AR Accuracy: What to Expect and How to Acheive it?

Bully

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I'm a bolt gun guy. I like them. I like how deliberate they are and how they force on me a state of zen to operate them well. And, I do ok. I'm not a "ragged hole" shooter, rather a 5 bladed cloverleaf kinda guy. I get them all to touch and that's good enough for me. I operate in the not quite free-recoil zone. Light head pressure on the buttstock, shoulder lightly pushing on the bi-pod, trigger hand thumb forward and pretty relaxed produces the best results for me.

I do reload. It really does seem to help. I'm pretty ok at that as well. Not a "pro" but so far my face is still attached (some might say unfortunately).

I've read on here and a few other places that shooting an AR accurately requires a different skill set. I'm wondering what that entails and what exactly I need to do to achieve the greatest accuracy out of the platform possible.
I will be shooting off of a Harris and squeeze bag. It's how I shoot my bolt guns. It's the one part of the equation I'm not looking to change.

I'm building a new rifle and want to squeeze the most accuracy out of it I can. It'll be billet/free-float/premium parts, etc. Basically, I want to justify the insane (to me) amount of money I just dropped on a bunch of parts that have yet to be painted and assembled.

Thanks for any and all help.
 

tuckybill

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Get a good trigger. Geisslie high speed match. Get a good barrel. Bartlein. I use the green locktite on mine. I would get a varmint barrel without any muzzle threads. Say a 20 inch from Compass Lake Engineering. 1-8 twist. That combo with handloads should be right at 1/2 inch at 100 yard with a good shooter and scope. I don't shoot a bipod so not sure on that.

I find ARs to be similar to a springer pellet gun. Some of them are "hold sensitive". ARs like to be held the same way every shot for every shot to go in the same hole.
 
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Bully

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I'm gonna run a Trigger Tech and a 20" Satern 1:8 with a SOCOM muzzle brake. I will bed the barrel.

Thank you.
 

Bully

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just to regurgitate what frank and others say...

follow through -
recoil management -
It's these principles that I've seen others talk about and I'm not sure how they differ from shooting a bolt gun.
 

padom

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    They differ because a bolt gun has no moving parts. You fire the shot and it's over. A gasser requires you to exaggerate everything your doing and for longer due to the moving parts.

    Load the bipod, building a solid position, ensure natural point of aim, holding that position until the recoil impulse is over,....trigger control / trigger reset are ALL important.
     

    Bully

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    They differ because a bolt gun has no moving parts. You fire the shot and it's over. A gasser requires you to exaggerate everything your doing and for longer due to the moving parts.

    Load the bipod, building a solid position, ensure natural point of aim, holding that position until the recoil impulse is over,....trigger control / trigger reset are ALL important.
    Thank you.
    Additionally I've seen that shooting "free recoil" isn't as effective in a gas gun as it can be in a bolt. I find that somewhat counterintuitive. I understand that the bolt is moving during the shot sequence. So it that respect it comes together. However where it falls apart to me (in my over caffieinated brain) is that a bolt gun is a more solid platform: meaning that the stock is typically either one piece or if it's a folder, beefy enough to resist the flex created by weighting any single part --- too much pressure from grip/head/shoulder etc. The AR platform is pretty "wiggly". The buffer tube and barrel extension/tenon are pretty underbuilt and certainly weren't engineered as a "precision" platform. Due to this high degree of "wiggle" I would have imagined that shooting with minimal physical input would be beneficial.
    Apparently that's not the case and I'm not understanding why.
     

    padom

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    Thank you.
    Additionally I've seen that shooting "free recoil" isn't as effective in a gas gun as it can be in a bolt. I find that somewhat counterintuitive. I understand that the bolt is moving during the shot sequence. So it that respect it comes together. However where it falls apart to me (in my over caffieinated brain) is that a bolt gun is a more solid platform: meaning that the stock is typically either one piece or if it's a folder, beefy enough to resist the flex created by weighting any single part --- too much pressure from grip/head/shoulder etc. The AR platform is pretty "wiggly". The buffer tube and barrel extension/tenon are pretty underbuilt and certainly weren't engineered as a "precision" platform. Due to this high degree of "wiggle" I would have imagined that shooting with minimal physical input would be beneficial.
    Apparently that's not the case and I'm not understanding why.

    Most of us shoot something like a Magpul PRS fixed stock on a precision AR, which is rock solid and there is no wiggle you speak of. Im not sure what you dont understand, an AR can be damn accurate if know what your doing and build the right gun with the right parts...

    Here are some examples of how my precision AR's shoot in various calibers..


    WOA 20" 223 Wylde AR


    100yd 4x5


    546yd



    300blk 10.5" 100yd 7x5




    22" 6.5cm AR 100yd



     

    acudaowner

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    one hole 5 shots and besides a hell of a lot of practice I still have not done one clean hole for 5 shots .
     

    Bully

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    Most of us shoot something like a Magpul PRS fixed stock on a precision AR, which is rock solid and there is no wiggle you speak of. Im not sure what you dont understand, an AR can be damn accurate if know what your doing and build the right gun with the right parts...

    Here are some examples of how my precision AR's shoot in various calibers..
    Threads have clearance built in which leads to movement. The rear of the lower where the buffer tube screws in has flex ion/movement. The barrel extension “trunnion” is thin and is a know flex/movement point.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m trying to learn.
     
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    tuckybill

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    I have all Aero "Enhanced" uppers on my AR10s. Seem quite a bit more ridged than the standard AR trunnion. A comfort with heavy longer barrel hanging out there.
     

    padom

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    Threads have clearance built in which leads to movement. The rear of the lower where the buffer tube screws in has flex ion/movement. The barrel extension “trunnion” is thin and is a know flex/movement point.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m trying to learn.

    Lol. Your trying to learn or tell people that have been doing this a LONG time how these th8ngs work and the accuracy they provide to CAPABLE shooters?? You're asking questions on the topic then telling people with years and years of first hand experience how these products work....🤔
     

    Forgetful Coyote

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    Lol. Your trying to learn or tell people that have been doing this a LONG time how these th8ngs work and the accuracy they provide to CAPABLE shooters?? You're asking questions on the topic then telling people with years and years of first hand experience how these products work....🤔
    Is there any upper youd choose over the Vltor MUR?
     

    padom

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    Threads have clearance built in which leads to movement. The rear of the lower where the buffer tube screws in has flex ion/movement. The barrel extension “trunnion” is thin and is a know flex/movement point.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative, I’m trying to learn.

    Have you used a PRS? Do you know.how it works and installs? It uses a special heavy duty tube with a machined in shoulder NOT a nut that gets torqued onto the receiver with a wrench or socket just like a Shouldered barrel.. the stock then has a nipple on it that inserts into the cutout on the back of the lower below the buffer tube threads then a big bolt secures the stock to the tube....there is no flex.
     
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    Bully

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    Lol. Your trying to learn or tell people that have been doing this a LONG time how these th8ngs work and the accuracy they provide to CAPABLE shooters?? You're asking questions on the topic then telling people with years and years of first hand experience how these products work....🤔
    You asked where the wiggle come from. I provided an answer.
    If the PRS works to negate that then I made the right choice.
    Thank you for your insight. I do appreciate it.
     

    Bully

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    I have all Aero "Enhanced" uppers on my AR10s. Seem quite a bit more ridged than the standard AR trunnion. A comfort with heavy longer barrel hanging out there.
    I looked at those but ultimately went with a local guy building billet upper/lower matched sets partially because he’s 15 minutes from my house but mainly because I like his philosophy on machining and how he sets them up.
    I don’t know all the particulars, but I do know enough to say it should be a nice rifle.
     

    NavyshooterM40

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    Get a good trigger. Geisslie high speed match. Get a good barrel. Bartlein. I use the green locktite on mine. I would get a varmint barrel without any muzzle threads. Say a 20 inch from Compass Lake Engineering. 1-8 twist. That combo with handloads should be right at 1/2 inch at 100 yard with a good shooter and scope. I don't shoot a bipod so not sure on that.

    I find ARs to be similar to a springer pellet gun. Some of them are "hold sensitive". ARs like to be held the same way every shot for every shot to go in the same hole.
    What is the process with the green locktite?
     

    padom

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    What is the process with the green locktite?

    Typically guys use 609 or 620 liberally applied to the barrel extension before inserting into the upper receiver on NON-thermofit upper receivers to take up the play for a nice tight bedded fit... If you use thermofit upper like a MEGA or BCM MOD4 where you have to heat up the front of the upper receiver to get the barrel extension to slide in then when it cools it is a rock solid fit.
     

    bigjake83

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    They differ because a bolt gun has no moving parts. You fire the shot and it's over. A gasser requires you to exaggerate everything your doing and for longer due to the moving parts.

    Load the bipod, building a solid position, ensure natural point of aim, holding that position until the recoil impulse is over,....trigger control / trigger reset are ALL important.

    And do the exact same thing as mentioned above for every single shot you take, cant the Rifle?.. change your grip? And here comes Mr. Flyer to piss on your perfect .3 group
     

    NavyshooterM40

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    Typically guys use 609 or 620 liberally applied to the barrel extension before inserting into the upper receiver on NON-thermofit upper receivers to take up the play for a nice tight bedded fit... If you use thermofit upper like a MEGA or BCM MOD4 where you have to heat up the front of the upper receiver to get the barrel extension to slide in then when it cools it is a rock solid fit.
    Thanks. Is it to bond the barrel or to act as a liquid shim?
     

    SWFShooter

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    I mean MEGA SBU thick walled uppers are my choice and I posted that religiously along with the mega bilket lowers on here for the past 2 years when they were CHEAP. I stocked up...
    The Mega uppers are thick. I have a handful of them myself. Now they seem to be a JSE Surplus exclusive.
     

    Neurotic

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    Typically guys use 609 or 620 liberally applied to the barrel extension before inserting into the upper receiver on NON-thermofit upper receivers to take up the play for a nice tight bedded fit... If you use thermofit upper like a MEGA or BCM MOD4 where you have to heat up the front of the upper receiver to get the barrel extension to slide in then when it cools it is a rock solid fit.

    Be aware that Hoppe's 9 cleaner will soften Loctite 609. Great to help with removal, but not great for its intended purpose.
     

    Constructor

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    Thank you.
    Additionally I've seen that shooting "free recoil" isn't as effective in a gas gun as it can be in a bolt. I find that somewhat counterintuitive. I understand that the bolt is moving during the shot sequence. So it that respect it comes together. However where it falls apart to me (in my over caffieinated brain) is that a bolt gun is a more solid platform: meaning that the stock is typically either one piece or if it's a folder, beefy enough to resist the flex created by weighting any single part --- too much pressure from grip/head/shoulder etc. The AR platform is pretty "wiggly". The buffer tube and barrel extension/tenon are pretty underbuilt and certainly weren't engineered as a "precision" platform. Due to this high degree of "wiggle" I would have imagined that shooting with minimal physical input would be beneficial.
    Apparently that's not the case and I'm not understanding why.
    AR's are typically lighter and shorter which increases muzzle rise. Everyone has their own opinion but a hard hold has always worked better for me shooting ARs especially with calibers larger than 223. Others have already said trigger follow through is very important.
     

    theLBC

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    AR's are typically lighter and shorter which increases muzzle rise. Everyone has their own opinion but a hard hold has always worked better for me shooting ARs especially with calibers larger than 223. Others have already said trigger follow through is very important.
    i agree. i have tried light to moderate pressure, but with the .308 gas gun, firm hold works best for me.
     

    Billiam1211

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    If you build a gas gun with premium parts, it should certainly have the accuracy potential once you get used to driving platform. It took me a while to get used to driving a gas gun. I was shooting 1-1.5 MOA with my 20-inch 308 gas gun for a very long time up until just recently. The last several range trips I've been able to shoot groups in the 0.3-0.5 MOA range. It's possible, so if you don't get there right away keep working at it.
     
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    keenedge

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    Most of us shoot something like a Magpul PRS fixed stock on a precision AR, which is rock solid and there is no wiggle you speak of. Im not sure what you dont understand, an AR can be damn accurate if know what your doing and build the right gun with the right parts...

    Here are some examples of how my precision AR's shoot in various calibers..


    WOA 20" 223 Wylde AR


    100yd 4x5


    546yd



    300blk 10.5" 100yd 7x5




    22" 6.5cm AR 100yd




    Some nice shooting with those AR's! If you compare your best-shooting 6.5cm AR to your best-shooting 6.5cm bolt gun, how much difference is there? Just got into shooting 6.5cm bolt guns about a year ago, now looking at adding a gas gun in 6 or 6.5cm.
     

    BuildingConceptsllc

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    Some nice shooting with those AR's! If you compare your best-shooting 6.5cm AR to your best-shooting 6.5cm bolt gun, how much difference is there? Just got into shooting 6.5cm bolt guns about a year ago, now looking at adding a gas gun in 6 or 6.5cm.
    It's a lot harder to shoot well with an ar if you don't have good technique. A bolt gun let's you get away with a lot, but an ar doesn't. AR's can be shot very very accurately, but it takes good position and form techniques to do it.
     
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    8up

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    To master the AR accuracy expectation, there are numerous areas that have to be supporting each other to achieve the ultimate goal, of being accurate and consistent. All of these posts in the thread are spot on. Each post is valuable and address areas that must be achieved from what they experienced.

    A large frame semi .308 shooting in the prone off a bipod or front bag with a rear bag is the baseline in which fundamentals are to be met. You master this platform, then anything else is easily done. If you have any shortcomings in your fundamentals or set up, this platform will prove it to you.

    So to address some of these areas without typing a book here. We all talk about the fundamentals being locked on. I practice seven of them, or how many you have been taught. Each one must be locked on, and supporting each other. We know that in order to be consistent. In each fundamental area, there is sub tasks that also must be accomplished.

    Example, body position. We talk about it all the time, straight behind the rifle to absorb recoil, cool got it! Now sub tasks come into play with it. Such as, is bipod at right height to put the buttstock in line with my body to properly absorb that recoil. Am I laying on top of the rifle, or putting the buttstock in the pocket then settling down to ensure contact during recoil. Rear bag correctly sized? Not all rear bags is a one shoe fits all. Is my slight bipod load consistent. Just one area of many others.

    Rifle, either a quality manufacturer or home build. In today's CNC manufacturing world, I believe most quality parts are top notch in spec. Now, there is a small percentage that bypassed QC, whatever part it is, it happens. Seen a few Aero receiver sets that are bad. Most are good though. I have home builds off of Mega sets, my only sets I use for builds. Many other good ones out there, as well as quality manufacture rifles.

    Rifle set up correctly. Has to be set up in order to be driven. Yes, it is a extension of your body. If done right, you will not be fighting it in order to be consistent. Optics tracking and set up correctly. Ammo, does it provide the results you want to achieve. You have to master the fundamentals first in order to see what the ammo can do for you.

    It took me thousands of rounds to get my skill set. Never call myself mastered at it because we are always a student. I have good days, and days that are just off. Now that I typed out to much, done for now.

    Final thoughts, as Geico said in many commercials, 6.5 CM so easy even a cave man can do it. Don't booger hook the trigger, keep eyes open, set your rifle up correctly.
     
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    ceekay1

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    I think the main reasons most guys can't wring out great accuracy out of a gasser is mostly due to 2 things: so-so triggers and so-so ammo.

    A nice PRS-style bolt gun usually has a ~1lb or less, crisp/nice trigger that can sometimes cost up to ~$300, whereas most AR guys think a 3.5lb $100 AR trigger is plenty light and is expensive enough. Just like with bolt-guns, a really good AR trigger usually isn't cheap and there are really only a handful that go down to 2lbs or lower and are reliable...

    A nice PRS-style bolt gun usually is fed custom loaded ammo dialed and perfected to get the most out of it, whereas most AR's are fed whatever factory ammo is available or reloads that aren't really dialed to the degree in which one would go with a bolt-gun. Precision loads for an AR are a little different than for a bolt-gun and need to be treated as such, bolt-guns don't have crimp involved as an added variable, pressure effects things differently...

    Then there are some other things that help that are arguable too: like, IMO I think there's definitely some credence to what Seekins Precision does as far as how beefy their upper receivers interface, without their handguards being attached to the barrel nut, etc...

    (Kind of a different subject really, but related: then there's recoil, with AR's the buffer system, gas system & gas block, and even the BCG weight all play a roll in how a gun acts... not as many options for, or as simple as, tacking on weights as with bolt-guns.)

    I honestly think a gasser can be tuned to be really freaking close to a bolt-gun in accuracy, it just takes work and juggling a few more variables, and might lighten one's wallet more than they'd like lol.
     
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    FALex

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    I'm seeing some responses that advise you to have quality hardware, which is obviously true. More importantly, however, is having solid fundamentals, and applying them shot-to-shot. It is easy to get carried away with an AR because you don't have the extra movement required of you with bolt manipulating.

    Depending on your system, loading the bipod is important, but you have to be mindful to not overdue it as it can introduce unnecessary pressure into the system. Best way I've read it is, "take the slack out of the bipod, don't drive it."

    With regards to fundamentals, we always talk about the basics: stance, grip, breathing, trigger control, sight alignment, follow through and grip. When discussing these issues with the AR world, we need to also incorporate head position. This requires the shooter to obtain, and maintain, a consistent cheek weld. A consistent cheek weld is an oft overlooked issue when discussing marksmanship with regards to AR's.

    As always, dry fire. Ensure you're practicing all of these fundamentals when you're dry firing, lest you develop bad habits.
     

    theLBC

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    can you see the target shake in your sights when you dry fire a bolt gun?
    my rifle shakes with the hammer, and that is just the start of the movement.
     
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    Bully

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    Thanks y’all.
    I’m seriously looking forward to getting this rifle finished. Hopefully just a couple more weeks. I’m also looking forward to learning a new skill set a s putting it in to practice. I’m hoping that this rifle is the one I shoot the most this season.
     

    Bully

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    No sling.
    Bi-pod.
    Free float tube just got delivered from the painter.
     

    Bully

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    I don’t like either more than the other.
    The Harris is super light and compact.
    The Sinclair is bigger heavier but also wider and more stable.
    Both work within their envelopes.
     

    Eeegadd

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    Please tell me about the gun ar10/15,bullets, powder, neck trim, seating that your using.
     

    Bully

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    Brass is trimmed to length on a WFT and seated with Redding dies on my CoAx. OAL will be determined after I find my node.
     

    Bully

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    How do y’all grip the rifle on the pistol grip?
    On my bolt gun, I run my thumb alongside the stock to minimize input.
    Do you guys do the same on an AR or do you wrap your hand around the grip? Light/moderate/heavy pressure?
     
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    theLBC

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    How do y’all grip the rifle on the pistol grip?
    On my bolt gun, I run my thumb alongside the stock to minimize input.
    Do you guys do the same on an AR or do you wrap your hand around the grip? Light/moderate/heavy pressure?
    just like a bolt gun if i am hunting. along the stock. i have a thumb rest.
     
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    Bully

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    just like a bolt gun if i am hunting. along the stock. i have a thumb rest.
    The grip I have has a slight thumb shelf as well. It’s not my McMillan, but she’ll do.