” Only accurate rifles are interesting”
said Townsend Whelen.
Townsend Whelen (March 6, 1877 – December 23, 1961), was an American hunter, soldier, writer, outdoorsman and rifleman. Whelen was a colonel in the United States Army, contributing editor to Sports Afield, American Rifleman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life, Guns and Ammo, and other magazines, and author of Telescopic Rifle Sights, The Hunting Rifle, Small Arms and Ballistics, Hunting Big Game, and Why Not Load Your Own. An autobiography, Mr. Rifleman, was begun by Whelen, but finished by his family and published after his death. An expert rifleman with few peers, Whelen could reportedly hit man-sized target at 200 yards using the bolt action, open-sighted M1903 Springfield .30-06 service rifle, scoring six hits in ten seconds flat, and could do it on command. (source: Wikipedia.org)
So what is “Accurate” then?
Accuracy and precision.
In the fields of science, engineering, industry, and statistics, the accuracy of a measurement system is the degree of closeness of measurements of a quantity to that quantity’s actual (true) value. The precision of a measurement system, related to reproducibility and repeatability, is the degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions show the same results. Although the two words precision and accuracy can be synonymous in colloquial use, they are deliberately contrasted in the context of the scientific method. (From Wikipedia.org)
From a scientific point of view accuracy and precision are two different things. So what we look for in a good gun should be both precision and accuracy in scientific terminology. But as Wikipedia says: In normal daily use people (and shooters) use both terms to describe the same quality: To hit what you aim at.
And what you aim at is very different for the many types of shooting that exist. The ten ring in Olympic 10 meter airrifle shooting measures 0,5 millimeter. The targets used in airgun field target shooting measure 40mm at 50 meters distance. And the ten ring for the target that is used in The Netherlands for competition shooting at 100 meters with airrifles measures 30mm.
The airrifles used for 10 meter olympic shooting are very accurate at 10 meters. At 10 meter these rifles are capable of putting 5 shots through a hole that has the size of the pellet (4,50mm). But the same rifle is not accurate at all when shot at 100 meters.
So when talking about accuracy in airrifles is always necessary to know the type of competition the rifle is meant for and the distance it is shot at.