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Accuracy Progression

This is a discussion on Accuracy Progression within the Accuracy forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Originally Posted by Allen Humphrey ough time getting a comfortable position given the relatively high line of sight through the scope. However, in the interest ...


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Old December 14th, 2016, 11:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Allen Humphrey View Post
ough time getting a comfortable position given the relatively high line of sight through the scope. However, in the interest of not changing any variables in the middle of the test, I'm going to stick with this method. At the end I'll try your suggestion.
Have you tried something like the Bradley Cheek Rest?
http://www.bradleycheekrest.com/

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Old December 15th, 2016, 07:35 PM   #17
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You've pretty much done everything you can do equipment wise to wrench out as much accuracy as you're going to get. This rifle seems to have all the normal match conditioning mods done short of a trigger job, which may already be done. I think you're good to go on the scope, it's shrunk your groups between 1.5-2MOA right off the bat.

I think you need to look at load development now. 40 grains of 4895 with a 168 leaves a whole lot of room to play with charge weights and tweak this load to get better groups. With that said ( I may be burned at the stake as a heretic on this board for saying this), the best match conditioned or sniper version of the M14/M1A is a 1MOA proposition. You may find a group that shoots .75MOA or better for awhile but it will open up as you shoot more and far faster than you'd see in a bolt gun. There's a reason all the service teams rebuilt their M14's every Winter between shooting seasons and when was the last time you saw an NRA High power champion use a service rifle?

Tweak your handload, might want to try some other powders and accept what you get.

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Old December 15th, 2016, 08:41 PM   #18
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You've pretty much done everything you can do equipment wise to wrench out as much accuracy as you're going to get. This rifle seems to have all the normal match conditioning mods done short of a trigger job, which may already be done. I think you're good to go on the scope, it's shrunk your groups between 1.5-2MOA right off the bat.

I think you need to look at load development now. 40 grains of 4895 with a 168 leaves a whole lot of room to play with charge weights and tweak this load to get better groups. With that said ( I may be burned at the stake as a heretic on this board for saying this), the best match conditioned or sniper version of the M14/M1A is a 1MOA proposition. You may find a group that shoots .75MOA or better for awhile but it will open up as you shoot more and far faster than you'd see in a bolt gun. There's a reason all the service teams rebuilt their M14's every Winter between shooting seasons and when was the last time you saw an NRA High power champion use a service rifle?

Tweak your handload, might want to try some other powders and accept what you get.
jaholder, you are correct but are forgetting the 'fun factor' of trying and flinging rounds downrange!

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Old December 16th, 2016, 07:09 AM   #19
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jaholder, we no longer burn heretics at the stake due to the EPA's ban on atmosphere polution, however, we still waterboard in the basement just for fun. Really getting below 1MOA is more training of the shooter than mechanical adjustment of the rifle and that takes lots and lots of trigger time and we all hate that.

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Old December 16th, 2016, 11:10 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jaholder View Post
You've pretty much done everything you can do equipment wise to wrench out as much accuracy as you're going to get. This rifle seems to have all the normal match conditioning mods done short of a trigger job, which may already be done. I think you're good to go on the scope, it's shrunk your groups between 1.5-2MOA right off the bat.
I think it is just about there. However, I have not shot it yet with the NM spring guide (Low expectations for improvement). Items remaining for me to test:

Adjustable gas plug (low expectations)
NM flash (low expectations)
trigger tune (Moderate expectations)
more barrel draw (moderate expectations)

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Last edited by XXIV Corps; December 16th, 2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2016, 11:54 AM   #21
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...
trigger tune (Moderate expectations)
...
--------------------
A 'good trigger' can make a big difference when shooting in standing position. In 'supported positions', not as much - but some.
Knowing how much trigger pressure you can exert WITHOUT firing makes it easier to select exactly when you do fire. It doesn't really affect the 'accuracy of the rifle', but it makes a difference in the 'shootability of the rifle'.

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Old December 16th, 2016, 09:01 PM   #22
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jaholder, you are correct but are forgetting the 'fun factor' of trying and flinging rounds downrange!
Total agreement. I think it's time to get the rifle to the range, find that Perfect Load and start doing what this stick was made to do - Tear up targets!

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Old December 16th, 2016, 09:03 PM   #23
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jaholder, we no longer burn heretics at the stake due to the EPA's ban on atmosphere polution
Well crap, it's supposed to be only 20 degrees tomorrow. How am I gonna stay warm now?

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Old December 17th, 2016, 01:23 PM   #24
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As planned, I pulled the rifle apart and installed the LRB NM spring guide. Since the rifle is glass bedded it made sense to fully clean and lubricate the rifle while it was separated from the stock. Any and all of this activity could affect accuracy, at least for a while.

Temperature at the range was -1F this morning, so I kept the ammo in the clubhouse and went in to load the mag any time in needed to.

I fired three shots to foul and warm the barrel and to seat the action. However, all three went into the previous point of impact, so I felt that no further shots were necessary before starting the test.

The attached table and picture show that my group sized increased slightly with this change. The negative result could be due to the spring guide. It also could have been a function of the cleaning, tear-down, lubrication.....
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3v...ew?usp=sharing

[IMG][/IMG]

While I'm tempted to but the USGI guide back in, I'm going to leave it as is and move to the trigger for the next test, rather than disturbing the rifle again.

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Old December 17th, 2016, 01:58 PM   #25
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A single group really isn't enough to draw conclusions from, especially as you approach the point of diminishing returns. If you shoot multiple groups with the same ammo and rifle configuration, it is pretty normal to see some smaller groups and some larger, maybe +/- 20%. So in a single group, you don't really know if that was a smaller one or a bigger one. Military acceptance testing for an M14 match rifle was generally based on the average of 3 consecutive 10 shot groups.

IMO a couple of other things to evaluate in the group, which are somewhat subjective, are the roundness of the group and occurrence of "flyers." The groups you are getting are pretty round and consistent and are not showing random flyers well outside of the group, that's a very good thing and I definitely think you are on the right track to a really good rifle and load.

I'd rather have a rifle that prints consistent round 1.5 MOA groups with no flyers, than a sometimes 1 MOA rifle that throws occasional flyers out to 2 MOA. Or that shows horizontal or vertical stringing. Those are indicators of something that needs to be fixed.

I also think you are on the right track with trigger work next. Just be sure to have a talented M14 smith do the work, you can mess up a trigger pretty easily if you don't really know what you are doing... but the good news is that can be fixed with money, just replace the buggered parts and start over.

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Old December 17th, 2016, 02:21 PM   #26
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I'd rather have a rifle that prints consistent round 1.5 MOA groups with no flyers, than a sometimes 1 MOA rifle that throws occasional flyers out to 2 MOA.
Couldn't agree more!

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Old December 18th, 2016, 04:21 PM   #27
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It is a good weekend when you can get to the range both days!

After Saturday, I went home and worked on my trigger. I was breaking at 5lb 8oz with quite a bit of travel in the second stage. Ended up with 4lb 11oz. First stage is 3lb 8oz and I wish it was a bit heavier. Never the less, it felt quite good. All the previous mods are still on the rifle. Group improved a little.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3v...ew?usp=sharing

[IMG][/IMG]

I can see myself buying Art's adjustable trigger and HS hammer for this rifle.

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Old December 18th, 2016, 04:29 PM   #28
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After shooting my group with the tuned trigger, I went ahead and installed the adjustable gas plug. Set it to just cycle the action, no more.

Group shot well, although slightly worse than before. Too close to say for sure. The impact point did move slightly up. Brass now ejects to 5 o'clock vs 1 o'clock from before.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3v...ew?usp=sharing

vertical spread was quite small.
[IMG][/IMG]

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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:13 AM   #29
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As delivered, this rifle was bedded. The barrel draw at the front ferrule was set to what I'd probably describe as the "minimum acceptable" amount of draw.(subjective of course) My new unitized GC fit such that there was only the slightest amount of pull. At that time I had added enough shim between the GC lip and the Ferrule to make it like the original GC.

Since I'm still waiting for my pin reamer, I decided to add a little more shim to see the effect. I decided to shoot 20 shots (4 strings of 5 from the mag)speculating the resulting effect to be small if anything.

The results were positive on my key parameter of "mean radius". Overall max group size continues to hover just over around 1.6MOA.

Please note that I broke my (self imposed) rule about ignoring "flyers" as I believe doing so usually results in erroneous evaluations. However in this case I had 1 shot that was over 3.5X the mean radius and distinctly out of the group. I have not seen any other such flyers in the previous 100 shots for record so I feel justified in removing it from the test results.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3v...ew?usp=sharing

Here is the composite evaluation of the 19 shots. The round at the high right was removed as described above.
[IMG][/IMG]

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Old December 24th, 2016, 10:32 AM   #30
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How did you arrive at your 168 grain/4895 load? Did you do any load development?

I ask because for me, this was the most significant way to tighten my groups although you are doing well from the most recent results.

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