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100 yd struggles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by plodder, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. plodder

    plodder Well-Known Member

    .223/5.56 Stag Arms 24" 1 x 8" twist upper, Aero Precision lower with Timney trigger. Shooting 52 g. and 77 g. Match King bullets. Vortex Viper 4-16 scope, bipod front.

    Shooting from solid bench with bipod front, bag at rear.

    At 100 yds I am throwing wild 5 shot groups of 1.75" up to 2.5". Rarely can I shoot a 1.5" group or less.

    Yet, when I take it out to 200 yds I can shoot sub 2.5" groups. From this I would expect to be able to shoot much better at 100 yds.

    I know it is me, not the rifle. I typically keep the scope set to max. magnification for both 100 and 200 yds.

    Other than seeking professional help or giving up & taking up golf, what suggestions or advice can I obtain from you wise ones?
  2. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    How many rounds in each group?

    Do you count every round in each group?

    Is there any trend or pattern to the groups you feel are too large? Stringing a certain way, being off on windage, off on elevation, just plain bigger groups in a shotgun pattern...?
  3. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Well-Known Member

    Have you considered the effect of parallax on your sight picture? Its effect is much less evident at longer range and much more evident at higher magnification.
  4. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Well-Known Member

    Group patterns are often diagnostic and correct diagnosis can get one to the truth somewhat quicker. Could you post pictures of your groups please.

    Have you shot better groups before with this rifle or is this a recent thing? Have you shot 1" groups or better with other rifles? Please I am not being rude but just trying to also understand your level of skill and experience.

    Would love to see the group patterns.
  5. Orkan

    Orkan Well-Known Member

    You could try to get off the bench with that bipod. If you are going to be on a bench, you'll get your best results shooting off a pack or some sandbags.

    Your position needs to be double good when shooting a semi-auto. You have several recoil impulses to deal with, that don't exist when firing a bolt gun. You have the first recoil to the rear which is when the charge is ignited and the bullet starts its journey down the barrel, then another to the rear when the buffer hits the rear of the buffer tube, then one impulse forward when the BCG and buffer slap back into battery.

    If your crosshair is leaving the POA during recoil, then you need to address your natural point of aim (NPA) to ensure you aren't muscling the rifle. Break the shot on your natural respiratory pause, maintain enough pressure on the trigger to keep it to the rear until the recoil impulse is over. At that point, release the trigger enough to allow the disconnector to let go of the hammer. You'll hear a distinctive "click" inside your lower. Then you can start your cycle for the next shot.

    Let the shot happen. It wants to happen, so there's no need to force it. Just relax, and get out of its way. :)
  6. Edarnold

    Edarnold Well-Known Member

    Really sounds like parallax effect at the shorter range. Next time out set the rifle up at 100yds. and with no contact, move your head back and forth and see if the crosshairs stay steady.
  7. Orkan

    Orkan Well-Known Member

    Tell me more about this ammo. Reloads? Factory?

    If reloads, how did you go about your load development?
    If factory, have you tried a few different brands?
  8. TBH

    TBH Well-Known Member

    For me to get groups with three of my ARs (sold one) they all needed to be held firm and consistently. Try pulling the stock in a little tighter and use your off hand to put a little downward pressure on the hand guard to keep the bipod from jumping too much. I assume the barrel is free floating.
    Last, I will align the redicule on the target, then adjust my body to fit the rifle. That prevents torquing the rifle to the target.
  9. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member


    What happens.....what kind of groups do you get shooting without the scope, shooting iron sights? (Do you have irons for that upper?)
  10. plodder

    plodder Well-Known Member

    Attached are a couple of photos to give the idea.

    I'd say my spreads are "shotgunning" but in reflecting upon some groups, it appears I am more errantly high than low. Although I can usually call my "fliers" I am not happy with the groups I think I have shot in a consistent manner.

    I use handloads and although I use a Dillon 650, I have individually weighed powder, seated bullets and measured C.O.A.L. so that I am sure I am using as absolutely consistent rounds as possible.

    All ideas appreciated!

    Attached Files:

  11. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    looks like a parallax issue. If you put that rifle on a steady rest and look through the scope while moving your head around you'll likely see the crosshairs moving slightly. 1.5 moa should = 3'' at 200 yds. Most scopes should be parallax free at 100yds. Try shooting 120yds and see if the groups make more sense.
  12. plodder

    plodder Well-Known Member

    I would not claim to be a sharpshooter or even a marksman, but with bolt action rifles I am more accurate and consistent.
    I do have another AR 15 (Bushmaster, 20" 1 x 9" with Nikon BDC) and results with it are similar to the Stag (reasonable accuracy at 200 yds, unacceptable at 100 yds). The trigger is like a bear trap on the Bushy, so I always just blamed it on that. But there is no excuse on the Stag.
  13. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Well-Known Member

    The good news is that 2.5" groups at 100 yards doesn't matter. That'll be fatal to anything you try to make dead. If accuracy improves beyond that, that's what's important--that's where stricter accuracy counts.
  14. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    Stag makes a great AR. I used mixed factory ammo and got groups under 1.5 moa with each brand.
    If you say you shoot 1.25 moa at 200yds then I do not suspect markmanship. And I'm thinking the Stag is good to go as well.
  15. loose noose

    loose noose Well-Known Member

    Plodder, It's parralax, You're taking shots at a much higher magnification at 100 yards whereas you think you have a good sight picture, so when you squeeze the trigger you think you were dead on. Now at 200 yards the magnification is much less therefore you must concentrate more before you squeeze off that next round and you have a much better group. Remember the old Marine adage "BRASS" or Breathe, Relax, Aim, Slack, Squeeze. At 100 yards I would not go beyond 4X, out to 200 yards 6-7X. Does that make sense?
  16. plodder

    plodder Well-Known Member

    It's sure worth a try. I like the high magnification in order to accomodate my aging eyesight. I thought a higher end piece of glass like the Vortex might reduce or eliminate the effects of parralax (although I admit to not being as educated on the finer points of optics as I should be). Next range session I will dial down the magnification and try to relax.

    Thanks again all for the advice. It's worth every penny I have paid for it:)
  17. X-Rap

    X-Rap Well-Known Member

    Turn the scope down to 4x and loose the bipod. I bet you see an improvement.
  18. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    Is you scope fixed or adjustable parallax? If adjustable, it gives you the means to correct parallax.
  19. plodder

    plodder Well-Known Member

    Geez!, now I'm going to have to actually read the manual that came with the Vortex:eek:
  20. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Well-Known Member

    Scopes and Reloading are the only two times you can read the manual and still keep your man-card. :)

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