M14 Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I realize my M1A will never be a tac driver, but I still love the weapon. Everyone on the range stops and looks when I pull I tout of the case; they really take notice when I put the can on.

My rifle is a Springfield M1A Loaded, and I just had it bedded after a long list of gradually upgrading the rifle.

When the stars align I can get a 1 /14” group, but mostly it’s on the order of 1 ½ inches. But I’m still playing with ammo, and have not done anything to the stock Gas piston.

I’m looking to the next, and the most expensive step. Re-barreling and bedding it in a McMillan glass stock.

Is there that much difference between a Heavy contour 22” and a medium 22” barrel? There also seems to be an interesting price spread.

Krieger has the Heavy barrel at $370 M1A/M14 Heavy Pattern, CM or SS,: 1-10, 1-11, and 1-12 Twist.

Fulton at $525 (Barrel, 22" M14/M1A, Heavy Contour, 1x10, Chrome Moly, Krieger) They do mention that the barrel is hand lapped, I’m guessing that is the extra $155.

I guess considering the overall expense the extra $155 for the Fulton barrel is not that much.

Assuming I’m going with a heavy contour barrel, what twist rate? Shooting mostly 168 & 175 BTHP Matchkings. Ultimately I would like to start shooting out to 300+ yards.

I also want to get the most out of the rifle.

Thanks in advance,

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,019 Posts
The heavier the bullet the more twist needed. I would go with the best (usually the most expensive) barrel available. The barrel is the most important part of the accuracy equation.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,116 Posts
A 1/11" twist is what I'm going with next. Unless you're a match shooter, a medium weight barrel will do you fine. This will handle bullet up to 185 grains without issue.

Make sure you're current barrel is shot out before making the change. My current rifle uses a 1:12" twist, medium weight criterion barrel. When I first had it built, it was grouping 3" at 100 yds. After 5 years tinkering with it and 2500 rounds later it's shooting under 1" consistently. Group sizes range from 0.5" to 1.5" very consistently.

Unitized the gas cylinder if you haven't already done so.

Learn your rifle and advance with it.

Tony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
780 Posts
Look around this forum alt more before you make a decision, there's lots of knowledge.

1) The $370 Krieger price is probably the dollars prior to chambering and other barrel machine work. (As you noted the difference with the Fulton Kreiger).
2) And this is just my 2cents. I would play with the loaded as is and do the small things to improve accuracy.

3) If you want to have a heavy barreled tack driver, then

a) Build One (Fulton , LRB, JRA)
b) Look for used National Match (Preferably older ie the infamous pre-ban serial numbers).

After you are done you will have 2 guns and probably only spent a extra $ 800 to $ 1000 over what you spent modifying the loaded.

On twist ask around on the board.

I got my new Med Weight Krieger in 1:11. Should be good for 168's and 175's
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,792 Posts
I have used various barrels on these rifles over the years and preferred arrangement for me has been the medium wt. barrel w/ 12 twist. Not a fan of the 168's and prefer the 175SMK and the combination has always done well for me. If you are only planning on shooting at the 300yd range, the 168's will do fine, but find that beyond that, 600-1000yds., 175SMK does a good job. As to brand of barrel, used Krieger, Douglas, Hart, Obermeyer, etc. and can't really say one shot any better than the other. As for hand lapping process I always did that myself using JB Compound for it is easy to do and costs next to nothing to do. As for accuracy between the Krieger and Douglas find them to be equal with good loads and some claim that the Krieger(cut rifled vs button) will give a longer life?? If shooting competition regardless of brand of barrel at some 3000rnds. that gilt edge accuracy from the start is beginning to fade. If you used a magnified fiber optic system to inspect the bore at even 2000rnds. what you see will scare you, lots of crazing, etc. Doesn't condemn the barrel, but reveals what all that heat over an extended period of use does to the best of barrels. Whichever barrel/twist you go with and the stock you mention will indeed give you a first class rifle in all respects
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,950 Posts
If you haven't had the gas system unitized that should be your next step. Then buy 2-3 USGI gas pistons and change them out to see if one is more accurate than the others you might get lucky.

Also if it is holding 1.5MOA consistently then I would not think about re-barreling it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,116 Posts
If he wants to shoot heavy bullets thru a can at 300yds won't a 10" twist be best?
Not necessarily. Our good friend, Nez Rongero (AKA Bamban) runs 1:12" twist barrels for his long range match gun out to 1000yds. I was faced with this decision a few months ago and after researching the benefits and drawbacks, a 1:11" twist seemed to fit my needs and I plan on shooting 1000 with it. I also asked around on accurateshooter.com and pinged the experienced guys who shot M14's at long distance and the opinion was still spread between 1:10", 1:11" and 1:12" twist with everyone saying that a 1:11" will do the job. I even recall that the military did some testing with 175's, I think and they found the optimal twist to be 1:11.25" which is why some barrel makers offer that option.

A 1:11" twist will handle Berger 185 Juggernauts. From what I understand (I can always be wrong), the benefits of a 1:10" twist aren't apparent until you exceed the 180 grain threshold and start playing with the 190's and 200+ grain bullets which are out of our rifle's arena.

I'm building a long range stick right now and I'm going to try Jon Wolfe's 5R/20 1:11" twist barrel. I'll let you know how it shoots.

Tony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
Twist can be too fast or too slow. Within the good window slower is better for accuracy. Yes most deer guns have a 1 in 10 twist but minute of deer is different than minute of target. The faster twist also helps with the expansion. The older 30-06s had 1 in 10 twist to stabilize the 200-220 grain bullets but the older 308s used to use 1 in 12 because the bullets were lighter. (shorter)

Three hundred yards is considered "close" and there are those that use much lighter (shorter) bullets and don't need the fast twist. (The length is the factor in the Greenhill formula, not the weight. Also bench rest shooters use a twist in the mid to upper teens for their short bullets) Granted the lighter bullets are a handloading proposition.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,116 Posts
Twist can be too fast or too slow. Within the good window slower is better for accuracy. Yes most deer guns have a 1 in 10 twist but minute of deer is different than minute of target. The faster twist also helps with the expansion. The older 30-06s had 1 in 10 twist to stabilize the 200-220 grain bullets but the older 308s used to use 1 in 12 because the bullets were lighter. (shorter)

Three hundred yards is considered "close" and there are those that use much lighter (shorter) bullets and don't need the fast twist. (The length is the factor in the Greenhill formula, not the weight. Also bench rest shooters use a twist in the mid to upper teens for their short bullets) Granted the lighter bullets are a handloading proposition.
This is good advice! Also, if you're just a paper puncher, a 130 grain SMK will be all you need for 300yd work. Save the 168's and up for 600 to 1000.

Tony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
I am pretty sure the Krieger barrel from Krieger and the Krieger barrel from Fulton are the same barrel, fulton just marks theirs up after their bought from Krieger.

Not sure though, as I have never bought a Krieger barrel from Fulton.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,019 Posts
Did the OP not mean he was using a can (silencer)? I thought that a big heavier bullet at low speed (subsonic) would require a faster twist to keep a heavy subsonic bullet stabilized at 300yds. I know it doesn't make much difference with regular or match ammo. Maybe i misunderstood the part about the can? Anyway i would like to know. tanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
Did the OP not mean he was using a can (silencer)? I thought that a big heavier bullet at low speed (subsonic) would require a faster twist to keep a heavy subsonic bullet stabilized at 300yds. I know it doesn't make much difference with regular or match ammo. Maybe i misunderstood the part about the can? Anyway i would like to know. tanks
I did wonder what effect the suppressor had on the accuracy but figured the OP knew enough that it was taken into consideration. At least for this question I will go with the suppressor/thread protector do not influence the heel of the bullet and the crown is as it should be.

I did ASSuME that the loads would be supersonic. The suppressor will reduce the muzzle blast when supersonic (somewhat) but there is still the sonic crack to contend with.

Subsonic loads are a bit of a different topic. No crack so only the muzzle blast it so be dealt with. Hodgdon does list a subsonic load with the 168 SMK and Clays (I know it was Clays, can't swear it was 168) but generally that is not what is thought of with suppressed loads

The more common subsonic (300 Whisper 300 AAC, etc.) used a bullet in the neighborhood of 240 grains. They do this, I imagine, to allow the gas to cool (reduce pressure) and to offset the loss of energy with the much lower velocity. Energy being a factor of the square of the velocity. Going from 2500 fps to 1000 fps doesn't cut the energy in half, it is less than 1/6th! Any increase in weight is much appreciate! The increase in weight also means increase in length thus the faster twist needed to stabilize the heavier bullet. Commonly 1 turn in 8 for the above two cartridges.

Shooting a subsonic 240gr bullet with a 308 case is hugely overbore! (read the case volume to bore volume is too large) Possible but not practical.
 
  • Like
Reactions: XXXMarine

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,950 Posts
Did the OP not mean he was using a can (silencer)? I thought that a big heavier bullet at low speed (subsonic) would require a faster twist to keep a heavy subsonic bullet stabilized at 300yds. I know it doesn't make much difference with regular or match ammo. Maybe i misunderstood the part about the can? Anyway i would like to know. tanks
Yes that is true some companies will offer a short 8 twist 308 barrel for sub sonic use. I think DTA, the guys that make the bullpup with barrel switch do that. They found that supersonic loads like the 175 federal still shot very well out of it too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,800 Posts
You're probably not going to see an obvious improvement with upgrading the barrel. Bedding and unitizing the gas system, however, will probably make the rifle shoot a consistent 1.5MoA if not better with match ammo.

The 1:11" medium weight that you have now is a great general purpose barrel and should serve you well. A heavyweight adds a lot of weight out front and makes the rifle balance poorly. A heavyweight barrel in the McMillan stock needs a good 1-2lbs of lead in the buttstock to get it to balance well.

If it was me, even as a competition shooter, I'd get it bedded in the wood stock, seal it well (poly in the inside and under the buttplate, tung oil on the outside if you prefer the "service" look), get the gas system unitized, and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,019 Posts
Thanks Phil. I was thinking of 220/240gr bullets for subsonic use. OP stated using 168/175 though. Thanks for all the replies folks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
A heavyweight barrel in the McMillan stock needs a good 1-2lbs of lead in the buttstock to get it to balance well.

If it was me, even as a competition shooter, I'd get it bedded in the wood stock, seal it well (poly in the inside and under the buttplate, tung oil on the outside if you prefer the "service" look), get the gas system unitized, and enjoy.
Right now the fiberglass stock and heavy barrel is about all I can do to the rifle that I have not already done. I have to redo the trigger as it went south after I bedded the rifle.

I was thinking about squeezing the last little bit from the rifle, but I'm beginning to think that will be an exercise in bragging but maybe not practical. I have gotten sub 1" groups so far. Just have to find the combination of powder(Varget, H4895, IMR 4895 or IMR 4064) with 168 & 175 SMK.

Wondering if it's worth going any farther, when I still have my AR to build...

Really appreciate the info. The heavy weight barrel with lead in the stock and my can on it would be not a lot of fun.

Bryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,800 Posts
Right now the fiberglass stock and heavy barrel is about all I can do to the rifle that I have not already done. I have to redo the trigger as it went south after I bedded the rifle.

I was thinking about squeezing the last little bit from the rifle, but I'm beginning to think that will be an exercise in bragging but maybe not practical. I have gotten sub 1" groups so far. Just have to find the combination of powder(Varget, H4895, IMR 4895 or IMR 4064) with 168 & 175 SMK.

Wondering if it's worth going any farther, when I still have my AR to build...

Really appreciate the info. The heavy weight barrel with lead in the stock and my can on it would be not a lot of fun.

Bryan
Tough call. If you're really averaging 2MoA, then you might make a gain by going with a new barrel.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top