There are many factors to the "best" AR for target shooting,
and I have these, in order:
- Match Grade: Some experts say that a
"match grade" AR has closer tolerances than a "Mil Spec" AR.
- Accurate barrel: A heavy bull barrel will
- Light trigger: A good target trigger
should be 5 pound or less, crisp trigger minimizes flyers.
Military spec is built for durability, not necessarily high accuracy
(close enough for government work). For example, the M-14 AR
triggers are very hard and durable, but you can tweak the spring to
make is less poundage, or better still, drop-in a 3 pound AR
competition trigger, like the AR Gold from American Trigger
Corporation. I hear that the "American Trigger Company" makes
an "AR Gold" 3 pound drop-in trigger for competition shooting,
installed in minutes and ready to shoot. You can also mess
with the springs in the Mil Spec triggers for a lighter feel.
(WARNING: This AR trigger DOES NOT work on the Colt AR-15's
if it has a "sear block".)
- Good Sights: High quality battle sights
are a must, as are a good telescopic sight. See my notes on
mounting a rifle sight on an
AR-15 or M-4.
The best AR target rifle
The best rifle to fit my needs was a Colt AR-15 heavy barrel match
The AR-15 MT 6700 Colt (Match Target) is the perfect assault rifle for
home protection, especially since you can quickly swap-out the bolt
carrier unity for a .22, allowing you to kill a home intruder at up to a
third of a mile away.
AR-15 Match Target rifle fitted with .22
It's also called the "Blue label box" with
the heavy barrel (8 1/2 lbs) for high accuracy at distances greater than
The salient characteristics of the AR-15 are:
- Looks like an M-16: While
it might be "cool" to have a gun that looks
like an M-16, it's not cool at all if your
opponent has a real M-16.
- Very versatile: The
AR-15 is super easy to clean and you can
swap-out toe .223 bolt with a .22 bolt in
less than 60 seconds (see below).
- Jerky trigger pull:
I found the trigger to he jerky
and unsmooth, with a high force pull to
discharge, something I can tweak to make
smoother. The trigger on an AR-15 is
designed like a shotgun, with high trigger
force, and it make an “expert smooth pull”
is difficult. See this
AR-15 forum discussion for AR-15 trigger
smoothing, and here are
compete instructions for AR-15 trigger
Too much trigger
manipulation can be dangerous. You might
cross the line between a hair trigger and a
machine gun, and making an AR-15 fully automatic
(into an M-16) is a felony.
AR-15 shooting yardage
NRA High power rifle competitions are done
with AR-15’s at 200, 300 and 600 yards.
These NRA rifle competitions are shooting with
open sights - no scopes. Scopes and red
dot sights are for grandma.
At 800 yards and
beyond, the AR-15 does not have the muzzle
velocity for a clean kill, and it’s like lobbing
Military distances for marksmanship competition
Military qualification as expert with the rifle
(M-16/M-4) requires 35 to 40 hits out of 40
rounds (on various sized silhouettes, simulating
targets at different ranges.
rifle targets are placed at 25 meters away, with
silhouettes simulating targets at 50 meters, 100
meters, 150 meters, 200 meters, 250 meters and
300 meters. Ten shots are fired each from these
1 – Standing
2 – Kneeling
4 - Prone-unsupported