General Purpose Ammo


January 18, 2004, 09:55 AM
I am sold on the Scout rifle from SPringfield- seems to be a good all around rifle- short enough to shoot a tac rifle match- because I can! and long enough to hunt with should I choose to. I am not really a competetor as the gun club I belong to only has 100m rifle range and does not pursue comps even though we are planning a CMP 22 match.

For my uses, and throwing in the fact that I am now getting into reloading- set up the press this past week and have 200 rounds of 45 down the barrel already- ran out of powder or it would be more, should I get the 308 kit or should I buy milsurp?

Economics, availability, cleaness, tayloring to rapid firing all play into the decision.

Please limit you discussion to the ammo and not the platform as I am sold on the M1A- it feels better and I already have a totally cool AR.

If you enjoyed reading about "General Purpose Ammo" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 18, 2004, 09:58 AM
IMHO, the price of good-quality milsurp ammunition has dropped low enough that it's tough to reload similar-quality ammunition for the same price. I can pay 10c-15c a round (or thereabouts) for Australian, Portuguese or Austrian milsurp if I shop around. Given the utility value of my time in addition to the cost of reloading components, I would rather buy a few thousand rounds of this stuff than spend 5-6 hours or more loading it up.

January 18, 2004, 05:27 PM
I'd recommend getting the dies & rolling your own.

I have a Garand & am in a similar situation as you: Mil-surp ammo is cheap as hell right now (compared to the cost of reloading) but it only comes in FMJ. & additionally for the Garand I can't use just any old ammo. It has to have a certain burn rate of powder with certain weight projectiles.

So I reload. I'm not saving any cash over Mil-Surp ammo but I can assemble match grade rounds for about 1/3 of the factory match garde ammo price. (which is the only factory ammo I could use to begin with)

Hornady has an SST bullet in .308 at 165 grains. I haven't put it through the ringer like I'd like to yet, but the preliminary results are encouraging. So with this bullet I could shoot close range matches (under 400 yards) with almost the same accuracy as the 168 grain BTHP. Plus the SST is an expanding bullet that should be adequate for deer & elk. Again, I haven't gotten a chance to test that out yet but it looks promising so far.

So get your dies (full length sizing die or possibly a small base sizing die) pick a powder (check the recommended burn rates as if the M1A is like the Garand there'll be some you shouldn't use), get CCI No. 34 primers (they're mil-spec hard & magnum equivilent), tools for uniforming the primer pocket & a cartridge headspace gauge. & make sure your chamber is reamed to .308 winchester dimensions - not 7.62x51mm dimensions.

Reloading for gas operated semi's is more involved than reloading for bolt actions or even pistols, but if you want as much versatility as possible with your M1A then it's the way to go.

Course if you see a good deal on mil-surp by all means snatch it up. Nothing like cheap plinking ammo or cheap short range match ammo (under 200 yards). No one says you can't reload & still grab some cheap mil-surp.

But for a general purpose round reloading is the way to go.

Steve Smith
January 18, 2004, 05:35 PM
I have never seen a general purpose in my life.

stiletto raggio
January 18, 2004, 06:43 PM
You could do like I do: shoot cheap surplus through it and roll your own for "important stuff" like cometition and bad guy shooting.

Art Eatman
January 18, 2004, 06:52 PM
I'll go along with the stiletto. El cheapo stuff for general entertainment and practice of eye-finger coordination. Load your own for the tailored-to-you-rifle ammo which gives the best groups. Besides, loading your own ammo keeps you out of the beer joints at night, so you come out ahead on the money. :D


January 18, 2004, 09:00 PM
Thanks. makes sense and thanks also for not condeming my choice of MBR's. Itseems that if I chose to go with the 5.56, the x39 boys and their Chinese rifles come to complain. If I went with the SKS, the AK blowhards attack. If I went AK, then the AR guys... I am suprised the Garand men didn't attack. I guess that's why I always find myself back home near the ghost of TFL past, nice people with good advice.

Post #4.

January 18, 2004, 11:17 PM
I have a compromise that I use for my .308 milsurp "carry around" rifle. I reload to M80 specs with a 150 gr. Remington Soft Point bullet. It is not the cheapest way to shoot, but it is not much, and it always shoots consistently. Switching ammo can cause a shift in impact point. I have a good friend who shoots cheap milsurp and then switches to hunting ammo for that purpose and has no problem. I guess you go with which flavor you like the best, switching ammo types or going for a general purpose ammo.

If you enjoyed reading about "General Purpose Ammo" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!