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I wouldn't give up on it yet. IMO all shooting comes down to the fundamentals and your rifle will tell you what is going on. Of course there are going to be some ammo related issues but those can be worked out easily.

Side note: The M16A1 was faulty but ARs have indeed come a long, long way. The M14 and variants have a better out of the box success rate. Remember these are machines that have been mass produced.

Now here is where two types of shooting collide:
Combat Marksmanship vs Precision Shooting

You can't expect to have both in a 'new' platform to the shooter. Both styles begin with the fundamentals and as you advance and get better you still have to focus on your fundamentals. Each firearm will require that "crawl, walk, run" phase. Sight pictures are different between irons, a red dot, a scope, etc. You have to master the sight picture for each firearm.

In combat marksmanship you aren't concerned as much with position and breathing, pretty much comes down to grip and sight picture. For that precision or during your fundamental buildup phase you have to take it slow and wait for those shots, focus on your breathing and heart rate, staying stable with the rifle, proper sight picture, squeezing the trigger back evenly when you want to send it down range.

Something I notice with novice or low trigger time shooters is they like to break position to 'see where they hit.' This is a bad range habit to build because you aren't staying aggressive and following through.

That whole 'this is my rifle, there are many like it but this one is mine' actually means something. No two rifles are identical. Small minute manufacturing errors mean no two rifles perform exactly the same. This is where you come in. If you can't get your irons to zero at say 100m, it's always off and there isn't enough adjustment room then you have to adjust your sight picture. Some people have eyes that can't zero to a rifle but this could also mean that you don't have the same exact cheek to stock each time either.

Finally, remember to relax and have fun when you're going through your crawl stage. None of this was meant to bash or insult you. I'm simply sharing what I've learned transitioning to multiple weapon systems. Focus on the fundamentals and slowly grow your skill with the weapon.
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