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Old 11-14-2017, 01:35 PM   #1
SabreKiller
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Default AR-15 accuracy issue...

if there is one gun that is driving me crazy with accuracy issues, it's my AR. I have a Bushmaster M-4 chambered in 5.56/.223 with a 16" bbl. I purchased the weapon when I retired from DPS. It wears a Leupold VX2 3-9X40 with a dot reticle and a Gen Tec suppressor. For the life of me I have not been able to get this gun to group well with any ammunition I try. From factory to hand loads, I'm lucky to get a 3" group at 100 yards with it.

I've been shooting the 64 gr. Winchester Ranger LE ammo and it has killed a bunch of axis and pigs at ranges of less than 100 yards to 186 yards, but I would like to see at least 1-1.5 inch groups. Just recently I purchased some 64 gr. Gold Dot LE ammo and 55 gr. Gold Dot LE ammo. The 64 gr looked like a shotgun pattern on target. The 55 gr. was a little better, but not much. The 55 gr. shot well in my CZ 527 with a 1:12 twist.

I haven't tried any bullet weight greater than 64 gr. and nothing lighter than 55 gr. but I thought the 1:9 twist would stabilize either one just fine and I think it has because I haven't seen any key-holing.

Any suggestions on what to check to see if I can get a little more accurate. Scope mounting is dead set, the trigger is stock, etc.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #2
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Have you tried shooting without the suppressor..... Start with the things you can change. Sometimes it's the simplest things sometimes not..... Other than that I got nothing.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:04 PM   #3
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Default Yes I have...

without any measurable difference either.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:06 PM   #4
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Stock trigger? That's the first thing I change in my ar's

2nd thought.. LE guns get a bunch of rounds through the barrel in classes. Has it had a good bore cleaning?
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:10 PM   #5
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I've considered changing the trigger. The gun is probably not as clean as it could be. However, I have cleaned the snot out of it, taken it to the range and still had a shotgun pattern.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #6
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I don't know why you'd expect better than 3 MOA from a Bushmaster.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #7
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Loose sites or barrel?
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:15 PM   #8
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Is the handguard/rail free float or standard? That can make a difference. Also, upgrading the trigger can make a difference. Clean the barrel with a good copper cleaner to make sure any fouling is cleaned up. If no change, you can check the barrel nut torque.

In all honesty, a standard AR such as yours is generally a 1 1/2 to 3 MOA rifle with standard parts and production barrel.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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I have that same rifle and went through the exact same thing you're going through. I shoot these with great results.

https://www.hornady.com/ammunition/r...-bthp-match#!/
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:48 PM   #10
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This may just be as good as your particular gun will do. The 1:9" twist barrel will stabilize the 75 grain Hornady BTHP (but not the 75 gr AMax or 77 gr Sierra or Nosler), so you might try some heavier bullets. You might also try some lighter ones. Lighter bullets will almost all be varmint bullets, but you might try some to see if your gun prefers them. Other than that check the sites, scope mount, and scope.

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Old 11-14-2017, 02:52 PM   #11
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Loose gas blocks are notorious for this.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:02 PM   #12
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Is this a chrome lined barrel? Some good suggestions above, and like said that seems within reason for a stock trigger in that combo. You really have to be on your game to shoot a gritty stock trigger in a bushmaster better than that, imo. It should shoot the bullets you have tried just fine. My money is on the barrel. While you have the hand-guard off to change it you can check the gas block, but I believe it is pinned on that gun and they rarely loosen unlike the setscrew gas blocks.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:29 PM   #13
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It's a standard hand guard attached, not free floating.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -HIC- View Post
Is this a chrome lined barrel? Some good suggestions above, and like said that seems within reason for a stock trigger in that combo. You really have to be on your game to shoot a gritty stock trigger in a bushmaster better than that, imo. It should shoot the bullets you have tried just fine. My money is on the barrel. While you have the hand-guard off to change it you can check the gas block, but I believe it is pinned on that gun and they rarely loosen unlike the setscrew gas blocks.
Yes its a chrome lined barrel. I'll look into a new trigger and see what happens. I'm not sure how to get to the gas block, but I guess YouTube will have something on there. The hand guard is stock without a rail. I used an aftermarket rail attached to the forearm for my laser designator.

Last edited by SabreKiller; 11-14-2017 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:50 PM   #15
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If you put a free float handguard and quality trigger, I think you could realistically expect 1.5-2.0 MOA with that rifle wit quality ammo and possibly a little better.

Does it have a pinned A2 front sight post? If so, it could be loose, but unlikely. To install a free float the handguard you'll have to pull the sight post more than likely. It is pinned in place.

I'd start with a trigger and see how that does. 2 MOA is accurate enough for most general hunting.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:02 PM   #16
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If you handload the Hornady 55gr Vmax get me less than .6 MOA. PM me if you want the recipe.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:56 PM   #17
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To put all the suggestions in one place, here ya go.

check these:
-Check barrel nut torque
-Ensure scope rings are tightened properly
-Make sure barrel crown isn't dinged up

Upgrade these:
-Free float rail
-New Trigger

Try this:
-Handloads

If none of that works: you have a crap barrel...or you're a seriously bad shot
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sir shovelhands View Post
To put all the suggestions in one place, here ya go.

check these:
-Check barrel nut torque
-Ensure scope rings are tightened properly
-Make sure barrel crown isn't dinged up

Upgrade these:
-Free float rail
-New Trigger

Try this:
-Handloads

If none of that works: you have a crap barrel...or you're a seriously bad shot
Missed one. Check gas block.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
I don't know why you'd expect better than 3 MOA from a Bushmaster.
Cause mine can do that @ 100yds with open sights oh nvmd ur the "if its not a larue, its a paperweight" guy
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:15 PM   #20
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I built a PSA upper and lower parts kit w/an Anderson lower. Factory trigger, 18"barrel open sites, standard handguards 1/7 twist shooting 55gr factory fmj's and easily squeezed in 1 1/2"groups..... Something's broken in your rifle Sir. Seriously doubt it's the trigger or forend that's causing this issue...... Yes a aftermarket trigger and free float rail will significantly increase your accuracy..... But that's not causing your 3in groups. I've fired many rifles in my time and some very inexpensive guns that will hold a 1"MOA.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:25 PM   #21
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I know the fix for your gun. I have a Bushmaster, M4, 16" 5.56 barrel also. Also with 1 in 9 twist.

It is the ammo you are shooting. Shooting anything heavier than 55 grain is a waste of time out of those guns. The biggest problem, is the depth of the throat. It is very deep, but then the front to rear length of the mag is short, so you are very limited on overall length, which puts most bullets a long ways from the rifling lands. I fought with this problem about 14 years ago, with my Bushmaster. It took a while, but I found the cure.

I found a bullet that has a very different ogive from most other 22 caliber bullets, so the bullet gets out to full diameter much close to the nose of the bullet, then also the bullet is a hollow point, with a fairly large hollow point, which also helps move the ogive of the bullet closer to the lands.

My rifle would only shoot 1 1/2" groups typically, with the best ammo, before I discovered this bullet. With that one bullet, loaded as long as I can get it, the gun will shoot 1/4" groups all day. It made a world of difference.

The bullet is a 52 gr. Speer hollow point. I have loaded it with four different powders, the accuracy is pretty much the same with all four powders, the main difference between the powders is the velocity. So far I have gotten the best velocity with Leverevolution and CFE 223, which are supposed to be basically the same powders, except CFE 223 has a anti copper fouling agent in the powder.

Last edited by RifleBowPistol; 11-14-2017 at 10:38 PM..
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:36 PM   #22
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The rounds in the right of the picture are the 223s, with the 52 gr. Speer. Then target was from the last time I took my Bushmaster out and shot it. My other AR was shooting like crap and has been for a while. Then I shot the Bushmaster and it shot great, I was not shooting as good as I could have, but I was not the reason the other AR was shooting so badly.

That little 52 gr. Speer should fix your accuracy problems with your Bushmaster. They are not easy to find, but they are around. I get mine from Nagel's in San Antonio. I stocked up on them, because for two years or so, I could not find any. Then one day I went into Nagel's and they had many boxes in stock.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:43 PM   #23
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Another cure for your rifle, if you don't hand load ammo, is to replace the barrel, with a 223 Wylde barrel. If you go that route, decide what weight bullets you want to shoot, then make sure you get a barrel with rate of twist that works for that weight of bullet.

For two years, I could not find the 52 gr. Speer bullet, I looked all over for a similar bullet, I never found one. So I started looking at other options. The cure I came up with is the 223 Wylde chambering. it has a much shallower throat, than a 5.56 chambering. So when shooting common bullets, loaded to common lengths, that work in a AR mag, the bullet is much closer to the rifling lands. It is supposed to do a lot for accuracy. I almost went that route with my Bushmaster, because I could not find the little 52 gr. Speer. But once Nagel's got some more of those bullets back in stock, I dropped the 223 Wylde barrel idea.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:38 AM   #24
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Ain gon lie, i like a shallow throat.
Srry **** Jameson
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:25 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RifleBowPistol View Post
The rounds in the right of the picture are the 223s, with the 52 gr. Speer. Then target was from the last time I took my Bushmaster out and shot it. My other AR was shooting like crap and has been for a while. Then I shot the Bushmaster and it shot great, I was not shooting as good as I could have, but I was not the reason the other AR was shooting so badly.

That little 52 gr. Speer should fix your accuracy problems with your Bushmaster. They are not easy to find, but they are around. I get mine from Nagel's in San Antonio. I stocked up on them, because for two years or so, I could not find any. Then one day I went into Nagel's and they had many boxes in stock.

I hand load, but use my AR primarily for hunting locally since it's suppressed and a lot of the places I hunt are small property. I'd be afraid to shoot those 52 gr. Speer's at game. Unless it was head shots, but the way this rifle shoots I have no confidence in taking a head shot.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:59 AM   #26
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Well what I can tell you, is with the short little 16" barrel, it looses a lot of velocity. I did not have a working chronograph for many years, after I first started using that bullet and loading for that gun. I had a chronograph, I got back in the early 90s. But sometime in the late 90s it broke. Then I got the Bushmaster around 2003. I have shot about 50 or so coyotes with it, that has been the main job for that rifle. It has worked great. Where we lived, there are houses in just about every direction, within a 1/2 mile some directions there are other houses out around a mile. I have seen what my 7 mm Rem Mag would do out at 1700 yards. Decided I wound never fire that rifle around where we lived, packs way too much power at 1700 yard, we had one house that was within 800 yards of our house and at times I hunted within 300 yards of that house. So the 7 mm Mag was not an option. I used the 223 for deer for a few years, I felt much better about using it.
I shot one buck at 185 yards in the neck, dropped him dead on the spot. Then later shot a 250 lb. boar at my mother's place, that was a head shot. Yes, I agree, I have no plans to ever use it for a chest shot on a deer. But I have to say, I shot a coyote up the rear, out in front of the house one day. About a 75 yard shot, to my surprise the coyote dropped where it was and did not move. I skinned the coyote later that day, found the bullet had gone up it's rear, traveled the full length of the coyote and wound up in the coyote's skull. I was shocked that a varmint bullet penetrated that deep, they are supposed to explode, within 8" or so. But that one did not.

A couple of years later, I was having problems with accuracy on another rifle of mine and bought a chronograph to help with the loads. I shot some of my old 223 loads through the chronograph, if I remember correctly, they were only producing about 2450 fps. That was why the little varmint bullet penetrated so deep, the velocity was too low for it to expand like it was designed to.

I killed coyotes out to 400 yards multiple times with that little round. I have shot coons, possums, probably 50 coyotes, one buck and one hog with that round. Work very well, but I would still be very skeptical about a chest shot on a deer with it. I know it is plenty accurate to put a round right through the heart, which will put them down in a short distance, but I would expect very little blood trail.

Once I found that bullet, that is all I have used in my rifle since, the only way I will use a 223 for deer, would be neck shots. But then I will only take a neck shot, when I know I am going to hit the exact spot I want to hit. I have been out in the pasture, when some strong northerns blew in and seen some very good sized bucks, out at 200 to 300 yards. I would not shoot, I knew the bullet would get blown the direction the wind was blowing, but not sure how much it would get blown off, so I did not chance those shots.
There was a big buck, that I would usually find, when I was out in the pasture in front of the house, late in the afternoon, typically when a northern would blow in. I finally switched to carrying my T/C carbine in 30-30, but never saw the buck when I had that rifle, with me. Had I seen that buck on a calm day, I might have tried a 200 to 300 yard neck shot.
I have thought about building another rifle and getting a 223 Wylde barrel for it. So I could have more bullet options for a 223. I am going to leave the stock barrel on the Bushmaster and keep using the same little 52 gr. bullets, they have never let me down. The whole combo has been a very good little rifle, cheap Simmons scope is always dead on. My expensive stuff, I have one problem after another with. In recent times, I have discovered the 22 Nosler and the 224 Valkyrie, they both look interesting. They should produce velocities half way between a 223 and a 22-250. The 22 Nosler seems to be more of a varmint or all around 22 caliber cartridge. where the 224 Valkyrie, seems to be more of a small bore, medium long range deer round. The 22 Nosler is designed to shoot common weight 22 caliber bullets, as where the 224 Valkyrie is designed to shoot 90 or 100 gr. 22 caliber bullets. If I build another 22 caliber AR, it will likely be for one of those last two calibers.

Last edited by RifleBowPistol; 11-15-2017 at 10:02 AM..
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKiller View Post
if there is one gun that is driving me crazy with accuracy issues, it's my AR. I have a Bushmaster M-4 chambered in 5.56/.223 with a 16" bbl. I purchased the weapon when I retired from DPS. It wears a Leupold VX2 3-9X40 with a dot reticle and a Gen Tec suppressor. For the life of me I have not been able to get this gun to group well with any ammunition I try. From factory to hand loads, I'm lucky to get a 3" group at 100 yards with it.

The barrel is chambered in 5.56 or .223 it cant be both.

I'm guessing its 5.56 which since your having this issue. It will never have the best groups if your shooting .223 ammo out of it vs shooting the 5.56 ammo.

Best bet is to change to the barrel to .223 Wylde it really tightens the tolerance/difference ( and yes there is one) between the 5.56 and .223 bullets.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:36 AM   #28
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Also what type of scope mounting system are you using?

How well does the upper and lower lock up any play?

What type of stock fixed or adjustable?

The less moving parts the better IMO.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:23 PM   #29
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Default Well....

It says .223/5.56 on the mag well.

I've got a 3-9x40 Leupold VX2 mounted in a Nikon M223 mount. It's mounted solidly and there's no play between the upper and lower. The stock is adjustable.

Last edited by SabreKiller; 11-15-2017 at 07:25 PM..
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:33 PM   #30
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If in fact it is your barrel. either replace the barrel or buy a new upper.

I have a $400 PSA rifle kit that will shot small groups if I do my part.


Here is a complete upper for $259.00 with stainless barrel.
http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-1...ng-handle.html


http://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-1...ng-handle.html



Better yet I bet there is someone close that will let you borrow a complete upper.

If you were closer I would help.

Last edited by Stan R; 11-15-2017 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:09 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKiller View Post
It says .223/5.56 on the mag well.

I've got a 3-9x40 Leupold VX2 mounted in a Nikon M223 mount. It's mounted solidly and there's no play between the upper and lower. The stock is adjustable.
The magwell is stamped but not chambered in any caliber your barrel is and it should be stamped on the barrel with the twist rate. There is a loooong list of calibers that will fit in that same magwell but only 2 will fit in your current barrel 5.56 and .223. Example 300 blackout will fit in the same mags and in that same magwell but not the barrel.

Yes they both fit and fire but there is a slight difference and .223 will not shoot like you want it to out of that barrel if its chambered in 5.56.

.223 Wylde will shoot both more accurately like you are looking for.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.223_Wylde_chamber

Last edited by justintyme8303; 11-15-2017 at 09:17 PM..
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