AR accuracy issues


December 31, 2011, 02:34 PM
I am having a problem that I can't seem to solve. I own A Stag #1 in .556 and can't seem to get the accuracy I think it should have, ie. minute of peach basket, rather than moa. This is with various loads and bullet weights from 50 gr. at the small end, to 68 gr. at the upper, factory or hand load, either one. Any help or suggestion would be appreciated .Thanks in advance.

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December 31, 2011, 02:38 PM
What's the barrel length and twist rate?

December 31, 2011, 02:45 PM
what sights are you using and at what range? don't take this the wrong way, but can you shoot anything else accurately? just trying to get somewhere to reference from. i.e., if you can shoot a .22lr at 50 yds and hit a coke can consistently, but can't do the same with your ar, then yes, we have a problem.

December 31, 2011, 02:49 PM
you probably already checked but are all the screws and bits tight? flash hider, gas block, etc?

December 31, 2011, 02:50 PM
I need to echo proven, we have to ask, have you put it on a sandbag?

December 31, 2011, 03:03 PM
16 inch barrel, aperture sight, or scope, 1 in9 twist rate ,checked all of the above, and yes i can shoot ie. my 10/22 off the same bag, 3/8 inch 10 shot group at 30 yards. I would like to get some use out of this rifle but I am at a loss. thanks

December 31, 2011, 03:16 PM
OK, 16', 1/9? I'd get a single box of Federal Match 69gr, confirm the stability of the rifle and the marksmanship of the firer and if you can't get (just for argument's sake) under 2 inches at 50 yards - send 'er back with a well worded letter regarding your concerns and the conditions under which you were disappointed. Things happen with all manufacturers and I wouldn't want my mistake out there if it was shooting as poorly as you say yours is.

Keep these following things in mind as manufacturers listen to folk on a daily basis who believe they "purchased" marksmanship.

By far, with quality manufacturers, most accuracy complaints can actually be attributed to:
-upkeep of the firearm
-unrealistic expectations

December 31, 2011, 03:42 PM
i had this problem last year with an expensive big name AR. Would get like, 4-6" groups at 50 yards. i tried all the things you did. eventually sent it back. they replicated the problem, but couldn't figure out why. they replaced the barrel and sent it back. no issues now.

i'd call the mfg. it's annoying, but it happens

Texas Bob
December 31, 2011, 03:46 PM
You need to take two or better yet, three other friends with you to the range. At 50yds set up four "shoot'n'see" targets and compare the results from a five shot string of fire for all of you. If the firearm is "off" this will give you something to show to mfg., or you may find the problem is you, no disrespect meant. Bob

December 31, 2011, 03:51 PM
Thanks for the responses, now at least I have a direction to go.

December 31, 2011, 05:31 PM
Definitely spend some time at the range with good ammo (buy some prvi partisan 69 grain match ammo) and a big group of guys who you know can shoot. Compare the 5 shot groups at 50 yards. Also, chrome-lined barrels just don't necessarily shoot that well, if that is what you have.

December 31, 2011, 05:35 PM
good luck, and let us know how it turns out. if it's their issue, hopefully they will make it right.

December 31, 2011, 05:37 PM
Any chrome lined barrel that won't shoot under 2MOA with good ammo most certainly is defective.

My old Colt SP1 Carbine shoots under 1 MOA with handloads and it's chrome lined.


December 31, 2011, 05:37 PM
kfgk14, a chrome lined bbl should easily give under 2 inches at fifty yards unless it's complete crap.

December 31, 2011, 05:42 PM
It should give 2" at 100 yards with good varmint or match bullets or it is crap.

Expect 3" or 4" or more with FMJ-BT GI type bullets.


December 31, 2011, 08:10 PM
Most AR platforms are going to be 1.5 to 2 MOA. It is just the nature of the platform. Also a lot of the ammo available or that we purchase is real cheap or mil surplus which adds to the variables. Unless you purchase match ammo at $25 plus for 20 you may be able to get 1 moa at 100 yds.

I purchased the Rock River Arms predator pursuit which guarantees .75 moa @ 100 with match ammo. I ended up shooting several brands of match ammo and bullet weight and only found one brand that my rifle liked. I was able to shoot a 5 shot group measuring .680 at 100 yards using Hornady Superformance 55 gr.

You must realize that the AR platform is a 22 caliber rifle that like most 22 rimfires it too can be very finicky. I also realized that I had to be very deliberate with all of movements, sight alignment, breath hold, and important trigger control. ONLY then did I shoot below the gauranteed .75 moa.

January 1, 2012, 09:37 AM
My RRA 24", 1:8 heavy barrel rifle shot 3"+ patterns @ 100yds with Fed 55 gr FMJ ammo, 3"+ patterns with 55 gr Dogtown (Midway) bullets.
Then I fed it Fed Gold Medal Match 69 gr ammo & it gave me 3/4" groups, Then I handloaded the same Sierra 69gr HPBT match bullet over RE15 & got 7/16" groups when I hit the powder charge the rifle liked. It also likes 77 gr Hornady Amax bullets (single loaded) shooting less than 1/2" groups. All the above with a bipod & rear bag.

Accuracy in an AR is there to be had, just with good ammo & a good barrel. The rest is up to you.


January 1, 2012, 10:34 AM
My stag model 3 started at 2.0 @100yards but with reloading and a Geissele
trigger it now groups at .750 if I do my part, chrome barrel and all.;)

January 1, 2012, 01:47 PM
You can pull your hair out trying to get a consistent sub MOA with any gun. Ammo is the key, but some guns just won't shoot MOA regardless. I can show you 3 shots touching with all my ARs. But do a 10 shot group, and they are really 2” MOA guns no matter what I shoot through them. 10 shots is the key to what a gun will really do. If you can't shoot MOA with 10 shots, your gun or you are not capable of MOA groups. There's people and guns that can do it. In truth, they're far and few between.

January 1, 2012, 07:53 PM
Pull the muzzle device and check for crown damage.

Try twisting the barrel in the upper. A loose barrel nut will cause huge groups too.


January 1, 2012, 08:10 PM
My M&P 15 Carbine with free-float rail will shoot Hornady V-Max 40 grain moly-coat bullets very well. Routinely puts 5 rounds into half an inch at a hundred yards. The accuracy of this rifle is amazing. If I switch ammo and use surplus stuff those groups open up to 3 or 4 inches. Try some light bullets. May not be the perfect round for your intended purpose, but it works great as a coyote bullet,

January 1, 2012, 09:21 PM
I'd get some Black Hills 55 grain Soft Points and try them out of your 1:9 twist barrel. You should be able to get 2" groups of 10 easily with these bullets, and also let others shoot the gun with this same ammo.

January 1, 2012, 10:42 PM
I can show you 3 shots touching with all my ARs.
Exactly. I see very very few posts that point this out, that sub-MOA claims are nearly always statistical anomalies. If you fire enough shots, you can make any gun appear to have 3-shot sub-MOA grouping. Repeating it is where the skill is.

January 2, 2012, 06:12 AM
If you are shooting off sandbags with standard (non-free float) handguards you can get very inconsistent results because it places pressure on the barrel

January 2, 2012, 12:26 PM
If this is a *new* new rifle, IMX, the barrel _will_ break in in about the first 200 rounds, so that is your first factor to consider.

After that, I would recommend Black Hills 69 SMK re-manufactured ammo (in the Blue Box) at about US$40.00/50 rounds.

shooting off a rest (sandbags) you should see 2 MOA (2" at 100 yards, 1" at 50 yards) or better. If not, I would contact the manufacturer.

All this assumes you are doing your part. DO have someone with some experience with the AR platform try the rifle, too.

Plain Jane 'M4gery' at 100 yards, prone, w/sling:

January 2, 2012, 01:21 PM
It's nice to see that other folks shoot some poor groups from time to time too....we all do it but only brag about the one 1/2" group we shoot every 6 months or so.

Consistent ammo is the key for sure. But like your 10/22 has pointed out that if you shoot your groups at a very close range you really aren't getting an accurate indication of how well the gun/ammo combo is really shooting. 3/8 @ 30 yards isn't really that great. Get yourself a decent rest or even I bi-pod (yes, my AR15's have been very accurate from bi-pods) and shoot from a bench or prone. Give the gun every advantage to shoot it's best groups. Only then can you know what to attribute to shooter error or ammo likes/dislikes for your particular rifle.

Every AR 15 that I have shot from the el-cheapo Bushy Carbon 15 to my Heavy barreled DPMS bull 20 and all the colt's, RIA's and everything in between have been very accurate. I'd be willing to bet that yours is no different. You just need to find the right balance between shooter, rifle and ammo.

January 2, 2012, 04:36 PM
Carbines are a little tougher to get great accuracy out of with a shorter sight radius, GI trigger and often times a collapsible stock. Often times stock sights are not the best. However, you should still be able to shoot a decent group if you do your part.
My advice would be to focus your efforts on making sure that you have aligned your sights correctly as well as correctly aligned your eyes with the sight - two different things. Once that is done, make sure that your focus is on your front sight rather than your target. A deliberate and smooth squeeze of the trigger without moving the sights should put you on target. It is the REPEATABILITY of these things that should bring a good group.
Without knowing whether you are standing, shooting off a bench, bipod, etc it is hard to give more specific advice, but there are many other things that can contribute to bad grouping, that may not be the rifles fault. Is your group horizontally or vertically dispersed? Or both? Also, I would try to use ammo that should fall in the sweet spot for a 1:9 twist which I would recommend 50-55 gr - hard to go wrong in this range. Good quality ammo is key.
Lots of other good advice above in terms of checking your gun and it's parts to see if it is mechanical. Take your time and pay close attention to the details and repetition.
Good luck

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