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Posted: 6/23/2011 1:26:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2011 1:27:41 PM EDT by rogue007]
Lupua says that you can load their brass at a minimum of 10 times..... I would think so in a bolt-action.


But what about in the violent action of the M1A/M14?.....

I'm trying to work up some loads for my SA M1A Scout Squad 18" barrel with Sage stock, and I'm getting fantastic results using virgin commercial Winchester brass using CCI primers, 41.3 gr of IMR-4895 with a 168gr SMK...... +- 1 moa at 100yds, VLTOR mod-pod front, sand bags rear....... I wanna keep going to get it sub moa.

I'm trying to get the best components, but finding it hard to buy Lapua brass since the action is hard on the brass. How many times do you think Lapua brass will last on the M14 action?
Link Posted: 6/23/2011 4:25:20 PM EDT
I say you save your money, buy the WW brass or find some once fired BHA brass to buy (WW mfg).  Semi Auto brass as rule of thumb gets shot 6 times and retired.  The FL sizing, the violence chambering and extraction, the drawing of the expander ball back thru the neck all contribute to short case life.  Lapua is set to take near 8 percent cost increase in week..  Stick with the WW.  Yoiu might want to just tweak the load versus the brass look at TAC with WLR or Varget with BR2 primers.  Primers can and do make a difference.

Now if you were shooting XTC  HP with a gas gun then I would say a different tune and go a bit more with leaning towards investing in bushing dies, chamber head space gauge so you can set up your FL die to only bump the case shoulder enough to allow for reliable function.  But, that is not your stated goal....
Link Posted: 6/23/2011 5:42:09 PM EDT
M1A brass gets reloaded four times maximum, then sell it for scrap.
Link Posted: 6/24/2011 5:22:23 AM EDT
While it would be awesome to find brass that would last longer in the M1A / M14 , its just not worth it to me. That rifle will chew up anyones brass... its just the nature of the beast. I'd stick with the Winchester brass, especially if you are getting good results.( Which BTW, those results are great... ) Paying for premium brass and having to throughly check it on the 5th, 6th, 7th, ....loadings would be a pain in the as_. As well as the ... "I wonder if today / this loading will give me a case head seperation ..... )

I've always felt that with Lapua brass you are paying for a uniform ,quality product...  ( drilled flash holes, consistent weighs, annealed necks... ) but not gonna get to use any of those redeeming qualities in a M1A. I really don't think you would see any improvements in your group size.

Use the money saved on the Lapua brass to buy more Winc. brass.
Link Posted: 6/24/2011 6:59:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By borderpatrol:
M1A brass gets reloaded four times maximum, then sell it for scrap.


Sir, +1 on that!

For the OP, I discovered the rule Mr. Borderpatrol cites the hard way.  A case head seperation occurred during a match while I was shooting from the offhand position.  The base of the case bounced off the upper edge of my shooting glasses and forehead and knocked my hat off.  The front handguard flew from the rifle and the magazine follower popped from the magazine.  I had to use a broken shell extractor to get the rest of the case out of the rifle chamber.

I was using LC brass on the fifth reload.  I pulled the bullets from some other cartridges that were also on the fifth reload and found that about twenty-five percent had a noticeable ring on the inside of the case wall just above the web of the case.  I adopted Mr. Borderpatrol's rule without knowledge nor input from anyone, I did not want a repeat of the experience.

FWIW, the bolt of an M1A begins to unlock before the bullet leaves the muzzle (standard twenty inch barrel length) subjecting the fired cartridge case to full chamber pressure while the rear of the case becomes unsupported by the fully locked bolt.  In my humble opinion Lapua brass is way to expensive to abuse in this manner, regardless your choice I would meticulously check the interior of each cartridge case beginning with the third reload.  Once you find the tell tale ring on the case interior I say scrap the whole batch.

I used 41.5 gr of IMR 4895 with a 168gr Sierra HPBT as a standard match load in my M1As for many years.  It's a hot load, I do get some flattening of primers but also quite accurate.  With commercial brass such as WW generally speaking each piece probably weighs a bit less than LC so I would start looking for indications of imminent case head seperation after the second reload.  JMHO, 7zero1.

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