Help needed with a CCD M4LED


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civilian75
November 20, 2009, 03:27 AM
Guys, need help/advise. I made three mistakes when I purchased my first rifle based on the AR-15 platform. I grew kind of tired of the "pray-n-spray" accuracy of my AK-47/74s and decided to shell out on a good AR that would also make good gun porno. :p

My first mistake was, perhaps, picking the CDD M4LED. It has a 16" bbl and a 1/7 twist rate. My biggest and only complain is accuracy. This is what I have observed:

Distance: 50yd
optics: Millet 1-4x32, set at x4
All groups in MOA, 1" at 50yd = 2 MOA.

62gr Silver Bear, 10 shots, 5 MOA
55gr American Eagle XM193, 10 shots, 5 MOA
62gr BVAC, 10 shots, 5 MOA
68gr Black Hills Blue Box, 10 shots, 2.25 MOA
75gr Hornady (handloads), 4 shots, 1 flyer, 1 MOA
77gr SMK, handloads, 4 shots + 1 flyer = .75 MOA, or 5 shot + 0 flyer = 1.25 MOA.

75gr Hornadys on top of 23.5gr of Varget, LC brass, CCI primer, clocked 2500fps
77gr SMKs on top of 23.5gr of Varget, LC brass, CCI primer, clocked 2560fps

trigger pull: gritty 6.5lb

Is this normal and am I expecting too much, or, was it my luck I ended up with a picky rifle, or there is indeed something wrong with it?

Is 1/7 too fast for the lighter/faster bullets? Should I have the bbl replaced with a 1/9 twist rate heavy barrel?

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civilian75
November 20, 2009, 04:51 AM
I will add I was very disappointed at first, and was thinking about sending the rifle back. A smile returned to my face with the match ammo results last weekend and was ready to call it good when a friend at work insisted I should obtain 1 MOA even with the 55gr ball I've tried. Having no frame of reference, I must come to you guys. I'd appreciate your help. This is a no brainer for anyone familiar with AR15 and M4s.

kanook
November 20, 2009, 08:19 AM
What type of rest did you use? (I use the lead sled)

Did you get the slop out of the Upper to Receiver fit? (I use a cheap red one)

These two things made my group improve.

I use a Millet on my 6.8 and so does my wife on her 6.8

Mags
November 20, 2009, 08:40 AM
Who is CCD? Also 100 yard groups will be easier for us to disect a problem.

civilian75
November 20, 2009, 12:53 PM
What type of rest did you use? (I use the lead sled)
I do all my bench rest on sand bags, at the forend, and at the buttstock.
Did you get the slop out of the Upper to Receiver fit? (I use a cheap red one) Sorry, I am a AR-15 newbie; got no idea what you are talking about. Make, model and pic or link would help. I will also Google your words up to see that I get.
Who is CCD? CDD is Charles Dally Defense (http://www.charlesdalydefense.com/cdd15.asp).
Also 100 yard groups will be easier for us to dissect a problem.
Broke in barrel with open sights at 50yds. I was getting ~6 MOA. After installing optics I stayed at 50yd to keep variable changes to a minimum.

I have fired 200-250 rounds total.

Thanks :)

Avenger29
November 20, 2009, 12:58 PM
You certainly did not make a mistake buying the Charles Daly rifle. If you are unhappy with your rifle or have issues, call them and they will take care of you. Very good quality rifle, great folks to deal with.

I just think you need some more range time with it. Also, check your scope mounting setup. It could be mount problems, it could be a scope issue.

Mr. T
November 20, 2009, 04:02 PM
Hey what type of round are you shooting...what weight? If you are shooting a 50 grain round through a 1/7 you're damn lucky that the shell is even staying in tact. A buddy of mine was spinning the jackets right off the ammo before it could hit the target and the ones that stayed together were way off the mark. The heavier rounds did better through the tighter wound barrels. Something like a 1/7, try shooting a 75 to 77 grain round and see what happens...if you haven't already. My gun has a 1/9 and they recommend that I not shoot under a 55 and not over a 75 because of the rifle twist. Hopefully this will help you out.:)

Avenger29
November 20, 2009, 04:06 PM
Did you get the slop out of the Upper to Receiver fit? (I use a cheap red one)

Upper/lower fit does not affect accuracy. I haven't seen a COTS rifle with bad slop, anyway. If you absolutely can't stand it, stick an earplug in there.

Mr. T, his ammunition information is detailed in his first post.

WoofersInc
November 20, 2009, 04:35 PM
Is 1/7 too fast for the lighter/faster bullets? Should I have the bbl replaced with a 1/9 twist rate heavy barrel?

As you saw in your initial testing. The heavier bullets gave you better accuracy. The twist rate of 1/7 is better suited for the heavier bullets. If you are wanting to shoot the 55 grain range bullets you will be better off with a 1/9 rate.

Next would be to make sure you have an appropriate rest while shooting.
Also try shooting at 100 yards and see what your accuracy is.

The big question though is what is it exactly you want this rifle to do? Is it going to be a plinker or do you want a tack driver? Letting us know what you expect will better enable us to help.

Z-Michigan
November 20, 2009, 04:39 PM
62gr Silver Bear, 10 shots, 5 MOA
55gr American Eagle XM193, 10 shots, 5 MOA
62gr BVAC, 10 shots, 5 MOA
68gr Black Hills Blue Box, 10 shots, 2.25 MOA
75gr Hornady (handloads), 4 shots, 1 flyer, 1 MOA
77gr SMK, handloads, 4 shots + 1 flyer = .75 MOA, or 5 shot + 0 flyer = 1.25 MOA.

The groups with match bullets tell me that the rifle is working fine. I suspect your accuracy would improve with practice, even if you have years with other types of rifles. The sights on an AR15 work very well for me but require their own technique. Nose to the charging handle generally helps consistency. If the match groups were shot on a different day I suspect you were generally shooting better that day.

I would expect that rifle to shoot 1.5-2 MOA at 100 yards using quality ammo. It may actually be less accurate in MOA at 50 yards due to the bullet's need to "settle down" after exiting the muzzle.

Silver Bear is cheap Russian stuff. While I would expect better than 5 MOA, I wouldn't be too surprised if that's the best that Bear ammo ever delivers.

The XM193 is more surprising. I would expect 2-3 MOA from XM193. It is not match ammo by any means, but should be OK. I'd try that again on another day, preferably right after having comparison groups with one of the match loads.

I would also try another 55gr round, like Remington UMC or Winchester, for comparison. Preferably a .223 rather than 5.56mm sized round.

What is BVAC?

Where you list 10 shots, is that all 10 shots into one target? I believe 5-shot groups is more of a standard, and 10-shot groups will always be worse than 5-shot groups. I would do all your further testing in 5-shot groups.

Chrome-lined barrels like that on the D-M4LED generally don't break in to any great extent. Though the bolt will break in a bit with use (in its mating to the barrel extension), which could still affect accuracy.

civilian75
November 20, 2009, 05:28 PM
You certainly did not make a mistake buying the Charles Dally rifle. That's how I felt, too. but then no one has seen the look on people's faces when I said I bought a CDD. And that's before I mention my accuracy woes. Made me wonder...

I just think you need some more range time with it Don't we all?
I regularly shoot a 308Win bolt at 100yd with sub MOA results. Haven't done too bad at the 200/300 ranges.

* Factory trigger measured 6.5lb;very gritty. But I did not think it was be a factor shooting solidly anchored with sand mags.
* Numbers provided were obtained after I made sure the scope was not a factor.
* Had my son, who is a better shot than me, also perform some of the tests.
* I tried (wiggled in all six axis, linear and rotational) but could not detect any slop(?) between the upper and the lower, so I never worried about it. I'm still not sure what I am looking for, though.
* Goal: for the money I paid I was hoping the rifle would be a tack driver I could plink with. :p It is my first AR. Wanted to see how things went before I acquire more uppers and lowers, tweaked for specific roles. For now I just want to make sure I can answer this question: is this normal for this kind of rifle, did I happened to end up with a picky rifle, or is this a lemon?

For a tack driver, I know it has a couple of working things against it:
* chromed barrel
* light barrel with a 1/7, (I'd prefer 1/9)
* 5.56x45 chamber (i.e longer leade).

Not all is bad with a 1/7 bbl. I am a subsonic buff and could not help but try to load a few subs with Trailboss. I was so sure the 75gr would keyhole at all mvs. But to my surprise and delight, only rounds ~850 fps and slower keyholed!! And the accuracy was among the best I've ever seen on any of my subsonic loads on any caliber I've tried.

My hand loads can improve. This was the first time I shoot for accuracy. Will try a Lee factory crimp tool to reduce chances of re-seating. And get me a jug of VV N140.

All feedback has been useful. Some more than others. :) I am not hearing any clear signals as to a gross rifle problem. My marksmanship has been questioned, and that's fine. One needs to work on a new fire arm for a while to acclimate one self to it before getting any decent, consistent result.

rcmodel
November 20, 2009, 05:38 PM
If you want fine accuracy, don't waste your time on FMJ-BT bullets.

None of them will shoot as well as SP, HP, or plastic tip bullets with the jacket opening in the nose.

Military FMJ style bullets with the jacket opening in the base are never going to shoot as well because of the non-uniformity of the base opening from one bullet to the next.

rc

Avenger29
November 20, 2009, 06:09 PM
That's how I felt, too. but then no one has seen the look on people's faces when I said I bought a CDD. And that's before I mention my accuracy woes. Made me wonder...

The other Charles Daly firearms and their AR-15s are pretty much on two different planets. Charles Daly did lots of research with the pros and set out to build a very high quality weapon (wheras the rest of their lineup is lower priced, imported firearms).

It's not one that is really meant to be a tackdriver, shooting tiny groups. It is a highly reliable rifle meant for more of a fighting role, putting rounds on targets quickly and swinging to engage another target. For general HD use, an excellent rifle. Tackdriving accuracy at the range? Not so much. Not that it can't be accurate with the right load, though.

* chromed barrel
* light barrel with a 1/7, (I'd prefer 1/9)
* 5.56x45 chamber (i.e longer leade).

Those are features meant for higher reliability and to shoot anywhere from a 55grn FMJ to a 77grain Mk262 round with acceptable accuracy.

If you want a tack driver style rifle, you can buy or build a different upper with a long heavy barrel, tighter chamber, and set up with a free float forend or rail for best accuracy. I'd still keep the original upper and employ it in it's role. You can run both on the same lower, no problem, or eventually acquire a dedicated lower for the precision upper (like with a nice two stage trigger, target style grip, and something like a Magpul PRS stock). The stock GI style trigger is great from a reliability and GP use standpoint, but will not feel so great compared to a nicer bolt gun trigger. That can easily be changed, though, if you wish.

BTW, I'm not questioning your marksmanship, just suggesting that shooting an AR-15 can take some getting used to vs. a nice bolt gun. It took me a little while to get used to it and get a good zero.

And I think your bud at work is mistaken. 1 moa with ball ammo is going to be a bit difficult to achieve, even if you were shooting a precision type upper, especially when dealing with XM-193, the Wolf/"colored bear" ammunition, etc.

taliv
November 20, 2009, 08:03 PM
i actually have a similar problem. i have a very expensive AR that shoots 3-4" groups at 50 yrds with 55g ammo, and one hole with 80g SMK. i'm a little disappointed, but i'm convinced it's the barrel, not just the twist, as I have over a dozen ARs and they're all 1-7 twist and most of them shoot just fine.

my plan is not much more complex than buying some prvi 69g to see if it shoots ok, or going back to handloading 77g

Z-Michigan
November 20, 2009, 08:08 PM
* I tried (wiggled in all six axis, linear and rotational) but could not detect any slop(?) between the upper and the lower, so I never worried about it. I'm still not sure what I am looking for, though.
* Goal: for the money I paid I was hoping the rifle would be a tack driver I could plink with. It is my first AR. Wanted to see how things went before I acquire more uppers and lowers, tweaked for specific roles. For now I just want to make sure I can answer this question: is this normal for this kind of rifle, did I happened to end up with a picky rifle, or is this a lemon?

A few more comments:

Your particular rifle is considered one of the highest quality M4 clones on the market. It's a good rifle. Nothing you've listed makes me think you have a rifle issue.

This type of rifle (M4 clone with plastic handguards) is not expected to deliver any better than 1.5 MOA with quality ammo. So some of your results are actually better than reasonable expectations. The only puzzle is the poor groups with XM193. M4 clones are not expected to be tack drivers. If you want a tack driving AR, go straight to something with a free-floated match barrel (any length you want) and you should be able to do 1 MOA or less easily.

I would not expect any wobble between the receivers on a Charles Daly. Wobble is pretty obvious if you have it. I've only experience it one time, on a frankenrifle, and only to a minor extent. As already noted it shouldn't affect accuracy anyway.

Many people like lighter triggers than the AR standard, which is cheap and reliable but known for the weight and grit you're describing. You can get your stock trigger worked on for $40-50 or you can buy various drop-in replacements for $90-300. Be aware that any of these options may void the lifetime warranty you otherwise have on that rifle.

My 2 cents? If you generally like the rifle, keep it while recognizing what it is - a short, light, medium range defensive tool - and consider getting a different AR for precision.

civilian75
November 21, 2009, 06:12 PM
This type of rifle (M4 clone with plastic handguards) is not expected to deliver any better than 1.5 MOA with quality ammo. So some of your results are actually better than reasonable expectations. The only puzzle is the poor groups with XM193. M4 clones are not expected to be tack drivers. If you want a tack driving AR, go straight to something with a free-floated match barrel (any length you want) and you should be able to do 1 MOA or less easily.


The D-M4LED has a Daniel Defense Lite Rail 7.0 free float barrel. See here:
http://www.charlesdalydefense.com/cdd15.asp

1 MOA is good!

Z-Michigan
November 21, 2009, 08:30 PM
D'oh, I was thinking of the regular M4LE. Anyway, it still doesn't have a match barrel. If your accuracy with the handloads is repeatable, I think you should be happy. You might also try some Black Hills with the 77gr Sierra bullet for comparison, though I doubt it will beat your handloads. I have yet to shoot any of my 68gr Black Hills but what I've read is that its accuracy is, for unknown reasons, not typically great.

browningguy
November 21, 2009, 08:52 PM
1-2 MOA with decent ammo is really the norm for an M4 type set up. If you want to get down in the 1 moa range consistantly get a trigger first, that's a lot cheaper than a barrel and it looks like your barrel wants to shoot with good ammo.

civilian75
November 21, 2009, 09:12 PM
Anyway, it still doesn't have a match barrel.
Tell me about it! That's what I get for not reading the small letters.

get a trigger first
Yeap, the trigger's gotta go. What about a JARD?

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