What is good accuracy for an AR15?

Discussion in 'AR15/10 Rifles' started by ShootnMathews, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    What is considered good accuracy from an AR? I have a Rem R15 w/22" barrel. With the best factory ammo I've found so far it shoots about 1/2 MOA. Is that what I should expect ? Or better? I have not shot it too much at any long range. I did dial with an estimated velocity and kill a possum at 366 yards the other day with one shot which I thought was good. Anyways, it's my first AR, just trying to find out what is good, average, and terrible for one.
     
  2. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    1/2 MOA is excellent in ANY factory rifle, with factory ammo too ???. What did you expect ?

    Usually, a semi auto is considerably worse, but the rotating bolt and DI system does not use as much gas and give a repeatable lockup (about as good as it gets) for a semi auto. The Ar is inflexible in that it generally does not have an adjustable gas system, although you can retrofit one yourself. That would make the rifle a bit more tolerant to different loads.
     

  3. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I expected 1-1/4" groups. Which is about right with most ammo. The federal AR 223 tipped ammo shoots great in it though.
     
  4. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    "Tipped ammo" ? You mean the FMJ 55gr bullets ? In the American Eagle box ? It is amazing that it works so well. I got about 300 rounds of AE 55FMJ ammo with my Golani sporter and it was flat out the worst ammo I had ever shot in 223. Terrible accuracy in my Savage 10PC which usually shoots 1/2 MOA.

    Now the stuff that you are talking about is a new offering and I believe was even cheaper than the "regular" FMJ ammo. I ended up giving it away, so if it shoots good for you they must have improved it. The stuff I had the primers were crimped, the brass was patinated, the bullet was crimped and it was just lousy.

    Before I started reloading I was typically shooting the Hornady Superformance Varmint ammo with the Vmax bullet and later I switched to superformance Match 75gr HPBT. Then I started rolling my own with the same performance characteristics as the superformance match ammo. Just a lot cheaper than $18/box of 20. But all this in a bolt gun, where one does not have to worry about the bullet feeding mashing a hollow point or polymer tipped bullet. I imagine that people who hunt coyotes with an AR are also typically using a polymer tipped bullet (or other form of frangible bullet) since FMJ do not work too good on most live animals.
     
  5. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    It's the American Eagle AR tipped varmint loads. My buddy also tried a few in his Stevens 223 bolt gun and they shot less than 1/2 Moa in that gun. But you are right, it looks like crap. Some of it almost looks corroded. Green looking and stuff. But it shoots dang good in the two guns I've put it through.
     

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  6. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    No, that is something else. That is indeed a ballistic tipped bullet, similar to the Vmax. So I am guessing it has a better quality bullet in it compared to the generic 55gr FMJ stuff. That can make all the difference in the world. I wonder if it actually might be a Hornady Vmax instead of the regular red one or the green one they had in their "zombie max" ammo. Hornady make good quality bullets.
     
  7. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    I read somewhere that it was a Vmax. But I also have some Vmax and when you put them side by side the bullet profile is different. The closest I can find profile wise is the Remington accutip. But I still am not sure about that either. Could be a bullet I have not seen yet. Does well on coyotes and varmints.
     
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    My R15 varmint, 24" triangular barreled model, is a sub .5MOA with hand loads and factory 55gr Rem Accutips and 55gr VMAx, better with hand loads.. Both factory rounds will consistently hit beer can sized targets at 500 yards. My DPMS 24" heavy barreled upper loaded with 69gr SMK's is .25-.5 MOA, generally closer to .25 MOA. I have used this rifle successfully competing in 200-300 yard egg shoots against bolt rifles. My Colt and Bushmaster standard fare 20" HBar's generally keep their shots in .75MOA with Rem bulk FMJ 55gr, green tips, and Hornady VMax. All my rifles have 1:9 twist and I shoot 55-69gr ammo. Years ago i bought a Colt HBar. I wasn't expecting much, but to my surprise I have been quite impressed with the accuracy potential(and reliability) of the AR15 platform. A tight upper/lower lock up, decent trigger, free floated barrel, and finding the right load are key to maximizing accuracy.IMO.
     
  9. westcliffe01

    westcliffe01 Well-Known Member

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    The only AR I owned was a DPMS chambered in 7.62x39. Magazines would not feed, period. Was sighted in by hand loading single shot. Reworked all the magazines myself (C products went out of business and new owner would not honor warranty issues specific to the 7.62x39).

    Accuracy out of the box was 2.5MOA regardless of load. Ultimately put in a $100 CMMG 2 stage trigger of modern design and concluded that the DPMS barrel was a 308 barrel and not a .310 like an AK or SKS. Made reloads using 123gr 308 bullets and together with the new trigger it shot 1MOA. Any factory 7.62x39 ammo was 2.5MOA due, I believe to the fact that the barrel was not a proper match for the ammo. Just another cheap trick used by DPMS instead of ordering the proper barrel.

    Yes, DPMS do sell quality uppers with better stainless barrels. They totally erased all info on the 7.62x39 from their website and refused to answer any questions on their forum regarding the rifle. I started to doubt I would even get spares for it. So it ultimately got traded for a dirt bike around election time and the guy who got it was pretty glad to get his hands on an AR.
     
  10. threejones

    threejones Well-Known Member

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    You might want to avoid the Superformance stuff for use in the AR platform. Hornady issues a warning about excessive pressures in an AR chamber with it. That being said, I ran a bunch of it down my RRA( before I found this out) without a single hiccup. But there's no sense in taking the risk if it isn't necessary.
     
  11. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    I have ran a few boxes through mine also because in the R15 forums hey were reporting really good accuracy with the superformance. It shoots close to 3/4 Moa in mine but the AR223 Tipped shoots 1/2 Moa at half he price.
     
  12. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    I love the AR platform just because its cycling functions lead to an inherently accurate firearm. I will not claim they can replace a bolt gun in the most accurate of venues like benchrest, but they can compete quite well in field conditions. I would argue that an average bolt gun and an average AR will be indiscernible in most tests of accuracy. At least in my experience.

    My last .223, a Howa Vaminter Supreme accurized by a gunsmith of 30 years experience, averaged .325" with its best load. My AR without anything but my assembly, easily ties that average. However, the AR is a bit more finicky about its loads.

    Sorry, I digress.

    I expect MOA or near MOA from any rifle I shoot. If it can't do it I either fix it or get rid of it. AR's are no different. After that, I aim for doing what I can do minimize the groups.

    Attached are some pics of load tests from my AR-15. It gives results that rifle delivers from my hand loads. This is what I consider accurate. I wrote I review on these tests and the pics aren't there anymore, but here is the thread:
    My .223 experiment - THR
     

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  13. ShootnMathews

    ShootnMathews Well-Known Member

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    From the pictures it looks like your gun likes H335. I tried Varget with handloads with similar results to yours. Couldn't get under an inch. Ill read the write up when I have time. But what was your best load in that rifle. Powder and bullet.
     
  14. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    My best load for this rifle was the one you see. 28gr H335 under a 40gr pill. However, there were other issues with that load that made me refrain from hunting with it. From another write up:

    After some trial and error I came with a load that was a compromise load several factors. I needed a temp stable powder, a load that worked in all three .223's in the house, and terminal performance. I ended up with a load of 27gr Varget under 50gr Zmaxes in WCC 07 brass lit by CCI primers loaded just shy of too long for my magazine. This load flies to .325 regularly in my gun, .654 average in my daughter's Axis, and just about an inch in my other daughter's Rossi. It blows up varmints, and is accurate out to a proven 528yds in my AR on live targets.