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AR Accuracy with Lake City M193

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ohio Gun Guy, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    I recently completed my First AR build. It is S&W MP15 lower with a 20" SS Bull barrel, 1:8, (ER Shaw Barrel) wylde chamber. (Bushnell 24 power 40mm scope). I dont have a target trigger in it YET.

    I am working on getting set up to hand load, but for now I am shooting 5.56x45 M193 / 55 grain ammunition.

    I have taken this to the range now 2 times after getting the rifle sighted in. My best groups are right at 1-1/4" (5 shots at 100yds). Either I or the gun have a quirk where 3 of the five shots will be touching, the other 2 will be touching but 3/4" away from 3 shot group, hence the 1-1/4" groups. I admit I am rusty, most of my other rifles are mil-surps and between the ammo and rifle typically shoot anywhere between 2"-4" at 100 yards. I am shooting from the bi-pod on the floated hand guard, with a rear sand bag rest, typically from the prone position.

    The Questions:
    1. What is the best group you have gotten using M193 ammo?
    2. How do I better test my set up...?
    3. Am I doing about as well as possible with the standard trigger and surplus ammo? (Was really wanting to break the 1 MOA barrier)

    P.S. - I see why these are addicting. I'm having more fun whith this rifle than I have had in quite a while....:D It's still fun to pack the WASR and blast dirt clods on the backstop while waiting for the break to go check targets
  2. Ramone

    Ramone Well-Known Member

    I haven't shot M193 since my uncle was giving it to me free, but I do use XM855 (62gr) as my plinking ammo.

    I'd say that you are doing damn well. When I see that sort of grouping, I assume it's me- one flyer I'll put on the ammo, two touching flyers seems to me like I was doing something.

    Here's some reference targets- all the same day, same rifle at 100 yards. The rifle is an M4gery, 16 in 1:8 barrel, optics are an NCstar 4X32. Shooter is a 48 year Old former Marine
    Weather conditions were Optimal (77f, 46% humidity, <5 knots of wind at 6 oclock)
    Positon was Prone, with sling.


    Black Hills 69gr SMK (reman)

    Hand Loads with 50gr Barnes Varmit Grenades:

    Note the grouping in that last- those two 'flyers' have got to be me.
  3. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    M193 is trash from an accuracy perspective. If you're getting 1.25" at 100 yards with it, you're doing better than most. I've usually seen something between 2 and 4" at 100 yards being the norm.
  4. ripp

    ripp member

    with no trigger job? you are shooting right at the limits of the gun and ammo. With a trigger job and match ammo, you'd still be doing just great, given a military style autoloader. Sure, some will do much better, but a lot of shooters can't demo much better.
  5. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

    Federal Lake City M193 (LC Brass) is pretty consistent loaded to NATO standards. Not stamped as nato though but pretty much the same. I would say cleaner than some of the Asian and European counterparts. The one with the Federal brass (FC brass) is less consistent.

    This is some of the data I have:
    XM193 in Delton 16" ML - average Speed: 3,156
    XM193 in Delton 16" ML - average group: 0.90 MOA

    XM193 in RRA 16" M4 Adams Piston - average Speed: 3,162
    XM193 in RRA 16" M4 Adams Piston - average group: 0.85 MOA

    XM193 in RRA 20" National Match - average Speed: 3,228
    XM193 in RRA 20" National Match - average group: 0.70 MOA
  6. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    M193 and M855 are not exactly match ammo, but do ok for plinking. The open base FMJ bullets will never show the true potential of your rifle for group size, but you're doing well regardless.
    If you have to shoot factory, try some Hornady V-max or Federal match, and put a smile on your face. You should halve your group size with quality bullets.

  7. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

    Agree, no match ammo but group way below military standards. In iraq they sent a Geneva convention commission to investigate if troops were assassinating insurgents since there were so many head shots.

    The National Match I posted before does .30MOA and sometimes better with Hornady match and Varget Handloads.
    Do not expect this in the average M4 though.
  8. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    Well I feel better, I'll have to keep my eye out for some of the ammunition suggested....or hurry up and start reloading!

  9. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

    Try some Priv partizan and some PMC 5.56 and see your system likes it.
    I try everything (no russian puffins though) and also reload.

    The most accurate ARs I have are National Match, a Varmint and a 6x45 that is printing below .25MOA all day.

    But the M4's and 16" midlenght printing below MOA is pretty darn good I would say for a military type carbine. No match by today's standards but super accurate nonetheless.

  10. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    You are getting sub-MOA performance from XM193 on average from a standard Delton midlength barrel? How many shots are in those groups and at what distance?

    I've got a Lilja stainless steel match barrel and the best 10-shot groups I've managed with Federal XM193 are in the 2-2.5" range, with 3" being more common. I can shoot match ammo into sub-MOA 5-shot groups at 100yds, so I'd love to learn how to shoot a sub-MOA group with Federak XM193. That would sure save the ammo budget.
  11. jon86

    jon86 Well-Known Member

    O man thanks I feel much better. I'm using a stock carbine with irons and the best I can do is about 5" at 125 yards.

    Next step, new trigger, match sights, and match ammo. Life's a project. Gotta save my pennies.
  12. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

    When I was in the service I had to qualify with 193 ammo and iron sights at 500 yards and it worked as well as it does today.

    Before anything is decided here try several types of good ammo known to people.
    My groups are always no less than 5 shots and no more than 10 depending on the day. Sometimes I do 3 groups of rapid fire with hunting handloads but not with this upper or ammo. Accuracy testing for any loads is normally done in relatively calm days, no rain, extreme heat or extreme cold.
    Spreads are measured with RCBS Ammo-master chrono set up.
    Accuracy tests are done at 100 yards otherwise indicated.
    The Delton is a heavy profile 16" 1:9 Mid-length port barrel non-chromed (more accurate) direct impingement with Midwest Industries floating rail and Peak Tactical custom brake. M16 bolt and carrier. Scope is a 2-7 Burris timberline with 1.7 Sight Ht.

    The results of a bad test might not mean anything wrong, simply one might need to check other factors.

    Anything above above .5MOA is not considered match grade by today's standards where many off the shelve AR rifles come with a 1MOA and less guarantee tag and high end AR SPRs come with the .5MOA and less guarantee.

  13. dldbrandon

    dldbrandon Well-Known Member

    Do you have a news article some other link about the geneva commission investigations? I believe you I would just like to read more about it.
  14. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

    Oh boy! I read it in the news several years ago and saw in several posts. I don't think that it was a full blown investigation but they put an inquiry because they were finding many folks with the brains blown out until they figured the marines with the ACOGs where popping the insurgets like crazy.
    Let me see if I can find it. Also Google it you might find it before I do.
  15. jungle

    jungle Well-Known Member

    YMMV by lot and specific weapon, but here are the standards.

    "U.S. military specifications for M193 Ball ammunition require a 55
    grain bullet (q 2 grains) at a muzzle velocity of 3,250 q 40 fps from a 20
    inch test barrel measured 15 feet from the muzzle. The accuracy requirement
    from a test fixture calls for a maximum of a two inch mean radius at 200
    yards from ten 10 shot groups (which equates to approximately three MOA).
    "Statistically average" M193 ranges from 1.2 to 1.6 inches mean radius,
    which is equivalent to 1.8 to 2.4 MOA. Velocity from an M16 rifle or
    pressure test barrel usually runs about 3,200 fps due to gas loss through
    the port. Accuracy is typically around 2 to 2+ MOA from an M16A1 rifle at
    ranges of 100 to 300 yards. M193 ammunition is suitable for use in 1 twist
    in 12 inches or faster twists. While commercial sporting rifles in this
    caliber usually have one in 14 rifling, the M193 boat tailed bullet is
    barely stabilized with that rate of twist at ambient temperatures, and will
    not stabilize at all when the air temperature drops below freezing.

    "NATO specifications for SS109 (U.S. M855) Ball require a 61.7 grain
    (q 1.5 grains) with a hardened steel penetrator at a velocity of 3,025 fps
    (q 40 fps) from a 20 inch barrel 25 meters from the muzzle. Typical
    velocity 15 feet from the M16A2's muzzle is around 3,100 fps. The accuracy
    requirement from a test fixture equates to a maximum of approximately four
    MOA over the 100 to 600 yard range. Typical accuracy of average lots in an
    M16A2 is about 2+ MOA. This round must also penetrate a nominal 10 gauge
    SAE 1010 or 1020 steel test plate at a range of at least 570 meters (623
    yards). The M193 round will penetrate this same plate reliably at 400
    yards, and about half the time at 500 yards. The 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO
    rounds will penetrate it reliably out to 700 yards or more.
  16. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Well-Known Member

  17. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    1stMarine, I understand from your posts that you have extensive experience in the military and with the AR platform, but something inside of me is making me want to call BS on the above claims. I'm not trying to engage in an argument, but the OP asked a bonafide question and I feel that your information is misleading.

    First, I believe that your claims of velocity obtained with the M193 ammo from a 16" barrel is rather optimistic by maybe a couple hundred feet per second. Secondly, and this is no claim that I've seen it all, but I've never seen any rifle shoot sub MOA with any sort of consistency with M193. I've seen flukes, but no two or three five shot groups in a row. If your claims of accuracy are true, there are thousands of guys across the country wasting their money on the likes of Krieger, Pac Nor and Lilja to get barrels that will consistently shoot sub MOA. They are also wasting countless hours loading premium projectiles for ammunition that will allow their expensive barrels to really shine.

    Of course, I could be wrong and you could very well have three, off the shelf rifles that can shoot crap ammunition with sub MOA accuracy. If this is the case, I'd suggest that you hang on to them, because they certainly aren't representative of what is the norm.

    Personally, I've put blood, sweat and tears into a few of my AR builds just so that I can say that I built an AR that will shoot sub MOA all of the time (provided that I'm up to the task). I've also spent a butt load of time working up loads for those rifle and a lot of money feeding them.

    Like I said, I'm not trying to start an argument, I just don't want the OP sitting there and wondering why his AR won't give him sub MOA groups with milspec ammo.
  18. MCMXI

    MCMXI Well-Known Member

    I also have a hard time believing your "average" group size numbers using XM193.

    Here's what I typically get with 10-shot groups at 100 yards shooting XM193 out of a 16" gas piston AR using a 1.5-5X scope set on 5X and shooting off a bipod. The smaller squares are 2" x 2". This is acceptable accuracy and good enough for home defense or 2-gun matches. If I want better, I shoot 77gr SMK reloads that will produce 10-shot groups that are easily under 1 MOA at 100 yards.

  19. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Well-Known Member

    2 or more moa is what I see from 193 with 16" and 20" 1/9 twist rifles. I may see a random group under that but it's not repeatable. A 30rd mag generally makes a 3" hole in paper.
  20. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    for the OP..
    the moa barrier is accurately described.
    I get frustrated with my shooting buddy sometimes because I struggle to get sub moa groups from my pet boltie.
    If your AR is shooting 193 ammo @ 1.5 then you and your rifle are doing GREAT.
    don't delay your reloading intentions, it adds a whole new dimension to shooting pleasure

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