Limitations Of The AR-15



  • Barrel Length. The secret to the success of the little .223 Remington round is muzzle velocity.
    Spin that bullet out of a 10:1 twist (or faster) barrel at over 2,800 FPS (Feet Per Second) and the bullet will fly ture, be extremely accurate and hit with a very impressive amount of energy.
    The shorter the barrel, the slower the muzzle velocity, the poorer the accuracy...

    The biggest problem with the AR-15 today is the trend towards shorter barrels.
    With a standard 20" barrel, the little .223 Rem. bullet should exit the muzzle at about 3,300 FPS (Feet Per Second).
    If you are using the 16" so called 'Carbine' length barred, the bullet is nearly below acceptable muzzle velocity when it exits the barrel, has poor accuracy at extended ranges, and doesn't deliver acceptable energy to the target.
    Ask any of our troops in Afganistan or Iraq about accuracy and knock down power at ranges past 100 meters and you will get an ear full!


  • Ammunition. The beauty of the little .223 Remington round was that the bullet was extreamly accurate and fragmented on impact at about 2,700 FPS.
    That's why varmint hunters liked it so much, accurate plus excelent knock down made this round a winner with varmint hunters long before the U.S. military & NATO adopted it.

    Drop below that 'magic' 2,700 FPS, and the bullet becomes unstable & inacurate, plus it doesn't separate at the cannlure and fragment.
    Keep the little bullet spinning quickly and above 2,700 FPS, and you have a devistating little round!

    The bullet for the little .223 Remington round was intended to be about 50 grains.
    I've seen them as little as 42 grain hollow points, and the military is trying out some 88 grain Full Metal Jacket rounds to try and increase energy delivery to the target.

    With no change to the ammunition, using a short barrel, (16" vs. 20") you are going to sacriface about 400 FPS.
    Factor in a heaver bullet, you are going to loose another 200 to 300 FPS.
    You now have a bullet moving slow enough that accuracy is lost, and even if you do manage to hit the target, the effective energy delivery isn't sufficient to fragment the bullet, so your
  • Ammunition. The beauty of the little .223 Remington round was that the bullet was extreamly accurate and fragmented on impact at about 2,700 FPS.
    That's why varmint hunters liked it so much, accurate plus excelent knock down made this round a winner with varmint hunters long before the U.S. military & NATO adopted it.

    Drop below that 'magic' 2,700 FPS, and the bullet becomes unstable & inacurate, plus it doesn't separate at the cannlure and fragment.
    Keep the little bullet spinning quickly and above 2,700 FPS, and you have a devistating little round!

    The bullet for the little .223 Remington round was intended to be about 50 grains.
    I've seen them as little as 42 grain hollow points, and the military is trying out some 88 grain Full Metal Jacket rounds to try and increase energy delivery to the target.

    With no change to the ammunition, using a short barrel, (16" vs. 20") you are going to sacriface about 400 FPS.
    Factor in a heaver bullet, you are going to loose another 200 to 300 FPS.
    You now have a bullet moving slow enough that accuracy & energy are lost.


  • Barrel Quality. If you intend to shoot 100 yard or 100 meter targets, go to the accuracy page now.
    If you intend to shoot some targets, and some varmints, check out the 'Factory Barrel Tune Up' section on the accuracy page.

    The factory AR-15 Barrels are as good as any company can manufacture when cranking out a train car load every day!.
    When I've gotten to the Colt Military grade barrels before they had a gozillion rounds fired through them, I've found them to be quite accurate.
    Both DPMS and Colt have provided me with very accurate factory barrels when I ordered new complete uppers.
    I don't know if it was the break in I do, or the barrels themselves, but they did give quite satisfactory results.


  • Chambering. (Caliber).

  • Trigger. Eugene Stoner designed the AR-15 trigger to be safe & reliable under all conditions, and keep kids that couldn't keep a job at McBurger-Doodle from shooting themselves or platoon mates when he got scared.
    It works very well for that.

    That trigger is complete crap for anyone trying to place pinpoint shots in targets.
    I, along with other gunsmiths and target shooters, have spent tons of time and money on the factory AR-15 trigger group, and the best you can do with them is "It's better than it was...".
    The problem is the sear is in the wrong place and the engaugment angles are wrong for any kind of accuracy shooting.
    By the time you file, grind & stone away at the stock set, changing the engaugment angle to something resembling useful, you have removed the case hardening, and the set is junk.

    The only answer (for now) is an aftermarket trigger set.
    I've tried nearly every aftermarket trigger set out there at one time or another, and I can only recomend one aftermarket trigger manufacturer; Jard.
    Jard Triggers are all I recomend or use now.
    Adjustable for every consideration a target shooter would need, they are drop in, require no modification of the lower reciever, and seem to be well made.
    See the AR-15 Accuracy Page for more details.