I've said it before, but here goes again:
Why are people always talking ballistics and dispersion, like that is the only factor influencing gunnery accuracy?
Isn't it possible that the reason for the short ranges pilots fired at historically had to do with the difficulties involved in actually aiming the guns rather than the accuracy of the guns themselves?
In RoF we enjoy the ability to maneuver our planes with pin-point precision, and we don't have to concentrate on lining up the iron sights, because we have snap views that does it all for us. I've never flown a WW1-era plane or anything close to it IRL, but I'll bet a Channel Map upgrade that it's not possible to aim the entire aircraft with such precision as we can do, we're talking in the area of 1/100 degree precision here, and much less keep it completely steady in one position while firing.
Even with the greatest dispersion it's always possible to "spray-and-pray" at long distances and still have a reasonable chance of hitting something, as long as you are able to keep your sights square on the target. If, on the other hand, you have relatively little dispersion, but the plane is so shaky and your controls so imprecise that your aim is bobbing all over the place, then you could easily epty the entire ammo belt and never come even close to hitting anything.
With all this pedantic discussion about dispersion, it's amazing that noone seems to be adressing the obvious question if it isn't our ability to aim that's too accurate.
I'll record a track with my view off center, using 1:1 setting in Track IR and turbulence set high, it doesn't change how incredibly accurate the guns are but if you need proof I'll make it.
But regardless I do agree with Vander that the hit boxes are just too weak and general and it allows damage to be done at long ranges easily.