I am going to re-engage in the near future.
I very much appreciate the likes of fritz, jljones, and sigfreund; y'all have prompted me to better myself, by getting out of my comfort zone, and exploring new training approaches.
A 10-round group today, JP Enterprises JP-15 rifle, 3-15×50 mm scope, heavy bench rest and rear bag, 100 yards, Federal Premium 73 grain Berger ammunition: 0.677" center to center; ~0.65 MOA. First time firing that ammunition I had never tried before.
I was really tempted to stop after the first five rounds for a nice “refrigerator” group, but I’d decided before starting the session that the first group would be ten rounds, and ten rounds it was.
The two at the top of the group and possibly the lower right impact were during the second five rounds of the group. Again, evidence that 10-round groups aren’t the same as five-shot or groups with even fewer shots.
What was your POA; the circle or diamond? Either way: your precision is lacking! I kid; I kid. Awesome shooting. Thank you for your continued contributions.
With those targets that I usually use for shooting groups and establishing zeroes, I normally aim at the center of the diamond. The overall diamond shape allows good centering with conventional crosshairs, and the small center open circle allows good placement of reticles with central dots. The scope on that rifle has a 15× max magnification and no central dot in the reticle so I mostly concentrate on aligning the crosshairs with the corners of the two diamonds.
Despite the snide ( ) comments we get about not hitting what we’re aiming at, when testing ammunition for precision, as I was with that session, I don’t attempt to move the point of impact to the point of aim because the sight is zeroed for a different load. Plus, many of my inputs to the ballistic solvers in my Kestrel or computer use “offsets” for the zero information. For that group, I’d enter that the load was zeroed at 100 yards, but with an approximate +0.6 inch offset above the point of aim.
Also, the designer of those targets actually intended for the groups to hit the open circle above the diamond aiming aid. His rationale for that is as the point of aim gets chewed up, that can lead to aiming errors after a few shots. When I watch videos of people shooting small groups at various targets, I often wonder how they can get a consistent POA when the central aiming point disappears.This message has been edited. Last edited by: sigfreund,
I have brainstormed a 10rd accuracy and precision drill for myself. I will employ 2MOA dots as aiming points (2" at 100, 5" at 250, etc). I will shoot one shot per target, starting at 100M; from 100M I'll move to 150, then 200, 250, and 300. I will have two targets to engage at 300. From there I'll move back to 100 in the same fashion, making for a total of ten targets with one shot each. I'll leave the timer at the 100M position, so it can beep me to start, and register the last shot; I guess I am going to be running.
Interest challenge -- running before/between shots makes it more difficult to stabilize the sights, mainly from breathing issues.
Depending on your shooting position, a 2 MOA dot drill might be reasonable. However, I don't consider a 2 MOA dot "precision", assuming you're using magnified optics. In times where even value-line AR15 builds from the likes of Palmetto State Armory can exhibit close to 1 MOA accuracy, 2 MOA targets are more along the lines of AK47 and older Mini-14 capabilities.
Rifles Only courses use a progression of accuracy demands for dot drills, as one moves to more and more advanced courses. The concept is to develop competency at a given skill level before moving on to increasing challenges.
- Start with 1 MOA dots from stable prone, first at 100 yards, then progressing to 200 & 300 yards.
- 2 MOA dots from barriers, first at 100 yards. Progress to 1 MOA dots at 100 yards, then on to 1 MOA dots at longer distances.
- 1 MOA dots after movement/running, from prone.
- 1 MOA dots after movement/running, from barriers.
RO's concepts coincide with my experience in steel/precision/PRS matches, where the fundamentals of marksmanship are best learned in less complex drills. I'm not saying your 2 MOA dots aren't valid drills, but they are more geared to testing aerobic fitness than precision shooting in this proposed case.
Ahhhhh; some of the good ol' fritzy motivation, wherein he makes me feel like a totally incompetent hack. Is it true that a PSA AR is capable of 1MOA? In my researching off-the-shelf barrel makers, it seemed that true 1MOA was not necessarily common; I ended up with Noveske, and something at a similar price point and availability (Criterion) evaluates the same, in terms of accuracy. Both are capable of producing 10rd 1MOA groups under ideal conditions; i.e. benched, fancy trigger, tuned handloads, controlled environment, at least 25x glass etc. To think that I would be able to achieve even similar results in the prone in a pasture with a Harris bipod and squeeze bag, GI trigger, quality factory ammo, and 14x magnification seems a lot to ask. The best 10rd group I've produced with the gun was 1.640"; typical 10rd groups are 2MOA, which prompted the selection of 2MOA targets. Is my precision the same as super badass precision? No. My "precision" is in the context of a general-purpose medium range carbine and it's handler being able to put a bullet pretty-well right where they want it, out to 300M. If I can perform this drill without a miss, I'll be psyched. I didn't make it for fitness, but it doesn't hurt my feelings that it has that additional practical aspect. If someone with an AK or Mini-14 built with off-the-shelf parts, and with the same other weapon and circumstantial limitations, can outperform me and my setup, then I'll take it on the chin, and keep practicing. Wasn't much of this thread born of the idea that many folks' accuracy claims are trumped-up? But now we're talking about a $400 PSA AR shooting 1MOA? What am I missing?
A free-floated AR15, with a reasonable barrel and quality ammo is capable of respectable accuracy.
The ammo must suit the barrel, and this means not all factory loads or hand loads will show great results. But FGMM 69, FGMM 77, Hornady 75 HPBT match, and Hornady 55 Vmax are among the most accurate factory loads out there.
55 grain FMJ won't produce great accuracy on a consistent basis, regardless of ammo manufacturer or rifle build or barrel. Expect 3-ish MOA results. Maybe 4 MOA. Some groups under 2 MOA.
Your Noveske barrel should produce great accuracy with the right ammo. Almost certainly better than 1 MOA, with possible "refrigerator trophy groups" of 1/2 to 3/4 MOA when the stars align. You may not have found the ammo it likes. Every barrel is different. But as my AR15 mentors have stated -- if a barrel with adequate twist doesn't shoot FGMM 69 or 55 Vmax well, there's a problem.
ARs are easy to shoot -- great ergonomics for most of us, limited recoil, reliable cycling. ARs are not the easiest thing to shoot accurately on a consistent basis -- some moving parts with a fair amount of mass, and vibrations from gas. It took me years to develop the skills to shoot an AR fairly accurately. But it's a perishable skill, and I'm constantly trying to attain the skill levels of my instructors.
I was wrong. The evaluation I referenced shows sub-MOA performance.
I, of course, concede that, if my fundamentals are on point, many of my circumstantial excuses shouldn't have an impact. The ammo is the only thing that's arguably outside my control. I have been using 73gr FTX; it shot the best, when I was comparing ammunition initially (better than GMM), and I am pleased that the barrel likes a heavier "performance" bullet, that theoretically has better terminal performance at lower velocities. However, I also concede that my initial accuracy evaluations were conducted in what could be considered the "break-in" period, and accuracy results could be different now, if I was to revisit some different loads. When you say "adequate twist", is there a spin factor that could be hindering my performance, considering the short length of the barrel (10.5")?
I have 2 competition buddies who shoot either 11" or 11.5" barrel AR15s. Twists are in the 1:7.5 to 1:8 range, barrels are high quality blanks from White Oak or Compass Lake. Optics are 10x maximum IIRC. Handloads use SMK 77 or similar, loaded fairly hot -- approaching "normal" MVs for barrels of around 13". They regularly shoot sub-MOA out to 400-ish yards, sometimes producing sub-3/4 MOA results. At 100 yards they are pretty close to 1/2 MOA rifles. Their short-ish barrels seem to stabilize heavy bullets just fine.
I vaguely recall that your 10.5" barrel has 1:7 twist, which should fine. I suspect your 73 grain bullet is shorter than a SMK 77, meaning that it should be easier to stabilize.
As for accuracy testing, I find that quality barrels shoot well from almost the beginning. Almost...meaning that I often discount accuracy for the initial 5 to 10 rounds that I use to smooth out the barrel's throat (i.e. "break in"), and to confirm zero. I see greater accuracy issues when switching among ammo types.
Here's an example, which I've likely used somewhere before on SF. A 14.5" Wilson Combat fluted recon barrel, 1:8 twist. Second day of use, less than 100 rounds on the barrel at the end of the second day. 2-10x optic. Either 430 or 440 yards, winds varying constantly 3-12 mph from my 1-2 o'clock. Likely holding just inside the right edge of the plate to a few inches off the right edge of the plate. Aimed level with the angled point of the hip or shoulder of the full sized IPSC. I had just shot 20-30 rounds of Federal Vmax 53, which this barrel wasn't overly thrilled with. Next up is Hornady 75 Black BTHP. The first 5 rounds are the higher group. Shot #1 was way low, #2 was a little higher, #3 through #5 stacked on top of each other. About 1" vertical variation for #3-#5. Total group vertical of 5.5".
Second group is the lower one. 5 rounds pretty much stacked on top of each other, with 1.5" vertical variation. I got lucky with wind holds. Pretty close to 1/3 MOA at roughly a quarter mile.
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