First time firing at the range-not good....
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default First time firing at the range-not good....

I took my rifle out for the first time today, and didn't do well at the range. I ran into some issues, and shot pretty crappy. This is the first time I've ever shot a rifle, let alone an AR, so I'm totally new to this.

First thing was trying to get the sights right. I have a set of Magpul buis, and a Barska red dot sight. I've googled how to set the sights up right, and even borrowed a laser bore sighter, but they are obviously not right. Starting with the red dot, when I first put it on, it looked like the dot was up and to the right. I played with the knobs while using the bore sight, and I felt as though it was centered over the front sight. The buis, I adjusted them, or so I thought. Anyway, I shot about 40% on paper at 25 yards. Most shots on the first round of 50 were high, second round were low. Terrible. I really liked the feel of the rifle, but was pretty down about how bad I did.

I noticed a few people had spotting scopes; I know that would really help along with the neon targets. I was using regular paper, and couldn't tell what I hit until I was able to go up to the target.

Out of the first 40 rounds, I had 7 FTF using new Federal ammo. I noticed the primer on all of them had been struck, but it didn't look like it was deep enough to fire it, (compared to other spent casings). I don't know if this is a rifle issue, or a primer issue.

I also had about 8 issues with the cartridge not feeding. The bolt would go forward, and stop when it started feeding the cartridge. If I gave the mag a tap, it would feed right in. I figured this was probably normal to a new gun, and maybe I wasn't loading the mag hard enough.

I'll clean it up, and go back next week. That'll give me a few more days to try and figure out how to get the sights right.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Take it to a gun shop/smith and get it bore sighted.
Bore sighting is something that, while not complicated, if done incorrectly can screw up your accuracy.
Are you using a bench rest to site it in or shooting it while holding it? That can change your hits locations, and make it nearly impossible to sight it in.
If you need a spotting scope, go buy that cheapo tasco they have at Wally World for sixty bucks, or rent one from the range if it's reasonable.
That Tasco may not be field worthy for the military, but it's tough enough for me, and works quite well, especially for the low price.
Being new to firing, you may seriously want some help from a friend who is more experienced. Not to sight it in, but to guide your steps.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Do you have anyone you can go shooting with you who might be able to help you along. I know how disappointing it is to be shooting alone and having trouble and not really know what to do to fix it. Did you build this AR or did you buy it already built?

I bring binoculars when I go shooting. I don't have a spotting scope but to be honest, the people I went shooting with seemed to prefer the binoculars over the spotting scope we also had with us. I do use those splatter targets to help me see what and where I am hitting the target. I know they are a little more expensive but for me, it's worth the extra cost. I prefer the vary colored ones so you can easily see what ring of the target you hit. Each ring has a different fluorescent color.

I wonder of maybe you wouldn't do better with a regular scope and not a red dot sort of scope.

Someone will come along with more knowledge than me. Good luck and keep shooting!!

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Remember, a bad day at the range beats the heck out of a outstanding day of work.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:43 PM   #5
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I would take it and have it bore sighted. I never did like doing it myself.

Id also recommend a better RDS. Primary Arms is a great place to look if you're not wanting to spend the cash on an Aimpoint or EoTech.

Some AR manufacturers sell junk. The feeding issue shouldn't happen on a quality, lubed AR. Also good magazines are a must.

I've learned purchasing quality saves me from those frustrating days at the range.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Bore sighting is just to get you int he general location...NOT a be all end all.

Feed issues could be mag, could be feed ramp, could be ammo. Clean and oil the mag. polish and lube the feed ramp.

Time and practice, time and practice...your new, dont get discouraged, rome wasnt built in a day, neither is marksmanship!

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Old 10-05-2011, 10:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the pointers. I did build this myself, and used a DPMS lower, Delton upper, and Magpul mags, so I wouldn't think it has to do with lower quality.
I think what really irritated me was not even knowing if I was hitting the target until I the range was clear and I could go take a look. I had a package of the neon targets, but walked out the door without them so I had to use the free paper ones.
As far as having it bore sighted, I have a GS close to me and my BIL also lives near me but works weird hours. I'd rather not take it somewhere to have it done, I want to know how to do it myself, so I'll keep researching and get some binocs to help me.
Also kicking myself in the butt after a few of you mentioned cleaning/ lubing. I had read numerous threads on here advising to clean firearms when you buy them, and in my haste, I didn't do that. I plan on cleaning it real well, and lubing up the points that you all mention.
Thanks!

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Old 10-05-2011, 10:52 PM   #8
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Forget about the RDS right now, you want the irons right first and the Bariska might be causing you problems anyway.

You really don't need to bore sight, I never do. Just set the irons to mechanical zero and make sure they don't flop around, they've got to be tight. Then shoot from a good rest and see where your rifle hits the target. If you're not on the paper you can move the target in from 25 yards. You also have to decide whether you want to zero at 25 yards or 50 but first you must be able to achieve a good grouping at whatever distance you are allowed at your range. 50 yards is a great choice for zero.

Once the irons are set then an easy way to adjust the RDS is to cowitness with the irons, then test it out.

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Old 10-05-2011, 11:59 PM   #9
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Above all; be patient!

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Old 10-06-2011, 12:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dborns View Post
I took my rifle out for the first time today, and didn't do well at the range. I ran into some issues, and shot pretty crappy. This is the first time I've ever shot a rifle, let alone an AR, so I'm totally new to this.

First thing was trying to get the sights right. I have a set of Magpul buis, and a Barska red dot sight. I've googled how to set the sights up right, and even borrowed a laser bore sighter, but they are obviously not right. Starting with the red dot, when I first put it on, it looked like the dot was up and to the right. I played with the knobs while using the bore sight, and I felt as though it was centered over the front sight. The buis, I adjusted them, or so I thought. Anyway, I shot about 40% on paper at 25 yards. Most shots on the first round of 50 were high, second round were low. Terrible. I really liked the feel of the rifle, but was pretty down about how bad I did.

I noticed a few people had spotting scopes; I know that would really help along with the neon targets. I was using regular paper, and couldn't tell what I hit until I was able to go up to the target.

Out of the first 40 rounds, I had 7 FTF using new Federal ammo. I noticed the primer on all of them had been struck, but it didn't look like it was deep enough to fire it, (compared to other spent casings). I don't know if this is a rifle issue, or a primer issue.

I also had about 8 issues with the cartridge not feeding. The bolt would go forward, and stop when it started feeding the cartridge. If I gave the mag a tap, it would feed right in. I figured this was probably normal to a new gun, and maybe I wasn't loading the mag hard enough.

I'll clean it up, and go back next week. That'll give me a few more days to try and figure out how to get the sights right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dborns View Post
Thanks for the pointers. I did build this myself, and used a DPMS lower, Delton upper, and Magpul mags, so I wouldn't think it has to do with lower quality.
I think what really irritated me was not even knowing if I was hitting the target until I the range was clear and I could go take a look. I had a package of the neon targets, but walked out the door without them so I had to use the free paper ones.
As far as having it bore sighted, I have a GS close to me and my BIL also lives near me but works weird hours. I'd rather not take it somewhere to have it done, I want to know how to do it myself, so I'll keep researching and get some binocs to help me.
Also kicking myself in the butt after a few of you mentioned cleaning/ lubing. I had read numerous threads on here advising to clean firearms when you buy them, and in my haste, I didn't do that. I plan on cleaning it real well, and lubing up the points that you all mention.
Thanks!

1. "This is the first time I've ever shot a rifle, let alone an AR, so I'm totally new to this."

you MUST MUST MUST hold the rifle the same everytime, OVER AND
OVER! cheekweld must be the same, sightline must be the same, and
distance from your eyeball to the rear sight must be the same
EVERYTIME.

remember to: RELAX, BREATHE, and S...Q...U...E...E...Z...E the trigger

"first round of 50 were high."
"second round were low."

2. "I have a set of Magpul buis, and a Barska red dot sight." "I did build this
myself."

is everything TIGHT, not stripped thread tight, but tight enough NOT
to have any play whatsoever?

3. "Starting with the red dot, when I first put it on, it looked like the dot
was up and to the right." "I played with the knobs."

Did you shoot it, to see where it papered? the paper tells the tale!
If "played" is what you did........DON'T EVER play with the knobs.
adjust them in increments, and keep up with the number of turns
UP/DOWN, LEFT/RIGHT on paper. that way you know how much
you've moved it one way or the other, just in case you have to
back up.

4. "I shot about 40% on paper at 25 yards."

Can you get closer? if the range will let you get to within 7 yards
(pistol scenario), then the closer you are, the better you will be able
to track the impact, and adjust from there. ideally you would start @
10 yards, then move to 25 yards, then move out consecutively until
you got to the yardage you wanted.

5. "first round of 50 were high." "second round were low."

Refer to Answer #1

Did you clean the cosmoline out of the chamber and barrel?

Cosmoline is the trade name for a generic class of rust preventatives,
conforming to MIL-C-11796C Class 3, that are a brown colored
wax-like mass; have a slight fluorescence; and have a petroleum-like
odor and taste (as detected when working with it).

6. "Also kicking myself in the butt after a few of you mentioned cleaning/
lubing."

GOOD, now that that's outta the way. LOL just relax, have fun,
don't get flustered, and see those other guys enjoying their
firearms...............ASK them for a little help..........we're ALWAYS
glad to give a fellow "gunner" a hand.
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Last edited by USEBOTHHANDS; 10-06-2011 at 12:46 AM.
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