Posts Tagged ‘rock river arms’

Sep
6

The Spot Drill

Accuracy. Precision. Repeatability. These are the things we strive for, the things we put so much time and effort into achieving – We’re constantly looking for any edge to improve the accuracy of our firearms.

Today we’re going to work on the weakest link of the accuracy chain: The shooter.

We’re all familiar with shooting groups, and with the right rifle, we can easily shoot a 5-round group in under 1″ at 100 yards. But can we shoot a 1″ target with one shot at any given time?

Practice the spot drill and find out.

I was first made aware of the spot drill on Sigforum, and the member speaking about the drill saw it on Sniper’s Hide forums, so credit where credit is due. It is an excellent exercise that will force you to concentrate on shooting fundamentals like breathing and trigger control.

The idea is simple: place 20 1″ dots (targets) approximately 3″ apart. From 100 yards, fire one round at each dot… if it touches the dot, it counts as a “hit.”

Warning: this is NOT as easy as it sounds, and it’s unlikely you’ll clear all targets on your first try. In fact, if you’re not used to doing a drill like this, you’ll be doing good to clear half of them.

I do have a some experience in similar practice, having done a bit of silhouette shooting in my time. I decided to run a spot drill today with the new varmint AR.

Twenty 1" targets set at 100 yards - one shot each

Twenty 1" targets set at 100 yards - one shot each

It was a beautiful day out today – high 60’s, sunny, but a wind that was constantly blowing from 10 to 15mph. But hey, I like a challenge.

Starting with a clean rifle and a 20-round PMAG full of Black Hills’ 40-grain VMAX, I shot a 10 shot group to foul the barrel and check for drift. The group measured 1.069″, a bit of a spread from my .9″ group from a few days back.

After a scope adjustment, I fired off another 10 rounds, and the group measured .969″. Not too shabby, considering the wind.

Two groups of 10 shots for fouling and adjustment

Two groups of 10 shots for fouling and adjustment

Time to start the drill.

The first shot hit almost 1″ high. Whether it’s me or my rifles, the first round I chamber out of a magazine is almost always a flier, so this did not particularly surprise me. I missed again on my eighth shot, but managed to clear the rest. Again, not bad, considering the wind.

The Spot Drill Target - 18 out of 20

The Spot Drill Target - 18 out of 20

The spot drill is definitely an excellent training tool, and I highly recommend practicing it to improve on your shooting fundamentals.

Aug
22

Range Report: New Varmint Build

You may have noticed that I put together a new AR-15 varmint build.

New varmint build - RRA lower, WOA upper, Geissele trigger

New varmint build - RRA lower, WOA upper, Geissele trigger

When I asked John Holliger what he recommended for barrel break-in on this new upper, he simply replied, “I am not a big believer in barrel break-in.”
In WOA’s FAQs, it suggests shooting 15-20 rounds through it, cleaning, and consider it good to go. So that’s what I did.

Conditions: 85 degrees, humid, sunny afternoon, 10-15mph wind.

Heavy stainless fluted 1:12" twist fluted barrel

Heavy stainless fluted 1:12" twist fluted barrel

I shot 19 rounds of 55 grain .223 VMAX to simultaneously break in the barrel and zero the scope. Then I took it inside for a quick cleaning with Bore-Tech Eliminator. You can tell right away when you’re cleaning a hand-lapped barrel like this one – the patches glide down the barrel like butter.

Topped with Nikon Monarch X 4-16x50 scope

Topped with Nikon Monarch X 4-16x50 scope

After that was done, I shot 10 rounds of Thunder Ammo’s 55 grain VMAX in a respectable 1.359″ group.

10 shot group of 55 grain VMAX

10 shot group of 55 grain VMAX

Feeling pretty good about the first 10 shots out of a new rifle after the world’s fastest break-in, I tried some of Thunder Ammo’s 50 grain VMAX, which grouped slightly better than the 55 grain.

The 50 grain .223 VMAX grouped a little better than the 55 grain

The 50 grain .223 VMAX grouped a little better than the 55 grain

I just so happened to have a box of Black Hills remanufactured 40 grain VMAX on hand, which I figured should be well suited for the 1:12 twist rate of the White Oak barrel. Ten more shots gave us the best group of the day – .900″.

Remanufactured 40 grain VMAX Black Hills Ammo grouped at .9 inches

Remanufactured 40 grain VMAX Black Hills Ammo grouped at .9 inches

Did a quick re-zero to the faster 40 grain bullet, and shot a .616″ 5-shot group.

5 shots of 40 grain Black Hills VMAX in .616 inches

5 shots of 40 grain Black Hills VMAX in .616 inches

A short video:

All-in-all, I’m very pleased with this new build. It’s extremely accurate, the trigger is incredible, and the Monarch X scope is nothing short of superb. (Separate reviews for the trigger and scope will come later).

Once we get a few more rounds down the pipe, a less windy day, and a better rest (which will be here in a few days!), I’m sure those groups will tighten up even more.

Happy shooting.

Aug
17

Varmint Build Is Finished

The upper from White Oak Armament came in today, along with a Geissele match trigger, so tonight I was able to complete the varmint AR-15 I’ve been wanting to build.

It all started with a good deal on a Rock River Arms lower, complete with a RRA parts kit, Ergo grip, and VLTOR buffer and tube. The VLTOR EMod buttstock I had on hand… I may swap this out later on for a Magpul PRS, but we’ll see how this works out first.

New custom varmint .223 build

New custom varmint .223 build

The Geissele 2-stage trigger came highly recommended, and after installing and adjusting it, I can certainly see why. The first stage is set to a smooth 2 pounds with a crisp 6oz second-stage pull. It took about an hour to install and fine-tune the trigger, but that was with a lot of first-time fumbling – now that I know what I’m doing, I’m sure I could do it again in about 15 minutes.

Geissele 2-stage match rifle trigger

Geissele 2-stage match rifle trigger

I went with a WOA upper for a number of reasons, but mainly due to their reputation for outstanding accuracy. I plan on shooting primarily 55 grain Hornady V-Max loads out of this rifle, and WOA’s John Holliger recommended a 1:12 twist. The stainless bull barrel is heavy, and this will not just be a bench gun, so we kept it on the short side at 18″ and added straight fluting that takes off about a pound of weight.

Service from WOA was excellent, and the turnaround on this order was right at 4 weeks.

18 inch stainless fluted barrel on the WOA upper

18 inch stainless fluted barrel on the WOA upper

Speaking of heavy, it’s topped off with a nice, heavy scope: a Nikon Monarch X 4-16×50. This is an amazing scope for the money (street price of around $900). I’ll do a full review of the scope later, but for now, suffice to say I compared this side-by-side with a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14×44 and Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14×50, and I didn’t buy the Nikon because of the price.

I’m really looking forward to breaking this in next weekend… it should be a real tack-driver.

Feb
28

Range Report: RRA AR-15 Pistol

Finally had some time to process some video. Here’s a quick highlight reel of the RRA Pistol testing:

You can see the different groups at 25 and 50 yards. This is firing with the EOTech and a variety of good .223. Since this is primarily a sub-50-yard weapon, I’m calling this acceptable accuracy.

RRA AR-15 Pistol 5-shot Group

RRA AR-15 Pistol 5-shot Group

Down the road, I’ll mount the Leupold Mark AR on it just to see what the short barrel is capable of at longer distances.

Feb
26

Rock River Arms AR-15 Pistol

Meet the RRA LAR-15 A4 Pistol.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15

This particular pistol is chambered in 5.56 NATO. It has a 7″ Chrome Moly 1:9 twist barrel on a flat-top upper with a free-float tube. This came from the Rock River Arms factory with a Hogue grip and RRA’s Dominator2 EOTech mount.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15

The Dominator2 allows co-witness of the iron sights with an EOTech holographic weapons sight. Seems like a good chance to try out the EOTech 551.

Rock River Arms LAR-15

Rock River Arms LAR-15 with EOTech 551

This one is still pretty new to me. I’ve performed the barrel break-in and I’ve zeroed the iron sights and the EOTech, but that’s about all. We’ll run it through its paces as soon as we’re blessed with some decent weather.

Happy shooting.