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loading for the M1A

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gerrycaruso, May 12, 2019.

  1. gerrycaruso

    gerrycaruso NES Member

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    Anyone have any good M1A loads using the Sierra 168 grain Match King? The rifle has a heavy stainless steel barrel, a Sadlak mount and a Burris MTAC 4.5-14 scope. It shoots Federal Gold Medal into 4" at 300 yards which isn't great but that's probably just my lousy rifle shooting.
     
  2. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Yeah 1.25 moa is not that great from a M1a :eek:
    They can shoot moa or better but how often and how long is the true question. Plus the cost to do it!
    Here is my first run after a quick zero with 175 gr FGMM
    I have not loaded anything yet thats as good. Right around 1.25 moa so far im keeping every load I tried under 1.5moa
    Lower left was a few shots just to verify zero. Then i went 7_shots before I dropped one out of the dot. My entry for the 1" dot challenge over on the M14 forum

    View: https://i.imgur.com/DY8zQHQm.jpg


    I
     
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  3. RKG

    RKG NES Member

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    Anyone who is going to reload for M14 or M1A should review Glen Zediker's article on the subject.

    For what it may be worth, my pet load for 168 grain SMKs is 42.2 grains of Win 748, mixed brass sized in RCBS SB die, CCI LR primers, COAL 2.800". All primers checked for minimum .004" sub-flush. After sizing, all brass checked for length and trimmed and chamfered as necessary. M14 is very hard on brass, so don't expect more than three or four reloads. All rounds fed from magazine; never drop bolt on single round manually placed in chamber.
     
    amb likes this.
  4. Michael J. Spangler

    Michael J. Spangler NES Member

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    I found 42 grains of Varget with a 168 SMK shot bug holes from my fathers M1A
    FEDERAL GMM brass and WLR primers
     
  5. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    On my way back from a work trip, so I’ll post my loads a little later. IIRC I’ve shot 1-1/8” 100 yd groups with mine spitting 168 SMK’s but that’s with irons and that is my usual limit with irons.

    What’s the twist rate for that barrel?

    For match shooting I use Varget and Lapua brass. Every once in a while a piece of brass will get beat up but I get more than 3-4 reloads. I don’t find the M1A to be any harder on brass than the M1, considering it’s a semi.
     
  6. PatMcD

    PatMcD NES Member

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    My load for 168's was 45 grains of W748. That's hotter than hell, but my Smith Enterprise loved it. The old standby "accuracy" load for the M14 in that bullet weight was, and is, 41.5 of either IMR or H4895.

    On a side note, be happy with 1MOA from a NM M14. That's as good as it's going to get. Sure, you can show me a cloverleaf 3 shot group, but that's not the norm. Shoot me ten 5-shot groups at 100 yards and I'll eat my hat if it doesn't average out to 1MOA (or more).
     
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  7. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    If it helps at all My first match out with my RockOla Receiver, Dupage GI surplus Kit and criterion barrel with only 10 shots to get “zero” I shot a 284/300 Iron sights
    Load was 168 with 42 grains H4895 mixed brass.
     
  8. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    i will be loading up the load I used to shoot a 284/300 my first run out with my Rock Ola/dupage parts kit build.
    168 grain Nosler CustomComp 41.5 grains H4895 dumped from the Hornady powder drop.
    Wolf LR primer
    Same mixed cases as the first match PPU and Perfecta Brass
    C.O.L. 2.80"
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  9. gerrycaruso

    gerrycaruso NES Member

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    A load of 42.5 grains of Reloader 15 with a 168 gr match bullet was recommended to me and it seems to work well. It outshot IMR4895 and AA2520. 5 rounds went into 3" at 300 yards with federal brass. Next I'll try sorted brass against mixed brass.The charges were dropped not weighed. An old Lyman powder measure seems to be more consistent than the powder measure on my Dillon.
     
  10. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Moa is always nice out of a M1a , if you see some of the rigs on M14 forums that entire the 1 moa target dot challenges some chase that with deep pockets.
    So far H4895,Varget,N150 and 8208 have all produced
    sub 2moa with out try ing to hard. H4895 gets me to 1moa and federal GMM 175s have produced sub moa when my skills are up.
    h4895 gives me the most consistent groups and even with some decent powder charge swings stays well with in a happy poa/poi result
    Now since my shooting skills have degraded with age and decreased range time my accuracy standards are not very high. Accuracy is based on the SR target these days. Will it hold the 10 ring IF I can!
     
  11. DukeInFlorida

    DukeInFlorida NES Member

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    The real issue with the M1A is the OPERATING ROD part of the gas system.
    If you use a powder with too fast a burn rate, it throws the gun out of proper cycle speed, and bends the OP ROD.
    The ONLY powders I have ever used for my M1A has been IMR 4064, and IMR 4895, with my favorite being the IMR 4064. Both have a perfect burn rate for the gas system of an M1A.
    Refer to your load data book for how much to use with whatever bullet you choose. When in doubt, call the powder manufacturer for load data. They'll be delighted to get you start and max loads.

    BTW, lots of good info (general knowledge) over at m14forum.com
     
  12. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    lots of guys over there run loads you would think would bend a op rods in half! At least the M1a is not as prone to op rod bending as the Garand.
     
  13. gerrycaruso

    gerrycaruso NES Member

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    The M1A has a much shorter rod than the M1 Garand but it's not impervious to damage from the wrong loads. Reloader 15 is one of the powders listed in the Hornady and Speer manuals as being suitable for the M1A. I've tried 4064 and 4895 and neither shoots as well as Reloader 15.
     

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