Before we talk about any of our own data I feel it is important to talk about what mean radius is and what it should mean in terms of accuracy reporting. Any time someone talks about accuracy or precision as a general subject they quantify that using the term MOA. MOA stands for minute of angle and is an angular measurement. Generally speaking when they use this term they are talking about the measurement of extreme spread which they are showing the furthest outside two shots. With an extreme spread you can have multiple ten shot groups that may look very very different but can be reported as the same size.
The above group illustrates how two groups which look very different could be misinterpreted. The group on the right at .646 MOA extreme spread would be considered larger than the .643 MOA extreme spread on the left. The are very close and could be a calculation error. The reality is that the group on the left is much tighter with one outlier shot. This isn’t necessarily a ‘flier’ or shot that should be removed from the group information but it surely shouldn’t define the entire group. This is where mean radius comes into play. By measuring each rounds displacement from the center of the group we can compare groups based off of the average deviation form the center of the group thus incorporating every round of the group rather than the two furthest groups. The average to the center of the target on the left is .176 while the target on the right is almost twice as dispersed at .309.
Extreme spread has held its hold on shoddy reporting thanks to its ease of use. Technology has taken over most aspects of our life but it seems to just be too easy for a shooter to approximate the furthest two shots (or often times eliminate the furthest and compare only the interior most groups)
Luckily there is great software out that we can easily process group sizes. One such product is ontarget when you process groups through on target you can quickly compare extreme spread as with average to center instantly. If you see other shooters presenting groups you can also quickly find a reference point and find the mean radius for comparison sake.
So how did our barrels and ammo compare when measuring every round of the group rather than just the extreme spreads? (note some of the graphs were made by Ryan and are good. The graphs with no Black Hills info are made by yours truly. The computer genius)
Lets start with the Ammunition mean radius averages
Right away we must remind that the ten round group for the Black Hills 69 grain was only 8 rounds for one barrel. So 1/3 of the 10 round groups are slightly skewed and the combined data will be slightly different. For that reason when we get to the barrel information there will be two graphics one with BH and one without.
Using mean radius we still see a rather tight pack among the full data of the ammunition results. We still instantly pick up the larger PPU groups and find that it wasn’t a single or even a few misplaced rounds that sent the extreme spread to be the largest but the averages of the rounds to be routinely larger than the counterparts.
When showing just the ten round groups we see similar groups that do not line up as well as the others mostly the PPU offerings. I feel compelled to remind again that the 10 shot group data for the Black Hills 69 had one excellent group of 8 rounds.
In the five round groups we see the Black Hills is higher and is represented with a full sample size.
The barrel results are easier to read and compare.
I am leading off with the 5 shot groups as there are twice as many samples for them. We also do not have any contamination in them. The scale on this bar graph is at a very close examination. There is only a difference of .04 moa over all the 5 round groups. The three barrels all shot very well.
When comparing all groups the criterion is about .05 moa tighter than both the BA and Larue offerings but this includes data for Black Hills 10 shot groups.
The combined groups graph without Black Hills quickly shows off that I am a cave man that isn’t capable of simple computer tasks. I couldn’t figure out how to put the numbers into the top and Ryan had actual things to do on a friday night. The figures are
Ballistic Advantage .584
This doesn’t represent a huge change but it made me uncomfortable presenting data that was skewed. I try to remind anyone looking at this that no groups were left out and any discrepancy from our method is noted.
Ten shot groups with the BH data have been shown at a narrow range. Remember that we are only looking at a difference of .11 moa from 1st to 3rd.
Without Black Hills data again using my computer skills the values are
Ballistic Advantage .691
The change from data containing all rounds and the data exluding the Black Hills 69 grain had no real change on the Ballistic Advantage or Larue barrels the Criterion had a shift from .5807 to .607. This didn’t change much but is now representing a .09 moa change.
Below is each ammo broken down by barrel.
It needs to be noted that the criterion 10 shot is mislabeled as a 10 shot when it is actually an 8 shot group.