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ColtJ
05-01-11, 15:44
Hello,

I've just recently finished my first precision based rifle. I "think" i've done a good job at it...

Over the past few weekends i've made a few trips to the local range and shot it at 100 yards. The best I could achieve were 1 to 1.5 MOA groups. Based on what I built I would like to have done a bit better. Initially I gave all fault to user error as that is the cause 99% of the time.

During my trips i've met and made a few friends at the local range and gotten some good advice but our ideals for our rifles are a bit different. They are purely bench rest shooters and have nice setups for that purpose and that purpose alone. I did not build a bench rest rifle but that is the avenue that I have to test the system so I have been shooting under those conditions but would like to know if given my current hardware and conditions if i've reached my limits.

I am a bit lost as there seem to be too many variables.

First - Ammo:
I have seen first hand that this is a big deal (bigger than I originally thought). I had some 75gr Black Hills (blue box) hollow point ammo and could not get anything better than ~1.6 MOA. As I got ready to pack up and leave, I started chatting with another shooter. He had a very nice bench rest setup and we switched 10 rounds as well as shot each others rifle's.
The results were the same, I shot great sub MOA groups with his rifle and a much tighter group with his ammo, while his rifle did not do well with my ammo as neither did mine. He was shooting Ultra Max 55 gr V-Max ammo. which according to him is cheap ammo by name and reputation.

Right after I purchase some 60 gr Black Hills (blue box) V-Max ammo. Best I can get with this 1 MOA but average is about 1.3...

Plan to get some other ammo from other manufacturers to figure out what works best but before I do so I would like some other questions answered first...

Second - Bipod:
I am using a Harris Bipod with the swivel head on an Arms throw lever adapter, basically it can lean left or right. Seems like a good thing to have but i've received some pointers on it and have been told that will give me trouble, given that it can lean and that will throw me off a bit.

Third - Optic:
I am using an SWFA-SS 3x9 and understand very well that this is not the best bench shooting optic but I figured it should be good enough to test the rifle at 100 yards. Obviously my bench rest shooting friends recommend much more magnification.

While I am not second guessing or downplaying the advice I have received, I am looking for a few more pointers and advice. Basically you do not buy a car after reading one review or talking to one person...

While I am sure it is user error and the fact that I have only put ~250 rounds down range with this particular rifle, I would like to make sure the hardware is fine before sending more rounds down range; wasting ammo. Or that I am at least on the right path first.

Other than the ammo which I know I need to figure out, what else could prove to be a hinderance other than me...?

I wonder as I have receive a lot of compliments on the rifle as well as my shooting from other shooters; both beginners and experts. (I have no proof that these experts are what they claim or any way to verify their claims but I have no place to question another mans words). For some reason they think I am some kind of expert or at least pretty good while I have done my best not to give that off as it would be false, they think i'm being humble when I tell them I am new to shooting, which I am.

Or am I concentrating too much on the groups...?

I have also shot at half inch dots in an effort to psyche myself out and achieve better groups but get the same results.

Any advice, recommendations or pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Specs on rifle: http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=78499

C-grunt
05-01-11, 18:24
Try different ammo. Some rifles dont shoot the best with the common precision ammo. I had a Savage .308 that shot the Winchester Silvertip hunting rounds better than any of the match grade ammo I fed it. Sucked because the Silvertips were probably the most expensive .308 ammo in the store.

How many rounds are in these groups you are shooting?

I would also say that you would benefit with a higher magnification scope if you are seeking tiny groups. The optic you have would make a great general purpose precision rifle scope, but wouldnt be what I would choose for bench shooting.

ICANHITHIMMAN
05-01-11, 19:21
First off your rifle is shooting fine. 1.5" at 100 yard = a 9" group at 600 yards. Second how fast are you shooting these groups? What trigger do you have?

Try slow fire at 200 yards to let the bullets calm down a little and see how your groups are and dont shoot off the bench on your bipod. Bipods are for the ground and dont forget to load the bipod once your settled in. If you are insistant on shooting from the bench use a front and rear bag.

ColtJ
05-01-11, 21:17
Try different ammo. Some rifles dont shoot the best with the common precision ammo. I had a Savage .308 that shot the Winchester Silvertip hunting rounds better than any of the match grade ammo I fed it. Sucked because the Silvertips were probably the most expensive .308 ammo in the store.

How many rounds are in these groups you are shooting?

I would also say that you would benefit with a higher magnification scope if you are seeking tiny groups. The optic you have would make a great general purpose precision rifle scope, but wouldnt be what I would choose for bench shooting.

Thanks, your post also confirms what i've seen these past few weeks, just need to find the right ammo now.

I am shooting five shot groups.

Just want to make sure/check for any other possibilities as well.

We're on the same page in regards to the scope. :)


First off your rifle is shooting fine. 1.5" at 100 yard = a 9" group at 600 yards. Second how fast are you shooting these groups? What trigger do you have?

Try slow fire at 200 yards to let the bullets calm down a little and see how your groups are and dont shoot off the bench on your bipod. Bipods are for the ground and dont forget to load the bipod once your settled in. If you are insistant on shooting from the bench use a front and rear bag.

Thanks.

I have tried to slow fire five shot groups; about 30 seconds per shot, tried to take time and properly reset for each shot. I've also shot quicker groups (~5 seconds per shot) but the difference in groups are minimal.

I am using a Gieselle SD-E 2 stage trigger. See link in original post for the rifle's components.

Sadly i am limited to 100 yards locally.

Thanks for the info in regards to the bipod, i was instructed to use a bag on the bench but got no explaination as to why.

I plan to shoot from the prone position next but i wanted to conquer (for the lack of better words) bench shooting first.

Edit: Thanks for mentioning loading the bipod, i've never concentrated on this, i will make sure to give it though/attention next time out.

Thanks again.

aveisone
05-01-11, 21:21
First off your rifle is shooting fine. 1.5" at 100 yard = a 9" group at 600 yards. Second how fast are you shooting these groups? What trigger do you have?

Try slow fire at 200 yards to let the bullets calm down a little and see how your groups are and dont shoot off the bench on your bipod. Bipods are for the ground and dont forget to load the bipod once your settled in. If you are insistant on shooting from the bench use a front and rear bag.


I learned this the hard way. My rifle would hop something fierce of the bent with a bipod. Prone in the grass or dirt it shoots great.

Sgt_Gold
05-01-11, 22:06
A Krieger barrel set up by CLE should be breaking the 1 MOA mark with BH ammo. What kind of muzzle device are you using? I doubt the break is improperly installed, but it might not be helping your grouping. Higher magnification on the optic will probably help as well.

ColtJ
05-01-11, 22:16
A Krieger barrel set up by CLE should be breaking the 1 MOA mark with BH ammo. What kind of muzzle device are you using? I doubt the break is improperly installed, but it might not be helping your grouping. Higher magnification on the optic will probably help as well.

I am assuming the same in regards to CLE which is why i am betting its a combination of user error and hopefully ammo.

Its an SJC Titan break.

ColtJ
05-09-11, 09:51
Thanks again for all the reply's.

I made a short trip to the range this weekend and confirmed a few things.

While I would like to think my concerns were genuine as this is my first precision rifle but it is now clear the issue is poor marksmanship.

I did not shoot much but I shot the same rifle no changes using the 60gr V-Max from the original post. However, I shot from the prone position with nothing more than a Bipod, no rear bag.

I was able to shoot two sub MOA groups but it is clear "I" am not consistent.

I find myself forcing the bad shots, basically I can feel it is not a good shot but I try to force it anyway... I also find myself trying to chase the previous shot in order to achieve a tight group rather that remaining consistent, while chasing the bad shot everything else gets out of wack...

It seems when the first shot is good I can follow up on it which makes it clear I need more discipline, practice and experience.

First hotline:
http://dragonape.com/AR15/3.jpg

Second hotline:
http://dragonape.com/AR15/4.jpg

Obviously I highlighted the good ones but it makes it clear that this rifle using the 60gr V-Max is possible of sub MOA groups.

I plan to shoot that ammo some more next visit followed by retesting the 75gr BTHP's all from the prone position now on.

Thanks again.

ALCOAR
05-09-11, 12:48
You seem to have a good understanding for what it takes to hone in the accuracy....it does seem your muscling the gun on target or as your say forcing a bad shot.

You should drastically start to see improvements since your starting to shooting prone. Technique is critical when evaluating accuracy. I try to take as much of myself outta the equation as possible..which is usually done through technique.

Keep up the good work!

C-grunt
05-09-11, 13:31
Good work. Another thing I would do would be to get a smaller target with a more precise center. Maybe an orange sticky dot to put in the middle of the black. That way you can be more consistant on your aiming point.

Good shooting though.

ColtJ
05-09-11, 16:38
You seem to have a good understanding for what it takes to hone in the accuracy....it does seem your muscling the gun on target or as your say forcing a bad shot.

You should drastically start to see improvements since your starting to shooting prone. Technique is critical when evaluating accuracy. I try to take as much of myself outta the equation as possible..which is usually done through technique.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks, I am starting to understand what I am doing during the entire process so now I can differentiate what I am doing wrong vs what I am doing right.

Right now I am just happy to know where I stand. :laugh:

I plan to keep shooting the same ammo for a little while longer as a means to keep everything else constant so I can properly gauge my progress.

Thanks again.


Good work. Another thing I would do would be to get a smaller target with a more precise center. Maybe an orange sticky dot to put in the middle of the black. That way you can be more consistant on your aiming point.

Good shooting though.

Thanks.

Now that I am understanding my errors, I do plan on going back to smaller targets while I work on them.

Sgt_Gold
05-10-11, 13:15
It sounds like you have a good grasp on what it takes to shoot well, the hard part is is actually doing it. You went out and got a rifle and ammo that pretty much eliminates the mechanical issues associated with accuracy, so what you're left with is the human factor. When you had a rifle that grouped 2.5" with non match ammo, you couldn't really tell where the flier came from. Was it you, or the machine? With the rifle and match grade ammo you're using, it's all you. Here's my advice:

Find a target that makes it easy for you to hold the cross hairs on the same place, every time.

Don't worry where the rounds group. Shoot at the same spot, every time.

Don't chase the last shot. I've made this mistake in high power rifle, and it only ends badly.

That .725 MOA group represents the mechanical ability of your rifle and ammo. That should be your bench mark group. Any time you shoot a larger group, you should be asking yourself 'what did I do wrong?'

MistWolf
05-10-11, 21:31
What is "chasing the shot"?

ColtJ
05-10-11, 22:48
Sgt_Gold,

Thanks.

MistWolf,

Just that, literally chasing a shot or the point of impact.

IE: I am aiming dead center of the target but the first shot hits slightly top right, so rather than aim dead center for second shot I try to compensate my aiming slight top right.

Guess i've done it in attempts to get tighter groups or save groups although it has a tendency to work opposite.

Sgt_Gold is correct as I should have been aiming for the same spot every time.

oalocke
05-13-11, 11:15
I'm right there with you on this path. As others have said, getting off the bench and shooting prone was key for me, as was getting back to the fundamentals- natural point of aim (close eyes, wiggle, open eyes and check scope), and really focusing in a consistent cheek weld, both front/back but especially the tilt of my head. Don't accept scope shaddow. A nice light trigger can make me lazy, so keep focused on not snatching the break.

Don't be afraid of lighter-weight ammo at 100 yards. My 1/7 WOA SPR barrel loves 55gr Federal Premium.

The only little gear thing that might help is a pd-loc (http://kmwlrs.com/Pod-Loc%20subpage.htm), which allows you to lock down the cant on your bipod. I love mine.

ColtJ
05-16-11, 17:54
Thanks.

That was my first time shooting prone, I plan to confirm everything next time out (such as position, etc... while trying to iron my skills out) and hopefully improve some more.

the lightest i've tried is 60gr but I plan to try some of that Hornady Superformance which is lighter.

:ph34r: