Question for Springfield M1A Reloaders...


PDA






uneasy_rider
December 16, 2007, 07:03 PM
I loaded some 308 Winchester 150g FMJ bullets to an average velocity of 2400 fps. I used them in my FAL (gas setting on 4), and everything went fine. In my Springfield M1A, I had a variety of feeding and ejection problems. Sometimes the spent case would not eject, and if it did, I don't think the bolt went back far enough to pick up a fresh round out of the magazine.

I know this is a light load, but would have figured 2400 fps would have cycled the action OK, but I am thinking maybe this is too light.

What is your opinion?

Should a 150g, 2400 fps projectile have enough energy to cycle my M1A?

What is the lightest load you have used that would cycle your M1A?

If you enjoyed reading about "Question for Springfield M1A Reloaders..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Winger Ed.
December 16, 2007, 11:35 PM
150gr at 2400 cycle a M1A?
I would think so,
If I remember correctly, the 150-odd grain NATO load is only going about 2600fps.

I mostly shoot cast lead 170gr round nose in my Springfield M1A.
I forget the specifics, but these are SLOW, something in the teens for MV.
They are tuned down for accuracy and just barely cycle the bolt,,,,,
you can watch the bolt/operating rod fly, but they do fully cycle it-barely.
They are the same load/bullets I use in a .30-30 for paper punching and turtles down at the pond.

These same loads won't even unlock- much less move the bolt in a buddy's .308 HK.

Lock the bolt to the rear.
Turn your rifle upside down, then back up.
Listen for the gas piston moving around up there near the end of the barrel.
You should be able to hear it slide back & forth.
If not, it may just be be 'sticky' from powder fouling.

The gas piston is what makes the thing cycle.
It works like that game at the fair where you hit the little pad with a sledge hammer,
and make the marker (hopefully)go WAY!! up the pole.....

With the bled off chamber pressure from a shot--
the gas piston only travels a fraction of a inch,
but 'whacks' the operating rod hard enough to cycle the action.

If the gas piston isn't moving freely--- that's probably your problem.

.

realbuffdriver
December 17, 2007, 12:00 AM
I believe that 2750fps is the standard for M80 ball ammo. I looked back at my data and found the following, all of which cycled my M1A:

Powder Load Mean Vel
IMR4895 41.5 2651
WC846 42.0 2694
WC846 42.5 2747
WC846 43.0 2760
WC846 43.5 2797
WC846 42.8 2752

This is for USGI pulldown 147gr FMJBT projectiles. Be careful duplicating my loads here, as the WC846 powder is pulldown and will vary considerably from lot to lot. As you can see, I didn't use any loads anywhere near 2400fps. Further, that velocity is near the minimum that I have found in any reloading manual. It probably is too low to reliably cycle the M1A mechanism.

Cheers,

RealBuffDriver

Winger Ed.
December 17, 2007, 12:57 AM
Real,
You're probably right on M80 ammo.

Here's one for ya...

I think US GI ammo is a little hotter than standard (European) 7.62NATO.

Years back, I got ahold of a bunch of W. German surplus 7.62.
I didn't have crono. back then to really check it out, but it did hit a few inches lower at 125 yards,
and had less (felt) recoil than the FMJ stuff I'd loaded myself to GI specs.
I don't know if it was my imagination,
but I'd swear the bolt didn't fly as fast with the German stuff either.

.

Mark whiz
December 17, 2007, 09:19 AM
2750fps is the Mil-Spec for 150gr ball ammo. The closer you are to that, the better feeding you will get.

I have 2 questions that might shed some light here:
1. What powder did you use?
2. Are you using mil-surp and/or Springfield magazines or aftermarket ones that don't have the lug welded onto the mag?


There are only a 1/2 dozen or so powders that can be used successfully in a M1A and the cheap magazines aren't worth their weight in scrap.

GunTech
December 17, 2007, 09:49 AM
I'd look at powder too. You want to use a powder no slower than 4064. A slow load with the wrong powder can mean short stroking. This seems to be particularly the case with newer M1As. How many rounds do you have through your rifle?

Have you tried shooting single shot with the magazine in? Does the bolt lock open? Think about how you adjust the gas system on your FAL, but in this case, it's the load.

uneasy_rider
December 17, 2007, 10:32 AM
Here's more info.... I appreciate the help so far.


The powder I am using is Winchester 748. I was using 41 grains in Lake City Brass. I picked 41grains because I thought I needed to reduce the load some since I was using LC brass. I was hoping to get around 2600 fps, but only got 2400. I would like to use 748 if at all possible, because thats what I load in 223 also, and it makes logistics easier. What is your opinion of this powder?

I was using a 10 round Springfield magazine... It might be part of the problem, but it didnt really act like a bad mag. Some of the rounds would not even eject from the rifle, and some were ejected, but I think it was short stroking and not picking up a fresh round out of the mag. I will use Surplus GI mags next time to see how they do.

I have owned this rifle for about 2 years. It probably has 500 rounds through it maximum. It is a full size gun, not the scout model. It has never had any feeding issues at all until I tried my reloads. I have used surplus South African and surplus British 7.62x51 Nato ammo through it with no issues.

I think before I do anything to the gun, I will load some rounds with 43 and 44 grains and see how they run through the gun. That ought to get me closer to 2600, I hope.

Mark whiz
December 17, 2007, 10:54 AM
748 is definitely an acceptable powder - pretty much the standard for ball powder.
I'd definitely up the charge to get up to the 2700fps mark or so.
As far as using the Lake City brass, you do need to drop the charge when compared to commercial brass - the old NRA standard is 12% less and that has worked pretty good for me.

The Springfield mags are fine to use - as long as they have the welded on lug you can be pretty sure they will work fine.

I also have to ask, have you cleaned the gas system lately? If it hasn't been cleaned in 500 rounds, it is past due.

GunTech
December 17, 2007, 11:20 AM
W748 is an ideal powder for 7.62x51, giving the best velocity for pressure and having the right port pressure characteristics. 43 grains in a military case should give about 2700 fps in a 22 inch bbl with a chamber pressure of about 48,700 PSI. This is well within spec for 7.62 NATO (PMax of 3800 bar, or 55,114 PSI) and should be safe for your FAL as well.

The spec for M80 ball is 2750 with a 147gn bullet. M59 ball is a 150 grain projectile. You have to go to 43.8gn of W748 to get 2750, and you'll be over 50,000 PSI. Still safe.

Note that the above charges assume military 7.62 NATO brass. In commercial brass, you'd have to got to about 45.5gn of W748 to get 2750.

ReloaderFred
December 17, 2007, 11:22 AM
You've been given good advice on bumping up the load. I've got a Standard M1A and a National Match M1A. They both require ammunition that is loaded to about the same specs as M80 Ball to function properly. With the right ammunition, the M1A seldom has any feeding problems, as long as it's lubed properly.

Hope this helps.

Fred

uneasy_rider
December 17, 2007, 12:02 PM
Thanks for the help.

I will load up a small batch with 43.0g and another with 43.5 grains and see how they do.

What OAL do you guys load to? I am loading to 2.800" and the rounds fit in the magazines ok, but not a lot of extra room. Is that a good length to load to?

Also, the bullets I am using are Hornady 150g FMJ BT's. They have a cannelure, but when I load to an OAL of 2.800", the cannelure is not in the case. Its probably about 1/16th of an inch outside the case. Is that a problem?

Mark whiz
December 17, 2007, 12:28 PM
2.800" should be fine as an OAL. Most mil-surplus I've checked run between 2.700" and 2.750" but you have to remember those were made for full auto use, so the shorter length is just good insurance for proper feeding.

I wouldn't worry about the cannalure, I've almost never seen bullets that load to the cannalure unless they are loaded way short or the cases are way long.

Personally, for safety and feeding's-sake, I load ball ammo around 2.780 to 2.790 and and trim my brass to 2.005" and I've had no issues to date. Match ammo I will bring up to 2.795".

The 2 things you really want to make sure of when loading for a M1A is that your cases aren't too long and that your primers are seated slightly below flush with the case head. This will greatly reduce any possibility of a dreaded "slam-fire" (out of battery ignition).

GunTech
December 17, 2007, 02:29 PM
If you are really worried about slam fires, other than Mark's excellent advice, you can get CCI#34 primers. These are milspec and a bit harder than regular commercial primers.

You can load to the canneleur and crimp. I think my loads are about 2.750 when i do this. 2.800 is the maximum over all length. You can always load shorter. Just be careful if you have a compressed charge.

30Cal
December 17, 2007, 04:11 PM
I shoot a 125gr Speer TNT doing 2450fps out of my Supermatch. I use IMR4895. I've shot maybe 2k of them and haven't had a hickup yet. But that's my rifle.

uneasy_rider
December 18, 2007, 10:18 PM
OK, here is an update.

I loaded some more 308, this time with the same 150g FMJ BT, over 44 grains of Winchester 748. I get a velocity on average of right at 2600 fps, which I think is close to NATO spec, and ought to function well in my M1A.

I tested the ammo first in a FAL, and it worked great. No feed problems whatsoever.

I then tried my M1A. I can hand cycle rounds through the M1A with no problem. However, I had the same cycling problems I was having before. Sometimes, the spent cartridge is not ejected from the rifle at all. I don't think the bolt even opens when that happens, but its hard to tell. Sometimes, the spent case is ejected, but a new round is not fed into the chamber. I can't tell if the bolt is going back far enough to pick up a new round. I think it might be short stroking. About 20% of the time, it will eject a spent case, and pick up a fresh round like its supposed to.

This was the first time I have shot this rifle in over a year. I have never cleaned the gas system, but have field stripped the rifle and cleaned it when I put it up last year. It has about 500 rounds max through it, and has never had a cycling problem til now.

Also, when I lock the bolt to the rear and turn the rifle upside down and then back up, I can hear the piston moving, so I dont think its stuck.

What is my problem?

GunTech
December 18, 2007, 11:46 PM
Did you try shooting with only one round in the mag? Does the bolt lock to the rear?

NATO spec is 2750 for M59 150gn ball. M80 is 147gn ball at 2750.

I asked a few friends, and some SA have turned up with undersized ports drilled in the barrel.

If you are using commercial brass, I would load up to 45.5gns (commercial brass only - do not use in military brass) and see if that makes any difference. If not, it's time to call Springfield Armory.

When all else fails, I try the gold standard M1A load. 168 SMK over 41.5gn H4895. If you rifle won;t shoot this, and shoot it fairly well, you have a problem.

Here are some useful articles:

Reloading for the Match M14: http://www.zediker.com/downloads/14_loading.pdf

M14 maintenance
http://www.zediker.com/articles/m14_1.1.pdf
http://www.zediker.com/articles/m14_2.1.pdf
http://www.zediker.com/articles/m14_3.1.pdf

Good luck

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 12:14 AM
Did you try shooting with only one round in the mag? Does the bolt lock to the rear?

No, I didnt try that, but sometimes the spent case would not even be extracted from the chamber. I dont think the bolt even went back part of the time.

I am using once fired Lake City brass that has been resized using RCBS small base dies.

ReloaderFred
December 19, 2007, 12:24 AM
You've probably already checked this, but make sure your gas valve is locked in the open position. If it's turned slightly, it would be partially blocking the gas port. The indicator should be at a right angle to the bore.

If it is locked open, turn it several times. This will break lose any carbon that may have built up in there. You may want to disassemble the gas system and make sure there isn't any blockage of the gas port, or possibly rust.

Hope this helps.

Fred

ReloaderFred
December 19, 2007, 11:33 AM
Another thing to check is to make sure the bolt is lubed enough. This is pretty critical on the M-14/M1A rifles. I remember from Boot Camp that whenever there was a malfunction similar to what you describe on the firing line, the Drill Instructors got all over the shooters for not properly lubing their bolts.

Use Lubriplate, Tetra Lube or any other high quality grease on the roller, locking lugs and roller recess on the operating rod. Also on any bearing surfaces the bolt and operating rod touches. This just may cure your problem.

Hope this helps.

Fred

30Cal
December 19, 2007, 12:16 PM
You need to check to make sure the brass is, in fact, being sized enough. See my post in the rifle forum for how to do that.

I have to ask if the M1A has ever worked 100%, and what ammo you were using at that time. If it worked great before, get some more of that ammo and test the rifle so you can figure out whether the rifle or the ammo is your problem.

Also, have you trimmed your brass? If it's too long, it'll get crammed up into the throat and that will cause issues.

10X
December 19, 2007, 02:21 PM
This is not an ammo problem.
The ejection problem sounds more like the gas valve is not open or the port is partially plugged. At worst case it could be bad chamber. Pull out your manual or get one on line from Springfield and check the valve first. Then make sure the port is clear.

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 02:34 PM
Today at lunch I tested my rifle again using Georgia Arms, Winchester, and surplus British 308 ammo.

ALL three of those worked perfectly in my Springfield M1A. Then, I retested my reloads, and I had the same problems again. Some rounds did not eject, and if the rounds were ejected, the bolt did not travel back far enough to pick up a fresh round out of the magazine.

I tested one round at a time in the magazine also. With the commercial and surplus ammo, the bolt always locked back on the empty magazine. With my reloads, the bolt NEVER locked back on an empty magazine.

I think my problem is definitely my reloads. The only ammo my M1A can't cycle is my reloads.

My formula is this:
Hornady 150g FMJ BT
Winchester 748 43.5 grains
OAL 2.800" (is this too long? the book says it is what I should load to)
Winchester Large Rifle Primer
Once Fired Lake City Brass that has been resized with an RCBS small base die, and trimmed to length and chamfered.
I used a Lee Factory Crimp Die, with a half turn of crimp
Chronographed velocity is 2600 fps.
Inspection of fired brass shows no sign of too much pressure (eg, flattened primer)


Are my reloads too long? Could this be lowering chamber pressure so my rifle does not cycle correctly?

Am I not sizing correctly? If not, I don't see what I am doing wrong. I have never used a case gage and don't really even know what that is. What is a case gage and how does it work?

GunTech
December 19, 2007, 02:56 PM
If you use a case gauge, you just drop it in and if the case is flush with the gauge, your loads are GTG.

I'd be happy to duplicate your loads and send you some ammo to check if it something in the reloading procedure or you dies. I use Redding full length match dies, followed by a small base die and a lee factory crimp. I have an 8 pound jug of W748.

You are full length resizing, followed by small base resizer?

30Cal
December 19, 2007, 03:46 PM
You are full length resizing, followed by small base resizer?

You don't need to do that. The SB die does the same thing, but squeezes tighter at the case head than the regular FL die.

OAL isn't going to create cycling problems until you get past 2.85" when the cartridges just won't fit in the magazine. Really, the rifle should function fine over a pretty large range of powder charges/velocities. 100-200fps below nominal velocities shouldn't really be causing hick-ups. If you manage to get the bullet far enough out that it's stuffed into the lands, you'll see high pressures--to check, stuff a cartridge into the chamber with your thumb. If it falls out from gravity alone, then you're fine.

Your sized brass should fit in the chamber and the bolt should close without effort. If it doesn't, then either your not pushing the shoulder back far enough, or the case head is too fat (which should be fixed by your SB die) or they've grown too long (which should be fixed by trim&deburr). I'd be careful about just screwing the die in further though. If you go too far (which is a hair past "just right"), you'll start to see premature case head separations.

I prefer this gage above all others (I've got Wilson, & RCBS Precision Case Mics). It's the best for getting quick and repeatable measurements.
http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=REMTHT&item=HK-55&type=store

Zediker has two very thorough discussion on sizing and brass that are better than anything I can tell you. He hasn't shot the M14 in over 10 years now, so keep that in mind. Varget's OK, IMI brass doesn't exist, etc. He also takes things to extremes and sometimes makes them harder than they need to be.
http://www.zediker.com/downloads/m14.html

You might try coming up 1.0grs to get closer to the 2750FPS nominal. If you have problems at that velocity, then I think we could pretty confidently say the problem is caused by your brass.

It's possible that the gas port on your barrel is just a little undersized. SA Inc had a few of these a couple years back. USGI barrels should be immune from this. They've also had some rough chambers (typically in stainless barrels) which might show up as a raised ring on your fired brass--but I would think that would affect all ammo similarly, and not just your reloads. The extractor is another possibility, but again, I would think it'd be problematic across the board.

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 03:48 PM
You are full length resizing, followed by small base resizer?


No, I was just using the RCBS small base resizer only. I thought the small base resizer also full length resized. Is that not correct? Should I full length resize with my Lee sizing die first and then use the small base resizer??

30Cal
December 19, 2007, 04:12 PM
No, I was just using the RCBS small base resizer only. I thought the small base resizer also full length resized. Is that not correct? Should I full length resize with my Lee sizing die first and then use the small base resizer??

No.

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
Would having a long OAL result in lower pressures, which would in turn operate the gas piston less vigorously?

I get the feeling my problem is that the bolt is not being pushed all the way to the rear.

Do you think shortening my rounds to the length of military cartridges, and possibly adding more crimp might help?

30Cal
December 19, 2007, 06:25 PM
I doubt that will really change much--to take you from 20%->100% functioning, but you can try.

Mark whiz
December 19, 2007, 08:31 PM
A longer OAL (not seating the bullet as deep) will lessen combustion pressure - but like 30Cal says I doubt that will matter much in your case........especially since I often load to the 2.80" OAL spec with zero problems.

Personally I think you are WAY light on your powder charge. I just dug back thru a bunch of my load data and found this:

Testing with 150gr Rem. Core Lokt bullets, Lake City cases, and a charge of 46.0gr of Win 748 (OAL 2.820") my Chrony recorded the muzzle velocity at an average of 2658fps out of my M1A and this was during a Florida summer so you can figure that the temperature probably brought pressures up a tad.

I have to apologize for an earlier post - after checking my loading documentation, when converting a commercial case charge to a mil-spec case, you DON'T drop the powder charge 12% ....................... what you have to do is weigh the cases themselves, establish the difference between the cases, and take 12% of that difference and drop your charge by that amount. In other words, if your Lake City cases weigh 10gr more than a commercial case, you would find 12% of that difference (1.2gr) and drop your powder charge 1.2gr.

Hope this gets you in the ballpark.

P.S. - here's a little trick to try to see where your charge may need to go. Fire a few rounds of mil-spec ammo at a target and then fire a few rounds of your 43gr charges at the same target and see if your rounds are hitting higher or lower than the Mil-Spec ammo. If your load is charged lighter, it will hit higher on the target than the Mil-Spec stuff. This may seem to be backwards from what you might expect, but gas-operated rifles have a different vibration dynamic that causes it to be thus.

GunTech
December 19, 2007, 08:51 PM
Depends on the die. My small base resizer doesn't touch the neck or shoulder.

darkop
December 19, 2007, 08:53 PM
Uneasy Rider
I too was having exactly the same problem with my reloads as you are now. I got so frustrated that I went back through all of my data and found that I was not sizing correctly. After re setting my RCBS FULL LENGTH sizing die I now have no problems.

Improper sizing can and will act like low pressure rounds because they are sticking in the chamber upon extraction/ejection.

Go back to your instructions and make sure your Sizing die is set up correctly and I think you will find your problem.

Hope this helps

darkop

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 09:31 PM
Darkop, what mistake had you made setting up your sizing die initially?

Also, if I use the case gage, and it looks like I am not sizing correctly, what changes do I make with the sizing die to fix the problem?

Also, I am looking at case gages on Midway's website and L. E. Wilson and Lyman make case gages that look like a cylinder of metal with a hole bored in them for the cartridge to fit into. How does these work? I assume I insert the case in the hole, but then how do I tell if the sizing is correct, and if it is not correct, how do I know how to adjust my sizing die to fix the problem?

I am looking at this gage:
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=271313&t=11082005

darkop
December 19, 2007, 10:19 PM
Uneasy rider
I had not adjusted my die to "KISS" the shell holder. It was about 1/16th" off the shell holder. Thus the case was not sized completely and was "sticking" in the chamber. I went back and re adjusted the die and lubed the cases and now they run well.

I am by no means an expert on this subject. there are may here who are.

The case gage is a "go no go" gage, you place the sized case in it and the rim is flush. It it doesn't go all the way in, or sticks then it's out of spec.

Now I'm playing with OAL and trying to find the sweet spot for best accuracy. I found very little accuracy change up to 2.800" so am now going a bit longer to see what happens.

Here is what Im using. Pretty common loading

Federal cases
Win Large rifle primers
41.5g IMR 4895
168g Hornady BTHP match

Good luck,
darkop

GunTech
December 19, 2007, 11:52 PM
Darktop,

your load is the standard accuracy load used by about 75% of M1A match shooters on the short line. I've noticed that changing the seating depth of the 168 SMK does seem to make much difference. Not sure about the Hornady. These days I am using the 155gn Lapua Scenar almost exclusively for 308, and it is much pickier about seating depth.

Like you, I have my dies set to kiss the shell holder. The big problem with the 7.62 chamber is it is much longer than 308. Mine mikes out at 1.638, which will just take a 308 field gauge, but is in spec for 7.62 NATO. Brass gets a big workout, and you shouldn't plan on getting more than 3 or 4 loading from brass.

uneasy_rider
December 19, 2007, 11:57 PM
Another thing I have forgotten to mention:

With two of my reloaded cartridges, I got light primer strikes with the M1A. There was just a small dimple on the primer and it did not ingnite.

I rechambered them in the M1a, and they still did not fire, just a light primer strike.

I then fed them in my FAL, and they fired normally.

Could this also be related to a sizing problem? Thats what I am leaning towards.

Winger Ed.
December 20, 2007, 12:54 AM
I got a buddy with a FAL, and its really violent on the brass.
Its chamber may be a little tighter, but probably not by much- if any.
I use a Hornady small base .308 die set all the way down to size mine,
and have never had a case related problem.

Something to look at is how freely the firing pin moves in your M1A's bolt.
It may have some grease/dirt inside there slowing it down.
The firing pin should feel real loose in it's travel inside the bolt.
Also, the bolt itself is sort of a sloppy fit, make sure the recess where the 2 front lugs
go into battery are really clean.

The hammer spring is probably fine;
its strong enough to follow the bolt home and set off the next round for full auto fire in the M14 version if your trigger group is good and clean.
(the entire trigger group, hammer, spring & all is the same for both)
So for semi-auto fire, it gets a good 'running start' at the firing pin.
But, if there is grit or something in there, it may be limiting the hammer's inertia or travel.

I often end up getting alot of dirt/sand in mine,
and the best thing I've found to get all of it out with a air hose/blow gun.
Just blast it in the reciever, bolt, & (removed)trigger group, then oil it should do the trick.

.

darkop
December 20, 2007, 01:28 AM
Uneasy rider
Yes, I too was getting several light primer strikes. I even pulled my bolt and the firing pin was fine.

I am even more sure that you are not sizing fully. Re set the dies to full length size and I'll bet your problem is solved.

Good luck,
darkop

Mark whiz
December 20, 2007, 08:15 AM
After reading about the light primer strikes, I have to agree with darkop - I think with the way you have your die adjusted, you are setting your shoulders back too far - causing the shell to go too far up in the chamber and not allowing the extractor to catch the shell rim for ejection.

uneasy_rider
December 20, 2007, 08:37 AM
So does that mean I need to back my sizing die out of the press a little?

Mark whiz
December 20, 2007, 09:33 AM
Yes, that should pull your shoulders out from the head - but that won't work on cases that have already been sized to the smaller dimension.............they will have to be fired first to expand them out and then start fresh.

I mentioned earlier about how important the shoulder setting is on M1As in order to prevent slam-fires, so you have to be careful about this. I've found that the RCBS Precision Mic is an essential tool for loading on M1A. It will measure your shoulders down to .001" so you can be sure your cases are safe for use and so you can optimize your resizing efforts to your specific chamber. If you got your M1A new, it should have had a slip of paper in it's documentation that told you what your headspace actually was. With that info in hand and the Precision mic to verify your case headspacing (shoulder setting) you can be 100% sure of your loads.

BTW, I often find that after resizing 50 cases, the Mic will show that a least a few didn't set the shoulder back as far as I wanted............even though I never moved the die in the press and tried to duplicate the same amount of pressure on each case.

USSR
December 20, 2007, 10:43 AM
I had not adjusted my die to "KISS" the shell holder. It was about 1/16th" off the shell holder. Thus the case was not sized completely and was "sticking" in the chamber. I went back and re adjusted the die and lubed the cases and now they run well.

It never ceases to amaze me, how many guys set up there sizing die by some sort of relationship with the shell holder. This tells you nothing about the amount of induced headspace you are creating in your reloads. By not measuring the dimensions you are creating in your brass with a tool such as the RCBS Precision Mic, you are potentially creating reloads that will vary from those that will give you short case life, to those that are potentially dangerous. Please spend the extra $35 and learn how to setup your sizing dies properly.

Don

uneasy_rider
December 20, 2007, 10:53 AM
I suspect most people set up their sizing dies based on the shell holder because thats the way the instructions say to do it.

ReloaderFred
December 20, 2007, 11:15 AM
If you've ever actually measured the thickness of various shellholders of the same caliber, you would know what USSR is talking about. They all vary in the depth from the bottom of the cutout for the shell to the top of the shellholder. The RCBS Precision Mic will tell you what you need to know.

My Precision Mic also dispelled the myth that the M1A stretches brass when cycling, at least in my two rifles. I fired 20 cases through one of my M1A's with the gas port closed, using it as a bolt action rifle and manually extracting the brass. I compared those 20 cases to another 20 that were fired normally, and they averaged exactly the same for all 40 rounds. This was done with once fired LC brass that had been sized specifically for this rifle. You need to invest in a Precision Mic. I have them in several calibers and use them to set up my dies properly.

Hope this helps.

Fred

30Cal
December 20, 2007, 12:21 PM
After reading about the light primer strikes, I have to agree with darkop - I think with the way you have your die adjusted, you are setting your shoulders back too far - causing the shell to go too far up in the chamber and not allowing the extractor to catch the shell rim for ejection.

Nope, I disagree. If the extractor failed to engage, he'd see occasional FTE's but not short cycling. He's probably not pushing the shoulder back far enough. His light strikes are because the cases are too long, preventing the bolt from rolling into battery in some instances.

This would also account for cycling failures.

Case gage. Use it to set the die.

30Cal
December 20, 2007, 12:22 PM
You need to invest in a Precision Mic. I have them in several calibers and use them to set up my dies properly.

I like the Stoney Point gage--it's a lot faster and more repeatable.

30Cal
December 20, 2007, 12:23 PM
I suspect most people set up their sizing dies based on the shell holder because thats the way the instructions say to do it.

That's not really any better than just guessing.

uneasy_rider
December 20, 2007, 02:10 PM
That's not really any better than just guessing.

I'd say guessing is what I have been doing, but I have a case gage on order now!

darkop
December 20, 2007, 02:38 PM
It never ceases to amaze me, how many guys set up there sizing die by some sort of relationship with the shell holder. This tells you nothing about the amount of induced headspace you are creating in your reloads. By not measuring the dimensions you are creating in your brass with a tool such as the RCBS Precision Mic, you are potentially creating reloads that will vary from those that will give you short case life, to those that are potentially dangerous. Please spend the extra $35 and learn how to setup your sizing dies properly.

Don


Don,
I never said that I had not miked the case after resizing. I in fact I did compare the incorrectly and correctly sized cases and found differences.

This is why I posted my experience to Uneasy Rider, because I was having exactly the same problem with my load and gun as he.

NOT YOU, DON !!!

Therefore I will go back into lurk mode and refrain from arguing on the internet.

Until that day,
darkop

SlamFire1
December 20, 2007, 03:17 PM
My Precision Mic also dispelled the myth that the M1A stretches brass when cycling, at least in my two rifles. I fired 20 cases through one of my M1A's with the gas port closed, using it as a bolt action rifle and manually extracting the brass. I compared those 20 cases to another 20 that were fired normally, and they averaged exactly the same for all 40 rounds. This was done with once fired LC brass that had been sized specifically for this rifle. You need to invest in a Precision Mic. I have them in several calibers and use them to set up my dies properly.

Lots of people have case head seperations with M1 Garands and M1a's. I suspect it is due to oversizing the cases, but I do believe that unlock varies between rifles. All of these rifles were designed to unlock while there is some pressure left in the barrel. A rifle that opens late in the pressure curve is going to be easy on the brass compared to one that opens early.

I took brass in a M1a to 22 reloads. I used a case gage, small base die, and I rubbed on a lubricant (Johnson paste wax) on the outside of the cases. Not oversizing the brass and making sure that the case did not stick to the chamber walls, I never had a case head seperation. I sectioned cases that had body splits, never a hint of case head seperation.

ReloaderFred
December 20, 2007, 04:27 PM
I agree that most case head separations in these rifles are caused by setting the shoulder back too far. I'm down to five M1 Garands at this time, but all five of them have long headspace, measuring approximately +.008" on the Precision Mic. I set the shoulders back to measure +.006" and the brass lasts for a long, long time in these rifles.

The same for my two M1A's. I set the sizing die to set the shoulder back .002" from the chamber headspace, and I don't have case head separations for either one of them.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Walkalong
December 20, 2007, 05:13 PM
Ditto to what SlamFire 1 and Reloader Fred said. Size your brass to your chamber and all will be well. :)

Winger Ed.
December 21, 2007, 03:53 AM
30Cal,,,

While we got ya on the phone,,,,,,,

You being a engineer & all:
I gotta ask you---

We all have have heard that a optomist sees a glass with some water in it,
as being 'half full'.

And-
We've all heard, a pessimist sees the same glass as being 'half empty'.

I have several relatives who are (various types of)engineers,
and have asked them this same question---- but never got a answer.

So,,, I'll ask you:

Does a Engineer view that same container- partially full of water- and say,
"Hmmmm,,,, Well,,,, No,, ahh,,, I think,,,,, Uh-huh,,,,,--- The glass is too big"?


.

30Cal
December 21, 2007, 01:25 PM
Does a Engineer view that same container- partially full of water- and say,
"Hmmmm,,,, Well,,,, No,, ahh,,, I think,,,,, Uh-huh,,,,,--- The glass is too big"?

precisely! It's also possible that it doesn't have enough features.



On case gages...

The RCBS Precision Case Mic has a vernier scale so that you can read actual numbers off, but I've found that two different gages will give two different numbers for the same case. So for using it to measure chamber headspace isn't a good idea (plus, that's not really its job). But it's fine for measuring the difference between a fired and resized case, which is what we need. It has an additional sleeve which will allow you to measure bullet ogive distance.

The Wilson gage (the drop-in type) just tells you go or no-go. You can throw a caliper on it to take an actual measurement, but it's difficult to get the same measurement twice. The .308Win gage I have won't swallow a fired case--the neck section is too small. Still, you can set your die till the cases drop into the short shoulder (indicated they're at the min spec) and that should assure at least adequate sizing.

If you enjoyed reading about "Question for Springfield M1A Reloaders..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!