Range Report: Review of the Nikon P-223 and other stuff

This past Friday, my friend James took me to a members-only range just north of town. I’d heard of the club before but never been.

I didn’t know until the night before that it had 100, 200 and 300 yard berms, with steel gongs at 200 and 300. The last time I was able to shoot at any distance greater than 100 yards was when I was in Basic Training 15 years ago, so I was pretty excited at the prospect.

I had several goals for the day:

  • Further troubleshoot the accuracy problems I’ve been having with my M&P15-22.
  • Sight in the Nikon P-223 I recently purchased
  • Experiment with POI/POA shifts on my Rock River AR that I use the YHM Phantom on occasionally.
  • Get some trigger time on my M&P9

There's a new-ish Toyota 4Runner up there at the 300

There’s a new-ish Toyota 4Runner up there at the 300

It was a great day. Like 75 Degrees, in July, with a slight breeze and clear skies. There were a couple of other groups of shooters, but since we went during the week there was plenty of room. This particular range doesn’t have target stands; you have to bring your own. Luckily, I brought the ones oddball and I built a couple of years ago. The bright pink posterboard in the middle of the picture above is held up by one of those stands.

Note to self: When you bring the target stands, bring a staple gun.

Zeroing the Sweet .22 scope on the M&P15-22

I started off with trying to get the M&P15-22 zeroed. Again. For like the third time. I thought I had written about this before, but I can’t find any old posts on it so I must’ve just dreamed that. The short version is that I bought this scope and these rings and have been chasing accuracy problems ever since. I’ve blamed the shooter, the rings, and the ammo, and eliminated all those variables in my testing.

It’s been maddeningly frustrating to get within two MOA of zero–with groups of three fitting under a nickel at 50 yards–only to have the next group be off by 6-8 inches. I finally think I may have found the problem. While troubleshooting, James came over to check if my scope (now mounted in a PEPR) was mounted securely.

And the upper receiver flexed under light pressure. The plastic picatinny rail moved left and right a few degrees. That ended the range time with that particular weapon 😀

Apparently I am not the only person to experience this. There also seem to be significant variations in POI based on temperature.

So I’ll be buying a 10/22 for Appleseed, and a red dot for the M&P15-22

Sighting in the Nikon P-223

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The ghost image I talked about in my earlier post is still an issue for me. It’s not insurmountable, but it’s not going to stop me from looking for an alternative. I sighted in at 50 yards, knowing that an AR zeroed at 50 will be accurate at 200. With that knowledge and Nikon’s SpotOn iPhone app (that James had previously installed) I was banging the 300 yard gong pretty quickly.

Man, I love steel targets.

Other Stuff

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James is going to be a bad influence on me. That’s a Remington 700 AAC-SD in .308. It’s basically the exact rifle I’ve been trying to talk myself into buying since they came out. The good news is that the trigger isn’t as good as I expected, so I can put that off some more.

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The bad news is that he brought several lowers, each of which had a Geissele SSA-E. Now I have to buy one, especially after going from my rifle, to his, then back to mine. You don’t realize how bad a stock AR trigger is until you do that.

And in other news, you can, in fact, hit steel at 200 yards with a revolver. It took me three tries, and the revolver was in 45-70, but I’ll take it.

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