I have never loaded for an AR before but thought I would give it a shot. My friend wanted to try to shoot the 73 grain ELD-M in his AR. I started with CFE223 powder but it is a no-go. Let me back up and say, something is a no-go. I tried a really low charge of 24 grains and have been all the way to 26.9 without hardly anything looking like a group. The closest thing to a group was the lowest charge generating only around 2,450 fps. My friend says it is a 1 in 8 twist and I don't have reason to doubt that. The holes in the target were little round holes and not egg shaped or anything for me to thing the bullets were unstable due to twist rate. Do you guys think there is something wrong with his setup or do I need to try a different powder or what would be your recommendation? I was using mixed brass too, so there's that. Winchester 41 primers. Looking forward to learning from you folks.
It is often said that there is only one man for one woman. While this sounds reasonable divorce statistics prove otherwise. With that said I am going to make a bold statement by saying for every barrel on every MSR there is only one load that has the slightest possibility of coming close or breaking into the sacred less than 1 MOA grouping. I have been shooting primarily M16A1, A2 and A4 rifles for many years. I have shot them in competition out to 400 yards with M193 ammo and found them to be quite accurate. The early M16A1 had a barrel twist rate of 1/14 and while never at that time shooting for groups never had any trouble hitting whatever target was out there. Over the years various different barrel twists were used up to 1/7 twist with the M855. Back then, hit the target and it goes down, to include targets pulled in the pits during competition.
Out here in the civilian world it's a completely different ball game. MSR's come in all different configurations with all different twist rates and trying to find something that will shoot well out of an out of the box MSR is difficult, and chances are you are not going to find something that shoots well out of the box with currently available commercial or military ammunition. I currently have two MSR's from different reputable manufacturers,both with supposedly match grade barrels. One has a 1/9 twist which absolutely does not like anything. The other is a 1/7 twist that likes 70+ gr bullets (69's don't work either) Factory 75 and 77 gr ammo will shoot maybe 1 1/2 inch. Handloads do shoot a bit better but it will take a lot more playing, which I personally like doing, to find something that the barrel likes and will shoot 1 MOA or maybe even better. I do freely admit that my concept is different now than back then. Back then hit the target which mostly were the silhouette targets used on pop up target holders, you know the type hit the target and it goes down then comes back up to these daze and not that is not misspelled, to shooting little tiny groups or groups with one round on top of one another. I am still working on getting the 1/7 to shoot MOA or better and If I play around enough it will happen. I still on occasion do shoot in military competitions and even when shooting bullseye at ranges out to 400 or in some cases 600 yards it's still possible to shoot a decent score, even good enough to win some LEG points every so often.
As for hunting, to my way of thinking a MSR is only good enough for hunting Coyote size animals out to about 200 yards. Smaller targets are not all that easy to hit simply because these rifles are not that accurate. Larger animals, like deer or antelope the 223/5.56 I personally, and I know many of you disagree with this, the 2223/5.56 simply does not do the job good enough to my way of thinking.
The comments above are based on the MSR chambered for the 223/5.56. I have not had the chance to try out the AR-10 version using the .308/7.62x51 ammo with 165/168 gr ammo coming out of a 1/10 twist barrel. I suspect that this combination could be a game changer. Are there any AR-10 people out there who can comment? I would love to hear from you.
And finally, If I had to go back into combat again what rifle would I choose? If it isn't a sniper rifle then the AR-15A4 would be my choice. After all we are civilians, not military any longer and have all the good stuff.