Increase AR 15 Accuracy At 300 Yards [7 Tips]

This guide shows some tips on how to increase AR 15 accuracy at 300 yards using standard 55gr bullets, and here are few things you need to know without getting too technical:

  • A standard AR15 with 16" barrel shooting 55gr bullets can hit as far as 300 yards if you zeroed it correctly. May not be laser accurate, but it will be combat effective hits
  • As rule of thumb, the 25/300 yard zero is what most shooters zero their optics on their AR rifles for this distance, and the shooter must know where to hold after zeroing the rifle at a 25 yard range.
36 yard zero vs 25 yard zero

What people don't like: The shooter has to think where to hold under a certain amount on to be dead on. Any incorrect range or target size estimation will lead to a missed shot.

What we recommend: Less thinking involved, try the 36 yard zero where the 300 yrd shot is just about 4.3" lower than the point of aim. With good rifle stabilization, shooter can can reasonably hit a BC-Zone target out to 300 yards without excessive hold-overs. 

Zero at 36, verify actual hits for both 36 and 300.

7 Tips To Increase AR 15 Accuracy At 300 Yards

Use A 1 MOA Dot

trijicon rmr with micro 3x magnifier

A 1 MOA dot is the smallest dot available when trying to hit a target up to 300 yards with a red dot sight. It's small enough to see and it doesn't obscure the target for better sight picture.

The challenge comes when you can't see the target well or you have vision problems, but there are some helpful things you can try:

shooters with astigmatism see this

If 1 MOA dot is blurry or look smeared without any vision correction, you may have astigmatism, read here to learn more

While most red dot sights on the market are 2 MOA, we recommend EOTech EXPS3, Vortex UH1 for long distance shooting in this case.

The center 1 MOA helps aiming, and the ring helps with range estimation.

If you use a magnifier scope, then 2 MOA dot is also clear enough to aim at a target sitting 300 yards away.

Use A Magnifier Scope

aimpoint 3x c magnifier with aimpoint micro h1

To get even better sight picture at 300 yards, we recommend using a magnifier scope to zoom in on the sight picture.

Anyone who uses a magnifier to zero the dot usually get a finer zero, and it helps hitting targets far away with greater accuracy.

In addition, it helps anyone with astigmatism thanks to the diopter adjustment to focus the reticle.

Check out today's best M4 carbine optics here

Use A Better Reticle 

open center reticle

Reticle center is open to see the target without crossing through overlapping the target.

acss lead reticle

ACSS triangle aiming tip gives a fine aiming point without obscuring upper portion of the target.

If using a variable power rifle scopes or low power variable optics, a open center reticle design helps the shooter see the target much better without view obstruction.

Stabilize Your Aim

shooting up right position eotech

Get a bipod or tripod to stabilize the rifle. Tired of going to the range without having anything to rest your rifle to shoot long distance?

A tripod, bipod, sand bag can help a lot.

To start out, we recommend the BOG Deathgrip, super affordable and sturdy to use before you move on to more expensive products.

Apply Sling Tension

Insert Image

If you stabilize the rifle on a tripod, adding sling tension to the system can help increase accuracy. It simply reduces the barrel flutter and provides a much stable aim.

There are different types of sling and sling attachment to make this work.

Upgrade Your Barrel

ar15 barrel 16 inches

Most AR15 barrels are accurately enough to get combat effective hits. However, if you want better accuracy, you may have to look into the ammo you're using, the barrel length and the barrel twist rate.

For quick reference, here is a simplified AR 15 twist rate chart illustrating the performance overlaps among all barrel twist rates.

AR15 twist rate barrel chart

Most 1/9 twist rate barrels work well for 50gr, 55gr, 40gr, 45gr and 62gr bullets.

A free float handguard improves barrel harmonics, so that it's not interrupted by a hard fixed point like the handguard retainer block.

For a dedicated AR15 to shoot long distance, a 18" and 20" barrel is recommended.

Please visit AT3Tactical for more in-depth gas system length recommendations.

Use Better Ammo

55gr ball bullet is what you can find everywhere. If you want better precision, you may have to shoot better bullets.

Please visit this guide for more ballistics discussion