Range Report

I finally got to the range with the new precision rifle configuration with the new stock.  It did pretty well.

I started off with some 55gr PMC store bought ammo that I had to use up.  All of these shots are from benchrest, 100 meters.  The lowest round in this group is actually one of the 80 grain rounds that is a bit off the reservation.


Then the new 80 grain Amax I made myself and that I blogged about here.  They were terrible.  I account that about a third of the rounds struck at least 5 inches from point of aim in random directions.  My best guess is that the round sits so far back in the neck of the case that it is not setting concentric to the barrel.  A second hypothesis is that the 1:7 twist of the barrel is not enough to stabilize the heavier bullets.  In any case, I think that reloading anything above 75 gr is a waste of time for this rifle.  Maybe for some future rifle with a longer barrel or a bolt action rifle that would permit the bullet to seat higher in the cartridge.


The 75 grain Amax home made bullets did much better.


And even the 68 grain HPBT home made bullets were consistent.


Then I took the FAL out of the safe just to make some noise.  I used up some .308 silver bear ammo and some mil surplus of dubious origin.  The silver bear did better than the milsurp.  And was consistently more accurate (about 6 MOA).  On that rifle I use a simple red dot reticle with no magnification.    I had several missfeeds and tracked them all back to the brass catcher.  Without  that, the rifle functioned just fine.

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About Professor Hale

Currently living in Virginia
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13 Responses to Range Report

  1. Calvin says:

    I hate brass catchers. Sure would like to have a FAL though. Just not enough to trade one of my M-14s though.

  2. M14 is better.

    I would rather have one of those. I picked up the FAL when I was young(er) and stupid. Paid too much and got way too little for the money. But it was a black battle rifle with a big ass (cheap) scope on it and that looked really cool.

    I’ve tried my hand at fabricating some brass catchers. It isn’t that hard. I think that I could give it another go with what I have learned and make one that is reasonable. If not a full, catcher, then at least a deflector that plants the brass right down on my table instead of 25 feet away.

  3. Simon Grey says:

    @Prof. Hale- I just got a Remington 700 .308 a couple of weeks ago, and have shot it a couple of times (got a 4-inch spread from 50 yards using cheap Winchester ammo). Is there any type of ammo you would recommend for this gun? Any to stay away from?

  4. No. All 308 ammo is perfectly fine if you are happy with 4 inch spread at 50 yards. There is a lot to choose from in store bought ammo and all of it is good. you aren’t likely to find much milsurplus ammo and that is a good thing. But I think your R700 is capable of much more. Which model did you get?

  5. patrick kelly says:

    FWIW, I found the sweet spot load for my AR. don’t have any pictures, but I could cover the 5 shot group with my thumb easily. Best 5 shot group at 100yds from the bench with my $100 scope I have ever shot.

    New brass, 69 gr. Sierra MatchKing BTHP, 24.5 gr IMR 4895 powder, coal ~ 2.250. Next I’m going to try the “Accuracy Load” according to this page: http://accurateshooter.net/Downloads/sierra223ar.pdf (I doubt it will be an improvement, but it’s an excuse to do more shooting, heh..)

    Apparently this load likes a bit of “jump” into my 20″ HBAR barrel with the 1 in 9 twist. The most expensive commercial “match” ammo I can find does not even come close in this particular rifle.

  6. I also do pretty well with the 69 gr sierra match king, depending on how meticulous I am in reloading. I don’t have my tables here in front of me, but that load looks like it’s on the high end or maybe a little above it for that bullet.

  7. Giraffe says:

    The 75 Amax’s look pretty good, except for that one flyer. 4 shots into about a half inch.

  8. Giraffe says:

    I was starting to think you just can’t shoot worth a darn.

  9. Me too. But I was too polite to say so.

  10. Giraffe says:

    Out here in flyover land we never learned no manners.

    I haven’t shot many groups smaller than that one. If any.

  11. Simon Grey says:

    @Prof. Hale- not sure off the top of my head, but it’s a bolt-action, and has a 26′ bull barrel.

  12. minuteman says:

    I don’t know if anyone will read this post because the thread is kind of old now. I used to shoot FN FALs in the Canadian army (FN C1 version) I was on my unit rifle team, so I shot a lot and had a well looked after rifle but we could easily hit a figure 11 (man sized) target at 600m. at 200m we could get 2 to 3 inch groups. That’s with iron sights. We would file down our front sights to make them narrower, otherwise at 600 they were twice as wide as the target. My eyes were a lot better then. The quality of FN rifles depends a lot on where they were made and how well they were maintained. The Canadian made Long Branch” (that’s the name of the factory) , rifles where some of the best, the Indian ones were some of the worst. I have fired an M14 a few times and found it to be an outstanding rifle, but I prefer the pistol grip and shape of the stocks on an FN.

  13. Thanks for commenting Minuteman. In the USA a lot of FAL parts kits were dumped into the USA a few decades ago and turned into semi-auto “sport” versions. An original rifle may as you say do better. But there is too much variability in the weapon design and in military ammunition to get the kind of results you are talking about. I believe your story is accurate, but your results were Atypical. These are built in limitations of the weapon, not the shooter. Some of the assembly companies did a better job than others and created some fine rifles. Mine is from Century Arms, using inch pattern parts. No way for me to tell where they originated. I think the lower receiver is American made (and not very well made) to comply with an old import ban.

    I really don’t like the FAL pistol grip either. Too many sharp edges.

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