Lutz48, Here's some food for thought …. a 24" barrel with the Varget load I posted (55gr V-Max or 55gr Ballistic tip with 26.5gr of Varget) produces 300 fps more velocity in a 24" barrel than it does in a 16.1" barrel (actual chronograph results). A higher velocity will produce a flatter trajectory …… less time exposed to gravity, thus less drop and less time exposed to wind, thus less wind drift and because bullet spin rate is dependent on velocity, the bullet will spin much faster, thus better downrange stability. These attributes favor a longer barrel every time. No doubt, if you use the right bullet, right type of powder and charge weight, a 16" barrel can be pretty accurate at modest distances but it won't beat a 22" (or longer) barrel, especially at extended distances. So, the point of my comment was …. a longer barrel is way less ammo fussy and typically more accurate than a shorter barrel.
I have a newer Remington Mod 700 BDL with a 24" 1:9 twist rate barrel, chambered in 223 Rem. It chronographs my above load at 3260 fps so I can easily maintain 1 MOA out to at least 500 yards on a calm day …. probably farther but I don't have the luxury of a longer range. MY AR-556 has a faster twist rate of 1:8 but because of the lower velocity (2950 fps), it doesn't group very tight at distances much beyond 200 yards, in fact getting a 1" group at 100 yards is a challenge. I have tried bullet weights from 55gr to 70gr and found the 55gr bullets group the best at virtually all distances. Granted, an AR556 is not a bolt action like your American Ranch …. but your rifle does not have a 22" barrel like a Predator or a 26" like a Hawkeye Varmint.
Last edited by Iowegan; November 28th, 2019 at 07:45 PM.