Building a long-range AR-15 upper receiver requires careful selection of components to optimize accuracy and precision. Whether you’re planning to shoot targets at extended distances or engage in long-range competitions, here’s what you need to build a high-performance long-range AR-15 upper:
1. Match-Grade Barrel:
- Choose a long, heavy-contour barrel for improved stability and reduced barrel whip. Stainless steel barrels are often preferred for accuracy.
- Opt for a longer barrel length (typically 18 inches or longer) to maximize bullet velocity and accuracy.
- Consider a free-floated handguard to eliminate barrel contact and harmonics interference.
2. Precision Bolt Carrier Group (BCG):
- Look for a quality BCG that offers tight tolerances and smooth operation. A nickel-boron or nitride-coated BCG can reduce friction and enhance reliability.
3. Adjustable Gas System:
- An adjustable gas block allows you to fine-tune the gas system for optimal cycling and reduced recoil. This is particularly important for managing recoil during long-range shots.
4. Quality Trigger:
- Invest in a precision trigger with a light, crisp break and minimal overtravel. Two-stage triggers are popular for long-range shooting.
5. Precision Upper Receiver:
- A well-machined upper receiver with a solid fit can improve overall accuracy. Consider matched upper and lower receiver sets for enhanced consistency.
6. Muzzle Device:
- Choose a muzzle brake or compensator that reduces recoil and muzzle rise, allowing for faster follow-up shots and maintaining sight picture.
- Select a high-quality scope with variable magnification suitable for long-range shooting. Consider optics with features like first focal plane (FFP) reticles, target turrets, and parallax adjustment.
- A sturdy bipod provides a stable shooting platform for long-range shots. Look for a bipod with adjustable height and swivel capabilities.
9. Stock and Buffer System:
- A precision stock or chassis system designed for long-range shooting can enhance stability and cheek weld. An adjustable buttstock allows for customizing length of pull.
10. Free-Floated Handguard:
- A free-floated handguard eliminates interference with the barrel’s harmonics, contributing to improved accuracy. It should also provide ample space for accessory attachment, such as bipods and slings.
11. Barrel Nut and Torque Wrench:
- Use a quality barrel nut for securing the barrel to the upper receiver. A torque wrench ensures proper tightening to prevent any play or shifting.
12. Scope Mount:
- Select a scope mount that is robust, properly sized for your scope, and offers the correct height for your eye relief and cheek weld.
- Choose match-grade or handloaded ammunition specifically tuned for your rifle. Consistent and high-quality ammunition is essential for long-range precision.
14. Range Time and Training:
- The most critical component is your own skill and experience. Invest time in practicing and developing your long-range shooting techniques.
When building a long-range AR Uppers, quality components and meticulous attention to detail are essential. Proper installation, maintenance, and thorough testing will ensure that your rifle performs at its best during long-range shooting scenarios.