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brembobanjo

Good starting point for weight with factory ammo?

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I have a BHW barrel, 18" 1:8 twist National Match profile with a target crown. It's attached to a Spikes upper with a Syrac adjustable block. I'm using a Weaver T-36 scope for testing purposes, off bags.

 

I've put ~400 rounds downrange now, with decent results. All I've shot so far are Federal 5.56 55 grain and a few Independance bulk 55 grain. I'm seeing 1/2" groups at 50 yards when the craptastic trigger does not screw me up(Geissele SD-E is on it's way).

 

I have a box of Hornady Match in 68 and 75, some Federal in 62, but have yet to fire any. The range has been packed of late and I sort of want some peace and quiet to test, not a Mosin blasting away in my left ear.

 

I was hoping that someone would chime in a say that XX factory ammo is where it's at for your barrel. Mainly to verify that all is well with the build, satisfy my itch for accuracy sort of thing. I don't shoot long distances but I do like to know the rifle is able to reach out with decent accuracy. Once I find a weight/length that shows promise I'm going to re-learn the art of reloading(been years) and make my pet load with all the brass I have been collecting.

 

Also, bit of of an odd question and hard to parse:

 

What company offers the best spectrum of loads, in terms of same bullet(say BTHP profile) with differing weights? I'd like to eliminate as many variables as possible when testing. In other words, here is a round that except for the bullet weight/length is the same, we have many to try.

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If I am understanding correctly, you are basically looking to be able to control variables like you would be able to when hand loading, but with factory ammo.

 

That is a tall order.

 

With many hunting calibers, you could probably test 2 or 3 rounds from the same line of ammo with 2 or 3 different bullet weights.

 

With the .223 that may be a little more difficult.

 

Doesn't Hornady and Remington make a line of ammo in which you can get 50 grain(or 52), 55 grain, 62 and 68 grain?

 

Are you trying to find the heaviest bullet that shoots the best in your rifle?

Still not sure of your ultimate goal.

 

If it is the above, it would probably be easier and more cost effective to buy the same weight round match ammo from a variety of premium makers and see which your rifle likes best. Just because it may like a lighter weight bullet from one maker does not mean it is going to like the heavy bullet round from the same maker.

 

Having said that, I just woke up and hope this makes a little sense.

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I'm frustrated is all. Woke up last night due to broken rib, range was full yesterday and I was driving myself crazy because I can't ride my motorcycle....the range is closed Sunday...etc. I'm not used to being gimpy, normally on a nice sunny day when I;m off I'd be banging around the trees on my M/C, doing something physical. The weather is finally nice for stretching the muscles outdoors and I have a rib that protests any sort of real exertion.

 

Dialing in the rifle seemed a great side venture with the rib being broken, but I cannot come to grips with the trigger. I string them(horizontally) all over the place(~1MOA). So I dropped the coin I had earmarked for a Rock Chucker kit on a Giessele, so I'm behind in my plans. Simple frustration caused that post, was hoping that some factory stuff was good for sub MOA consistently.

 

Meh, I'm going to eyeball some places on my land today and scour Craigslist for something to make a backstop with. I know I can get a 50 yard "test area" easily, might luck out and figure out a 100 yard place.

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69 Sierra GMM for test.

 

Hornady has the most same same different weight loads.

 

Load bullets from green or black boxes if chasing the accuracy dragon.

 

Greg

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Found some 68 and 77 grain Hornady BTHP OTM, grabbed a box of each and whoo boy did it make a difference. I put 5 rounds of plinker fodder through the barrel and then went to business. First group showed me that the heavier and tighter toleranced rounds are needed to see what the barrel is capable of. I cooked off all 40, hovering in the 1/2 to 1/4 MOA range, even with the mil-spec trigger group. I cannot come to grips with it at all, it's travel is long and the pressure needed is enough to really yank precise shots around. I found that I can keep decent groups going if I "bang" the trigger, not a jerk but a quick depress rather than a squeeze.

 

Here is my best group @ 50 yards, called the flyer and of course it was the last of the five.....I actually yelled a very naughty word when I pulled the trigger on the last one. Guys at the range were giggling at me for that one. 5 rounds there, so one of them might not have touched paper, I dunno.

 

77grain.jpg

 

 

That was the 77 grain, it really shot well. The 68 consistently touched as well. So, I think I will be able to get touching at 100 yards when my Giessele SD-E shows up once I nail down what ammo this barrel likes. I used the intersection of the fat line vertical line and the circle as my aim point. I'm over the moon happy that I can get factory ammo to do this, handloads outta be even better.

 

Specs for this shoot:

BHW 18" National Match profile, 1:8 target crown.

PSA premium LPK(great trigger, just not a benchrest rig)

Weaver T-36 scope, donated from my .22 precision rig.

 

I'm stoked honestly, I built this thing from scratch as it were. Digging around on the net for advice and ideas. Spent many many hours on ar15 armory searching and asking questions and I'll be damned if it didn't turn out pretty good.

Edited by brembobanjo

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Good work. They like the 77 Noslers too. You have a shooter.

 

Greg

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I'd like to note the above group was 75 grain, not 77. My bad.

 

Anyway, found some Black Hills 77 grain OTM and some Remington 77 Grain Match. I was very excited to give the Rem stuff a whirl as the online reviews said the 1:8 barrels really liked it. I was pretty bummed at the 1-1.5 MOA I got with it, I was hoping for nice tight groups. The Black Hills hovered in the .5 to 1 MOA range, I did manage a very good 4 shot grouping, with one weird flyer(total of 5). It wasn't consistent however, which has me now looking at my scope mount as a potential issue. It's not loose exactly, but has some back to front wiggle. Going to have to sort that out before I go and burn this hyper-expensive ammo up. Gunsmith said that the LaRue mounts can be tightened up some, so it's off to YouTube I go to see what's up there.

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Well, a quick search turned up an official LaRue vid on how to adjust the QD stuff. Done and done.

 

Then I checked the wiggly again. still there. Dang it. Allen wrench on the scope rings and whoo boy were they loose. Enough that I could see the scope slide back and forth with about 5 pounds of force. This scope came off a .22LR precision rig and recoil from that setup is nonexistent, so it never came into play. The Ar has an impulse at least and must have been knocking the thing around. Fixed now, with a dollop of locktite on the threads.

 

Check the small stuff folks. 80 bucks of test ammo burned up with NO decent data to show for it, aside from a big bag of good brass.

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So what I am get out of this the barrel is fine and you have a set up issue. :cool:

 

I'll voice my opinion on this stuff and will be donning my NOMEX suit in the next few minutes but.... the QD stuff seems to me to cause more problems than they cure and the only thing they cure is to be able to swap scopes for me. If I was forced to use irons I'm SOL anyway as I don't run irons. What few that do carry them will never see a scope and the one that does have one has see through mounts. .

 

I will freely admit I am pretty old school and a curmudgeon on the new stuff out there. If I evaluate a rifle for accuracy I'm going to mount up a big X scope in solid mounts. Once I get the baseline capabilities of the rifle down then the smaller glass goes on and it will be set up with Weaver style rings/bases. I'm not a base/ring name snob and don't think I need $80.00 YHM or whatever rings to get it done. Burris and Leupold have worked well for me but so have some no name Cabela rings.

 

I have manged to creep along into the 21'st century and have been lucky. I have half a dozen decent scopes that I trade around all the time for load work and field use. I finally figured I didn't need a scope on each upper/rifle if I was not going to shoot it for 18 months. I have three 204's with $1200 worth of scopes setting on them yet between the collective three I have shot exactly 450 rounds in the past three years with them. Hardly any need to keep them scoped but I don't need one yet. I know I can go shoot ten rounds to get one ready for a PD trip as the magic is in the ammunition/barrel combination. The important thing is being able to generate that ammunition..LOL

 

Let us know how the gun does once you get her cinched down. The walking scope sure doesn't help.

 

Greg

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I'm in the same boat with the QD hardware as you Greg. I'm using this big honking 36x scope to see what the barrel is capable of and find it's pet load. Once I'm happy with the load/barrel the rifle is getting an EoTech and BUIS. Maybe slap on a good variable for when I have some room to stretch out.

 

While at the LGS/smith I was able to test-drive an EOTech XPS 2.0 on MY rifle. Just tightened it down enough to keep it from falling off. Oh man, that sight was designed for me. Someone was using my eyes to develop that sight. I could snap it up and be inches from the numbers on the wall clock, wicked fast for my needs.

 

Now if only some bright-boy engineer would add in a motion sensor "on" feature so I could leave it at ready all the time, I'd be beside myself with glee.

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The battery life on some of those is over a year. Just leave it on. Batteries are cheap. Change them the same day you change your smoke detector batteries. Same thing as your carry gun ammunition. Go shoot it on your birthday a recharge

 

Greg

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The battery life on some of those is over a year. Just leave it on. Batteries are cheap. Change them the same day you change your smoke detector batteries. Same thing as your carry gun ammunition. Go shoot it on your birthday a recharge

 

Greg

600 hours at a medium setting. I have 100+ CR123As in my safe, so it's not a real issue, but it would be nice to only have to deal with the battery once or twice a year.

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600 hours at a medium setting. I have 100+ CR123As in my safe, so it's not a real issue, but it would be nice to only have to deal with the battery once or twice a year.

 

I would just swap the every 60 days. My ritual would be to turn them on when I turned my night stand light off at night and turn it off when I woke up in the AM. Just like brushing your teeth some habits are good.

 

My AR SD gun is a Star PD stoked up with 45 hardball but then I have a cumulative time of several years of trigger time on handguns.

 

Greg

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