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Posted: 8/5/2017 7:06:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 4:07:30 PM EST by Motor1]
I just scored a 250ct box of 168gr A-Max at Wal-Mart for under $50

I guess it's time to see just what the M1A LOADED is capable of.

If anyone has good M1 Garand suggestions include them too.

In case you missed the title, I'm looking for powder suggestions. If you want to post your pet loads that will be ok too. I'm an experienced hand loader and will work up from safe levels.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 7:28:57 PM EST
Imr 4895
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 8:14:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2017 8:16:08 PM EST by Bigtard]
Varget or Rl-15. I understand there are newer, better powders, supposedly, but I haven't tried them yet.

I mostly shoot Rl-15. Maybe a hair less accurate than Varget, for me, but I also use Rl-15 for several other loads. So, it's an economy of scale equation.

ETA: Disregard everything I said. I saw .308 and 168 AMAX...totally ignored the part about it being an M1A.
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 9:03:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2017 9:16:43 PM EST by Motor1]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigtard:
Varget or Rl-15. I understand there are newer, better powders, supposedly, but I haven't tried them yet.

I mostly shoot Rl-15. Maybe a hair less accurate than Varget, for me, but I also use Rl-15 for several other loads. So, it's an economy of scale equation.

ETA: Disregard everything I said. I saw .308 and 168 AMAX...totally ignored the part about it being an M1A.
View Quote
You need to update your data also. Hornady 8th edition ".308 Winchester Service Rifle Data" (rifle used, M1A) lists loads with both RL-15 and Varget.

Our current "accuracy load" is the 150gr SST with Varget.

BTW: Thanks for the reply. I actually did a load work up for a bolt gun using the 150gr flat base Hornady #3031 and RL-15. Before this I really only thought of RL-15 as a AR-15 .223 powder.

After seeing 5 shot groups under an inch with 3 to 4 shots touching I've changed my mind.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 9:49:10 PM EST
IMR-4064
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 10:09:18 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By HuntinBuddy80:
IMR-4064
View Quote
^ ^ ^ What he said. IMR-4064, and after working up from a starting load, don't be surprised if you end up at about 40 to 41 grains of IMR-4064. Less in military cases, about 41 in commercial cases. But work your way up.
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 10:21:46 PM EST
Walmart carries reloading components?
Link Posted: 8/5/2017 11:02:41 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ronnoc:
Walmart carries reloading components?
View Quote
The ones in my area do. They don't have a large selection of powder maybe 5 or 6 types. CCI primers and RCBS equipment. Mostly Hornady and Sierra bullets but again not too much variety.

About what you would expect from a inventory selected by some corporate employee with no clue. LOL

Sorry about the text acronym but it's true.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/6/2017 2:07:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2017 2:08:28 PM EST by borderpatrol]
I have never used Hornady's A-max but have tried every major brand 168 standard tipped bullet in my M1-A's

Brass selection is a huge consideration because the rifle is so hard on it and case capacity varies so much in this caliber.

I will only use Lake City or IMI brass in my rifle. Remington 9.5, CCI-200 & CCI-250 primers create significantly less pressure than Winchester, Federal or CCI-34's.

IMR-4895 is the standard - 40.5 grains
H4885 a close second - 40.0 grains
IMR-4064 - 40.7 grains
IMR-3031 - 39.0 grains
WW-748 - 43.0 grains
40.5 grains of AA-2460
AA-2520
Varget - 40.5 to 41.0 grains
RE-15 - 41.5 grains
VihtaVuori N140 - 40.5 grains
VihtaVuori N150 - 41.5 grains

These are at or very close to my working maximum powder charges in military surplus brass. Start lower. I usually use Winchester standard large rifle primers. These loads may be exceeded if you use one of the softer flamed types I listed above.

Federal 210M Gold Medal Match primers should not be used in M1 Garands or M1-A's. They have been linked to slam fires.

I would try a 4895 first. Varget, Re-15 or VihtaVuori N 140 or 150 if you want to experiment further. I had a Hart barrel that loved 40.5 to 40.7 grains of IMR-4064 w/168's in military brass.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/6/2017 2:26:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2017 2:27:42 PM EST by Motor1]
Thanks for the input.

The brass is LC-63 weight matched (170 to 174gr +/-5gr) X-Die sized flash holes de-burred.

It's on its 3rd loading and all looks well.

I have most if not all of the powder's suggested except the "Vhi's"

I'll be using CCI primers. I do have some CCI BR-2s

Now I just have to choose what to start with.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/6/2017 8:08:49 PM EST
LC brass sized and trimmed to length, 168 grain Amax, and 46.5 grains of CFE 223. You can thank me later.
Link Posted: 8/6/2017 8:53:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2017 9:03:04 PM EST by Dano523]
Link Posted: 8/6/2017 9:04:31 PM EST
Thanks for the input.

I've already seen 1" groups with this rifle using 150gr SST which is of course a boat tail bullet loaded to the OAL listed in the Hornady manual which of course fits the magazine.

I got these A-MAX for about $4 a hundred less than #3031s cost so if they only shoot as well as the 150gr SST I won't be disappointed.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/7/2017 6:31:06 PM EST
IMR 4895

IMR 4064
Link Posted: 8/8/2017 1:49:57 PM EST
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I'll be trying:
IMR-4895
IMR-4064
Varget
RL-15

I haven't decided in what order yet but.....

I'll post results whenever I have them. Thanks again.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/9/2017 9:01:07 AM EST
XBR 8208 was a winner for me.
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 3:50:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 3:51:18 PM EST by Motor1]
and to break your heart, that loaded barrel is not the same barrel in a NM barrel in regards to leade, hence the leade is a mile long so you can run ball ammo without embedding in that loaded barrel.

That is a quote from Dano523's post above.

This is a question for Dano523. What does MN .308 mean? This is what is stamped on the barrel. Is it possible that you are thinking of the "super match barrel" ? Or does NM .308 mean something other than National Match .308 ?

Motor
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 4:30:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 6:04:03 PM EST by Motor1]
UPDATE:
I'm sorry. Boy do I feel stupid.

The powder is RL-15 NOT H-4895. I have edited the post.

Shot the M1A today with RL-15 started with 39gr.

Went 39, 40, 41, 41.5

The 41gr group was a little strange it was 4 in a almost straight vertical string and one about an inch right with a total center to center spread of 2.4 inches.

The 39, 40 and 41.5gr loads are all just under 1.5" center to center spread.

All groups fired from a Rock Jr rest and rear sand bag.

All groups fired at 100 yards.

These are 5 shot groups fired from the magazine and all 5 rounds of each group were fired in the amount of time it takes to re-establish sight picture and shoot. So they were probably shot in 3 minutes or less.

This is a 20 year old man shooting the iron peeps sights standard on the "Loaded" Model M1A.

I think this is pretty respectful. I also like the consistency of the group size from one powder charge to the next. The strange group of the 41gr load just may have been the shooter.

Honestly I don't see much room for improvement without adding optics and he doesn't like shooting it with the scope.

I'm sure we're not done trying different loads but I think we can put this one in the book as good to go.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 9:37:39 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/20/2017 10:04:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/20/2017 11:09:22 PM EST by Motor1]
I'll have to take your word for it Dano. I will measure the contact to lands OAL the next chance I get.

I would think a standard 150gr NATO bullet would require less lead than a long heavy match bullet but I've seen stranger things.

You haven't stated what the OAL is of that Federal Gold match ammo that's supposed to have .003 to .005 of bullet jump.

I am capable of measuring my magazines but what is the official maximum length that is supposed to fit the M1A magazine?

I measured my lead and know what OAL I would need to have zero jump with the 168gr A-Max. I don't have any Sierra 168gr NM bullets left to measure.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 9:52:26 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 9:55:32 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Clarinath:
Imr 4895
View Quote
I would start with this first. Last rifle I did and should have stopped there. After two other powders I realized the first tried worked the best.
Link Posted: 8/22/2017 9:57:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 4:29:59 PM EST
41.1 gr of 4064
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:57:57 PM EST
You can load 168 grain or 175 grain match bullets safely to 2.820" - 2.830" OAL for use in a M1-A, but I challenge anyone to show me better performance when doing so. I have never seen a M1-A chamber that these would touch rifling in. Most chambers will allow at least 2.860" before getting close.

M1-A match rifles are pretty forgiving of ammo. They are not bench rest rifles but reliable 1.5 moa tools.

IMR-4895
H4895
Varget
RE-15
VihtaVuori N150
VihtaVuori N140
IMR-4064

would be my top picks for powder with 168's. I've used 43.0 grains of WW-748 or 40.5 grains of AA-2460 for walk and paste tournaments. Both worked well too.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:35:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2017 2:10:33 AM EST by Motor1]
borderpatrol wrote M1-A match rifles are pretty forgiving of ammo. They are not bench rest rifles but reliable 1.5 moa tools. 

I can't argue with that.

You are correct. The 168gr A-Max would be touching the lands at 2.880" so my loads had .080" bullet jump but still 3 out of 4, five shot groups were between 1.4 and 1.5 inches. And the group that wasn't very well could have been the shooter because it was 1/2 grain less than the last group fired.

I've got no complaints. And this was the first powder tried. (RL-15)

I've been using boat tail bullets since day one and haven't seen this "pitch and bitch" thing Dano523 speaks of with bullet jump more than .008"

Unless you are talking about groups going from 1/4 MOA to 1 MOA.

People often put too much emphasis on theory instead of reality.

As most of us know it doesn't take much pressure to get a bullet to move. Very often a primer alone will do it.

The case neck can not possibly expand quick enough to unsupport the bullet before it jumps to the lands. So I seriously doubt there is much pitching going on.

Then consider the guys who are competing with military surplus rifles at ranges to 1000 yards using boat tail bullets that are jumping a mile.

I don't doubt that reducing bullet jump can help accuracy but I've seen sub MOA accuracy too many times with magazine length limitations that force boat tail bullets to jump much more than .008" to put much emphasis on worrying about it.

The .308 Win with a 168gr A-Max is a good example. Even if I seated it to zero jump the bullet would still be fully supported by the case neck. So when it jumps from 2.800 to 2.880 while pressure is still building it's doing so with full neck support.

So it seems run out would be more of a concern than jump.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 7:34:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2017 7:43:58 AM EST by SteelonSteel]
I used to have a signature line on my former snipers hide account pointing out that shooting the damn gun is more important than beating theory to
Death posting online.

You really can't go wrong with the old standbys of 4895 and 4064 or RL15. There are ball powders too but I found them spikey and would change character with a twenty degree or more temp change. If you load 748 or BLC2 for a hot temp it'll be fine, if you work it up in cool weather and try to shoot all summer you may see some shifting and pressure signs. TAC has a following but I never got any for the M1a.

4064 is a pain to throw but what it does is great; it's not affected much by heat or minor variances in thrown charges. In other words you can shoot it and not worry about the niggling details.


Fwiw I always preferred the feel of 4895 better than 4064. It has a mellower recoil impulse to me which makes it slightly more shootable. A lesser bolt speed I guess. For my bolt action .308 there was not thing better than 4064 or RL15 in my Obermeyer 5r barrel.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 12:31:39 PM EST
I'll very likely try IMR-4895 next just to have a "back up" load.

What's nice about the RL-15 is my Uniflow will dispense it accurately.

Motor
Link Posted: 8/27/2017 6:24:22 PM EST
IMR 4895 meters "decently enough" and is forgiving with slight variations of +/- .2gr in my M14 with Nosler 168's.
Link Posted: 9/3/2017 4:12:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2017 4:13:49 PM EST by NVGdude]
IMR 4064 or Reloader-15.


You don't mention if the Garand is 30-06 or .308.
For the M1 Garand in 30-06 I would use 46 grains of 4064, Win or CCI primer, Lake city brass. Go up 0.5 grains if using commercial brass.
Link Posted: 9/3/2017 5:15:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2017 5:18:13 PM EST by demoMouse]
Tagged!

Originally Posted By NVGdude:
IMR 4064 or Reloader-15.


You don't mention if the Garand is 30-06 or .308.
For the M1 Garand in 30-06 I would use 46 grains of 4064, Win or CCI primer, Lake city brass. Go up 0.5 grains if using commercial brass.
View Quote
M1A not Garand
Link Posted: 9/3/2017 5:56:25 PM EST
The Garand is a 30-06

I tried some H-4895 in the Garand (the last few hundred grains in a pound) just using a load suggested on the forum but checked against the Hornady manual Garand specific data.

It didn't shoot as well as the 150gr BTSP I load for it.

I hope I'm not double posting but last weekend we went and shot our 12x13 swinger at 450 yards. It's not easy maintaining good sight picture on a target smaller than the front post but when we did our part the rifle did it's.

The old Garand surprised me. Shooting some unknown military 150gr flat base steel jacketed nickel colored jacket pulls with home applied moly and seated about one diameter deep and in the middle of that diameter is an old ring where they were originally crimped.

Oh yeah for you "got to crimp" guys even these don't move after several self loaded chamberings without any crimp. Well I really couldn't crimp if I wanted to unless I only seated them about .150" deep. So I went with twice the seating depth and no crimp.

Anyway at 450 yards they were doing pretty darn good. Not as good as the M1A with the 168gr V-Max but surprisingly good.

Even better than the Garand was my M39 Fin Mosin Nagant using 174gr RN .312" Hornady.

My VTR-15 did well also with 69gr BTHP Sierra's. It took my boy about 6 or 7 shots to find the correct hold after that he fired the remaining rounds in a 20 round magazine with 100% hit ratio which isn't bad for a 22 up on top of a breezy hill shooting across a valley.

I know he probably won't let me but I'd like to try the M1A with the cheek rest and optics on.

Motor
Link Posted: 9/4/2017 1:50:59 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By demoMouse:
Tagged!


M1A not Garand
View Quote
Re-read the post. He asked for both. M1A and Garand.
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