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I bought one of Mark Grahams's Romanian builds and am very impressed with the quality of his workmanship and attention to detail. I also own a new Arsenal, Inc Bulgarian and took them down to the range today to see how they compare against other as shooters. The Arsenal rifle was capable of holding a 1" group from a firm rest at 25yds. The Romanian rifle has a much better trigger but was still only capable of a 1.25" best of three target shot, the other two were over 1.5-2.0". I fired them both at the same NRA 25 yard pistol target at 50 yards and the Bulgarian rifle was capable of groupings around 3", the Romanian best around 5". Firing 250 rnds from both rifles at 50yds, showed that the Bulgarian rifle can keep nearly all rounds in the 9-10 ring, the Romy...well, it has a better trigger, but doesn't do nearly as well with shots out into 7 and 8 ring. Understandably this is still fairly good from this type of weapon IMHOl. My M1A will nearly put them all in the same ragged hole at 50 yds, produces 1" groups at 100 yds with open sights. I forgot to add that both rifles functioned flawlessly through my 6 hour session.
 

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Do you have the same type of muzzle devices on both rifles? There are some posts on how the type of muzzle device used influences accuracy. Maybe some one will post a link to some of the posts.

I do know that with my Romanian SAR-1, the slant brake gives me the least accuracy.
 

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FWIW, Soviet AKM manual standard called for a 100 meter zero with a 3 shot or 4 shot (with one flyer) accuracy of 15cm (5.9") or less.

Given you that you are shooting 5" at 50 yards, you are possible looking at a 10"-11" group at 100 yards. Something is not right with that rifle. Bent barrel or muzzle device issue is a good start.

If you are confident your shooting skills are not to blame, I would call ARS and explain what you got and see if they give you some relief in getting fixed or another rifle.

Of course Mark at ARS may give you some flak as he is god among gunsmith/builders and would have never let some rifle like this leave his care. :razz:
 

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I had a SAR3 that shot 10-12 in groups at 100...until.....I had the crown fixed.

After a 10 dollar lapp suddenly it shot a quite a few less than 1moa groups..no joke. It was a lot better after the crown job.
 
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