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Old January 22, 2010, 09:26 PM   #1
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Perhaps a silly question. Practical accurate range of a AR10?

I realize that the auto rifle is considered less accurate than a bolt action. If you took a customized AR10 in .308 approximately what is the accurate range of that rifle? By accurate I mean sniper accuracy, putting it in the kill zone. And, what is the range of the bolt action in .308?

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Old January 22, 2010, 10:14 PM   #2
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Generally what you'll here is that the EFFECTIVE range of the .308 is 800 yards. But you can accurately go beyond that with the right load. (I have had the oppurtunity to shoot out to 1100 yards with a 308 bolt rifle, and hit 4 out of five at 1K, and 3 out of five at 1100 shooting at a 12"x18" steel plate) I haven't done much more than 100 yard shooting with my stock DPMS LR 308, but here are the results of six 3 shot groups, fired one after the other:

It isn't as consistent as my 308 bolt gun, but I think I'd still trust the cold bore just as far as out as I would my Remington.
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Old January 22, 2010, 11:05 PM   #3
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This is gonna sound like a smart aleck answer....

But the reality of it is that the "practical accurate range" of any firearm depends on the shooter, more than the gun. It is the shooter's knowledge of their firearm's capabilities, and their ability to judge distance and wind, AND the shooter's ability to actually make the shot that determines what the practical accuracy of any gun is.

Now, the mechanical accuracy of a firearm/ammo combination has an effect, as does the trajectory of the chosen load. But their effect is to increase, or decrease the degree of difficulty the shooter has in making the shot, by a small amount.

A Century ago, people regularly shot 1,000yd target matches with open sights and black powder cartridges throwing lead slugs weighing over an ounce. Some aficionados still do.

I can hit 200yd targets with most handguns, after a bit of practice. Some people can't. Some people can hit things too far away for me to see with the naked eye. Others can miss a 10" diameter target at 50 feet.

Flat shooting guns are more forgving when you mis-estimate the range, but they don't make the shot hit or miss. The shooter does that.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:22 AM   #4
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Perhaps I should rephrase my question...

I have a BAR in 7mag that I hunt with. I have been told that a BAR cannot be as accurate as a bolt gun due to the nature of it being a semi-auto rifle. Perhaps it can come close, but not quite as good. So, if a bolt gun in .308 is accurate enough for shots out to 1100 yards or so, is an automatic, say an AR10, accurate enough for 1100 yard shots as well?

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Old January 23, 2010, 12:38 AM   #5
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Today's technology has made it possible for semi-autos to be as capable of sub-MOA groups as almost all bolt-action rifles. I'm not considering competition benchrest rifles in that comparison.

However, for the majority of rifles intended for hunting, bolt-actions generally have the edge over semi-autos.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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I have experience with 2 Armalite AR-10T rifles.

Both of them were purchased in .308,then a .300 RSUM upper was added as an accessory.Off the top of my head,I think you will find the .300 will get 2900 fps with a 180 gr match bullet.,How far can you hit something?

Accuracy? Scary.A free float,heavy bbl AR-10 is not afraid of any production bolt action repeater. We mostly shoot 3 shot groups(spare me,you can shoot 5,I can shoot 3,use less ammo,and my bbl lasts longer)

Both rifles,some days,1 1/2in groups,and my brothers grumble.Some days,a quarter,maybe a nickle size groups.On a bad day,wondering what is wrong???Maybe 2,2 1/2 inThats not so special,till I tell you this is at 300 yds.Don't believe me? I don't blame you, wouldn't believe it,either.I'd call BS,myself.

Anybody else shoot an Armalite AR-10 T?? Go talk to them.

Last edited by HiBC; January 23, 2010 at 01:08 AM.
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Old January 23, 2010, 12:47 AM   #7
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So, if a bolt gun in .308 is accurate enough for shots out to 1100 yards or so, is an automatic, say an AR10, accurate enough for 1100 yard shots as well?
Based on MY personal experiences with MY personal or issued personal equipment... YES. But I'd still take the bolt gun as my first choice...
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Old January 23, 2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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I posted a target on another thread about group size. I shot a quarter size 5 shot group at 100 yards with my Remington 700P .308 and thought that was pretty good.

Then I found the link where someone in Illinois shot the same size group with a DPMS LR308. . .at 300 yards! Now that group was witnessed by someone with the Illinois State Police. I do not know the particulars of the LR308 that person was using so I do not know if it was a heavy barrel and target trigger. Impressive group either way.

I also have an LR308 in a light contour carbine length and I have a Eotech 552 on it.

I was out 3 weeks ago testing some new magazines with WWB ammo and shooting off hand was able to hit the 225 yard steel pig with no problem.

It seems any accuracy problem with that particular rifle is the ability of the guy pulling the trigger.

I wonder what it might do if I swapped the Eotech out for a scope and shot it off the bench.
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Old January 24, 2010, 02:07 PM   #9
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I had an Armalite AR-10 with a Super Sniper 10X on top of it. I ran the 168 SMK's over varget at mag length and some days slow fire I could shoot 1/2 MOA out to 300 yards and some days I could shoot a 2 MOA 100 yard group. It was probably the nut behind the gun that was making the mistake but mine seemed hit or miss. I did shoot out to 600 with mine every time we went to the range shooting on average about 1 1/2 MOA at 600. Bone stock gun, Personally I didn't have the want to shoot the 308 over the 600 mark with a gas gun because I felt like I wasn't getting enough velocity to carry to the 1000+ mark. It seems to me the guys shooting the 1000+ yards with the 308 are running long barrels and pushing whatever bullet they decide to absolute max velocity just to keep it supersonic out to 1 K.

good luck
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Old January 24, 2010, 11:19 PM   #10
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It's not the gun, it's the shooter. Training and experience can almost double the effective range.

Maj. Plaster's article on sniping in the latest American Rifleman is eye opening.
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Old January 25, 2010, 02:04 PM   #11
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I really like my AR-10T. Have had it a good while. I was debating between it and a M1A. I like the recoil direction of an AR for faster target reacquisition. Got a lot of advice on the two, shot them both and went with the AR. OK, a few years later I picked up an M1A (it’s a disease, what can I say?). Some days, ¼ MOA at 100 and no bigger than a quarter at 300, some days not. I use Black Hills moly, match grade ammo, nothing else in the 10. My goal in purchasing the rifle is to take the gun out of the accuracy equation. I have a very accurate rifle, I know it will shoot well. Me shooting well is another story. Some days yes, some days no. Diet (including hydration) and sleep have a lot to do with good shooting. As we age, sugar content will have a greater impact on our eyes for shooting so watch that.

The M1A is darn near as good. I test various loads with it and instantly see how that will change POI. That’s fun.

Yes, a bolt gun is supposed to out perform a semi. I have a really nice DCM/NRA Match 03A3 in 30-06 for that. But, it’s hard to compare iron sights against modern scopes (and older eyes against younger eyes).

The easiest answer is… in due time… buy them all.

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Old January 25, 2010, 02:10 PM   #12
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I shoot my DPMS LAR10 in .308 a steel plates at 1200 yards.

It works fine.

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