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Boondoggle

Finally got to the range with 1st AR-10

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The rain finally broke in middle TN and got to the range this morning to put some rounds down range.  Rifle is a PSA gen2 that I bought the lower (MOE MIAD ACS-L) and upper (stainless 18" w/16" keymod) separate.  Mounted a Vortex Diamondback HP 3-12X44 wBDC reticle in a Aero Precision ultra light one piece both of which I already had and ammo was Federal Fusion 150gr MSR.

Range has a very nice sight in steel so I was on paper after two rounds.  Three more and had a good zero.  Shot two five shot groups and was extremely pleased.  Both groups about 1.5 moa with the factory trigger (which isn't too bad).  Put on the magneto speed as was getting an average velocity of 2786fps (advertised is 2770).  Put that in the ballistics app and the BDC hashes are almost exactly for 200, 300, 400 and 500yds).  Put the 2nd hash on the 12" plate at 300 and a got a first round hit.  Moved to the 8" and same result.  Missed the 6" so I looked at the first two hits and I was a tad high.  Went back to paper and fired a couple and that looked to be the case.  Adjusted down 1 moa and that looked good so went back to the 6" plate and ding!

Needless to say I more than impressed with out of the box, first rounds factory ammo accuracy.  The only minor hiccup was that the 10 round PMAG was pretty snug out of the box so I had to work it a bit to make sure it was properly seating but after about three mag changes it was good to go.  I even ran off 10 rounds as fast as I could aim and then went back to the bench and with a pretty warm barrel was still grouping well.  Best initial AR pattern rifle out of the box experience I've ever had.

 

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Boon  Way to go !   Its great when a plan all comes together!  your groups will get better as the barrel comes in, and you get used to the rifle...good going ....you can always play around with different ammo to see what the barrel likes, but I think you have done good!     :thumbup:   Wash

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Thanks.  My plan was to run the 150 Speer BTSP so working up a hand load around the same 2800ish velocity should be a breeze and should be pretty similar to the Fusion soft point.  I had a few gas guns give me fits so this was a welcome surprise.  I'll admit too that even though is was only a 10 rnd mag dump it's more fun and authoritative than a .223 mag dump.  

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Boon    you will tighten up your groups a bit by not using soft points....the sf tend to get scuffed and whatnot as they are slammed up the ramps...ive seen em really messed up on occasions ..... Wash

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Thanks again.  I didn't think of that do you have a recommendation on a 150 gr PP/hunting bullet that's in the 20-25 cent range.  Something other than an FMJ I suppose or am I overthinking it with respect to terminal performance since it's a .30cal vs .22 cal projectile?  It is not my primary or secondary hunting rifle.

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Boon     I don't reload...there will be some here shortly that do....also I use the Federal Gold Medal in 168 gr or the Privi in 168 gr cause my Nikon scopes are calibrated to the 168 and my rifles tend to like the heavier stuff.....get you a box of Privi 168 match for like 15 bills and see if your piece like heavy grain    Wash

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6 hours ago, Boondoggle said:

Thanks again.  I didn't think of that do you have a recommendation on a 150 gr PP/hunting bullet that's in the 20-25 cent range.  Something other than an FMJ I suppose or am I overthinking it with respect to terminal performance since it's a .30cal vs .22 cal projectile?  It is not my primary or secondary hunting rifle.

Boon, what’s your barrel twist, 1 in 10? You might take a look at some of the Barnes bullets. They kind of rewrote the book on some of their lighter 150 gr range projectiles having a high ballistic coefficient. But you should be able to comfortably go up to 168 gr or 175 gr and do well.

Edited by Sisco

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6 hours ago, Boondoggle said:

Thanks again.  I didn't think of that do you have a recommendation on a 150 gr PP/hunting bullet that's in the 20-25 cent range.

These two right here:

https://www.hornady.com/bullets/rifle/30-cal-308-150-gr-gmx#!/

https://www.hornady.com/bullets/rifle/30-cal-308-150-gr-sst#!/

And the Barnes 150 TSX.  It's a little more, and figuring out loads for TSX rounds takes a little more time, since they're all copper, and a little longer than comparable-weighted projectiles.

Those Hornady SSTs will get it done. 

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Yes 1-10 twist. I've had great results with Barnes bullets in a couple of my bolt guns but for this rifle I'm looking for as in expensive a load as I can get. It looks like a 150 FMJ might have to be the answer. I'd prefer something that is designed to expand but since this will primarily be a SHTF gun I guess I shouldn't care as much. 

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I've actually got a box of 150 SSTs. I'll work those up and if they shoot well I suppose I can suck up the extra $50 per 1000 for the better terminal performance. Thanks for the reminder.  I had them in a box with a bunch of other stuff I was taking to a swap meet Saturday. 

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I'm also very happy with my PSA Gen II AR-10 even though one of the local "guru's" here pretty much considers them door stops.  Mine has the 14.7" upper with welded flash hider.  I bought it in that configuration to keep weight to a minimum for hunting Elk.  

It's surprisingly accurate and haven't found any ammo yet that will group over 1.5" at 100 yards.  It does prefer heavier bullets and 175 grain Barnes bullets pushed by Varget have netted the best groups and consistency to date......Cliff

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16 hours ago, Cliff R said:

 I bought it in that configuration to keep weight to a minimum for hunting Elk. 

Get close to them, or load heavy.  I'd suggest the Hornady 200gr ELD-X for that, for an elk. With RL-17 powder, you can get it to 2450fps, max, with a 22" barrel.  If you only get it to 2400fps, that'll give you a max PB Range of 318 yards on a 270-yard zero.  From a 22" -  From a 14.7" barrel, the velocity will be around 2271fps.  That changes you max PB Range to 296 yards and a zero distance of 252 yards for it. Go big, since you're going big.  :thumbup:

 

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16 hours ago, Cliff R said:

I'm also very happy with my PSA Gen II AR-10 even though one of the local "guru's" here pretty much considers them door stops....

That's an awefully nasty thing to say about a door stop. 

:hornet:

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There have been some seriously fucked up things with the PSA Gen 1.  There have also been some seriously fucked up things about the PSA Gen II (2?...)...  whatever.

If they've listened - LISTENED - then it'll get better, and you'll never hear about it.  You won't know what they fixed, changed, whatever.  They've been off-the-grid as far as input.  They don't wanna hear it.  It your PSA runs, then good - maybe they changed something, that was recommended.  I doubt it, though - they're pretty proud of what they're doing, and input is not something that they're looking for - on a mass produced, "it'll work for most of the people most of the time" gun that comes in at budget prices, an no QC worth a damn...

My $0.02, FWIW...

Edited by 98Z5V

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The biggest complaint we've heard about with the PSA stuff is crappy barrels and less than acceptable accuracy.  That comment extends past the AR-10 platform offerings into their AR-15 stuff as well.  

I own three AR-10's, the first was an Alexandria Arms.  It's a bit heavy but shoots well and no function issues to date.  I built the PSA AR-10 shortly after to come up with a lighter rifle for hunting out West.  I also traded for a DPMS new in the box.

I've spent enough time on the range with all three guns to conclude that none of them are capable of one hole at 100 yard accuracy, but all three have more than acceptable accuracy for hunting.  I've shot some commercial ammo thru them, Fusion, Super X, Remington (all 150 grain loads) and PMC.  For hand loads I've tried 4320 (had three vintage cans laying around) pushing plain old Sierra 150 grain soft points, and a box of Hornady 155's, then the Barnes 175's backed by Varget. 

The heavier I went with bullet weight the tighter the groups were (in all three guns), although there may have been some "break-in" going on.

Last year right before heading to Colorado for the Fall hunt I spent one final day on the range.  It's on our farm and we can take shots up to 500 yards but rarely shoot more than 300.

I was on the lane leading back to the field and a ground hog popped up in the bean stubble.  It was pretty warm for mid-October which was a good day for shooting but a bad day for the ground hog.  I took him out at just a tad over 200 yards with one of the Barnes 175 grain loads.  I guess if I'm well on a ground hog at 200 yards an Elk woln't be much of a problem at 300 yards.

Anyhow, PSA gets a bad rap in some circles.  Not sure how much is from direct testing, rumor control or just regurgitating old information on the NET like we see with just about every single topic one could "google" up.

My direct testing tells me that my PSA 14.7" AR-10 is a good piece and accurate enough to take any North American game animal to at least 300 yards.  The same day I shot the ground hog I backed up to 300 yards and a shot a magazine of 5 rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger at a full size Elk target we outlined on a huge piece of cardboard down range.  I just laid the rifle over the side of a round hay bail so not even a good steady rest.  I just put the cross hairs of the Leupold 2-7 scope in the kill zone and cranked off 5 rounds in about that 6-7 seconds.  It was getting dark and that was the plan, to simulate a hunting situation.  

I would have been happy to have had all 6 shots in a 14-16" kill zone area to be perfectly honest.  Instead they were all nestled in a group less than 5"!  I consider that weapon more than acceptable for hunting game animals at acceptable ranges........FWIW......Cliff

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Barrel accuracy was never a complaint that made it here. What did come was function issues. Cycling, feeding and the like. And they came in bunches. 

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I've had ZERO function issues with all three guns to date no matter what loads I put thru them. 

I did convert all three to A2 stocks instead of the 6 position and use the correct buffer and spring in them.   I've never been a fan of the 6 position stocks in AR-10's or 15's, don't like the look and no storage in the end, just a personal thing.

Anyhow, there is a local "guru" here that builds long range guns and dabbles in AR-15's and once in a while an AR-10.  Don't know the guy well but got in a discussion with him a while back at a friends house during a cook out.  He told me straight out PSA barrels and JUNK, at least in terms of accuracy.  I didn't argue with the guy, not my style and I stay pretty humble with such things and didn't tell him I was a Military firearms instructor for 20 years, and shot .45 ACP and High Power Matches competitively for a number of years.  That just basically means that I'm not going to flinch or do anything else to disturb the rifle (or pistol) as the bullet makes it''s way down the barrel.  EVERYONE in our hunting party has me sight in all the weapons for that reason.

I consider my PSA AR-10 more than acceptable for function and accuracy.  It does well with everything I've put thru it, cared the least for the PMC factory loads and liked my 175 grain Barnes loads the best.  They nestle in right around MOA, the PMC's were out near 1.75" for most groups.....Cliff

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Well, again, I’ve been here since ‘09 and the biggest issue is what you changed right off the bat. The factory rifle was coming with a six position stock with mix matched parts, causing many issues. 

 

Im not sure who your guru is, there have been a few guys here who have since left that were quite the PSA 10 fans boys. They were lucky enough to receive a functioning rifle and refused to believe others had issues even though there were entire threads of us (mostly 98z5b) solving issue after issue.

 

The one barrel issue I vaguely remember is where a batch was put out with undersized gas ports causing cycling issues. 

 

Thanks for your your service and welcome aboard. We have a campfire and beers brotherhood, so sit back and have a cold one on us.

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Thanks, hope I can help out here and there. 

Yep, there was some conflicting and possibly inaccurate info going around about the AR-10's from some vendors being able to use AR-15 buffers and springs.  I refused to do that with all three of mine and gave them A2 stocks with dedicated 308 buffers/springs, zero issues with any loads I've shot to date far as reliability goes.  Not only no signs of function issues they throw the brass consistently as well so no need to look into the gas system or any other mods for improved performance/reliability.

Overall I'd have had very good success with PSA uppers to date.  I have a good assortment of AR-15's and some variants which include an AR-47 and a 450 Bushmaster.  

The PSA AR-15 stuff is decent just like the AR-10 I got from them.  For the most part I'm seeing at or very close to Mil-Spec accuracy IF I use good ammo.  Most of my AR's seem to like 556 Military grade ammo vs the mass produced commercial stuff that fills the market these days.  I will admit that most of my PSA stuff was purchased a few years back and I selected their "hammer forged" barrels, chrome lined and 1-7 twist.  Since then push much cheaper uppers with stainless or nitrided barrels with I have no experience with.

The 450 Bushmaster is the chit for sure.  Whoever got together with Hornady and came up with that deal hit the nail on the head.  For right out of the box with factory ammo every single group I've shot with it just cuts a jagged hole at 100 yards, rivaling any of my bolt guns with custom hand loads in them.

Anyhow, sorry for drifting off topic on someone else's thread, and for sure it's time for a cold one, and time to start packing up the truck and trailer for Colorado's 2nd Rifle season......Cliff

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32 minutes ago, Cliff R said:

Thanks, hope I can help out here and there. 

Yep, there was some conflicting and possibly inaccurate info going around about the AR-10's from some vendors being able to use AR-15 buffers and springs. 

Armalite AR-10s have never, ever used any AR15 recoil system parts - unless you count the distinct interchangeability of the AR15 H3 Carbine buffer being identical in every way to the Armalite AR-10 Carbine buffer... 

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Thanks for the head up there.

When I purchased by Alexandria Arms upper and built the lower I was told by the company selling them to use AR-15 buffer/springs in it.  I had actually already assembled their lower and put the A2 stock on it with a 308 buffer/spring, so left it that way for initial testing and no issues.

Did the same thing for my PSA when I built it and didn't even inquire with Palmetto Armory about which buffer/spring to use when using an A2 stock.  Not sure if I got lucky twice or both of those gun run fine with 308 parts when using the A2 stock.

When I got the DPMS in trade did the same thing for a 3rd time and it runs flawless as well.  So for now I'll leave them all as-is unless gremlins show up and give me a reason to look into different buffers/springs for them.

So my experience with this platform is limited to 3 guns and none of them are Armalite.  I did however find out very quickly that there are compatibility issues with 308 platforms unlike the AR-15 where uppers/lowers which pretty much interchange freely no matters who's stuff you are buying..........Cliff

Edited by Cliff R

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18 hours ago, Cliff R said:

I've had ZERO function issues with all three guns to date no matter what loads I put thru them. 

I did convert all three to A2 stocks instead of the 6 position and use the correct buffer and spring in them.   I've never been a fan of the 6 position stocks in AR-10's or 15's, don't like the look and no storage in the end, just a personal thing.

Anyhow, there is a local "guru" here that builds long range guns and dabbles in AR-15's and once in a while an AR-10.  Don't know the guy well but got in a discussion with him a while back at a friends house during a cook out.  He told me straight out PSA barrels and JUNK, at least in terms of accuracy.  I didn't argue with the guy, not my style and I stay pretty humble with such things and didn't tell him I was a Military firearms instructor for 20 years, and shot .45 ACP and High Power Matches competitively for a number of years.  That just basically means that I'm not going to flinch or do anything else to disturb the rifle (or pistol) as the bullet makes it''s way down the barrel.  EVERYONE in our hunting party has me sight in all the weapons for that reason.

I consider my PSA AR-10 more than acceptable for function and accuracy.  It does well with everything I've put thru it, cared the least for the PMC factory loads and liked my 175 grain Barnes loads the best.  They nestle in right around MOA, the PMC's were out near 1.75" for most groups.....Cliff

My AR inventory is pretty much SHTF insurance so I was thrilled with the performance. Still train and shoot them obviously but for me it was way easier to get bolt guns to shoot very accurately.  

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15 hours ago, Cliff R said:

Thanks for the head up there.

When I purchased by Alexandria Arms upper and built the lower I was told by the company selling them to use AR-15 buffer/springs in it.

You do realize why I'm pointing this out, right?  You keep calling everything "AR-10" when it's not AR-10.  There are distinct differences. 

That Alex Arms you got is not an AR-10.  If it doesn't say Armalite in the side of it, then it's just simply not an AR-10.  This board exists because of those differences.

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