A few weeks ago, I posted an article where I fired at 1,000 yards using as close to an as issued M16A2 as I can get. I used MK262 ammo and M855 to make hits while shooting iron sights only and from prone with just as sling as support. The Article has been popular and has had a lot of views, but with it came a lot of questions and the inevitable uneasy feeling from people who have given advice to others for years about how near useless the 5.56 is. Almost to the point of being offended.
A lot of people who emailed me, or commented on the subject wanting to know how it was done and my procedures etc. After talking to a friend about it, I re read the article and realized that I should have been more clear in some parts. While the majority of people know what the point I was trying to make, some others seem to think I was trying to say something between the lines. So I am going to answer the question that have popped up from a few people since the article.
First is the assumption that I was making any claims about the terminal performance of the 5.56/M855 round or even the MK 262 at this distance. I was not. I simply shot the drill as a way to demonstrate that the AR15 is capable of accuracy and accomplishments a lot of people do not bother to imagine or try out. I never said the 556 would knock a man down at 1K or penetrate X amount of inches. But, a hit is a hit. I doubt few would volunteer to be shot at 1K with a 556 to prove how wrong I am. In the 6os a man was knocked off a bicycle from a stray 22LR shot that escaped over a range berm in Ohio. It was over a mile from where the shooter was setting. That does not prove a thing. But a hit is still indeed a hit. Even if it feels like a hornet sting, if some one is nailing you at 1,000 yards, that would demoralize me and seriously make me rethink wanting to get closer. The SS109 was meant to fired at longer ranges in LMG use. So to claim it would not put some kind of hurt on a person is absurd. How effective that hurt is, is another matter and not the convern of the article.
How did I see the target and what aiming point did I use to be able to hit such a target ? That is the next common question. It is simple. I adjusted the front sight to account for more elevation. I did not go out with a military 25Meter zero. Elevation was adjusted using the front sight for the most part and I refined it with the rear since I had plenty left over to play with. I zeroed the sights at 1,000 yard to the point I used a so called “6 oclock hold” But actually I adjusted the sight to the point where I held the front site about 5 foot below the target. That is why I had the steel gong painted neon orange. I got on the steel. then moved to the paper. It was not some impossible thing to do or a miracle. Nor was it “flinging lead down range” ’till I got lucky
You can not get lucky if you don’t do everything right before hand.
Having the hold so far below the point of impact gave me plenty of room to see the target and light. I also could see any impacts into the dust to make windage changes or any other change I needed. Also a spotter with a 60x spotting scope to help.
How did you do it without 80 grain bullets with a OAL that required you to single feed? That was where the gross amount of sight manipulation comes into play and a shooting lane between two hills blocking all but a head wind. The 80s are great, and if you are trying to hit a X ring at perry, you will need them or the 77 grain HPBT. But with enough adjustment in your sights, you can get just about anything on target. If it is a decent weight. Careful reading will show I shot the heavier match 77 grain load to get on target initially and had doubts about the M855. I never said that the M855 was a wonder bullet.
What enemy did you expect to prove the M855 would kill at 1,000 yards? A cardboard target is all I set out to prove the round would hit. Though few would really let some one shoot them at 1K with the 556 no matter how much the claim other wise. Also when I said “lethal” hits, I wrongly assumed people knew that most hits in the “black” of the target are considered solid hits, not anatomically correct. So yeah, my use of lethal was a slang term used in the context of the too large scoring area of military targets. And people have bled to death from groin and lung hits. So I guess I would consider them lethal depending on the abilities and medical expertise of the enemies you are engaging. But draw your own conclusions. My point was to show that the AR15 in stock form will hit at 1,000 yards with good and issue ammo if you know what you are doing. Nothing more. Furthermore, it was not just luck getting the M855 on target. It is certainly not match accurate ammo. But it is within reason to expect a decent lot of M855 to be able to hit a man.
If the article gave you more confidence in your weapon that was my goal. It does not matter if the average Marine or soldier can or can not do it. It matters what you can do with it when it is in your hands. It does not matter if you can not imagine needing to take a shot like that. Having the skill builds your confidence and it is there on the off chance you ever need it. Why does anyone even bother shooting at anything?
According to The Complete Book of US Sniping by Peter Senich, confirmed kills were made in Vietnam with the M16A1 and 55 grain M193 at 800 meters. That does not make the combo a sniper rifle or the last word on the subject, but it does show what the right combination of marksman, weapon and skill, can achieve. Crazy long shots have been made with weapons people never dreamed of since before Billy Dixon knocked and Indian Chief off his horse at the battle of Adobe Walls. The test was done to show that no matter what you are using, you should always be confident in your skill being able to make hits that are beyond what so called experts say. And, to the limit of what the system is capable of and beyond if possible.Improved marksmanship is something to always strive for, no matter what the weapon and ammo is. It hurts nothing to have the ability to shoot this far. Oddly enough some people are just out right offended that I did this. As if hitting your target at such a long range is offensive to them. It is never a waste of time to be able to hit as far as you can on a realistic sized target.
Any further questions can be sent to the looserounds Q&A email address or posted on the facebook page and I will try to answer them.