Maximizing The AR-15

A former military armorer reveals his secrets for cutting AR-15 group sizes in half.

by Joe Carlos

The AR-15 was never meant to be a target rifle having been designed by Eugene Stoner for battlefield use. Previous U.S. service rifles were difficult to work on, required special tools, and a training period for military armorers that was long and difficult. Stoner corrected a lot of that. With two halves held together by captive pins, AR-15s can share one lower with uppers dedicated to self-defense, hunting, target shooting, or other uses. Barrels can be replaced quickly with a minimum of tools and armorer skill. Bolt carrier assemblies can usually be swapped as needed as it only takes minutes to check headspace with Go/No-Go gauges and I have yet to have a single Stoner rifle fail to pass.

Unfortunately, these useful characteristics limit the rifle’s ability to shoot really tight groups. Fortunately, the design shoots better than it has a right to.

Here’s what I’ve found works best.

Read more in the January 2018 issue.

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