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My first M1A is on its way and I'm really excited. I'm going to handload for it, but my .308 loading experience is limited to bolt actions. I'm going to be using 175smks, since I have a ton of them for my other .30cal service rifles, and I've yet to have one that didn't love them. I may go lighter in the future, but that's where I am going to start.

My question is, what is the upper end, velocity-wise, that is safe for the rifle (I know to stick to mid burning powders from my garand loading)? 2,550fps seems to be what I'm hearing. Its a NM, so accuracy is my first concern, and I have no intention of trying to break speed records with it, nor do 1k. That said, if I'm looking for accuracy nodes during development, it would sure be nice to know at what velocity I should call off the search.

And while I'm at it, what about 150's and 168's?

Thanks
 

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There are a lot of threads on reloading . Do a quick search.
-also, there are threads that start as failure to eject that have root cause of incorrect loading by people used to loading for bolt action.

Here's a recent thread you might want to review.


http://m14forum.com/m14/242433-m1a-not-cycling-reliably.html


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My first M1A is on its way and I'm really excited. I'm going to handload for it, but my .308 loading experience is limited to bolt actions. I'm going to be using 175smks, since I have a ton of them for my other .30cal service rifles, and I've yet to have one that didn't love them. I may go lighter in the future, but that's where I am going to start.

My question is, what is the upper end, velocity-wise, that is safe for the rifle (I know to stick to mid burning powders from my garand loading)? 2,550fps seems to be what I'm hearing. Its a NM, so accuracy is my first concern, and I have no intention of trying to break speed records with it, nor do 1k. That said, if I'm looking for accuracy nodes during development, it would sure be nice to know at what velocity I should call off the search.

And while I'm at it, what about 150's and 168's?

Thanks
 

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Federal Gold Medal Match 175's are the standard for long range in an M14 style rifle. They use 43 grains of 4064, with a muzzle velocity of 2600 fps.

I consider that to be the top end for an M14 style rifle. I use a Schuster overbored/ported gas plug to save wear and tear on my oprod.

Federal uses the same load with the 168 grain version, but the velocity comes out a little higher at 2650.
 

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I used 39.5gr h4895 then had to up it to 40.0gr h4895 (CCI BR2 pri) after installing a Sadlak NM gas piston... Have not crono'd yet... 41.0 h4895 with 155 Amaxes; good. 42gr WW748/#34 good with 175's/168's

Very accurate!
 

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Two things are going to establish your upper limit in velocity with an M1A/M14 (or any semi-auto for that matter), chamber pressure and port pressure.

You can get really high muzzle velocities with slower burning propellants, but the port pressure becomes unacceptably high. Faster propellants give lower port pressures for the same velocities but have higher chamber pressures.

You should stick to propellants in the 4895/4064 range of burn speeds for heavier projectiles, a little bit faster for lighter projectiles.

M118 Long Rang Special Ball (175 gr SMK) is loaded to about 2600 to 2620 fps at the muzzle, 2575 +/- 30 fps at 78 feet.
 

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Federal Gold Medal Match 175's are the standard for long range in an M14 style rifle. They use 43 grains of 4064, with a muzzle velocity of 2600 fps.

I consider that to be the top end for an M14 style rifle. I use a Schuster overbored/ported gas plug to save wear and tear on my oprod.

Federal uses the same load with the 168 grain version, but the velocity comes out a little higher at 2650.
I get pressure signs using 42.5 of 4064 using FGMM cases in my bolt gun, that's running an OAL of 2.9". I'm also getting 2640 for velocity with 42.1gr from a 24" barrel. 43 seems too hot.

Also, if I remember correctly, the 175 FGMM load is 41.7 of 4064 using FC brass.
 
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