I bought a standard upper kit from them a few years ago and while serviceable it never grouped very well with decent boxed ammo like 69 gn FGMM.
I had planned on swapping the barrel then stuff went poof and all that.
Of course now stuff is a bit more but what do ya do?
I picked up a Faxon 1:8 16", mid gas, Gunner profile in .223 Wylde and stuck a Strike FH on the end of it.
Can definitely feel a difference between the PSA Govt profile and the Gunner, not so front heavy now.
Running a Radian BCG and Vltor A5 system with an A5H2 buffer to start with for the action. Got an A5H4 but don't think I'll need it.
Not much PSA left to it anymore.
I have a 1-6X24 on it now but am swapping scopes on the .308 so it's getting the 1-8x24
Got some more ammo inbound at $1.50 a pop so didn't get much. Really need to start reloading again.
Looks good. What hand guard/rail is that?
I'm thinking you wont be too happy burning FGGM on this one either. But it depends really on what are your goals.
“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
The PSA one that came on it.
Is there a better option?
The main diet of this is 55 and 62 gn 5.56
I'm just trying the FGMM and similar to see what it's capable of.
The other barrel patterned rather than grouped.
Not so much an issue when all I really do is zap a 10" plate.
But smaller targets such as clays at 100 - 200 yds was pretty much a waste of ammo.
If I am able to get the groups around 1 MOA or so I'll be happy.
The best I managed to squeeze out of it before was 5" - 6"
Six inch groups???
I was going to buy some gauges to check and see what's going on with it but just spent the money on a decent barrel instead.
After watching a few vids on PSA barrels from SOTAR and such I'm leaning towards something being off with it.
My buddies M&P15 is way more accurate than it was.
Nice centered hits on the plate instead of all over the place.
I'm not expecting the holes to be touching but being able to hit the plate at ranges more than 100 yds somewhat consistently would be nice.
Assuming those were 5-6" groups at 100 yards with the PSA barrel, then the accuracy was dreadful. Something sounds amiss with the overall rifle setup. Your 6x scope isn't the best for making teeny weeny groups, but it's definitely good enough for reasonable accuracy. I have no idea why it didn't shoot better. I know there are guys who use PSA rifles without issues.
Your Faxon barrel may, or may not, be a really accurate shooter. Its thinner profile forward of the gas block may work against accuracy, especially as the barrel heats and cools from/between strings of fire.
Your Faxon barrel's 1/8 twist is just about optimal for 69 SMK bullets. If it doesn't shoot accurately with FGMM 69, there's a good chance it won't shoot well with any factory ammo. You may attain 1 MOA groups with FGMM 69 at 100 yards. You may get them regularly. You may get them once in a blue moon. If the Faxon barrel is good, then the frequency with which you attain small groups depends on your technique.
If your primary ammo is 55/62 grain FMJ, expect regular groups of 3-4 MOA. Sure, you can print a 1 MOA group with ball ammo on occasion. But don't expect such accuracy on anything other than once in a blue moon. Also note that with many barrels, when you switch from cheap ball ammo to FGMM 69, it may take 10-15 rounds of FGMM 69 down range before it shoots up to its potential.
Interesting, what causes that?
Different bullet shapes and fouling?
I wasn't able to find FGMM when I went looking but PSA had Winchester match 69 for $1.5 so I got a couple boxes. Uses the same SMK HPBT 69 gn bullet and similar ballistics.
Of course 2 days later FGMM popped up for $1.5
I don't know why changing from 223 ball to match ammo results in temporary accuracy issues. It's a well-known phenomenon with 22lr ammo, so maybe there are similar concepts. I first suspected the problem in 2-rifle matches, then documented the results in practice. For me, the "fouling" issue is repeatable. It occurs in multiple AR15 barrels. It occurs with multiple types of factory match 223 ammo -- Federal & Hornady, 69 & 73 & 75 grain bullets. I have discussed my findings in a few threads, and almost certainly in the "long range rifle discussion".
I've shot Winchester SMK 69 in two rifles -- a retired 18" 1/7 Wilson Combat AR15, and a 24" 1/8 Proof Research bolt action. Initial results in the bolt action are shown on page 136 of the "long range rifle" thread. The 18" barrel produced great accuracy at the Rifles Only facility out to 700 yards, and good accuracy at 800 yards. Initial accuracy with the 24" showed outstanding accuracy at 400 yards and solid accuracy at 600 yards. My hopes are that Winchester SMK 69 is in the league of FGMM 69.
I purchased a few hundred rounds of Winchester 69 a few months ago with the prices were OK -- before they really skyrocketed. I need to test the ammo more thoroughly in my other ARs. But if all goes well, I will buy more as prices come down. A couple of years ago, I recall Winchester 69 going for $1.25 to $1.50 per round, when FGMM 69 could be found regularly for $.85 to $.95 each. If current trends continue, it is possible that Winchester 69 will sell for less than Federal 69.
I've had very little time for shooting in recent weeks -- only 24 rounds of Win 69 SMK through a 16" AR-15, with a barrel that's a bit picky with ammo. This barrel shines with FGMM 69 and Hornady 75 Black, but can be inconsistent with other types of match ammo. It has done well with virtually every 68- or 69-grain HPBT match round, however.
Winds were 7-10 mph from my right. Shooting at painted steel, from prone, using 2-10x Vortex glass. Due to variable winds, I concentrate on vertical variation, not group sizes. 5-round strings per target.
320 yards -- First target had vertical variation of 2.75 inches, which is pretty good for this barrel. Not great, as FGMM 69 is often around 2", with its best at 1.5" of vertical. The Winchester rounds stacked right on top of each other, meaning the winds were consistent for this string
320 yards -- Second target had vertical of 5.25" for 6 rounds. I felt I yanked the 4th shot high (a common problem for me), so I shot a 6th round. Throwing out the high flyer, 5 rounds in 2.75 inches of vertical.
440 yards -- Ugly, with vertical of 7 inches. Wind was highly variable, so lots of horizontal. I thought I broke the shots well, so this target doesn't say much for the ammo.
495 yards -- Vertical of 6 inches for 6 impacts. Missed the plate once due to a wind gust that I didn't see. Nothing special for accuracy.
I should to try another accuracy test. But my instincts are that Win 69 is pretty good in this rifle out to 300-ish yards, but a bit lackluster beyond. I have other ARs to test, also.
As I had explained in another thread many months/years ago, changing powder can cause some accuracy issues in a rifle for a few rounds. As a long time handloader, this is something that I picked up along the way, decades back.
This will be more apparent when going from ball to extruded or the other way around. Ball powder is quite popular for bulk rounds, whereas match rounds are usually extruded powder because you can get better temperature-insensitive powder with extruded.
Best way to find out is to pull the bullets on one of each and compare the powders.
Of course, an easy way to deal with the accuracy issue due to a switch is to push a cleaning rod down the bore with a patch a couple of times to remove most of the residue from the prior powder.
I haven't had a chance to test it out yet but hope to this weekend as now I have two to zero.
This is about what I was getting at 25 yds prone and bagged with 5.56.
FGGM didn't look much better but I didn't burn through a bunch to see if it improved either, which sounds like I should have.
I'll go through the Win69 first and go from there.
Thanks for the info.
Something is definitely wrong somewhere. USGI 25 meter zero targets with ball ammo and iron sights usually do much better than that
I haven't shot FMJ ammo for groups in a long time. Figured I needed some recent experience to discuss your target.
I shot 60 rounds of Winchester 69 SMK, and I'll address that later. Then I transitioned to American Eagle 55 FMJ without cleaning the barrel. I considered shooting at 25 yards, but I just couldn't do it. Even with ball ammo, I expected to stack the holes on top of each other as such a short distance.
Experienced on-and-off rain squalls during the afternoon. I set up a coroplast backer (a re-purposed yard political sign) at 50 yards, put a few 2" shoot-n-see pasters on it, then setup up the rifle. Prone, with bipod and rear bag. Shot a group of 5 rounds, and the rains hit again with 20+ mph winds from my 8 o'clock. The group showed mainly vertical stringing, with dispersion of about 1.25". I ducked back into the SUV and waited out the squall.
I set up again after the rain passed. The paster I shot at was gone -- blown away by the wind. So I put 3 more pasters on paper, then taped it to the coroplast target. Wind was still blew at 20+ mph from my left. The target backer was shaking quite a bit. The pasters almost blew off the paper.
- Paster #2 - 3 shots with vertical stringing, then 2 shots impacting at 4 o'clock.
- Paster #3 - all 5 impacts at 4 o'clock.
- Paster #4 - all 5 impacts at 4 o'clock.
Wind drift caused the shots to fall to the right.
Shots were lower than the center of paster, due to elevation issues. With a zero at 100 yards, I probably should have dialed up 3+ MOA to impact even with the paster's center.
The first 8 shots of AE55 showed the accuracy effects of switching from Win SMK69 to AE55. The accuracy settled down on shot #9. This barrel shoots AE55 OK -- 1.5 to 2 MOA at 100 to 200 yards. The barrel can do 3/4 MOA or less with factory match ammo that it likes, and at distances well beyond 100 yards.
Extrapolating back to 25 yards, the groups on pasters #3 and #4 would have been 1/4" or less.
Cutting to the chase, I see real accuracy issues with your 25 yard target. Something is amiss with the "system" -- rifle/ammo/shooter.
- Be certain that the rifle is assembled correctly. Be certain everything is tight. No wobbles.
- You're using factory ammo, so it's probably OK.
- How comfy are you with your precision shooting skills with an AR? Do you have a buddy who's really good with an AR15 to confirm your rifle's accuracy?
OP, I look at your set up and can't help think your scope is way too high. Unless you have a long head like Herman Munster! Most likely you're not getting a consistent cheek weld. Got to be floating around not getting your head in the exact same place will cause parallax issues, point of aim/point of impact shifts. This might not be the only reason your groups are not so good, certainly will play a part. You might consider getting a rear stock with an adjustable cheek rest. Magpul is coming out with a PRS lite soon. Obviously you'll have to ditch the Vltor stuff.
Returning to the Winchester 69 SMK, with this same Wilson 16" AR. Winds were 7-10 mph from 9 o'clock at my shooting position, but based on actual bullet drift, wind speeds were higher downrange. I shot most rounds with a Magnetospeed V3, to develop dope charts and to determine if flyers were caused by MV fluctuations. I didn't clean the barrel after the Winchester rounds from a couple of weeks prior.
- First group had 2" vertical dispersion. Woohoo, and the impacts were stacked right on top of each other.
- Next was 3.5" vertical for all 5 rounds. 4 rounds in a tight cluster of 2" vertical, with one high impact. I felt I broke all shots well, and there was nothing special in the MV readings for the string.
- 4.5" vertical for 6 rounds, with 2 high impacts. The other four impacts were clustered nicely with 2.75" vertical. MV readings were pretty stable for all rounds of the string.
- 5.0" vertical for 6 rounds, with one high impact. The other 5 clustered well at 2.5" vertical. No issues with MV
- 7.5" vertical for 7 rounds, with one low flyer. The other 6 impacts had vertical variation of 4.5". MVs were good.
- Then the wind picked up a bit, but seemed stable in speed. 4.25" vertical for 5 rounds, with one low right flyer. The four tight impacts had 1.25" vertical. With a scope of only 10 power, all I could see was the growing black spot to the right of the aim point. BTW, the wind drift on the four good shots was about 5 MOA -- the following target is about 4 MOA wide.
- Three different 5 or 6-round groups, each with verticals of 8 inches. Each group had 4 rounds in a tight cluster, then 1 or 2 flyers -- either quite high or quite low.
Bottom line -- Winchester 69 SMK has potential, but it's not the right ammo for my 16" Wilson #2. The ammo works well to 300-ish yards for this AR15. MV of 2,819 fps is fast for a 16" barrel, and MV variation is reasonable for factory ammo. But there are flyers -- both high and low -- of about 1 every 4 or 5 rounds. Beyond 300 yards the flyers become problematic. Again, in this AR15. I have other rifles to evaluate.
But for reasonably accurate training ammo, Win 69 SMK works for this AR. I'll have no issues using it for barricade practice on targets at 200-300 yards.
Generally, 69 SMK loads are good options for accurate AR15 shooting. FGMM is a great option. If Winchester or Federal doesn't work, there are other options -- Black Hills, Fiocchi, ADI, Australian Outback, Copper Creek, Creedmoor Sports. 68 grain HPBT loads can be found in Black Hills and Hornady.
While this is my only .223 rifle I don't have this issue with my .308 AR that was set up similar with a PA 1-8 scope.
And I do better with other 5.56 AR's than this one.
The trigger is a BCM polished trigger that feels pretty good to me for a duty type trigger, breaks pretty clean around 6 lbs
Yep, long neck, arms, etc.
I have scopes on bolt guns but this is the first time I have put optics on an AR.
I had some stuff to sort out with stance, head position and such but feel I have a good handle on it now.
That mount is a 1.6" above the rail center line, most are 1.5"
A 1.4" ADM mount was too low for me, had to scrunch way down to see and was completely uncomfortable.
Bi-focals don't help and I wear my old reading glasses.
1.5" was still a bit low, a 1.90" mount didn't seem that bad.
With the .308 1.5" and lower was unusable and I wound up with 1.90" on it. It also has a Luth stock with adjustable comb that I had to bump up just a bit.
When I put the Vortex 6-24x50 on it the 1.9" was way too tall and the 1.5" mount was the sweet spot for it.
I have the 1-8 on the AR15 for a test run and the .308 needs that scope dialed in.
Got a decent day's worth of shooting to do and the woods are shut down, went from rainy and 50's to insta hot this year.
My buddy has a small range that's good for 120 yds so I'll run over there this weekend.
It's getting harder to find spots to do anything past 600 yds anymore.
I just need to suck it up and cough up the $450 and submit my application to the gun range here.
It's $150 a year after that, just have to get on the list and get in.
The rifle range is open on Thursday and up to 1,000 yds. They do allow steel targets but it's paper only at the moment due to conditions.
Ammo is coming down and a better selection.
I paid $1.5 a pop a few weeks ago and now see it at $1.30
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