Courtesy of Tactical Life

After I fired my second shot, I looked through my spotting scope and muttered to myself, “Damn, there’s no way I could have missed that target.” After firing three more rounds, we walked up to check the target and found one of the bullet holes had an oval shape, indicating I had put my first two rounds through the same hole. I turned to my wife, Becky, and exclaimed, “This thing sure is accurate!” The “thing” under discussion was Black Dawn Armory’s BDR-10 rifle.

What I am about to say will come as no surprise to most of our readers: The semi-automatic AR is the most popular long arm on the American market today. Known as “black rifles” or—more recently and somewhat euphemistically—“modern sporting rifles,” they are seeing ever-wider use by law enforcement agencies, target shooters, competitors and hunters. While they are available in an assortment of other calibers, the vast majority of these rifles are chambered for the .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO.

First used by the U.S. military beginning in 1963, the 5.56mm was adopted as the standard rifle cartridge in 1969, and thanks to U.S. influence, most NATO armies began transitioning to it beginning in the 1980s. Advances in propellants and bullet design led to improved performance, and the 5.56mm has proven to be a very adequate military cartridge—which leads us to a conundrum.

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