handloading for the M1A


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Cmeboston
October 28, 2011, 08:53 PM
I just picked up a brand new Springfield M1a scout rifle and plan on hand loading. I have read some articles about reloading for this gun and understand most of the issues people have but I can't get my head around adjusting the sizer to correct headspace. I have a single stage rcbs and an rcbs fl die set my dad used to reload for his M1A. Do I need to concern myself with a new rifle? In the paperwork there is a tag stating the headspace is 1.631 and within GI spec. And to only use GI milspec ammo or quality commercial ammo that meets milspec. How do I know what meets milspec or not? I ordered a case of PPU 150 gr ammo that was spoken very highly of at the M1A forum but I won't see it for a few days, what commercial ammo is good to go? I would love to sight her in this Sunday. Thanks in advance,
John C.


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rcmodel
October 28, 2011, 09:01 PM
The 1.631" number is an imaginary place in the middle of the shoulder of the case used to measure headspace with a headspace gage.

You can't really use it for much of anything without a set of mil-spec headspace gages, etc.

What you need to do is take the action out and take the recoil spring out.

Then use the rifle action itself when setting the sizing die.

You want free bolt locking without any drag, but no more.

And an L.E. Wilson case guage would be a real good investment to check every finished round.
http://www.lewilson.com/casegage.html
http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/880646/le-wilson-case-length-headspace-gage-308-winchester

rc

Cmeboston
October 28, 2011, 09:10 PM
I get confused about setting the die, when I reload 30-30 or 30-06 for my lever and bolt guns I just follow the instructions with the die set( I use lee dies on those rifles) and set the bottom of the die to the shell holder and snug up 1/8 turn, how do I adjust the die to set headspace?


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rcmodel
October 28, 2011, 09:15 PM
Do what you are doing.
But try backing off the die that 1/8 turn so it just touches the shell holder and do what I said in my other post.

If the bolt won't lock freely with the die backed off slightly, screw it in until it does.

That is all the "headspace adjustment" there is when setting a FL sizing die.

The Wilson case gage will tell you exactly if your sized brass meets SAAMI spec headspace or not.

rc

Cmeboston
October 28, 2011, 09:19 PM
Thanks a lot, I've been reading about this issue for a few days and have yet to find a straightforward awnser like that, I really appreciate it and willtake your advicewhen I have some fired brass. Now on to commercial ammo, any reccomendations? Remington corelokt ok?


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rcmodel
October 28, 2011, 09:24 PM
You ain't gonna hurt it with Wallyworld Rem-UMC, Federal, or Winchester white-box FMJ stuff.

rc

Cmeboston
October 28, 2011, 10:04 PM
You ain't gonna hurt it with Wallyworld Rem-UMC, Federal, or Winchester white-box FMJ stuff.

rc

Wish I could find that, all I could find locally was core lokt, I'll check some shops tomorrow. Like I said I have a bunch of PPU80 on the way...


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