Recommended Powders For The M1A Rifle


August 14, 2010, 10:12 AM
I would like to get some feedback forom those who shoot an M1A semi auto like I do. I have always used H4895 or IMR4895 with either 150 gr or 168 gr match bullets and have been perfectly happy with these similar powders. However I'm always open to suggestions on a "better way." What other powders do you guys use in your M1A and M1 Garands. Never to old to learn! :)

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August 14, 2010, 10:17 AM
I use IMR 4895 for my M1A's and Garands. That's the powder that was pretty much invented for the Garand.

Hope this helps.


August 14, 2010, 10:35 AM
It is hard to find “better” than IMR 4895, H4895 or AA2495 (which is Accurate Arms copy of IMR 4895) given that the 308 cartridge was designed with IMR 4895 as the propellant. Then M14 was designed around the cartridge.

There have been other powders, if you want to try a ball powder try AA2520. That was very popular in the 80’s when it first came out.

I have buds who use IMR 4064, which is a stick powder. IMR 4064 is a longer stick powder than IMR 4895/H4895/AA2495, so it does not throw as well. That does not mean anything if you weigh your powders. IMR 4064 is as slow as you should go in a M1 or M1a.

I have tried IMR 3031, works great, N140, that also works great.

If you want to find the “best”, you will just have to experiement with different powders in your rifle. Just don’t hot rod it, as you can see from the inset, military cartridges were not magnum loading. Just keep your 150’s 2700 fps or less, 168’s between 2550 and 2600 fps, and your 175’s at 2550 fps.

August 14, 2010, 02:32 PM
What about Varget? I hear that is the best. I just finally found some and loaded up some rounds but I have yet to fire them off.

August 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
Varget is an outstanding 308 bolt gun powder. I tested the stuff and got case head separations in the test M1a. This M1a is a bit of an early unlocker, and I later added a vented gas cylinder locking screw, but still, I did not have case head separations with IMR 4895. This tells me that my lot Varget is a slow burning lot and I have therefore considered all Varget marginal in my M1a's.

Others have great success with Varget. I have had great success with IMR 4895 and don't see a need to change.

This is my highest X count clean (100-8X) with an M1a sitting rapid fire at 200 yards. This is with IMR 4895. (Actually surplus 4895) I really don't see how a powder change is going to improve things for me.

August 15, 2010, 11:26 AM
If you look at a "powder burn rate chart" the powders between IMR3031 and IMR4064 are recomended for m14/m1a type rifles. There is a lot of information about m1a type rifles at M14 Firing Line Public Fourm,


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