Getting precision hits out of an AK and my personal theories

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 30_cal_short, Sep 24, 2022.

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  1. 30_cal_short

    30_cal_short Member

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    The AK platform is capable of much better performance than many ppl think (particularly die-hard Armalite fans.)

    Truth is, it depends on price, reciever type, type of round.

    If you drop enough work and/or money into one, you can get sub-moa results.

    The 762 39 round is possibly one of the best battle rounds I think, because it's light and packs a punch, and until 2-300 yards, it's perfectly capable of tack driving. After that, you really get drop off, which can be worked around, but and kind of breeze reeealy pushes the 30 caliber bullet around.

    But if you get an AK in say, 308, with a 1.5 mm stamped or milled reciever, you can do the same thing you average AR10 does.

    There are AK's in a bunch of calibers now, and if you buy one chambered in 5.56 with a cold hammered barrel from FN, it'll kick the **** out of an AR by being more reliable and matching the MOA.

    The side mounted optic **** looks like a horrible option at first, but it works, and it works well.

    If you're really into it, you can quad and top rail it out till it's as Lego as an AR-15.

    In a situation where I'm going into the extreme unknown for a long long time, I'd MUCH rather have an AK than an AR. Due to it being so indestructible and non-failing, in any environment.

    The "loose sloppy feeling" in the action is actually tolerances made really loose on purpose. It literally is self cleaning, and can be shot for decades without being cleaned or serviced at all. Dirt, dust, mud, ice, soot buildup can't jam this weapon.

    You could probably just weld the dust cover to the reciever permanently and slap rails on it that way and not need to worry about having any issues.
     
  2. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Is it true the SKS are better accuracy wise? My self i am going to go with a mini 30.
     
  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    99+% of AK's in circulation do not fit this profile. All of my experience from either end of the muzzle has been with the majority category. And a ruptured case/ head separation (which happens in AKs more than any other gun) will shut it down in a heartbeat. I would prefer to take my chances with a well maintained AR, and whatever motor oil and grease I could scrounge and a soap dish with a few spare gas rings and other small parts. Not to mention the price to get a AK that performs at the level of the average AR.
     
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  4. 230RN
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    230RN I keep pushing that pendulum back.

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    Undocumented so take my word for it, one of my M1 Carbines shot way better dirty than clean. This was the Postal one, arsenal rebuilt to a "return to service" condition, mixed parts. Looked like hell, PFABADCSG ("Plucked From A Barrelful At Dave Cook's Sporting Goods") for I think $30 and had a bayonet lug on it, which, later on, made it an "Assault Weapon" by some bureaucratic illogic.

    Never played that much with the Universal carbine, new manufacture, commercially built, no bayonet lug. Both passed on to Sons, no opportunity to rigorously confirm "dirt" effect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
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  5. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    It does, kind of, when you TIG weld the rail to the receiver... Before that - not so much, thanks to the riveted joints.
    Not exactly - the handguard is short by design and the receiver's dustcover is not meant to put anything on it. Aftermarket options that deal with the second issue are not exactly well performing.
    The issues are that it's still rather thin stamped sheet metal, with all of it's shortcomings. Not to mention that an AK still needs cleaning, just like any other rifle to operate properly...

    All that said, I quite like the AK platform, I've got some experience with it (full auto, not the lowly civilian semi- versions), but I take it for what it is, not what some people wish it could be.
     
  6. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I found Chinese .223 AK' and American made ammo, back in the 90's, was quite the potent combination back then.
    Chinese imported "Keng's" brass case 55gn. wast bad at all.
    All the 7.62x39 back then was either Norma or milsurp, and not very plentyfull. The Chinese fixed that. They dumped any and everything they could on our shores as 'surplus'
    The .223 was more recently manufactured (then) than the milsurp x39 they had. If they had not been "banned" Im sure the Chinee would have expanded on their ammunition's and improved their quality control, like much of their other manufacturing.
    The X Soviets did so , too, and did so , untill recently.
    The post 'Wall' Soviet misurp ammo was cheap, plentyfull, yet all over in ballistics, even in the same lots. They later adjusted to our markets here when they found we demanded accuracy and consistency, with no corrosive priming.
     
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  7. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Almost 30 years ago (just before the Clinton ban), I bought a Norinco National Match AK with a milled receiver and a slightly longer and heavier barrel. The only ammo I have put through it has been milsurp from spam cans, both FMJ and JHP. I have used a small amount of U.S. made brass JSPs, but very little. It doesn't seem to care what I feed it as it all goes "bang" but its accuracy isn't much better than a .22LR.
    By comparison, my Rem. 700 in .243 has a 200 yd. zero with a 3-9x scope and I have put 7 shot string on paper that was about 1.5" x 2".
     
  8. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    Moving to Rifles.
     
  9. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Another post about AKs
    Must be some good dope going around. Is this another post from that video game guy.
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    For some reason, the current American shooting community is cultist about accuracy. And since the group think is all about pin hole accuracy, people see pin hole accuracy in platforms that were never meant to be a target rifle. Nor can they imagine there were other requirements driving battle rifle design. The AK was designed and built in a period when the National security of the USSR was not exactly certain. Germans almost made it to Moscow and the memories of the first year of the war were strong. Take a look at this, this is the number of men, tanks, and artillery pieces the Soviets lost in the first year!

    oA07Myb.jpg

    While this is about Soviet Submachine guns, it ought to give a clue that the issues about weapons designs were wider than one hole groups.


    Soviet Submachine Guns of World War II

    The PPS

    As good as the PPSH 41 undoubtedly was, the continuing war with German quickly compelled a rethink of the Red Army’s small arms needs. Shpagin’s attention to mass production meant that the PPSH-41 was a seminal leap forward compared to guns like the PPD, but the fact remained that by 1942 the Soviet ordnance authorities were still looking for ways in which submachine gun output could be streamlined even further.

    Another problem with the PPSH-41 was that its layout involved a fixed wooden stock. While this was sell suited to the robust knockabout life of the infantryman, for specialist troops such as engineers, armored vehicle crews and reconnaissance troops, the 836 mm overall length of the PPSH-41 still proved to be something of a problem in terms of storing and carriage. The gun was also heavy, 3.64 kg even without filling the drum or box magazine with cartridges.

    This it was in 1942 that criteria were issued for the design of a new SMG. The limitations placed upon the design were demanding:

    Majority of parts made from 2-3mm hot rolled steel stamping
    Milling work for each weapon kept to a limit of 3-3.5 hours
    Metal wastage during production limited to 30-40 per cent
    Rate of fire limited to 400-500 rds/min

    What follows is a description of contending models.

    Yet it was the weapon submitted by Sudayev that really started to grab and hold the attention of the trials staff. Fires tested between 26 April and 12 May 1942, the gun was again open bolt blowback, with a full auto only trigger mechanism and an extremely economical use of metal both in the receiver and barrel cover and the folding stock. The stock extended the gun measured 889 mm overall, but fold the stock down underneath the receiver and total length dropped to 635 mm, and ideal length for storage.

    The gun was effectively a tribute to the processes of metal stamping and welding. Just 2.7 hours of machining were needed to make a PPS and only 6.2 kg of metal, less than half that required for th PPSH-41. Gebhardt notes that:

    The Sudayev design used half as much metal and took almost one their less time to make. This meant for the production program at the July 1942 level (135,000 units), when the PPS was approved for production, the replacement of the PPSH-41 by the PPS offered a monthly saving of 1,000 to 1,100 tons of metal and a reduction in machine time and man hours of 55 to 60 percent. Over the course of 5 to 6 months, the existing productive resources could produce up to 300 to 350 thousand submachine guns per month without additional resource expenditure. (Gebhardt 1997)


    Major wars between industrialized countries is a meat grinder, and they don't end till the meat supply runs out. No combatant had the time to train recruits to any but a rudimentary level of marksmanship before the individual arrived at the battlefield. Our last gunclub WW2 veteran had 20 rounds of familiarization before landing on Iwo Jima. And he was given a new M1 carbine on entering the troop ship, so he had no chance to zero his weapon before arriving on the beach. My Uncle, 101 Airborne, his group had 8 rounds of familiarization with their 1919 machine gun before dropping in France on D Day. These are not atypical, I have read enough WW2 stories to find American's in invasion boats who did not know how to load the weapons they were given.

    Weapon design was all about producing a cheap, fast to produce, reliable weapon that was more or less intuitive to operate and maintain. I found in reports from the 1950's, in the tests of rifles that were to replace the Garand, and 6 MOA groups were common for rifle candidates.

    @Hummer70 wrote this

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5424409


    Your test vehicle is likely to give different results because a bolt gun is a totally different animal than a gas gun. IF your rifle is set up right both lugs are contacting equally and the barrel may be contacting front of receiver 360° around and your bolt face may be square.

    The M14 in issue condition is known as the worst performing rifle we ever fielded. I worked product engineering for the Army Small Cal Lab at Picatinny Arsenal and I had engineering responsibility for the M14 until the Chief transferred me to the Dover Devil MG project. While there my board was adjacent to Julio Savioli who was the draftsman for the M14 rifle and his name is on all the drawings for it. Al Cole was engineer in charge of the M14 and he was also a friend. Savy (as we called him) was a wealth of information on the M14 and had all kinds of stories about it as he not only did the drawings, he was in on the field testing.

    First off consider the requirement facts from the engineering files from the government weapons production efforts.

    1. acceptance accuracy for 1903 Springfield was 3" at 100 yards.
    2. acceptance accuracy for M1 Garand was 5" at 100 yards.
    3. acceptance accuracy for M14 was 5.5" at 100 yards and was waivered continually as it could not meet that.
    4. acceptance accuracy for M16 series is 4.5" at 100 yards.

    From SAAMI we have a recommendation of 3" at 100 yards and it is up to the vendor whether he wants to meet this or not.

    H&R also made M14s and M1s and the contracts were shut down due to poor QA.

    The M14 if rebuilt correctly and very few can do so is capable of acceptable accuracy. For instance the Army MTU rebuild program with rifle fired from machine rest was 10 shots in 4.5" at 300 yards. Some would go to 3" but rarely. A good bolt gun will shoot in 2" at 300 yards.

    The TRW weapons were at one time thought to be good but MTU set up some exotic measurement fixture and figured out the threads in the receiver were not at right angle to the front of the receiver and from then on all their builds were on SA receivers.



    While there could be MOA or sub MOA standard issue AK's around, I think the number reported actually exceeds the number built. If wishes were fishes sort of thing.
     
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  11. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Another largely bs post. I personally was issued an M14 and was able to put 9 out of 10 shots in the same hole at sightin
    Many of us were able to hit pop up targets from standard shooting positions out to 600 meters. All AK posts end up with ridiculous claims and bs.
    The AK was as already stated produced as a shot range full auto spray weapon. In no way is accuracy in anyway equivalent to any US. Weapon. As an expert with them I can say so with experience and authority .
     
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  12. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I think theres a lot of BS and misinformation on both sides. ;)

    I think a lack of any real experience, beyond some basic familiarization, if that, is a big part of the problem too.

    If you're a reasonable rifle shooter, then you shouldn't have too much trouble making decent hits with an AK, than anything else at reasonable ranges, as long as you shoot it like an AK. They arent target rifles, but they arent dogs either. But of course, if you cant hit anything with it, its got to be the guns fault, right? :p

    Just as an example, these two targets were shot at 100 yards, from a cross legged sitting position, one with a Springfield SOCOM M1A, one with one of my AK's, and at this point, I cant remember which one, but it really doesnt matter, they all shot about the same. Both guns had a forward mounted Aimpoint on them. Ammo was just basic ball type ammo.


    You tell me which one shot which. Im gettng CRS an cant remember. :)

    8WJYzQR_q_dc-F5BNyntOLdWDP5ZdA7LI-ODz--QyhzMJ_x0zYcVKDA_C5d?cn=THISLIFE&res=medium&ts=1190387761.jpg


    One thing that I found makes a big difference with any of them, is an Aimpoiint, or other decent red dots. For these types of rifles, they just make shooting them in a more realistic fashion, a lot easier, and making good hits, a lot quicker.

    The best mount Ive found for the AK's is the Ultimak forward handguard rail. With the right mount, you should be able to cowitness the irons to the dot, and the optic is up front, out of the way of both your peripheral vision, and any handling issues. The gun shoulders and shoots naturally, like you were shooting just irons, and you get that same cheek weld.

    I have both AR's and AK's with Aimpoints mounted on them, and when shooting them in a similar fashion, the hits on target are very much alike. If one was 5.56 and the other 5.45, you probably wouldn't be able to tell which target was shot by which gun.

    If I want to shoot a HP type rifle match, with open sights, no doubt, the AR gets the nod, hands down, simply because they have "target" type sights.

    But that AR, isnt the same AR as the guns with the red dots on them either. You have to compare apples to apples, if you want fair comparisons. And thats often a whole other argument, even with guns of the same type.
     
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  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I wanted an "all original" GI M14, at least as close as I could make it, given that GI receivers are machine guns. Everything on this rifle, except for the receiver, is GI

    KICmbIx.jpg

    Ga4R4LK.jpg

    GI barrel too, they have gotten expensive. Cheated by installing a GI National Match rear.
    hf2wPrU.jpg

    Also cheated by sending the rifle to a gunsmith who unitized the gas cylinder, trigger job, reamed out the flash suppressor, glass bedded the action. So it is an all GI NM fantasy rifle.

    I shot it in a couple of NRA Across the course matches and it was very hard to shoot accurately. It was too light in rapid fire, even with lead shot and pennies in the buttstock. The lightweight forend bent easily and unpredictably with slight changes in sling tension. It was just too touchy about sling tension. On the hundred yard reduced, it would hold the eight ring of the 600 yard reduced with the GI chromed barrel and match ammunition. Most of the shots were in the ten and nine ring, but a few were out in the eight. That GI barrel is very slender and sling tension bent it. The flash suppressor had to be reamed out with a special reamer as the GI configuration was too small and would hit bullets going through it. That was learned very earlier on. As was unitizing the gas cylinder and the upper band. Even with all the match modifications it was not a match grade rifle. The Infantry school wanted something that was only slightly heavier than an M1 carbine but fired a 30-06 equivalent round, and was controllable in full automatic fire. Can't have everything:

    We must learn to tailor our concepts to fit reality, instead of trying to stuff reality into our concepts. ~ Victor Daniels

    While I did not own a GI M14, I did shoot out barrels in my Super Match M1a
    srQuvtn.jpg
    This rifle has a beefy stock which is much heavier and stiffer than GI, a heavy match barrel, Sights were NM of course. It was an accurate rifle and I earned my Distinguished Rifleman badge with the thing. If you moved the target close enough, I could shoot one hole groups. Such feats became more difficult when the target was moved out. I would not want to have it as a combat rifle as it weighs over 12 lbs. I loved the thing as a match rifle, never had a malfunction due to the rifle.

    I have talked to Vietnam era Grunts who used and carried the M14 in combat. They took it for granted, and when they were given the M16, took that for granted too. At least the later M16's. About the only valid comment I heard was the combat load. The combat load for an M14 was 200 rounds, the M16 400 rounds. The more bullets, the more fun there is to be had!

    did anyone get killed with a bayonet on an M14 or M16?

    KnTAyBV.jpg


    No doubt the shooter is hearing sweet words of encouragement

    EFsPKBR.jpg
     
  14. David Hoback

    David Hoback member

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    This was a good bit of info from some years back. https://www.m14forum.com/threads/service-rifle-accuracy.189461/

    R
    egardless of what Military standards were(with good ol’ CRAPPY military ammo), many of us know what US rifles can do. Given of course, better loaded ammunition. But the same can not be said for the AK. The AK’s accuracy is not drastically influenced by going from Wolf to better quality ammo. But we do wee an accurate one once in awhile.
     
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  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That post is full of denial. Just another person trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.

    @Hummer70 was a test engineer at Aberdeen and I did not copy this preamble from the above post:

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5424409

    Your test vehicle is likely to give different results because a bolt gun is a totally different animal than a gas gun. IF your rifle is set up right both lugs are contacting equally and the barrel may be contacting front of receiver 360° around and your bolt face may be square.

    The M14 in issue condition is known as the worst performing rifle we ever fielded. I worked product engineering for the Army Small Cal Lab at Picatinny Arsenal and I had engineering responsibility for the M14 until the Chief transferred me to the Dover Devil MG project. While there my board was adjacent to Julio Savioli who was the draftsman for the M14 rifle and his name is on all the drawings for it. Al Cole was engineer in charge of the M14 and he was also a friend. Savy (as we called him) was a wealth of information on the M14 and had all kinds of stories about it as he not only did the drawings, he was in on the field testing.


    here are some other of Hummer70's qualifications:

    Distinguished Rifleman High Power & Smallbore Prone
    President's Hundred (Rifle) US Palma Teams(2)
    US Dewar Team (2),4 Man Natl.Champ Team

    There are considerable discrepancies between on line documentation and the requirements that were contracted for, then wavered, then changed by Program Offices. What is on line are old documents that were never updated. By the way, the commercial world is the same. I recently removed the heater core from a late model vehicle. There were a vast number of electrical connectors that needed to be disconnected as the dash had to be removed. Even though I have a book box of factory manuals for that vehicle, none of the electrical connector pictures and descriptions in the manuals reflect the as built configuration of the vehicle! Thank goodness for digital camera's as I took a picture of each and every electrical line and connector. And I would never have gotten them all connected correctly without the pictures.
     
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  16. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I heard that someone said.
     
  17. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Sa
    I and others shot the real rifle. Are you saying that you could have just as well used an AK. My experience is with actual issued M14. The AMU and sniper versions that my friend shot were even better. I don't think that your experience has much bearing . In any case, if you're arguing that an AR and M14 are equivalent you have no credibility and neither does hearsay.
     
  18. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    LOL. Thats always been the problem, and then it's off and running through the gun shops and the internet and only expands from there, until its "four inch, full auto groups, shot offhand at 100 meters with an M14 loaded with tracer".:p

    There is only one way to find out though, and the only true reality is printed on the bottom of the Missouri license plates. :)

    And dont take any wooden nickles or put much faith in war stories. ;)
     
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  19. David Hoback

    David Hoback member

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    Well look, the M16 made the M14 it’s little BISH! Far more effective! Far more accurate. Easy to carry, to handle & shoot!

    It also looks better & has “morphed” into a better, tougher & more accurate weapon. Where as the M14 has remained… the same!
     
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  20. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Agreed. Let's have a match
    Your AK and my AR. I bet $100 I win.
    New M14 rifles are not available or I would bet against your AK with that too.
    Rifles made with clone parts and worn out parts are hardly credible
    I resent being called a liar but sense I have no proof of 50 year ago events I accept your skepticism.
     
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  21. David Hoback

    David Hoback member

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    Who’s AK?? I don’t have any… I parted with the AK platform in 2007.
     
  22. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I didnt see the issue M14's were any better than the M1's, and the standard grade M1A's weren't really any different (not getting into the match guns here) and neither of them are better shooters than an AR/M-whatever. The latter have been dominating the matches for years, if not decades now.

    No ones calling anyone a liar, all Im saying is, if you can shoot, the AK's arent the dogs youre always told they are. Thats all. And if you cant hit anything with one, dont be in such a hurry to blame the gun. ;)
     
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  23. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    AKs are a good solid semi auto carbine. Simple, reliable.
     
  24. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    As match rifles, the AR15 displaced the M1a/M14. The last year the USMC used the M14 at Camp Perry for NRA across the course was 1996. I talked to the Armorer's, their standard for accuracy for a match M14 was ten shot three inch groups at 300 yards. They were given barrels, so they had every barrel brand conceivable on the firing line. Only half the team had M14's, the other half had match M16's. Incidentally there was a shoot off between a USMC Marine and a AMU at 200 yards. The AMU shooter out X'd the Marine shooter.

    In 1997 I asked the USMC team members how their match M16's were doing. The guys I talked to said "same offhand, better in the rapids, not as good at 600 yards". That was pretty much my experience. A good shooter would have much higher X counts with the AR15 in the rapids. The 223 rifle has a negligible recoil compared with a 308 Win and that is reflected on target. The ballistics of the 223 rounds at 600 yards were slightly inferior at 600 yards to the 308 Win, but the difference between the best long range scores was maybe a point and X's. The winners shot better offhand scores, cleaned the rapids, and did not have train wrecks at 600 yards.

    A friend of mine was frustrated, he was a High Master, shot a 200-17X sitting rapid fire, and was not even in the top ten shooters. He asked "what do I have to do!". The 223 round replaced the 308 Win as a service rifle round primarily due to recoil. The service rifle shooters changed the rules so the AR10 was declared a service rifle. This was because, the service rifle teams were tired of being whacked at 1000 yards by civilians with Garands and M1a's. An AR15/M16 with a 20 inch barrel is not competitive at 1000 yards, the bullet floats in the wind.

    The USMC was not shooting an issued M14. They were using rifles that had the beefy stocks, heavy match barrels, and all the match modifications. The receivers were original GI, and I remember USMC shooter Julia Watson won the service rifle National Championship with a match M14, and then during NRA week, her receiver cracked near the rear sight, and her rifle began flinging rounds at 600 yards. She was leading the pack till then. At her level of competition, train wrecks are non recoverable.

    I have no idea what you mean by saying I could have just as well used an AK. I have no idea what Sa means. I am not up on the latest cool kid slang. I do try to use English. While I have not shot "the actual rifle" (M14), I have shot what I was legally able to shoot.

    I assume you are no longer active duty, so you cannot prove your prowess with an actual, real M14 in any paper punching matches. That's a shame, I would like to have seen your score on the standard Across the Course match with an issue M14 rifle and ammunition. Which proves nothing in a combat environment. I pulled many a target with actual combat veterans. NRA precision competition shooting is a game, only dimly related to actual combat.
     
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  25. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    Try this test with two of your buddies. Before you do this test plink some targets at 200 m to get everyone practiced up. First place a torso silhouette on the ground at 200 meters. Each shooter takes turns shooting from a field position. First up is the AR15 Each shooter is timed while they achieve 20 hits. Repeat for the AK74. Then repeat with an M1A. Average the times for each rifle to get an idea of practical accuracy in the field for each platform. I bet you will learn something.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
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