September 29, 2009, 07:44 PM
Well, from the reading of the posts I have done I seem to have gotten lucky with my stock SAI (except for added cheek riser) M1A. I have had it for years but haven't put even 500 rds through it yet due to the duties of married and raising children.
Finally I got some time recently to play with accuracy. Box match ammo gives about 1 and 1/4 5 shot groups at 100 yards from a seated position with sand bags or prone.
I am new to reloading, and loaded 165 grn sierra game king bullets (all weighed to the same grn) with AA2520. to OAL 2.800 in weight matched cases. Between 43.5 and 44 grns powder the groups shrunk to 1". I have 5 rds each of weights from 43.5 to 44 grns loaded in the same conditions in .2 grain increments to find the best charge. I have also started to work up a load with 2520 and Sierra Match Kings. After that I will begin playing with Case OAL to see if I can find a sweet spot. It may be some time before I attempt any neck turning or playing with concentricity.
Hope I wasn't too wordy. Any helpful hints for anything I am overlooking? I do recognize two important things: 1.The M1A isn't the most accurate gun and never will be. 2. Ditto for the shooter...I am just a husband on a tight budget fooling around and enjoying my RKBA while we still have it.
September 29, 2009, 09:51 PM
why try to reinvent the wheel? there have been standard match loads out there for that rifle that work great. actually the M1A can be made to be a top notch match rifle. the big deal now is cost compared to a ar15 platform. a m14 platform just cost tons more to make a match rifle as well as the ammuntion cost is more.
But the fun and cool factor is way up there!!!!!!!!!!!!!
depending on the twist rate of your rifle the standard powder of 4895 works well for all loads. now alot of folks are starting to use the palma 155's with great success.
for short range I think you could get away with most anything and a lighter bullet might be better.
You shooting a m14 platform rifle will really help your shooting. I can see the frustration on shooters that use them in matches when they have learned to shoot with the ar's first.
a good m1a shooter can go to a ar15 alot easier than the other way around.
I went to a 30 cal across the course state championship a few years ago after not shooting a m1a in like 12 years. still shot a solid master score with it and my check weld sucked after so long.
September 29, 2009, 10:08 PM
Thanks for the tip on the 4895. The barrel on my M1A loaded is a stainless NM. I believe it is a 1:12 twist. I have always loved the M1A. I just like how it feels but can't really say why. I had a synthetic stock 30-06 that shot sub MOA out of box that I just hated. Recoil was brutal. Traded it in years ago as part of the M1A purchase and have never missed it. I can practice all day with the M1A and recoil is nothing by comparison. Nothing against the AR platform either...it is probably a much faster gun to target even in .308.
I plan to start shooting at 200yds here in dallas/ft worth soon. I am curious to see what my groups would look like and if I get a chance to shoot at longer ranges would love to. Nothing builds confidence like actually doing it.
September 30, 2009, 12:07 AM
reloading for the Match M14 - a freebee and a must read.
I used to shoot the standard 168gn SMK over 41.5 gn of 4895. Lately I've been shooting 155gn Lapua Scenars with VV N135 with good results.
M1A twist is 1:11
Get a good trigger, unitize the gas system You already have a medium weight match barrel and NM sights on the loaded. Bedding maybe?
September 30, 2009, 01:40 PM
So you want more accuracy from your M1A? Get out your checkbook...
Probably the most important thing you can do is to have the rifle bedded. A NM trigger job is nice, as is a unitized gas system.
However, if your rifle will hold 1 MOA with reloads, you won't be able to squeeze much more out of it. To give you a comparison, I've got a supermatch M1A that was built by a retired USMC 2112 armorer and he went full-tilt (at my request): Barnett heavy barrel, McMillan stock, double lugs, etc, etc. It's a fantastic rifle, but it shoots around 3/4MOA off the bench.
If you're going to have work done on your rifle, I'd recommend contacting a 'smith that knows and understands the M1A/M14 rifle. Here's a list of recommended people:
September 30, 2009, 01:45 PM
Smith Enterprise, Inc. has built a few extremely accurate, ultra reliable M14s for me and they can help you.
My Crazy Horse MK14 SEI is a sub MOA rifle. Visit http://www.m14hdw.us/ for additional information.