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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took "Lucy" out to the desert two days ago and shot off my Lead Sled to set up the iron sights as well as the Bassett-mounted Leupold VX-R 2-7X.

I was a bit apprehensive given the bad press that Springfield Armory's NM rifles occasionally get around here! I feared it would maybe shoot into 2.5" or so, 3 shots, at best. I'm pretty happy with the 5 shot results here!

I used Hornady's 155 A-Max bullet, new Winchester brass trimmed to 2.005", a CCI #34 primer and Accurate 2520, the "Camp Perry powder" for the .308. The cart OaL was 2.775". BTW, this powder is extremely fine-grained, and metered out of my Lyman 1200 DPS III spot-on, to <0.1gr variation.

The results shown are for 40.2 gr (V=2497 fps, ±56 fps), 41.5 fps; (V=2573 fps, ±16fps) and 42.8gr (V=2629 fps, ±79fps). Yeah, two of those ESs are too high; I'll work on that because it will affect down-range accuracy far more than at 100 yds.

That last load [42.8] is slightly over the max load provided in the Hornady manual for service rifles [42.2gr], though they list up to 47.5gr of AA2520 for a normal .308 bolt gun, generating an estimated 2890 fps. However, that's @ 61k psi, which is a bit "stiff" for the M1A.

Just to settle on ≈2650 fps, I may round this load up to 43gr max. Unlikely that this will do any damage, right? I can also set the bullet out about 0.020" further, which might lower launch pressure slightly, and possibly enhance accuracy [closer to the lands]. I also may try a partial neck sizing along with my bump sizing that will minimize shoulder set-back.

BTW, these cartridge's "headspace gauge length" after the hottest "2520" loads fired was 1.630", versus 1.634" for the several Federal factory 180 gr .308 loads I fired first in it. The SAI gauged HS on the rifle's factory tag is 1.632". The unfired brass measured 1.6210".

Next I'm going for the Hornady 168gr Interlocks, starting @ 38gr of 2520, and working up to 41gr, est ≈ 2500fps. Hey; this is NOT a velocity contest, is it?

So... am I happy with this rifle & scope combo (Bassett mount, BTW...)? You betcha! GI1 Thanks, SAI!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yessir!

Yep; all @ 100 yds! I think that the high ES on two of the loads might result in a worsening group size [in MoA] out at 200+ yds, and even worse out at my hoped-for 350 - 400 yd groups later on. So.... I'll have to figure out the possible reason(s) for those ES numbers and resolve them.

Meantime, I'm just stoked that it shot like it did! Money well spent! GI1
 

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Very Nice....Sounds like you got a winner from SAI. Now just shim your gas cylinder (if needed), buy a Sadlak NM guide rod and TiN coated piston....should be able to bring it in even closer! Check out Treelinem14.com. They have the Sadlak rod guide and TiN coated piston in a set! Nice shooting dude!
 

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That 42.8 gr load looks fantastic. You are going to want these going about @2700 FPS+. We know how these want to fly. I would imagine your ES would shrink a bit if you got them up to 2700 FPS+.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good shooting and great rifle. BTW, in my experience, 39 gr. AA2520 under a 168 grain BTHP was an absolute dream. Then I tried TAC. Cleaner burn and softer recoil. Give it a try. Much more better.
Hmmm... mineralman...."TAC" is what now? Who makes it? I haven't heard of it. If it's a bit softer on recoil I could maybe use it to get up to 2700+, which is about where I'll probably stop. AA2520 does meter soooo very nicely, don't you agree? I almost want to mix some of it into my morning Bourbon, raw egg and Greek yogurt smoothie!

Yuuummmm!

I just received the latest Midway gunsmithing tools catalog, in which they list the Schuster Mfg."Adjustable Gas Plug", for (retail...) $35.99. Seems like fitting this one would allow me to adjust down the max pressure delivered to the gas system, right? If it's coupled with the Sadlak cylindrical/tubular op spring guide (also listed in this catalog for $37.99), it should really protect the op system.

Of course, it's also possible that bleeding off bbl pressures at the gas port location will simultaneously bleed off some of the driving pressure behind the bullet, and I'd see a concomittant drop in velocity.

Hmmm... quandaries, quandaries
 

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Powders

Hmmm... mineralman...."TAC" is what now? Who makes it? I haven't heard of it.
http://www.ramshot.com/powders/

There you go. Ramshot are all ball powders. TAC meters as well as AA2520. Don't get me wrong. I love AA2520, but after 20 years of using it I've found something I like even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gottit! Wilco, GunnerySgt!

I'm about to place a large powder order. Anyone in central WA state who could pick up their stuff here in E-burg if I order some for you?(there's that danged HazMat $25 fee on any powder shipments. Can't ship primers with it neither; that's another $25 fee!) Damned rapacious & confiscatory EPA/BATFE stuff for Lord's sake! I wonder if they've EVER had any sort of explosives problem?

Eight pound containers are best. Example of local pricing: Best price locally here, discounted retail, for a 1lb can of 2520 is $22.00. 8 lb is about $122 wholesale or so last time I checked. From my best distributor, $17.10/lb for AA powders. Plus about $25 for shipping 80# or so on a pallet. And that $25 fee which I'll distribute amongst the group buyers. Probably ≈$10-$15 shipping & fees each or so for 24 lbs (3 or more containers). PM me!

(Dang! I ain't never-ever gonna become a millionnaire! No private helo for me...)

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=hugh...&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:0&biw=1219&bih=615

Double-Dang!! And I'm gettin' real old, real fast too! Oh Help Me, Ohbee-won Bill & Melinda! I PROMISE to help elderly old M1A shooters out to the range in it! I Promise!)
 

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Nice. Thanks for reporting.

I tried a handload in my stock Standard the other day. Sierra #2200 168 gr HPBT over 40 grains of H4895, trimmed to 2.005" and COAL of 2.800" in Win WCC 05 7.62 cases w/ CCI LR primer. Sized in RCBS small base die, adusted so the shell holder hit the die bottom. No crimp.

I only shot two 5 shot groups, and it was with iron sights, but they went 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" at 100 yards. I was really pleased. I had no idea the gun could shoot like that as no factory ammo had come.

Anyhow I read that load was supposed to be a pretty good bet. Glad I tried it.
 

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Best results for me have always been with IMR4895. 155/168/175s in 30.06 and .308 Win. Hard to beat.
 

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Hi MesaRifle,

Those results are pretty good. I suspect your handloads for this gun aren't quite right, but I suppose you already know that with the SD's you are getting. Best bullet / powder combination I have used is 168 HPBT Match and IMR 4064. W748 and IMR 4895 do almost as well and sometimes you really can't tell the difference.

BTW, considering how high the SD's are, the difference you would get with a powder that metered less well would be entirely hidden.

Cool Toys, huh?
- Ivan.
 
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