Reloading for new M14

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ovastafford, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    I just got a LRB M14/M1A and Im wanting to start hand loading for it. I don't really care about match grade accuracy I just want to be safe. I have heard these can be a B**** to hand load for. Which small base dies should I order for it and what else do I need to know? Any load info as far as the standard load for the M1A. Any help would be appreciated!
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  2. silvertip44

    silvertip44 Well-Known Member

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    I load for three M1As and four M1 Garands and have excellent results. You may or may not need small base dies, I don't. I am using the RCBS .308 X-die.
    First of all get a Hornady 7th edition cartridge loading handbook. It has a separate section for the M1A and the M1 Garand.
    Expect only 4 loads out of your brass and that is from the very beginning with new brass. You may be able to get more but case head separation is inevitable and dangerous.
    There are several suitable powders but my personal favorite is IMR 4895.
    Use only CCI #34 primers and make sure they are all seated below flush.
    If you plan to use military brass, you will need a crimp removal tool.
    My standard target bullet is the 168gr. SMK and my hunting bullet is the 168 gr. Nosler Ballsitic Tip.
     

  3. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    Are you crimping the bullets? Thanks for the help!
     
  4. silvertip44

    silvertip44 Well-Known Member

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    No, I have never found the need to crimp for either the M1A or M1. Some will disagree but that's the way it is.
    Only ammo that I crimp is .300WM and handgun ammo.
    Crimping may help in stabilizing your standard deviation.
     
  5. silvertip44

    silvertip44 Well-Known Member

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    SMKs and the Nosler BTs do not have a crimping cannelure.
     
  6. Rhino55

    Rhino55 Well-Known Member

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    I have found the load data For my two M-1As with 1-12 twist barrels is the same as Lake city used to load the M852 ammo. Lucky I have three cans of it.gun)
     
  7. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Some SMS do
     
  8. Bart B

    Bart B Well-Known Member

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    In the heyday of the 7.62 NATO round's match winning and record setting successes, here's what was uised inside their chambers to do that.

    Cases..... New cases always shot the most accurate. Reloading fired ones never did well as the rifle's bolt faces were never squared up with the chamber axis. Firing any case with an out of square case head makes the barreled action whip at different angles for each shot. If really good accuracy's your objecive, use only new cases. Otherwise, a standard full length sizing die set up to move the fired case shoulder back no more than 3/1000ths is best.

    Powder..... Nobody used ball powders to shoot well. Some lots of Lake City Arsenal match ammo was loaded with ball powder and it never shot all that accurate. 4895 was the best stuff used by arsenals as it metered well in high speed reloading machines. But the top scores shot by both military and civilians using M14's, M1A's and M1's were shot with commercial match ammo with IMR4064 (sometimes IMR3031) powders. Excellent examples:

    43 to 44 grains of IMR4064 under a 165 to 175 gr. bullet
    42 to 43 grains of IMR4064 under a 180 grain bullet.

    Primers..... All makes and types of primers were used. The Federal commercial match ammo was about the best available and their 210M primers did just fine. Any medium to mild primer will do fine with the milder ones typically producing the best accuracy.

    Bullets..... Best accuracy's made with bullets a few ten thousandths bigger than the barrel's groove diameter. Sierra's are probably the most accurate.

    Testing loads is where most folks fall short of picking the best load out of several from their reloads. They don't shoot enough shots per test group for it to be meaningful. Shoot at least 15 shots per grouip; 20's better. And judge groups by their largest size; forget the tiny ones. You may wear out your barrel trying to shoot another very tiny group you did once. Top competitors would rather have ammo for their MXX service rifle that shoots no worse than 4 inches at 300 yards and no better than 2 inches than a rifle that shoots up to 5 inches at 300 but sometimes shoots 1 inch at 300. They'll miss their aiming point the least amount with the 4 and 2 inch loads. compared to the 5 and 1 inch ones.