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Old September 3, 2008, 05:42 PM   #1
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Need Some AR-15 Convincing

I got the bug to get one, but there are a few problems with the rifle for which I can't bring my self to buy one. If I had enough money, I wouldn't care, and would just buy one, but I have to be really discriminating with my pennies.

1. The bullet you shoot in it has to be matched to the barrel twist depending on if you go light or heavy. The most common round available that I see is .223 55gr. Personally I would rather shoot heavier. I haven't looked into surplus much since the shipping cost I think would kill any deal you get.

2. The chamber even has to be matched just right. I know a .223, Wylde, and 5.56mm will all shoot ok, but I want the chamber to be perfect for at least one round.

3. I am a shooter for accuracy, primarily. If I spend $300-$400 on a rifle I wont mind it getting only a little over 1MOA. But the options to get a sub MOA AR are pretty pricey. I really want to know what the standard 16" CAR A4 gets . I would like the "cheaper" carbine option if bullets didn't spread a lot, at least holding 1MOA, not just a surprising group every now and then.
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Old September 3, 2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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They are great rifles. Don't bother yourself with the "matching the chamber to the bullet" business. I never have. I shoot mine regularly with bullets from 52grs. to 77grs. It shoots to an inch with any of those bullets (1-8" twist).
Many shooters spend way too much time worrying out little issues that don't make much of a difference, IMHO. If that's part of the hobby for them, fine but I'd rather work on marksmanship.
I'd like to address the carbine length ARs but I can't as I have no experience with them. (Don't understand the fascination with them unless one is going into combat and wants a smaller gun.) For accuracy buy a well-known manufacturer and just go shoot. The guns are amazing. Reliable, accurate, easy to work on.
I shoot a 20" bbl. Colt Match Target HBar; it didn't cost as much when I bought it as they do now (but I had less then). It is one of the best firearms purchases I have ever made.
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Old September 3, 2008, 06:08 PM   #3
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1.a 1:7 twist is good for 55gr to 77gr...1:8 may let you go a little smaller even.

2.i personally have a 5.56 chamber and shoot 5.56 ammo 90% of the time.when i have shot .223 it did just fine from what i could tell.the only real issue(some may argue) is firing 5.56 ammo in a .223 firearm. LMT carbine(16" chrome lined) will shoot right at MOA(even a hair under)...with the right ammo,shooter,and when i had a 4x scope on her.i havent tried to get anything like that from it since i first got it though.i stick to more practical shooting.
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Old September 3, 2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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A 1 in 9 twist should be good enough for a variety of bullet weights.

As far as accuracy is concerned, theres no reason why you couldnt get under, I'd say 3moa and be happy with it. Much of that is going to depend upon your abilities. The Colt 6721 I had was perfectly capable of 1moa, with good ammo and a quality optic and a firm shooting position.

Its my belief that the AR was designed for shooting at torso-sized targets. With iron sights, you should be able to hit as small as head sized targets and call it good.
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Old September 3, 2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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When I am hitting clay pigeons at 100yards using iron sights with my home-made retro M16A1 clone and surplus 55gn Guatamalan ammo, that is accurate enough.
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Old September 3, 2008, 07:04 PM   #6
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Your concerns are exaggerated.

Most AR15's are chambered in a 5.56 or .223Wylde, both of which handle .223 and 5.56 just fine.

Also, I have 1/9 and 1/7 twist barrels... and it doesn't affect my ammo purchasing. All of the ammo I buy shoots well in any of them, from 52gr-75gr.
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Old September 3, 2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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Get yourself a 5.56-chamber with a 1:7" or 1:8" twist barrel. Don't listen to the people who worry about "the 55gr FMJ doesn't shoot well in my 1:7" barrel, but it will in a 1:9"!"

I have a 1:7" with a .223 Wylde chamber on a match rifle that will shoot everything from 52gr to 80gr into MOA groups, as long as you can. I've never found a batch of 55gr FMJ blaster ammo that would shoot well enough for Highpower practice, in spite of hearing some people claim it is all you need to shoot cleans out to 300 yards. (If that were so, wouldn't we be using it to save $$? Wouldn't the AMU and Marine teams use it?)

As for the carbines, I don't get the fascination with them unless you're using where you need the shortest rifle possible. Don't get me wrong, they have a huge COOL factor, and I want one eventually myself. But for general range plinking the 20" with A2 sights (or A4 flat top) would seem to have an edge, IMO.

Of course, last time I thought about getting an AR carbine upper to plug onto my lower, I ended up with an SKS. So don't take me too seriously!
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Old September 3, 2008, 10:24 PM   #8
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The only real barrel twist issue I've seen that ever really mattered was shooting 62 grain ammo in 1-12 twist barrels. That will produce a really bad accuracy, keyholing, etc. I've never had the same problem shooting 55 grain in 1-9 or 1-7 twist barrels.

The main accuracy limitation I see with actual .mil issue weapons and ammunition is the ammo. 62 grain green tip is about a 3 MOA round, realistically, and it's hard to get an M4 to outshoot the ammo. Throw Mk 262 in the same weapon and it becomes a 1-1.5 MOA gun immediately. With Mk 262, hitting 19" wide steel chest plates out to 600 with an ACOG becomes boring from the prone.

+1 the other posters who say the chamber issue is overstated. A 5.56mm chamber will do just fine even for good precision and accuracy.
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Old September 4, 2008, 01:45 AM   #9
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But for general range plinking the 20" with A2 sights (or A4 flat top) would seem to have an edge, IMO.
20" barrel an edge for plinking??? I can "plink" just as good with a much shorter barrel...

Long barrels have a slight edge in various long distance shooting, but for all purpose shooting or even home defense, the carbines are much better.
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Old September 4, 2008, 05:58 AM   #10
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in that you mention a dedication to superior marksmanship, you would do well to get an AR with a twenty-inch barrel. The shorter versions are fine, but do not suit your needs. I have an XM15-E2S Bushmaster. It has an advertised sixteen-inch barrel and mounts a Red Dot aiming device on an adaptor mount. I have alot of fun plinking with it and fire it more than my other .223 firing platforms [which I happen to like more]. According to your requirements, I think the AR for you will have a twenty-inch barrel and a flattop receiver to offer a superior scope mount. Later you can think about special barrels and sophisticated trigger arrangements. The options for AR's are numerous. Make sure you get one of quality manufacture (Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt; of late Rock River is getting top reviews). Obviously, what works for me will not work for you, so be careful of recommendations. And lest I forget, you are better off making your first AR purchase a brand new one.

good luck shopping,
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Old September 4, 2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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TA, For a measley $1,200.00 you can get a Bushmaster AR that will shoot sub MOA right out of the box. I sold it and bought an M4 carbine. The carbine is nowhere as accurate as the match Bushmaster but I am more comfortable with the lite weight rifle. There is a trade off and accuracy and cheap are two words that seldom go together when talking guns.
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