In shooting, a shot grouping, or simply grouping, is the placement of multiple shots on a target, the shots taken in one shooting session. The closeness of the grouping, the nearness of all the shots to each other, is a measure of the accuracy of a weapon, and a measure of the shooter's consistency and skill.
Uses of the term
For firearms that shoot one round at a time, a shot grouping can be used to measure the accuracy of the system comprised out of weapon as well as the precision and uniformity of the ammunition by fixing the weapon into position on a test mount, and aiming it at a target. Multiple shots using rounds from same type and batch are fired to observe how the weapon groups the shots. If a person holds the weapon and shoots it, the grouping measures the combination of the person's skill and the weapon's accuracy.
In shotgun shooting, the grouping is also called the pattern. The pattern is the spread of shot from a single shotgun shell, measured as the smallest circle containing all the shots on the target. The barrel of a shotgun is designed to deliver a wide or narrow grouping, depending on the expected use. Shooting at close range indicates a cylinder bore barrel to deliver a wide grouping, while for hunting at longer distances such as 50 yards or meters, a choke is recommended for a tighter grouping.