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  #1  
Old 10-22-2018, 10:24 AM
Usmc0844spare Usmc0844spare is offline
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Default Frustrated - Scoped AR accuracy

So I recently installed one of the more economy brand ($200) scopes on my AR15 and my groups have gone to hell. As in with irons I was putting out ~1" 50 yard groups with the occasional .5-.75" group (10 rounds).

When I installed the optic (6-24x44) they are all over the map. I am lucky if I can keep 5 rounds in 1.5".

I know I know, cheap optics are crap (maybe). But I have a similarly priced optic on my 10/22 and it does great (~.5" groups consistently).

Here are some of the questions that are rattling around my head:
1) I suspect this optic (Hawke Vantage) might be REALLY unforgiving of parallax issues. Is it possible that an inconsistent cheek weld (and I DO try for consistency here) will spread rounds around that much at 50 yards with some scopes?

2) I know that mounts are important and I AM going on the cheap end here (but then again I did same with good 10/22 success) but what exactly do crappy mounts do (or not do)? I sorta figured as long as I've got everything torqued down adequately, the POI might move around over time but certainly everything should be consistent for at least one group of 5 rounds.

At this point I am thinking about swapping out the scopes between the 2 rifles and seeing if that makes a dif. Also thinking that the Magpul fixed rifle stock, with its fatter upper profile, might be screwing with my cheek weld consistency, so might swap out for a standard A2 stock.

But the thing is... I mean, I know how to shoot... not at Camp Perry levels for sure but I certainly know my fundamentals.... I can see things like cheek weld and stuff accounting for some loss of accuracy but not to the point of where I am shooting WORSE with a scope than I was with irons.

Any input helpful.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:30 AM
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I would do the scope and mount swap to narrow down the issue. The parallax and cheek weld won't matter that much at 50 yards.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:35 AM
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To check parallax shoot at 100.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:42 AM
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I've used $70 Walmart scopes with decent results out to 200 yards. Without watching yo shoot and inspecting your rifle it as not easy to figure out what is wrong. I have seen scopes mounted poorly. I mounted one just loose enough to work but would move every few shots. Took me a really stupid 20 shots at zeroing before I decided to twist on the scope to see if it was loose. Once i tightened it down I was zeroed after 3 shots.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:28 AM
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Default Frustrated - Scoped AR accuracy

Any variable magnification optic less than $500 is going to be close to garbage. My recommendation is return it as faulty (because I suspect something is rattling around inside) and grab a 6x or a 10x fixed magnification SWFA SS 30mm MRAD scope. Either is $300. Add $30-70 for his steel rings (high or ultra high, I recommend Warnes). You'll not regret the purchase. Accurate and repeatable turrets, rugged scope, and lifetime warranty. Heck, if you regret your purchase and the scope is still in like new condition, I'll buy it off you for near your purchase price.

If you insist on troubleshooting, look for loose rings, and make sure you load the scope forward into the grooves of the picatinny rail. Make sure your rings are compatible with the rail and have a good bite. Locktite the screws on the rings. Take the scope off the gun, hold it by your ear, shake it, and listen for rattle.


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Old 10-22-2018, 1:46 PM
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OP

Confirm, unless you did this, ALL screws/fasteners of scope to riser and/or rings are tight and you used loc-tite on them
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Old 10-22-2018, 1:51 PM
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I just put on a Primary Arms 2.5 Compact prism scope ($199) and took it to the range to dial it in. All was going well until I started shooting 50+ yards with it. Groups were getting all over the place.....my bad I did not tighten the riser "bolts" to the rail using a wrench (1/2" socket)

The ""duh" moment cost me 50 rounds. Any optic needs to be REALLY on tight and loc-tite is recommended.

If you did all of this and the scope is still all over the place (read sure it's not you) than the scope is....well not up to the recoil of a AR15.
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Old 10-22-2018, 4:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 4GLOCK30 View Post
I just put on a Primary Arms 2.5 Compact prism scope ($199) and took it to the range to dial it in. All was going well until I started shooting 50+ yards with it. Groups were getting all over the place.....my bad I did not tighten the riser "bolts" to the rail using a wrench (1/2" socket)

The ""duh" moment cost me 50 rounds. Any optic needs to be REALLY on tight and loc-tite is recommended.

If you did all of this and the scope is still all over the place (read sure it's not you) than the scope is....well not up to the recoil of a AR15.
Yeah everything was loc-tited to hell. Hawke makes airgun scopes and those are typically tougher than non airgun scopes since they are designed to stand up to the weird "push pull" airgun recoil.

I'll just try the Mueller scope I've got on my 10/22 and see how she goes.
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Old 10-22-2018, 4:34 PM
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Bottom line...

If the rifle is capable of 1” with you shooting and everything was “loc-tired to hell” the only other variable is the scope.
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Old 10-22-2018, 4:40 PM
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Do you have a rest, and if so, have you tried doing a box test? That will tell you for sure if your optic is defective internally, or its just you.
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Old 10-22-2018, 4:53 PM
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Do you have a rest, and if so, have you tried doing a box test? That will tell you for sure if your optic is defective internally, or its just you.
Box test.

Throw scope in garbage.

Get a good, cheap Vortex Viper or SWFA SS or something.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:02 PM
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Ammo? Have you switched the ammo? Makes a big difference.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:10 PM
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To answer some of the questions:

I shoot sandbags, front and rear. Spent some extra non-shooting time at range this weekend making sure I was extra comfy and did multiple "close your eyes natural point of aim' " tests. Same set up I was using for irons.

Have not changed out ammo. I took my "best" ammo to the range this weekend (dipped into my stash of American Eagle GTV), and it was no bueno. Same with other ammo I had good results with over irons (Hornady 55 grain Steel Case Match and 69 grain PPU).
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:10 PM
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Something's wrong with the mount or maybe the scope is truly cr@p. I can get close to 2" groups at 100 yards all day long with my 80's vintage 20" AR put together with parts from Shotgun News and a $30 BSA Deerhunter scope with $9 Walmart mounts on the fixed handle nearly 4" above the barrel.

Here are my reloads with 55g fmjbt's H335 and PMC brass



and here is the typical PMC Bronze ammo straight out of the $6/20 box:
(always that pesky flyer), but 4/5 ain't bad


I'm only using the scope to develop the best accuracy loads for this gun. After I'm done, the scope comes off and I shoot through the peep sights. I know I'm not any better than 3" @100 yards so if my ammo and gun are this good, I know the inaccuracies are on me and not the gun.

Most scopes are pretty good out of the box. The more costly ones tend to be more rugged and hold zero going back and forth through adjustments. Even new cheap scopes should stay put once you sight it in and leave it alone.

The other thing to do is to make sure your gun rest points and your hold on the gun is the same for every shot. Moving your hold from the forearm to the magwell to the stock may change the POI. So will the tension you put into pushing the gun into your shoulder or pushing it down onto the rest or sandbags.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exdc View Post
Any variable magnification optic less than $500 is going to be close to garbage.
ive had no problems shooting out to 500 yards with a $280 primary arms 4-14 scope. Ive had 2 $380 athlon argos variable power scopes get me out to 1 mile and both tracked as good as i would expect from a sub $400 scope. ive bumped them, moved them to different guns, and once zeroed they track right back to my dope charts. a lot of scopes in that price range have improved a lot in the last few years.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:40 PM
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My money is on improper mounting first and defective scope second.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:48 PM
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Default Frustrated - Scoped AR accuracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophil2 View Post
ive had no problems shooting out to 500 yards with a $280 primary arms 4-14 scope. Ive had 2 $380 athlon argos variable power scopes get me out to 1 mile and both tracked as good as i would expect from a sub $400 scope. ive bumped them, moved them to different guns, and once zeroed they track right back to my dope charts. a lot of scopes in that price range have improved a lot in the last few years.


I spoke out of turn. There are a few GOOD budget brands, and Primary Arms is one. You'll get a good functioning scope. Still, $ for $ a fixed scope will get you better overall quality and value compared to a variable scope, and there is a lot of garbage out there. For someone who doesn't know what they're buying, it's really easy to waste hundreds on a scope that won't hold up on a standard AR-15. I was one of the chumps who spent 150 on a garbage scope and rings almost 10 years ago.
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Old 10-22-2018, 5:56 PM
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Post pics of your scope mounting rings from both sides.
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Old 10-22-2018, 6:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Usmc0844spare View Post
1) I suspect this optic (Hawke Vantage) might be REALLY unforgiving of parallax issues. Is it possible that an inconsistent cheek weld (and I DO try for consistency here) will spread rounds around that much at 50 yards with some scopes?
Inconsistent position behind the gun certainly will effect groups. but if you can shoot smaller groups with iron sights, you have a bigger problem.

Is the parallax on the scope adjustable or fixed?
Fixed parallax scopes are often set to 150yds as a "middle ground" between 100yds and 200yds.

Shooting at 50yds with a scope that's set for 150yds would make the gun VERY subjective to eyeball position (and therefore head position) behind the scope.

The easy test if the scope is fixed parallax is to move the target to 100yds and then out to 150 and then out to 200 and see where it groups the best.
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Old 10-22-2018, 6:55 PM
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The parallax and cheek weld won't matter that much at 50 yards.
Yeah, probably not much more than 6 inches or so.
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Old 10-22-2018, 8:09 PM
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My recommendation is return it as faulty (because I suspect something is rattling around inside) and grab a 6x or a 10x fixed magnification SWFA SS 30mm MRAD scope. Either is $300. Add $30-70 for his steel rings (high or ultra high, I recommend Warnes). You'll not regret the purchase. Accurate and repeatable turrets, rugged scope, and lifetime warranty. Heck, if you regret your purchase and the scope is still in like new condition, I'll buy it off you for near your purchase price.

This x1000!!!! OP, I use the SWFA 10x SS on my 6.5cm for 1000 meter steel shooting and couldn’t be happier with it.




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Old 10-22-2018, 9:24 PM
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So I recently installed one of the more economy brand ($200) scopes on my AR15 and my groups have gone to hell. As in with irons I was putting out ~1" 50 yard groups with the occasional .5-.75" group (10 rounds).

When I installed the optic (6-24x44) they are all over the map. I am lucky if I can keep 5 rounds in 1.5".

I know I know, cheap optics are crap (maybe). But I have a similarly priced optic on my 10/22 and it does great (~.5" groups consistently).

Here are some of the questions that are rattling around my head:
1) I suspect this optic (Hawke Vantage) might be REALLY unforgiving of parallax issues. Is it possible that an inconsistent cheek weld (and I DO try for consistency here) will spread rounds around that much at 50 yards with some scopes?

2) I know that mounts are important and I AM going on the cheap end here (but then again I did same with good 10/22 success) but what exactly do crappy mounts do (or not do)? I sorta figured as long as I've got everything torqued down adequately, the POI might move around over time but certainly everything should be consistent for at least one group of 5 rounds.

At this point I am thinking about swapping out the scopes between the 2 rifles and seeing if that makes a dif. Also thinking that the Magpul fixed rifle stock, with its fatter upper profile, might be screwing with my cheek weld consistency, so might swap out for a standard A2 stock.

But the thing is... I mean, I know how to shoot... not at Camp Perry levels for sure but I certainly know my fundamentals.... I can see things like cheek weld and stuff accounting for some loss of accuracy but not to the point of where I am shooting WORSE with a scope than I was with irons.

Any input helpful.
How about you put the time and rounds in and zero it. I've had to shoot over 125 rounds to zero scopes (though like an idiot I was turning it the wrong way). But once you zero it you'll be fine.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:33 PM
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How about you put the time and rounds in and zero it. I've had to shoot over 125 rounds to zero scopes (though like an idiot I was turning it the wrong way). But once you zero it you'll be fine.


That's too many rounds to zero any scope. At 100 yards, prop your upper (or entire bolt gun) on the bipod and sandbags. Point it at the target. Remove the bolt. Look through the barrel like you're aiming with iron sights. Once lined up with the target, with the "ring" of the barrel even in all sides. Now adjust your scope onto the target without moving the barrel. Consistently, I'm within a couple inches of my estimated POA.


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Old 10-22-2018, 10:49 PM
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AR15barrels, How could he introduce 6 inches of error due to parallax or cheek weld given that he's shooting 1" groups with Irons?
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:20 AM
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Bottom line...

If the rifle is capable of 1” with you shooting and everything was “loc-tired to hell” the only other variable is the scope.
Or the shooter.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:22 AM
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Or the shooter.


I mean I guess you're adding a pound and a half or so of glass. But that shouldn't affect bench shooting.


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Old 10-23-2018, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exdc View Post
I spoke out of turn. There are a few GOOD budget brands, and Primary Arms is one. You'll get a good functioning scope. Still, $ for $ a fixed scope will get you better overall quality and value compared to a variable scope, and there is a lot of garbage out there. For someone who doesn't know what they're buying, it's really easy to waste hundreds on a scope that won't hold up on a standard AR-15. I was one of the chumps who spent 150 on a garbage scope and rings almost 10 years ago.
i was surprised to get hits at 1200 yards with a friends 10x vortex. with good glass you dont need as much magnification. i still prefer around 18x at that distance mainly because an 18 inch plate looks aweful tiny on 10x.
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  #28  
Old 10-23-2018, 7:31 AM
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OP, based on your screen name I’m guessing you are a veteran. If so you might want to look at Vortex’s military discount as a means to get a better scope. It might not be the root cause of your current problem but it certainly would make it easier to upgrade into quality glass that you can use at longer distances.
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Old 10-23-2018, 8:41 AM
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scope working on a 22LR will typically not work so well on a high power rifle. Cannot handle the shock, and internal will shift or shake loose.

Air gun scope handles different stress/vibration than typical rifle, so it is not necessary air gun scope will work well as a rifle scope (good for 22LR). It may not shake loose, but it can differently shift.

U will be surprised how the cross hair in the scope are adjusted. After each adjustment it can "settled" after the next few shots ie, change POA. I typically tap the turrets after I make an adjustment to settled it down.

With modern manufacturing techniques, the difference between an expensive scope vs a cheapo is lens quality, repeatable adjustment and QA/QC. You may just got a lemon.

With a cheapo scope, expect to spend more rounds to get zero.

Difference between a cheap ring vs expensive ring is how concentric the ring is. People lap their rings to have a stress free fit.

Oh, do not over tighten anything. You may think tighter is better, but it may actually put stress at the wrong spot and will shift as things heat up. Typically torque it to spec. Specially true to rings locking around the scope.

If you get a cheapo scope built on Weds, once dialed in, it will hold zero pretty good.

I have a friend who used to work for one of those well known el cheapo scope company in R&D. I get to hear all the inside scoops.
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Old 10-23-2018, 9:53 AM
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Thanks all.

FYI I've currently got it mounted using one of these: https://yhm.net/6-rail-extension.html ... with some inexpensive scope rings. It was a bit too bendy for my liking so I stiffened it up by filling in the central channel with JB Weld and it is a LOT better now. Rings didn't come with torque specs but I went to 10 inch pds plus locktite.

Previously I was using one of these with exact same results more or less:
https://www.primaryarms.com/primary-...ch-padlxsmext1

I changed it up because the PA one was a bit too high.

The scope DOES have side mount AO... it focuses properly at around the 45 yard mark.

Not sure I get the posts regarding "Zeroing" it. I mean I know what it means to zero a scope but to me, it doesn't matter if the groups are 10 inches off the bullseye as long as they are grouping. If I can get it to group then I'll just adjust it.

Typical 5 round group might be 2 rounds touching (which is pretty much luck at this stage) and then some flyers an inch or more up/down left/right.

Have tried backing off on the magnification as well, no real change.

Scope is mounted fairly far fwd to enable "nose to charging handle" head position for consistency.
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  #31  
Old 10-23-2018, 11:26 AM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Post some pics of your rig.
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  #32  
Old 10-23-2018, 12:10 PM
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I've used this as general guidance for torque specs. Anyone with a better source feel free to chime in:

http://precisionrifleblog.com/2013/0...pecifications/
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:17 PM
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Eye position or mounts. I doubt it’s the scope. Have you tried having someone else shoot with it?
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Old 10-23-2018, 4:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Usmc0844spare View Post
Thanks all.

FYI I've currently got it mounted using one of these: https://yhm.net/6-rail-extension.html ... with some inexpensive scope rings. It was a bit too bendy for my liking so I stiffened it up by filling in the central channel with JB Weld and it is a LOT better now. Rings didn't come with torque specs but I went to 10 inch pds plus locktite.

Previously I was using one of these with exact same results more or less:
https://www.primaryarms.com/primary-...ch-padlxsmext1

I changed it up because the PA one was a bit too high.

The scope DOES have side mount AO... it focuses properly at around the 45 yard mark.

Not sure I get the posts regarding "Zeroing" it. I mean I know what it means to zero a scope but to me, it doesn't matter if the groups are 10 inches off the bullseye as long as they are grouping. If I can get it to group then I'll just adjust it.

Typical 5 round group might be 2 rounds touching (which is pretty much luck at this stage) and then some flyers an inch or more up/down left/right.

Have tried backing off on the magnification as well, no real change.

Scope is mounted fairly far fwd to enable "nose to charging handle" head position for consistency.
DO.THE.BOX.TEST.

I can't stress that enough. "If" your scope is properly mounted, and if your rings are adequate, and if it is rested properly to ensure no movement, then a box test will tell you if the scope has a problem holding zero or not.
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Old 10-23-2018, 6:35 PM
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My guesses would be in the following order (given that you group better with the same rifle and ammo and iron sights):

#1 parallax issues. Not removing parallax and inconsistent cheek weld.

#2 mounting issues. Cheap rings often need to be lapped. Otherwise they need a lot more torque than it states in scope or ring manual which is bad for the scope.

#3 scope issue
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  #36  
Old 10-23-2018, 6:43 PM
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This post is full of awesomess. OP, buy a 200 dollar red dot and stop trying to make a crappy scope and mount combo shoot.
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  #37  
Old 10-23-2018, 7:31 PM
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This thread is full of people who have no clue what they’re talking about offering advice.

OP, instead of being cheap you could have spend another $100 and gotten a decent optic. You can find a Vortex Viper PA 6-24x44 for $300, SWFA fixed powers, PA scopes. Lots of options.

I don’t know where your located or if you have good friends that have scoped AR’s, but I’d try to find another scope and mount and put it on your rifle. See if your groups shrink. If so you know what your problem is.
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Old 10-23-2018, 9:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalFocus View Post
This thread is full of people who have no clue what they’re talking about offering advice.
Well, this is Calguns afterall....
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:36 PM
Usmc0844spare Usmc0844spare is offline
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Pics for what it's worth.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_2511.jpg (94.2 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2512.jpg (95.7 KB, 81 views)
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  #40  
Old 10-24-2018, 6:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalFocus View Post
This thread is full of people who have no clue what they’re talking about offering advice.
It's the rifle! Put a new rifle on the awesome scope and you will put 10 rounds (a full California clip) through one little bug hole at 1000 yards!

Note; for the sake of parody I called the magazine a clip.

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