What if I told you that you could get 15, 20 or even 45 percent better accuracy from your existing AR-type rifle? You can. Read on…
The key concept here is getting the best possible accuracy from the rifle you already have. While you can certainly improve accuracy by replacing major components like the barrel, that kind of defeats the whole point of “the rifle you have.” Here, we’ll focus on less invasive upgrade opportunities.
There are a number of accessory upgrades that will help improve accuracy. For example, on the AR platform, you can upgrade your front hand guard to a free-floated design. Removing pressure points on the barrel will certainly help with shot-to-shot consistency (accuracy) as doing so allows the barrel to do its harmonic resonation thing unimpeded each time you shoot. Installing a free-floated hand guard take a little bit of tool work, but can be well worthwhile in the long run.
Here, we’re going to focus on an upgrade than can make a dramatic improvement on the accuracy of your rifle. It’s also an upgrade that you can literally do at the shooting bench if you really want to. I know, because I recently did just that.
I’m talking about a trigger upgrade. AR factory triggers are notoriously bad. They’re heavy, irregular and feel like you’re trying to create sidewalk art with a broken piece of brick. The weird thing about trigger upgrades is that a new trigger doesn’t do anything to make your rifle mechanically more accurate. It doesn’t affect the bore. It doesn’t come in contact with the cartridges. It doesn’t stabilize your shooting position. What it does do is enable you to get the maximum possible accuracy out of your rifle.
Accurate shooting is a carefully choreographed pas de deux between shooter and rifle. If you put your rifle in a vise and shoot, it will perform to a certain level of consistency from shot to shot. However, there is no shooting without a shooter. No matter how carefully you rest your gun, obtain your sight picture and control your breathing, breaking a shot always requires physical force from you to press the trigger. This motion requires enough force to release the sear, drop the hammer and finally ignite the cartridge. Considering that standard AR triggers can require five to eight pounds of pressure to release, and that most rifles weigh six or eight pounds give or take, there’s a great chance that the act of pressing the trigger will exert some unwanted movement on the gun. The more irregular and grittier the trigger, the more risk of moving just a gnats hair from your perfect aim point. The result? Small movements at the gun translate into increases of group size down range.