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Old 08-23-2017, 10:21 PM
TurkTide TurkTide is online now
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Hello All,

Great forum with tons of information (most of it over my head at this point, but will come in handy later as my vocabulary builds). I have ordered the Sport II and am "patiently" waiting for it's arrival. I have the usual desire to order a bunch of stuff for it, but have read enough of your y'alls advice to know that the first thing I need to get is ammo and mags and do some shooting. I have experience with handguns and hunting shotguns, but this will be my first rifle.

I am a bit overwhelmed with all the ammo choices. I'd like to get a decent amount of ammo to save cost (500-1000 rounds), but with all the different brands and the Wolf warning, I'm having trouble deciding. Any advice for first ammo to break in/sight in the gun and the shooter?

Of course, I'm reading about red dots, triggers, muzzle brakes, stocks, grips, barrels, etc., but will wait and do some shooting and learning before ordering anything. I'd like go with the theory of "buy once, cry once" and not buy 5 cheap items to finally buy the one I should have bought in the first place.
Is there an order that you would recommend mods? I've read trigger and muzzle brake being the first.

Thanks all and I look forward to doing some shooting and learning.
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Old 08-23-2017, 11:46 PM
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welcome to the zoo. You're starting things out the right way by concentrating on ammo and shooting first. As to the Wolf ammo deal, no one knows what is going on. It could be any number of issues. With a little searching, ammo can be found relatively cheap. SGAmmo has milsurplus going for .27-.28 per round. They also have Federal Lake City for .29 per round. Prices are + shipping.

As to things like triggers/ brakes, all depends. A brake isn't really needed unless you're into competition or you live in a state like I do where a flash hider is illegal. An upgraded trigger is nice, but your intended use should determine the route to go
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:15 AM
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Welcome aboard.
Ammo from SGAmmo.com to fill plenty of P-MAGS.
Then, MAGPUL furniture.

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Old 08-24-2017, 02:30 AM
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I like to go with a medium grade of ammo for checking the accuracy of a rifle. I'll use a bunch of different brands until I find what the rifle likes best. Every rifle is different.

BTW the "break in" period is not something you need to worry about unless you have a burr in your barrel or especially on the crown. You might knock down those burrs and you could call that a break in but for the most part the stuff you hear about loading, shooting, cleaning and repeat at specific intervals is just not needed. I've never seen a rifle that needed to be "broke in" other than ones with burrs. That's only happened maybe twice in all the rifles and pistols I've ever bought. And I've bought my share over the years.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:00 AM
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A good once over cleaning and lubrication before firing is a good idea,maybe lightly over lubricate until broken in,lots of videos out there. I also agree with the try a number of different types of ammo to see what works best in your rifle before making a large purchase. Study some of the how to videos on marksmanship and shoot as much as you can up close until you can make small groups before extending your range . The more you shoot the better,you are the main component to how accurate your rifle will be.Have fun !
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:01 AM
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Federal has 5 cent rebates on their .223 and 5.56 ammo through the end of August. That's $50 off on a case of 1000. I recently picked up 1000 XM193 from Palmetto for $299 free shipping. $250 after rebate. I haven't seen that low of a final price in quite a while. SGAmmo has Federal .223 $299 1000 = $250 after rebate. Other good deals around too. Ammo sales are soft and prices are down. This is a good time to buy.

Enjoy that new rifle.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:04 AM
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I'd do trigger and muzzle device last, if at all, depending on your needs or wants.

I'd save and get a good optic first, after ammo and mags of course.

Without knowing exactly what you plan to use your AR for no one can tell you what to get.

Are you planning on hunting, just range use, home defense, classes and training?

When I first bought mine I picked up a deal on 10 pmags and 1000 rds of wolf gold 55gr. Switch out the stock grip for aftermarket and put an aimpont pro on.

All of this worked great to get use to this rifle, but I've spent a couple decades using AR's and already had a good knowledge of what I was wanting to do with mine personal rifle.

Then I changed butt stocks, handrails trigger and muzzle device. More because I wanted to and not so much that this rifle needed or really benefited from the changes.

Congrats and enjoy, maybe watch some vids of how to tear down and reassemble and maybe some stuff on clearing after a malfunction so when you get to the range you'll have an idea of what to do since it's your first AR?
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TurkTide View Post
Hello All,

Great forum with tons of information (most of it over my head at this point, but will come in handy later as my vocabulary builds). I have ordered the Sport II and am "patiently" waiting for it's arrival. I have the usual desire to order a bunch of stuff for it, but have read enough of your y'alls advice to know that the first thing I need to get is ammo and mags and do some shooting. I have experience with handguns and hunting shotguns, but this will be my first rifle.

I am a bit overwhelmed with all the ammo choices. I'd like to get a decent amount of ammo to save cost (500-1000 rounds), but with all the different brands and the Wolf warning, I'm having trouble deciding. Any advice for first ammo to break in/sight in the gun and the shooter?

Of course, I'm reading about red dots, triggers, muzzle brakes, stocks, grips, barrels, etc., but will wait and do some shooting and learning before ordering anything. I'd like go with the theory of "buy once, cry once" and not buy 5 cheap items to finally buy the one I should have bought in the first place.
Is there an order that you would recommend mods? I've read trigger and muzzle brake being the first.

Thanks all and I look forward to doing some shooting and learning.
Slow and steady will win the race. Get yourself some good ammo first. I would get 1000 rounds of Independence 556 for $299 from Natchez. There is a coupon for $20 off ammo. That should cover your shipping. Then mail in the $50 rebate and get down to $.25 a round for decent ammo.

Federal Independence AR 5.56mm x 45 55 gr FMJ - 1000/Box | Natchez

I would also consider if you have the money getting some 62gr XM855 as well. This is also on the rebate for so you will be able to get the $.05 per round back for this as well. Get maybe 10 boxes of 62 gr.

Federal Independence XM855 Ammunition 5.56mm 62gr FMJ 3020 fps 20/ct - Rifle Ammo - Ammunition | Natchez

This way you have 55gr and 62gr ammo made by IMI for Federal. This will be a good starting point to get a feel for what your rifle likes.

Right now this is your best deal on ammo.

Shoot those rounds before you do anything else. The only thing I might change before you finish that 1000+ rounds of ammo is the trigger. If you have a good stock trigger leave it. If you don't and you know you will upgrade it later pull the trigger on a upgrade earlier rather than later. IMHO no need to shoot quarters down the range with a bad trigger.

From there how you use your rifle will determine or should determine what gear to buy. Take your time with optic and other add ons. Make sure how you intend to use the rifle matches what you are purchasing.

Good luck have fun!
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:21 AM
MichiganScott MichiganScott is offline
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The only modification, other than sighting equipment, that has been done on my guns is the replacement of the stock trigger. Two of my AR's still have the stock triggers because their triggers break like the proverbial glass rod, although heavy. Up to a point you can shoot a heavy trigger well, but one with a lot of creep will cause you problems.

Two of my AR's also have iron sights. One because I used to shoot High Power and the rules required them, and the other because I feel irons are sometimes needed. The sighting equipment on the others depends on expected usage; red dots for quick acquisition, and lower powered variable scopes for hunting.

Just don't be in too much of a hurry to modify and accessorize your Sport. A lot of the posters on these forums have boxes of spare parts and accessories that they have tried and found to be of little use.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:37 PM
Scotiapilot Scotiapilot is offline
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XM193/M193 Federal AE, 55 grain 3000fps, best stuff ever. Pmags are best. USMC allows them now FBI uses them.
Shoot the rifle and have fun. Its a great one. I just got one for my GF.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:05 PM
TurkTide TurkTide is online now
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Thanks all. Solid advice that I will take.

Curious as to why 5.56 ammo over .223? Is there a noticeable difference in accurancy and/or recoil?

Not sure I need 10 mags, but think this looks like a good deal:
1000 Rounds Independence 5.56 NATO 55Gr FMJ Ammo & Ten (10) Magpul 30RD PMAG Gen M2 5.56 Magazines
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:48 PM
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Not sure I need 10 mags
You don't need them until you can't get them... Ask folks in Colorado... I would get them while I could, and while they are cheap!
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:14 PM
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Turktide.......IMHO any gun mod should be ''purpose" driven.

Is the AR for.... making teeny tiny groups in paper at 100-500yds...... to have for the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.... hunting varmints...or just Sh--s and giggles at the range?

Put the 500-1000 rounds down range then decide...........

I'd go ahead and get the 10 mags; less than $100 these days and good to have.......... can't go wrong with an Aimpoint PRO for everything but 'teeny tiny" groups at more than 100yds.

Have fun.......................
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:53 PM
apollo99 apollo99 is online now
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I had 2 AR-15s for a few years in their stock m-4 configuration, I picked up a Colt LE 6920 at a great price and it was the Magpul model. I liked the Magpul furniture so much I purchased them for my other two M-4 rifles. I also installed velocity drop in triggers in them and I've never looked back. As far as sights and optics, I have an Aimpoint PRO on one and the Trijicon MRO on the other, both are fine red dots and I don't see much difference in them. My third AR-15 I left the carry handle sight on for use as a truck gun. The whole Magpul package should be about $110, and the drop in triggers should be around $110 - $130 if you shop around. Good luck have fun. Life is too short to shoot a bone stock AR-15
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Old 08-24-2017, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TurkTide View Post
Thanks all. Solid advice that I will take.

Curious as to why 5.56 ammo over .223? Is there a noticeable difference in accurancy and/or recoil?

Not sure I need 10 mags, but think this looks like a good deal:
1000 Rounds Independence 5.56 NATO 55Gr FMJ Ammo & Ten (10) Magpul 30RD PMAG Gen M2 5.56 Magazines

Thats a solid deal but don't forget the $25-$30 they are going to charge you for shipping. So you really are about $250 for the ammo and $80 for the 10 mags. Still a good deal.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:35 PM
hugger-4641 hugger-4641 is offline
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Buying online is the best way to go. If I needed mags I would jump on that deal. I haven't seen those mags on anyone's shelf for less than $15 each.
Ammo is more subject to what you want to do with the rifle. If you are hunting or planning to shoot competitions, then you need ammo that suits that purpose. If you are just going to the range to build your skill and experience or just stocking up for SHTF, then don't waste money on expensive ammo, buy the cheap stuff and spend the extra money on optics and new barrels.
If you are going to add optics and try shooting MOA or Sub moa, which the rifle is more than capable of, then you will want to go with a better ammo like Hornady, Black Hills, or some others that you can read about here also.

The cheapest ammo on store shelves right now is Tull. (Tullamo 55gr FMJ , steel case .223). Walmart around here has it about $4.50 for 20 rd box.
Don't buy into the hype about steel case being bad, there are other threads here where you can read about this. I've put at least 1000rds of Tull .223 through my Sport II and haven't had the first problem. It is fine for practice and shooting steel, but don't use it for hunting and don't expect MOA groups with it past 100yds.

As for mod's that I would recommend: again, it depends on your purpose.
I have one AR that I am using to improve my skill and precision , so I put a free float handguard on this rifle as well as a better trigger and scope.
I don't do much shooting from prone position, so I use a vertical grip instead of a bi-pod.
My SHTF rifle is a stock Sport II with a sling, red dot with quick release mount, and a rail under the handguard just incase I want to put a vertical grip or other accessory there.

You may find, as I did, that you have more than one purpose for this rifle. So keep that in mind as you contemplate modifications. I started out trying to make my Sport II serve all purposes and figured out I was better off leaving it stock and experimenting with the other.
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Old 08-24-2017, 08:26 PM
TurkTide TurkTide is online now
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Thanks everyone!! I ordered the ammo/mag bundle. The rifle shipped today and should arrive at the FFL on Monday. Probably can't get there until Thursday due to work. I'll keep reading and start shooting soon.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:00 PM
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I'll keep reading and start shooting soon.
Read up on field stripping, cleaning, and lubing before you start shooting. It will rule out and prevent a lot of potential problems.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:18 PM
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Just a thought about the M&P rifle of which I have 2. You might consider keeping it stock and once you know what you want in a "personalized" weapon go ahead and build one out or buy one that is closer to what you want. You may have a base rifle, but once you start hanging parts the cost jumps up pretty quickly. You can get some pretty nice out of the box rifles for 800 -1200. You will be at 800 pretty quick with an M&P even if you got it at 500 and you may be hard pressed to get that money back out of it. Good luck and welcome to the club, you now own the most popular sporting platform made today. They are just flat fun to shoot!

L
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
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Read up on field stripping, cleaning, and lubing before you start shooting. It will rule out and prevent a lot of potential problems.
Wait, I thought ARs didn't need cleaning?
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:03 AM
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My only complaint with steel case cartridges is that the casings tend to get left where they fall. My yard is practically paved with 7.62 X 39 steel casings. I never really shot a whole lot all at once in the yard but between me and the kids we managed to go through a few thousand rounds around the house over a 20 year period. And they never go away. It didn't seem like a problem at first but the stuff piles up eventually and gradually so that you don't notice until it's pretty much too late.

Brass gets picked up. I tend to collect brass and sell it because I don't reload. I financed out Christmas a couple of years ago with money from once fired brass I sold.

Yeah I know I should have learned to reload a long time ago but most of my shooting was always done with a .22 then by the time I started shooting more centerfire a lot of it was the steel stuff I already mentioned. And then I got into shooting a lot bigger variety of guns but I figured I was too old to bother with it. I guessed (correctly) that I would get too old to shoot a lot by the time I got reloading to pay off. It didn't really hurt me financially to just go ahead and buy off the shelf either so that's what I did and I still do it. Except now I have plenty of ammo for every gun I own pretty much. I don't think I'll ever need to buy ammo again really. Not like I once did. My health has not been as good and I just can't shoot as much as I did. I am moving back to my house where I can shoot in the yard all day if I want. Maybe I will buy more ammo. To be honest the prices going up so much ticked me off about buying ammo and I've not wanted to do it because of that. But prices are coming back down now. At least on somethings anyway.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:24 PM
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Go to Northern or Harbor freight and get one of those floor magnets on rollers with a handle. May take a little longer to collect enough, but those steel casings will bring a few dollars at the scrap yard.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:19 PM
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Go to Northern or Harbor freight and get one of those floor magnets on rollers with a handle.
You haven't seen my yard. I live on a hill in the woods. If it rolls it better have a good motor and tires that get good traction.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:55 AM
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FWIW I've had nothing but good experience with the Wolf Gold.

Anyway, you are on the right track. Shoot the gun, learn how it works, how to clean it and how to run it properly. Then after you are comfortable doing those things, then you can decide what thing/things you might want to change on it. Although I will say a good trigger replacement should be at the top of that list when you get to it.

Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:01 AM
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Just to echo a few common themes throughout the thread:

Now that you have decent ammo to star out, shoot the rifle and become familiar with it's manual of arms, and overall feel. By overall feel, I mean the trigger and felt recoil. Then if you know someone that has an upgraded trigger ask if you can shoot a few rounds to see the difference. I was used to a MILSPEC trigger so even though friends kept telling me over and over to ditch the MILSPEC trigger, it took years of stubborness until I did. Now as it should be, all my franken builds have trigger systems I like.

Next, decide on a decent optic. Figure out if a red dot will do the trick or if you want some magnification.

Lastly, you have and M&P Sport, so other than possibly an upgraded pistol grip forgo all the desires to mess with a new rail or other fancy bits. Again, It's an M&P Sport, shoot it and enjoy it. Think of it this way; any money you are thinking of spending on any other upgrades put away in a fund to start obtaining parts for your own future builds. Prices are at an all time low on lots of higher end uppers/lowers/barrels/small parts. Building your own AR is so much easier than you think. With an initial investment in some tools you can start building your own "dream" AR's with all the goodies that suit you, and still have the Sport for your beater, or bring along for a friend rifle. The Sport is a fantastic choice to get started into the AR world, just know it can become pretty addicting and lead to much, much, more.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:13 AM
TurkTide TurkTide is online now
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Thanks All,

The rifle arrived at the FFL yesterday and I got to go visit and fill out the paperwork. The background check came back approved while I was there. We have a 24 hour waiting period here in Illinois, so have to wait and see when I can get off work again to go pick it up. Have to have that "cooling off" period to give a gunbuyer a chance to change their mind just in case they were buying the gun to commit a crime...even though they ordered the gun over a week ago...and have other guns...but that's a different topic.

Can't wait to pick it up, clean it up, and get to the range...

Really appreciate all the responses to this thread and all the info in this forum.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:39 PM
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You'll love it!

You asked about some buy once cry once items... These are on my primary AR that would go well on that Sport.

Some gun porn while you daydream about your new rifle.

Aimpoint Micro


Lantrac brake


Hogue grip


Magpul CTR stock


Wilson Combat trigger (plucked this pic off the next)


20rd mags come in handy too...

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Old 08-29-2017, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
TurkTide wrote:
I am a bit overwhelmed with all the ammo choices. I'd like to get a decent amount of ammo to save cost...
Check on-line or at the big box sporting goods or outdoors stores. They usually have a promotion going on where you buy several hundred rounds of fairly generic ammunition and they throw in an ammunition can or something like that.

If you reload, buy brass cases otherwise shop on price which means you'll probably end up with steel cases.

Quote:
Of course, I'm reading about red dots, triggers, muzzle brakes, stocks, grips, barrels, ... Is there an order that you would recommend mods?
Yes.

If you're wanting to modify the rifle for cosmetic reasons then by all means plow ahead and get whatever handguards, buttstock, flash hider/muzzle break, front sight base, etc. that will satisfy you.

But, if we're talking functional modifications, do nothing. Put a couple hundred rounds downrange using the sights already on the rifle and get comfortable shooting it. Once you have done that, the things you feel need to be added or replaced will become apparent to you.

Both my sons followed that advice and after a couple days at the range both decided to pretty much leave the rifles as they were (and they decided this even though they could spend my money on their guns). One son did decide to replace the rear pop-up sight with an A2 style carrying handle/rear sight, but that was it.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:58 PM
TurkTide TurkTide is online now
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Picked up the rifle today and the ammo order arrived. Took it completely apart and cleaned everything then went to the range. I need practice, but was shooting low right at 50 yards. Moved to 25 yards and the groups tightened up, but stayed a bit low and right. I will go back tomorrow, shoot some more and make some adjustments.

Totally awesome fun shooting this thing. I love it and am afraid it's going to be an expensive hobby. Lol

I did order a Holosun 515c red dot. I know I know. I just felt the need (desire) to have a red dot. Most of my shooting will be 100 yards or less, I think. Prolly won't install it for awhile, at least until I get used to shooting the rifle and get good and sighted in with the iron sights. I'll have to do some reading on sighting in techniques and such.

Thank you all again for all the info and advice.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:22 PM
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Shooting is not cheap but sure is fun! Sounds like you are on the slippery slope!
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:36 PM
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I did order a Holosun 515c red dot. I know I know. I just felt the need (desire) to have a red dot. Most of my shooting will be 100 yards or less, I think. Prolly won't install it for awhile, at least until I get used to shooting the rifle and get good and sighted in with the iron sights.
Who are you kidding. You'll have that installed on your new rifle within minutes of arrival in the mailbox.

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Old 08-31-2017, 11:59 PM
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Yeah maybe. ok, probably. But I will learn the iron sights. I enjoyed shooting with them today.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:06 AM
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Yeah maybe. ok, probably. But I will learn the iron sights. I enjoyed shooting with them today.
That's the beauty of co-witness.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:01 AM
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I learned to shoot with the irons before I bought a red dot. You never know when something electronic might fail so I wanted to be ready just in case. And as was said before co-witness is a good thing.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:27 AM
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Shooting with irons is definitely a must. But I will say that when I started using a scope and trying to make longer shots, it helped me identify a couple bad habits that I didn't realize I had while using irons:

One of these was my grip and my trigger pull technique. My trigger hand grip was too loose and I was mistakenly taught to "squeeze" the trigger instead of "pull". This may be right for some people, but everyone's hands are a little different and I found that I needed to do more "squeezing" with the rest of my fingers and let my trigger finger relax a little. Before I realized this, my shots would to "slice" to the right by an inch or two. I never noticed this with irons because it was not enough to worry about at the distances I was shooting and I just chalked it up to my lack of skill or poor ammo. The scope didn't solve this, but after sighting in with a vice and shooting on sand bags, it helped me identify something I was doing wrong because I knew it was not the gun or the ammo, it had to be me. After I thought about what I was doing wrong and improved my technique, my shooting with iron sights greatly improved also.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:12 PM
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I've had the rifle for a week now and put about 200-300 rounds downrange. Zero issues with the rifle (knock on wood). I've got the iron sights and red dot pretty zero'd in at 50 yds. Was breaking clays well today from 50 yds, with the red dot. Shot some yesterday from 100 yds. Did ok, but need more practice. 100 yds is probably the max for my eyes without magnification.

The INDEPENDENCE 5.56 NATO 55GR - XM193I has worked well.

I've field stripped and cleaned it 4 times (5th will be tonight) and am getting more confident with that. Using Ballistol and Slip 2000. Run is wet, but will store it little drier while I'm at work this week. (I work week on/week off).

I bought a soft case, Fieldline 42" Cobra from Dunham's Sporting Goods. Like the case so far. Plenty of padding and pockets.

LOVE shooting this gun!! Is gonna cost me some money in ammo, but oh well...maybe I'll do some research on reloading...

Think I'm done buying stuff for now, but think the trigger might be the next upgrade. I'll do some reading.

Thank you all again for all the advice and info!!
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:25 AM
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One other thing I forgot to post. I LOVE the red dot. I shoot right handed, but am left eye dominant. This has always caused me issues when shooting rifles/shotguns. I usually have to bend a hat bill down to distract or block my left eye to be able to have my right eye focus on the sights. I know, I know, I should have learned to shoot left handed. I'm too stubborn and now too old, lol.

With the red dot, I am able to keep both eyes open and the red dot is kind of superimposed on the target. No distraction of blocking of the left eye needed. This is a game changer for me. I still need more practice to get completely comfortable with it, but am excited about this.
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