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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the AR556 right after Thanksgiving on a whim when they were on sale at the farm store for $480, and felt like I chased it around targets for the first few hundred rounds because I had an old turd mil dot scope with a rail built in. Finally had enough and bought the 2-8x Nikon 223 scope a couple months ago, and it’s just sat. Last month bought this CZ 527 Euro Varmint in .223, and had good glass for it, but it just sat until I got rings. The first set from Midway were the wrong thing, and found some on Amazon, so it got scoped up on Thursday. I’ve had it at the range the last three days, and until today, I was extremely frustrated. I had a bipod laying around I put on, and had been using my range bag under the stock, but it was just not what I had expected at all. I started the first two days with the bulk Federal FMJ from WM (not expecting too much) to at least get it on paper. The Fiocchi 55 gr FMJ has been good with the AR, so I had hopes for a FMJ load it wouldn’t be too bad. Got some Fiocchi 50 gr poly tipped thinking it might like the slightly lighter in the 1:9 twist.


I also have to disclaimer here that I know I need to take two rifles to the range and have plenty of time, otherwise I get impatient and get the barrel too hot.


Friday, I put 20 rounds down range, and all three loads gave a group ranging from just under 1” to 1.64”, which in a short trip just to zero and get a feel for it, I was ok with. (One group of Armscor 62 gr FMJ was over 2.5”).


Yesterday, I put another 35 rounds down range. Groups ranged from 1.12” (Fiocchi poly) to 3.37” (Federal bulk), with the Fiocchi 55 gr FMJ being the consistent in three groups averaging right around 1.5”.


Today, I put an extra piece of lumber to screw down to the table in so I could apply slight forward pressure on the bi pod, and a sandbag (more like dirt bag, and it’s all dried out now, hard to work with dirt clods), as well as the newly scoped AR. AR adjusted just a bit with a 42 yard zero, moved target to 100 yards. I’ll post pictures, but my hope for the AR has been consistently somewhere between 2 to 3”, preferably 2 - 2.5”, at 100, with relatively inexpensive ammo. The bulk Federal and M855 grouped closer together so that’s what I took today, as well as the two Fiocchi loads for the 527 because they grouped close.


The pictures speak for themselves. I didn’t have a lot of time, but I was very happy with both loads in each rifle. The Fiocchi FMJ in the 527 being right at 1” is ok, it’s a bit lower buck, and if I don’t start hand loading any time soon, it’ll work in a pinch, plus I can get it relatively locally. I think the LGS a half hour from here might also sell the poly tipped 50 gr. It shooting me a couple groups of .5 and .75” is fantastic. If I averaged out the four groups I fired from the AR, they’d be somewhere in the 2 to 2.5” range. I think I needed, and still do, a more secure rest for it if I’m looking to see what the rifle is capable of. It’s more of a fun piece, if I can hit a man sized silhouette out to about 300 yards with it, I’ll be happy, or if I threw it in the pickup to go to the farm and could knock a coyote out to 150 or 200, I’d be stellar.


The CZ is my first attempt at a rifle that could be capable of shooting really small groups, and it would be a candidate for some coyote or prairie dog hunting, if I were to find somewhere to have a chance at it.


More to come, I’m seriously excited now, I intend to shoot some more 100 yard for a baseline, as well as test a couple other kinds of ammo I have, but then it’s going to be off to the longer range for some 200 and 300 yard shooting to see what we can come up with.

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Those are some nice groups with the CZ. My wife has the 527 in 7.62x39, and it it such a fun and well-made rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
For a varmint barrel, it's what I expected out of the gate. Just goes to show how much relatively minor changes in a range setup can change end results. I hope to continue to replicate these kind of results, because I've never had a rifle that'd shoot .5-.75 MOA. My off the shelf 700 ADL in .308 will certainly do 1.5 with the right ammo. It's an absolute dream to shoot, just heavy and unwieldy, which is ok.

My only issue is when the mag is loaded with 4 or 5 rounds, I can't push the bolt handle, I have to push the back of the bolt. Something in the action is somewhat sticky and it binds up. With three rounds or less, it's fine.
 
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