How-To

The Long-Range AR-15, Part 2

In Part 1, I described the path the AR-15 took to become a viable longer-range rifle, and so now let’s look at where it is now.

To hit a target 500+ yards away, rifle configuration or component specifications are the first keys. Key numbers one and two are bullets and barrels. Of course, there has to be capable ammunition involved. For extended distances, that’s a handload, currently.

Right now, there is no viable commercial ammo for .223 that is adequate for anything much past 300 yards. In the competition world, a Sierra 77-grain bullet, for example, is not considered a good choice for a 600-yard event. The Sierra 80 is. It’s not the extra three grains, not even a little bit. It is the style of the bullet, which is also to say its shape.

AR Sierra Match King 80gr 77gr 69gr
The bullet is the big deal. This Sierra Bullets lineup (left to right) is an 80-grain MatchKing, then the 77-grain MatchKing, then the 69-grain MatchKing. The 77 is a little more effective than the 69, but at long distance, the 80 is way better than either. Get a minimum of 1-8 twist for your long-range project rifle.

The 80 is much more aerodynamic. It is also longer, and too long to realistically be seated within the case neck to provide a short enough overall cartridge length that will fit rounds into a box magazine. If 2.25 inches is good to use for a maximum magazine-length round (and it is), then the 2.35+ inches necessary to load an 80-grain bullet to provide minimum suitable bullet cartridge structure (meaning suitable engagement area within the bullet shank and the case-neck contact areas) is well beyond the constraints of the magazine. You must feed rounds constructed with 80-grain bullets one at a time into the rifle.

(Important note: I refer to “80-grain bullet” because it’s common, and performs well. There are others that are similar: lighter-weight VLD-style bullets, high-BC 75-grain designs, and even 90-grain bullets. Point is, is, that these are also all too long tip to tail to be seated deeply enough to fit a magazine box.)

To stabilize anything longer than a 68 or 69-grain bullet, the barrel twist rate must be—at minimum—1-in-8. Twist rates reflect how far the bullet travels along the lands or rifling to make one complete revolution. So, 1-in-8 (or 1-8, 1:8) means “one turn in eight inches.” I think it’s better to go a little faster in twist. There is nothing wrong with a 1-7 twist. The 90-grain bullets require a 1-6.5, and that is getting on the quick side. If you want to shoot Sierra 77s or equivalent, and certainly anything longer, 1-8 is necessary. By the way, it is bullet length, not weight, which constitutes the necessary twist rate to launch a stable bullet.

Two AR Barrels
The barrel on the right shoots every bit as well as the one on the left, but weighs a whopping lot less. It’s not at all necessary to run a straight taper barrel (bull-style) for great perforation at long range.

Floating a match-grade barrel (and defining that term will be a whole ‘nother article) of the correct twist rate is really the only technical “trick” necessary to get good groups from an AR-15. The “float” part comes from the installation of a tubular-style forend. These designs house the barrel with no contact points along the length of the tube. The gas block and gas tube are affixed to the barrel, certainly, and for this reason it’s critical that the gas tube has zero contact at the point where it passes through the upper receiver.

Barrel length is not nearly as influential with .223 as it is in larger-bodied cartridges. The relatively small amount of relatively faster-burning propellant just doesn’t get the gains from extra inches of barrel length like, say, a .223 WSSM will. The difference between an issue 20-inch and an aftermarket 24 is about 80 to 100 feet per second, using proven suitable propellants. That, yes, is influential. (2550 fps from a Sierra 80 is competitive.) Point is, there is only a scant difference between a 24-inch and a 26-inch, or more, barrel in a rifle chambered for .223.

Likewise, large-diameter barrels are of no discernable value to accuracy. Extra weight is about the only benefit, but most of those “bull”-type barrels are way too heavy. There is no recoil to speak of, as it is, certainly not enough to dampen with barrel weight. Anymore, I run a 0.800-inch taper that steps down for a gas block and then straight on 0.750-inch diameter to the muzzle.

AR Tubb Buttplate
This Precision 4-Way Adjustable Buttplate for fixed-stock rifles is made by David Tubb. The shooter can adjust the buttplate for length, buttpad height, cant, and offset from the mat using one wrench.

Another vital aspect of more successful shooting over more real estate is getting the rifle to fit the shooter better, which is to say to help the shooter employ a more effective position. An adjustable buttstock is valuable, and even more valuable if it’s well-designed. Mostly, a standard stock is too short, and the cheek area sits too low. Adding length helps a lot by itself. There are assemblies that replace the standard buttplate to allow for length and, usually, height and rotation adjustments for the buttpad. An elevation-adjustable cheekpiece is a big help to attain a solid position.

AR CSS Adjustable Stock
This is a fully adjustable stock from CSS. The cheekpiece is easily adjustable from position via a rotating cam apparatus. Most adjustable-cheekpiece-outfitted stocks force the head too far back, but this one doesn’t, according to the author.

A solid position is one the shooter can settle into without any undue strain to maintain the head where it needs to be to get a good sight view. Ideally, when the face is resting fully on the stock cheekpiece, the view through the sight should be dead-centered and clear. Muscle tensions necessary to clarify and correct the sight view ultimately lead to discomfort and muscle fatigue, and that leads to the shakes. Shakes and centered 1000-yard shots are not normally coincidental.

The charging handle kills the effectiveness of most designs. The cheekpieces are set too far back to allow clearance for charging. The only real way around it is a modification whereby an operating lever is threaded into the side of the bolt carrier, and the need for the charging handle is done away with.

Leupold Vari-X 8.5 - 25x50mm Scope
Shooting at longer ranges requires the marksman to see the targets. The Leupold Vari-X III 8.5-25x50mm offers clear images and precision adjustments.

Correct optical sight positioning can be a challenge. With a flattop upper, I need a good inch additional forward extension at the muzzle side of the upper for the sight mount bases to avoid holding my head “back” to get the optimal view through the scope. A longer rail piece is necessary for my builds as a result.

AR Bubblevel
At longer ranges, the consistency of the rifle’s attitude (degree of levelness shot to shot) is a significant influence on accuracy. With a bubble, it doesn’t matter if the rifle is upright or not, just that the bubble has been adjusted to show the same orientation each time. The best I have used is a design by David Tubb that mounts on the scope body. It’s out of the way and easy to read.

Last, a good trigger works wonders… Much more about those in future installments.

Without a doubt, anyone’s success as a longer-range shooter has a whopping lot to do with skill. The rifle might group well enough to center impacts on distant targets, but if the shooter’s holding ability, shot-production skills, and conditions-evaluation accuracy and application aren’t supporting that potential, then that’s what he’s left with. Potential.

It’s a book in itself, maybe two, to address ideas on honing ability and developing the right kind of experience to become a master of longer-range shooting.

What ammunition and accessories do you use when shooting long distance with your AR? Share with us in the comment section.

[gzediker]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (67)

  1. I have a Mossberg MVP with a 24 in. 1:9 medium bull barrel and I can shoot 75 gr. Hornady HPBTs sub MOA at 600 yards all day. 70gr Berger VLDs do quite well too. So at least some 1:9 barrels can handle heavier bullets. I understand the concept but the Hornady’s length to weight ratio must be able to handle it. Hornady recommends 1:8 or better for the 75gr AMAX.

    1. As the author said its the Bullet SHAPE that determines the Rate of Twist required rather than it’s WEIGHT…

    2. It’s not the shape nor is it the weight! It is the length of the projectile. You may say that the longer the bullet is, the heavier it is also. Not true at all. Example: Barnes TSX

  2. I remember hearing about journalist saying that we are now using “buzzsaw” bullets after hearing the whiring noise of bullets being glanced off of twigs and branchies…from our m-16’s…and the rifling of 1:12 so that shows you the amount of ballistics inspecction our govt.! why not just use 1:8 alaround this should take care of all bullet wieghts…. am I wrong about this….thanks. for listening!

    1. Our army generals Probably try to tell the Obama administration (government) about the rifling and ricochets and told him it was not a good idea To have rifling 1:12. But as you know Obama Doesn’t want to be told by those who know so he fired them and did his own thing. Obama has no knowledge of this and yet he sends you into battle with inferior weaponry. Obama and his staff have no common sense at all! He wants to tear down our military and he’s doing a good job doing it!

    2. Bullet stabilization is not always the main goal in military designs. The M-16 is thought to benefit in stopping power by using low stabilization rates that cause the bullet to key hole upon impact.

      Military thought for extended range fighting usually involves different weapons rather than different ammo i.e. 5.56 vs 7.62 etc.

    3. Going into combat would you like to have a 22 caliber going up against A 30 caliber that the enemy has? It doesn’t matter if you shoot A 22 caliber through brush at 10 yards or 100 yards, it will still ricochet! The 30 caliber would punch through the brush and hit its target! (Physics).

      IS WAR A MILITARY EXERCISE OR A GAME TO THE U.S.??????
      WHY IS IT THAT THE U.S. GOES INTO COMBAT WITH ‘UNDERPOWERED’ AMMO COMPARED TO OUR ENEMIES?????? (SENDING US OFF TO WAR WITH A .22 RIFLE)!!!!!!

      NOTE: A .30 (.308) CALIBER (M-14, AK-47 -WHICH OUR ENEMY USES).
      -A .223 CALIBER (.22 CAL.-M-16- WHICH THE U.S. FORCES USE.)

      IF THE HARMONICS OF THE RIFLE ARE CORRECT, THEN A .223 CALIBER IS SUPPOSED TO TUMBLE WHEN IT HITS FLESH AND CAUSE EXTENSIVE DAMAGE…OR SO OUR GOV’T. SAYS… BUT DOES IT WITH MOST M-16 RIFLES? ALOT OF TIMES YOU WOULD NEED MULTIPLE HITS TO KILL…..THAT IS WHY THE M-16 HAS A SETTING FOR THREE SHOT BURSTS, THEREFORE USING MORE AMMO IN A FIREFIGHT!….IF AN M-14 HIT ITS MARK, YOU WOULD HAVE “ONE SHOT = ONE KILL”. THE M-14 WAS MORE ACCURATE AT LONGER DISTANCES ALSO. I REALIZE THAT THE M-14 IS HEAVIER THAN THE M-16…. BUT WHEN YOU ARE IN A FIREFIGHT, ADRENALINE TAKES OVER AND YOU DO NOT NOTICE THE WEIGHT OF THE RIFLE OR THE AMMO.

      THE SMALLER SLUG (.223) WILL RICOCHETE OFF OF LIGHT BRANCHES AND MISS THEIR TARGET, BUT THE .30 CAL WILL PUNCH THROUGH LIGHT BRANCHES AND HIT THE TARGET…..AS WELL AS DESTROY BRICK AND CONCRETE WALLS TO EXPOSE THE ENEMY.

      I AM SURE THAT THE (WEAKER ROUND-.223) THE U.S. HAD TO FIGHT THE ENEMY WITH WAS A LARGE FACTOR TO CAUSE MANY AMERICAN SOLDIERS THEIR LIVES!!!

      SHAME ON THE GOV’T. FOR TRYING TO SAVE MONEY INSTEAD OF HAVING ‘COMMON SENCE’ TO SUPPLY THE U.S. WARRIORS ENOUGH FIREPOWER TO BE AT LEAST EQUAL OR BETTER THAN OUR ENEMY!!! (…AND DON’T TELL ME THAT OUR GOV’T. MONEY GRUBBERS DIDN’T REALIZE WHAT THEY WERE DOING. OUR SIDE HAD SPIES AND KNEW WHAT THE V.C. HAD FOR WEAPONS WAY BEFORE WE GOT INVOLVED WITH THAT V.N. ‘CONFLICT’.

      THAT WAS AS BAD AS WWII WHEN OUR GOV’T . GAVE US SHERMAN TANKS WHICH WERE UNDERPOWERED AND INADEQUATE AGAINST THE GERMAN TIGER TANKS! AGAIN, OUR GOV’T. HAD U.S. SPIES THAT GAVE THE INTEL OF WHAT OUR ENEMY WERE USING BEFORE WE GOT INVOLVED.

      I REALIZE THE MILITARY IS CHANGING SLOWLY BACK TO THE LARGER ROUNDS OF .30 CAL. AS WELL AS LARGER CALIBERS. MAYBE THEY REALIZE THEIR MISTAKE AFTER-THE-FACT. (OR PROBABLY IT WAS A POLITICAL PLOY TO MAKE MONEY FROM THE M-16 GUN MANUFACTURERS)?

      JIMO
      A VIET NAM WAR COMBAT VET…1964-66 (THE LONGEST YEAR OF MY LIFE)
      100% TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABLED. (THANKS GOV’T.)

      COMMENTS WELCOMED…..

  3. I was out shooting at the “White Horse” range in Barbour County WV at their 600 yard line with my Blackheart International AR-15. It has a 18 inch barrel with a 1-9 twist. I was shooting factory Federal XM-193 FMJ 5.56mm ball ammo at 55 grains. My optic was a fixed 3.5 power Trijicon ACOG zeroed to 100 yards. I was fully able to obtain “minute of perp” on a man torso target at that distance. I figure the group to roughly be 3 MOA in actually barring some variable winds pushing 18 out of 60 round string off target to the right. The chronograph was measuring my muzzle velocity at around 3150 fps with the factory ammo.

    The point would be 600 yards is definitely possible for most AR systems with patience. Tighter paterns with a smaller MOA will generally require some heavier bullets, a tighter twist rate in the barrel, and some consistent hand loads tailored to the specific weapon’s performance. A higher power optic would also help resolve the aiming point to make consistency easier as well.

  4. When I trained with the M16-A1 back in the stone age as a Marine, I usually scored head shots at 500 yards/meters. This is a nice build up, but it usually ain’t the rifle, it’s the Marine behind it.

    1. You’re right bigtomcat…… It’s the Marine behind it. I was on the rifle team in the states and just before I knew I was going to Vietnam ,they wanted to send me to sniper school. I put one and one together and came up with the conclusion that there is ‘safety in numbers’ when fighting in Vietnam. Physics – a smaller slug will ricochet and not penetrate as well as a larger slug (.308)-M-14. Imagine I started out with an M 14 and then they forced me to switch to an M-16….. The 16 jammed a hell of a lot more than the 14! It’s hard to believe that our government set us into combat with a .22 caliber , Fighting against an enemy that was firing larger 30 caliber rounds AK-47 back at us. That is just idiotic – the government as far as I am concern, is still idiotic, there is no common sense upstairs at all!

    2. Semper FI Marines. I was reading this and trying to understand how me and the rest of the Marine Corps can hit a target( at 200yds slow fire standing, sitting, kneeling; 200yds rapid fire standing to kneeling; 300yds slow fire sitting; 300yds rapid fire standing to kneeling; and the 500yds slow fire prone) all with standard military issued ammo, an M-16 that is older than myself (I think my dad my have been issued mine in boot camp), and iron sites. Then it dawned on me. I AM A U.S. MARINE!!!!! The old saying is true “We the unwilling, lead by the unknowing have been doing so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!”

    3. Semper Fi Cpl Quick and congrats on your absolutely 100% accurate analysis of the basis for that old saying (one of my shrinks favorites) “Once a Marine, always a Marine” She says her job would be a whole hell of a lot easier if the Marines would just let us go after we got our discharge papers however, I contend that Marines are indeed so successful with so little (I qualified with an M-14 in Boot Camp, made it a whole lot easier) is because God put certain individuals on this earth for the very purpose of growing up and becoming Marines. I never entertained ha thought for one second in my childhood about joining the Corps until the day I walked into the recruiting center in Cincinnati Ohio and Staff Sgt Danny Williams invited me to step right in and have a chat with him, the rest is history and I’d do it all over again given that same opportunity… yeah, Semper Fi to all my brother Jar Heads and good night Chesty, where ever you are …

  5. I’ m an 18B4 if you want around that will hit the target at a 1000 yds go with the 6.5 Grenel. It out shoots the 7.62 . I forget the name of the piston system they use with it. But it is a knock off of the ak piston system. As far as 5.56 I have one to just play around with. It has a nickel boron bolt and upper. I have never put a drop of oil in it and never had a jam.

  6. I can vouch for sierra bullets after reloading for .308, they were the most consistent weight wise and performance wise than many others

    1. No Jim,I’m no expert but I tried 75 gr Hornady thru mine and it was all over the place,not enough rotations to stabilize it.I’ve heard 68 but 64 is max for me.I use 62gr zeroed @100 yds. 55gr hornadys meet the line @ 200 yds

    2. Doug, I shooting both 62gr green tips from a 16′ 1:7 and 55grs from an 18″ 1:8.

      When you state the 55s hit the line at 200 yds are you stating that your 100 yd zero with the 62s will produce a 200 yd POI with 55s or did you mean that the 55s are ineffective past 200? You didn’t mention what the twist was in your barrel either? I’m interested in your results as my range runs from 25 yds thru 200 & I’m also using a 100 yd BZO.

  7. 80 gr single feed ammo is not a MUST have. And .223 is plenty accurate to 600 yds with lower weight bullets. That type of ‘absolute’ talk scares away new shooters by convincing them their equipment is inadequate.

  8. All of your comments are very informative. Forums like this are extremely valuable. My only comment is may GOD be with us and we be spot on.

  9. 101st fire team leader. i slept with an m-16 for a year. i built an ar-15 and chambered it for 7.62X39 last year. a lot more punch .me and a friend of mine who was in the 3rd marines at Khe Sanh both agree that the m-14 should have be lightened with composit, a carbine barrel and used in viet nam. instead, macnamera and his college wiz kids reasoned the the 22 cal m-16 would allow troops to carry more ammunition. in an airmobile war, this makes no sense. lots of good men died before colt decided to use chrome. that was all about profit and nothing else. an untested infantry weapon killed a lot of brave men. generals are all politicians and profiteers, they retire and go to work for the companies they made millions for. during the iraq invasion, troops had to buy their own body armor, w’s coharts went to the lowest bids knowing the equipment was inferior. of course he did not raise taxes to support these troops. this war was all about oil. as greenspan said,” everyone knows this war was all about oil”.

    1. I never trained with the M14, but I agree with you that the M16 was initially not the weapon that should have been issued to those marines, especially since the M14 was the weapon they were trained to shoot, so it should have been up-modified as you say, and even a few other upgrades, like improved sights and better rounds made to perform at distance, but the M14 was far superior to the new toy from McNamara and Stoner any day. Perhaps they should have listened to the guys getting shot at instead of pressing that toy on Marines…we always got the short end of any stick, and it was usually coated with crap. Semper Fi, bro!

  10. KEVIN……LOOK AT A R-25 .308
    LOOK AT A ‘R – 25’ .308
    IT HAS AN ‘AR STYLE’ FRAME AND SHOOTS ACCURATELY.
    PUT A GOOD SCOPE ON IT AND YOU HAVE A GOOD RIFLE FOR HUNTING OR WHATEVER ELSE THAT HAS TO BE DONE.

    MY 300 MAG TORE UP MY SHOULDER AND I STARTED FLINCHING SO I GOT RID OF IT.

  11. I was in Nam. I was issued an M-16. I kept it as clean and lubed as possible. I continue to do so. My AR is not going to take a bath in the Mekong Delta,or any other substance. I don’t plan on taking it into battle. I don’t plan on using government ammo. I will use it for self defense and competition. I don’t plan to shoot anyone or anything over 300 yds. So what is the problem? Use the AR for the purpose intended. Everyone has their own intended use, If you want to use it for long range, buy a long range rifle or modify what you have. It is your prerogative. Then is then and now is now,so why complain about an article which presents their opinion. Buy what you can afford and if you want to make changes do so, that’s why it’s a Barbie Doll.

  12. What’s the big deal with AR-15 ‘long-range’ accuracy?? When I was on the USMC rifle teams from 76-84 we competed with it at NRA matches out to 600 yds and kicked ass most of the time. We were using carry-handle M-16 A2s. We even used them in ‘Rattle-Battel’ Matches starting at the 1000 yard line….and won….with IRON-SIGHTS!! This was with Lake City ammo, of 55gr FMJBT. If we could do that back in the mid-70s, why do you need to spend $2000 today to do the same thing at 500 yards?? Want your AR to be a 500 yard rifle? STOP spending money on useless junk and practice, practice and then practice some more. Spend one hour ‘snapping-in’ for every hour on the range, by the end of summer you have a 500 yard rifle and didn’t spend a nickel on it.

  13. I WAS IN NAM 65 – 66. TOOK A TROOPSHIP OVER (21 DAYS). ISSUED M-14s. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT WHO THE BASTARD WAS THAT SWITCHED US OVER TO M-16s. They gave us an excuse that we wanted more ammo to Carry easier. With those M-16s we needed the three shot burst to kill one enemy! The M 14 (.308) is “one shot – one kill!”
    Some asshole politician wanted to make some money on our expense By introducing the M-16. Because of jamming and ricocheting and less penetration, we lost a lot of our guys. (30 cal AK vs our .22 cal AR) and our lives depended on the AR. (damn bastards in Wash.)

  14. I’m looking for a tactical vest . I bought one that said FIT’S MOST . I’m a 46 waist big belly, the one I bought likes about 12 in fasting in the front ,can you help me ?

    1. Hey Larry, by tactical are you talking body armor/Kevlar, or just a good vest to carry the gear you need? If bullet/shrapnel stopping isn’t an issue, see a zipper man. One of those guys who repairs luggage and installs zippers. Have him make you a panel that works as an extension to your vest, if you like the one you have. They have no problem with canvas, leather, or rip-stop nylon. A lot of those guys were parachute riggers back in the day.

  15. I don’t agree with all the saying that the AR needs this barrel and this round. I as all Marines shot the 500 yard line all day long. But unless you get a perfect head shot or the perfect chest shot, your not going to kill any thing. Even with these so called match barrels and over priced rounds. They may be good target hitters but not much more. The 7.62 or 308 or what one would like to call it, is what you need for good kill shots. The way I look at it is if your shot is under 300 yards the AR 15 is good. Above that my choice is the .308. It only makes since.

  16. I am a C&R collector I read the above responses with interest and would agree. I understand the novelty of the project but in no way would I spend the money for that when my M1, M14 or for that matter dollar for dollar my best long range shooter (50cal aside) is my used 74 Rem 700 30-06 I bought used $225 It was good enough for Mr H I do fine with it. To me the M-14 is a machine work of art compare to the mass produce AR but to each their own.

  17. I was in nam in 67 -70. Got in a fire fight in the delta, M-16 jammed so bad I thought I was going to die. I happened to get LUCKKKKKy and picked up an SKS, WOW what a killing machine…

  18. The author is poorly informed as bullet length is only part of the game, rifling quality/condition, barrel hardness, bullet diameter/metallurgy, power burn rate, cartridge prep, seating depth, primer type. The list goes on and on. I have been popping prairie dogs w 223 bolt actions and AR-15’s for 20 years, nobody beats my reloads, but some have come close within the last 12 years. Nosler ballistic tips and Hornady Amax have repeatedly killed prairie dogs in excess of 600 yards. Also have 7mm Remington Mag reaching out to prairie dogs 1100+ yards.

    1. I used the M-4 in Iraq. We had a few jams ourselves. Barrels warping, inaccurate shots. We had to spread an area to hit our insurgent friends. I recently bought an M-4 made by Colt. I have not had any jams yet. And the accuracy is much better. I think our Government ammo was crap. Cutting corners by the Government cost a lot of lives. And it endangered mine.

  19. What difference dos it make? Ff that small round hits even the smallest twig it will ricochet…… And as for hitting power at the recieving end, it’s a joke… What is it with this love affair with the AR-15 that got so many of our guys killed in Vietnam!…. 🙁
    Mike

    1. Junk ammo pure and simple. Many military rounds have a +/- 2 gr. powder, that can equate to a 500fps variation in velocity, which can result in poor accuracy

    2. Guys,

      This may not be the forum for it, but my exposure way back was Special Ops and the best weapon in my opinion for most work was the AK-47, as in my day it would go through the jungle or forest and hit it’s intended target and never jam… In today’s war, it will go through a mud hut wall or the corner of that wall while the M-4 round will not…

      Along that line, take a look at the new Ace 23 by IWI (Israeli).. AK aftermarket with a better barrel and a machined receiver… I think that weapon will be sought after by troops in the future… Heck of a live fire video out there where the operator puts sand and water inside then runs a whole clip through with no jam!…7.62×39 and 7.62×50 Food for thought….

    3. I’ll see your AK and raise you one M-14. I carried one from March 1968 til December 1971 while serving with 1st Bn. 5th Marines and it was the only weapon in the Republic that could quarter a man at close range on full auto and later that night don a Starlight Scope and take out a Dink at over half mile away in the middle of the night. IMHO as a non-professional, Marine Corps trained shooter anything less than 7.62 MM is for practicing and teaching little kids to shoot, I do own a Ruger Mini 14 and I enjoy shooting it but I also own a custom built piece in 7.62 MM based loosely on the AK which I had made for less than the cost of an M-14 and I also own a 1932 Mosin Nagant in 7.62 which has been modernized, fitted with a scope and customized to accept a removable 30 round magazine and I have a German mfg 1916. Gerwher 98 in 8 MM. These old bolt action pieces shoot just as well and just as accurately at any range as any modern gun and anyone who cry’s about a couple of extra pounds to carry or dealing with shoulder bruising recoil brings their own manhood into question. I love my big old rifles laden with beautiful hand sanded stained and lacquered wooden furniture, if they get too close for the long guns? Thai’s why God made 45’s and the 12 gauge…

    4. Stevven
      I agree 100% as a C&R collector and owner of full auto 1928 thompson, M14, BAR, and all the other M1 etc for stopping power quality you can’t beat them, then have refinements made by gunsmiths specializing in these art pieces they are a pleasure to shoot. I defer to your experience in battle as far as killing power but in just seeing for myself what I can do with various targets compare to what the mini-14 does there is no doubt what I would carry the M-14 w 1911

    5. I agree Mike! I went to nam with the trustworthy M-14. They took that from us in May of 66 and gave us that plastic piece of crap. No telling how many of those first issue weapons ended up in the rivers. We lost a bunch of brothers because of the jamming M-16 / AR 15. And they were anything but accurate compared to the M 1 A / M14.
      I wouldn’t have the piece of s—t myself.

    6. Have you shot one since?
      You can
      Put a lot of rounds through an AR, no FTF or FTE,
      Sub MOA accuracy, and twice as much ammo for the same weight. 7075 Aluminum is as strong as steel, and about 1/3 the weight. You can field strip and AR to clean the bolt carrier group in 5 seconds.

      Why do operators with 4+ tours in the sandbox like ’em?

    7. Macnamara and his idiot friends all thought they could micro-manage the $$ side of the Viet Nam war. Those M-16 we were issued didn’t have chome lined chambers or bores because, get this, Mac determined he could save 87 cents per chamber and $1.26 per bore by having them naked. This is were the FTFs, & FTEs, came from….period. Then Mac tried to blame some generals by claiming the issue was the ball-powder selected by Pentagon Procurement officers. Some good career officers got smeared in Mac’s whitewash of his own incompetentcy. Still it isn’t a bad rifle now days, just over-complicated, with no killing power.

    8. Hands down guys & gals.

      An AR-10 (308) is way more accurate for range & way more knock down than an Ar-15. (.223)

      Let’s say to a about ~200 yard head shot, (I am speaking of deer, mind you), the damage is way more great with the 1/3 inch shit than the 1/5th inch shit of same or similar shit.

      Plus, let’s take in the the Kinetic energy factor of such. Ouch.

      My personal choice is the .308/7.62×59 NATO Ar-10. One shot, one down factor.

      Whether be semi-auto or bolt action. Really does not matter. Because, one shot will do, move on to next. Bolts move pretty darn fast.

      I like 20-24″ barrels, am able to do 600 yards, thru iron sights. All within an eight paper dinner plate with a two inch red sticky in center, 18 out of 20 rounds in the 2 inch area. Of course, I am on a bag, not under stress.

      Keep that in mind, I never was ever under fire/stress. And that is a BIG difference to everyone.

      Colt & Bushmaster AR-10s’, regular Federal rounds.

      Thank you ever so much,

      Darryl, just a dumb azz mason.

      God Bless America.

    9. Some of these guys talking about the AR 15/AK47 have it wrong. I used the AR 15in Vietnam for a year. I was a platoon leader with the 5th Inf.
      Guys who used them kept them clean. They did not do what all the “chair-borne”said to fill print. As for the distinct sound of an AK 47 would be fired on or arty was called in. I get sick of yahoos that don’t know what their talking about. Period!

    10. Is there really any point in comparing apples to oranges? There is little question that the early M-16s were pretty much junk. There is also strong evidence that current production AR-15s and M-4s are an entirely different and quality breed by comparison. I don’t reload my own and would never expect the Yugoslavian military surplus ammo I use when I go out to play, to even come close in performance and accuracy. But I can afford to go full auto with it.

      I’d like to know if standard military grade 7.62 ammo is of the same quality level of smg 5.56, better or worse? I’ve read and heard some good things about the 308 round, and maybe someday I’ll own a rifle in that caliber. At 80 yrs. old my father could still rattle off the serial number of his M-1 Garand.

      But for now, if I really want to reach out and touch someone, I’ve got an old Savage in 300 win. mag. that hits what I aim at. Just not sure my shoulder (or wallet) would appreciate my using it just to pop prairie dogs.

      “We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics”.

    11. It is not that early M-16 were junk, it is the fact that they were ‘too’ precise.

      The bolt carrier was so wanting a clean connection, with grit & shit in it, would just jam.

      Can’t blame anyone, but as we all know, what works-just go with it.

      Germans were precise in pretty much everything, Japanese were here & there, Americans do so too for all.

      We, Our Nation built the T-72 Russian tank. Let alone other shitzo crap for ’em, to fight off Nazi shit.

      Don’t go there with muslim shit with me, buddy.

      We are all Children of God. Are you willing to, or willing to allow any one to harm in any way my children & grand-children for any reason? Unless they, themselves done you wrong.?
      Don’t worry I’d punish ’em myself buckwheat.

      Put away, dis-allow, any & all worldly per-conceptions of each other.

      This world is 100% controlled by Satan (Lucifer), he does not like Mankind.

      Darryl, God be with you.

    12. What you said about Muslims, I have thought the samething, but never said it outloud, now I wished that I had.

  20. In the USMC we shot two, three and five hundred yards with the M16 as it came from the armory. My AR was built in the basement with the parts I got from various after-market vendors; and a 4X16 scope. Nothing as fancy as a bull barrel or modified trigger assembly-just parts. I have no problem taking prairie dogs out to five hundred yards and beyond.

    Fact is; if I needed to kill something bigger than varmints out to five hundred yards and beyond; I’d use my ’03 Springfield 30-06. The right tool for the job makes the work easier.

    1. Right with ya there Malft! Retired from a black box operation with the NNSA and with the M16’s ordinary iron sights, shots were in a 3 inch group at 300 yards. Anything over that then the M14s were pulled out. Common sense. The M16 was originally designed as It was used in my time over there, as a close quarter weapon, from up close and personal out to 50-100 yards as the growth took over much of anything else. My personal AR14 is sighted out to 100 yards as the eyes are getting really old now!

  21. please, as long as you have a decent gun with a 1-7 twist you can shoot 77grain ssa or black hills 900 plus. i have sig and my gun i built and they are more than super accurate. i realize it takes good shooters and good guns to make long shots. but they can be done. lots of practice helps. there is reasons i shoot black hills 77 mod 1 otm through an mk 18 clone. look it up.

  22. I use a 24 inch stainless steel bull barrel with recessed crown plus a Magpul adjustable sniper stock. I also use homemade 69 grain Sierra MatchKing bullet. I also use an Aim 3 x 12 by 50 illuminated mil dot ret. My grip is similar to that of the PSG-1. 300 yards seems to be the max that I can get accuracy with the 69 grain bullet. But she is absolutely fun to shoot.

  23. A modicum of attention to proper English grammar and punctuation would do wonders for your credibility, Punisher. As it stands, your posts simply serve to impugn your own intellectual capacity.

  24. Heck I have a custom AR-15 that reaches out and splatters ground hogs at 750 yards. Custom 1:7 24″ bull barrel, DPMS lower with a 2 stage trigger, mag-pull adjustable stock, Nikon scope, and bi-pod. Big thing when trying to use an AR-15 for anything beyond 500+ yards is like the article said: hand loads, and an extremely stable platform t shoot off of.

  25. I also like using my hatchet to split logs. There is just something about making a tool reach out and perform tasks it is not designed to do when there are other tools like a splitting maul (308) or (300win) designed to perform the task. If only they made a Ar15 platform in a caliber like that, you wouldn’t have to hand load projectiles that won’t even cycle in the semi auto platform……
    Oh wait…. That’s been done huh?

    I’m going to go put $5,000 worth of stickers, muffler, and rims on an old honda and enter it into the Daytona 500. Why because there are people out there willing to spend money on pointless and impractical projects.

    Guns are tools use them for what they were designed for.

    1. WHAT A JERK. TO MUCH GUN FOR YOU TOO HANDLE.YOU TALK LIKE WHERE ALL IDIOTS. WHAT DO YOU CARE WHAT PEOPLE SPEND THERE MONEY ON? TRY A MORE POSITIVE APPROACH. LITTLE MAN.

    2. Thank you for your insight PUNISHER. And to answer your question, I do not care what you spend your money on. In fact I have a very special project of my own I will be entering into the Daytona 500…. (See previous comment)

      I was pointing out the bizzarness of choosing to turn a purpose built semiauto weapon into a single shot manual loader by using out of spec ammunition to attain accuracy at long ranges.

      You would get better accuracy from a bolt action. And even better down range ballistics from a heavier projectile, namely a .30 cal projectile…..

    3. You have a point here. It’s only practical for a limited job. Like people dumping $4000.00 wheels and $3000.00 in audio equipment on a $1000.00 car. If It is what they want to do and while it does not make much sense they are still going to do it. Nothing wrong with a custom 5.56 AR it just a one trick pony.

    4. Just a little note. My AR15 with scope well don’t stand still at 800 to 1000 yards. Cause you wont be standing for long.

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