First time firing at the range-not good....

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by dborns, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. dborns

    dborns New Member

    102
    0
    0
    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.
     
  2. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

    2,178
    0
    0
    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.
     

  3. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    29,445
    314
    83
    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!!
     
  4. orangello

    orangello New Member

    19,156
    0
    0
    Remember, a bad day at the range beats the heck out of a outstanding day of work. :D
     
  5. mjkeat

    mjkeat New Member

    4,026
    0
    0
    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.
     
  6. fmj

    fmj New Member

    3,459
    0
    0
    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!
     
  7. dborns

    dborns New Member

    102
    0
    0
    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!
     
  8. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    7,551
    1
    0
    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.
     
  9. GunNut

    GunNut New Member

    62
    0
    0
    Above all; be patient!
     
  10. USEBOTHHANDS

    USEBOTHHANDS New Member

    1,319
    2
    0

    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.;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  11. CourtJester

    CourtJester Well-Known Member

    3,305
    28
    48
    I think USEBOTHHANDS has hit a lot of things dead on.
    I always get the horizontal near zeroed at 25 yards and the vertical farther out from there, but I have had to nearly stand on the target to find out where it was at before going back to 25 yards though.

    Get a good set of sand bags too rest on too.
    Inhail, exhail, inhail, exhail, inhail, exhail... hold it, squeeze the trigger, exhail the rest of the way
    Did you use the same ammo between the 50 that shot high and low? You may have said but I didn't read all the posts. find one brand of ammo that holds tight groups and stick with that and only that until you're sited in.
    Most don't but when I start sending a lot of lead down range getting zeroed in on the longer range shots, I'll run a rod with a brush and a rag down the barrel every 5 to 10 shots or so.
    Don't beat yourself up about it though. If it's your first time, it'll just take time. We all gotta start somewhere.
     
  12. wooleybooger

    wooleybooger New Member

    45
    0
    0
    #1- clean it first;#2 when sighting in,always shoot from a solid rest;#3 shoot at the largest target available,a range i used to go to had 4x4 cardboard pallet liners with a 4" dot in the center just for sighting in;#4 dont pop the bolt release and immediately fire, allow yourself to settle down;#5 take your time,your at the range not in a movie.
     
  13. dborns

    dborns New Member

    102
    0
    0
    Thanks for the additional suggestions. I did use the same ammo for all shots; Federal .223. They had a plastic block gun rest but I didn't use that and I held the gun the whole time, which I now know was incorrect.
    The only target that they have is a 24"x18" piece of paper, and the closest I could put it is at 25 yards.
    I have a Bushnell outlet close, so I'm going to check them out for an inexpensive scope or pair of binoculars to use the next time I go to the range. I also talked with my BIL, and as soon as our schedules work, he's going to teach me how to sight it. We are able to shoot at his place, and hes built an area to shoot pistols and rifles.
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,546
    153
    63
    If you are on an outdoor range with a good berm, pick out an object or place a small piece of wood on the berm. Fire at the object and watch to see where the shot hits. Adjust the sights and repeat until you hit the object. You will be on paper and can fine tune from there. It usually only takes a few shots. Pick up anything you placed on the berm. Dont shoot at rocks.
     
  15. USEBOTHHANDS

    USEBOTHHANDS New Member

    1,319
    2
    0

    last season of TOP SHOT! LMAO:eek:
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,546
    153
    63
    I have never watched Top Shot. I dont get it here. I learned this over 40 years ago from some very good shooters and I was warned then about shooting at rocks. I used it recently to get my Mini 30 on paper. I built a pair of target stands that will take up to 4'x4' cardboard if I need it. Great for sighting in. Usually use 2'x3' cardboard. By the way, AR's are very easy to bore sight. Take the upper off, remove the bolt and look down the barrel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  17. Blackbeard1718

    Blackbeard1718 New Member

    189
    0
    0
    A lot of good advice above!

    Which Federal .223 Ammo are you using? I use the .223 American Eagle 55gr FMJ, and haven't had any problems with them to date.... Knock on Wood!!! Try Walley World, they're $5.97 for a box of 20.

    Also, while you're at Walley World, they sell a Sandbag Kit there, with two Sandbags for Handguard/Barrel & Stock, for about $25. Good investment. I keep mine in my Jeep all of the time.

    I use the Magpul PMAGS, and they're great. I use the 20 Rounders, since I use a Bipod, and they don't touch the table like the 30 Rounders would. I also use an UpLula Mag Loader for the .223, and it's quick and easy to load. One trick you might try when loading your Mags, is to TAP the back end of the Mag (where the back of the Shell Casing is...), into the palm of your other hand a few times, to seat the Rounds. If they're not properly staggered in the Mag, that could be what's might be causing your FTL's.

    The Color Targets do greatly enhance the Hits on your Target, and are easy to see. I'd highly recommend the Shoot-N-C Targets, which have an adhesive backing, and just slap up onto the Target Stand, over your old Target. They also come with Pasters in Orange and Black, so you can Re-Use a Target a few more times, and just paste over your old bullet holes. Additionally, Shoot-N-C makes a Scope Sight Target, that has Blocks in 1" increments, to help you sight in your scope. Another good brand is Dirty Bird. They're the ones mentioned above, that have the Different Colored Rings when hit.

    FYI, most Scopes have 1/4 MOA Dial Settings. In other words, if you're off your Bullseye by 1", you would turn your Windage/Elevation (as applicable...) 4 Clicks in the same Direction. 1/4 MOA Setting: 4-Clicks = 1".

    There are a LOT of Scopes on the Market! Choose wisely! You're always wanting to look for Good Glass, not the cheap stuff. Also, make sure your New Scope is designed for Recoil for your Caliber Rifle, or better. If you buy a Scope made for a .22LR Round, and you're shooting .223, you'll find yourself Re-Zeroing your Scope more often than you're pulling the Trigger. It can be frustrating! Research many..... Buy once!

    Check out Natchez Shooters Supply & SWFA for Scopes at a bargain price! I just picked up a $410 Nitrex (Made by Weaver) 4-16x50 on Closeout for $179 at Natchez!

    Scopes - Natchez Shooters Supplies

    SWFA Riflescopes

    You've already discovered the Most Important Item in resolving your Hits... ALWAYS CLEAN A NEW GUN BEFORE FIRING! As mentioned above, you want to remove any Factory Grease/Cosmoline/Gunk in your gun. Use a good quality Cleaner like Hoppes or Break Free CLP, and follow up with Break Free LP to lube any Moving & Friction Parts.

    Invest in a good Cleaning Kit with a Rod, Patches, Jags and Tips, to keep your Barrel clean and Oiled. I keep a Bore Snake with me at the Range for a Quick-Clean-Kit, but don't generally use it to regularly clean my guns. I find that a Rod & Patch cleans a Bore better than a Bore Snake, for a thorough Cleaning..... IMHO! Again..... Walley World..... buy a box of Great Value Q-Tips for Cleaning! They can reach tight spots that a Rag can't.

    Take your time..... Relax..... and Enjoy your new piece of Craftsmanship that you built! Pics, please, when you get a chance!

    Best of Luck!

    Cheers!

    BB
     
  18. Blackbeard1718

    Blackbeard1718 New Member

    189
    0
    0
    Was that the one where the Former Top Shot Instructor, was having the two Teams shoot at Rocks on the Backstop, to sight in the Scope? [​IMG] If so, I saw it. Incredible Advice from a Master Shooter! I guess he never heard of Ricochets! [​IMG]

    Cheers!

    BB
     
  19. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

    2,178
    0
    0
    I couldn't figure out how in the hell, with binoculars, they couldn't see the hits on the target, so they resort to a rock to tune it in? That was amazingly stupid.
     
  20. Blackbeard1718

    Blackbeard1718 New Member

    189
    0
    0
    Yes! Yes it was! I think secretly..... he was trying to "ACCIDENTALLY"..... eliminate a Member or two from one Team, to give the other Team an edge! [​IMG]

    Cheers!

    BB