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Discussion Starter #1
I am a bolt and single shot guy, but just had to get an AR style rifle. I loved shooting the M-16 and new a good heavy barreled AR would shoot good enough out to 300 yards.
I am going to shoot some factory ammo through it in different bullet weights to get an idea of what it likes, but I want to develop a good all around predator/varmint/target load. I am not really worried about hides, just accuracy and reliability. I definitely want to shoot a varmint bullet, but am wondering what cycles good through the action. Do the plastic tips have any problems in the ARs? I am thinking of starting with a 60 grain V-max, since I have had great luck with them in other guns. I am also a big fan of sierras for reloading. There cost would be good for the auto too. I will probably use H-4895 or Varget since I have lots of both. Any suggestions on bullets and or loads would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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Congrats on your Bushy. Fine choice by the way. I purchased the Varminter 2 years, right before the predator came out. If I would have known about its coming, I probably would have gotten that. Anyway...

I have done a little load development, not nearly as much as I have wanted though. As far as factory ammo goes, my gun loves the Winchester White Box ammo in a 45 grain hollow point. I can shoot right around a 1/2" when the conditions are right. It is not bad price either, $15 to $20 depending on where you are located.

As for handloads, mine really likes 52 Grain Sierra Matchking Hollow Points on top of 27.5 grains of Win 748. It is not a max load, but it is an accurate load. That one will shoot about the same as the 45gr Winchesters.

Don't be afraid to try light bullets too. I was very surprised to find that that is what my gun prefers. I figured that with a 1-9 twist, I would have to shoot a little heavier bullets. Not the case.

As for reliabilty, anything will cycle through the gun with no problems. I have never had a jam.

Have fun with it. Be very careful though, they grow on you and you will want another one!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I am hoping mine will like 55 to 60 grain bullets. It has the 1-8 twist, so it can shoot the heavier bullets, but I have heard that over spinning the light bullets is usually only a problem with very short and lightly constructed bullets. I will try the 45 grain winchesters just to see how it does with something that light.

Good shooting,
Brian
 

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I recently purchased the Bushmaster Predator in camo, and put a Harris bipod and a 6-18X40 Nikon scope on it and I love this rifle. I have not shot any factory ammo through it. I had a lot of 50 gr. Speer TNT bullets on top of Benchmark powder loaded up for my MK 77 and was surprised how well the Predator shot these light bullets - all under an inch at 100 yards. I have also tried some Nosler 55 gr. BTs, but did not notice any improvement over the Speer TNTs (Noslers cost alot more). Both bullets functioned well through the gun - no jams or other problems. I now have some 60 gr. VMAX bullets, but have not had a chance to load them up yet.
Enjoy your rifle!
 

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Did any of you guys have any jamming problems before the gun was broken in? I shot 35 rounds of black hills 55 grain FMJs today. That is probably more than I should have with out cleaning, but I figured it would be OK. The first 5 were shot slow and my bore siting job was good, because they were about 1/2" high at 25 yards. This was not a siting in, just a feel for the rifle session. I then shot 5 pretty quick, all good. Then I fired the remaining 10 rapid fire to heat the barrel good. I then let it cool and inserted my 5 round mag that came with it and every round jammed. I figured it might be a receiver to mag fit problem, so I put 10 more in my 20 round mag, same thing. I didn't think even a un-broken in gun would foul that fast.
I brought it back and gave it a really good cleaning and will see how it goes on the next session. Is that black hills stuff dirty? My barrel and bolt assembly looked like I had shot 300 rounds of surplus ammo through it. I always had heard black hills was pretty good factory ammo. It won't matter once I break it in, site it in and start reloading for it, but was kind of worried. Besides being a varmint and target gun, I still plan on rapid firing it occasionally. What would be the fun of an AR type if you didn't?

Good shooting,
Brian
 

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I have never had a jam, knock on wood. After a really good cleaning, you should be fine. The gun comes from the factory with LOTS of oil, mainly so that if the gun sits for a while before being sold, it won't rust (I think).

The part where you mentioned it being a target and varmint gun sounds about like my use for it. I picked it up as a varmint/play gun, and then found out it can be a tack driver.

Have you tried AR15.com? It is a great site dedicated to military rifles. You will find everything you will ever want to know about AR's.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very dissapointed. My bushmaster is upper is heading back to the factory after about 50 rounds. It short strokes now every time. It will eject but not pick up the next round. It is not a magazine issue, because if you manually work the action it will feed a round every time. I have followed all the cleaning instructions and done everything I know how to do. I have never had a problem with any gas or recoil operated semi-auto. I am sure bushmaster will make it right, but a $1000+ gun needs to be factory tested and quality checked before it goes out. I am hoping they will send it back quick so I can enjoy it throughout the winter.


Good shooting,
Brian
 

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TCBrian,

I have the Bushy Predator as well and had the same problem you mention. I tried everything I could to get the gun to function properly but it would not consistently. I sent it back to Bushmaster and they were pretty quick about getting it back to me in working order. I'll bet you have the same problem mine did. Haven't had a problem at all with it since I got it back. For a round to try I'm having fantastic luck with the Hornady 60gr SP and 60v-max (same POI) over varget at about 2580fps. Consistent "5 in a dime @ 100" with this loading. YOu are right that a $1000+ gun should not have these problems but I guess that's what happens with mass produced product, hopefully they quit sending them out like this now that they know what the problem is. Enjoy that Bushy it's a fun gun for sure!


Mahamari
 

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Very dissapointed. My bushmaster is upper is heading back to the factory after about 50 rounds. It short strokes now every time.
Some of the new Bushies have the stock, buffer ring nut come loose. This knocks the alignment of the bolt and gas tube.
 
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