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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went back to the range today with my SA M1A Loaded to try some new loads... I completed the 1.5 MOA challenge in this forum a while ago with this rifle but just barely made it in the Plastic stock it came in. The load I was using was a generic H4895 40.5 grain load with Hornady match 168 grain bullets that I first tried and worked fairly well in the plastic stock from SA but not consistent results.
I decided to get a USGI wood stock to play with as I wanted to see if I could do the glass bedding but wanted to try it "as is" first.
Cleaned up the stock and played with shimming the action to get better tension on the barrel, first shots were disapointing to say the least.
Decided to try the IMR 3031 that was working well in the Norinco M14S to see what I could do and was getting mixed results over the last few trips, would get 3 groups under 1.5 then a 1.704 and a 1.8 group??
Still not bad but expected/ hoped for better so decided to do some load testing. 39.5 grains IMR 3031 was Horrible.....(.902 to 2.943)
39.7 seems to be the magic number though, 5 shot groups were .405, 1.355, 1.122, 1.322, and 1.310 average of .839
I think the rifle may have needed to settle in it's new stock though so will try the 39.5 grain load again. (notice the red neck cardboard shims in the front of the action to see if I could get better groups with more barrel tension!!)
 

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Your experience echos mine; the really flexible plastic SAI stock on my scout shot OK but my groups improved immediately with a wood stock that I bought thru the CMP.

Nice shooting! Better than I can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your experience echos mine; the really flexible plastic SAI stock on my scout shot OK but my groups improved immediately with a wood stock that I bought thru the CMP.

Nice shooting! Better than I can do.
Thanks nitesite,
I'm usually quite pleased with my groups when I have the scope on the rifle. (I realllly suck with iron sights)...but after this group now I'm afraid to shoot it again and get my usual 1 1/2 inch groups with the occasional 2 inch plus group that keeps me humble and makes me grumble. GI
Hoping that the new reload recipe and the stock combination will hold things together for a while at least.
I can't shoot off hand to save my life, I spend my time doing bench rest with all my rifles so have had lots of practise with this.
Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
M1A likes dirty barrel!

Cleaned the rifle a couple of weeks ago and it was not very happy with that! Groups opened up a bit with 5 out of 10 groups being over 1.5 inches.
Better results this weekend with a fouled barrel. Average group size for 10 - 5 shot groups was 1.08 inches. Only 1 group at 1.933 inches, the other 9 groups all under 1.5 with five groups under 1 inch. Sure happy I decided to try a wood stock, seems the rifle is much more consistent with some downpressure on the barrel!
I ran out of the Hornady match 168 grain bullets so loaded 15 of the 178 grain Sierra Matchking just for fun. The powder charge is the same as the Hornady 168 grain at 39.7 grains IMR 3031as it is still below maximum.Groups were .673, 1.075, and 1.471.
Still need to find some of the 125 grain speer bullets to try, found out that they are only a dollar less per box here than the Hornady bullets though.
One interesting thing I have noticed is that my groups also now seem to be more consistent in point of impact compared to before with the other stock?
Rodney
 

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Your groups are decent to good, borderline great for a semi-auto. An out of the box semi, regardless of the model/class i.e. standard, loaded, stainless barrel etc etc is always going to shoot like this. Hell even super match grade semi-autos will not be perfect. This is why gunsmiths for the olympics and or military custom shop armorers are essentially the same people. If you want to really really tighten up your groups, you can.

Use 147gr and then some 168gr in the rifle then go from there, go see an expert custom armorer from a military unit or the national team. Sit down and discuss what exactly is going on with the 147gr and with the 168gr. Bedding, lugging, new much heavier fiberglass stock(USMC shooting team camo)type. Super match front/rear hooded sights, match trigger pack and a heavy barrel, stainless or carbon steel(blued). These could all be potential options towards your rebuild.

Remember it's not a bolt action rifle with much less moving parts. It's a semi-automatic with many gaps, loose tolerances, moving parts and pieces and lighter hardware all over.

If you truly want accuracy out of the box? Buy a Remington Model 700 PSS(Police Sniper) in .308. Attach Leupold rings and a one piece base on it, a scope of your choosing, 10X is my choice. Old school bore sight it, buy removing the bolt, looking down the barrel at a 100 yard target and aligning the crosshairs with what you're seeing through the bore chamber area. You'll center mass hit the 10 ring the first shot out if you take your time and do it right. Start with 147gr military ammo first, then progress onto heavier loads 168-172gr if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Your groups are decent to good, borderline great for a semi-auto. An out of the box semi, regardless of the model/class i.e. standard, loaded, stainless barrel etc etc is always going to shoot like this. Hell even super match grade semi-autos will not be perfect. This is why gunsmiths for the olympics and or military custom shop armorers are essentially the same people. If you want to really really tighten up your groups, you can.

Use 147gr and then some 168gr in the rifle then go from there, go see an expert custom armorer from a military unit or the national team. Sit down and discuss what exactly is going on with the 147gr and with the 168gr. Bedding, lugging, new much heavier fiberglass stock(USMC shooting team camo)type. Super match front/rear hooded sights, match trigger pack and a heavy barrel, stainless or carbon steel(blued). These could all be potential options towards your rebuild.

Remember it's not a bolt action rifle with much less moving parts. It's a semi-automatic with many gaps, loose tolerances, moving parts and pieces and lighter hardware all over.

If you truly want accuracy out of the box? Buy a Remington Model 700 PSS(Police Sniper) in .308. Attach Leupold rings and a one piece base on it, a scope of your choosing, 10X is my choice. Old school bore sight it, buy removing the bolt, looking down the barrel at a 100 yard target and aligning the crosshairs with what you're seeing through the bore chamber area. You'll center mass hit the 10 ring the first shot out if you take your time and do it right. Start with 147gr military ammo first, then progress onto heavier loads 168-172gr if you want.
Hi Gladiator,
When I want extreme accuracy I definately go for my bolt guns! Having said that I am having so much fun with the M14 platform rifles right now that the bolt guns haven't seen the light of day for a few months! To be honest I did not expect the M1A to do as good as it is right now. The challenge with these rifles for me seems to be in the consistency of my hold, trigger release etc. I always tried to practise the proper techniques but have a better sense of what I am doing right and wrong with the semis as any slacking off on technique seems to show up a lot more with them than the bolt guns.GI1
Rodney
 

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Hi Gladiator,
When I want extreme accuracy I definately go for my bolt guns! Having said that I am having so much fun with the M14 platform rifles right now that the bolt guns haven't seen the light of day for a few months! To be honest I did not expect the M1A to do as good as it is right now. The challenge with these rifles for me seems to be in the consistency of my hold, trigger release etc. I always tried to practise the proper techniques but have a better sense of what I am doing right and wrong with the semis as any slacking off on technique seems to show up a lot more with them than the bolt guns.GI1
Rodney
When you squeeze the trigger slowly, breath normally, do not try to slow it down, stay mellow and calm naturally. When the rifle fires it should surprise and startle you. Unless you're in combat or a self defense or rapid fire portion of a shooting match. Otherwise squeeze slowly and breathe.

Some would have you hold your breath right before your weapon fires, but this defeats the whole purpose of the surprise.

Plus do not forget to have a natural point of aim, get into position to shoot, aim at the target without firing, close your eyes and then open them slowly, observe if you are still on target. If not, adjust your body and repeat this again until you are on target center mass. This assures that you're not fighting your own muscles when you shoot. DI5
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When you squeeze the trigger slowly, breath normally, do not try to slow it down, stay mellow and calm naturally. When the rifle fires it should surprise and startle you. Unless you're in combat or a self defense or rapid fire portion of a shooting match. Otherwise squeeze slowly and breathe.

Some would have you hold your breath right before your weapon fires, but this defeats the whole purpose of the surprise.

Plus do not forget to have a natural point of aim, get into position to shoot, aim at the target without firing, close your eyes and then open them slowly, observe if you are still on target. If not, adjust your body and repeat this again until you are on target center mass. This assures that you're not fighting your own muscles when you shoot. DI5
Thanks Gladiator,
Will try the breathing as you say, I have always let out my breath and started squeezing, some times have to stop, release the trigger and start over again when the trigger doesn't break before I run out of air!
Rodney
 
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