The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 1, 2013, 03:51 AM   #1
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,179
Are more expensive AR's significantly more accurate?

Title says it all. I'm not sure what rifle I'm going to end up with (got a little while of saving up money first before I can choose). Lately I've been contemplating getting an AR so that I could have a 5.56 upper for short range competitions and then switch to another caliber for longer range shooting. I do have a bolt .308 so 1200 yard accuracy won't be the end goal. Just something that could be taken out farther a little more easily than the 5.56.

My question is, is there a significant difference in the accuracy between "mid level" and fancy AR-15's? Would an off the shelf S&W MP-15 be handicapped under a Stag Arms or Noveske? I understand there's probably a price difference but will a lower level significantly hold me back? And, if so, can they be upgraded to the same (ish) level of accuracy without essentially replacing the whole rifle?

In the interest of full disclosure, I would probably only be able to afford a mid level entry at first (if even an AR) and anything more expensive may have to wait as I have to start saving for many more important things as well.
dakota.potts is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 08:48 AM   #2
Slamfire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 4,110
Depends on the barrel. AR15's can be loose as a goose and shoot well, but the barrel is is not high quality, it won't shoot bug eyed groups.

Triggers make a big difference, a heavy trigger with a lot of slack hurts accurate shooting.
__________________
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
Slamfire is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:17 AM   #3
Agabus
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2012
Location: SE Indiana
Posts: 9
Treatment of new barrel

Hi all...Not sure if this is the right location for this question...but here goes.
Recently a friend of mine who works for some AR15 manufacturer, had some blemished barrels. So, he upgraded my rifle. Now, the question is this...the barrel is in (I think) stainless steel. Or highly turned steel .223 1-9 twist. No bluing. He suggested that when I'm done shooting in a rain, or drizzle, to just use WD-40. Seems just a little odd. But, that's just me. So, what do you all have to say about this?

Thanks in advance...
__________________
The only Two Enemies that Guns Have ARE.....RUST, & POLITICIANS...

ALSO...A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed...
Agabus is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:24 AM   #4
Technosavant
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO area
Posts: 3,896
Quote:
He suggested that when I'm done shooting in a rain, or drizzle, to just use WD-40. Seems just a little odd. But, that's just me. So, what do you all have to say about this?
Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion but it CAN still corrode. WD-40 is a water displacer (That's what the WD in the name stands for; it's NOT a lubricant even though when fresh from the can it has lubricating properties), so spraying it down with that will displace the water and prevent rust. I would strongly recommend wiping it down with oil or other preservative lubricant once you get home though. That WD-40 will turn into a gummy mess if you don't.
Technosavant is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:25 AM   #5
Quentin2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: NorthWest USA
Posts: 1,637
No, this thread is not the right place for your off topic question. Start your own thread instead of derailing someone else's thread.
Quentin2 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:29 AM   #6
sundog
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 1999
Location: Green Country, OK
Posts: 730
Quality parts/components, especially a GOOD barrel, and an even better trigger, all with a tight lock up. All this is usually out of the box with more expensive models,... or at least should be. Right now may not be the best time; you will experience longer than normal waits and/or higher prices.
__________________
safety first
sundog is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:30 AM   #7
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,865
You are probably giving up a little accuracy in the following:
1. No free floated barrel. - can be added for about $150+ (all in).
2. Shorter barrel (I know, actually giving up velocity, but that can translate into longer range accuracy). This is an expensive modification that probably isn't worth it.

Also what you are not getting that has nothing to do with accuracy:
1. No chrome or nickel BCG
2. Possibly no chrome lined barrel
3. Better stock
4. Better iron sights (can be fairly expensive, but can be added)

Also Some of the aluminum (receivers, might not be 7075 - I doubt this matters all that much.
Skans is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 10:24 AM   #8
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,147
not necessarily.

it all has to do with the type of parts used as well as the quality of the parts.

you can have the highest quality barrel available but if it's a 1 in 9 twist it's not going to be able to stabilized heavier bullets(about 65GR). similarly a 1 in 7 twist barrel may be too fast and destabilize lighter bullets so a 1 in 8 is a great choice for all around shooting but still may not be the best with ultra heavy or ultra light bullets but with average bullet weights(55-67) it's a great choice.

a lot of high end ARs come with 2 stage match triggers but that is not a prerequisite for high price tag and anyone can drop a $100 trigger upgrade into a $600 DPMS and drop it down from 1.75 MOA accuracy to 1 MOA.

a lot of high end ARs come with free floated tube or rail handguards but that is also not a prerequisite. you can put a free float handguard on a $600 DPMS and drop accuracy from 1.75 MOA to 1.25 MOA.

those three features are what affect your accuracy the most and even a budget brand AR15 can be accurized and shoot just as well as a high budget brand. the differences are resale value, fit+finish, and overall appearance, if you would rather have cheap but functional than pretty and polished then get a Palmetto State or DPMS budget rifle and accurize it. if bragging rights is what you're after get a Larue Tactical or Seekins Precision and call it a day.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 03:00 PM   #9
HJ857
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2007
Location: haslett, mi
Posts: 346
Quote:
My question is, is there a significant difference in the accuracy between "mid level" and fancy AR-15's? Would an off the shelf S&W MP-15 be handicapped under a Stag Arms or Noveske? I understand there's probably a price difference but will a lower level significantly hold me back? And, if so, can they be upgraded to the same (ish) level of accuracy without essentially replacing the whole rifle?
The S&W M&P's that I've seen shot very well. I have a Stag 3G upper and it's good. I'd put the S&W and the Stag as equals for accuracy and I would have no hesitation to get the S&W to get in to the game at a reasonable price point. I'm not sure what the specs are anymore, but they used to come with a Daniel Defense free float rail and that was really a worthwhile option to have.

If you handload for it, you can likely improve it's precision. I should note that I only require 1 MOA accuracy, so once my load reaches that, I do not bother going any further, so the Stag may have more potential than what I report.

Replacing a barrel is easy to do, but is still best to have someone with the correct tools to do it. Headspace should be taken seriously. Triggers are also very easy to install and you can do it with no prior experience and a little care and attention. But anyway, upgrading later is easy to do and your thinking is correct. The rest of the upper assembly is not hugely different from upper to upper.
HJ857 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 08:28 PM   #10
wnycollector
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 22, 2007
Posts: 1,829
I have found that quality ammo (FGMM or Black Hills) plus a $100 RRA 2 stage trigger can really shrink group sizes on most AR uppers.
wnycollector is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:29 PM   #11
TMD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2011
Posts: 491
I have some $400 Stag arms uppers that shoot sub moa and with a lifetime warranty on their barrels I don't think it gets much better.

Last edited by TMD; April 2, 2013 at 06:40 AM.
TMD is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 09:52 PM   #12
Boomer58cal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2013
Location: closer than you think
Posts: 968
I have a DPMS and Rock River Arms both in .308. The RRA's is all match grade and the DPMS is all standard stuff. The difference in accuracy is not huge but the match grade is definitely better. We're talking .5 MOA vs 1 MOA with handloads. Most people aren't good enough the make a difference.
__________________
The number one cause of death in the 20th century. 290,000,000 citizens were first disarmed and then murdered by their own governments. This number does not include those killed in war.
We're from the government, we're here to help
Boomer58cal is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 10:46 PM   #13
slim9300
Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2013
Posts: 72
Are more expensive AR's significantly more accurate?

My RRA Entry Tactical (16" barrel) shoots sub 1" groups with Hornady 55 grain varmint ammo. Honestly, I have a lot of rifles and there is nothing like the RRA two-stage trigger. It's also seems that the rifle overall is a little heavier than the typical carbine. I'm guessing the lower is thicker? IDK.
slim9300 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 10:49 PM   #14
Surgeon
Member
 
Join Date: March 30, 2013
Posts: 16
I have found that the more accurate are the one's you build yourself.

But it all depends on what you put into the project as well.
Surgeon is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 07:05 AM   #15
shrewd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 293
I've found that the more expensive brands tend to offer greater reliability/durability.

That said I don't think dropping an extra few hundred dollars for larue or moveske is worth it, my 700 stag model 2 has run great for a few years now, including some hard running weekend courses.

Honestly most ppl don't run thier ARs hard enough to notice the difference anyway.

Best bang for your buck would be bravo company, if you can find one, but a S&W or stag is just fine.

...if you can find em
shrewd is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 10:28 PM   #16
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,179
Great answers. Thanks! Really looking at the M&P15T. I'm looking for a flat top with rails. I would have added flip up sights but this already has them. I want flip up sights to keep them out of the way of the sights but to have a backup. It also has the adjustable stock. I just didn't want to buy a $1,200 rifle and then find out that I'd have to buy a $2,000 rifle shortly after.
dakota.potts is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 11:20 PM   #17
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,147
as many have stated starting with a baseline model and adding features that you want is normally the cheapest way to go and offers the best chance of being happy with the end result without resorting to buying a second AR down the road but if the MP15T already has a decent amount of the features you are looking for then I say go for it.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 09:45 AM   #18
madcratebuilder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Northern Orygun
Posts: 4,869
Quote:
without resorting to buying a second AR down the road
I guess I've been doing it wrong, nine times now, oh well.
madcratebuilder is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 11:20 AM   #19
bcarver
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2007
Location: Jackson,Mississippi
Posts: 836
accuracy

there is no extra "accuracy" in the lower. However a nice trigger can make you shoot better. Most acurracy comes from the barrel, some can be added with a freefloated handguard. Most cost in ARs comes in the form of stocks, rails, grips, flash supressors, flip up sights, red dot/reflex sights and such, none of which add "accuracy". If you have a good trigger, barrel and ammo you will have done much of what is needed to have an accurate rifle. If you want an accurate rifle don't skimp in these areas.
bcarver is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 11:38 AM   #20
the rifleer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2008
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 1,255
Before you make any modifications i think you need to ask "can this rifle shoot better than I can?"

If the answer is yes, just leave it alone. Most people cannot shoot better than their rifle can.
__________________
There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people.
the rifleer is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 11:58 AM   #21
NWPilgrim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,150
I have found that ammo is more of a factor for accuracy than the rifle. A lot of commercial ammo is lucky if it gets under 2" groups in any rifle. On the other hand, quality ammo or handloads can easily get to 1" or below in a run of the mill barrel.

I use a $395 (in 2010, including BCG!) PSA/FN 20" upper for sighting in my handloads. I get several loads that are 3/4" - 7/8" 5-shot groups at 100 yds. Honestly, I don't think I myself am capable of much better than that and it far exceeds my expectations for a milspec, chrome lined barrel that is not intended for match grade accuracy. I would love to see what a real target rifle could do with these loads but not enough to pay for one!

If you buy a name brand rifle, work on your shooting skills and use quality ammo you should have good accuracy without having to buy a target grade rifle. The AR15 platform seems to be fairly accurate. I think you would have to have a messed up barrel to shoot poorly, or bad technique.
__________________
"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."
- James Madison
NWPilgrim is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 12:46 PM   #22
BigJerm79
Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2010
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 53
For me, Dakota, the answer is "no". More expensive AR's are not significantly more accurate. Case in point, my BIL has a $700 (TOTAL cost) Del-Ton M4 midlength upper sitting on a NFA LW15 lower...ZERO upgrades. It consistently groups beautifully. My buddy has a dead-sexy LWRCI M6A2...$2,495.00 + tax & DROS. The DTI/NFA gun will outshoot the LWRC all day long. The M6 shoots ok & isn't "unacceptable" by any stretch, but the budget AR is considerably more accurate. I've seen this in other instances too. Now, what you DO get for $2,495+ is ridiculous fit/finish with top notch compontents...a super-duty grade AR that's 2nd to none. I mean, that thing is like it's dipped in BUTTER with that coating. That's my opinion any way.

J
BigJerm79 is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 01:32 PM   #23
number 9
Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2013
Posts: 40
Spend what's comfortable, nothing wrong with starting with a base unit and setting it up over time. At this time a base unit with a sizable ammo pile would be good stuff.

One thing to look carefully at is twist rate. I like my 1/9 as I prefer smaller wt. projectiles. a distance shooter may like 70 gr. and above, so a 1/7 may step up here.

If you only shoot factory it is a crystal ball game what will be available. For me its not that factory stuff shoots bad its that it all shoots different.

A good aftermarket trigger should be like day and night if you're looking for small groups

Just my opinion

Leonard
number 9 is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 02:01 PM   #24
dakota.potts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2013
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida
Posts: 1,179
So, as far as twist rate, is 1/8 a good compromise?
dakota.potts is offline  
Old April 4, 2013, 07:23 PM   #25
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,530
FWIW, my lowly $630 Sport proved to be a 1 MOA rifle with handloads by another member on this board. It has an internally melonited barrel with 1-8" 5r gain twist rifling.

By no means is it a 'target' rifle but if my inexpensive M&P can do this I'm sure something more target oriented would do even better.

Last edited by chris in va; April 4, 2013 at 07:29 PM.
chris in va is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13303 seconds with 9 queries