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So I think I finally got my BAR to where I'm pretty happy with it.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hometheaterman, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. hometheaterman

    hometheaterman Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    So I did some more shooting with my Browning BAR today. This time I used Federal Fusion 150 grain factory ammo instead of re loads or Federal Power Shok ammo. I remember back a couple of years ago, I tried all sorts of ammo and got the best groups with the Fusions. However, I'd quit using them as when I first started using Power Shoks it seemed like my groups were only slightly bigger, but they cost $14 a box instead of the $30 the Fusions had gone up to at the time. Anyway, I decided it's time to try them again.

    I shot 4 of them when testing my re loads initially when I had the problem with the first shot from a cold bore being several inches high. This was no exception with the Fusions as they did it to.

    So to try to fix the issue with throwing the first shot high I switched forearms. I noticed that on the receiver end my original forearm was really loose. I had sanded it down to free float the barrel as best you could, but even before that it was loose on the receiver end of it. So I had an extra one, and it fit pretty tight. Not rock solid, but doesn't really move either. This one does touch the barrel in two spots, but I didn't worry about that and just tried it. This seemed to fix the issue with it throwing the first shot. So I think that may have been my issue. Since it quit throwing the first shot, but still wouldn't group well, I decided to try the Fusions once again.

    So this is the first group I shot.

    As you can see two shots went really high and one went to the right. I do have to say that the one to the right was my fault. When I shot one of the shots, I saw the crosshairs jump to the right as I pulled the trigger.

    I'm not sure what the deal is with the two high ones. They were not the first shots of any group. I will admit though, I fired both of them pretty quickly after the first ones of the group so I'm wondering if I wasn't fully settled down from the first shot and I pulled because of it. The other 7 shots of the group measure right at exactly 2".

    So since I saw how it was grouping, but it was grouping low I decided to bring the scope up 10 clicks and then I shot this group.
    The one way over to the right marked 2, was not part of this group. This group had the two low shots, but measured exactly 2.5".

    I then moved over to the part of the target and shot a 8 shot group.
    Where you see it torn around the bullseye is actually 5 shots that just ripped one big hole. Then there is another shot right there also, but not touching. Then there were two that were a little further away. I'm not sure if I pulled on those, or not. If I measure from furthest to furthest, this group is 2.25".

    So I realized, that I just need to stick with the Federal Fusion ammo, then I will get groups around 2" instead of the crappy 4" groups I was getting.

    Since Browning says 2" is about all this group should do, I'm now rethinking sending the gun in. I was planning to send it in as I wasn't getting good groups at all, but after seeing this I'm thinking they will see that it shoots this well with one type of ammo and just send it back unchanged.

    So do these groups look decent for a BAR? Like I said, some of the holes touch, others are an inch or so off, but it's really hard for me to tell if I'm pulling or not. I don't pull like this with my other rifle, but it's also a smaller lighter kicking caliber.
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Feb 16, 2003
    Ft. Worth
    I'm glad you finally found something that works. I've been following your threads and I think I posted in one or 2 over the last year about how happy I was with my own BAR.

    It's still strange that it's so picky about ammo so I still might consider sending it back out of curiosity if nothing else, as long as the cost wasn't much.

    But, it certainly is capable of 2" or less now so I wouldn't blame you if you just stopped here :)

    But yeah that's about what mine look like, 1-2 inches pretty regularly, 1" groups being pretty rare but it's happened.
  3. John Wayne

    John Wayne Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    In my (limited) experience, sporter weight barrels sometimes work better when they're not free-floated. Your sanding the forearm might have been what caused your accuracy problems.

    To be honest, if you have doubts about whether or not you are shooting the rifle well, there is no way to tell if the rifle is doing its job. I would let a friend or someone else you know who is a consistantly good shot fire the rifle, and see how they do with it before making a decision.

    Browning's 2" claim is also likely based on a 3-shot group, not the 8-shot ones you fired. They may also be factoring in for a "first-shot-flyer" that sometimes happens with semiautos--sometimes the round you hand-cycled into the chamber (i.e. the first round) will not land in the same place as the rest of the rounds, which were chambered by the gun's action cycling automatically.

    So, I would first try shooting 3 shot groups. Also, let a friend shoot the rifle and see how he does. You can also test the first shot flyer thing by loading the rifle to capacity, firing the first shot at a distant rock or something, then shooting a 3-shot group as usual. Also can't hurt to try different brands of ammo or different handloads. I've found Hornady's Factory Custom BTSP loads to be excellent for accuracy, and a little cheaper than Federal's Fusion line.

    I'm sure you probably already know this, but also be sure the barrel is not resting on anything when you're shooting, and that the barrel doesn't get too hot when firing.
  4. hometheaterman

    hometheaterman Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    Well, the gun didn't shoot worth a crap when it wasn't free floated, so that's what led me to trying it. Afterwards, it shot no better. Anyway, this forearm appears to be cut like it is supposed to be free floated and it doesn't touch on one side of the barrel, but on the other side it touches in two spots. One where the forearm on the inside angles in, and one at the end. On the other side both of these spots are not touching the barrel.

    As for me shooting the rifle well, I'm not sure. I know I used to have a bad problem with flinching with this rifle, as with the plastic butt plate, it just hurt to shoot in a t shirt. I bought a limbsaver slip on recoil pad that made this rifle one that you can shoot all day and not feel a think. However, I noticed a flinch was still there. I think I've gotten it to go away, but every once in a while like that one way to the right on that first group, I felt myself pull. However, I've had other guys that are better shots than me shoot this rifle too, and they don't get any better groups. Mostly when trying other ammo and getting 4"+ groups though as I've only had one other guy shoot it with this ammo, but it grouped about like this for him too.

    As for a 3 shot group, I realize that that is probably the case. However, I marked each 3 shot group. That's what the numbers you see next to the holes are. The 3 shot groups still seem to be in the 2" range. When firing more rounds, it just seems to fill in some of the space in between the first 3 shots. BTW it was a 10 shot group, not 8, but I those two high ones I'm thinking I just have pulled on or something. I didn't feel that I pulled, but I did fire it quickly after a previous shot and didn't do my proper breathing technique. Once I quit doing this and took my time to re aim the rifle and breathe for a bit, I didn't have these huge fliers like that.

    As for the first shot flier, I was having that issue. However, it seems to have gone away. None of the fliers were first shots. I didn't think I had that issue when I first got this rifle, but I noticed the last few times I was out, that the first shot from a cold bore was a flier. Not from a clean bore, just from a cold one. Each time I let the gun cool it would throw the first shot after cooling. I thought it might be me cycling the first round by hand after reading about it on here, but it didn't seem to matter. As long as the gun was cold it didn't seem to matter how it closed, it seemed to throw the first shot. I changed forearms as my original forearm was pretty loose around the receiver and would move maybe 1/4" or so. This one is pretty solid, but still moves a tiny bit, not much though. I hope that it doesn't loosen up over time, but I don't think the original forearm was originally that bad though. Anyway, after changing forearms to one that is pretty tight at the receiver, the first shot fliers went away.

    As for different brands of ammo, I've tried ammo, tried ammo, and tried more ammo, until I've both spent quite a few hundreds on ammo for this gun, as well as firing a ton of rounds though this rifle. Now, I've not tried a ton of hand loads. Only tried two different powders and one bullet. I'd like to find a handload that shoots well as they are soo much cheaper.

    Anyway, as far as factory ammo, I've tried Winchester 165 Grain Soft Points, Winchester 150 Grain Power Points, Winchester 150 Grain Silver Tips, Winchester 150 Grain Ballistic Tips, Remington 165 Grain Core Lokts(or was it 168 grain?) I can't remember, Federal Power Shoks, Federal Fusions, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. None of them shot well at all except the Fusions, with the Power Shoks coming in second. I originally was getting 2-3" groups with them which isn't much worse. However, recently I've been getting 4" groups with them with 3" ones on occasion. I'm not sure if they changed something, or what the deal is.

    So as you can see I've tried quite a few kinds of factory ammo and the Fusions are the best I've found. The only thing I've not tried is any 180 grain bullets.
  5. biggameballs

    biggameballs Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Are you maiking sure all the oil is out of your barrel before your shooting? If you have oil in your barrel it will always take 2 or 3 shots before your gun groups well.
  6. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Mobile, Alabama
    2" groups are the norm for a BAR
  7. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    Except, in my experience, the ones with the BOSS on em. Love it or hate it, my experience with the BOSS seems to indicate it is rather effective. My uncle had a 7mm Rem Mag Abolt with a BOSS that was surgically accurate. He wanted something bigger for bear, so he traded it towards a BAR in .338 Win, also with a BOSS. I watched him tinker with that thing over the course of a couple boxes of 225 gr Winchester Power Points. His groups shrank from about 2.5 inches to just over an inch.

    I actually am quite fond of that rifle. It's kinda heavy and the BOSS does throw off the aesthetics, but the weight, BOSS, and gas operation all make that thing a pussy cat to shoot. It actually feels more mild than my M1A, as I remember it, and I can shoot my M1A all day long.

    Anyways, glad you got your rifle shooting a little better.
  8. Finprof

    Finprof Member

    Jan 12, 2010
    Princeton Junction NJ

    I have an old one from 1972. It hasn't been shot very much, but it will shoot a bit under 2 inches at 100 yards with regular Remington 150 grain 30/06 loads.
    I like the lack of recoil for this gun. I was shooting my 700 in .280 and the BAR the same day and the difference is amazing.
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