AR 15 Target Build Recommendations

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I would like to build a strictly target/benchrest AR but need some input on a couple of things.
I have no experience with this and know what people are doing.
Optics: are there any decent optics for up to $300? Maybe 3x16? Not sure if 40 or 50mm objective lens?
Stock:Magpul PRS type stock? It's kind of pricy is there something as comfortable or adjustable for less?
Barrel: Not sure what length would be best something between 16-20". I'll be shooting 55-69 grain bullets so 1 in 8" twist?
Lastly a bull fluted barrel or is that not needed?
Please let me know your thoughts.
 

sgeary

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It would help if you posted your overall budget for the build. I personally love BCM products and have had no complaints. Take a look at their 20" rifle uppers, they have almost everything else though. As to optics I know Vortex are great value for the money, as well as Nikon. Look at the LuthAR modular stock, I haven't tried it but it seems to fit your needs/budget. And you'll want a better trigger as well, I've been using the CMC Flat 3.5# and love it.
 

mac1911

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It would help if you posted your overall budget for the build. I personally love BCM products and have had no complaints. Take a look at their 20" rifle uppers, they have almost everything else though. As to optics I know Vortex are great value for the money, as well as Nikon. Look at the LuthAR modular stock, I haven't tried it but it seems to fit your needs/budget. And you'll want a better trigger as well, I've been using the CMC Flat 3.5# and love it.

Are you actually going to try and compete in bench rest shooting?
If its going to be a bench gun weight should not be a factor unless your trying to fall with in a weight limit for some type of match.
Fluted not needed IMHO or is fancy railed hand guards.

Will you be buying Match ammo reloading or just buying the cheapest stuff you can find. 1:8 twist covers a lot of ground.
I like the A2 stock for my scoped rifle which I shoot off the bench from a bipod 95% of the time. Im still trying to figure out a up grade on the scope. Want something very target orientated. Right now I have a 20" heavy target barrel from Wilson Arms. I have been able to get into 1/2 moa accuracy with some nosler and sierra bullets
nosler 55gn flat based balistic tipped and sierra 52 grain match HPBT... I have not picked up more bullets since I first tried and been using nosler 77gn match and just getting time to test those.
Now that I have little time to shoot any more I seldom get passed 200 yards so I have been thinking a heavy bull barrel in 16" which will be more than enough for 200 yards. The loss in velocity at the range shouldnt be to bad.
 
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This is a build as you go project so the budget goal is as reasonable as possible. I’m not looking to go just for a name if something else will work as well.

This build is just to go to the range and pure enjoyment. No weight or competition requirements.

Yes I will be reloading for this project as I already load this caliber.

With the stock I’m concerned about cheek weld with a scope.

Thanks for the trigger recommendations too!

What are the variable power and objective lenses recommendations?
 

Mountain

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I suggest spending the bulk of your budget on a good barrel + bolt (or BCG) combination, matched from the same vendor. Heavy target barrel & go from there. Fluted or not up to you- I don't think you will see a difference in accuracy.

Standard mil spec chamber is not the most accurate- you can go with a hybrid target chamber like Wylde or Compass Lake. You can fire some 5.56 safely in a Compass Lake chamber, but .223 is best. Take a look at Windham Weaponry's VEX barrel as an example:

http://www.windhamweaponry.com/shopexd.asp?id=228#axzz3bB8EAxAJ

It has 1:8 rifling, for which I recommend 68 grain or heavier projectiles. I have the whole VEX rifle and have shot groups as small as .224" and regularly hit 0.3" or smaller group sizes at 100 yards.

Use a tubular free-float hand guard and mount a 'bag rider'. I suggest an A2 style rear stock, also with a bag rider. Bag riders give you a flat platform for the rifle to slide on so that recoil pushes it backward as straight as possible. Also helps line up on the sled / bags.

If you mount a scope on an A4 rail type upper, I think you may need to raise the scope a little rather than worry about cheek height from an A2 buttstock.

For optics on a reasonable budget, check out Millet. Very good glass for the money, no problems with mine:

http://www.amazon.com/Millett-4-16x...TF8&qid=1432581302&sr=8-5&keywords=millet+lrs
 

bigblue

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You can get a White Oaks barreled upper and matched BCG for under $725. IMHO that would be the biggest bang for your buck.

Second best investment would be a Geiselle match trigger and they make several two stage triggers that fit the bill.

Stocks are entirely personal preference and several good ones have already been mentioned.

Scopes:
Variable power Vortex makes excellent models; 50mm would be nice to have but not necessary for 200 yards.

Fixed power scopes, SWFA will have the best bang for your buck.

$0.02
 

mac1911

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this is my "bench" gun. The scope is a mid 1990s VXIII 2.5x8x32 standard 30/30 duplex cross hair. Great for minute of deer but no so much target shooting. the cross section will cover the X ring on a SR1 target easy. About the only reason I think I get 1 moa groups with this scope is the "fat" ends of the crosshairs fits nicely over the black bull of the SR1 target. I put my eye to a few fixed mag 1/8 moa benchrest scopes over the past few months and really like the small dot and fine cross hairs.
I put my eye to one of these a few weeks ago and fell in love but the price is beyound what I can spend. I like the fact that poi doesnt change with magX adjustment
This one had a 1/16 dot small little bugger but gives you plenty of the target to work with. http://marchscopes.com/ep-zoom-36-55-x-52.html

The scope mount is a Leopold MK series and my eye lines up great with the A2 stock and I always need some comb height with any scoped rifle.

Just not sure who to get my barrel from on my 200 yard target build. I have to many extra parts not to build another upper
 
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I was thinking of the 223 Wylde for caliber the choice. What's the difference between that and the Compass Lake? The Windham Weaponry barrel combo looks like an overall great value.
Is there much difference between a heavy barrel and a bull barrel?
Traditional bags over a bipod. I did not know.
 
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Mountain

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I think that the Wylde and Compass Lake are closer either one of us could differentiate. The Wylde might be more 223 sensitive, as in less friendly to 556. Bull barrel could be thick all the way to muzzle, heavy may be thick up to gas block. Probably best to confirm what each manufacturer designates the barrel and check out a pic.

Bags will be more stable than a bipod. Bipod is very convenient, bags are a PITA- just lugged some back and forth today for a range trip.
 

jasons

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He basically uses a tighter Wylde.

I would suggest building it as an F-TR gun, that way you could actually shoot matches if you wanted and be somewhat competitive. You could still shoot it off the bench if you wanted to for fun.

This is a (one example of) a benchrest gun:
visalrail02x600.jpg



This is (one example of) an F-TR gun:
3B686612-FAE3-4A9B-96A6-800F82A15EB4-5594-00000752199880D1.jpg


(The one on the bottom happens to be mine.)
 

mac1911

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He basically uses a tighter Wylde.

I would suggest building it as an F-TR gun, that way you could actually shoot matches if you wanted and be somewhat competitive. You could still shoot it off the bench if you wanted to for fun.

This is a (one example of) a benchrest gun:
visalrail02x600.jpg



This is (one example of) an F-TR gun:
3B686612-FAE3-4A9B-96A6-800F82A15EB4-5594-00000752199880D1.jpg


(The one on the bottom happens to be mine.)

I went the F-TR style because I wanted the versatility. My barrel is a heavy target barrel 1.0XX right to the gas block then .750 from there. The bull barrel I was looking at is 1.0XX then .950 18" considered WOA and Kriegers Heavy Varmint match barrel ?
I hope to get a new scope and a good 200 yard zero before the 600 any any match at reading rifle.
 

Mattyb

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I use the MOE stock from Magpul. I may have an A2 stock at the house if you want it.

I use the Nikon P223. Great scope for the $.

I have an extra one for sale in the classifieds along with a Vortex



image-3673355790.jpg



image-328558790.jpg
 

jasons

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I went the F-TR style because I wanted the versatility. My barrel is a heavy target barrel 1.0XX right to the gas block then .750 from there. The bull barrel I was looking at is 1.0XX then .950 18" considered WOA and Kriegers Heavy Varmint match barrel ?
I hope to get a new scope and a good 200 yard zero before the 600 any any match at reading rifle.

Hollinger turns his own profiles from blanks so I'm pretty sure he'd make it however you want. I just used a service rifle barrel that still had some life on it (but not a full season of matches.) I just built it for fun, I don't even remember the last time I shot it.


I'm running a midrange prone match at Reading on 6/7. F-TR shooters are welcome.
 

jasons

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I use the MOE stock from Magpul.

I used a PRS just because I needed to get my head up higher to see the scope. I don't really like it very much, the cheek piece is too far back for me.
 

mac1911

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Hollinger turns his own profiles from blanks so I'm pretty sure he'd make it however you want. I just used a service rifle barrel that still had some life on it (but not a full season of matches.) I just built it for fun, I don't even remember the last time I shot it.


I'm running a midrange prone match at Reading on 6/7. F-TR shooters are welcome.
my barrel is the wilson arms that comes on the RRA NM rifle new with matching bolt. Cant wait to get some more bullets and time on it. I know it can deliver more accuracy than I can steer it to.....its just fun shooting a accurate rifle. My poor mil spec A2 just wimpers in the corner now.
 

jasons

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my barrel is the wilson arms that comes on the RRA NM rifle new with matching bolt. Cant wait to get some more bullets and time on it. I know it can deliver more accuracy than I can steer it to.....its just fun shooting a accurate rifle. My poor mil spec A2 just wimpers in the corner now.

That one in the picture was a Wilson blank cut and chambered by WOA. They're good barrels if the shooter points them right. I only switched to Kreiger because I was burning the Wilsons up too fast.
 

mac1911

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That one in the picture was a Wilson blank cut and chambered by WOA. They're good barrels if the shooter points them right. I only switched to Kreiger because I was burning the Wilsons up too fast.

Are you pushing loads to max? At the amount I shoot per year I won't be burning out any barrels Nytime soon.
 

jasons

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Are you pushing loads to max? At the amount I shoot per year I won't be burning out any barrels Nytime soon.

They're on the hot side, but not crazy. I'm not staking primers or anything like that.
 

jasons

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..... I didnt even know people where staking primers!

I understand that the AMU does for their 600 yard ammo, and they need to with the pressures they're running. I've never heard of anyone else doing it and I'm not even sure how one would go about doing it if they wanted to.
 

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I have a bench gun I built around a white oak armory upper, and the NES YHM Engraved Lower GB from 2013. Here are some thoughts on my result:
1. Next build will be a larger calibre. .308 or .300 WM.
2. The White Oak is very heavy. Perfect for a bench gun, but not suitable for walks of any distance.
3. The A2 stock was a good choice.
4. I used a standard LPK. I should have invested in a better trigger.
5. I over scoped.

I'm actually looking to sell the upper, re-task the lower as a carbine, and move the scope to a Bolt Action (not yet purchased) in 300 WM.
 

SMS65

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One more thing.....

I stuck a moulded lead weight in the cleaning kit compartment of the A2 stock. This had three interesting effects:

1. It send from heavy, to really heavy.
2. It balanced the White Oak barrel nicely.
3. It completely eliminated felt recoil. Even with 77grain Noslers.
 
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I have a bench gun I built around a white oak armory upper, and the NES YHM Engraved Lower GB from 2013. Here are some thoughts on my result:
1. Next build will be a larger calibre. .308 or .300 WM.
5. I over scoped.

I'm actually looking to sell the upper, re-task the lower as a carbine, and move the scope to a Bolt Action (not yet purchased) in 300 WM.

1. On an AR platform? An AR 308 is in the back of my mind.
5. Please elaborate if can.
 

dcmdon

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Some thoughts.

RRA makes some very accurate guns and uppers for the money.
So does White oak. Even more so. But more money.

.223 Wylde is a compromise chamber. More accurate than 5.56 but still able to chamber and shoot 5.56 safely.

If your priority is accuracy, you want something chambered in .223 ideally.

If you are considering an AR10 type gun, you may want to consider building it in .260 Rem or 6.5 Creedmoor. Less recoil and flatter trajectory.
If you are going to be buying factory ammo, then just stick with .308.

If you choose to shoot off a bipod, then use a rear squeeze bag for the stock.
 
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