AR15 loss of accuracy - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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AR15 loss of accuracy

Hello, all.

I have a Bushmaster with the 20" heavy barrel A2 style sights, flash hider (came that way from the factory). Its stock, I've not done anything to it. I use the federal M193 ball ammo that its always been extremely accurate with. Its always been accurate with any kind of ammo I've fed it. Recently the accuracy kind of wained. I have maybe 4k rounds thru it. The bore still looks good. It started shooting unpredictably, though. Sometimes the zero kind of wanders but most of the time it looks more like I hit the target with a load of 4buck. Why would it suddenly start doing that? I haven't really changed anything, and I wouldn't think the barrel is shot out. What should I do? Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 04:52 PM
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

4 k rounds can certainly play a role in the loss of accuracy.
Rapid firing and all that will only speed the process up.
Copper fouling could be part of the problem , stuff like that.
With that being said , you said "suddenly" and that means different things to different people and I am not there first hand.
You say it looks like a load of 4 buck and again just what does that mean? 4 buck at 10 , 20 , 100yds?
all those things considered , 4 k rounds will effect the accuracy ...... to what degree?
Well , that depends but 4 k is hardly a "like new" barrel.
I'm willing to bet accuracy begun to wain before the 4 k mark esp if the ar was shot like many ar's are.
I won't even bother to suggest maybe improper cleaning techinques added to shorting the accuracy.
Could be a mix of everything.
I'd invest in some good copper remover and start there and see if it made me happy.
Of course there is always the possibilty that you are having an off day or learned a bad habit.
Changing the target you shoot at could play a role also , some shoot better with different types/sizes of bullseyes.
Lot of things to consider and it's hard if I aint here to see it all with you , but that's my opinion and I am just trying to help.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

See, I thought it was me at first so I shot some other guns, and had no problem. I think the rifle's becoming finicky about ammo, which was never the case before. It could be a bunch of things, like you said. I was thinking AR barrels were good for about 10k rounds, but maybe I was thinking wrong. I always took care of that rifle because it was expensive. I had it since the ban ended back in 2004. I'm not going to say I never rapid fired it, because I have, but I was really more impressed with its accuracy over ability to fire tons of ammo rapidly. That gets expensive quick, and I am a cheapskate. haha. So basically, when I'd take it to the range, I was shooting for accuracy. About the copper fouling remover, is that stuff safe for chrome lined barrels? I use Hoppe's 9 for cleaning as is, but I do have copper fouling stuff, but I've always been afraid to use it in a chrome lined barrel, fearing it'd no longer be chrome lined if I did.

I was thinking about getting a different AR or upper. I was thinking something in the M4 type configuration. What kind of accuracy is typical of either a Bushmaster or S&W?

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-31-2010, 08:24 PM
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

Your ar barrel will fire 10k rounds of course it's accuracy just won't be as it was.
Really depends on how much accuracy you want/need as to replacing it.
Hoppes 9 is not a good copper remover.
I'll go as far to say as it's terrible.
Your bore is lined with chrome , that makes it more resitant to copper fouling but 4 k with nothing but hoppes won't help.

Personally I like the foam cleaners , they are made by a few compaines , Break free has one and I use Wipeout mostly and am pleased and would use that in a chrome bore.
Sweet's 7.62 is good/great even but it's not a foamer and I wouldn't use that in a chrome lined bore.If you have fired 4 k rounds using only hoppes 9 , you got copper fouling no doubt. Layers of it actually.
I won't comment on the accuracy of any smith ar's as that leaves me without experience but as for Bushmaster , it'll shoot better than most can get from it with any ammo it favors. I assume the smith to be the same.
Keeping in mind , it's been noted that chorme lined bores are not the most accurate.

You certainly have to have copper fouling but as a side note , keep in mind ammo can and does change from lot to lot.
There is a chance your ar doesn't like the new ammo if it's a different lot , HOWEVER that is probably not a huge factor as you got other things to look at first but keep that in mind.
You need to remove your 4 k worth of fouling before you decide anything.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 03:27 AM
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

What is your definition of accurate? How big are the current groups compared to your original groups?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-01-2010, 12:41 PM
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

a couple of questions. scope or iron sights? latest test; hand held or sandbags/rest? your age? explaination on last question. over a couple of months my servive rifle competition scores tanked. had eyes checked/glasses made by a man specializing in shooting glasses. scores came back! bottom line, don't just blame equipment. check out all posibilities.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-02-2010, 03:10 AM
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Re: AR15 loss of accuracy

i can't believe it took till the last question to ask if shooting irons or scope. if scope, immediately check rings, mounts and if tight, swap scopes.

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