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Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

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Unread 07-29-2012, 10:57 PM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

Very interesting read. This will come in handy for my ".308 buddies".
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Unread 05-17-2014, 07:15 AM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

Good report Jerry, I enjoyed your thoughts and testing. I have an AR15 Smith & Wesson M&P15OR it came with a 16" barrel and 1:9 twist rate. What kind of hand loads would you recommend for a store bought box rifle of this sort to shoot out to 500 yards. And what type of MOA can be expected. All things being equal from the shooter (LOL's) beginner.
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Unread 05-18-2014, 04:04 PM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

I can also confirm shooting 77gr SMK rounds and 75gr Hornady match rounds out of a 1-9 twist barrel. Its a 16" Bushmaster Patrolmans Carbine and has no issue with those rounds out to distance, the furthest ive shot that combo is 750yds onto a 18x24 target. No "Accurate" isnt how i would describe an M4 profile non free floated carbine I did it just to see what it would do under that situation. it was "accurate" enough to get hits about 50% of the time and some near misses and some fliers. How much was me on the fundamental side, how much was wind I wasnt seeing out of a 2.5-10x42mm scope? I dont know but from lots of shooting out to 300 with all sorts of factory loads up to 77gr show no signs of instability with that 1-9 twist.

I would test it though, A shooting buddy with the same gun but a better scope has issues at 300yds with anything over 69gr and doesnt shoot the 77gr rounds as accurately at any range. and at 300yds you could see that the holes werent quite round they were slightly oblong and were pretty erratic, he was having a tough time in pretty much no wind 3-5mph tops staying on one of those 12x18 shoot n see targets at 300yds with 75 and 77gr hornady and sierra loads, but shot the 69 gr rounds just fine.

I think its very gun/barrel dependant.

It is cool to see a .223/5.56 getting hits at a mile, Not too long ago people would have scoffed at a 24" Rem 700 .308 at a mile, now people take 18" Larue OBR's ( and other AR Variants) and get consistent hits at a mile.

And like the article said the amount of elevation he needed to take that gun out that far was a little nuts, so If you took a standard hunting gun and tried to take it out that far you wouldnt be anywhere near the scope and would never see impacts, but since ballistic calculators have become so widespread we can go oh wow i need 32mils of elevation with the .308 to hit at a mile and have an idea where to look.

Last edited by Savageman69; 05-18-2014 at 05:47 PM.
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Unread 05-18-2014, 05:40 PM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

Jafo, I did some looking and from what I can tell the M&P15OR (optics ready) has an m4 profile barrel, its thin under the handguards and thicker after the gas block.
Ive got a Bushmaster Patrolmans Carbine with the same profile and a 5.56 chamber its chrome lined and MP tested and shoots match ammo like remington premier77gr SMK or Black Hills 77gr OTM (SMK), or the 75gr offerings from Hornady at a 2moa avg some smaller groups and some larger but overall with match its a 2moa gun, with standard ball thats where it gets interesting, I got 2k 55gr Federal FMJBT rounds with the gun and that is pretty consistent at 2.5-2.75" but have had some real good 2-2.5 moa groups with 62gr Lake city and some awful 3"+ groups with other surplus 62gr rounds from who knows where,

So even with handloads I wouldnt expect tack driving accuracy.

The best thing you could do is replace the factory trigger with anything else, there are "Enhanced mil spec" triggers that are really smooth/crisp but are still heavy pulls 5lbs+ for $60-80, they take standard milspec triggers and smooth the engagement surfaces to take the creep out.
Or "standard" type triggers that are designed like the mil spec ones just with better machining and lighter springs that have 3-5lb pulls and crisp breaks for about $120
And complete drop in units from Timney or Giessle with 3-5lb breaks for $200-300. For a carbine Id go with the "enhanced mil spec" or "standard" type with a 4-5lb pull.

Also getting a new handguard that only mounts to the original barrel nut will help with harmonics, they are pretty easy to install and only require you taking off the gas block. as of now anything touching the handguard will also be touching the barrel in two places, the gas block and barrel nut. and with that comes all the inconsistency in harmonics, even when using a bipod.

Probably the best option, and what I eventually went with after trying to turn a 16"carbine into an SPR, Is to buy a new Upper with a Match grade medium or heavy profile 18-20" barrel. That will give you the most gain for the least amount of money.

Say you did spend $250 on the best Timney trigger and another $250 on the best Midwest Industries handguard, you still have a 16" skinny m4 profile barrel. so after $500+ dollars your weak link is still the barrel. and you may only see .25moa better after all that. Thats what I did and thats what I saw, not to mention the ammo I burned, trying this load or that bullet and this manufacturer, I probably spent a good $300 on factory match grade ammo before I finally admitted it wasnt going to get any better. I did sell my handguard and get most of the money back and just run a Magpul MOE one now for the super light weight. But no matter how you look at it I lost a good chunk of cash trying to turn a 16" Carbine into a SPR

A new upper with an appropriately contoured and accurate barrel and handguard will run you anywhere from $600 to $1800 for the super expensive ones.

I spent $625 shipped (on sale i thinks its like $700 normally) on a Rock River 18" heavy contour match grade upper. I get a 1moa avg with factory match loads. I see quite a few .75" groups as well and when the planets aligned I got ONE .6" group with Black Hills red box 77gr OTM and shot the other 45rds at the avg 1moa I see from that upper.

So now Ive got my super accurate upper with a proper scope on it for long range, and when I want to have some fun up close I use my 16" upper with an aimpoint. and I am a stripped lower away from having two complete guns. A far better value no matter how you skin that......potato
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Unread 05-19-2014, 02:48 AM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

Dear Jerry I wonder if you could tell me the measure of the throating in your barrels
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Unread 12-09-2014, 03:50 PM
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Re: Shooting a 223 to a Mile Accurately By Jerry Teo

Great article, thank you for doing this!

I am a new shooter and built my first AR15 earlier this year. (very fun project BTW) In doing so, I wanted to build a rifle that I could push for some distance shooting, my goal in this case would be 1 MOA at 600-750 yards. To help improve my chances, I tried to pay attention to the component specs, which include:

20" white oak barrel, 1:7 twist, bull profile, target crowned
Giessele SSA-E trigger
Magpul PRS stock
Noveske NSR free-floating handguard
Other fun mods too, but probably not important as it relates to maximizing for distance precision shooting...

I know that for this project you built a bolt gun, but if you had done an AR-15 platform what sort of max range would you think is feasible? Would you assume 1MOA accuracy at 600-750 yards is achieveable? I'm still getting trigger time at 200m after which I'll be looking for longer distance ranges, but would appreciate any thought you might have to offer!

Thanks again!
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