How Far Can An AR-15 Shoot Accurately?

AR-15 is the most used and demanded gun of all. Do you know how far can an ar-15 shoot accurately? or effective range of ar 15? It is an important thing which you should know about your rifle.

So it can help to protect you and shoot on the target perfectly. What is the effective range of the gun? Mostly 400-600 meters is considered the normal range of any ar-15 when firing from 0.223 caliber rounds. The range also depends upon the caliber of ammo used in it.

What affects the effective range of an AR-15?

Many factors affect the distance of the bullet to travel but there are a few of them we explained here. According to the US army, the maximum range is also based on which a typical soldier can hit a torso sized target at 50% accuracy. Some experts also consider that the consistency of the bullet to fire on a particular target is also an important factor to determine the effective range.

Instead of all these, there are 3 main factors on which it depends: barrel length, ammunition, and area. In our article on the initial level, we can leave the area but other factors need to be considered.

Longer barrel length will be an effective range as it contains more energy and releases through the muzzle. Thus pushes the ullet with more energy and travels a longer distance and then begins to drop.

Firstly, the ammo used is a major factor. Secondly, bigger and heavier bullets can travel a great distance and contain more gunpowder to generate more explosive energy in barrels.

Detailed data of a distance by an AR-15 with different calibers?

Depending on your caliber the distance of your bullet is increased or decreased. Generally, the bigger bullet has more gunpowder so travel to a greater distance. Below we make a table for a fast and easy understanding of the concept.

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Caliber Effective Range (m)
.223 (5.56 NATO) 400-600 meters
.308 800 meters
.338 Laputa 1500 meters
.50 BMG 1600 meters
.450 Bushmaster 250 meters
9mm 100 meters


The effective range doesn’t mean the bullet fire with max damage. It means a distance at which the bullet hit at high accuracy. You can understand with an example that .45 ACP and 9mm bullet has a stopping power so it drops faster than standard ar-15 rifle round. On the other side, 5.56 ammo can hit a distance of 600 meters but it is difficult to hot on a moving target at a distance of 600 meters.

The .50 BMG has an effective range of 1600  meters so if you can hit an engine then you can burst a vehicle is now shot.

If you face any problem while holding your gun then you can read our article “How to hold an AR-15?“.

You can read our top AR-15 for your practice.

How effective can a .223(5.56 NATO) round works?

This is a very tricky question and you will get a different answer all the time. I depend upon the ridge you fired or at which elevation angle you used upward while firing.

Generally, the maximum range can be defined by the longest distance at which a bullet drop on the ground. Although you can extend using longer barrel length and faster twist ratio.

effective range of ar 15

So the best answer is 400-600  meters only. Simply if you elevate your rifle to 45 degrees then it travels to its maximum distance but you have to compromise with the accuracy. If you calculate its power then it can travel up to 2-3 miles but you won’t aim at any target, just a warning shot.

WARNING- Be careful while firing an AR-15, and be sure that there is always a stopping target in the case you miss your primary target otherwise it can hit something which you don’t like.

Is AR-15s Accurate?

In short, I can say it works perfectly in the effective range on the other hand it totally depends on the person you used to pull the trigger.

Sometimes the quality and making of ar are responsible for the performance. Some cheap guns can misbehave and wrong barrel installation.

They usually range from 1-3 MOA (minute of angle) with an average being closer to 1.5. The lower the MOA, the more accurate the rifle is. It also depends upon your shooting mode like if you use semi-automatic mode then the accuracy decreases consistently.

You can not blame your rifle if you can’t shoot on the target, just go and practice in the range.

If you face a problem while adjusting your verticle alignment then you need a muzzle brake and control your recoil.

Important Tips To Improve Accuracy

Want to make the best of your rifle? Here are some quick tips for improving accuracy with the AR-15:

  • Get good gear (scopes, scope rings, mounts, stocks, etc.)
  • Keep your rifle clean inside and out
  • Hold the AR-15 correctly
  • Zero your rifle
  • Don’t pick your head up after you shoot
  • Know your trigger pull
  • Practice, practice, practice

Always remember it’s not always a fault of your gun if you cant shoot properly.


We hope now you understand the bullet capacity and understand the concept of accuracy and effective fire range. It’s a good thing to know about your rifle so that you can control your gun accordingly and effective range of ar 15.

At last, we would like to say that the effective fire range of any AR is approx 400-600 meters. It is not an exact answer but you can set it to your mind for the better result and expectation of your rifle.

Always remember while firing an AR-15, there should be always a stopping target in the case you miss your primary target otherwise it can hit something which you don’t like.

Happy Hunting!!!

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