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Posted: 1/21/2011 11:29:42 PM EDT
I've thought that the M80 was a 149 grain bullet but I've seen some advertised for sale as 147 grain. Whatever the weight they look like a much more economical alternative to the 168 gr Matchkings I've been using in the M1A. Has anyone had any experience with them? I don't expect tack driving accuracy with them but are they a reasonable alternative for plinking and practice?
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 3:56:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2011 3:58:11 AM EDT by Different]
The M80 cartridge is manufactured with a 146 grain projectile. Military surplus 7.62mm NATO ammunition is an affordable and reliable alternative to match ammunition for target practice and plinking. It's what I shoot, mostly.

Reference: U. S. Army TM 43-0001-27 page 11-17
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 4:01:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2011 4:01:35 AM EDT by WonkDeMollyDeHonk]
I used surplus 147 grains M80 bullets for my FAL. One time I weighed 20 or 30 of them and they came in anywhere from 145 to 149 grains. Within military specs I guess. I used to get them by the hundreds from Scharch or Top Brass, but I'm not sure if they carry them anymore.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 8:27:34 AM EDT
Radway Green mil surp ammo I've shot the most of, and in my rifle it shoots well enough. I get commercial American Tactical ammo cheaper. That comes in 150gr and reloadable brass. At 100 it is pretty good. Shooting 10 round groups last summer for match practice, I shot a 99-4x score on a SR1 target @ 100yards offhand with the AT 150gr ammo. Prior to that relay I shot a 97-6x target. I was pretty happy with the ammo at 100yds.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 12:43:59 PM EDT
Back in the day when I shot an M-14 in service rifle competition I could get new173 gr M118 FMJ projectiles in bulk through DCM and they shot nearly as well as 168 gr BTHP MKs. They made great practice ammunition and my handloads with them were usually more accurate than issued M852 match ammuniiton using the sierra 168gr BTHP - but that was due to the custom nature of the load, not the bullet.

I tried M80 bullets and they were shootable but not capable of nearly the same level of accuracy as the 173 gr M118 or 168 gr Sierra.

WIth any FMJ round, the open base creates greater potential for inconsistency, and consistency of the base is vital for accuracy. And since the demise of the M-14 as a standard infantry rifle, the M80 round was primarily intended for use in machine guns where pin point accuracy is not required - or even desired as it is an area weapon where some dispersion can be desireable.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 8:55:10 PM EDT
Thanks, guys, sounds like they are adequate for my purpose. I'll stick to the Matchkings for matches, though.
Link Posted: 1/28/2011 7:00:11 PM EDT
They should work well for practice. I shoot them all the time in my garands and M1a. There are better bullets out there for accuracy but to plink with, these can't be beat for the price. If you want better accuracy, try getting a 1000 or so and weigh them, segergating them by weight. Some people have reported much better results doing this.

I'm still waiting for my electronic scale to be repared and I'm going to try weighing bullets one of these days.
Link Posted: 1/29/2011 7:17:09 AM EDT
150 grain Hornady bullets are much better and don't break the bank. Thats what I load for my Tanker in 308.
Link Posted: 1/29/2011 12:01:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By YoteSlayer69:
150 grain Hornady bullets are much better and don't break the bank. Thats what I load for my Tanker in 308.


The cannelure dosen't work so well with the m1a, you will have a short cartridge (~2.76"). Seating normally to about 2.79, mine have worked pretty well for a plinker, just looks funny.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 5:38:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By stevelish:
Originally Posted By YoteSlayer69:
150 grain Hornady bullets are much better and don't break the bank. Thats what I load for my Tanker in 308.


The cannelure dosen't work so well with the m1a, you will have a short cartridge (~2.76"). Seating normally to about 2.79, mine have worked pretty well for a plinker, just looks funny.
milspec is what it is, but in 25 years of shooting and reloading various semi auto's in .30-06, 7.62 Nato and 5.56mm NATO, I have never seen the need to use the cannelure. As long as you have adequate neck tension (go slightly small on the expander ball if you need more) or use a taper crimp there is no need to crimp the neck into the cannelure as set back will not be an issue.

And besides, I have found, especially on bulk bullets, that the position of the cannelure can vary and that issue, along with differing case lengths, will drive you nuts and cause far more problems than it solves.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 12:48:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Woody06:
Whatever the weight they look like a much more economical alternative to the 168 gr Matchkings I've been using in the M1A. Has anyone had any experience with them? I don't expect tack driving accuracy with them but are they a reasonable alternative for plinking and practice?


I used the 147 gr FMJBT bullet in my 308 bolt rifle and my M1 Garand. I used them for 100 yard training. At that distance, and even out to 200 yards, there's just nothing wrong with them. I'd say, go for it.
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