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Posted: 7/30/2003 5:46:36 AM EDT
I want to build an accurate AR for informal (meaning non-competition) target shooting and possibly, some shall game hunting. I do not plan to shoot any bullets lighter than 55 grains. I do plan to shoot some M855 and match ammo up to 69-grains with it.

Please critique my planned setup:

Lower (already built, but still feel free to critique):
Rock River lower
Rock River parts kit
Jewell 2-stage trigger
G27 grip
RRA A2 stock

Upper (haven’t yet ordered this):
Bushmaster A3 upper (with bolt and carrier)
20” flutted, chrome-lined barrel with milled front sight (i.e. not sight tower)
5.56 NATO chamber; 1:9 twist
BM Varminter tubular vented free-float forend
ARMS 22 QD scope rings
Leupold Vari-X II 3x9x40 (I want to use this initially because I have one I’m not using)

I figure I can add a Harris bi-pod to the swivel stub on the forend. What are your thoughts? Specifically, am I choosing the right twist (1:9) and barrel (NATO chamber, chrome-lined) for my intended uses? What about the free-float tube? I was looking at rail systems, but don’t think I’d really use the rails on this rifle.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 5:51:01 AM EDT
sounds good to me! free float is the way to go. [:)]
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 7:55:17 AM EDT
informal target shooting and varmint hunting = accuracy in my book. go with a SS bbl instead of chrome-lined and keep after the cleaning.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 7:59:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2003 8:02:56 AM EDT by Green0]
Nice setup the twist rate should be fine but 1/8 is even better ---it is only availible on target barrels and not really availible from Bushmaster except maybe in their DCM barrel. (two comments from the peanut gallery) 1 If you are using this for target shooting and small game hunting and want to optimize you will probably achieve better accuracy out of a SS RRA, Les Baer or Krieger barrel. 2 If you changed the FF forend to a KAC FF RAS and added a RAS mounted KAC backup sight your chrome lined barrel would be right at home in a SPR/style gun that could do double duty target shooting- small game hunting and a SHTF role. [b]Also I have to say Ive seen as many one shot kills with a .223 as I have with my .300win mag on deer (my brother hunts deer with .50grain nosler .223 and I am switching over). Why carry a 13lb deer rifle when my 16inch carbine will kill deer at 8lbs and a lot more ergonomic? (plus they have the added benefit of being an excellent gun for still hunting where you may kick up a buck at close range and have to take a couple quick shots to bring it down.)[/b] THE GUN IS GREAT FOR SMALL GAME BUT BY NO MEANS LIMITED TO SMALL GAME.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 9:11:09 AM EDT
Thanks for the comments so far. I thought about the SS barrel, but I don’t really like the idea of a shinny barrel if I use the rifle for hunting. Also, will RRA flute a barrel? I really am becoming more sold on the Varminter free-float tube. If I go with a RRA upper I’d end up having to install the tube. I’m not sure I’m up to the task of building an upper yet. (Although I must admit I’ve thought a lot recently about trying it.)
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 1:53:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Green0: Nice setup the twist rate should be fine but 1/8 is even better ---it is only availible on target barrels and not really availible from Bushmaster except maybe in their DCM barrel. (two comments from the peanut gallery) 1 If you are using this for target shooting and small game hunting and want to optimize you will probably achieve better accuracy out of a SS RRA, Les Baer or Krieger barrel. 2 If you changed the FF forend to a KAC FF RAS and added a RAS mounted KAC backup sight your chrome lined barrel would be right at home in a SPR/style gun that could do double duty target shooting- small game hunting and a SHTF role. [b]Also I have to say Ive seen as many one shot kills with a .223 as I have with my .300win mag on deer (my brother hunts deer with .50grain nosler .223 and I am switching over). Why carry a 13lb deer rifle when my 16inch carbine will kill deer at 8lbs and a lot more ergonomic? (plus they have the added benefit of being an excellent gun for still hunting where you may kick up a buck at close range and have to take a couple quick shots to bring it down.)[/b] THE GUN IS GREAT FOR SMALL GAME BUT BY NO MEANS LIMITED TO SMALL GAME.
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13 pound bolt gun or what? All mine weigh a little over 7 pounds. most likely with a real caliber you wont have blastaway at that buck. Poor hunting caliber for big game. Poor decision to use that caliber. But you will look cool. GG
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 2:06:33 PM EDT
Bookhound, You may want to rethink the aluminum handguard. Free-floating is the way to go, but aluminum heats up quickly exposed to the sun. I'm in Vegas and could never go with a metal handguard, but I hear Georgia can get a little warm as well. You might want to think about it. Wearing an oven mitt when you go shooting is not my idea of practical. While the PRI carbon-fiber forends are popular, I'd go with an Armalite fiberglass unit.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 2:11:59 PM EDT
I was going to recommend the same thing. Or if you wanted to go lighter you could go with the Hiperform Carbon fiber handguard, these handle heat very well. [url]www.hiperform.com[/url] The Armalite unit is very nice because it is indexable. Although, this would require some smithing on your part or a little extra expense.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 3:25:32 AM EDT
Those are some good thoughts on heat. I was hoping the vent holes would be enough. Never thought about heat just from the sun.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 5:20:05 AM EDT
Okay, from the advice given, I think I might go with a RRA Varminter upper for now. It is a 1:8 twist, 20” SS Wilson HBAR, milled front sight base and a .223 Wylde chamber. It also has an aluminum FF hand guard. I might go with that for now and switch to something else later if heat is an issue. The best news is that the upper I wanted from BM was $655 (with a 4-6 week wait). Pete in NH has these uppers now for $480. Sounds like a deal to me. Thanks for all your input so far. Any thoughts on this RRA upper?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:55:38 AM EDT
That looks good. For what it's worth, I recently got an Oly 16" Stainless Ultra Match (SUM) that is darned accurate and parkerized so there is no 'flash' to worry about. They also make 20" & 24". Match your twist rate to the ammo you will use.. that is paramount for maximum accuracy. I specified 1:9" twist and a .223 (not 5.56) chamber, because I will only be shooting lighter .223 hunting type ammo in that upper. I have a Colt Competition Hbar Match that will shoot the heavier stuff into sub 1/2 MOA. Of course it weighs about 12 or 14 pounds!
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:34:16 PM EDT
Bookhound, here is a link to a 20" bushy on sale at Go Go Varmint Go.com... looks like a really good price. Just in case you are interested.www.varminthunters.com/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi?session_key=&search_and_display_db_button=on&db_id=7979&query=retrieval
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 2:31:54 PM EDT
Thanks much. I'll check it out.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 4:09:16 PM EDT
I live in TX and have a DPMS 24" 1/8, and a DPMS Free Float Tube on a Colt Match Target Comp HBAR. Very HOT HOT HOT!!! Go with the armalite fiberglass or whatever tube. But get the 1/8 Barrel I am pumping a 69gr HPBT Bullet to 1k yards with this and it works! Just caint touch the barrel after 3 shots! :)
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 4:39:53 PM EDT
Regarding your concerns with the reflective quality of the stainless barrel...I had the same thoughts regarding the ss barrel on my M1A National match. So to take care of this I taped off the receiver and flash hider (and other applicable such parts) and had a friend sand blast the entire barrel to a dull flat gray finish that is completely non reflective.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:13:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1001001: Regarding your concerns with the reflective quality of the stainless barrel...I had the same thoughts regarding the ss barrel on my M1A National match. So to take care of this I taped off the receiver and flash hider (and other applicable such parts) and had a friend sand blast the entire barrel to a dull flat gray finish that is completely non reflective.
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Now this is a COOL idea. BTW, welcome to the board. Good to hear from ya.
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