Accuracy Advice

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CTGunner, Nov 28, 2010.

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  1. CTGunner

    CTGunner Member

    May 31, 2009
    Let me start of by saying that I am new to rifles and especially new to the AR-15. I took my AR out today for the second time, and the picture posted below is the result. I am certain there are folks on this forum getting better results at 300+ yards. I am looking for advice on how to improve overall accuracy. All shooting was done at 50 yards (for now this is all I have access to). There was almost no wind and it was a sunny day. All shooting was done from a bench, seated, using iron sights. Ammo was 55 grain American Eagle. The rifle is a Stag Arms 2T, everything is stock.

    Specific Questions:
    1. What kind of accuracy is this rifle capable of with irons and no upgrades.
    2. As you can see in my second photo, I have the rear sight moved to the left. All my shots were hitting right initially. After I adjusted the rear sight to the left, my shots started to center. Is this the rifle or me?
    3. The trigger on the Stag is pretty heavy. I have considered switching it out with something like a RRA 2 stage. Good idea or should I just stick with it and keep practicing?

    Attached Files:

  2. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Black Hills, SD
    A couple of thoughts:

    1.) If you are using the iron sights, make sure the smallest aperture is being used if you are going for maximum accuracy.

    2.) You can invest some money in a better trigger if you choose to, but you should be able to shoot a good deal better than you are now with the stock trigger.

    3.) If you are a left handed shooter, (which I am thinking you are given the shots pulled down and to the right) try to use only the first pad of your shooting finger or the first joint on the trigger. Take a high grip on the pistol grip as it will help you get a more consistent strait back pull. Focus on your front sight! Press through the trigger, by building up pressure until the sear trips and the rifle fires. Do not try to make the rifle go off just because your sight picture looks perfect, there is a 99% chance that if you do this you will jerk the trigger and disturb your sight picture.... resulting in shots low and right for a lefty most of the time. Instead accept that you have an arc of movement and focus on the front sight and a clean trigger break. If your sights are somewhere in the target black you will get a good hit even if the sights appear to move as long as your trigger control is good!

    4.) Spend the money on an aftermarket trigger on more ammo, and practice! If you still want a new trigger later then go for it, but right now it will only be of limited good to you.
  3. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Down by the rivah, VA
    When adjusting iron sights, remember the acronym/mnemonic F.O.R.S.

    Front - Opposite
    Rear - Same

    Whatever adjustments you make to the front sight, it will move the bullet in the opposite direction on paper. Adjustments made to the rear sight will move the bullet impact the same direction on paper.

    I highly recommend reading the US Army Field Manual on Rifle Marksmanship (FM 3-22.9) if you are interested in improving your accuracy, especially with an AR pattern rifle. Skip to Chapter 4, the sections on Marksmanship Fundamentals
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Oct 23, 2004
    1. an AVERAGE AR15 is 2moa. some are better, some are worse. some are a lot better, some are a lot worse. it's pretty much pot luck which one you got. you should be able to keep a 1" group at 50yrds

    2. it's the rifle. if the sight needs to be moved over that far, it most likely means your gas block is on crooked. if you have a removable carry handle, i suppose it could be that too. either way, i'd call the factory. i'd want it fixed. (try several brands of ammo first and make sure it happens with all of them)

    3. with proper instruction, you should be able to shoot sub-MOA groups with a heavy trigger. match triggers make it a lot easier though. practice yanking or slapping the trigger will only make bad habits harder to kick. installing a match trigger will just cover up bad habits
  5. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Feb 5, 2010
    Hawkeye East
    Excellent advice thus far. One other tip is to use smaller targets. Sometimes the tendency is to get lost in that sea of black. Try flipping the target over and use a Bingo marker from WalMart in a visible color as your target. You'll have room for six or eight on your present size target. Aim small miss small.

    As for the advice on the aperture, you'll notice on inspection the sight has two peep holes that form an L-shape (one you are using now and a smaller one lying flat). Simply push the sight to rotate it to the smaller peep.

    Worth mentioning to a new rifleman is finding a competent marksman willing to shoot it for you. It can eliminate alot of variables for an Internet diagnosis. As taliv mentioned your rear sight really ought to be centered and while many will point to the rifle or it's manufacturer as the culprit few make it out the door that far off.

    Best of luck, welcome to the world of rifles and remember to enjoy the experience. If you decide to replace the trigger (I too would discourage this at present) Rock River makes a decent one but there are much better. The thing of it is, for all around use you're likely better off with the factory trigger. Dry fire practice to improve trigger control and you'll also be improving trigger feel as it will lighten/smooth out the trigger. Remember that practice makes permanent so concentrate on technique.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  6. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    The hold you use on the target will have an effect as well. From what I understand, most competitors use a 6 o'clock hold. This is when the bull is resting on top of the front sight post.

    It works much better for me than a center hold - but then again, I ain't no distinguished rifleman either.
  7. chineseboxer

    chineseboxer Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Rhode Island
    One thing I have learned is you have to be consistent. Hold the same cheek weld EVERY shot. I actually buckle my upper lip on the stock so I know i am in the same hold. I have a stag model 2 as well and if you keep shooting you will get used to it. Check weld, Deep breath, exhale slow, crystal clear focus on top of front sight, squeeeeeeeeze, & fire somewhere on your exhale. Don't look at your hits until you fire 5 rounds.
  8. NWCP

    NWCP Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Pacific NW
    Your Stags trigger will get smoother with some wear. Mine has the stock trigger and about 800 rounds down the pipe so far. The factory trigger works just fine. I have an RRA with a match trigger. I'm pleased with both rifles. The Stag is scoped for varmint/predator hunting so I prefer a little heavier trigger for the field. At 150 yards it's within MOC (minute of coyote). Take some time to get used to your first rifle and how to properly use it and your iron sights. Enjoy! It's all part of the process. :D
  9. rskent

    rskent Member

    May 28, 2006
    The land of blue sky and sunshine
    This has already been mentioned, but it bears repeating. You will have better luck shooting at a smaller target bull. When you are shooting a Highpower match your front sight appears just a touch bigger than the bull. This makes it very easy to get things lined up. Get your cheek weld set so that your target is centered in the rear sight. Then move the front post into position. Keep your focus on the front sight. You can check your alignment with the rear sight and target, but when you break the shot you must be focused on the front sight. Most people seem to do better shooting center mass when they are starting out. The middle is always the middle. I would change out targets first, then after I was getting, good centered groups look at a trigger. A smooth trigger will help your groups but it won’t replace the fundamentals.
    Good luck
  10. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Mobile, Alabama
    For great accuracy you need 3 things, none of which come on a run of the mill AR

    A good barrel.... not the mass produced tubes that any of the AR makers are putting out on sub twelve hundred dollar guns.

    Great bullets, none of which come in milspec ammo or plinking ammo.

    A good trigger.

    And obviously the nut behind the wheel has to be competent.

    The AR can be scary accurate with the right components and a experienced marksman pulling the trigger.

    A run of the mill AR that shoots an honest MOA is the exception, not the rule. Which is why "match" ARs that are guaranteed to be at least MOA rifles are so expensive...

    With good ammo and a good marksman most will shoot 1.5 - 2 MOA which is pretty damned good for any semi auto combat rifle.

    BTW, chrome bores are NOT conducive to great accuracy. They're great for durability and reliability. So the same things that make it a great battle rifle actually deter its accuracy potential.
  11. sansone

    sansone Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    north florida USA
    try another brand of ammo. AE is not exactly match grade. Also don't compare your groups to what is reported here (fish stories). Stock AR barrels normally shoot 2moa, which means 1" groups @ 50yds.. Don't blame the trigger, just practice.
    your rear sight looks fine if the shots are centered now
  12. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

    Sep 13, 2010

    Very good comments. AR accuracy - I shot my absolute best group of any rifle that I own with my AR (a Colt) at 100 yards (1/2") with iron sights (standard front post and NM rear). I was not using 55 grain FMJ ammo but my own handloads. The best bullets and the best loads for an AR cannot be bought in a store (though Black Hills loads some very nice ammo).
    They can be VERY accurate rifles. The only upgrade on mine has been the NM rear.
  13. kmcintosh78

    kmcintosh78 Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    Practice, practice practice.
    Irons sights can and should be able to take you out to 200 yards.
  14. 45Fan

    45Fan Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    With practice, you can get even further (300+ yds.) Consistant cheek weld, good form, and lots of practice. I put the tip of my nose on the charging handle to keep consitant cheek weld. A o'clock hold should help too (wont obscure the target). The most important thing is to be comfortable. If you are not comfortable, it makes it very difficult for everything else to come together for the best accuracy.

    On a great day, I have shot the X-ring out of a target with my AR at 50yds, but on the average, with Wolf steel case, keeping it in the black is normally all I can do.
  15. Dallas Jack

    Dallas Jack Member

    Jul 22, 2004
    Dallas, Tx
    1. Most AR are capable of at least 2MOA with most any ammo. For better accuracy try out different types of ammo to see what the rifle likes to shoot.
    2. You may have a canted barrel or front site. Try (using a gun vise) leveling the rifle and checking the front site for plumb.
    3. The heavy trigger may be causeing you to pull the rifle to the right. Have a friend load a snap cap or dummy load in your magazine and see where the
    gun is pointed when the hammer falls. Or try shooting it left handed and see if you are now shooting to the left.
    Dallas Jack
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