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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At this point I'm not shooting past 300m using the 168 SMK and Federal brass with IMR4895.

Got decent results.

I want to switch to LC brass and IMR4064 with the 168 SMK.

Whats a good place to start and any "pet" loads that have been tried and tested?

Gerry
 

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I've been working up some alternate loads for the Socom and the 168grn Nosler, my test load for IMR4064 was 36.0grns but only clocked about 2050fps or so out of the 16" barrel. I was going easy because I didn't want to beat up the gas system, so you should be OK starting a little higher.

IMR data gives 41.5grns as a starting load under the 168grn Sierra.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Imr4064

Yes,
36Gr. sounds awfully light a load.
I've been advised not to load too light as it could cause detonation.

And 4064 is very easy on gas systems compred to 4895.
I see a lot of info about 4064 using the 175 SMK but not much using the 168.

And the reloading manuals are all over the place with powder charges. I am really confused about that.

But 41.5 sounds reasonable.
 

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Sir, FWIW, I use 42.0 grs of IMR 4064 out of my M1A with 168s and LC cases. This load provides excellent results for me. HTH
 

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41.5 grains of IMR 4064 in an LC case and topped off with a 168 grain SMK would be pushing things a bit fast for my taste. The Hornady reloading manual lists 41.6 grains as the max recommended load in their M1A service rifle section but they are using Hornady cases and their brand of bullet and that will make a difference. I would expect to use slightly less powder when using an LC case but bullet length will force you to make slight changes in powder charge weight.

I would prefer about 40.2 grains to keep my chamber pressure down even though the muzzle velocity would be a little slower than I like it. This is assuming that the cases were trimmed to about 2.005" and the bullets were seated to give about 2.81" overall length. Just remember to start low and work your way up in powder charge weight. Case volume has a huge impact on these numbers and when others give you their load data you have to remember that they may be using different cases, trim to lengths, and seating depths.

One of my best loads has been 41.4 grains of IMR 4064 in WCC brass, trimmed to about 2.006", an OAL of about 2.83", a WLR primer, and topped off with a 168 grain Hornady A-Max bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
4064 powder.

Sounds like you've put in a lot of time and trouble on this subject.

I'll go with your recomendations and put some of my own time
on getting it right.

I don't put a lot of rounds through my M1A. Maybe 30 rounds
at a time. No competition except for myself to get the load right.

I wonder if the 4895 load wouldn't be the one to stick with.

But, I'll try both for effect.

One thing I've noticed.
My .223 load for my RRA NM A2 was very easy to come up with. Very accurate.

The M1A and Garand are more problematic.


Gerry
 

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Never had a pressure issue with 42 grs of 4064 in all the rounds I've reloaded. From what I understand, it's pretty much a go to load for 4064. The following link provides some useful info. You may have to join to see it, if you're not already a member over there, but there is a lot of useful info for all things competitive shooting there. HTH

http://www.usrifleteams.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=17451&view=&hl=m1a/m14 loads&fromsearch=1
 

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One thing I've noticed.
My .223 load for my RRA NM A2 was very easy to come up with. Very accurate.

The M1A and Garand are more problematic.


Gerry
There is another factor when you throw in the AR word in the M1 and M1A discussion. In highpower shooting, ARs for the most part will let you commit some shooting sins and get away with a decent score. The M1s and M1As will blow you out of your position with your first shot if you do not have a solid postion.

The above statement holds true even shooting from the bench. You hold that M1 or M1A with varying shoulder pressure and grip, you can see the groups go all over the place.

Sorry for the side track there. Back to the original topic, 4064 is it.

Do your load development for your system, start at 41 and work up at .3 increment. watch for pressure. One of my M1As shot the best at 43, another at 42.3, and the another rifle at 44 (with Berger 168s and 185 Bergers) and the rest are all with SMKs.

The 42.3 load was convenient because that is the same charge I use with the 185 Bergers. And, the same load for my McCoy built M1.

Mostly for short range I just use 135 FB Berger bullets with 44 grains of 4064.

The loads are in my rifles, yours may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
4064 loads

Bamban,
Were you using LC brass with your loads?
 

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I use 4895 at 41.5 and it's right below 4064 I would think you would be ok
 

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Sir, here's some more reloading "stuph".

http://www.njhighpower.com/

The M1A/M14 data is towards the end of the "Reloading Stuph" link.
Those loads look pretty hot for military cases. I think they are in commercial cases. I know they are based on muzzle velocity. The Hornady service rifle load data is based on gas port pressure. It is in commercial cases but uses the Hornady A-Max bullet which may fill the case more or engage the rifling more than the Sierra Match King.

It's pretty hard to get "too much' IMR-4064 in the 308 case. The traditional match load is 42.0 grains of IMR-4064 in a military case with the 168 grain SMK. It is a maximum effort match load though, so it might be a bit warm. The Federal 168 grain OTM service rifle load is 42.5 grains of IMR-4064 in a commercial Federal case with the CCI #34 primer. The case capacity of some commercial Federal cases is about the same as LC military cases but the case heads are thinner and the case walls are thicker and the brass is softer. I still get higher velocities with LC brass than Federal brass though. I try to avoid using Federal cases and haven't loaded any in a long time.
 

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The NJ reloading website I pointed to doesn't specify which cases were used. 43.0 grs of 4064 may indeed be too hot in a military case, I don't know, never tried it. I can tell you that with 42.0 grs. in my LC M118 cases, I have never seen a pressure issue and the accuracy is very good. It'll hold the 10 ring on the SR and SR-3 target with a decent X count all day long outa my rifle. As other's have stated, start low and work your way up slowly to find the correct load for your situation.
 

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Each rifle/ shooter combination has their own unique preferences and over time those preferences will change due to experience and wear and tear. I'd like to point out a couple of things that I've picked up over time and might be of help to others; then again it could just be the ramblings of an old guy that's wasting air DI5

Most of us agree that there are usually two "nodes" where a cartridge will shoot accurately. Very often there will be slight differences in accuracy but one node is usually just as accurate as the other, within reason. But the nodes do differ in powder charge weight and as a result muzzle velocity. The lower node will give you accuracy and longevity of the cases and the rifle. The higher node gives you accuracy and speed but at the cost of shorter case life and faster erosion of the rifle's throat and bore. Professional, long range competetors have a lot on the line (pun not intended MCORPS1) and if they do well they can earn enough money to replace the barrel and bolt every few years. I just want my rifle to give me pretty little groups at short to medium ranges for as long as possible so I stick with the lighter loads. The only time I push my loads is during hunting season when I want as much speed as possible with as big a bullet as I can safely use (elk are big critters GI8).

Also, as I have said before, the components and dimensions will have a large effect on your loads due to their relationship with the usable volume inside the case. I say usable volume as opposed to total volume with the difference being that usable volume is the volume that is left after you seat the bullet. Notice that most reloading manuals recommend OALs of between 2.80" - 2.82" but a lot of the competitors gravitate toward longer dimensions since it pushes the bullet closer to the lands and groves in the barrel and that will, in general, improve accuracy and group size. But a longer OAL (with the same bullet) will reduce pressures and drop velocities and this in turn creates the need to increase powder charge weights to get the speeds back up. This is another reason why competition shooters use more powder and why (in most situations) you need to drop the charge weight by some amount if you intend to use military brass.

Volume is the key and if you really want to get anal (like me and many others DI5) about reloading you can easily measure the actual volume of your cases and keep a list for future comparison. The trick is to weigh your cases empty vs. filled with water, the difference in weights is the volume as defined in grains of water. I always measure my volume after having fired the case (I clean out the powder residue first) and with the fired primer in place and the water flat across the top of the case mouth. So an LC case might have a volume of 54 grains of water while a Lapua case will have a volume of around 56.4 grains of water. Then I try to keep my powder charges to about 93% - 98% of the available volume in the case once the bullet is seated.

Most often a .308 caliber bullet, in the 165 - 175 grain weight range, will perform best if you keep it's muzzle velocity in the range of 2500 - 2600 fps. Most of the loads that have been posted here are within that range and I think that these loads reflect a very accurate range of the best possible loads from the lowest charge weight to the highest.
 

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RAMMAC, I absolutely concur with what you're saying, especially your last statement of: "Most often a .308 caliber bullet, in the 165 - 175 grain weight range, will perform best if you keep it's muzzle velocity in the range of 2500 - 2600 fps." From everything I have ever read or was taught about the .308 round, it needs to stay somewhere around 2600 fps to achieve the best accuracy. The loads you mentioned previously with the A-Maxs from the Hornady manual, are they hitting around 2600 fps? At any rate, I do not have any intentions of playing with the A-Maxs in my rifle. It likes the SMKs and that's where I'll stay. Good info though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
loads

WOW, lots of good info here.

I managed to avoid having my wife know that the local range was withing walking distance from the house I picked to move to but now I'm upset that there is only a 100yd range there.

I did find a house VERY close to a range that has out to 600m.

I'm in the process of convincing my wife that we NEED to move there because of the better schools for our kids.

Then I can put all this info to work for me.

P.S My wife eventually found out about the 100yd range
and I should have gotten a Oscar for the acting job I did when I said: "NO KIDDING!!! What a coincidence.
 

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The Hornady manual says;

168 grain A-Max
COL 2.800"
Hornady Case TTL 2.005"
41.6 grains of IMR 4064
MV 2500 fps

I use QuickLOAD software to help develop loads and it comes out pretty close to the real world for my M1A ammunition. It will provide estimates for muzzle velocities, chamber pressures etc.. If you want me to run some numbers for you just send me a private message and provide me with the bullet you want to use, the brand of case along with it's trim to length, the OAL you want to use, and the brand of powder. I need the volume of the case in grains of water but I have a list of the most common cases that I have created otherwise I will use a generic list that I found on the Internet. I can play with the powder charge weight if you want a specific velocity or work the other way around and you give me the powder charge weight and I can tell you what the software predicts for speed. The software usually gives me speeds that are 30 to 50 fps slower than real life initially but I can adjust that error out over time with a few tweaks on the software and real world tests.

The software can also produce a sheet that recommends other powder charge weights based on all sorts of info. For instance, you can tell it to provide a list of powders that will produce the same muzzle velocity based on the case and bullet info already selected. There are quite a few different ways you can produce the list.

RAMMAC The loads you mentioned previously with the A-Maxs from the Hornady manual, are they hitting around 2600 fps?
 

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42.0gr IMR 4064 with any case and 168gr SMK is my standard load for the short line. 600 yds gets 42.2gr 4064 to get a 175gr SMK to 2550fps. Very accurate in my Supermatch. Never any pressure issues. YMMV
 
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