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 Super SASS range report.
MovinMan  [Member]
9/17/2007 11:13:15 AM
I wrote this for a post on another message board I belong to. I know for this board its very sophomoric, but it was too long to write another one for people that already know this stuff. In fact, most here probably know more than me......this is my first precision long distance rig. I was always more of a CQB kinda guy. Any pointers or critiques would be appreciated.





Well, took the AR-10 out for some break in....see what it was capable of.

Its an Armalite AR-10 Super SASS (Semi Auto Sniping System).
I ditched the Pride Fowler scope for some real optics.....a Night Force 5.5 X 22 X 50 with a Mil Dot reticle. I was shooting some cheap ball ammo just to get the scope close, then Black Hills 168 grain Match Grade BTHP for the serious stuff.

For those that dont know what a Mil Dot reticle is. Its a means to measure the distance to your target by using a simple mathmatical formula based on some known quantities and the dots the are placed across the cross hairs of your scope.

Heres where we went shooting.

I have a 4 foot tall cardboard box with a reactive target taped to it.

This is 100 yards away. You can see the box in the distance on the pathway.



First, you zero the scope at 100 yards. I did this at the range the other day at a known distance with no wind. Place the crosshairs over the bullseye and keep adjusting your knobs for windage and elevation until your bullet holes are knocking the X ring out. The set the knobs to zero and thats you starting point from now on.

Heres a look through the scope.



The way you determine distance with the Mil Dot is you multiply the known height of the object in yards X 1000. In this case, the box is exactly 4 feet tall.....1.33 yards. You end up with 1330. Then you divide that number by how many Mils Tall The target is. In this case, 3.75.

3.75 divided into 1330 = 354.66 yards. Thats how far away the box is in that pic.

Ok, so now we know how to determine range to the target. This is important to compensate for bullet drop. Since we have a bunch of known and constant factors, such as Bullet weight, speed, Aerodynamic's (otherwise known as ballistic coefficient) and the fact that we are working with a gun that was zeroed in at 100 yards exactly with the exact same ammo......the only thing left to do is calculate the variables.

Such as wind, distance, humidity, altitude above sea level, barometric pressure, the coriolis effect....which is the spin of the earth as it actually spins your target away from you as the earth rotates under the bullets flight, the cosine....or angle of trajectory.....are you shooting uphill, downhill.

All these things need to be taken into consideration and factored in on longer range shots to allow for predicting the bullets flight path so that after all those variables affect it, it still impacts the target where you want.

Years ago it took a considerable amount of mathematical formulas, drop tables, guess work and even a little bit of voodoo.

Welcome to the future.

Today we have portable hand held pocket PC's with ballistic data calculators. Enter in the known quantities, save them. Then enter in the variables we discussed, the computer spits out changes for you to make to your scope settings, put the crosshairs over the target....pull the trigger and bang.......dead target.


So here we pull the truck away quite a distance.

After determining the distance with the scope, I start entering in numbers into the computer.





Here the calculations tell me Im 444 yards away from target.





Now normally I would use a handheld weather station to give me all the variables I need in real time.....like wind speed, temperature, air density....all the factors. Since mine hasnt arrived in the mail yet......I cheated and got on my iPhone (sorry Ranger) and got the current weather for where I was at. All the equations I needed except windspeed at the time. My experience skydiving and relying on wind speed prediction to keep me alive gave me a little help here. The winds were kicking at least 18-20 MPH and were crossing me from about 10 o'clock on the dial.




Enter all the info into the computer and it spits out numbers for me.

You see here it was telling me to adjust 8.75 MOA up and 6,25 MOA to the left to compensate for distance and wind. You can also see the computer is predicting about .57 seconds of flight time until impact and the bullet will still be traveling at 1989 feet per second.....around 1000 miles per hour.



So I make the appropriate clicks on the knobs for the scope,



Put the crosshairs over the target,



....and pull the trigger. If Ive done my job as a shooter, breath control, trigger squeeze and what not, you should have impact on target.

Now, keep in mind, this gun shoots around 1/2 to 3/4 minute of angle with a good shooter. That means that at 100 yards, your groups will be around 1/2 to 3/4 inch apart from center to center. Every 100 yards you add to distance means the the group size doubles. So with a good shooter at 444 yards, my spread should be around 3-4 inches apart.

My first shot, cold barrel from 444 yards....using only the calculations provided by the computer.



I post a new target and fire ten rounds.



The results aren't what I wanted. I realized that by laying in the back of the truck, the wind was shaking the truck around too much. Minute movements at longer distances can really cause problems.

I relocate to the ground and set a small jug filled with sand on the box.

Oh yeah, much more stable.



First shot.......Jeffs happy.



Lets go see.

Hit the bottom of the jug and blew it apart at 444 yards.



Ripped through the box as well with rock and dirt.



Heres a gatorade bottle from around 275 yards....first shot.



Heres a quarter from 165 yards. First shot just skimmed the edge. I had to go retape it. The second shot was dead on.






Cathy got in on the action as well. The girl can shoot.



She makes a pretty good spotter as well.



Did a little handgun action as well.





All in all a pretty good day with the new gun....except for the fact I got fucking cooked. Im definately getting skin cancer now.


The amazing part to me is how technology makes it so easy now. Im no Quigly Down Under, but with todays guns and electronics, anyone can make shots that would have been outstanding just a few years back. Keep in mind, many of those shots were first shots at new targets, new distances. Anyone can zero a scope in at a given distance until he's hitting his target.

Todays technology allows you to do it cold bore.....one shot, one kill.
M4Fanatic  [Member]
9/17/2007 12:08:21 PM
Does the tactical mattress pad come in black?

Great report. Any plans for a suppressor?
michealj  [Member]
9/17/2007 11:48:27 PM
Great looking rifle and a great range report. Love the "range" as well.
Sniper3142  [Member]
9/18/2007 8:52:40 PM
Very nice report and pictures.



CETMEfree  [Team Member]
9/18/2007 9:45:44 PM
Best range report I've seen in a while.
CaptSchofield  [Team Member]
9/18/2007 10:11:56 PM
Dude! SASS stands for Single Action Shooting Society

www.sassnet.com or just Google SASS
GSPatton  [Team Member]
9/18/2007 10:17:49 PM
Excellent range report! She sure is sweet!
I've been meaning to get one of those sometime.

The rifle ain't bad either.

ETA: Your finger is on the trigger in the handgun shot. Gotta watch that pal!
azeyecap  [Member]
9/18/2007 11:13:59 PM
very nice,
MovinMan  [Member]
9/18/2007 11:45:26 PM
Thanks guys.

The only good part about living in Utah is theres just so many places to shoot.

Yeah, the fingers on the trigger. I was practicing double tap drills. I let my finger go to the trigger as Im raising the gun. I figure since Ive already made the decision to shoot, theres no quicker way to get off a shot than to already have your trigger finger in place.

Of course, if I was evaluating the situation and it was a shoot / dont shoot scenario, my finger would be resting on the frame.
MovinMan  [Member]
9/19/2007 2:01:59 AM
Also, anyone else here shot the SASS?

Ive been told that a better trigger can improve things some but the trigger on this gun seems so smooth already. Im used to factory triggers on Colts, RRA's, POF's and the like so the trigger on this feels awesome to me.

How much better can it get and what trigger would you reccomend?
DemonLoneWolf  [Member]
9/19/2007 1:35:05 PM
Uhhhh, I want one. How much are they?

Are they cheaper than a Mk11 KAC rifle?
Soulless  [Member]
10/4/2007 11:13:16 PM
With regards to the SASS, has anyone heard what differences the govt. found between the armalite vs the knights armament co. that made them choose the kac? There is a decent gap in price between the 2 but I'm not sure if armalite toned it down a bit so their version of the SASS would be more price friendly to the average shooter. I have seen complete kits for the kac sass on impact for over $6000. Thats with the scope and accessories though but thats still more the the armalite version. I was just curious if any one had a line on what were some of the differences between 2 systems.
bjwar10  [Member]
10/5/2007 10:02:59 AM

Originally Posted By Soulless:
With regards to the SASS, has anyone heard what differences the govt. found between the armalite vs the knights armament co. that made them choose the kac? There is a decent gap in price between the 2 but I'm not sure if armalite toned it down a bit so their version of the SASS would be more price friendly to the average shooter. I have seen complete kits for the kac sass on impact for over $6000. Thats with the scope and accessories though but thats still more the the armalite version. I was just curious if any one had a line on what were some of the differences between 2 systems.


It may have simply been internet hype but at one time there was a conversation about the changes that would have to be made at the Armalite factory in order for them to deal with govt. contracts and that that would drive the cost of the SASS much higher. As for performance, I remember seeing that they performed equally well.
drabchoi  [Member]
10/5/2007 9:55:29 PM
i really like the scope mount...GG&G?
MovinMan  [Member]
10/6/2007 1:05:21 PM
Yep, AccuCam.

Probably going to switch out with some Badger rings though.
dmtsc  [Member]
10/6/2007 2:59:10 PM
Nice overview but where is the can
ldim  [Member]
10/6/2007 9:42:26 PM
Here's a picture of mine with AAC's Scar-H-SD can attached. I haven't worked with it much yet but will soon. Took awhile to get it all together. For those interested the barrel diameter of this rifle as it came from Armalite was oversize and had to be turned down to fit the new AAC quick attach flash hider. The Armalite supplied flash hider and fake AAC can that came with the SASS rifles are not in spec for what AAC has available today. The barrel is stainless and has the ceramic coating by Rhinohyde on it from Armalite so if your careful it can be turned "just enough" to for go having it refinished.
Larry
Prizm  [Member]
10/14/2007 5:24:34 PM
MovinMan, thanks for a great report. Your info has helped me greatly and given me more confidence in my SASS. I posted my SASS adventure. I'd be interested to know if you've had any issues with yours.

http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=62&t=346014&page=1

T56  [Team Member]
10/15/2007 12:19:18 PM

Originally Posted By bjwar10:

Originally Posted By Soulless:
With regards to the SASS, has anyone heard what differences the govt. found between the armalite vs the knights armament co. that made them choose the kac? There is a decent gap in price between the 2 but I'm not sure if armalite toned it down a bit so their version of the SASS would be more price friendly to the average shooter. I have seen complete kits for the kac sass on impact for over $6000. Thats with the scope and accessories though but thats still more the the armalite version. I was just curious if any one had a line on what were some of the differences between 2 systems.


It may have simply been internet hype but at one time there was a conversation about the changes that would have to be made at the Armalite factory in order for them to deal with govt. contracts and that that would drive the cost of the SASS much higher. As for performance, I remember seeing that they performed equally well.


You sir, are correct. If Armalite had received the contract for the SASS they would have needed to sink a ton of money into security upgrades for the factory. As far as performance, it was pretty much even.
TaylorWSO  [Life Member]
10/15/2007 12:37:43 PM
Nice write-up. I cant believe you were shooting off the bed of that truck. That is usually the worst place to shoot off IMO but you still did a great job.
TRWalsh  [Member]
10/15/2007 10:58:48 PM

Originally Posted By T56:

Originally Posted By bjwar10:

Originally Posted By Soulless:
With regards to the SASS, has anyone heard what differences the govt. found between the armalite vs the knights armament co. that made them choose the kac? There is a decent gap in price between the 2 but I'm not sure if armalite toned it down a bit so their version of the SASS would be more price friendly to the average shooter. I have seen complete kits for the kac sass on impact for over $6000. Thats with the scope and accessories though but thats still more the the armalite version. I was just curious if any one had a line on what were some of the differences between 2 systems.


It may have simply been internet hype but at one time there was a conversation about the changes that would have to be made at the Armalite factory in order for them to deal with govt. contracts and that that would drive the cost of the SASS much higher. As for performance, I remember seeing that they performed equally well.


You sir, are correct. If Armalite had received the contract for the SASS they would have needed to sink a ton of money into security upgrades for the factory. As far as performance, it was pretty much even.


Also, the Army planned to order a Butt-Load of them about 5 seconds after the contract was awarded. So Knight, having a larger production capability already in place, scored extra points for that. Fair? No, but what can you do?

I too, also heard that the technical performance of the two systems were both very close.
MovinMan  [Member]
10/16/2007 10:37:54 PM
Taylor, I know....the only reason I was shooting from the bed of the Avalanche in the first place was because the winds were so strong, we couldnt lay prone on the ground. The dry Utah ground and 18-20 MPH winds means you just get sand blasted. Dust and sand was kicking into my face so bad, I couldnt breath. Eventually the wind calmed down a bit.

Prizm, funny you mention your problems.

The accuracy of the gun is not quite what I expected. I dont have a ton of experience shooting precision rigs so I was thinking maybe its me.....even though Ive always considered myself a decent shot.

Reliability is my primary concern and the SASS has left me hanging. I am having the exact same feeding issues you had. Failure to fully extract the old shell and jamming the neck of the shell against the inside of the breech, crushing the neck of the case and causing a double feed of sorts.

It happens about 1 out of 30 rounds.....far far too much for me to ever trust my life with the rifle.

Im considering sending it back to Armalite and having them take a look at whatever may be wrong.
ArmaLite  [Industry Partner]
10/19/2007 11:07:31 PM
Feed problems are odd,especially when using the GenII mags.

You don't say if you're having problems with the Black Hills or the cheaper 7.62 you're shooting. Stubbing during feeding sounds like ammo that's loaded short of NATO length. We've seen that with the otherwise-excellent Federal American Eagle 147 grain ammo. We've seen it loaded about .100 short.

You don't say whether all the malfunctions are with one type of ammo or all.

And last, do you have the gas regulator set on the proper setting?

The SSASS has a great track record, but we do find that their owners use a broader assortment of ammo than the general shooter. Everything from standard ball to heavy handloads.

Please provide additional info and we'll see if we can help diagnose your problem.

MovinMan  [Member]
10/19/2007 11:26:30 PM
Thank you for your reply.

Please dont take my comments the wrong way. Overall Im very happy with the gun and Im sure it is something that can be worked out.

I know it has happened with several different types of ammo, but in all honesty I havent kept a log as to which kind and how many times it occured with what ammo.

I do know that it has occured with cheap 150 grain MagTech ball, Black Hills 168 Match, Federal Gold Medal Match 168 grain and UMC 150 grain ball.

I have made sure to keep the bolt carrier well lubed and yes, the gas block selector is in the right setting....."Norm".

Im taking it tommorow to zero in a different scope on it. I will shoot several different ammos and keep a log. I will also photograph any failures.

Thanks
ArmaLite  [Industry Partner]
10/20/2007 7:38:05 AM
Thanks for the kind words. It's a hell of a rifle.

It'd be better to send the rifle back for us to look at. We have instrumentation that will help us diagnose it.

Rover31  [Member]
10/21/2007 12:38:31 AM
This is a great read Thanks! all the follow up post are informative also!
exocet  [Team Member]
10/21/2007 1:04:28 AM
nice..
MovinMan  [Member]
10/21/2007 10:39:32 PM
Well, took the SASS out again today.

Experienced a number of malfunctions.

They were all with Black Hills 168 grn BTHP.

Heres a few pics.









This was out of around 50 rounds.

Almost 1 in 10 malfunctioned. Obviously not normal.

Whats the next step in getting this repaired?
m4hk33  [Member]
10/21/2007 11:38:31 PM
looks lie a bad extractor, best thing to do is to contact armalite and let them no that your having some issue and they should send you a call tag to send it back in. im sure you could email sombody in the tech deparment with those pics and they can get you on track
drabchoi  [Member]
10/25/2007 3:23:45 PM
just take apart your extractor and make sure there isnt something stuck in there and see what kind of springs are in there.....

then tap out the role pin for the ejector and inspect and clean and reinstall and lube...should be ready to go.....sometime brass can get stuck in the ejector and rounds dont get pushed out hard enough...Keep us advised but this should not need to be sent to Armalite for this fix
MovinMan  [Member]
10/27/2007 5:51:20 PM
I couldnt find anything unusual about the extractor. The springs seemed fine, nothing looked beat up.

I wonder if I could just get away with sending them the bolt and carrier without shipping the whole gun.
MovinMan  [Member]
10/27/2007 5:54:01 PM

I ditched the Pride Fowler scope for some real optics.....a Night Force 5.5 X 22 X 50 with a Mil Dot reticle.


BTW.....I might have been a little premature in that statement. Someone from Pride Fowler contacted after reading this and has been working with me to try and resolve some of the issues I was having with the scope.

It may be that I didnt have the scope set up properly or zeroed in properly.

I will advise.