Accuracy Issues

Talk about the AR15 style rifles chambered in 450 Bushmaster.

Moderator: MudBug

Accuracy Issues

Postby lovetohunt93 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:34 am

I haven’t been getting acceptable accuracy out of my 450B AR-15 setup and was hoping you all could shed some light on this.

Maybe I am being picky, but I can’t seem to get better than a 3” group at 100 yards. Groups are more like 5” if you count the 2 flyers I had in a 10 shot 100 yard group I shot yesterday. I have had similar results to this in the past as well.

My setup:
Wilson Combat lower assembled with premium parts from JP, V Seven Weapon Systems, and a very crisp Geissele SSA-E trigger.

The upper is from Next Level Arms. The upper seems to be very well built and uses a Tromix barrel. It feels very solid and runs smooth as silk.

For ammo I have tried Hornady Black and Custom, and the Remington Accutips. The Blacks shoot the best out of those 3 varieties.

The scope is a Leupold VX3i 2.5-8x36 inside of a mount from Bobro Engineering.

I am wondering if any of you have ideas to tighten those groups up? I realize I am not the best shot out there, but I can shoot much better groups at 100 yards using my 12 gauge slug gun. I have well over $1,500 into this setup and it is rather disappointing to get groups that large at 100 yards.

Also, I don’t reload but I have been debating getting the equipment to load rounds myself if I can achieve better accuracy. I love the 450B, but one of its biggest downfalls is having few choices for factory loaded ammo.

Thanks
lovetohunt93
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:34 pm

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Hoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:01 pm

5-shot, 100 yd groups are as much a reflection of the shooter's setup as the platform and loads he's shooting. Given that groups represent consistency, that applies to the shooting rest setup you use as well. If it is not consistent, your group sizes will suffer. Here's my setup of choice for testing for accuracy. That humongous scope is not what I hunt with. It is what I test with. My vision is not what I'm trying to learn about. "Aim Small, Miss Small"

Image

What rest setup are you using?

Hoot
In Theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In Practice, there is.
User avatar
Hoot
 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:34 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Bmt85 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:47 pm

Just wondering what muzzle device you have and who installed it?
Bmt85
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Hoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:53 pm

lovetohunt93 wrote:...snip...I realize I am not the best shot out there ...snip... I don’t reload but I have been debating getting the equipment to load rounds myself if I can achieve better accuracy...snip...


When the money is on the line and you're staring down the barrel at a trophy, that's when you as a shooter gets tested. You want to remove that variable when you're testing your platform and ammo. Hence the emphasis upon a good shooting rest setup that you use the same way, every time you're testing for potential accuracy. Less variables that way. That's not saying you don't benefit from practicing using the conditions you will find youself in when hunting. That is equally important but first you need to establish innate accuracy in your setup, before applying it in the field. IMHO, in order to do that, you have to remove the you factor. There will be time for introducing and improving that later. ;)

Worry about reloading when your choices of commercial ammo are holding you back and there are new examples showing up almost weekly here, of alternate 450b ammunition manufacturers besides the ones you find at Cabelas or Midway. Small operations looking to develop a following. Unfortunately, they're rarely the cheap date at the prom as they don't have multi-million dollar mass production capabilities. That being said, the Hornady factory offering is a good compromise between cost and performance.

Hoot
In Theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In Practice, there is.
User avatar
Hoot
 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:34 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby lovetohunt93 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:10 pm

Hoot,

My rest setup usually consists of a variety of bean bags stacked on top of each other to reach my desired rifle height. Used on the fore end and another stack for the rear. This gets me steady, but I would not say it is very solid as I am constantly fussing with the rear bags to get my point of aim correct. After reading what you wrote, I think my first step will be purchasing a more solid and stable shooting rest system.

As far as reloading, I think it might be something fun to get into in the future. To be able to reload my own ammo without relying on others would be good. Not to mention with say my .243, when I purchased that years ago I was able to buy 4-5 different boxes and test them out. If none shot well I could go back to any store and buy 4-5 other varieties to try of need be. With the 450B, you only have about 4 readily available loads to try not counting those small operations that load them. And if none of those pan out, then you gotta pay around $2.20-$3.00 a shot from one of those small operations or start reloading. By time you buy 100 rounds of ammo from those smaller guys, you probable could have purchased all the equipment needed to reload your own. But first things first, I will get a new rest and go from there.
lovetohunt93
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:34 pm

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby lovetohunt93 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:12 pm

Bmt85 wrote:Just wondering what muzzle device you have and who installed it?


https://nextlevelarms.com/product/nlx-450-brake/

The NXL-11 450 brake from Next Level Arms. This break seems very effective. I haven't shot the gun without it on for a comparison, but I was shooting my 450 side by side with my .243 the other day and couldn't really tell the difference between the two except for the .243 was much louder. They installed it when I purchased the upper from them.
lovetohunt93
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:34 pm

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Hoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:41 pm

Like its .308 parent, the .243 is an excellent caliber to reload for, not just the 450b. My experience has been that any child of the .308 is easy to reload to good results. A testament no doubt to the parent. Monetarily, you will obviously profit the most reloading for the 450b, given the few and not inexpensive factory loads to choose from. Do consider also reloading for your .243. There is an abundance of bullet and powder combinations that shine for the .243!

An elevation and windage adjustable, rigid front rest is half the battle. That rear bag, whichever you choose will still prove elusive with hard recoiling rifles. I'm constantly fussing with getting mine back in the same spot as the previous shot and its filled with lead shot! If you enjoy shooting off of bean bags, don't stop. They're still good practice devices. For the cost of a good front rest, a good, consistent testing platform can also be obtained using a Lead Sled, though the rear elevation adjustment screw requires some experimenting with modding to make it less wobbly. I'm speaking from experience as I have one of them also. At least when the rear support moves under recoil, the front also does to the same extent. Some sharpie marks on the shooting table helps get it back in position. Even with two 25lb bags of shot on the weight shelf, it will still move if you butt the stock up against the rear stop with hard recoiling guns. Folks usually think of the Lead Sled as a crutch for people who are recoil sensitive and it does a good job at that, but it is also a good choice for a 1-piece testing rest. It does however isolate you to the point that seems like you're operating a machine, not enjoying shooting. It does serve well as a consistent testing mechanism. They're frequently on sale but make sure you get the DFT version with elevation and windage adjustments. A lot easier to fine tune your aim without having to nudge it around with your fist. They are frequently on sale somewhere and also on the used market. Use one of them for load development / accuracy testing and your bean bags for the simple joy of shooting.

Hoot
In Theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In Practice, there is.
User avatar
Hoot
 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:34 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby lovetohunt93 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:23 pm

Id love to also reload for my .243, it is a fun gun to shoot with factory loads. With reloads it may even be more fun.

In general, how hard/difficult is it loading your own rounds? I have never loaded my own before but I have done some reading on it and it seems like a straight forward process as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.
What kind of tolerances are there?

Before I got my current job, I was a machinist for a handful of years. We were routinely required to hold tolerances to within +-.00025". Does reloading require similar tolerances?

Thanks
lovetohunt93
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:34 pm

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Bmt85 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:00 pm

Well just for fun, I would brake the muzzle device loose to see how much force was used to put it on. If they applied too much torque to clock the muzzle device, it could affect accuracy. Might as well check the crown while your at it.

As to reloading, it can be a bit of work, but I find it fun. I also find it very satisfying when I take an animal with my own handloads, especially in the 450B! So far the results have been spectacular with the Barnes 200 XPB and 275 TSX, going to be trying out a few more to see how they do.

For reloading I use Mitutoyo digital calipers most of the time. They are accurate within .0005". For measuring case head growth I use a Mitutoyo blade mic that is accurate within .0001". I'm also using a digital scale for my powder goes down to .01 grains. So far I have been happy with the results, and haven't needed anything else, but I'm still progressing, so things may change.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Accuracy Issues

Postby Hoot » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:35 pm

If you can handle quarter mil machining, attention to detail, reloading will not tax you. As BMT85 said, to some it is tedious but like him I find the time spent to be rewarding. Actually, any excuse not to have to sit with the Mrs while she watches Pride ad Prejudice for the umpteenth time, or scream at the news on CNN, is its own reward. I got my Alt Rock hipster channel on down in the cave and that's plenty entertaining for me. I've said this before so those who have read it can go get something to drink or give some back.

Reloading is more than just a means to trade your disposable time for a discount on ammo, though it does that well. IMHO, it allows you to fine tune your ammunition to exactly what the rifle or pistol you will be shooting it in, needs to perform to the best of its ability. The savings are the icing on the cake. Reloading often exceeds the performance you get even from factory offerings with the added bonus (not the primary) of it costing less. It will take some time getting your investment back, so don't try selling that angle to the significant other. They keep score! :?

So, by all means, build up a list of equipment. Many of the items you needs to buy only hurt once. Most of us would be hard pressed to shoot so much that we wear out our reloading equipment, provided we take care of it. Preventive Maintenance is not something you do once a failure occurs from lack of it, but as a machinist, you already know that. Before plunking down your hard earned shekels, get a reloading book and actually read the beginning. There are several sources for them. Read what is going on in there to give you insight into how you're going to control it. Many reloading equipment roads lead to Rome. How much you want to spend will dictate how much effort you have to put into it. I started out with one of those kits and over time, replaced some of the more rudimentary pieces of equipment that drive the touch labor, with more sophisticated, labor saving devices. Again, as BMT85 already said, the best return in that arena is a dispensing, automatic powder scale, if you intend to weigh every charge. Manual scales work well but take a lot more time to crank them out. When I was reloading pistol ammo, I just used a drum powder measure calibrated with the occasional check on the scale. That's fine for "blammo ammo" that's not running near the top of the safe charge zone. You no doubt already understand the importance of a good set of calipers and mic. I could afford a progressive press, but I prefer a good single stage. My time's not that valuable. Actually, I have two. the original one that came with the kit and a second one mounted alongside it. Double your pleasure, Double you fun...

When the time comes to decide which piece of equipment to add to your setup, members will be falling over one another offering their opinions, so you won't be out there struggling for lack of testimonials. All of this still doesn't address your sudden change in group size but I will dangle one point out there. Everyone has a day at the range, every now and then, where after a few shots of a known good load, its pretty evident that they could be doing something more useful with their time than trying to shoot well. I know I have. I forget whether you said the change in group size has lasted beyond a single session. If not, try again, preferably under better weather conditions. They vary a lot this time of year, what with the season change and all. Up here our club's rifle range is still snow covered and no, 32 degrees in a damp breeze is not Hoot's idea of the beginning of a good range session. its perfect however for the continuation of a good reloading session. Image.
If your grouping continues to stay opened up. that may be the rule, not the exception and you just had a magic outing the first time. They happen occasionally, just like the go home ones. Unfortunately, the only way to test whether something you added or removed, caused that change, is as others have said, revert back and then change one thing at a time while testing along the way. I know, that's easy for the person(s) not buying the ammo for you to say. The 450b caliber is very forgiving, but if the problem persists, you don't need different ammo, you need to eliminate the variables you changed between the before and the after, assuming the cause lies therein.

Bed time is upon me as I realize I am rambling. 04:30 comes early. :|

Hoot
In Theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In Practice, there is.
User avatar
Hoot
 
Posts: 4052
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:34 am
Location: Minnesota

Next

Return to AR15 Style Rifles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests