A couple of months ago, I bought some Winchester 5.56 ammo at Cabela's to try out in the new rifle. It was on sale for $9.99, so I figured I'd pick up several boxes. I'd kept it in the range bag the first session I took the rifle out.
I decided to see how it performed the next session (in late November), and was pleasantly surprised at the vast improvement in my group sizes from the AE223. I'd shot a couple of targets using the AE223 at the beginning of the session, and was less than impressed at the grouping I got. Shots were all over the target. I certainly could attribute some of this to my ongoing issues with shooting iron sights against black targets, but they still didn't seem to reflect the consistency of my sighting. It was so bad, I didn't bother keeping or taking photos of the targets.
I loaded up some of the Winchester rounds and put 10 rounds through one of the targets that I was shooting with the AE223, and saw an immediate improvement. I loaded up a full mag of 30 and put 3 shots through that same target, then decided to move on to a fresh target, pictured below.
Excluding the two fliers at 1:00 and 9:00, that is a 1.5" wide and 2" tall grouping. This ammo seems to shoot *very* well in my rifle, certainly better than my ability to keep the rifle steady on target. On that subject, I just purchased a sling for the rifle, which should vastly improve my ability to steady my shots and improve my consistency. Just trying out the sling at home, I can tell a significant improvement in my ability to keep the rifle steady. I look forward to using it at the range this weekend.
I've also been able to work out both the plinking and hunting rounds mentioned in my last post. I've loaded up 200 of the plinking rounds using Winchester 55 grain FMJ-BT bullets, so I can see how well they run in numbers. I've got 50 rounds of the hunting load using the Speer 70 grain semi-spitzer soft point, to get a good feel for the load and its characteristics at different ranges. It looks like I won't get a hog hunt in this year, but an early 2011 hunt is possible. Hopefully, I'll get to put this load to some practical use in the near future.
Hopefully, I'll have something new to write up for you after the weekend.
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