It was a very nice afternoon at the range today. Sunny, humid, and 83°F and enough mirage to make a spotting scope useless at 200 yards.
This was the first trip since I finished building my project gun where I could relax and work on marksmanship skills without having to tune or adjust the rifle. Using decent ammunition is a plus here. I don't know how companies get away with it, but 7.62x51 NATO - especially stuff made in Turkey (ZQI) is horribly inaccurate. Since January I thought the nasty shot groups were a result of my very rusty technique, a bad scope, or a lingering problem with the gun (or a combination I was missing). After tearing down almost 50 rounds of 7.62x51 from various companies I found that they had much more variability in powder charge - they weren't anywhere near as consistent as I expect NATO certified ammo to be.
So, for this trip, I focused on a box of Remington .308 hunting ammunition - soft point projectiles meant for deer - and a box of Federal Premium match grade. What a difference it made! Starting at 100 yards with the Remington, I was able to put 5 rounds in a 1 3/8" square from 100 yards. I moved out to 200 yards and while the spread doubled, it was still under 1.5 minutes of angle at 200 yards for the deer rounds - much better than expected! Switching to the Federal match grade ammunition, the first thing I noticed was that they fly a much flatter trajectory. They were slightly more accurate as well - about 1.2 MOA at 200 yards.
Meet my internet project - an AR platform rifle in .308 Winchester. All parts shipped to my door except the lower receiver - that was shipped to a local FFL where I did a normal background check. Thankfully the rifle breaks down easily - it wouldn't fit in the SMART otherwise.
AR-10, 20" barrel, Fixed A2 stock, and a Midwest Industries free-float foregrip. The basic Weaver scope is 2.5-7 power - I shoot at 4x.
Five rounds of Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain soft point at 100 yards. The outer red square is 1 15/16" on a side.
I've got plenty of work to do to shake the cobwebs out of my skills, but if today's an indication, I'm one step farther down the road towards a divorce from the industrial meat system.