I wasn't clear; that was my fault. I revised that post.
Best groups so far have been produced by Hornady 73gr FTX Critical Defense: both 10rd groups; one at 2.25", and the other just under two inches. The FTX shot better than 77gr GMM. I have shot a few other "performance" loads through it as well, and none are really even close to the FTX. A couple loads were only shot once, but performance was such that I didn't see the point in shooting again, especially considering the use of 10rd groups, which I have learned are AWESOME! Thank you, fellas, for turning me onto that; I am a believer.
Shooting has been at 100m, from the prone position, using a bipod and rear bag. The scope is a 6x Leupold, and the trigger is GI. I guess I could see things tighten up a bit, with higher magnification; I may borrow a scope from a friend. A trigger upgrade could help too, but I feel pretty good about my trigger control.
Some details; all 10rd groups shot from the conditions described in the previous post:
Sig 5.56 77gr OTM: 4.5", 5"
Barnes 70gr TSX: 3.25", 3.25"
Fed GMM 77gr: 2.5"
Fed GMM 69gr: 2.25", 3.0"
Fed 62gr MSR: 4.5"
Horn 75gr HD-SBR: 3.0"
Horn 75gr Superformance: 3.25", 4.75"
Horn 73gr CD FTX: 2.25", 1.9", 3.25", 1.64"
All measurements are taken initially with a ruler, and scrutinized with calipers if under 2". Average for the best performer, the 73gr FTX, is 2.26". I am quite pleased. The results are admittedly beneath my expectations, but my expectations have been tempered by research; this thread; and my experience with the 10rd groups, as prompted by those influencers. I am happy that the best performer is a bullet that boasts good terminal performance at reduced velocities. I will continue to try different bullets, and group the FTX more. I intend to float the barrel as soon as I can afford it, which I hope may tighten things up a bit; I also would like to shoot with a higher-magnification optic.
A thorough tester saw 1MOA with his Noveske SS barrels, using handloads he custom-catered, so my results, with the FTX, don't seem out-of-line.
https://www.ar15.com/forums/ar...pilation/118-772948/This message has been edited. Last edited by: KSGM,
|quarter MOA visionary
Not speaking to your groups but have you considered a Target Grouping App.
This one is a bit dated but does make for a nice display.
It looks like this:
There may be others now days tied into your phone, don't know.
Just thought I'd mention it.
I believe I had mentioned previously that all my shooting with this barrel gas been with a GI trigger. I have never spoiled myself with a nice trigger, and think I am pretty good at shooting with a GI. I recently borrowed a friend's Super 3-Gun trigger, to see if it would help my groups tighten-up; it did not. The S3G isn't necessarily a "match" trigger, but it's a lot lighter than a GI. I am actually pretty happy, as I can apparently use that trigger money elsewhere, and feel good about it.
Not to be nit picky but the Super 3 Gun is a very poor choice among premium triggers for trying to shoot precision. It has a rolling break designed for fast shooting. It has no definitive edge, or wall, that allows you to know exactly when a shot will break.
Not that I am denigrating that trigger, it has it's place.
Frankly, as much time and effort as you are expending in the search for precision in your shooting with the AR, you owe it to yourself to put in a trigger that is better than GI. Nobody competing in an structured discipline geared towards accuracy is using a stock USGI trigger. The trigger IS that important, to be blunt. Some USGI triggers can be better than others. And they can be massaged to a degree, with shims, overtravel and pretravel stops, and lighter springs, and polishing. But by the time you have done all of that, it still won't be as good as a true match trigger can be.
I have experience with Larue, Geissele, JP, CMC, Timney, Hiperfire, AR Gold and Rise Armament triggers.
They all have their own feel. Hiperfire is my favorite, with AR Gold and JP a close second. Rise Armament is the only one of those I wouldn't recommend, because of inconsistency. I tried one on the recommendation of a friend. The one I got was not great, his is fine. GI triggers are gross.
I have no experience in the world of F class, benchrest, or High Power. I have heard of some other triggers that may indeed be excellent, like Jard. But I have no personal experience with them so I am going to leave that to others who have.
Yeah, I know the S3G wasn't an ideal test subject; it was temporarily available to me at no expense, so I gave it a shot. I was eyeballing a Wilson M2 or H2, and almost got an H2, but they went out of stock at the price I liked. I intend to eventually link-up with a benchrest friend, at his place, with his bench setup, and with a lower of his, to gather some comparative data.
My current goal is 2MOA consistently, out to 300M. In other words, I want to be able to hit within 1MOA of my POA 300M and in. I realize now that my initial ammo comparisons were a bit flawed, as I didn't have a strict cleaning policy between ammo switches. However, the FTX still outperformed consistently, so I am comfortable proceeding with it, especially considering it's terminal advantages.
If I don't see any evidence of a reparable shortcoming, following a visit to my benchrest buddy, I will likely resign myself to the limitations of the system, as trying a different barrel is too much of an expense at the moment, especially considering the ammo testing would need redone, and it would honestly hurt my feelings if the FTX did poorly in another barrel.
2.5MOA is what I am seeing now. The practical/tactical idea is a confident headshot out to 300M. 2.5MOA isn't tight enough to guarantee that.
Oh, and to explain why I haven't just bought a damn trigger yet: I have chosen to prioritize other things of late, such as (finally) a case of Nosler .308 to put back, for my AR10 DMR rifle, and (somewhat unexpected) a set of damn tires for one of our cars (Cooper).
I am still working with this 10.5" Noveske barrel, in pursuit of the same consistent 2MOA performance. I am still struggling with the first shot POI deviation. I have a Wilson 2-stage trigger in the gun, and I can do pretty well sometimes. A great example from this morning...
I have been without a high magnification scope. I recently borrowed a 6.5-20 Leupold Mark4 from a friend. I mounted it up, bore sighted, and set out to zero and attempt a 10rd group with the Hornady 73gr FTX that I have been primarily using with this rifle.
I zeroed with 55gr XTAC, swabbed the barrel three times, and switched to a 10rd mag of 73gr FTX. On 20x, I can easily see the impacts at 100m. Fired the first shot; second shot hits low enough relative to the first to annoy me; third shot hits lower still; I stop. I almost took it to the house. After standing there for a minute, I opted to get back down and fire a 5rd group at a different dot; the result was a 1.125" CTC group. That I can live with. The first three shots, on the other POA, had a spread of 2.25". The bore was not cold; the shooter was not cold. My best guess is an ammo transition problem, even though I tried to mitigate by swabbing. Technically I had another "first shot" in that second, 5rd 1.125" group, because I had picked everything up and almost walked away before I got back down. I know it's a sample size of 1, but everything points to a potential ammo settling issue. I dunno. This stuff frustrates me.
So, I intend to re-engage at the next soonest opportunity. I have a leftover two rounds from this morning. The plan is to put those two rounds on one POA, then another ten on a different POA. Hopefully, there is no first round deviation; on either POA. If there is one, it better be on the first POA. I'll get up between POA changes, so that I get a truer first round on the second POA. If there is a POI deviation on the first POA, and not the second, I will consider a cold bore or cold shooter issue; though we have pretty-well debunked the cold bore thing. The ammo transition will not be a factor.
This is why you had a wider group on your first shots. Swabbing a barrel, I assume means patches and solvent?
A freshly cleaned barrel usually requires a few rounds to settle down. Even if you didn't clean it thoroughly, you still have some traces of solvent in the bore that usually have some effect.
Also, your 73 grain ammo is unlikely to shoot to the same POI as the 55gr ammo that you zeroed with.
It might, but unlikely.
I did not use solvent. I pulled-through an Otis "ripcord"; no nylon or metal brush on this snake. The ripcord is my attempt at mitigating the ammo settling. I figure pulling through something like that should clean out most of the powder residue, but not disturb copper.
By POA/POI deviance, I mean within that same ammo.
I shot an encouraging 1.840" 10rd group with Hornady 75gr BTHP Frontier a couple days later. I got another box of it, to confirm whether or not it really liked it; I couldn't get even close to that again.
I just haven't had good luck with this barrel. My best 10rd groups have been 1.625" with the 73gr FTX and 1.840" with the 75gr Frontier. The overwhelming majority of others aren't really even close. Seems those were flukes.
I don't think I am a huge contributing factor, as I have put 10rds under 1MOA with another rifle of mine. Hell, maybe I need to get back out there with that gun, to make sure that wasn't total luck!
One question I do have is: how often should a SS barrel be cleaned with solvent, to maintain proper accuracy?
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