Thursday, September 27, 2012

Range Report: Passing

You may remember that in my last post I guessed that my sling wasn’t actually helping my marksmanship as it was intended to.  The military issues simple slings with the M16 and M4 for carry purposes, but I at least was never trained to use it for stabilizing the rifle.  The Appleseed Project admits that the two don’t seem to go as well together as the sling does with other rifles.

Here are my results without the sling.

Aguilar 55gr.:

Aguilar 55gr

Not sure where that 5th bullet went.  My daughter sharing the bench with me using her 22LR, so she probably jostled the bench at the wrong moment.

Lake City 55gr.:

Lake City FMJ1F 55gr

I am really starting to like that Lake City.  It’s performance seems to be holding up, and at less than half the cost of my match grade PMC.

PMC Bronze FMJBT 55gr.:

PMC Bronze FMJBT 55gr

PMC Bronze was the very first .223 ammo I ever used.  I was disappointed, but my shooting seems to have improved since then.

PMC Precision BTHP 75gr.:

PMC Precision BTHP 75gr

The expensive stuff.  Still getting the job done.

Moving out to 100m:

Lake City:

Lake City 55gr 100m

PMC Precision:

PMC Precision 75gr 100m

It’s easy to see either of these loads, with the sights properly adjusted, staying inside the black, which is all I really expected out of an AR-15 at 100m.

It’s interesting to observe that the impact points are actually higher on the target at 100m than they are at 50m.  Simple ballistics would predict the opposite, but on reflection I can imagine a geometry where the bullets are still on an upward path at 50m relative to the point of aim, and that this upward path is still continuing at 100m.

Once again, we see the importance of having the sights aligned, not just for the ammo, but for the distance as well.  I wonder at what distance infantrymen sight in, and how they adapt their point of aim to differently ranged targets dynamically.

UPDATE: I took a little closer look at the bag that the "Lake City" ammo came in. Here is what it says:

.223 55gr. FMJ1F
Once Fired Factory Primed Lake City Brass, Tx.
Manufactured by Dallas Reloading Services Dallas

My order form says:

1 x 100rds - .223 DRS 55gr. FMJBT Ammo Once Fired Brass

If I'm reading this correctly, DRS obtained some spent brass originating at the Lake City plant in Independence, Missouri, and reloaded them. (I'm not sure if this means the primers were reinstalled in Lake City as well.) Unfortunately, my usual supplier isn't presently carrying any DRS FMJ reloads, and Federal Lake City doesn't have any loads called either FMJ1F or FMJBT. So it's hard to tell exactly what I was shooting. On the other hand, since they make ammunition for the military, maybe it's all the same?

UPDATE: More optics trouble. Grrr . . . One of the advantages of a holographic sight as opposed to a traditional scope is the ability to keep both eyes open and focused on the target, with one eye behind the sight. The shooter can only do this when not using a magnifier, so it was only last weekend that I discovered that my sight was distorting the view such that it was impossible to focus on the target with both eyes open. In other words, instead of seeing one target in the distance, I saw two. Which is kinda bad, since I will have to think about which target to aim at. I hadn't noticed it at first because I was only using it with the magnifier.

4 comments:

Professor Hale said...

You really shouldn't call that ammo "Lake City" since it is only the brass that is Lake City. The reloader could use any primer, powder and bullet to reload it. You have seen teh results I typically get from my 55gr reloads from Georgia Arms. It isn't pretty. But DRS seems to be doing a good job of it.

Dr. Φ said...

I reported my results with DRS Hornady back in May. It was par for the time - I've improved since then - but it wasn't close to the PMC Precision the way the DRS Lake City was.

AmmunitionToGo.com carries a "Lake City" XM855 Penatrator. They also carry a Federal American Eagle XM855 - is that a spec of some kind? They also has a "Federal Lake City" XM193 (they used to have several variants of XM193, and for eight cents less a round too, but they're no longer listed). I'm not sure if "Lake City", XM855 and XM193 are supposed to mean something, or is it all just marketing?

Professor Hale said...

There is a military spec for M193 and M855 but what is used on the boxed of commercial brands are just marketing. In the absence of explicit warrants by the manufacturer that those labels are IAW MILSPEC, you should just consider them to be "close enough".

heresolong said...

Battle sights are set at 300 yards (or meters if you prefer since it doesn't make that much difference).