If you build rifles, what do you consider acceptable accuracy?
There are many factors. 1. Caliber, 2. Hunting Rifle or target rifle, 3. Action. 4. Ammunition. Customer requirements and minimum accuracy standards they are trying to achieve. should be discussed. Some calibers and just designed to be more accurate than others.
That's a good point, I guess accuracy is relative. Some factory rifles shoot so well these days. A friend of mine won a ruger american at a raffle. We worked up a load and it shoots 5/8 inch at 100 yards. For a $500 hunting rifle I was pretty impressed.
It seems that for single shots and bolt actioned hunting rifles: 3 shots with factory ammo, 1" or less at 100 yds. is acceptable.
Even on a $5000 and up rifle?
On a hunting rifle this is more than accurate enough to fulfill the goal. On a target rifle of BR needs it is not acceptable. The "person behind the trigger" determines the accuracy of the gun.
I had a friend who could shoot "off hand" a 3 shot group with his Win 94 30-30 using 180 grain bullets that consistently touched each other at 100 yards. It is the operator that makes the tool totally effective.
In reality, very few people can hold a hunting rifle still enough it utilize a more accurate grouping in the field. Is it satisfying to the craftsman when it does?....Yes!!. Is it realistic to expect better than factory after 60 years of complaints about factory accuracy not being up to Custom standards...IMO...nope.
Accuracy expectations for rifles and patterns for shotguns are things that should be discussed with the maker before the work begins. If the client chooses the metalsmith and then a different worker for the stockmaker it seems to me he, is then responsible for performance. The client should know what his money is buying, and the maker should know what the client expects.
best to all