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ndemiter's picture
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AR-15 performance

I used to have a Bushmaster Ar in .223, and seeing some of my friends own other AR platform rifles, I've noticed that most of them can only shoot 2-3 MOA from a production gun out of 20" barrels.

this leads me to as the question that "shouldn't we as consumers be demanding a little better quality for the price tag?" if you're going to spend $1200+ on a rifle, IMO it should shoot at least 1 MOA. and that's just for starters.

I know there's custom setups out there that do much better, but it seems like they should be able to do much better. I sold mine because i couldn't even hit a coyote at 250 yards even though i fired half a dozen shots at it.

anybody else experience this too? and were you able to do anything about it?

hunter25's picture
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I have only had the

I have only had the opportunity to use one AR15 but I'm surprised at the accuracy that has been your experience. Mine is a Ruger 556 and will shoot about 1.25 with the cheapest brass cased ammo I could find and it should be noted that the trigger is terrible. I have not shot any others but I have heard many people rave about the accuracy results they are getting. The .308 from DPMS seems to get the best reviews most of the time.

My Ak will shoot into 3 inches with cheap steel cased ammo and I have another in .223 that will do about the same with brass but opens up to 6 with steel cased Wolf ammo.

WesternHunter's picture
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ARs

Problem with AR's these days is that everybody and their brother wants one.  This is leading to back-orders and too high demand for the factories to crank these things out to satisfy the market. What type of quality do you thing is being put into these modern commercial ARs?  It's good, but not as good as it probably should be. 

As far as accuracy goes, what more do you expect from an auto loading rifle???  That weapon was never intended to be a tack driver nor was any battlefield assault rifle intended to be such.  I know I'm going to get flammed for saying this - Personally I never thought the AR or M16 type rifle was a very good weapon to begin with, but that's just my opinion based on other weapons I've fired under harsh conditions.  The US military adopted a rifle plagued with problems initially and then spent the next 25 years trying to make it an "acceptable" rifle.  I think they've worked out most of the problems by the mid 1980's.  Personally I always thought there were (and are) much better weapons sytems available since it's adoption, even on the commercial market.  The gun industry along with the sportsman type publications have sure done a great job of marketing that rifle to the public for sporting use and are trying to hot-rod this rifle into the hunting arena. 

Maybe I just see thing differently, as I've always been one to recognize that there are what's called the "right" tools for the job. If you're looking for a battle rifle platform, then expect what a battle rifle platform will deliver.  To me marketing is just what it is....marketing!  You have to be more intelligent and smarter than the clever people who are adverising and selling to you.  You can sell dog poo to anyone if you market it correctly and have the right appeal to selling it. 

SoCoKHntr's picture
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This has not been my experience at all

With the Bushmaster V-Match I purchased earlier this year and had the barrel cut down to 18 inches, I have routinely shot 5 shot hundred yard groups within an inch and slightly under with my reloads. At two hundred yards I've shot 1 1/2 to 2 inch groups and 2 to 3 inch groups at 300.

A few things to consider, are the AR's you're shooting carbines meant for close quarter combat and are they iron sighted are scoped? Two, what ammo have you tried? I fired some cheap Remington FMJ's that grouped horrible in my gun. And three,  what kind of trigger pull are you getting? Most come with pretty heavy triggers from the factory which will hinder accuracy greatly.

The AR hunting models offered by most companies like Rock River Arms and Bushmaster have barrels and triggers which are meant to enhance accuracy. My V-Match did have a horrible trigger but my gunsmith remedied that for $50 and accuracy was improved greatly. I also have a Nikon scope on it and have reloaded different bullet brands and weights to find what my particular gun liked. Just like with a bolt gun you still need to experiment with different loads to find what each particular gun likes. This may take some time and money but you won't know if you have a lemon or not until you put a few different rounds down the barrel.

Being short on cash I used what powders I had on hand (and which my 223 manual suggested) to try some loads and with both IMR 4064 (not a popular 223 suggestion) and Varget and using the 55gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and 53gr Sierra Match HP and 55gr Sierra HPBT and Rem BR small rifle primers I got the groups mentioned above. This was good accuracy and not even using the more recommended powders for the 223 and AR like Benchmark and others. I'm sure when I finally pick up some of the more recommended powders accuracy will increase even more.

My AR is accurate as hell and I plan on dusting a mess of coyotes with it this year, that is as soon as big game hunting winds down a bit.

Don Fischer's picture
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Clueless

I don't know squat about the black rifles. Had to shoot them in the service, minute of enemy combatant was good enough! But from things I hear about them the accuracy rivals a good bolt action. I don't think I believe that but I'd give those that say that the benifit of the doubt. Could be that those rifles have had a lot of custom work done on them.

WesternHunter's picture
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accuracy

I think SoCo's experience speaks pretty well about modern commercial made AR type rifles these days. A heavy barrel as well as other modifications will go a good ways towards improving accuracy.  In my experience modern commercial AR type rifles are plenty accurate out of the box, but I would not fret over 1" to 2" groups at 100 yards. You can get better by tweeking a few things. Most older bolt action rifles from decades past were typically as loose as 2" rifles at 100 yards and those old timers bagged plenty of game out to farther distances.  

When it comes to comparing a bolt action to an auto loading rifle, I'll take my chances with the bolt rifle any day. One thing I will say about accuracy, and I hate to throw it out there because it offends some people, but accuracy in most modern rifles is usually 95% to do with the shooter behind the trigger.  Take the human factor out of it for a bit and I think using some type of device like a Caldwell lead-sled shooting rest coupled with a phneumatic actuated trigger puller once or twice can tell you a lot about your rifles inherent accuracy.   

JJD
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black guns

I believe many have made good points here.  Demand = supply and the quality of said supply.  I will be the first to chime in on some of the poor quality being produced.  The trigger on my DPMS Qracle was like dragging a concrete block down a gravel road.  I would gladly paid a handful of $$ more for the firearm if the trigger would have been at least usable. Putting in a CMC trigger has made thee arm a pleasure to shoot and dropped the group size considerably.  I too will agree that shooter quality ussually has more to do with it than firearm quality, but in this case, even a master class shooter would have had problems grouping with the original trigger.

If semiautos are not accurate, someone better tell those boys at Camp Perry, they been shootin the wrong guns for years.  National match M1A can keep a group inside of a dime at 100m with a variety of loads.  They will be doing the same with the black guns a few years down the road if they are not doing so already.

WesternHunter's picture
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Accuracy

JJD wrote:

If semiautos are not accurate, someone better tell those boys at Camp Perry, they been shootin the wrong guns for years.  National match M1A can keep a group inside of a dime at 100m with a variety of loads.  They will be doing the same with the black guns a few years down the road if they are not doing so already.

Nobody ever said that semi-autos were not accurate, just that I believe a bolt rifle is more inherently accurate.  Then again accuracy has a whole lot to do with the person behind the trigger.  Those finely tuned match rifles you speak of at Camp Perry are quite a bit different rifle than your standard battlefield rifle.  Also a lot of people like to repeat that AKs aren't accurate compaired to ARs or M16 rifles and they base that on heresay from the histiory channel documentaries.  From my experience I found AKs to be every bit as accurate as a well-used standard service issue M16 rifle.  I'm sure when those AKs were new, before fighting numerous revolutions and firing tens of thousands of rounds, they were pretty darn accurate too.

JJD
JJD's picture
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Price VS accuracy.

I guess where I get lost in this is the "a bolt rifle is more inherently accurate".

The bolt rifle is a product of what the general public has come to demand. Will Semi autos follow the same course? That remains to be seen. I believe that accuracy wise, it will happen, price wise, not so much. Semi autos have inherently more parts making an accurate arm more expensive to produce.

Let’s compare apples with apples. Look back at the off the rack military issue "03", they were not tack drivers by any means, nearly all of today’s out of the box bolt guns could shoot circles around them. With a few modifications the std issue 03 can be made to shoot fairly well. Same can be said of the AR's being produced today. I will totally agree that the mass produced AK is every bit as accurate as the std issue M-16. The reason the AK has never really caught on is the cartridge of issue. I'm sure some would argue that you can take down medium size game with it, but there are far better choices out there. The AK cartridge was designed for dependability with that particular fire arm, not ballistic quality. No doubt, the AK has served its purpose admirably. The only advantage of the AR in its original offering of 5.56 is with a little work, it can be fairly potent Varmint medicine. Much can be done by an AR owner to enhance accuracy. Not so with the AK.

WesternHunter's picture
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AR accuracy

JJD wrote:

 

 

Let’s compare apples with apples. Look back at the off the rack military issue "03", they were not tack drivers by any means, nearly all of today’s out of the box bolt guns could shoot circles around them.

 

The same can be said for most commercial out-of-the-box bolt action guns prior to about 1980. But there has always been a few easy modification that could easily be made to increase their inherent accuracy.  But as I always say, accuracy is also very relative and has a lot to do with the person behind the trigger.  Another problem with accuracy today is that the general public is getting fussier and fussier about it, demanding better and better from a factory mass-produced out of the box rifle.  Suddenly 1" to 2" groups at 100 yrds to 200 yrds is no longer considered acceptable to the masses from any rifle. For as much as sportsman and gun owners want to keep the traditions alive, we sure have a hard time accepting traditional accuracy out of our guns.  I think too that many shooters mistake inaccuracy for their inability to be able to shoot well.  I often see this at the shooting range, but I hate to rush to conclusions about someones rifle that I have not fired myself.

ndemiter's picture
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i didn't really want to start

i didn't really want to start an argument about if you can shoot well or not. that's not my problem.

 

I can hit a dime at 100 yards with my winchester, but i'll be lucky to hit an apple with either AR i've tried. have any of you other guys noticed the same thing? have you tried any mod's to fix this?

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