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3Dflyer

Savage patrol msr-15?

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Hello,

 

This forum as been a great resource for entering sport shooting and the vast knowledge shared is greatly appreciated. 

 

I am gearing up what I already own to try my hand at 3 gun, just for fun. 

 

I have a Savage Patrol msr-15 that doesnt shoot well with 55 gr bullets. It has a 16” R5 1:8 twist barrel with mid length gas system. 

 

With their recommended 69 gr Federal mtch king sierra ammo I can shoot 1” groups at 100 yards, but affordable bulk ammo is all over the paper. 

 

55 grain is all can find locally, and most affordable online. 

 

Any suggestions?

 

also, I need a muzzle compensator. Do they affect accuracy or poont of aim point of impact?

Edited by 3Dflyer

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Try a different 55gr load. Luckily there are plenty to choose from.

Technically a muzzle brake can affect accuracy or poi by changing barrel harmonics. Realistically, as long as its installed properly and not hitting the bullet, you will be fine.

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Unfortunately, the 1/2x28” thread pattern causes the bore to swell slightly due to the amount of metal removed. This can cause bullets with a shorter shank to wobble slightly as they exit the bore, especially if the bore does not swell evenly. The 69gr bullet works well because of the Long shank and short ojive. It helps in both setting the ojive closer to the lands and keeping more of the shank in the tight portion of the bore prior to exiting the barrel. The 1/8 twist doesn’t help either with light bullets. Most of today’s  are very bullets well balanced, so shooting them in a twist that is faster than optimal for their length usually does not have much affect on accuracy. However, really cheap  may ammo have poorly balanced bullets, and the fast twist rate exaggerates the inbalance and causes accuracy issues. Lead core 55gr  ammo really only needs a 1/14 twist to stabilize. Try shooting 65-80 bullets and see if accuracy improves.

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1 hour ago, chicoredneck said:

Unfortunately, the 1/2x28” thread pattern causes the bore to swell slightly due to the amount of metal removed. This can cause bullets with a shorter shank to wobble slightly as they exit the bore, especially if the bore does not swell evenly. The 69gr bullet works well because of the Long shank and short ojive. It helps in both setting the ojive closer to the lands and keeping more of the shank in the tight portion of the bore prior to exiting the barrel. The 1/8 twist doesn’t help either with light bullets. Most of today’s  are very bullets well balanced, so shooting them in a twist that is faster than optimal for their length usually does not have much affect on accuracy. However, really cheap  may ammo have poorly balanced bullets, and the fast twist rate exaggerates the inbalance and causes accuracy issues. Lead core 55gr  ammo really only needs a 1/14 twist to stabilize. Try shooting 65-80 bullets and see if accuracy improves.

I think your reading to shooting ratio needs some reevaluation.

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16 minutes ago, TonytheTiger said:

I think your reading to shooting ratio needs some reevaluation.

 

I'm stealing this for use on the Typer's Hide and RimjobCentral....

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4 hours ago, TonytheTiger said:

I think your reading to shooting ratio needs some reevaluation.

 

Go test it on the range. 5 years putting together target rifles professionally teaches you a few nuances about finer accuracy. My experience with Savage barrels is that they can be very accurate, but suffer from what I described above and foul excessively, which may also be the OPs issue.

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I have a brake on my competition rifles like most people and my latest barrel is shooting .38 MOA at 100 with a 6x optic.  I would recommend a brake if you want to shoot faster splits AND see your impacts at long range.  I use a Seekins Precision ATC.  PRS shooters also use brakes for the competitive advantage afforded by the brake.

 

As to the 55 grain bullets, a lot of them lack the precision .  I think you will find if you shoot something like a 55 grain Vmax  or a 50 something gr match bullet, it will group better than a 55 gr FMJ.  Those are the cheapest bullets for a reason.  Its nice when you have a barrel that shoots those precisely but that is not the norm.  You already have a barrel that shoots decent with 69 grain bullets, that is a good start.  You can go up the food chain and get a quality hand lapped barrel and it will shoot better but still may not shoot 55 gr FMJ precisely.

 

Most of us handload to mitigate the cost of the better match rounds.  Using 3 gun as an example, my game, most experienced shooters (but not all) do not use 55 gr ammo for long range for a myriad of reasons.  You could mail order in bulk what works for you if your not interested in handloading.  Shoot the barrel out and put a better one on.

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Most everybody shoots 55 grain bullets

 

Does all over the paper mean an 8 inch group or 4 inch? Buy a few boxes of different cheap bullets, you may find one that works. I bought a bunch of 62 grain American eagle at $7/20 for a rifle that had similar issues. 

 

Most 3 gun rifle is shot up close, use the cheap stuff for that. Zero your rifle for your more accurate bullet and use that when precision is needed. 

 

you may need to shoot a plate rack at 75-100 yards or shoot out past 200, but the vast majority of rifle shooting is at pistol distance or just slighty past pistol distance

 

Just a note, you may see cheap heavy weight surplus ammo online, just make sure these are not steel core / green tip as they will put holes in steel targets and you'll to pay $$$. A magnet will let you know.

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Some 55 grain ammo shoots 12-14” groups at 100 yards. Most shoot about 8-10” groups. 

 

Hornady vmax poly tipped varment rounds of 55 grain shoot about 2.5” groups, but is expensive. 

 

A friend did some reloading trials and they varied from 1.5” to six in groups. 

 

I wouldnt mind trying to load my ownn but need to decide on what to buy for bullets and powder. 

 

I have access to a 125 yard range and use a Vortex strike eagle 1-8 scope. What distance should I zero in the gun?

 

Because the main purpose of the  rifle is couote hunting I have zeroed at 100 yards.

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You can zero at 100, but I think the favorite thing to do is a 50/200 zero. That gives you something like +/- 4 inches out to 250 yards or so

 

Most guys don't reload for 3 gun, although some do have a long range load. 

 

if I was in your position I'd find a few brands of cheap 62 grain bullets and see what they do.  

Edited by DesertTortoise

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I have ordered five cheap 62 grain options. A few are scheduled to be delivered today. 

 

The cheaper heavier bullets seem to be steel cased, like wolf. Is this considered a negative?

 

I will give this selection a try. 

 

What group size would most consider acceptable or better at 100 yards?

 

Because I have not attended any matches yet, I have no idea what course layouts I may face. 

Edited by 3Dflyer

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There is something else going on other than your  ammo choice if you are getting 12-14” groups. You may have an issue with loose mounts or a bad scope. It could also be an issue with a improperly torqued  barrel nut. Try eliminating these variables. If it still is shooting groups that size, I would contact Savage.

Edited by chicoredneck

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5 hours ago, jon49erfan said:

That perfectly explains why no barrels threaded 1/2x28 and faster than a 1:14 will stabilize 55gr bullets.

 

That’s not what my post was insinuating at all. There are a few typing errors in my original post which maybe made it difficult to read. 55gr lead core bullets only need a 1/14 twist to stabilize, but that means they will be stable in any twist rate faster than that, which includes the common 1/9, 1/8, and 1/7. What I was saying is that if you use really cheap ammo with poorly balanced bullets (not perfectly uniform), a twist rate faster than what is needed exaggerates the imbalance and will cause degraded accuracy. The reason most classsic rifles have twist rates just fast enough to stabilize  bullets they were designed to use is because bullet manufacturing was not very precise in the past. The slower twist rate lead to greater accuracy. Now days, bullets and manufacturing processes are much better, and in most cases it’s a non issue.

 

The 1/2x28” threading has nothing to do with bullet stability. It can cause the release of the bullet from the muzzle to be less consistent if bore swelling occurs. This is well known among  barrel manufacturers. How much impact does it have on accuracy? That is unpredictable. Sometimes it has none, sometimes more, but it’s usually not a tremendous impact.

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3 hours ago, 3Dflyer said:

Are most 3  gun folks  62, 69, or 77 grain ?

Around here in the Carolinas most of the matches I shoot go beyond 300 in every match and often times on multiple stages.  In the last year I have shot beyond 400 multiple times with the longest shot at 500 yards.  Everyone does not shoot 55 gr bullets here.  Most of my squad mates are shooting 75 or 77 gr bullets, some 69 or 68's in the mix.  IMI Razor Core 77 gr and Black Hills MK 262 Mod 1 is commonly used also.   Hosing ammo up close is common.  There are folks that shoot the whole match with PMC Bronze.

 

I agree it is a paradox that your 55 grain is shooting terrible but you can group MOA with Federal GMM.  I had a friend who bought a VTAC S&W AR for 3 gun and I it shot terrible.  She sent it back to Smith and they replaced the barrel and a whole bunch of other parts too.

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My  savage has been back to the factory because it could not consistwntly hit a 3 foot by 3 foot target at 100 yards on a bench with american eagle 55 grain or remington 223 55 grain. The barrel was replaced under warranty. Groups improved considerably but the groups would move together as a group on the targets. 

 

I upgraded the handguard to an aero precision free floating handguard and the moving groups settled down tremendously. I could finally repeat 1.5” groups anywhere on the target I wished. 

 

Savage has instructed me to use the  ammo from which they benchmark their claims, Federal gold match sierra 69 gr. 

 

There is a noticeable preference on ammunition weights for this   barrel

 

I visited a local  rifle expert gunsmith and he agreed that I would need to run heavier bullets

 

As I try to learn, and as I connect the dots on this journey, I cannot understand how competitors here are using 1:8 twist barrels with 55 grain   ammo

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4 hours ago, 3Dflyer said:

I have access to a 125 yard range and use a Vortex strike eagle 1-8 scope. What distance should I zero in the gun?

 

Because the main purpose of the  rifle is couote hunting I have zeroed at 100 yards.

 

The Strike Eagle has a BDC reticle, doesn't it? If so, then you can either use a nice, round number for your zero distance and just memorize whatever random ranges your BDC hash marks correspond to, or you could try to find a zero that plays nicely with the BDC reticle. I'd recommend the latter - this is the process that I've used (not the only way to do it or anything, but it works okay-ish):

  • Find ammo that you like for long range (sounds like you've done that)
  • Measure the muzzle velocity. If you don't own or have access to a chronograph, put targets up at two known distances, shoot at each with the same sight picture, and then measure the drop between the two distances, and you can reverse engineer the velocity from that
  • Play around with a ballistic calculator to find a zero distance that results in the bullet drop lining up nicely with your BDC (for example, with my optic and ammo, a 230 yard zero means that the 300, 400, 500, and 600 hashes line up almost perfectly).
  • Still using the calculator, figure out the difference between point of aim and point of impact at a distance that you can shoot at the range (again, for example,  I can't set up a target at 230 yards at my range, but I can set one up at 200 yards. I know that a 230 yard zero means that impact is about an inch high with a center-target hold at 200 yards, so I just dial the optic to do that)
  • Iterate if required - there's not a nice solution like that for every single round out there.

I'm a mediocre shooter at best, but none of my issues come from mis-zeroed rifles, so there's that.

 

4 hours ago, 3Dflyer said:

I have ordered five cheap 62 grain options. A few are scheduled to be delivered today. 

 

The cheaper heavier bullets seem to be steel cased, like wolf. Is this considered a negative?

 

I will give this selection a try. 

 

What group size would most consider acceptable or better at 100 yards?

 

Because I have not attended any matches yet, I have no idea what course layouts I may face. 

 

Steel-cased is not an issue, but the only problem is that a lot of steel-cased options (like Wolf) have bullets that are either steel-cored (will destroy steel targets and are not allowed at matches), or, even if they are lead-cored, have a bi-metal jacket (steel washed with copper), which is bad for two reasons: 1. it will erode the chamber and rifling in your barrel faster, and 2. probably still won't be allowed at matches because it's attracted to a magnet, which is the main way that the folks running matches weed out ammo that will destroy their targets. Some manufacturers, like Hornady, make cartridges with copper-jacketed, lead-core bullets in a steel case, and those are fine... but I'd check everything to make sure that the bullet (JUST the projectile, not the casing) doesn't stick to a magnet. If it doesn't, then it's fine. But I think you'll find that most of it will.

 

"Acceptable accuracy" varies by situation. For long-range ammo, you probably want something that groups at 1 MOA (or as close to it as you can get) - about 1" at 100 yards. Cheaper, lighter stuff for close range doesn't need to be as accurate. If I recall correctly, the armorer's standard for accuracy in the M4 is 4 MOA (about 4" at 100 yards), and that would probably be fine to get hits on the targets you're likely to see inside of a couple of hundred yards or so.

 

 

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15 hours ago, chicoredneck said:

 

Go test it on the range. 5 years putting together target rifles professionally teaches you a few nuances about finer accuracy. My experience with Savage barrels is that they can be very accurate, but suffer from what I described above and foul excessively, which may also be the OPs issue.

I have. Extensively. 

While everything you say makes sense in theory, it simply doesn't play out in real life. Unless you're strictly speaking in benchrest terms where you may see the effects of overspinning bullets, but remember the forum you're on centers around AR's, low powered variable optics and usually 3 gun where the difference between blasting ammo shooting 1 moa or 1.6 moa is completely inconsequential.

 

I have a generic 55gr hoser load that has yet to shoot worse than 2 moa, with 1.5ish being average across 8 barrels split evenly between 7 and 8 twist. Keeping in mind that 3 gun is the intended use, 1.5 moa is perfectly acceptable and clearly easy to get in 7 or 8 twist barrels.

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Steve133,

 

Thank you so much for the time to type out such a long and detailed response.  I will read through it several more times to digest it all, but for now I don't quite understand it all because I am so new to all this.  The general concepts are clear enough, though.

 

I do have a chronograph arriving in the mail this week.  I hope this will help greatly.

 

Here is the reticle of my scope...  I have to admit that when I am trying to get a sub MOA grouping at 100 yards, that center dot completely covers the 1" square on the paper bullseye.  If I take my time I can get an occasional sub 1" MOA group.

 

I appreciate the information about using steel cased ammo as well.  It would have been devastating to travel to an event and be turned away because I was ignorant about steel ammo and the damage they cause on $$$ targets.

 

image.thumb.png.106e75ffd71702658ce2ffd0124fa292.png

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This is in the manual for my Strike Eagle scope... after reading this again, It would seem like I need to get my hands on some 77 grain ammunition and see how it does at longer range while trying the cheap 55 grain stuff for under 50 yards.

 

"Standard Bullet Drop for Popular 5.56 mm / .223 Loads

5.56 mm / .223 55 - 77 grain boat tail bullets 2700 - 3000 FPS muzzle velocity

Center dot zeroed 50/200 yards

Sub-crosshair

Distance

Bullet Drop

1st

300 Yards

7.5 Inches

2nd

400 Yards

23.5 Inches

3rd

500 Yards

50 Inches

4th

600 Yards

92 Inches

"

 

and this...

 

"

Standard BDC Technique

For best results, most 5.56mm/.223 caliber rifles can be zeroed in at 50 yards using the center dot. The 50 yard zero will closely correspond to the recommended 200 yard zero. 7.62mm/.308 caliber rifles can be initially zeroed at 30 yards, again closely corresponding to recommended 200 yard zero.

Once the rifle has been sighted in, the lower sub-crosshairs can be used
as aiming points at the corresponding distances listed on page 5. For most popular rifles and loads, the sub-crosshairs will provide accuracy within 0–3 inches of your aiming point."

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No problem. Hope my long-winded rambling winds up being useful.

 

One more thing I'll say is that your ultimate goal is to develop a table like the one that you found in the scope manual. There are tons of variables that go into the ballistics of a particular round, so you're probably not going to have the exact same results that they had if you're shooting your particular ammo out of your particular gun. Once you get your chrono, you can use your velocity data and the ballistic coefficient of the projectile (should be available on the manufacturer's website - though it might be the manufacturer of the bullet itself instead of the manufacturer of the complete loaded cartridge) to come with a similar table using a ballistic calculator. There are tons of options for those out there - JBM Ballistics is a decent web-based option; I use the Strelok app for Android (though there's an iOS version now also), and I've also heard good things about Applied Ballistics.

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A new VG6 Epsilon Is riding on the business end of the Savage now. Boy, it aure makes a big improvement over the factor   flash hider

 

I have dialed in my scope for 50 yards instead of 100. Doing so results in rounds hitting about 1-3” high at 100 yards. Next outing will be used to establish a good sight picture hold at 100 yards. Perhaps the old bullseye pistol shooting sight picture of “an apple on the fence post” will be perfect at 100 yards. 

 

Wolf steel 62 gr was simply awful. No more of that going down my barrel. 3” group at 50 yards.  Plus a no go in matches. 

 

Wolf 55 gold was decent With a 1.5” group at 100 yards, but it was a full 4” high at 100 yards with scope zeroed for 50 yds. 55 gr seems to climb the most at 100 yds. 

 

Speer lawman 55 gr was decent at 50 yards, 1.5” groups on center.  However, at 100 yards I had one 4.5” group that was a full 4” high. My second group at 100 yards was a compact 1.5” group at 3.5” high. 

 

Next up was Speer Gold Dot 62 gr. This seems to be the best performer in several ways. At 50 yds it hit on center with .75” groups. At 100 yards it really shines, 1.2” group and only 1” high, and on center. 

 

Speer gold dot was even more accurate and offered less 100yd rise than my previous standard of Federal Gold Match Sierra. 

 

Gold Dot is expensive but not as much as Federal Sierra. 

 

I would like to try some 70-77 gr ammo next. 

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