I agree try some different factory ammo or start reloading. My (7) rifles all seem to like varget powder - some shoot better with 55 grain winchester psps - some like the barnes varmit gernades. Factory triggers ca be a bit rough. You may want to change out the triggers - mine all have JP's in them. That should help. One more place to check - is the hinge pin tight or is there a lot of play in it? There is a wedge you can get that will take up the slop when the action is closed.
I plan to start reloading soon. I was planning to begin with my 300wm and thought I had some time before needing to start loading the .223 since I still have a few hundred rounds of the PMC. I guess I might have to re-think that timeline a little bit.
Can someone recommend a factory load I could purchase that has proven to be pretty reliable in AR's?
When you say "hing pin" do you mean the two main pins that connect the upper and lower halves of the gun? If so, they are both very tight. So tight that you need a punch to get them out.
Yes the trigger is very rough. There is a ton of creep and it is pretty stiff overall. The creep is interesting though - it almost acts like a multi-stage trigger. I can squeeze the creep out of it and know that I'm right on the edge of breaking. As such I'm able to predict when the trigger will break pretty well. I could be wrong but I don't think that had a major affect on my shooting. Are you happy with your JP, and what pull weight do you have it set at?
Below are the first pics I promised...I'll take some pics of the items ICANHITHIMMAN and respond shortly...thanks again for your willingness to help.
Thanks for the questions. I've heard good things regarding the accuracy of these rifles, so needless to say I was disappointed with yesterday's outing.
I have not had anyone else shoot the rifle for groups yet - it's a good idea. Yesterday was my first day out with the rifle in its current configuration.
I have not had any feeding issues. Yesterday was the first day with the adjustable gas block, so I did short cycle the bolt a couple times as I was adjusting the block to the right setting. According to the directions this is normal. Other than that the rifle has never had feeding issues.
Here are some pics of the bolt assy. Let me know if there is a particular angle that you want me to take.
I think the rifle only has a couple hundred rounds through it...maybe a little more, but not much.
I started with a stock Bushmaster, but recently had a flat top upper receiver put on but kept the same bushmaster bolt assy, barrel, etc. The upper receiver is made by Mega Machine.
Unfortunately I did not establish a baseline accuracy with the rifle before the modifications were done. Then I at least would know if the rifle was shooting poorly with this ammo before the mods were done...and not a result of the mods.
No reason at all to be disappointed here. With the 55 grain FMJ factory stuff running 2-3 inches, you're right in what the ammo is capable of. The FMJ is pure military fodder, and accuracy is a purely secondary consideration. These bullets, from virtually every maker, are hands down the most inaccurate projectiles you'll ever lay a hand on. Use them for plinking, use them on cans, but don't ever expect them to shoot accurately. Now, the AR platform itself is capable of some truly astonishing accuracy. Most of the match built guns are easily capable of honest, consistent 1/2 MOA if it's fed decent ammo. Other than that, there are a few tricks to building these guns for accuracy, but they're very well understood, and there are many good smiths out there who specialize in the ARs. Three of the best (in no particular order) are Frank White at Compass Lake Engineering, John Holliger at White Oak Armory and Derrick Martin of Accuracy Speaks. I've used guns built by all three in the Natuionals (Camp Perry) and had excellent results from all.
Reloading for an AR, (any semi-auto, for that matter) is a form of advanced handloading. There are some specialized concerns that need to be addressed, but again, there's roadmaps out there to follow. Sierra's manual has a chapter on reloading for Service Rifles, and Glen Zediker has at least three complete books that deal with reloading match grade ammo for these guns. John Feamster (Precision Shooting Magazine) and Derrick Martin have both done books on competitive ARs, and each has sigificant amounts of info about reloading for these guns. Might check with Sinclair International, as I believe they stock all of these. Don't hesitate to ask for help with this stuff, since there's more than enough folks around who can be of assistance!
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights - very much appreciated.
I have no delusions of this rifle (or me for that matter) turning in 1/2 moa performance, but I do hope to get it sub-moa if possible. I don't plan to compete, but would like to do some longer range coyote and varmint hunting with it.
I'm new to reloading, but have just purchased some 190gr VLD's for my 300wm to work up. In light of my recent outing with my AR I'll be researching some good .223 hunting loads that will work well in my rifle - thanks for the book references. Do you personally have any Berger bullet and powder combos for a rifle like mine that might be a place for me to start?
I've been hunting and "play" shooting my whole life, but this long range shooting/hunting and reloading for accuracy is new to me...so I'll take all the help I can get!