Range report: a new AR and the MBR it scared (long)


March 13, 2004, 11:12 PM
Let’s get one thing straight…I’ve turned out to be an old curmudgeon (at 38 yrs old) and am a dyed in the wool big bore guy. I’ve been through the “light weight and high velocity” thing but grew out of it. I shoot 45 ACP pistols and .308 MBRs. My single action revolvers are 45 Colt. I shoot a Sharps in .45-70.

I grew up loving the HK91. I read about it in stories from Special Forces in Vietnam. The “HK Mystique” that floats around only made that infatuation grow. Finally a year and a half ago I bought a Century-built G3…got lucky too because this one worked and was relatively accurate. Thing is, I also bought a DSA STG-58A last year also. The last year I spent with the two Cold War cousins convinced me that there is little to love about the G3…it’s clumbsy, hard to field strip, dirty as heck inside, not-at-all-ergonomic and well, just not quite up to snuff with the STG. The only thing it has going for it is…it’s an HK…and a fake one at that. So, the HK has got to go. I’ll take it to the Indy Gun Show next week and see what I can get for it.

In replacement, I decided to buy an AR. I’ve looked down my nose at them but frankly don’t have much experience with one so decided to remedy that. I viewed the AR as a go between from my “reach-out-and-touch-you” STG and my “up-close-and-personal-shotgun” with #1 buckshot. I got a DPMS forged fixed/collapsible stock lower and a Model 1 16” flattop CAR upper yesterday. Both the upper and lower exude quality. Edges are crisp. Parts fit together nicely and the finish is even and matches well between the two halves. Took both the AR and the STG to the range today.

The AR is everything the proponents say it is. Light, handy, easy to mix-and-match. The controls are ergonomic. Magazines snap in crisply and eject nicely. A2 sights are excellent. Light recoil. That “screen-door-sproing” when shooting is annoying but I can get used to it. The charging handle really is in the wrong place just like everyone says.

Ran 60 rounds of Spanish SS109 though it. Once I got the sights on the paper it turned in reasonable groups at 50 yards (say around 1”) so I moved to 100 yards. Turned in around 3” groups there. Hmm, not bad with iron sights but I expected more from the “accurate little black rifle”…then again, it was late and I was getting tired. Didn’t get a chance to put a scope on it to see what it could do. Maybe next time. All in all, I like this rifle as a replacement for the G3 since I have another MBR in replacement.


Here was the funny thing. The STG must have been getting confident as she heard me mull over getting rid of the G3. “Finally”, she must have thought, “a space in the safe for my own.” Then…what’s this talk of a replacement????!?!? The STG has excellent manners and is immaculately put together. Ergonomics are first rate. She can be stripped lickety split with minimal tools. She has, however, only ever shown MBR-like accuracy. 3-4 MOA. At best 2 MOA with a scope. Today, I shot her with Port surplus 308 with iron sights at 100 yards and got a 3” group. OK, seems about right.
Put the scope on her and shot two 3-shot groups that were 1.2” and 1.3” respectively. Hmmm, that’s unusual.
Shot another 3-shot group and turned in a 0.3” group. I quit right there.
OK, honey, I get it. You’re my favorite. You’re safe. I like the new AR but no one will replace you.

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March 14, 2004, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the thread and the nice pics. I was just thinking about this very topic myself. 3 inch groups is very respectable at 100 yards,espcially with mil spec ammo. I have a few friends who think the 223 is a useless caliber(in terms of stopping power). In your opinion, should one own a 223 with open sights and a semi-auto 308 with scope for long range?

The Ar type carbine is very handy and light. I got to shot a Bushmaster M4 with Mini-comp break and it was amazing. The sight picture hardly changed compared to a Bushmaster Hbar 20 with nothing on the end. The Ar is great because it has controllable w/ the break and seems ideal for multiple target engagement. What are your thoughts about the 223 vs 308 discussion?

March 14, 2004, 05:21 AM
Both .223 and .308 have over twice the energy of .45ACP. (though the latter to signifigantly longer range :) Both carry enough range for the shooter to be the problem in hitting a man, not the caliber. Both will give anyone hit by them much to ponder.

.223s are outstanding with low-magnification (Trijicon 3.5x) or no-magnification sites (Red-dot or EOTech.)

I think everyone should own a small, medium, and large caliber rifle. Wether that's .223, .308 and .338 Lapua Magnum, or .308, .50BMG, and 20mm.

PS: That's some pretty amazing accuracy out of the DSA!

PPS: Try some Black Hills 77gr SMK in your DMPS if it is a 1:9" twist barrel.

March 14, 2004, 08:05 AM
Great report, thx! Sounds like we've both been down the same road and ended up w/similar (but not identical) solutions (I'm 48). For me it's the .45, 12ga w/00 buck, SAR-2 in 5.45 (w/PK-AS CQB sight) and best of all the NDM-86 Dragunov in .308:
It may only come w/a 10rd mag but the Drag will shoot sub-moa all day w/good ammo.

March 14, 2004, 09:02 AM
What are your thoughts about the 223 vs 308 discussion?

Stinkyshoe - Oh no, you're not pulling me into one of THOSE discussions. :D

Let's just leave it at this. I like guns. Big ones. Fat one. Short ones. Tall ones. Guns that climb on rocks, even guns with chicken pox...oh wait, that's the Oscar Meyer song...

I'd be perfectly comfortable with the AR out to 150 yards or so. I'd prefer the STG if it were farther. The AR would be great in tight quarters...sure would hate to have to "clear a building" with the STG. Then again, rule #1 is "have a gun". I'd be happy with either one if it were the only thing I had available. I feel more comfortable with the 308...that mental state of mind probably means I'd have an easier time making good solid hits. Personally though, I certainly wouldn't want to be hit by either cartridge.

March 14, 2004, 09:15 AM

First off, nice shooting.

Second off, don't discount the AR-carbine because of a 3" grouping with SS109. Try it with some 69gr Federal Gold Medal or even Blackhills. If it is a 1:9", don't use anything heavier than 70grs. They won't shoot well. The 75, 77 and 80gr .223s really need a 1:8 or 1:7 twist.

Lastly, nice shooting!

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