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I just score 14 boxes of Lake City Match Ammo (173 grain), in original boxes from 1967. A friend went to an estate sale where everything is tagged already, he picked up an Underwood M1 carbine for $300. The 7.62 Match ammo was priced at $5 a box of 20, he went back the next day and got what was left on the table. I guess most people weren't interested in it.
There was a Belgian FAL STG58 Match grade that was reduced to 1200 from 1500, I,ll have to ask him what that finally went for the following day. I,m out of state at the moment and will have to settle up with him when I return.
 

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At a minimum you saved 15$ a box shuvelrider... Now that's a great deal on Match grade military surplus ammunition.

DI5
 

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That FAL Sounds nice. You got that ammo for a very good price.
 

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$300 for an Underwood M1 carbine ain't nothing to pass up nowadays, That was a score. and $5 a box for LC Match was too. I'd like to see the STG58 there's a lot of well worn parts guns out there now. I bought a couple of the handpicked "new" unissued kits from DSA back in the mid 90's when they first came out so I'm kinda picky on FAL's. Belguim models from steyr are some of the nicest FAL's built. A "match" STG58 of good quality might be worth $1200 ,maybe more, depends on the receiver and condition and quality of the build
 

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I just score 14 boxes of Lake City Match Ammo (173 grain), in original boxes from 1967. A friend went to an estate sale where everything is tagged already, he picked up an Underwood M1 carbine for $300. The 7.62 Match ammo was priced at $5 a box of 20, he went back the next day and got what was left on the table. I guess most people weren't interested in it.
There was a Belgian FAL STG58 Match grade that was reduced to 1200 from 1500, I,ll have to ask him what that finally went for the following day. I,m out of state at the moment and will have to settle up with him when I return.
I believe lake city match ammo 1967 was 169 grain, not 173 grain. does any one else know? Thanks


MOLON LABE
 

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173 gr...sometimes even 174. By 67 ~ 68 QC was just beginning to slide on LC Match ammo.
 

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Check the lot numbers of those cartons. 1967 was the last year that LC manufactured M118 Match specifically for the National Matches. Some lots may be worth more than $5. ;-)

1968 was when the quality of M118 began to deteriorate, mostly due to bullet manufacture methods and inspection procedures. All production was halted in 1973. An Accuracy Improvement Program initiated in 1977 did not result in any gain and the M118 was replaced with the M852 in 1981.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #10


Here is a pic of the box. Like I said, a friend went to an estate sale where the prices were set, get there early and draw a low number for when "groups" of number holders are allowed in the house to view the merchandise. He gave me a call since I am out of state and offered to pick up some ammo if I could use it, a few more rounds to stash away for my FAL.
 

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Missed it by that much. USN2. Camp Perry lot was LC 12072.

Still a real bargain. LC made only 10 lots in 1967. My guess is that they were all pretty good.

Ray
 

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Hey Ray,
Were extra Quality Control measures taken with the Camp Perry National Match lots?

Thanks,
Carey
 
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Hey Ray,
Were extra Quality Control measures taken with the Camp Perry National Match lots?

Thanks,
Carey
I'm going to put in my 2¢ along with Ray. It is my understanding that Lake City used dedicated equipment for both .30 cal and 7.62mm MATCH ammo, and it was the discontinuance of the use of that dedicated equipment that led to the deterioration of quality. I suspect that the discontinuance of use of dedicated equipment likely was induced by Lake City no longer manufacturing NM ammunition after 1967. Further, it is my understanding that standard MATCH as well as NATIONAL MATCH (lot's of folks aren't even aware of any difference) were manufactured with the same standard of quality, but performance of the NM ammo could not be determined until sample quantities were fired in test barrels. Some years, like the Lake City .30 cal NM from 1962, had almost legendary status for it's consistent accuracy. Unfortunately, those days are gone forever.
 

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Carey

Yes, extra care was taken in assembling the "Camp Perry" lots.

LC had several bullet making machines operating at the same time. Bullets from each machine were kept seperated and each batch was tested for accuracy. The results were recorded and the best were designated for National Match, International Match, and Palma Match cartridges. Special powder charging plates were manufactured and used only for the best ammunition. Accuracy tests were run continuously throughout the manufacturing process. Special cases with the NM head stamp were manufactured just for the National Match cartridges and cartons had the Camp Perry notation on the top.

Now, having said all that, was the NM ammunition better than the other lots produced that same year? Maybe yes, maybe no. All of the ammunition was good and there were years when it was hard to tell the NM from the practice and regular distribution lots. There were actually some MATCH lots that tested better than the NM. Not much, only a very little, but the lots were too small to be designated for Perry because a certain amount of ammunition was requested for issue at the matches and it all had to be one lot.

The single biggest factor that led to the lesser quality of M118 after 1968 was the decision to stop the segregating of bullets from the different machines. The bullets were all good, but bullets from Machine A and bullets from Machine B were different enough to result in less accuracy if they were mixed. That, and the fact that the dies were wearing out. Add in "Mexican Match" and other handloads, and the increasing use of the 5.56x45 cartridge, and the end of US Government Match ammunition manufacture wasn't far off, Not even the M852 could save it.

It's also been suggested that the late 1960's was when LC stopped listening to shooters, especially those with EIC experience. I've nothing but anecdotal evidence of this but I do not doubt it for a minute.

BTW, during the years when Frankford Arsenal manufactured the M72, "Camp Perry" lots were also manufactured. The big difference is that neither the cartons nor the headstamp were unique and the only way to tell them apart was by lot number.

Ray
 

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An old friend, now retired, was an Ordnance officer at both FA and LC during the golden years of match ammunition manufacture. He told me a story about a bunch of wooden bins in the basement at LC, covered with heavy tarps. On the top were signs saying, "Keep out! To be used only with written permission of the Commanding Officer". Inside those bins were the match bullets set aside for NM ammunition. How would you have liked to dip out a bucket-full.USNA

Ray
 

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Great info guys and it helps explain a lot to an outsider like me. I was a Mexican Match Maker in the New Orleans area in the '70s/'80s. We could not get our hands on any of the then-new M852. We knew it existed but even the NG & Army guys we shot against were still using M118 well after M852 was produced. I would watch them police up their brass after each relay and put it back in the M118 box it came from. But I really did not understand why some lots of M118 just did not shoot well. The earlier lots on the left below shot fine but that 1970 lot on the right all got MM'd with the Sierra International HP bullets in the green boxes shown. I was advised (indirect contact with Glenn "Nelly" Nelson who built our M1A NM rifles in the '78, mine was s/n 9690) to take the M118 casings all the way down, remove the hardened tar-like asphaltum bullet sealer, full-length size to get proper neck tension again, and reprime with BR primers. Eventually, somebody came up with never-loaded LC MATCH brass that I could just load up from scratch. The brass was in the same white boxes as the loaded M118 ammo but I don't think the boxes had a LOT number on them though.

 

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I remember seeing piles of that stuff at gun shows, usually watched over by some crusty geezer swinging a cane. The 173gr bullets I had were terrible weight wise, probably why some lots didn't work as well as others.
 

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Actually, some nice LC brass, #37 primers , 4895 powder and 168 SMK's are a lot cheaper and
more accurate than the white box ammo.

Especially when you realize how many M1A guys are shooting at just 100yards.

I've shot both the white box and my handloads at 550m ( as far as I have a range for)
and the handloads seem to be more accurate.

Just me, I suppose
 

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I've shot both the white box and my handloads at 550m ( as far as I have a range for)
and the handloads seem to be more accurate.

Just me, I suppose
Or the rifle...

DI5
 
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