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Most accurate military rifle, bolt and auto

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tark, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. MCMXI
    • Contributing Member

    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I've shot a lot of Lee-Enfield No4 Mk2 rifles and found them to be quite accurate, but also shot a friend's M1 Garand in a special Service Rifle match (200, 300 & 600 yards) and was very impressed at how easy it was to keep hits in the 10 ring. The front sight fell off during the first string at 300 yards and the operating rod fell off during the second string but it was a shooter for sure.

    This isn't what you're looking for but my Accuracy International AW (.308 Win), AWM (.300 Win Mag) and AWM (.338 Lapua Mag) were all issued in the first and second Gulf wars to British troops and they are by far the most accurate bolt action rifles I've ever owned. I also have an AI AXMC but don't know if that's been used in any conflicts yet.
     
  2. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    For a military issued bolt rifle the most accurate I have ever fired was the K-31 with GP11 ammo.

    For a semi auto it would absolutely be the M-39 EMR using, if I remember correctly, M118LR that I was issued after becoming a designated marksman but it wouldn't qualify for the purposes of this discussion as it had a scope as issued.
     
  3. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    As far as bolt actions, I've fired '03's, Enfields, and Swedish Mausers, I'd have to give the nod to the Swede.

    In semi's, I've shot M-1, Carbine, SKS, and M-14. The M-14 earned me an Expert badge, so I'll go with that. I hit pop up targets at 600 meters with it, today I probably couldn't even see the target, let alone hit it with steel sights. lol
     
  4. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    5"/54 Mk 12 naval rifle. Put ten rounds into 600' circle at 20,000 yards. Which is around 0.5MOA

    Problem is in the premise. Infantry weapons are not typically meant to be super accurate. Most of the WWII bolt actions only had to meet a 3-4 MOA standard for acceptance. Some of the semi-autos are 4-5 MOA.

    Can some of those weapons, in ideal conditions, over a bench, do better--certainly. I've shot a No.4 and a 03A3 into 6" at 300 yards. I've put 10 rounds though a BAR into 9" at 300 too, which actually defeats the purpose, BAR is supposed to make a beaten zone, not figurative cloverleafs.

    I have a passing acquaintance who makes a habit of using a mosin at 600 yards and making a 12-14" group with bog-standard 7.62x54r. The rest and the sandbags keep him pretty static.
     
  5. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    Bolt action: Swiss 1896/11. What this rifle has that the k31 does not have, is a free floating barrel. Don’t get me wrong, the k31 is damned accurate (I have match rifles) but the 1896/11 takes the cake. The 1911 is also as accurate, however not the short rifle version, when the short rifle was made, they simply lopped the barrel ends off and the harmonics weren’t ideal as it turns out. They also lost the free floating aspect.

    Semi auto: this is not a glamorous answer, but versions of the m16 have been phenomenally accurate. Which makes sense because we have the most modern knowledge to accurize these. Are we counting free floating DMR variants? If we’re looking for a retired older gun, I’ll say the Swedish Ljungman.
     
  6. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    I can't say it was terrifically accurate, but a 91/30 Mosin Nagant. Made in 1939 it was a ton of fun ringing steel at 200+ yards with cheap steel case ammo.
     
  7. Zippy_the_slug

    Zippy_the_slug Member

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    Bolt: Finnish M39
    Semi-auto: M1A
     
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  8. czhen

    czhen Member

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    I'd go with surplus WWII
    K-31 7.5x55mm
    Swedish Mauser 6.5x55 mm.
    I haven't done nothing remarkable sadly with my M-16, Garand nor M14 just my fault.
     
  9. call1911

    call1911 Member

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    Just some food for thought.
    As many people mention Swedish Mauser in 6,5x55mm and also Swiss G11/K11/K31 in 7,5x55mm there are two things that come to mind.
    1) Maybe both weapon systems were built by well trained workers with great affection for their craftmanship. Good tools and good steel sure were not a problem in Sweden or Switzerland.
    2) Why I think that the Swedish Mausers have a slight advantage is the "inherent accuracy" of the 6,5x55mm caliber.
    When you look at the weapon/caliber choice of long range shooters you can clearly see that everybody is using 6-7mm calibers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
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  10. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    #1, absolutely. Also add the lack of wartime pressures on quantity vs quality. The same could be said for Germany, Belgium and the UK, but the pressures put on production by wartime needs, when the majority of rifles were produced, affected overall quality. #2, I'd say not so much. At long range, sure, the6.5x55 would have an advantage as would the very high BC bullet of the 7.92x57 196 as fielded by the Germans. Most replying to this thread are talking distance where BC is largely moot. I would add a number 3. Both Sweden and Switzerland had active Civilian marksmanship programs using a variant of the standard service rifle, as did the US and Finland, also known for accurate service rifles at the time.
     
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  11. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    Mention must be made of the Finn M28/30. Mine will shoot cloverleafs at 100 yards. I haven’t tried it any farther out. I have a Swede Mauser and a G1911, but I haven’t done any serious accuracy shooting with them. I’m sure they are more mechanically accurate than I am.
     
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  12. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    The more accurate stroke bolt gun for me was a Turkish Mauser shooting my Dad's reloads. As a teen, I could keep them inside an inch more often than not. Welding has taken a toll on my eyes and I can only dream of that now.
    Most accurate semi was my brother's Russian SKS. He got it never fired in the 90s. It's very accurate also.
    My Norinco is so so. Every mosin had been a dumpster fire. My krags are roughly 2 moa and the other is a dumpster fire.
     
  13. Kwahe

    Kwahe Member

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    One particular Mosin Nagant, Finn capture 91/30...
    One particular load: 47g AA4350 with a 174 g Sierra Match King
    Many one-ragged-hole 5-shot groups at 50 yards
    Sold ito_O
     
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  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Another is the lack of rings that would have constrained barrel vibration
     
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    knights mk11 mod0 (i'd go with the army M110 version but i have only shot/owned the navy version)

    do Accuracy International AIAW count?
     
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  16. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Bolt- EASILY and hands-down any K-31:

    vXZD4xMl.jpg

    39CWAn3l.jpg

    4p6Z0Tll.jpg

    Semi-auto- AR-15:

    This is NOT a match rifle in any way, shape or form. I built this from a plain ol' Delton kit from Midway and clamped on an El Cheapo aftermarket carry handle and sights. The ammunition is handloads using a Sierra 69 gr. HPBT. The range is 200 yds.

    2ilaPjxl.jpg

    DkLC9fgl.jpg

    35W
     
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  17. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Out of the few I've owned or fired, my as issued Swiss K31 is the most accurate milsurp I've ever fired.

    With a 4x scope on top of it and using GP11 ammo, it really can do near or at MOA groups.

    Edit to add:
    Here's a sighting in target using a 4x32 pistol scope mounted on the rear sight base with 4 separate 3-shot groups. Not the best set up, but it still gave results I wasn't expecting with a mil-surp gun.

    By the way, I returned my K31 to iron sights only. My middle aged eyes can't see well enough to repeat what the pistol scope allowed me to do, though.

    SwissK31targetweb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I’ve owned all the common ones and many uncommon

    my most accurate bolt actions were all MAS36’es even more so than the k31 in my experience.

    semi is my surplus 603 upper Ar
     
  19. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger member

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    For general issue stuff with general issue ammo (no DMR’s or sniper rifles):

    Swiss K-31 for the bolt gun category, my only other experiences were the Mosin-Nagant M44 and K98. The M44 was a dumpster fire, the K98 nothing to write home about, and the K-31 I still lust after.

    In the full auto category last issued M16 I had which was an A4 variant with the KAC quad rail fore end was most accurate by a narrow margin over the last Colt M16A2 I had. That particular M16A4 was made by FN. Other experiences with captured AK’s, and surplus SKS’s has demonstrated them to be mostly hot garbage in comparison. I’ve owned a few M1A’s, one as close to GI spec as you could get and it was pretty good, but the M16A4 would still be my pick because of vastly superior sights (ACOG). My experience with the G3 is too limited, and I’ve never fired a FAL. Never got a chance on the Brits abomination of a rifle but all the Brits we ran across in Iraq didn’t particularly like them.

    If we want to consider civvy versions of various military general issue long guns that stick very closely to as issued minus the full auto fire controls, then my overall winner is easily a Colt M4A1 roll marked carbine. Specifically an M4A1 SOCOM II, which differs from the .mil versions of that SOPMOD block by not being full auto and having a blocked lower where the trigger well is, and having a 16” M4A1 contour barrel instead of a 14.5” M4A1 contour barrel. Otherwise you get the medium contour (non tapered before the gas block journal) chrome lined barrel, with a Daniel Defense RIS II free float rail, and that combo is stupid accurate for a service grade carbine. I managed a sub MOA (.92”) 10 shot group with it at 100 yards with Black Hills MK262 77gr SMK.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  20. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    M4 carbine
     
  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    That's no fun. I had an M82 once upon a time that could put a round through an open 1 foot wide (ish) window and not move the curtains at 800 meters. With a scope obviously.

    Most accurate bolt gun for me was a 1903 Springfield. Cannot recall if it was the 30-03 or 30-06 load. It was one of those "here, shoot this" rifles someone had at a range.

    Most accurate auto gun was M14 in original and EBR forms. The EBR is the "rebirth" of the M14 with a polymer adjustable stock, scope, usually a bipod etc.
     
  22. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Uh oh, you marked on Carter's Country Target! [:)]
    Joking, yes, but was "yelled" at by an RO for labeling the targets I had taken down while packing up to leave. I mean, really, missing out on that 25¢ per target was just going to bankrupt them [:)]

    One of my college buddies used to complain that he had too accurate a weapon. His 8" howitzers were right at 2MOA at 15,000m, and at that distance they needed more spread. Mind, they took ten guys per tube, too. And a 5 ton truck for the ammo.
     
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  23. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Yeah, they got on to me one time for putting three 1" orange stickers on one of their targets. The R.O. (who is a nice guy) gave me a BS answer about someone putting up a pic of a ex-girlfriend on a target as the reason I couldn't put on orange stickers.
     
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  24. Conelrad

    Conelrad Member

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    Steyr SSG-69 & HK G3.

    Conelrad
     
  25. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Sadly, I associate that will all Carter Country interactions. Which is unfair of me. But, it did tend to send me to the range across the street from the TI plant (the name of which will pop up in my head in about 5 minutes--sigh)
     
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