Lake city M72 Match ammo

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 300 H&H, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    I recently aquired about 340 rounds of this ammo issued at Camp Perry in 1962. The head stamp is NM LC 62. It has a 173 gr bullet.

    I bought it to shoot out of a 1957 Winchester M70 target with US property marks. I wish to shoot it at some 600 yard prone shoots. I have used some LC match ammo before with good results, but not sure of the date that ammunition was.....

    Yesterday I test chambered a round, and to my surprise, the bullet came out a bit sticky and on the bullet are clearly the signs of the lands...I shot 6 rounds to zero the rifle, but not a very good group. It was cold and windy, however. Not a good test I am sure....No sticky extraction and only one had a hard turn down on the bolt to seat it. Primers appear normal as well.

    Can you expect this once great ammo to shoot well at 50 years old? Should I worry about the bullets engaging the lands slightly? I think it has had some good storage conditions, in a GI ammo box sealed for many years. Boxes look like new.

    When weather permits I will hang the scope on the M70 and see what it will do. Yesterday was with Target peeps, and my older eyes.;)

    Regards, Kirk
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  2. Waldog

    Waldog Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    As long as the ammo was stored properly, it should still shoot great. In times past, many people pulled the 173gr bullets and seated Sierra 168gr Match Kings in their place. This is what was called "Mexican Match". This allowed you to seat bullets off the lands to get better accuracy. They saved the 173gr for practice.

  3. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007

    Are you sure the better accuracy wasn't the match king bullet? Does the slight engagement cause accuracy issues? And why would it.....

    I was thinking this ammo was made for M1's converted to match rifles. The M70's were in use by some guard teams at the state level for match shooting, back in the early 60's. I was thinking this was the ammo they would have used through the M70's as well.

    Thanks for the info!

    Regards, Kirk
  4. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    M72 is some of the very best ammo ever produced. Waldog is correct - some folks used to pull the 173s and replace them with 168s because the 168s were THE rage in accuracy. The 173s are a much better bullet, in my humble opinion.

    If I were you, I'd use a caliper and measure the loaded length to make sure that the bullets are seated to the proper depth. Bench rest shooters often load to the bullet just touching the lands, but that is per EACH rifle. Not a great idea for most of us.

    If your accuracy problems stem from improperly stored ammo, all is NOT lost. You already have premium brass and the best bullet available on hand. I'd just pull down the loads and re-prime/re-charge with IMR 4895. Data specs are available from the original government data sheets. If you need further help, e-mail me so I can steer you to the right places for original data. Jim
  5. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    Well I had a chance to try this ammo out on a range yesterday. The wind was making it hard, headwind, and cold. But my first 5 went inside of a 1" square on the target paper @100yds. That was the 1962 ammo with NM on the headstamp. I also tried a few of two boxes of 1968 ammo with a "match" headstamp, and it wasn't nearly as good of groups with it. I read the ammo marked match is the lessor of the two. The NM marked rounds are loaded to a tighter tolerance than the match marked ammo.

    50 year old ammo and it still works just fine!!!

    Regards, Kirk
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