I have a delema with a new barrel

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Eric Anderson, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    I put together a new AR-15 over Christmas. I was horrified the first time I shot it with IMI M193 and federal XM193 it looked like a shotgun pattern. I reset the barrel and retorqued the barrel nut when I got home.
    Went back and made some ladder loads with lots of different bullet/ powder combos. Also brought a mag of PPU .223 to warm up the barrel beforehand so everything is consistent.
    What I learned today:
    It wasn’t the barrel bedding or barrel nut. The PPU still looks like a shotgun shot the target. In fact, pretty sure a turkey choke throws a tighter group.

    The barrel shoots ok with several of the Norma bullets I tried.

    It really likes Barnes tsx 55 grain fun bullets on top of IMR 4895
    It’s best groups I was stacking bullet holes. unless I was having random fliers that completely missed paper, pretty sure I dropped a few rounds perfectly into a previous hole.

    Now my delema. Is it worth keeping this barrel? It is unusable with M193 or equivalent. It is marginal with Norma varmit bullets. The only thing it is MOA capable with is the most expensive bullet out there. AR-15’s are not exactly suited for low volume precision firing. I have other rifles much better suited.

    Has anyone else faced a similar situation? Had a barrel that only worked with premium ammunition. What did you do? Keep it, or buy another barrel?
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    WOW it sure sounds like the barrel.
     

  3. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    I had a 6.5 Grendel barrel that I couldn’t get to shoot under 2” (not as bad as yours!). I swapped it out for a Ranier Arms polygonally rifled match barrel. It is now shooting 1/2” at 100 and I shot a 1 1/2” 5 shot group at 300 just before deer season. I’ll get back on it once deer season goes out. I don’t want the gunfire on the farm right now.
     

  4. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    What is the twist rate? Rifles that shoot 55 Grs. accurately will not stabilize heavier bullets hence the shotgun pattern.

    Apology: I didn't realize that M 193 does in fact use a 55 Gr. bullet. Please disregard my comment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019

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