M1A ammo


November 5, 2009, 06:52 PM
I had heard that shooting heavier rounds in an M1A would bend the op rod and ruin your rifle. I just bought my baby and don't want anything to damage it. So, I sent an email to SAI about ammo for my M1A. I got this email back:

Hello Danny,

Springfield Armory Recommended ammo for our rifles that are chambered for .308 –

Any commercially produced, new .308 ammunition that meets the following requirements:

▪Is a 110 grain to 180 grain bullet. 168 grain is recommended for Hunting.

▪Full metal jacket(FMJ), hollow point(HP or BTHP), or ballistic tip type bullet.

▪Do not use soft point(SP) bullets. –the shaved lead gets down in the action and jams it up.

▪Do not use "light magnum" type ammo.

▪We do not recommend the use of any steel case ammo.

▪We do not recommend the use of any cast bullets.

You can also use surplus 7.62x51 ammo that meets the following requirements:

▪Is clean and from sealed containers.

▪Is NATO spec. It will have a NATO spec mark on the case head and/or on the packaging that looks like a plus sign inside of a circle.

▪Avoid using surplus ammo that is "loose" or "bulk".

▪We do not recommend the use of any steel case ammo.

To get the most in accuracy we recommend:

Federal Match or Black Hills match 168 or 175 grain

Hornaday Match / custom 168 grain or Hornady TAP 110 or 168 grain

Lake city NATO HP is a good MA ammo.

Please visit web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.308_Winchester

for further comparison.

Thank you and have a great day!

Penne, Ext 8972


Springfield Armory

Customer Service

Apparently, SA does not discourage the use of heavy (180 grain) bullets, they only discourage the use of SP rounds. Anybody have a differing opinion based on something more credible than the actual manufacturer?

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November 5, 2009, 07:02 PM
180 gr isn't a "heavy round",..but is rather abouth the heaviest you can find without reloading your own .308/7.62x51. Above 180 it's not going to be stabilized enough for accuracy. I've seen guys run 200 gr bullets pretty hot in .308's/7.62x51's to no great gain,....never heard that about Soft Points though. Ran a whole bunch of them in days gone by through civilian M1A's, issued M-14's AND M-21's...never had or heard of any issues with "shaved lead" jamming anything up. Keep it clean,...and remember clean the mags often as well. The M1A is a fine rifle,..one of the best in my opinion,...work it hard,..but treat it well,.and it will out last you. Good luck with it.

General Geoff
November 5, 2009, 07:11 PM
I've fired plenty of SP and steel cased ammo through my M1A, and it's never missed a beat. They're just erring on the side of caution by advising against using those types of ammunition.

November 5, 2009, 09:43 PM
if you really find a NEED to shoot a heavier bullet, or even if you plan on a steady diet of 175-180 grain bullets and are worried about wear-and-tear on or bending your op rod, you may want to consider buying an adjustable gas plug. this will allow you to adjust the amount of gas that is used to cycle the action, similar to the way a FAL operates.

iirc these are available at MidwayUSA

November 6, 2009, 11:43 AM
The M14 was designed for a projectile of about 150 gns, but you can safely shoot 175 gn SMKs. Some recommend using a NM (grooved) piston for heavy bullets. With the high BC 155gn Lapua scenar, there's not much reason to shoot the 175gn SMK any more, IMO.

The standard accuracy load for the M1A used to be the 168gn SMK over 41.5gn 4895. Powder selection is important as bullet weights. You need to stick to powders like IMR 4895 or 4064. Slower powders raise the port pressure, and accelerate the op rod too fast.

Other powders that work well: N135 and N140, H4895, AA2520, AA2495

Johnny R
February 7, 2010, 11:35 PM
I have had great results with the following
Lapua .308 case trimmed to 2.005, (flashhole deburred/primmer pocket uniformed)
Berger 30 cal 175.3 Grain Match Target BT Long Range ( I weight each projectile and sort accordingly)
IMR 4064-41.0g ( the RCBS chargemaster combo make weighting each charge effortless)
CCI LG Rifle primmers
Then all "runout" is fixed to at least .001" with the hornandy lock and load concentricty tool. The C.O.A.L is 2.800. I measure/weigh each round and reject/redue the ones that arent within specs. I am shooting them out of a scoped M1A w/ a lupold 3x9x40 Rifleman. My best group 3 round so far at 100 yards is 0.6765" , I am looking to tighten this group and looking for ideas. Any one got any?

Johnny R
February 8, 2010, 01:05 AM
This is the group I was talking about the the above mentoned load

February 8, 2010, 05:30 AM
150-175 gr perfect. IMR 4064-H4895 NO problems

March 8, 2010, 10:19 AM
How about the extra-light loads? Would that cause any kind of a problem with an M1A ?
I have been looking at some lighter, faster loads such as this :

.308 Winchester Self-Defense Centerfire Rifle Cartridge, 125-Grain Jacketed Hollow Point Bullet, 3150 fps.

Seems like it would have no recoil and just as fast as a 5.56.

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