Posts Tagged ‘White Oak Armament’

Oct
7

The Spot Drill: Revisited

You may remember my post about trying a spot drill.

In that exercise, I shot one round each at twenty 1″ targets, with the object being to hit each target. I hit 18 out of 20 with the Varmint AR in that exercise.

I wanted to try this drill with the Savage Model 10 Tactical, but I feared shooting 1″ spots from a bag on the bench would be too easy. So, to make the challenge a little more realistic (and a lot more challenging!), I decided to shoot at 1/2″ targets from a prone position using only a front bag.

Shooting a prone spot drill with the Savage Model 10

Shooting a prone spot drill with the Savage Model 10 Tactical

As it turns out, this was more challenging than I thought it would be, mainly because I was in the prone position. Lying flat on the ground, every beat of my heart made the crosshairs jump off target.

Needless to say, I did not do as well as I did previously. I ended up hitting only 8 out of the 20 targets, with a few more being very close.

I was only able to hit 8 out of the 10 spots

I was only able to hit 8 of the 20 spots

I tried the same setup with the WOA Varmint AR-15, and scored another 8.

I know it sounds easy – we can shoot 5-shot groups in 1/4″ all day long, how can it be so tough to put a bunch of shots in spots twice as big as our groups?

All I can tell you is, give it a try.

If you’re new to this game, here’s a few pics to help you understand what we’re trying to achieve…

Target is 100 yards away - no magnification

Target is 100 yards away - no magnification

View of the target through the scope at 4x magnification

View of the target through the scope at 4x magnification

View through the Nikon Monarch X at 16x magnification - the maximum

View through the Nikon Monarch X at 16x magnification - the maximum

In that last picture, you’re looking at exactly what I’m seeing when I’m shooting this drill. As you can imagine, the slightest bit of movement, even that from the shooter’s own beating heart, will move the crosshairs off target.

Of course, I can’t blame my low score on the rifle or the ammunition, because it’s a demonstrated shooter. The only thing I can do is keep practicing. We’ll revisit this again soon.

Oct
5

WOA Varmint AR-15 Accuracy

So you saw the initial 10-shot groups from this White Oak Armament varmint AR-15 build, you saw the spot drill. What I haven’t posted, which many have asked to see, is what the 5-shot groups look like.

Well, they look like this:

Five shot group at 100 yards with WOA AR-15

Five shot group at 100 yards with WOA AR-15 shooting Black Hills 40 grain VMAX

Just a RCH over 1/4″.

So, yeah, if you do your part, it’ll shoot a dime at 100.

Yes, I shot some dimes at 100 yards with this rifle.

Yes, I shot some dimes at 100 yards with this rifle.

Now quit dilly-dallying and go get one.

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.