Range Results: AR-308 rifle – getting close to goal

Hey everyone- I’ve had quite a few inquiries as to how the range results are looking for the AR-308 project rifle. I didn’t set a formal accuracy goal for the project, but I would like to see consistent ~0.5″ groups at 100 yards. This involves shooting skills, load development, and time.

This last week, I was able to spend some time at the range (it wasn’t raining, in Seattle that’s remarkable this time of year) and was pleased with how the rifle was shooting.

I only had time for a few groups (I was there working on an upcoming project for NWGUN as my primary activity) but I was able to shoot a 0.7″ group with one flinch-induced flier, and four shots in ~0.2″.

AR-308 Group at 100 yards - 5 shots in 0.7", 4 shots in 0.2"

These shots were fired off a bipod on the front, and with a wooden block and improvised stock hold on the back. I saw the reticle move off target when the flier was shot, and I thought to myself- “Aaaaaaaaarrrrrgh” (think Charlie Brown voice). It’s always that one shot! 🙂

Based on these and other results, I’m confident that I can attain my “consistent 0.5 inch @ 100 yards” goal. I think the biggest thing at this point is to spend more time at the range.

Loads you ask? (that’s the point of this site, right?). These were my military-custom-match loads. These loads were assembled with carefully prepped 7.62x51mm military brass including case neck thickness/uniformity sorting.

Best load of the day - Military brass with XBR and 168gr Hornady HPBT

Here’s the load specifics (use at your own risk, always cross-reference load data before using!)

Brass: Military 7.62x51mm, case neck 0.016” +/- 0.0005”
Powder: IMR XBR – 40.0 grains
Primer: CCI BR2 Bench Rest
Bullet: Hornady 168 grain Match HPBT

These were my first loads with IMR XPR powder, and it looks like I’ll be using this powder and load to “hone in” on an optimal load for this rifle. Without the flier, I could have been in the 1/4″ range for a 5-shot group. Perhaps next time!


13 thoughts on “Range Results: AR-308 rifle – getting close to goal”

  1. Gavin, a similar load has worked quite well in my DPMS LR-308. I used Winchester brass, 168 gr and 175 gr. Match Kings, Fed. match primers, and 40.0 to 41.5 grs. XBR.

      1. Gavin, I’m using a JP trigger, speed hammer, and a set of his anti-walk pins. Others who have tried it say the trigger is very nice. To date the best group, measured by On Target software, is .488 moa. That is the 175 gr. SMK over 41.5 grs of XBR. My best 168 gr. SMK group was .541 moa. Again measured by On Target. This load was 40.0 grs. of XBR. The 175 gr. load showed enough promise, I stopped development on the 168 gr. load. I might be able to improve it slightly, but the 175 gr load met my accuracy goal. Now, I just need to learn to shoot. Seems there is always a flyer lurking.

      2. Nice shooting, Mil-spec triggers are tough without any modification. Did you happen to collect velocity data on this load? Is that an DPMS Oracle 16″ barrel?


  2. Gavin,
    Looks real good! You have 4 shots in two groups + 1 shooter induced flier. The common thing with an auto loader is the two groups produced from the left and right feeding from the magazine. You can see that in your group! Looks to me like there won’t be too much tuning left.

  3. Gavin – There’s no such thing as a “flier”. In group shooting there are no “do overs”, you either fired the shot or didn’t. The rifle shoots very well indeed. You put together a great rifle and loaded some high quality precision ammo. Good job.

  4. I should have noted that the brass was once-fired military. This stuff (federal) seems to shoot really well when prepped properly and sorted by case neck uniformity/thickness!

  5. Hey Gavin I just got my new TC Icon hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor and it shoots 1/2″ 100 yard groups right out of the box. 308 is an excellent caliber but I love the 6.5’s — just saying.

  6. Hey Gavin I just got my new TC Icon hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor and it shoots 1/2″ 100 yard groups right out of the box. 308 is an excellent caliber but I love the 6.5’s — just saying.

  7. Gavin,

    What trigger you using again? Love my new DPMS LR308 B. Cant wait to get some loads built for it.

  8. I shoot a SR-25 using the 168 grain bullet. Every article I’ve researched notes you should use a “hard primer” for safety. I’ve achieved a sub .5 MOA @ 100 yards. I would like some feed back here.

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