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Posted: 9/13/2009 4:37:27 AM EST
I did some ammo testing with my LR-308B yesterday. I used 168gr SMK and Tac powder. You can see the results here: Targets Click on a pic to make it bigger, then click on original at the top to blow that up. Dot on the paper is 1/2 inch. Kinda disappointed with the results. Even the 168gr Black Hills ammo printed at about 2 inches. Just to make sure I wasn't having a bad day on the trigger, I got my Remmy 700 out. I used my 308 reloads in it also. Fired the first 4 shots and then adjusted the scope for the last two. I know the DPMS won't be as accurate as the 700, but I was expecting better than this. The gun has about 300 rounds through it. Are these groups typical of these guns?
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:22:47 AM EST
The factory trigger is usually less than desirable. Have you tested the pull weight?
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:28:45 AM EST
I have the optional JP trigger in it. Tad long, but it's a pretty good trigger. I can stay on target with it. Not as good as the Remmy though.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 1:56:29 PM EST
I've got a 24" fluted stainless LR. The best results I've been able to get is using 167 Lapua scenars. The rifle does not care for the 175 Sierra's at all.
I've had the best luck using IMR 4064 powder. I load the cartridges in chamber singly though they just fit in magazine.

You probably know that you may have to spend many hours experimenting with different powders and different bullets until you get the best group.

I am getting a bit tighter targets with my 24" LR then what I see you are getting with your Remington Bolt action.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:19:05 PM EST
The Black Hills ammo did seem to have more potential. And I did noticed they had more "kick" than mine. I didn't load toward the max as I'm using LC military brass. But I would have thought the SMKs would have done better then the cheap FMJs that I bought as practice ammo. There's one group where the Golden West Brass FMJs did as well as the SMKs. My gun must not like the SMKs. And I have a bunch of 'em.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:35:27 PM EST
168grain Hornady A-Max with a stout charge of Varget. Try it you may like it.

AL
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:41:34 PM EST
Originally Posted By tkcomer:
I did some ammo testing with my LR-308B yesterday. I used 168gr SMK and Tac powder. You can see the results here: Targets Click on a pic to make it bigger, then click on original at the top to blow that up. Dot on the paper is 1/2 inch. Kinda disappointed with the results. Even the 168gr Black Hills ammo printed at about 2 inches. Just to make sure I wasn't having a bad day on the trigger, I got my Remmy 700 out. I used my 308 reloads in it also. Fired the first 4 shots and then adjusted the scope for the last two. I know the DPMS won't be as accurate as the 700, but I was expecting better than this. The gun has about 300 rounds through it. Are these groups typical of these guns?
What distance were you shooting at, I didn't see a range on your targets. My boys LR B will hold two inches at 200 yards with factory ball, three shot strings. Runs with my M1A. We have not tried any handloads or match grade ammo in the thing yet so I don't have anything else to compare to other than standard service ammo, the performance of which I found totally acceptable in the LR and M1A.

Link Posted: 9/13/2009 6:16:20 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2009 6:19:53 PM EST by VaniB]
I think you will find that these rifles seem to shoot best at near max loadings. When I'm testing loads I'm also not too proud or macho to shoot full power loads while having put a folded rag on my shoulder so it doesn't start to hurt and distract me from concentrating on the groups.

If you are seeking to shrink those groups and get really tight 5 shot groups (1" and better), I think you are going to have to be fussy about how you reload. Is your hold proper too? Your scope on properly?...etc. A good test for new loads is to shoot your rifle at 50 yards. It was quite easy for me to obtain ragged 5 shot holes at that distance and know what loads had best potential for me at 100 yards.

I had never been able to obtain consistant 1" groups with ANY remington bolt action rifle I ever owned most of my whole life. For 30 years I was doing routine reloading with RCBS dies, and the usual occasional case trimming, etc. I went through those 30 years of frustration and wondering why I couldn't shoot consistant tight groups. I always shot clover leaf groups with my pistols at 25-50 feet using my reloads, but couldn't figure out what was wrong with my 100 yard rifle range visits. Well, I didn't know that using iron sights on a 6" S&W at 25-50 feet, is not nearly the same as shooting copper out of a long rod for cloverleafs at 300 feet!

With the advent of the internet I learned a lot, and I finally started changing EVERYTHING about how I reloaded, what equipment I needed, how to properly bench and hold my rifle, mounting a scope, etc.

You may never get the accuracy that you may be looking for out of that DPMS factory barrel anyway, but perhaps you may also need to check into other factors. Or, maybe you're doing everthinmg just fine. (?) Then again, a lot of guys are using factory loaded cartridges and avoiding a lot of these variables. Being a 100% hand-loader, I know little about factory cartridges and could not offer any opinions on which one works best. If I can't get my guns to fire my hand-loads accurately, then I know it's time for another barrel.

Link Posted: 9/13/2009 6:45:39 PM EST
The Remington rifle is an old varmint special. Stainless fluted barrel and came with a nice trigger. I have an even older Remington 600 in 243 with an 18" barrel. Both guns aren't that picky with ammo. I just picked a load and both shot well. I didn't expect the DPMS to shoot as well as these guns. But I have 2 AR 15s that shoot better. Or I should say, more consistent. Granted, I had to play with loads a little, but they will out shoot this gun. In the bolt guns, I've tried different powders, and it didn't make much difference. They seemed to depend on the bullet I was using. Just trying to figure out if maybe this DPMS doesn't like the 168 SMK.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 7:40:30 PM EST
My LR 308B shoots best with 155gr Nosler and V V N140, and 168 SMK or Nosler with IMR 4064. Tried a couple of ball powders and they were not good at all. My 24" likes the 155/n140 and 168 with H4895.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 4:35:33 AM EST
I've "heard" Tac does better with hotter loads. I've "heard" Tac is the powder Black Hills uses in their 168gr match loads. I was "told" to buy those bullets and if my gun can't shoot those well, then the gun just can't shoot. What really surprised me was the Black Hills ammo did have more kick than mine. But the brass was incredibly easy to resize. Almost too easy. Like I said, the bolt guns aren't picky with powder. And I didn't see that big a difference in groups as I kept increasing the grains of powder I used. Are the DPMS guns picky about the powder you put through them? Still trying to figure out what direction to go or if this is just the way this gun shoots. And the first batch of targets with the FMJs were at 107 yards. The second batch with the SMKs were at 110 yards.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 5:24:52 AM EST
I will say that surely you will need to try different powder and bullet combos. For example, you probably know that while a 175 SMK might shoot poorly, a 175 Amax might shoot well. My rifle didn't like the 155 Scenars, but does its best with the 167's. I kept buying different powders and bullets until I discovered the right combination. I now have 2 different powders and 3 different bullets bought exclusively for this rifle. That's about $160 worth of stuff. I tried about a a dozen different loads before finalizing my results.

I'm still looking for tighter and more uniform groups and will now invest in a new barrel altogether.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 6:36:15 AM EST
It's a mass produced cheap barrel. a certain percentage of them will shoot well and a certain percent will not. Sounds like you got one from the wrong end of the batch. That has happened to me before.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 12:17:21 PM EST
Originally Posted By cckw:
It's a mass produced cheap barrel. a certain percentage of them will shoot well and a certain percent will not. Sounds like you got one from the wrong end of the batch. That has happened to me before.


This is absolutely a true reality.

But, frankly, I'm not sure about his skills. (I didn't say he can't shoot or reload.....and is to blame.....only that I don't know) Only he knows if he is capable of shooting consistant sub 1" groups even with a Remington bolt action. I'm a little suspicious of what I see their with that Rem posted target. For a bolt action it's not very impressive shooting. (with the right load and bolt action rifle, I shoot consistant 5 shot 1/4" - 1/2" groups) There's no sense in getting all flustered with the groups out of a new DPMS barrel, if the guy needs to work on his handloading and/or shooting skills.

This is a tricky thing to say, and some people get all defensive and will jump all over my ass for saying it. But, he has to know whether or not the problem is largely originating with his own skills before he can get to the bottom of things with the rifle barrel. It's no skin off my butt either way, and I'm just trying to help him with what I'm seeing and hearing.

Link Posted: 9/14/2009 12:37:44 PM EST
Sir, your rifle sucks! Box it up and meet me in Nashville for disposal. Sorry I'm not an expert on rifles so all I could offer you was this tired joke.

Good luck getting it running right, I would be interested at looking down the bore with a bore scope if it were mine.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 1:25:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 3:33:02 AM EST by tkcomer]
VaniB is right. People don't know if I can shoot good or what I'm using to practice with. Here are some pics of my setup with 2 other ARs: Shooting Table It's a heavy, rock solid table. You pretty much just set the gun on it and adjust the front for height. I'm not a crack shot by any means, but with this setup, I can tell what a gun is capable of. Could a crack shot do better with my own guns? Of course. But with this setup, I can get an idea what the gun can do. And no, I don't let the gun cool down between shots. I fire a 10 shot string and then let the gun cool down. I like to see what the gun will do while it's heating up. And I don't clean between the 10 shot strings. I want to see what the gun will do when it's dirty. Then again, when I do clean it and bring it back out, it doesn't seem to make much difference. The brass is LC brass, sized in a RCBS small base die. Trimmed on a Giraud trimmer and powder is dropped with a RCBS Uniflow. Bullets have a slight crimp with the Lee FCD. I'm just trying to figure out why the gun "patterns" like it does. I may load a little hotter for a few more test rounds with this combo as I've "heard" Tac does better at hotter loads. That wasn't the case in my 223 ARs. But we'll see.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 11:24:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 4:42:01 AM EST by VaniB]
TK; OOOPS....my bad.......I examined your target again and now realize that the shooting you did with that Rem 700 is actually pretty good. I read your opening post again to catch you say that the two lower seperated shots with your Rem were due to your readjusting the scope. I originally saw those lower shots and thought they were two flyers that were way off.

The only thing I might say that does not help accuracy is the small base dies. It squeezes the cases down a little further then normal dies to help with reliability. But, when I set out to buy all my stuff, I researched the web to hear most guys say that their DPMS 308 works fine without it. My DPMS 24" LR not only feeds thicker Lapua cases fine, but it also fires them reliably after they were fired once and only PARTIALLY SIZED in my Redding dies. I size the case ("bump" the shoulder) only as far as I need to go for it to cycle reliably by hand. I have been fortunate to have it feed at the range without a hitch. It seems some guys have functioing problems....but that might be magazine related anyway. A lot of guys also fire cheap crap foreign surplus ammo. Another thing is that you will find guys who seek top accuracy will individually measure each charge. I have a uniflow too, but use it only for defense plinking loads.

But you know, there's good chances that if you bought a new regular sizer die, it wouldn't change anything. And the powder charge fluctuations would likely not affect accuracy to the degree your suffering. (But, I really don't know for sure as I would never think of trying to use a powder dispenser for target groups to start with) The bottom line just may simply be that your only solution will be a custom barrel. That's what I am definitily going to do. My fluted barrel has only fired about 100 shots or less, and I'm sure I could get a good amount of cash for it to help toward the purchase of a Fulton Barrel. My barrel fires tighter then yours, but still not target grade as I like.

I feel your pain.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 12:33:59 PM EST
I have the 24" LR-308 and it shoots well. It didn't care much for some cheap nato brass reloads I got but shot well with the only load I've had a chance to make for it so far (150gr Hornady Bt FMJ with 45.5 grains Hodgdon H4895). When trying a five shot group I typically get three shots touching or nearly so and two just below those. I have managed a couple three shot groups at close to .75 inch at 100 yards but most often there's one flyer. I'm pretty sure it's how I pull the trigger since I see the same thing repeated with my other rifles. My DPMS does have the JP trigger installed and that may help some. I didn't care much for the stock trigger. I'm not much of a rifle shooter and need practice. I have reloaded for many years and have shot a lot of handguns but never really did much benchrest rifle shooting. I have a friend at work that has basically the same DPMS as me and he has put 20 rounds in a one inch cirle at 125 yards with it (with the same ammo I was at 2 inches for 10 rounds at 100 yards). But he's a long time rifle shooter and prefers military style rifles so the trigger pull isn't a big factor to him. Compared to a Nagant the DPMS trigger is pretty nice.

I use a standard RCBS die for my loads. I did have two feed failures early on but it was magazine related. I looked at the small base die idea but decided to wait and see if I was going to have feed problems. I wasn't that concerned about the smaller base diameter but didn't like that it also sets the shoulder angle back slighty more than standard. That's going to change the headspace and will hurt the accuracy acording to the pros. I have not tried to reload any NATO type brass yet just using Winchester brass. Do you have a standard set of .308 dies you can use? I'm hoping it's more of a find the right diet problem than a bad barrel. Finding the right load can be somewhat challenging but at least it gives you an excuse to shoot. A bad barrel is a costly fix and that's never fun.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 1:16:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/15/2009 5:18:24 PM EST by VaniB]
Originally Posted By Rebelwolf:
I have the 24" LR-308 and it shoots well. ...........When trying a five shot group I typically get three shots touching or nearly so and two just below those. I have managed a couple three shot groups at close to .75 inch at 100 yards but most often there's one flyer.


Yep....welcome to my world.

3 shots are almost always clustering at 1/2" ....and 4 shots also often tight too into 5/8" or 3/4" . But, it's more common for me to either have a 4th and 5th shot spoiling the group and often open it up to 1 or 1 1/8" . Those kind of groups aren't guaranteed either. It's my fussing to ridiculousness extremes with wind flags, very special handloaded cartridges, and my taking 30 seconds aim that produces the tighter groups I mentioned.

I sure wish I could get those 1/2" groups that some guys report that are common with the 24" LR. I often wonder if they are doing only 3 shot groups.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 2:19:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By VaniB:
Originally Posted By Rebelwolf:
I have the 24" LR-308 and it shoots well. ...........When trying a five shot group I typically get three shots touching or nearly so and two just below those. I have managed a couple three shot groups at close to .75 inch at 100 yards but most often there's one flyer.


Yep....welcome to my world.

3 shots are almost always clustering at 1/2" ....and 4 shots also often tight too into 5/8" or 3/4" . But, it's more common for me to either have a 4th and 5th shot spoiling the group and often open it up to 1 or 1 1/8" . Those kind of groups aren't guaranteed either. It's my fussing to riculousness extremes with wind flags, very special handloaded cartridges, and my taking 30 seconds aim that produces the tighter groups I mentioned.

I sure wish I could get those 1/2" groups that some guys report that are common with the 24" LR. I often wonder if they are doing only 3 shot groups.


They're probably doing three shot groups for the same reason I would . I can on a good day shoot a three shot group well under MOA. Four shots raises the challenge a bit and five well that's an almost impossible task for me. I was thinking of upgrading the optics on the rig since it does shoot well enough to justify it. But at least right now when the other guy at the range peeks at my target I can blame the cheap glass. If it's wearing that Leupold I have my eye on it's going to remove that excuse. I can pretty much tell before I look at the shot that I messed it up. I have seen pictures of five shot groups but you have to take their word for it that they shot it like it says. I'm there to have fun first and if I do real well so much the better. It's going to take a lot more time on the trigger to get nice close five shot groups for me. My friend can do it with his LR-308 and mine has a better trigger and the cryoaccurized barrel so I'm pretty confident he'd have no trouble with my rig. But then again he likes to hunt with a 6.5mm Swedish Mauser so he enjoys a challenge.

I know 5 other people that have DPMS lr-308s and all are happy with them. Two have the AP4 versions and they have to work to get under MOA (younger guys and they like to fire fast too). The other three have the 24" tube and two could outshoot me any time and the third is in the same boat as me. Any of the six of us could be sure that the shot is dropping a deer at 100 yards though.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 5:35:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By tkcomer:
I did some ammo testing with my LR-308B yesterday. I used 168gr SMK and Tac powder...Kinda disappointed with the results. Even the 168gr Black Hills ammo printed at about 2 inches...I know the DPMS won't be as accurate as the 700, but I was expecting better than this. The gun has about 300 rounds through it. Are these groups typical of these guns?


I'm new to the forum and to 308 AR's but not to the AR15 platform or .308 thanks to some time with M1A's.

A month ago, I got an LR-308B and have been struggling ever since to get it to function reliably (i.e., no failures to feed or eject, no jams with two shells trying to get into the same chamber, that kind of thing). Having apparently managed that, I tried some match ammo yesterday for the first time. At 100 yds, Black Hills 168 gr. give about a 3/4" group. Remington 168 gr. SMK managed a little over 1/2" group with three of the rounds in one ragged hole. Black Hills 175 gr. put four rounds in a pattern 1/4" wide and a bit over one inch high, with the vertical spread probably operator error. All were fired using a C-Products 10 round magazine, from a bench and bipod, using a Burris 6.5-20 Fullfield II scope. The primary accuracy modification was swapping out the terrible DPMS trigger for a Jewell trigger.

What may be even more remarkable, though, is that Sellier & Bellot 147 gr. FMJ can deliver a little over one inch groups, and it's half the price or less of the match ammo!

If I can keep it functioning reliably, I'd say it's quite a rifle.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 6:50:45 PM EST
The DPMS 308 LR is the first 308 I have had that was so dam finicky and fussy about ammo, every 308 I 've had in the past would shoot 3/4 to1/2 moa without even trying. This AR platform should shoot at least 1 moa. I'm fixing that right now. I'm installing a new barrel - I'll let you know if that fixes the problem
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:56:11 AM EST
I didn't really want to get into the reliability problems of the gun. But I took it to a friends house so we could polish the chamber and try to remove the tooling marks. I think that's what's giving my failure to extract at times. He has the Sportical. Chamber on his is very clean and smooth. Took the mags apart and cleaned the flashing off the followers to try and get it to feed more reliably. His mags work perfect in my gun. He never had a problem loading for the M1A with regular dies, but, just like mine, he needed the small base die to get it to extract properly. Both of us couldn't get the regular FL die to extract, even with an empty brass, without banging the butt stock to release the shell. I've "heard" stick powders do better in these guns, but don't have any to try to confirm it. I'm going to try loading a little hotter as the Black Hills ammo seems to have the best consistency. But I feel the reliability problems might be causing me to lose my concentration while on the trigger. Kinda hard for me to concentrate when I don't know for sure what the gun is going to do next.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 7:19:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By tkcomer:
...I feel the reliability problems might be causing me to lose my concentration while on the trigger. Kinda hard for me to concentrate when I don't know for sure what the gun is going to do next.

Been there, done that. I think ultimately, some DPMS owners are up against cycling/extraction issues which are traceable to the rifle's gas impingement system's inability to get the bolt all the way back and hang on to the empty shell at the same time. Friction introduced by a rough chamber and/or a very tight fit between parts with rough surfaces that have to slide over each other will retard the action enough to jam things up. And a too soft extractor spring will let go of the empty shell at the wrong time. Finding and polishing the friction points in and out of the chamber and adding a D-Fender ring to the extractor can solve a lot of problems and make ammo that was unusable very serviceable.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 7:27:12 AM EST
Originally Posted By poi600:
The DPMS 308 LR is the first 308 I have had that was so dam finicky and fussy about ammo, every 308 I 've had in the past would shoot 3/4 to1/2 moa without even trying. This AR platform should shoot at least 1 moa. I'm fixing that right now. I'm installing a new barrel - I'll let you know if that fixes the problem


I'm glad to hear that I'm not nuts!. I had wondered at times if it was me that couldn't shoot straight and maybe it was just something with the way I was handling this rife. The effort I put into this rifle will normally ALWAYS get me at least 1/2" groups with my 2 bolt actions. I've already ordered the tools for a barrel swap out, and am getting ready to order a 18.5" Fulton.



TK,
I am sorry to hear all the function problems you are having. You last post tells me how these rifles can vary so much from one day and assembly line to the next. I was surprised to hear you say that the regular full sizer die cases get stuck in your chamber. Shheesh! ....you have had a lot of frustrating problems. Accept for the average accuracy that I complain about, I have been fortunate to at least have a 100% reliable rifle. I hope when I change out the barrel0 that I will not have caused that to go to pot. When I resell my 24" barrel for some good cash, I can with a good concsience say that it produces tight hunting or "combat" groups and has functioned reliably with the 100 rounds down the bore.

Good luck to you.
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 5:25:54 AM EST
Had been considering an LR-308B for a while and finally came across one at my local pawn shop. It looked basically unfired. I was "told" it had been to the range once and the guy sold it. I thought I was going to have some issues to straighten out for sure, or at least an accuracy issue. I was wrong, It has been 100% reliable through 180 rounds of all commercial ammo. It will make a 1 hole, 5 shot group at 100 yd with Federal Gold Match 168 gr SMK's That is with the crap factory trigger and a SightronII 3x9 (40). I have been out of shooting for a long while and have ordered up the gear to begin reloading .308 again, but I couldn't be happier with the performance with Fed Gold Match. This is my 1st post on this forum BTW, was just looking around for reloading info and ran across this thread.
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