ll probably get some oddball groupings – especially if you’re someone who cleans the barrel until the patches come out looking cleaner than when they entered the chamber.

    • whamprod

      first time I uttered the word ‘flier’ when I was target shooting my father I got quite the ear-full…

      Why were you target shooting your father?

      • Steve

        with my father*

        …you knew what I meant =)

        • whamprod

          Yes, I did, but it was funny! ?

  • H.A.M.

    Those of us with the advantage of a reloading press, do you mind if we jump in?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Of course.

      • Guygasm

        Of course not.


        • VARimfireGuy

          I don’t want to drag the rules discussion too far into minutia – but – I am interested. The original article states


          You can shoot in any position as long as you are in control of your rifle and are not relying on mechanical sleds, vices, braces and overly-large sandbags. Shooters can use a squeeze bag or small wedge to support the stock.”
          What is an “overly-large sandbag”? I normally shoot off lead shot bags filled with sand – 2 in front and 1 in the rear. Would this setup be within the rules?

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            The key with the rear bag is user control. The shooter needs to have to control it to make the shot. Not just bagged in place.

  • Bassman

    Gotta ask, would diopter sights register as a kind of “optics” for the challenge? Mine are mounted on a .22lr rimfire rifle.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Nope, 25 yards. Have at it!

      • Bassman

        Nice! Thank you.

        • Steve

          MOA is MOA either way 😉

          Diopter sights are generally set up for a bull at a given range – for this challenge, shooting at the correct range for YOUR diopter setup is probably most appropriate.

          • Bassman

            Yes, the competition rifles of my club are normally sighted for 50 meters, but necessary repairs to our rifle range made us temporarily relocate and sight in at a 25m pistol range. Annoying, but not a bad coincidence for the challenge. ( Got to stick to official ranges, because everyone knows that using a safe place in the woods to shoot would be far to simple in the oh so-wise EU)

          • Gary Kirk

            But hey, threw a wrench in your clockwork there didn’t it.. Having to be able to adjust is essential, now you get to learn another distance, and readjust to your former..

          • Gary Kirk

            Unless he’s got adjustable diopters like an mp-5.. Then it’s just turn it to said yardage.. But have a feeling he’s talking more ansi than H&K

          • Bassman

            You’re right, the diopter sights are quite standard match diopter sights, albeit designed for 50m ISSF. They come adjustable with scope-like adjustments so no problem on a distance change.

          • Steve

            My old Ishmash biathlon rifle has the front and rear iris set up for the exact targets I’d be shooting at 50 m. Once you get the iris down to the exact ~0.1-0.2 mm size range you are most comfortable with, it REALLY makes a difference. That being said, these rifles are really designed to be able to hit a plate over a wide temperature range rather than putting the round in the same hole each and every shot.

            Honestly, if someone wanted to make minor adjustments to the “MOA all day” challenge and documented the reasoning and changes well (in a guest post, etc.), who am I to argue with the results? I consider them guidelines; I’m shooting better at 50 m than I am at 25 m, it’s only going to make me feel better at the end of the day!

  • CommonSense23

    Did you aim at the same point for all 5 groups.

    • Steve

      By the rules of the challenge, this is irrelevant. Requiring the same point of aim or no adjustment to scope/sight zero would imply you are trying to get the E.S. of a 25-shot group.

      • CommonSense23

        But the fact remains he still doesn’t know if his gun actually shoot a 1MOA and the data says he doesn’t.

  • iksnilol

    Isn’t a bipod slightly cheating?

    Still, good results.

    • Gary Kirk

      Not according to the rules.. Sounds sorta like the half ass open F-class modified “matches” I used to play around in.. “Any front rest (excluding clamping/mounted) and no rear “attached” support.. Correct Pete?

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        Yup. Very similar.