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3-Gun rifle opinions

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Ruger745, Aug 1, 2011.

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  1. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    1x dots are now Limited/Tac-Iron legal at some matches, e.g. RM3G.
     
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Quite a bit different than the 3 gun and carbine matches I have shot. Long range stages out to 500+- generally starting out at 100 yards or so. Most stages are inside 50 yards, many shots under 20.

    Not much point in a 1x optic if your averaging 250 yard shots.
     
  3. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    True, true. I was referring mostly to Tac-Optic division.

    -C
     
  4. Logan5

    Logan5 Member

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    I question the point at which hardware starts to matter vs software, but by all means, buy a dedicated 3 gun AR if 3 gun is what you want to do- no need to buy it twice. it'd be nice to have a .22 trainer set up the same way, and a budget to run some bricks. I'm not telling any family secrets when I say that I've been spanked shooting tac optics by guys running WWII gear in Ironman. Most of them weren't even pros. There is no magic, there is only practice... Which is sooooo tedious.
     
  5. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    As for the rifle, I'd choose the one you would be most likely want to use to defend yourself. That way, you are getting hands on experience in something more dynamic than a typical range. You will enjoy it no matter what you bring. FWIW, I can hit all day long at 200 yards with my 30-30. An AK should be slightly better than a 30-30 due to the pointy bullets. I wouldn't let the concern for 200 yards make you shy away from an AK if that's what you want.
     
  6. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    I had to RO for a kid who ran a local 3 gun match with a 30-30 once. While the mechanical function of the gun was fine, the fact that it was a manually-operated rifle really held him back on stage times.

    As for AKs, unless you're competing at matches that heavily favor close-range target engagement, I'd suggest shying away from them for a couple of reasons:

    -Lack of decent ammo availability.
    -Ergonomics that require some training to run well.
    -Generally reduced accuracy of the guns.
    -In my experience, AKs will tend to string rounds vertically once they get really warm.

    An AR purchased from a reputable maker will be as reliable as an AK and will be head and shoulders above it in accuracy, ergonomics, and modularity.
     
  7. sargents1

    sargents1 Member

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    For 3-gun there is no real reason to run a 6.8. Then again, if you dont mind the ammo cost there is no real reason NOT to run it.

    I would not get an AK for 3-gun. If you already had an AK I would say run it for a while just for fun, but if you are getting a new rifle I would say, get an AR.

    I have done four or five 3-gun matches with my Mini 14 and found that it is fine for the stuff I do, but all of our stuff is 100yds or less. If we were going past 100yds I would get smoked by the more accurate AR's.

    You dont really need to spend a lot of money either. Smith and Wesson, Delton, and DPMS (and others) make AR's that run about 700$ now and all of them are serviceable for 3-gun. One of the best upgrades I have seen is a decent muzzle brake, and those are not expensive.

    As others have stated, get yourself a low-powerd optic, 1-4X and then practice up.

    Nothing wrong with the Ruger SR556 or the LWRC for 3-gun except that they are kind of heavy and you dont really need the gas-piston setup. You would do just as well with a base model S&W Sport, with a muzzle brake and a decent optic (and would have more money left in your wallet).

    The important thing is to get something decent, then test it out thoroughly. Test your Optic, mags, mag holders, ammo, rifle. Test it all and get your setup wired.


    That's my $0.02
     
  8. Ruger745

    Ruger745 Member

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    I had an opportunity to look at an S&W MP-15 over the weekend. I thought it was pretty light and also basic, which is where I'm trying to stay. This'll be my first ar-15, and there's a lot to learn about them from my standpoint. I've been looking at Ruger since they make nice firearms, but I've never used one of their semi-autos asides from a 10/22. I found LWRC reading a review about the REPER in the On Target magazine, and after reading some reviews and watching their testing on You Tube; I'm REALLY impressed with their products just from that.
    I received a PM from Holy Driver, he has a white oak 18” upper with stainless barrel, 1/7 twist, and a rifle length gas system, and is capable of 2inch groups at 300 yards! Just wondering what the opinions are on it.
    I have a question on the upper and lower receivers. As I do not own an AR-15 (yet) I was wondering if you need one before you can put an upper on it (same question for lowers as well) in order for it to function properly? Is it like having a frame to a semi auto pistol, with the slide assembly, but not trigger and firing group? Thanks for clearing this up!
     
  9. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    Uppers made by White Oak are generally very high-quality, but White Oak leans more in the direction of building uppers and rifles for shooting High Power rather than 3 Gun. Make sure that any rifle or upper you consider for purchase has a flat top or detachable carry handle, this will ensure that it is much easier to attach optics.

    The White Oak upper will likely work for shooting 3 Gun, however, if it's an upper built for Service Rifle, the float tube will be designed to conform to rules that stipulate it must have an outward appearance of an A2 style military rifle. There's nothing wrong with that, but such uppers do tend to be on the heavy side.

    If you want to put together a rifle of your own, for the purposes of following the law, the only part of an AR that is considered the gun is the stripped lower receiver. Any other part you can buy without having to jump through legal hoops, and generally speaking, most uppers and lowers will work interchangeably, though some may require a bit of fitting here or there.
     
  10. sargents1

    sargents1 Member

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    I recommended the S&W AR because I know someone who has one and it is a good performer. The S&W M&P15 Sport has gotten decent reviews in the articles I have read. Its cheap, but is made by a reputable mfg and comes with a good warranty.

    Basic is good when you are starting out. You can always upgrade later, but if you want light and basic, the Ruger SR556 is not it, and neither is the LWRC. Both are good guns, but not light, basic or cheap. (NOTE: the LWRC is lighter than the Ruger by about 1lb, 7.2lb vs the 8lb Ruger)

    As to your question about Uppers and Lowers on AR15's this is the lowdown:

    Generally speaking an Upper from Company A will fit the Lower from Company B without fitting or modifications. Once you have a lower receiver you can generally mount any upper you want. From a legal point of view, the Lower is The Gun, the upper is just Parts. This is why you can order a complete upper and have it shipped directly to your house without going thru an FFL and background check.

    So, suppose you were go get a cheap AR from Del-Ton, S&W, Spikes Tactical or someone else. You could run it for a while and if you found you wanted a more advanced setup, you can buy an upper from the Mfg of your choice (including LWRC, Ruger and others) and mount it right up to the lower from your El-Cheapo-Beginner AR. No problem.

    You can get Stripped Lower Receivers which is the bare machined forged part to which you add your trigger group/parts kit, or you can get a complete lower fully assembled. Naturally a stripped lower with loose parts kit is usually less money than an assembled unit.

    Same is true for an upper.

    BTW, you can also get .22lr uppers that mate right up to your AR lower. You can also get conversion kits that let you run .22lr thru your .223Rem(5.56mm NATO) Upper. Good for cheap practice.

    Good resources for you are the Del-ton website, AR15.com, and Brownells AR15 builder site.


    BTW, the price you have to pay for all this free advice is that once you get your new AR you have to post pictures here to show us all. :)

    Cheers,

    S
     
  11. Ruger745

    Ruger745 Member

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    Limited lifetime warranty on it, can't beat that, and the $700 price tag! Still will take a while to save up with the expense of school, but I'll get the cash eventually ;), and I'll post pics too. It also looks like there aren't many matches during the winter time, so it'll give me something to save up for. Have a question about the A2 post sights. The rear sight looks detachable, but is the front as well? If it doesn't does it block the sight picture with an optic?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. SlicLee

    SlicLee Member

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    If you are a competitive type, go to a few matches, look around,speak to the shooters, they love to show what they use and speak about them, try to shoot some.
    Many of them have come from other types of competition.
    What ever you buy at the beginning youll wind up later on with newer and better. Just go and have fun.
     
  13. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    For a 3-gun rifle, especially on a budget, there is no reason to buy one of the new-fangled piston guns.

    A standard rifle length gas system AR will shoot softer, and just as reliably. Carbine length gas systems recoil more than rifle length gas systems. I would not have thought there was much difference but when I built my new 3-gun rifle with rifle gas, the difference was tremendous.

    Get an 18 in barrel if you plan to shoot optics. Barrel contour is up to you, general consensus is that a medium contour is ideal.

    If you are planning to use iron sights, and are willing to go the extra step of attaching a front sight just behind your comp, for the extra sight radius... get a 20 inch barrel.

    1:8 twist is ideal. 1:9 will work and will probably stabilize everything up to 69 grains just fine.

    You don't want a 6.8SPC for 3-gun.

    If you are on a budget, shopping around and buying used or LNIB or scratch and dent can save you lots of money.

    I put together an irons rifle with a BCM 1:8 410 stainless barrel, JP comp, gas block, and bolt carrier, and the balance BCM parts except the lower, DPMS front sight and handguard, LMT rear sight, and an M16 take-off A1 stock for about $800.

    Go over to the Brian Enos forum and spend a lot of time reading old threads. There is a ton of excellent info available.

    3-gun is fun!!!!

    101_8662.jpg
     
  14. chrome_austex

    chrome_austex Member

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    That's an awesome "GI" AR. Props to you sir!
     
  15. sargents1

    sargents1 Member

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    A standard front sight post is not (to my knowledge) detachable because the front sight post and gas-port are one piece. You may have heard of "railed front gas blocks", well, those take the place of the front sight assembly that you would normally see on a GI issue AR/M16 rifle. You swap out the front sight assembly for one of these blocks and that lets you put a clamp-on fold-down front sight on the gas block.

    A standard front sight (fixed GI style) will probably work fine with a typical Red-dot or low power scope setup provided you have the correct riser (if needed) for the red dot or scope. Most red-dot setups you see on ARs put the dot right over the front sight post, so the sight post does not get in the way of the dot.

    One other point: Someone else mentioned that if you are planning on doing 3-gun you should run a full-length (20in) rifle gas system. I agree with that for two reasons.
    1. Longer sight radius if you choose to run open sights. A longer sight radius is more precise and easier to use and be accurate with. When it comes to open sights, Longer is more gooderer-er. :)
    2. The full length rifle gas system is generally more tolerant of cheap steel case ammo.

    With the shorter carbine length gas system, the dwell-time is too short. This is the lag between when the firing pin ignites the primer and fires the cartridge, and when the bullet passes the gas port which drives the bolt back extracting the cartridge. With the shorter gas system, the fired cartridge does not have as much time to swell up (due to pressure) and then shrink back down in order to be extracted. This is not much of a problem with brass cased ammo, but it can be with steel case ammo. The longer gas system gives just that-much-more time for the pressure in the barrel to lessen, and the fired cartridge to shrink a bit before the extractor tries to pull the cartridge out of the chamber.

    With the shorter carbine-length gas system, the pressure in the firing chamber is still quite high when the bullet passes the gas block and initiates movement of the bolt and extraction of the spent cartridge. This means that the fired-cartridge is still "puffed out" against the walls of the firing chamber.

    When the extractor tries to extract that cartridge, one of two things can happen.
    A. The extractor will pull the rim off the cartridge leaving most of the cartridge stuck firmly in the firing chamber.
    B. The extractor will not have enough force to remove the spent cartridge and it will simply stop and jam the gun.

    Clearing this kind of jam often involves putting a cleaning rod down the barrel and pounding the stuck cartridge out with a mallet.

    Of course, some folks will say that this whole no-steel-case-in-carbine-ARs theory is rubbish and can back it up with their own observations. So remember, YMMV.


    This is important because you are going to want to be able to shoot cheap steel case ammo unless you are going to invest in a multi-station progressive reloading press. Otherwise, ammo costs will keep you from shooting as much as you will probably want to.

    Good luck!
     
  16. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    There are benefits to a rifle length gas system (RLGS) even if you never shoot steel ammo. I mentioned them in the article.
     
  17. Red State

    Red State Member

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    For the OP, I would agree with all the consensus that there is no reason to shoot 6.8 instead of 5.56/.223 in a 3 gun match.

    Regarding sargents1 experiences, I too have used a Mini 14 in a match and I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't blown away by the ARs. Half our shooting is between 150 and 200 yards and the other half is between 5 and 50 yards.

    Despite the all the rumors (some true) about the Mini 14 accuracy, I scored in the top 25% in the long range stage. If your shooting is going to be much beyond 200 yards, then I expect that the ARs will really begin to show their accuracy advantage.
     
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