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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend just bought a Springfield M1A Standard Loaded. It has been headspaced at .163 Can he shoot 308 Win. and 7.62 surplus ammo safely out of this Rifle? New Rifle never fired.GI1
 

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+1 on the articles. I shoot both with 1.631 just have to be careful on the really long cartridges. You didn't say exactly what your headspace was, is it 1.630 or 1.633 or what? A better headspace than mine for both commercial and surplus would be around 1.633.
 

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+1 on the articles. I shoot both with 1.631 just have to be careful on the really long cartridges. You didn't say exactly what your headspace was, is it 1.630 or 1.633 or what? A better headspace than mine for both commercial and surplus would be around 1.633.
Headspace and long cartridges (due to bullet length are 2 different things) The cut of the throat can be a all sorts of different cuts and distance from ogive to lands all sort of different distances based on bullet type and seating depth, BUT the headspace still the same. That is if you are referring to "long" cartridges in terms of where you seat your bullets or O.A.L...

If you mean really long cartridges in terms of distance from face of the head of the case to datum line, then thats a whole different story. Be careful...

I finish ream my barrels with a headspace of 1.631. I use a .308 Match reamer from Pacific T&G that cuts the throat specifically for 168 an 175 SMKs, though I do shoot 135 grainers as well and they work fine. I wouldnt want a 1.633 headspaced barrel in a match rifle. For a pure battle gun, sure, but not for match shooting..

I handload everything I shoot. Im not concerned with shooting 7.62x51 milsurp (the external case dimensions are the same, though chamber pressures based on propellent and bullet could be all sorts of things). I just dont shoot it milsurp ammo...
 

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Wedge, on the chance your friend hasn't started loading his own ammo yet, any of the following milsurp clean and carefully stored should be safe and respectable to shoot in the new M1A: U.S. M80 ball (147 gr. full metal jacket boat tail bullet), if you can find some; British Radway Green ("RG"), similar to M80 ball; U.S. M852 (168 gr. hollow point match bullet); U.S. M118 (older match bullet 173 gr. full metal jacket boat tail). Maybe that'll help him get started and produce some reloadable empties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can he shoot American Eagle 308 out of it? The guy he is buying rifle from has a bunch of american Eagle 308 win.
 

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jameslawson71, let me see if I can explain what I mean by long cartridges. My loaded has a tight headspace of 1.631. I beleive this is a good headspace for shooting match ammo. I however like to shoot milsurp, mostly because it is cheap and I can pull the trigger more times. The ammo I have and can get is 762 x 51mm and I did read the stickies on headspace. What I do is strip the bolt guts and actually put each cartridge I intend to shoot into the chamber and see if the bolt closes on it. To my amazement about 5% of the rounds do not allow the bolt to close all the way. I cull these rounds out and shoot the rest. I do not know why some rounds do not allow the bolt to close but some are worst than others. In a couple of cases the bolt did not even go into battery. In those cases I was able to determine that it was case damage (damage that happened prior to getting to me). The rest of the rounds that won't close all the way at least close 50% or better. I realize that this method is not applying much pressure (only finger pressure) but I do know that not every round of surplus is equal. I'm pretty picky about what goes bang in front of my face but it is a drag putting every round into and out of the chamber. Anyone who has a better idea, I'm listening and I hope that helps wedge to understand what I was trying to say.
 

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So my M1A is headspaced at 1.631 also. It's a standard grade, nothing fancy.

Radway Green, DAG, Port., and Lithuanian are ok or not ? If I fire 500 rounds of each, will this do damage? Thanks
 

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You can always contact the manufacturer.
 

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jameslawson71, let me see if I can explain what I mean by long cartridges. My loaded has a tight headspace of 1.631. I beleive this is a good headspace for shooting match ammo. I however like to shoot milsurp, mostly because it is cheap and I can pull the trigger more times. The ammo I have and can get is 762 x 51mm and I did read the stickies on headspace. What I do is strip the bolt guts and actually put each cartridge I intend to shoot into the chamber and see if the bolt closes on it. To my amazement about 5% of the rounds do not allow the bolt to close all the way. I cull these rounds out and shoot the rest. I do not know why some rounds do not allow the bolt to close but some are worst than others. In a couple of cases the bolt did not even go into battery. In those cases I was able to determine that it was case damage (damage that happened prior to getting to me). The rest of the rounds that won't close all the way at least close 50% or better. I realize that this method is not applying much pressure (only finger pressure) but I do know that not every round of surplus is equal. I'm pretty picky about what goes bang in front of my face but it is a drag putting every round into and out of the chamber. Anyone who has a better idea, I'm listening and I hope that helps wedge to understand what I was trying to say.
What can I tell you? If the bolt wont close on a round you are going to have problems? There's really not much more to it in terms of headspace. Im not sure what you are seeking? If you have to cull rounds....you have to cull rounds.

There is nothing special about 1.631headspace. Its a close to tight fit, but theres nothing magical about it. Im not claiming there is. If you want to shoot stuff that is a little longer (i.e. wont allow a bolt to close on it with a 1.631 headspaced chamber) then you need to cut the chamber another 1000th or 2...or cull your ammo...Its your choice....No one else's...
 

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Ammo for SAI M-1A

Sometime back I had the same question on ammo so I emailed Springfield Armory customer service. A nice lady there replied that either .308 or 7.62X51 nato was fine as long as I stayed under 180 grain bullets.
T
 

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@Wedge/deskaiser - My suggestions were conservative for a reason. As much as I've shot about every milsurp there is in my M1A's, I'm not personally familiar with YOUR sticks. I'm confident the U.S. LC or WCC military 7.62 or commercial equivalents will go bang in your rifles and leave you in no worse shape than you started. If they're hungry for more, there are stickies in the Ammo section that report on milsurp ammo from all over the planet.
 
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