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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep reading threads that refer to bent op rods on the M14, Garand and M1A variants.
I have an M1A that I just purchased and am reloading for.
Is just any published load going to be safe?
Should I be looking to cap my loads at a certain velocity in this platform?
Is there hard data I can refer to on this?

So,....How hot is too hot.

Thanks
 

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Several manuals have sections specifically for loading service weapons. They would be worth having. The powder also matters. I picked up a rule of thumb from this site that suggests nothing slower than 4064 and nothing faster than 3031. It seems that 4895 is a favorite.

Velocity and pressure are not the only considerations. I had an unfortunately exciting time once when I shot some 4350 loads from a Garand. I didn't know Op Rods could do things like that.
 

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The lost art of research has not been missed place yet....

I keep reading threads that refer to bent op rods on the M14, Garand and M1A variants.
I have an M1A that I just purchased and am reloading for. Great.
Is just any published load going to be safe? Yes, just do a Search here and they will appear for you.
Should I be looking to cap my loads at a certain velocity in this platform? Yes, below 2,550 fps.
Is there hard data I can refer to on this? Yes, just do a Search here and they will appear for you.

So,....How hot is too hot. It all depends on what powder type your using and weight of the bullet, best if only 145-175 grain is the top for reloading...

Thanks
Several members should be by here any minute now Melting to answer your question, I need to get back to stacking my ammunition crates now, I just opened up a new tunnel section below bunker number III, oh my back starting to hurt again.

DI5
 

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I have only had my M1A for less than a year and due to only having IMR4064 available to me that's all I've ever loaded with, cross checking a handful of manuals and using sound advice from the folks here on the forum I've managed to find a couple of good loads without blowing things up and/or apart. 2500-2550 fps seems to be a sweet spot for mine depending on the 168gr bullet I use.

Nice Caravan, is that yours?
 

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Federal has already done the research for you. These loads are all approved for the M14 platform. Duplicate them using powders between IMR 3031 - 4064 and you are fine.


4 PRODUCTS
LOAD NO. USE CALIBER BULLET WEIGHT MUZZLE VELOCITY
A76251M1A 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 168 2650 OTM American Eagle®
AE308D 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 150 2820 Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail
GM308M 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 168 2650 Sierra® MatchKing BTHP
GM308M2 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 175 2600 Sierra® MatchKing BTHP

These are pretty much top end velocities. Work up to them, looking for signs of pressure in your particular rifle. Use a chronograph, don't guess.

Once you've put enough standard loads thru your rifle, you'll instantly know when a load feels too hot.

Personally, I use a vented gas plug or a grooved piston when using the Federal Gold Medal Match (GM) loads listed above, just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Nice Caravan, is that yours?
No, I just flew it over in Hawaii for a while. Think I took that picture at the airport in Molokai. Beautiful place.
Still flying the 208 full-time though in the Southwest. I was a couple million shy of buying my own, so I got the M1A instead.

So, I am reloading with the 155 Amax, IMR4064 and 43.0 grains.
I took it out today and got 1.5" at 100meters, and shocker, 1.125moa and 1.1375moa at 200 meters, I think I worked the fundamentals better at the longer range.
according to Hodgden I should expect about 2600fps with this load.
Of course my barrel, primer, brass and bullet are a little different.
Using nikons trajectory calculator I got 2766fps. I am guessing it was a lot closer to 2650. I guess if I had a chronograph, I wouldn't have to guess, I guess.

Anyway, from prone here they are,....
100 meters,

200 meters
 

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I got a competition electronics chrono. It was very affordable.

I don't even shoot factory ammo that hasn't been chronographed but that's less about safety and more about keeping a good log.

I have never been to a perfectly flat range.
 

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I can tell you for a fact that 46 gr of Varget is way too hot. (max charge in whatever manual I was using.)
Under a 168gr Match king it will get you a bent op rod.

pg
USA2
 
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So, I am reloading with the 155 Amax, IMR4064 and 43.0 grains.
I took it out today and got 1.5" at 100meters, and shocker, 1.125moa and 1.1375moa at 200 meters, I think I worked the fundamentals better at the longer range.
according to Hodgden I should expect about 2600fps with this load.
In an 18 inch Scout rifle that load will produce a muzzle velocity of about 2550 fps. Have you tried a little less powder? Like around 42.5gr?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
In an 18 inch Scout rifle that load will produce a muzzle velocity of about 2550 fps. Have you tried a little less powder? Like around 42.5gr?
Yes. I worked up from 40.0 to 44.0 in half grain increments.. I shot those test loads in 5 shot groups and found 43 grains to be about the most accurate group at 3/4 MOA using a rest. Any less than 42 grains and the groups were 2moa +, at 44 they started to spread out just a little again.
 

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Sounds like you've got a good handle on the situation, thanks for the info.
 

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Federal has already done the research for you. These loads are all approved for the M14 platform. Duplicate them using powders between IMR 3031 - 4064 and you are fine.


4 PRODUCTS
LOAD NO. USE CALIBER BULLET WEIGHT MUZZLE VELOCITY
A76251M1A 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 168 2650 OTM American Eagle®
AE308D 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 150 2820 Full Metal Jacket Boat-Tail
GM308M 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 168 2650 Sierra® MatchKing BTHP
GM308M2 308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 175 2600 Sierra® MatchKing BTHP

These are pretty much top end velocities. Work up to them, looking for signs of pressure in your particular rifle. Use a chronograph, don't guess.

Once you've put enough standard loads thru your rifle, you'll instantly know when a load feels too hot.

Personally, I use a vented gas plug or a grooved piston when using the Federal Gold Medal Match (GM) loads listed above, just to be safe.

? I thought Frankfort and LC Arsenal figured it out first?
 

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If you are shooting a 125-155 grain pill, try using the IMR 3031. Save the 4064 for heavier projectiles, (168, 175 gr)..... Of course in these days of limited availability of any kind of powder, I guess you use what you can find.....

A general consensus from this board and others is:

42.5 gr H4895 with 168-175gr pills for military brass. Up it to 43 gr for civilian brass.... YMMV

Others will swear by IMR4895, Varget, or your 4064. All depends on the results you get as to what you will like best. I have heard that you can get the same accuracy with the H4895 vs the 4064 with less felt recoil...... Both are temperature stabilized powders.

USN3
 

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Every rifle is different. Every rifle is different. Every rifle is different.

Your chamber is different, your headspace measurement is likely different, your barrel lands and grooves are different (either through wear or when made).

The tools used to make our rifles/parts wear so the parts vary in dimensions. The tools used to measure the parts to see if they are in spec. wear and different people can read the same tool on the same part and get a slightly different measurement.

Use powder in the recommended burning range. Start off at a reduced amount (many people recommend 10% below the max load listed in the manual for that powder, bullet, primer combination) and gradually work up to see what your rifle is reliable and accurate with.

I don't think I've ever seen my rifles' (any of them) shoot the best groups with the max loads. It's usually 150 to 200 fps slower than the "max load".

It's not maximum chamber pressures that damage operating rods. Its slower burning powders/heavier bullets that develop gas port pressures (that little hole in the barrel out near the end of the barrel that the gas blows down into to operate your rifle) that are higher than necessary to work the rifle and that damages the gas system parts, operating rod and maybe even the back of the receiver.
 
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I think it has been mentioned in this thread that some reloading manuals have sections just for military weapons.... I think my Hornady and Speer manuals do, albeit the Hornady (IIRC) is the only one that has M-1 Garand and M-1A/M-14 loads.....
 

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If you are shooting a 125-155 grain pill, try using the IMR 3031. Save the 4064 for heavier projectiles, (168, 175 gr)..... Of course in these days of limited availability of any kind of powder, I guess you use what you can find.....

A general consensus from this board and others is:

42.5 gr H4895 with 168-175gr pills for military brass. Up it to 43 gr for civilian brass.... YMMV

Others will swear by IMR4895, Varget, or your 4064. All depends on the results you get as to what you will like best. I have heard that you can get the same accuracy with the H4895 vs the 4064 with less felt recoil...... Both are temperature stabilized powders.

USN3
I think you mean 41.5 H4895 in mil brass, that's my pet load for 175s at the moment. But yes it is hard to go wrong with mil brass, 41.5-42.5 of a medium burning powder and a 168 or 175 to mag length. Sometimes I see people starting at 38 grains or whatever and I have to wonder, what with 30+ years of people using the same components in the same pattern rifle, why someone would wast those bullets and powder making 2300fps loads.
 
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