Reloads for a Springfield M1A?

pinefd

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Hi all,

I just purchased my first rifle...ever...a SA M1A, which I got second hand from a fellow forum member. Up until now, I've been strictly a handgun shooter, although I do own a number of other rifles, all of which I got from my dad many moons ago, and all of which are either bolt action or lever action. This is my first semi-automatic rifle.

I thought the M1A would be a fun rifle to cut my teeth with, and besides, considering I already had several hundred rounds of 308 Win ammo, I wouldn't be scrambling trying to find ammo for the new gun. But the ammo I have is all reloads that I got from my dad, that are all approximately 30 years old. And since I've never done any reloading, myself, I'm not at all familiar with the intricate details and nuances of reloading and ammo specs.

Note that in reading through the M1A manual, it says this about ammo:

"The M1ATM is designed and built to specifications to shoot standard factory .308 made to SAAMI specifications or 7 .62x51 NATO ammunition . The specifications for standard military ammunition include harder primers to withstand the slight indentation from the firing pin when the bolt chambers a cartridge . This slight indentation is normal . The use of civilian ammunition with more sensitive primers or handloads with commercial primers and/or improperly seated primers increase the risk of primer detonation when the bolt slams forward . This unexpected “slam fire” can occur even if the trigger is not being pulled and if the safety is on . Use of military
specification ammunition will help avoid this . Every shooter should use extreme caution when loading this or any other firearm . See page 17 for instructions on proper loading to help avoid a “slam fire” . Also see enclosed article on “Slam Fire” written by Wayne Faatz ."

...and:

"Use only recently made high quality, newly-manufactured ammunition of .308 or 7 .62x51 . Old ammunition may deteriorate from age causing it to be
dangerous ."

Here are some sample specs from my dad's reloads, and I'm wondering if some of you experts might have an opinion (that you'd be willing to share) as to whether this ammo might be ok for me to use in the M1A:



Note that this ammo was likely reloaded for use in a bolt action rifle that my dad used for long distance target shooting, although he did also own a M1A, but not sure if he used the ammo for that gun at all. And I've used quite a bit of other 30 year old ammo that my dad reloaded, and it all works just fine.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have on the matter.


Frank
 
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Should work fine. For reference my notes indicate I use 41.0 of 4895 with a 168 for my M14 rifles.
 
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The CCI BR primers are good to go.

A slam fire has a greater chance of occurring if the primer isn't seated properly. Run your fingertip over the primer and you should feel that the primer is slightly deeper than the case. It should be fairly obvious.

Slam fires are rare but do occur. I have personally seen 2. Always close your bolt at target level or below.
 
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BTSDOG

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A river runs thru it........
The best load that I found for my M1a supermatch was 41.5g of H4895 over a Sierra 168 gr. hpbt seated to 2.800. As for primers, i just used standard CCI or Winchester LR primers seated to the correct below flush depth. Just make sure the pockets are good and clean before loading. I think the biggest cause of slamfires are from dirty rifles causing the freefloating firing pin to get stuck in the out position. Keep it clean and you shouldnt have any problems. I didnt......
 

wegman

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Most folks don't do this, but personally I feel more confident in my reloads not "slam-firing" by uniforming the primer pockets. This procedure only needs to be done once and it essentially makes the pockets deep enough that the primers are recessed a couple thousandths.
 

wegman

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Brownells/Sinclair International has PP uniformers that are solid carbide. These can not come out of adjustment and will last without needing replacement....
Unlike RCBS that are adjustable with a setscrew... :oops:
 

NavelOfficer

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Personally, I'd take case measurements to insure that all of these reloads have been full-length resized. If the shoulder diameters are larger than spec (perhaps your father only neck-sized these rounds...?) they may bind up solid once chambered. A bolt under spring tension combined with the mechanical advantage of the inclined plane (the tapered brass case) can lodge that case so tightly, that you'll be done before your first shot.
I'd be willing to assist you in tearing down any questionable reloads, if you're in my area (SE CT).
 

pinefd

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The CCI BR primers are good to go.

A slam fire has a greater chance of occurring if the primer isn't seated properly. Run your fingertip over the primer and you should feel that the primer is slightly deeper than the case. It should be fairly obvious.

Slam fires are rare but do occur. I have personally seen 2. Always close your bolt at target level or below.

Most folks don't do this, but personally I feel more confident in my reloads not "slam-firing" by uniforming the primer pockets. This procedure only needs to be done once and it essentially makes the pockets deep enough that the primers are recessed a couple thousandths.

Great advice on the primer seating. Unfortunately, it looks like the primers on these are not recessed at all. They all appear to be completely flush with the base of the rim.


Frank
 

pinefd

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Personally, I'd take case measurements to insure that all of these reloads have been full-length resized. If the shoulder diameters are larger than spec (perhaps your father only neck-sized these rounds...?) they may bind up solid once chambered. A bolt under spring tension combined with the mechanical advantage of the inclined plane (the tapered brass case) can lodge that case so tightly, that you'll be done before your first shot.
I'd be willing to assist you in tearing down any questionable reloads, if you're in my area (SE CT).

While I don't have any factory ammo to compare these to, and don't know the specs off hand, I'm pretty sure that my dad resized these full-length. When I use my micrometer to measure the diameter and length of all the critical measurements, they all appear to be virtually identical...at least with the random samples I measured.


Frank
 

pinefd

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I'd be willing to assist you in tearing down any questionable reloads, if you're in my area (SE CT).

Wow, thanks so much for the offer! That's very kind of you. I'm in the Newport, RI area, so not too close to where you are. But considering how expensive ammo is these days, it may be worth the trip someday! I'll keep it in mind, and may connect with you at some point.

Thanks again.


Frank
 

mac1911

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Hi all,

I just purchased my first rifle...ever...a SA M1A, which I got second hand from a fellow forum member. Up until now, I've been strictly a handgun shooter, although I do own a number of other rifles, all of which I got from my dad many moons ago, and all of which are either bolt action or lever action. This is my first semi-automatic rifle.

I thought the M1A would be a fun rifle to cut my teeth with, and besides, considering I already had several hundred rounds of 308 Win ammo, I wouldn't be scrambling trying to find ammo for the new gun. But the ammo I have is all reloads that I got from my dad, that are all approximately 30 years old. And since I've never done any reloading, myself, I'm not at all familiar with the intricate details and nuances of reloading and ammo specs.

Note that in reading through the M1A manual, it says this about ammo:

"The M1ATM is designed and built to specifications to shoot standard factory .308 made to SAAMI specifications or 7 .62x51 NATO ammunition . The specifications for standard military ammunition include harder primers to withstand the slight indentation from the firing pin when the bolt chambers a cartridge . This slight indentation is normal . The use of civilian ammunition with more sensitive primers or handloads with commercial primers and/or improperly seated primers increase the risk of primer detonation when the bolt slams forward . This unexpected “slam fire” can occur even if the trigger is not being pulled and if the safety is on . Use of military
specification ammunition will help avoid this . Every shooter should use extreme caution when loading this or any other firearm . See page 17 for instructions on proper loading to help avoid a “slam fire” . Also see enclosed article on “Slam Fire” written by Wayne Faatz ."

...and:

"Use only recently made high quality, newly-manufactured ammunition of .308 or 7 .62x51 . Old ammunition may deteriorate from age causing it to be
dangerous ."

Here are some sample specs from my dad's reloads, and I'm wondering if some of you experts might have an opinion (that you'd be willing to share) as to whether this ammo might be ok for me to use in the M1A:



Note that this ammo was likely reloaded for use in a bolt action rifle that my dad used for long distance target shooting, although he did also own a M1A, but not sure if he used the ammo for that gun at all. And I've used quite a bit of other 30 year old ammo that my dad reloaded, and it all works just fine.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have on the matter.


Frank
Personally I would shoot them in the bolt gun and then reload the brass for the M1a
My first concern would be the brass may only be neck sized so you may have feeding issues. Rather than frustrate yourself or potential problems start with fresh reloads or pick up some factory ammo.
 

Mountain

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Yes I read that as 180.

I did as well, then checked the bullet number and saw that it is for a 150.

@pinefd, primers flush are ok- not ideal but ok. Sticking out at all not ok. I've had a couple slam fires in a M1 a few years ago- shot 'doubles', during a match of course too. Possibly my bad for not seating primers correctly.

Get a light film of grease where needed. Lubriplate is the traditional lube but I like Mobil 1 Synthetic grease which doesn't gum up in frigid weather. I've shot my M1 in weather as cold as minus 7. RemOil in my AR had already turned to gum.
Your Dad still around to ask if he neck sized? I don't think too many folks neck sized 30 years ago and the cases were probably FL (full length) sized but who knows. Might you have his old reloading dies?
 

pinefd

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I did as well, then checked the bullet number and saw that it is for a 150.

@pinefd, primers flush are ok- not ideal but ok. Sticking out at all not ok. I've had a couple slam fires in a M1 a few years ago- shot 'doubles', during a match of course too. Possibly my bad for not seating primers correctly.

Get a light film of grease where needed. Lubriplate is the traditional lube but I like Mobil 1 Synthetic grease which doesn't gum up in frigid weather. I've shot my M1 in weather as cold as minus 7. RemOil in my AR had already turned to gum.
Your Dad still around to ask if he neck sized? I don't think too many folks neck sized 30 years ago and the cases were probably FL (full length) sized but who knows. Might you have his old reloading dies?

Wow, a lot more involved in greasing and oiling one of these than I'm used to with my pistols!

And no, my dad is no longer with us. He passed away 19 years ago, and most of his guns and equipment, including all of his reloading equipment (unfortunately), were sold off shortly thereafter.


Frank
 

Mountain

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Wow, a lot more involved in greasing and oiling one of these than I'm used to with my pistols!

And no, my dad is no longer with us. He passed away 19 years ago, and most of his guns and equipment, including all of his reloading equipment (unfortunately), were sold off shortly thereafter.


Frank

You don't have to do this often unless you shoot a LOT and/or get it dirty in a dusty environment. I'll shoot mine in 3 or 4 matches a season plus practice and clean and lube once when winter comes. Same for my M1 that is shot in maybe 8 matches plus practice- I clean and lube once a season unless it's in blowing dust/sand or it gets rained on. I will clean the bore during the season but the total tear-down isn't necessary. Once you put the action back into the stock you may find it takes a few shots for accuracy to settle down. Another reason I don't break it down during the season.
 

mac1911

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And BTW- Never attempt to seat or re-seat a primer deeper on a loaded round
-Captain Obvious
if you do have eye protection on and a good excuse when the wife screams down. "WTF was that".
Depending on your nerves you may need clean underwear and a stiff drink.
Its unlikely to detonate unless you slam it.
 

45collector

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I don’t own an M1A but I do reload 7.62 and .308 to feed my FAL and CMP special grade .308 M1 Garand. I’m almost out of H4895 and I then have 4lbs of IMR 4895 so I’m still researching what adjustments I should make but from what I’ve read the two powders are very similar if not the exact same, and I’m only loading near the starting charge on these rounds anyhow so I’m nowhere near the red zone.
 

mac1911

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I don’t own an M1A but I do reload 7.62 and .308 to feed my FAL and CMP special grade .308 M1 Garand. I’m almost out of H4895 and I then have 4lbs of IMR 4895 so I’m still researching what adjustments I should make but from what I’ve read the two powders are very similar if not the exact same, and I’m only loading near the starting charge on these rounds anyhow so I’m nowhere near the red zone.
last I Knew IMR 4895 was made in Canada by Dupont? And H4895 in Australia by ADI they are close but not the same. Unless now ADI ships to Canada and its re labeled.
 

45collector

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last I Knew IMR 4895 was made in Canada by Dupont? And H4895 in Australia by ADI they are close but not the same. Unless now ADI ships to Canada and its re labeled.

I read up on the subject until my eyes were red, and for what I’m doing, (pansy loads only) using the same charge for each powder isn’t a problem. It only begins to get questionable at the higher ends. I never shoot past 200 yards anyhow. Low end loads are ideal for all the rifle shooting I do.
 

mac1911

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I read up on the subject until my eyes were red, and for what I’m doing, (pansy loads only) using the same charge for each powder isn’t a problem. It only begins to get questionable at the higher ends. I never shoot past 200 yards anyhow. Low end loads are ideal for all the rifle shooting I do.
Im generally on the lower side of data myself. Most of the powders i use for M1-308/M1a I can pretty much leave the powder measure adjusted where it is and be with in safe loads for my needs.

I read up on powder and where it 's made after some powders seem to vanish . Then take forever to come back in stock.
Varget /RL15/H4895 for example.
There are only a few powders made in the USA. So between production , shipping and importing it can be a while be for inventory catches up again. That was normal times.
 
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