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Which of these ammo selections is going to be best for zeroing my rifle?

Discussion in 'Black Rifle Forum' started by arushus, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    I own an M4 with a non-chrome lined CMV 16" 1-9 barrel and carbine gas system. Im curious what everyone's opinion is on which is going to be the most accurate for zeroing my sights out of all the different types of ammo I own.

    MK318
    XM-193
    XM-856 tracer
    Winchester ZQ3313 5.56 64gr nosler bonded soft point
    PMC bronze .223
    Tulammo .223
    Hornady .223 55gr fmj brass
    Remington UMC 55gr fmj brass
    Hornady Super Performance Match 5.56 75gr BTHP (#81264)

    My choice would be the Hornady SPM ammo, but Im not sure if the 1-9 16" barrel will stabilize it...Assuming it does not stabilize it, which of these other ammo choices I already own should I use?
    Im not opposed to buying a different ammo I dont already have.
    Ive been thinking I should get some of the hornady SPM 5.56 in a 69gr or lighter/shorter selection. But feel free to suggest something I haven't already thought of..

    If this is a stupid newbie question that you feel is a waste of time, then Im sincerely sorry for the trouble. But, please try to keep the replies to constructive suggestions or tips. Ive been berated enough over on m4carbine for asking a question that somebody already asked three years ago that I should have been intently searching for on their archives instead of being such a tremendous drain on resources and an inexcusable waste of their precious time...

    Thanks everyone!
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    You should sight it in with whatever load you're going to be shooting out of it.
     

  3. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    Well my personal defense load is probably going to be the Winchester ZQ3313. But that could easily change as I become more informed on ammo choices. And I use whatever is cheapest for plinking. I suppose Winchester ZQ3313 is as good of a choice as any.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  4. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

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    Zero with 3313.

    I zero my SBR with XM193 at 50 yards. At that distance, XM855 and Hornady TAP T2 75gr all are inside the 4MOA dot of my Aimpoint, with even less shift at closer distances.

    Since you have a 1/9 barrel, the 75gr ammo may or may not hold a solid group at any significant distance - each barrel is different. Some 1/9 will do well with 75 grain, many will not.

    Each rifle is different in what particular load will produce the best groups. This can even change from lot to lot of the same ammo. Get out and try different loads in yours, and see what works the best in YOUR AR.
     
  5. Rule of thumb is faster twist for heavier bullets. Depending what you're going to do with your rifle, dialing it in with whatever ammo you're going to use makes the most sense. You might want to think about whether you want a 25yd battle zero or dialing it in a 50yds. Crossover points will vary, so again, it goes back to what you intend to do with the rifle.

    Assuming a 55gr bullet moving at 3200fps, zeroed at 25 yds, you'll be 3.7" high at 150yds and back on at 270 yds ending up 2.36" low at 300. Same load with a 50 yd zero, it crosses back over at 150yds, but the highest it gets is .53" at 100 yds, -1.81 at 200 and -9.81 at 300. Basically, if your shots are going to be inside 200, I'd zero at 50 and you can basically point and shoot, if you expect to go beyond that, I'd take a look at a 25yd zero.
     
  6. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    How far are you shooting, and at what?


    Probably will not make a great deal of difference what you're shooting, if all you do is punch paper for fun, 300 yds or less.
     
  7. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    Im pretty sure Im gonna go with the 50 yard/200 meter zero. If not then the 100 meter zero.
     
  8. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    Not zero, how far do you plan to shoot the rifle?


    A basic 50/200 zero, will be accurate enough, for most people, with most ammo types. You can shoot just about everything, and make hits on paper.


    If you're going to be doing longer shooting/your a better shooter, you might get to where you zero your rifle with a specific load, and are shooting for tight groups, vs just fun shooting for hits.


    If you're going to be shooting past 300m, or you're looking to shoot teeny tiny groups on paper, I would suggest a 100 yd zero, with the specific ammo you're shooting. Since you have such a wide range of ammo to shoot, I suggested something different, as I'm guessing you're just looking to have fun.
     
  9. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    It's not going to make a lick of practical difference at short to medium ranges.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  10. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    NE Oklahoma
    I want to be as accurate as possible with my personal defense ammo, and Im thinking that zeroing it will get me close enough for everything else. And I am just looking to have some fun right now, and deer hunt with it in a couple months. I do intend to trust my life to it if it ever comes to that... I dont see myself shooting past 300yds/m, but it would nice to be able to hit say an 8" or smaller target consistently at that range. I really dont know what kind of groups I can expect to get at that distance with a 16" barrel. But as Ive said, I do want to be as accurate as possible.
     
  11. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    Well, then you need to limit yourself to a choice of your ammo selection, or change your zero, depending upon what you're doing.


    You will not find a zero, that will shoot all of the loads you listed, to the same spot.
     
  12. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    Ya I do understand that, I was just listing them all so I could get an idea from you nice folks as to which I could expect to see the best groups with. I suppose what I will do is zero my sights with the ZQ3313 ammo, and then experiment with the cheap plinking ammo to see which one will shoot the best with that zero...
     
  13. cowboy1964

    cowboy1964

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    Here's another way to look at it: The Trijicon ACOG scope has drop markings from 100 to 800 yards. There is only one model ACOG for ALL 5.56-chambered guns, regardless of barrel length, ammo, twist, etc. Drop differences just don't amount to all that much. You're talking maybe 3 inches difference at 300 yards.

    But regardless, zero with your chosen defensive ammo and you're all set.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  14. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    Thank you for your help, I do appreciate it!

    Just out of curiosity what ammo do you use for defense, and what ammo do you use if youre trying to shoot the tightest groups?
     
  15. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    if you want to deer hunt with it, I'd say pick a 75 grain load, and stick with it. One load, one zero, cover everything.
     
  16. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    I agree, assuming my barrel will stabilize it. Id really like to be able to shoot MK262 ammo, but it is just too expensive for me to buy it and it turn out to be a waste because my barrel wont stabilize it.
     
  17. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    Well, I don't know much about hunting deer with 5.56 in small grain loads, but I'd look at the 55 grain TSX barnes bullet really hard.


    But again, I'd find a load I like, and stick with it.
     
  18. NeverMore1701

    NeverMore1701 Fear no Evil Platinum Member

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    The 62gr Fusions are supposed to do really well :dunno:
     
  19. arushus

    arushus Biggest Member

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    Ive heard that also...
     
  20. I'm no expert, and am shopping for my first AR.

    But basically, with rifles in general, the first thing to do is find a load that groups well, out of the types of bullets you'd generally want for your purpose.

    Buy one box of each, sit down at the bench with your gun, put 5 shots on target with load A at 100 yards. Go get that target, write the load on it, letting gun cool, and put up a fresh target. 5 shots with load B. Etc, with all your loads you bought. Take a break and then do it again, and again.

    Average the group size and see which load is most consistant and has smallest group size.

    As long as shots are on paper, don't worry about where the shots hit. Once you pick the load, then zero in with that one, and go buy some more boxes of that specific load.

    Keep the partial boxes of the failed loads for your next gun, or give them to your brother-in-law :)