The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post and I am AMAZED at the amount of information available on this website. I am knew to reloading so I expect to learn a lot here.
I hope this is the correct forum for this post.

To the point...
I have recently purchased an M1A with a headspace of 1.632 as info'd from the data supplied on the weapon by Springfield Armory. I haven't fired it yet.

I am looking to purchase another rifle like a DPMS 308 or 7.62 nato. My hope is to be able to use my reloads from either rifle in either rifle. I understand there is a concern with head space issues and the chamber differences between 308 and 7.62 nato weapons.

Question 1. Is this goal feasible?
Question 2. If feasible, the next question is which rifle would be recommended for the second rifle. The 308 win or the 7.62 nato chamber?
Any and all info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
The major concearn between the two for civilian use and reloading is the internal case capacity of 7.62 NATO brass is decreased due to wall thickness. In short a lower internal volume can cause higher pressure than say the same powder charge in a commercial .308 casing. For us common reloaders you will be resizing with a relatively standard .308 die and hopefully a powder charge starting near minimum and working up slowly. Your common .308 reloads can be used for both guns.
BTW, the M1A is rather rough on brass, I would not recommend reloading brass more than 3 times before discarding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,658 Posts
okmarine - congradulations on an outstanding new rifle! I'll toss in a couple of pennies worth of advice: First I'd start with working up loads for the M1A, and I'd advise starting with a batch of fired military cases (maybe a gun show purchase of 1000 cases), .308 FMJ bullets (150 grain M80s) and a couple pounds of BL-C1 (or my favorite IMR 4895) and Remington Large Rifle primers.

Get a good reloading manual (maybe Lyman) and your standard .308 Winchester reloading dies. I'd start with the suggested starting data, and work up your loads from there.

Every M1A that I've owned or have fired have been great shooters. When you've found the load that performs the best for you, I'd stick with it. I try to keep my loads right at the military M80 specs. The 7.62mm NATO round has been loaded for years with 168 grain Match bullets, and has been a prize winner for many years. For practical purposes, my standard reloaded Ball ammo performs just as well for me out to several hundred yards as do my M118 Match loads. If you are going to shoot long ranges - say over 400 yards, then the heavier 168 or 175 grain Match bullets come into play.

Rifle-to-rifle variations make it really hard to find a load that gives peak performance, so you really can't say, for example, "43.2 grains of XYZ Powder give equally superb accuracy in any .308/7.62mm NATO rifle". You will have to tailor a load for each, or find a comprimise load. You can expect to find a really accurate load for the M1A that will give satisfactory performance in another rifle of the same caliber.

312shooter may well be right in that the M1A may be harder in fired brass, but in 40 years of shooting the M14/M1A I''ve only had one problem, and that was with CAVIM brass that was VERY HARD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Lyman is a great reloading manual. You might want to pick up a book from the NRA on semi auto's, I used mine to find military matching loads for my M1A. Beware of military once fired brass, most of it is from machine guns. I suggest buying some federal mil-spec ammo and use it for only the one rifle. I've had very good results reloading for the same rifle and not crossing over for another.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
41.5 gns of H4895 behind a 168 or 175gn sierra match king is about the 'best' load if there ever was such a thing. It's the gold standard for reloads for the M1A.

like said, 3 times and pitch them.

welcome!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the excellent advice. It's much appreciated. While I know reloading is not rocket-science I definitely want to get it right the first time.
About three months ago I purchased the lyman manual, hornady L-n-L reloader and in the process of obtaining all of the other items required to do the job. I've discovered in the process of deciding to reload, purchasing the equipment and understanding the technical aspects of reloading, it truly is a "journey of a 1000-mile" thing.
Thanks again fellas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
oh yeah, forgot to mention; Lake City or IMI brass is good for duplicating military ammo and is excellent quality. You can buy new unfired LC match brass without the primer pocket crimp also.

for primers in the M1A, avoid federal as they are thin skinned and slightly more likely to slam fire (still very rare). Use CCI #34 LR primers, Grafs has them in stock right now. they are the same primers used by the military and are specifically designed for guns with free floating firing pins. They have a slightly thicker candy shell on 'em so to speak.

Case length, trim on the short side, I trim to 2.100" to ensure they chamber/cycle correctly.

COAL should be around or just under 2.800" or set them just so they kiss the lands of the rifling if you wish.

Also, a lee factory crimp die would be highly recommended for any semi auto .308, they are very cheap and worth every penny. It might even improve consistency in pressure and therefore accuracy also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
168's work very well out to 600 but past that, go with 175's. (SMK's)

Don't fire anything over about 175gns in the M1A without some work to the gas system, they don't really appreciate the heavy bullets.

the military's M118 LR ammo is the 175gn SMK with reloader 15, but H4895 or IMR4064 is better.

happy reloading!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
44,780 Posts
Welcome to the forum, okmarine. Actually, reloading IS rocket science, on a small scale.

All of the above posts have given great information. To be able to fire ammo through both of the guns you mention, you will have to use a .308 Small Base Die. I had an M1A and an L1A1 and I fired the same reloaded ammo in both. I had chambering problems in the M1A when I used a Full Length Die but it would fire fine in the L1A1. When I switched over to a small base die, they woudl fire fine in both rifles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,658 Posts
Re-reading some of the comments here have gotten me to think about advice that I've seen repeated many times, and advice that I really don't agree with: that of bulk 7.62mm NATO that has been fired in machineguns.

In my experiance, machinegun fired 7.62 is as good as any other once fired brass. It may be true that many machineguns may have looser chamber tolerances, but this brass must be cleaned/sized/trimmed and the primer pocket crimps removed as any other brass. When finished processing, it will have the same dimensions as any other brass, reguardless if it was once fired thru a machinegun.

I have many hundreds - maybe into the thousands - of rounds of 7.62 that I know for a fact that had been fired from M60 machineguns and that I've processed and reloaded for M1A rifles. I have never had a single hiccup with any of them. Ever. If others prefer not to use that brass, that's all well and good, but I just plainly don't agree with that cautioning. Besides, one of the plusses that I've found is that the headstamps tend to be more consistant when that bulk brass is bought that way.

Of course the very best way to go (and much more expensive) is to buy premium Match ammo in bulk, paying particular attention to LOT Numbers to ensure more consistant cases to case uniformity. In that instance, the reloader takes another critical variable away. Then there is the purchase of a large quantity of propellant, again careful attention to LOT Number. Top that off with primium Match primers and a large quantity of Match grade bullets. Even those should be individually wieghed and sorted. Then there are the reloading dies, run-out guages and etc.

Guess the bottom line is that you can really get crazy, or just load quality ammo that will perform as well as you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,189 Posts
I've shot and reloaded tons of machine gun brass from both M60 and M240b, they do work just fine. I used them for my practice ammo and used my LC stuff for matches. Really didn't see any difference in accuracy to be honest, they both work fine.

Like you said Jim, they need to be sized anyway, doesn't really matter what they were shot through. They are still of the same quality, just maybe not as consistently controlled as match ammo is. But it still has to hold up to military use, it's plenty good for sending a match bullet downrange.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
Jim,

I agree with your position on the MG brass in that a proper resizing and case prep is key to use in your rifles. Let me once again throw a little caution about only firing this brass a few times before discarding. My M1A tore up Federal Gold Metal Match brass after a second to third firing, as in two completely case head seperated pieces of brass were being extracted. Being some of your LC could be potentially fired in a machine gun and treated in a similar matter, I wouldn't suggest trying to push it past three firings. Good luck and have fun.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top