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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I shot my AR15 for the first time today and was a bit disappointed in my shooting skills and/or my rifle's accuracy. Shooting PMC 55 gr. FMJ ammo, I was getting 100 yard, 5-shot groups of about 1.5 inches. I'm probably an "average" shooter in terms of accuracy. Does this group size seem to be within the normal/typical/expected range to you? What's reasonable to expect? What group size do you typically shoot (no fudging)?
 

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Sounds reasonable. Scope or iron sights?

I have an early 1970s Colt SP-1 and, with its factory original iron sights, it's good for 1 1/2-inch 5-shot groups most any time out from the bench rest at 100 yards with favored loads. It'll occasionally crowd 1 1/4-inches which is about as tight a group as it has ever done with me behind it. I sometimes think those tighter groups are a happy accident.
 
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Hmmm...

What about ammunition? What are you feeding it? My rifle can go 2 inches or 2 1/2-inches with some factory FMJ loads or with a handload it just doesn't like. Like so many rifles it loves to be fed meticulously assembled handloads using premium bullets. Sierra 50 grain flat-base soft point spitzers, or 55 grain boat tail spitzer soft points work very well and aren't quite as pricey as the Sierra Match 52 grain boat tail or 53 grain flat base bullets it really likes. Its barrel is the old standard 1-12".

Which twist rate does your barrel feature?

Do you like the trigger pull on your rifle? Is it heavy or creepy? A nice crisp trigger can work wonders for group size.

Which brand of AR are you shooting?

What about bench rest technique? Are you using a rifle rest and appropriate sand bags, a couple of 2X4 blocks screwed together and covered with green astro-turf, or a rolled up jacket?

Don't have any notes on hand tonight but believe I chronographed some PMC 55 grain loads some years ago. They gave a somewhat higher velocity than M193 ball. They also were not all that accurate in my rifle as I recall.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was shooting just basic PMC plinking ammo, 55 gr. FMJ. My disappointment may have more to do with me than my rifle and scope combination - I have a JP Enterprises SCR11 rifle, 18 inch barrel and a Leupold Mark 4 2.5-8x36 scope (pricey stuff).
 

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JP - SCR-11™ Rifle

Is this link a pretty good description of the rifle?

I'm not that familiar with AR 15 variants, accessories, accurizing, quicker barrel twists, use with heavier .224 diameter bullets and such. I've only played with my own rifle to any extent and other than smoothing up the trigger, have only gone at accuracy efforts through the fine-tuned handload. I'm not even a huge fan of AR 15s or the basic design but do readily admit that the design rewards the accuracy handloading effort with notably better groups.

The linked sight indicates that your rifle came with a barrel featuring 1-8" twist. It should be in top form with anything from 55 grain bullets on up. I've not worked with a 1-8" barrel though. Someone else might pop on to shed more light on this. Perhaps the 55 grain bullet is "wound a little too tight" that is, possessing a little too much velocity to be optimal for your barrel. A 55 grain handload that launched bullets at "3/4-throttle" might group better than a more speedy 55 grain load.
 
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I'll bet that your rifle has a significantly superior barrel and trigger-pull to my rifle just as they both sit... or stand in their respective safes, whichever the case may be.
 

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First I would try different ammo. You would be suprised by the accuracy variation between brands. All other things aside, I think 1.5", 5 shot, 1oo yd groups is quite reasonable for most applications. Its a dead wodchuck, coyote, deer, BG, etc no matter how you look at it. If you are shooting match, not so bueno. Make sure you optic mounts and bases are good and tight also, and that you are using a good secure benchrest. A good trigger can make a world of difference as well.
 

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Well, hit me over the head with a brick!

It's as clear as the residual garlic taste after eating the pizza I just finished.

You mentioned in the first sentence: "I shot my AR15 for the first time today..."

Lack of familiarity with the arm will make some significant difference. Double this if you've not had experience with benchresting an AR 15 before today. Make another trip to the range. Pay attention to your shooting techniques from the bench such as breath control, proper trigger squeeze, laying the rifle in on the bags. You're simply going to find some better looking groups next time out, guaranteed. Don't sweat it.

Looking back on your first post it must be said that you did quite well with your new rifle. A great majority of new owners of AR 15s first time out, are doing much worse than 1 1/2-inch 5-shot groups at 100 yards with a scoped rifle.

If it makes you feel any better, my youngest son and I have been bantering on Skype off and on all evening. He was in the field today preparing for his annual qualification. He's a Marine and was using a newly issued M4. He's always qualified as an expert rifleman. He was repeatedly shooting groups at 100 yards today where all the holes could be covered with one spotter. He said it almost panicked him first time he saw it because the single spotter was in the center of the bull. He was wondering where the rest of his shots fell. The pit informed him that the spotter covered multiple holes. He was able to repeat this performance each string. He said the group size was under 3 inches. Of course he isn't shooting from a bench rest.
 
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JP rifles are race guns: it'll take a great shooter to be held back by the rifles themselves. Folks regularly getting sub-1" MOA out of their JP rifles. Hone your skills with confidence. :smile:
 

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Holy crap. I wish I was as accurate with my AR. At 100 yards my groups are about twice as large. Though I do only have iron sights on it.
 

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I shoot about the same ...1" grouping at 100 yds with pmc fmj 55 grain. With my Nikon M-223 8489 scope, sub 1/2 " ..could be better.
You seem like you are on the right track...get good with iron sights, get better with a scope.
Happy Shooting.
Colt Ar-15 LE-6920 with Geissele trigger.
 

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Try a 5.56 62 gr round and you may also see and improvement. 55 is light for a 1 in 7 twist 16 inch barrel .
With bulk ammo 2-3 MOA, some lower end one 4 MOA, My Huldar's will shoot a 1 Moa in the right hands and good ammo.
That is what The weapons and bulk rounds will normally do however it depends on the shooter also.
The weapon was not designed nor the round designed to be a tack driver.
Three rounds fired if you can place a dime in the center and touch each strike your there with standard ammo and most out of the box weapons.
Trying to shoot an AR like a sniper rifle is a waste of time, Not made for that. Mount a good reflex site on it and learn to use it as it was meant to be.
 
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LaRue, Noveske, GAP, JP Precision, and the gents of AMU would all beg to differ. Molon on AR15.com and M4C has also shown pretty compelling evidence that lighter bullets are a nonissue with 1:7 twist barrels (his best handload for his 1:7 rifle was a sub-55-gr round).
 

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So many variables-shooter experience with the rifle, ammo, twist rate, barrel type, conditions, scope quality.....overall not terrible results for your first go around imo. Trigger control is key also
 

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The question is what is reasonable to expect? With quality ammo, a good optic and a decent shooter 1/2 MOA is reasonable. Most shooters are not capable of 1/2 MOA though so if you keep it under 1 MOA you are doing OK.

My bone stock M&P 15 shoots 1/4 to 3/4 MOA 3 shot groups with match ammo.
 

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For 100 yards not a bad group. Gives you something to work on.
I don't know what size or kind of barrel you have but Most of my AR's don't like 55 grain bullets. We shoot 62 gr. or 77 gr. most of the time. Much better results.
One upgrade I put on most of my rifles is an upgraded trigger. I like the these Geissele Automatics - Quality Triggers for the Warfighter and Competitor

With a factory barrel, factory ammo 1MOA is what you should expect from a good shooter so 1.5 moa is really pretty good!
keep shooting!
 

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Whatever will be reasonable to each individual shooter............... There is no "set" accuracy for any firearm........ It all depends on each shooter to strive to get the best accuracy they can......
 

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Many AR's and ammo combinations are not capable of sub MOA accuracy. A colt 6920 with m855 is maybe a 2 to 3 MOA rifle. A BCM with m855 would be similar depending on the rifle and the ammo lot. Match ammo through a standard AR barrel is maybe 1.5 MOA with a magnified optic, give or take depending on the barrel itself. Many stainless match barrels are capable of just under 1 MOA with match ammo.

LaRue, Noveske stainless, BCM stainless, and similar, are 1 MOA rifles with match ammo. This could be 55gr to 77gr, depending on what the rifle likes. Even these rifles are not sub MOA with all ammo.

So, I would say you're doing fine. If you really want to know what you and the rifle are capable of, try 10 shot groups, 5 at the lowest. This takes luck out of it. I've had sub MOA 3 shot groups with my BCM. I've never had sub MOA 10 shot groups with the same rifle. 10 shot groups give me a better idea of what I can do with the rifle, not what might happen, if that makes sense.

So, a precision AR with match ammo, 1 MOA is solid, maybe a little under. A standard AR with match ammo, maybe 1.5 MOA, give or take. An Accuracy International AX308 with match ammo and a Scmidt & Bender 4-16, sub MOA would be expected with a solid shooter behind the rifle. I don't expect that out of my AR, regardless of the barrel.
 
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