M1A Ammunition and Mags


Polar Express
February 14, 2009, 10:49 PM
Well folks, today I went to a gun show. My first in many years, and my first since becoming the proud new owner and 'member' of the M1A club.

I was on a mission to search for two things:

20-round mags for my M1A & Ammo to fill those mags and learn about my gun with

I was advised that I should focus on the GI mags, and I did. I found pro-mags for 25 each, and the GI mags were at best $35, and $40 each. This was much higher that what someone had posted on this forum a week ago (or so) and a surprise to me. I guess that goes to show you that Economics still work. For as much as they charged, folks (like me) still paid it. :what: OUCH!!! I got 8, for now.

Now, onto the ammo:

I found some brand that is reload, for 60 cents each, in boxes of 200, loose. I also found Australian in ammo cans, still in vacuum pack, but it's belted. That was 60 cents per round as well. I chose that route based on the vendors advice. At 60 cents per round, that hurt as well, and I was thinking I should be able to find it for 50-55 cents per round at a show. I didn't by too much, still hoping that I can find a better price to 'stock up on'.

Incidentally, 5.56 was going for 41 cents per round if you bought 1000, loose, and 42 cents if you bought 500. It is Federal brand, new.

I am wanting to get some ammo stocked up before prices really go stupid on us, and I am seriously considering entering the reloading world. It will likely cost me $500+ to get setup, with a Dillon progressive, .45, 5.56, and 7.63 dies, (the calibers I use most) and the other equipment, not including the consumable supplies. Does anyone have any suggestions? :banghead:

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February 15, 2009, 02:15 AM
The ideal setup would be a Dillon 650 delivered in 7.62 (308) with 5,56 caliber conversion kit. Buy .45 conversion kit (uses 7.62 shell plate). However I recommend a Lee single stage "O" press and Lee dies. You will be able to use the Lee dies in the Dillon press.

Learn on a single stage, just like shooting. Learn the basics with a .22RF then go to Centerfire.


February 15, 2009, 08:36 AM
www.44mag.com has OEM M!A mags for either $24.95 or $29.95. they are the best on the market, same manufacturer as what comes from the Springfield factory.

February 15, 2009, 09:26 AM
Buy only CMI mags for the M1A they are what the military has used for years as does SAI. Many people sell fake USGI mags for stupid prices. Order from 44mag.com even if they are on back ordered he fills backorders fast.

Mark whiz
February 15, 2009, 02:58 PM
If you found Aussie surplus ammo.................. BUY IT, Buy ALL of it!!!! Or let me buy it - that is the BEST surplus I've ever shot in my M1A...... as good as Fed Gold Medal Match at 100 yds!

For Mags - USGI is a MUST. The thing you have to look for in mags is the lug that is on the back side of the mag. If it is just a bulged bubble in the metal - it's junk...................if it is a welded-on chunk of metal, THAT is what you want as anything less will either not feed well or just plain fall out of the rifle while in use.

February 15, 2009, 03:03 PM
Does anybody make anti tilt M1A magazines? Or maybe this isn't a problem for the 7.62 X 51?

February 15, 2009, 06:53 PM
Anti tilt? Never heard of that. All I know is that if you use CMI 5, 10, 20 or 25 round mags you will not have any issues (from the magazine at least).

February 15, 2009, 08:10 PM
I have had terrible luck with anything aftermarket in M14 mags. They simply are not worth any amount of money. You can tinker with them and add GI followers and springs to make them work, but you'll never have 100% confidence in them.

I bought a package deal of 25 Taiwanese made M15 mags and find them to be equal in quality and function to GI mags. I bought back before the pre-obama run and they were very reasonably priced.

I bought them from Ammoman.com but I see that they are now sold out.

I also bought privi and Lithuanian 7.62 at pre-obama pricing, and glad I did.

I have been trying to buy reloading components for months now and everyone is sold out or they are stupid priced.

Good luck my friend, pricing is getting crazy and availablity even worse.

February 15, 2009, 08:36 PM
I don't understand what you are talking about, CMI M14 mags are current US military issue, the real deal. 44mag.com has the CMI M14 (USGI) 20 round mags in stock for $25 today (and since the election). Before the election he had them on sale for $20. I believe the 25 rounders are $35. You could mess with the imported mags from cdnn or ammoman but why when you can get the real deal for $25 now from a good shop.

As far as ammo I believe Samco has Port and Aimsurplus has radway green for about $.50 per round not great but not all that much more than before the election. I believe we have seen the peak of the bubble at least. But the days of cheap 7.62 Nato Surplus are over. Hopefully though the second hand market opens up.

February 15, 2009, 09:00 PM
CMI is THE USGI contractor. Also what Springfield sells you for twice the price that 44mag.com does. They are good mags, period!

Polar Express
February 15, 2009, 10:19 PM
thanks for the referral to www.44mag.com. I will be ordering some more soon!

February 15, 2009, 10:47 PM
FSJeeper, I also bought some of that Taiwanese crap 5 years ago... and trust me they are crap. They WILL feed reliably, and so I didn't notice any problems. But one time, my LC ammo primer didn't go off, and I extracted the ammo to inspect after 5 min, and the ammo was badly bent and I tried to feed and extract many time with similar results of ammo bending, which explained why I was getting 7 MOA at 100 yards. I switched to USGI mag, which does not bend the ammo, and I improved my MOA to 3.5 with LC ammo.

February 15, 2009, 11:44 PM
That you didn't buy the ProMags.

I could've saved you the trouble and shipped a few.

They aren't worth the powder to blow them to hell, and I learned that the hard way.

USGI M14 mags are what you want.

Polar Express
February 16, 2009, 05:14 PM
Sorry I was not clear:

I DID NOT buy the pro-mags,

I DID BUY the GI mags, at $35 each. Wish I had posted before I went to the show, I would have saved my $, and gone with 44mag.com.

With all of them out there over the many years, and the idea that mags are a consumable, I would think there is a market out there to mfgr. new mags, perhaps with new material/design, but one that is proper and tested. Oh well. At the price of Ammo, I won't be loading and unloading them nearly as often!

February 16, 2009, 05:56 PM
Buy real USGI mags when available and when the price is right.
WARNING: There are many fake USGI mags on the market. Educate yourself. (http://www.imageseek.com/m1a/)
Buy new CMI mags (20 & 25 round) when you can - these are the new production USGI mags.
Buy Chinese (Norinco & Poly Tech) mags when you can.


I prefer NATO surplus for general purpose use - Educate yourself (http://www.rifle-company.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=35&sid=696f4ce9b31538cd0cfefe5caab2d29a).
Prices went stupid some time ago... the 1K case of Port that I paid $135 for is now selling for about $600!

NEW ammo from Black Hills, Hornady and others is a good thing to have.

February 16, 2009, 06:27 PM
I use a Dillon 550B for my 7.62mm NATO handloads. :D

February 16, 2009, 06:30 PM

February 16, 2009, 07:58 PM
Retro, this is the first I have heard about poblems with the Taiwanese mags. I researched long and hard before I bought mine. They were made on mil spec machinery and made to US specifications. I have compared them to my USGI M14 mags and I am pleased with them.

I am facinated with the problems the Taiwanese mags that you had. 7 MOA to 3.5 MOA with just a USGI magazine change, wow. And those rounds that fed reliably but got bent in the process, I would say you certainly had some kind of issue going on.

I think you got some bad ones. Google them and you will pretty see the experts saying they are high quality.

February 17, 2009, 02:30 PM
If they work for you that is great. With all the fake USGI mags around most people feel that with 44mag.com selling new USGI mags for $20-$25 a piece why bother with anything else.

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