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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps y'all already know this, but I didn't.

I noticed on the SA web site that when I looked up the M1A, and its variants, they all said that they were chambered for .308. That was a big surprise, as everyone knows the M1A is chambered for 7.62 x 51mm.

So I called to see when (which serial number) they changed from being chambered for 7.62 to .308.

The customer service rep told me that SA has always made their M1As for .308, so they could shoot both calibers.

Did everyone but me already realize that?

Dave in Hudson, FL
 

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Yes. M1A's have always been chambered to .308 Winchester SAAMI specs. I've only seen a couple that were close to 7.62 NATO, and those were years ago when they still had USGI barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wish I'd known that. There's been times I would have taken it shooting, but all I had was .308, no 7.62. Live and learn!
 

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The M1A will chamber all SAAMI spec .308 Winchester ammunition, but all such ammunition is obviously not safe for the operating system. The M1A will also chamber most 7.62 NATO ammunition, although some foreign made surplus ammo may be too large.
 

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Wise to ask questions. Your rifle should work just fine with either .308 or 7.62x51 marked ammo. Rule of thumb is to keep the bullet weights under 180 and be cautious when using soft point ammo.
Enjoy your rifle and don't be afraid to post a few targets you have punched holes in.
 

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Just another one of those Internet falsehoods that is assumed to be reality.
 
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Like Art said, less than 180, no magnum loads, no superperformance loads - (in a standard rifle without a Schuster plug). These can cause a bent operating rod. Not worth taking a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wise to ask questions. Your rifle should work just fine with either .308 or 7.62x51 marked ammo. Rule of thumb is to keep the bullet weights under 180 and be cautious when using soft point ammo.
Enjoy your rifle and don't be afraid to post a few targets you have punched holes in.
What's the caveat with soft point ammo? Tear it up on the feed ramp?
 

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These threads never made a bit of sence to me. I have shot 762x51 and 308 with out a problem...
Some of yall worry way to much.
 
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That’s interesting with the soft tip thing; I’ve never heard that before. In all my experimenting so far 165gr Sierra Gameking soft point boat tails (SPBT) have been by far the best performers in mine. They do mash the tip a little, but I’m still getting 1.5moa or better. So it can’t be that bad, can it?
 

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It amazes me how often false statements about these cartridges come up. Unfortunately even so called experts parrot this inaccurate and false idea.

Read this link and pay close attention to the fact that while the specs are slightly different they don't create any issues with being able to use either round in either chamber.

NO, NATO ammo (on average) isn't hotter than commercial ammo, then again most commercial ammo (on average) isn't hotter than NATO ammo.

No, the chamber isn't so different that your commercial ammo is going to blow up your military surplus rifle (with the possible exception of rifles made around the turn of the 20th Century, some had surface hardened receivers).

No, NATO ammo isn't of any substantial difference compared to commercial ammo so putting it in your .308 isn't going to blow it up.

Yes, some military surplus ammo has caused problems in commercial .308 rifles but that's because the military doesn't sell ammo unless it doesn't meet some standard that they have, it's their rejected ammo, so why would you expect rejected material to work properly. It's why I don't recommend any military surplus ammo, some will work reliably and I'll use it my own rifles but I won't recommend it to anybody since it could be a problem in their rifle.

The confusion came about from people not understanding the mechanics of how the pressure standards were set. My basic comment has always been;

If there is a difference between a 7.62 cartridge and a .308 cartridge then show me the 7.62 resizing die, there aren't any, there are only .308 Winchester resizing dies.

The bottom line is that the commercial Springfield M1A rifle was always chambered in .308 Winchester and they have always been capable of shooting either ammo.
 

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Put simply, the only difference is in the specified chamber head space which is slightly longer for 7.62 NATO due to use in combat related situations. Another words, if you aren't dragging your trusty M1A through the mud or sand, don't worry about it.
 

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That’s interesting with the soft tip thing; I’ve never heard that before. In all my experimenting so far 165gr Sierra Gameking soft point boat tails (SPBT) have been by far the best performers in mine. They do mash the tip a little, but I’m still getting 1.5moa or better. So it can’t be that bad, can it?
My experience also with 165 gr Speer BT, 150 gr Winchester Power points, 150 gr Remington Corelock...
 

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Tends to mash the soft lead points. Great if you enjoy shooting around corners.
Actually, bullets are surprisingly tolerant of tip damage/irregularity. Test have been done where the tip intentionally cut off in a asymmetrical manner and tested. The major factor in the dispersion was shift in CG due to the removal of material not so much the change in tip geometry. However, bullets are very sensitive to base irregularities.

That is why match bullets are made with the solid base and the open tip.
 

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Actually, bullets are surprisingly tolerant of tip damage/irregularity. Test have been done where the tip intentionally cut off in a asymmetrical manner and tested. The major factor in the dispersion was shift in CG due to the removal of material not so much the change in tip geometry. However, bullets are very sensitive to base irregularities.

That is why match bullets are made with the solid base and the open tip.
I remember reading about a test where they actually put the bullets in backwards and out to 100 yards there was very little difference in performance.
 

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The slight deformation of the soft point really doesn't have a noticeable effect on accuracy, considering a 2 moa rifle at typical hunting distances. A 500 meter shot at a squirrel is a different story.
 

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I remember reading about a test where they actually put the bullets in backwards and out to 100 yards there was very little difference in performance.
My Grandfather was in the Army, Co.E 316th Infantry 79th Division WW1. Grandpa and his friend would tell me different stories about the war. One that stuck with me all these years was they would take an 06 or captured Mauser and pull the bullets and reverse them to shoot at chicken plates. They said that the flat end of the bullet would spall, break the steel that they would be behind waiting, watching for an assault.

As I hunt with my M1A's, even my 06 742 Remington the lead always gets shaved, distorted on battery by feedramp or the point hitting the chamber wall. Very rarely does one hang up and when it does I have chambered the same cartridge twice, hanging on the feedramp. And I will hand chamber them first and keep fresh rounds behind. Or if I remember right when the magazine is under allot of spring pressure 1st round stripping from magazine will flip the tip a little more, or last flat loading cartridge, weak spring soft tip digging into feedramp.

Years ago I bought Winchester Silvertip and the loading problem went away. Maybe why I do not remember because that is what I hunt with. But I still like the Core-Lokts, Remington. My first 742 was a 308, and I was told not to fire 7.62 in it as the loading was hotter and would batter the rifle apart. I think the manual stated the same. But now we know the reason for the rifles biggest failure.
 
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