In this recent article about the FN 15 SRP G2 we reviewed all of the particulars of the rifle: the design features, why they are optimal and what is desirable for the application of such within the law enforcement service community. All of the information we previously shared is useless if the gun won’t shoot… reliably, accurately and with ease of manipulation. So, after reviewing the rifle particulars last month, this month we took it to the range and put it to the test; 500 rounds worth.
Together with our Editorial Director who is a veteran firearms instructor, there were two other certified firearms instructors present for the testing. The ammunition used was provided by Black Hills: their 5.56mm 77gr OTM ammo. When we made the request for test ammo, we let Black Hills know what we’d be testing and they sent appropriate ammo. From the 16” barrel of the FN15 SRP G2 we felt that it would be optimal given the 77gr weight. Further, it would be good ammo for agencies to use for training and duty deployment purposes. With a published muzzle velocity of 2,750 FPS and muzzle energy of 1,298 Foot Pounds, it should perform admirably for all normal LE uses.
For magazines, knowing that what gets used on the street is often not what is provided with the rifle, we pulled for an assortment of magazines available. Surplus military metal magazines were used along with the magazines from FN and a handful of P-Mags. We experienced no feed issues with any of the P-Mag magazines used. The ammunition cycled through clean with no failures to go into battery and no extraction challenges. The rifle cleared the brass with authority. With one of the surplus metal magazines we experienced failures to feed. Examination revealed that it had nothing to do with the rifle but was instead the fault of a banged up front lip on the magazine itself. Once that magazine was removed from use, we experienced no other feed malfunctions of any kind.
The test rifle we had on hand did not have an optic. All shooting was done with the open “back up” sights and the sight radius discussed in the first article proved of value. While short barreled rifles are all the rage, shorter barrels mean shorter sight radius which translates to increased human error. Even in the hands of skilled shooters, a longer sight radius is preferred for accuracy of engagements. Our maximum range distance was limited to approximately 100 yards. While the rifle is obviously capable of engaging targets far beyond 100 yards, we felt we could adequately test accuracy and functionality within that distance.
As any veteran firearms instructor will tell you, loading magazines is the most tedious part of any training day. As we were all aware of that, we spent the first bit of range time stuffing magazines. We were going to fill every magazine that we had, but we had more magazines than ammo to put in them. 500 rounds end up filling 16 30-round magazines and then one more with 20 rounds.
The rifle was not cleaned or lubed before we got to the range. On the range, we did drip a few drops of Militec on the bolt before beginning our shoot tests. No further lubricating or cleaning was done during the process of shooting through all 16+ magazines.
Our first engagement distance was 25 yards and we fired two full magazines from that distance. The first full magazine we fired, the rounds were not precisely aimed but were all put on target. Our goal with this ammo expenditure was to simply break in the firing mechanism and insure smooth function of loading, extracting, ejecting, reloading. The second magazine was fired in ten groups of three shots a piece to “dial in” the sights. Satisfied that we had the sights acceptably zeroed, we moved back to 50 yards. Several magazines were fired from the 50 yard distance in our attempts to see how tight of a group we could shoot. Firing was from a rested position and again, three-shot groups were fired. The average grouping we managed was approximately 3/4 of an inch with the tightest group being about 1/2 inch and the largest about 1.25 inches.
From there we moved back to our maximum available range distance and settled into either supported or bench rested shooting positions to see how accurate we could be with the rifle. Our best five 3-shot groups measured just under one inch at that engagement distance. Sub-MOA groups, with open sights, is more than acceptable for a patrol rifle. Had we mounted an optic on the rifle, I’ve no doubt we could have produced even tighter groups. In other words, the accuracy challenge was with us – the shooters – and not the rifle. With an average 3-shot group size of approximately .875 inches overall, the rifle demonstrates that it’s more than sufficiently accurate for patrol work. Remember, this rifle isn’t being used as a precision engagement (sniper) rifle.
One of the instructors was wearing body armor for the test shoot and he commented on the convenience of the adjustable shoulder stock. Wearing the armor required that he shorten the stock one setting so that he could maintain his comfortable length of reach for the trigger.
Over all, our instructor cadre commented very favorably on the rifle. Accuracy, reliability and comfort of shooting were all positive points. Each of us, all working for different law enforcement agencies, agreed that we’d be happy to see our agency adopt the rifle as a standard patrol rifle.
For more information on the FN 15 SRP G2, visit the webpage.