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Collet dies & the M1A

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DocHarman, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. DocHarman

    DocHarman Active Member

    Does anyone have experience using Lee Collet Dies for the M1A (.308)?

    The instructions in the die set states collet dies might work for autoloaders, but full-length resizing dies may be needed.

    I’m a very careful reloader. If special attention is given to the OAL / other case dimensions, and they are kept within normal limits, will collet dies be okay for my M1A?

    I have had awesome results with collet dies in my 8mm mauser- but it is a bolt action, or course. I just want the accuracy the Collet dies offer for my M1A.

    I truly appreciate your help!!!

    I have a SuperMatch M1A.
  2. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Well-Known Member

    Well, I'd imagine most folks would say to full length resize for the M1A. But.....why don't you just try a handful with the necks resized and see if they feed?

    If the headspace is good and the proper port pressures are being applied, the shoulder should really not move.

    I would load and fire 10 cases maybe 5 times and see if they continue to function properly. If they do, you are good to go! But, if any case fails to allow the bolt to close normally, well, that is what we are trying to find out! Good luck and let everyone know how it works out.
  3. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

    If you want reliable feeding, f.l. size.
  4. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

  5. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    You need to get Zediker's HANDLOADING FOR COMPETITION. In there is information on setting up your dies for minimize working your brass too much for an auto loader, whether it be a M1A/Garand/AR. You need some tools to do it right. But, till you get the 411 on setting up the dies you are best advised to Full Length your brass. Doing anything else is tempting fate! Semi Autos lack the camming action of a bolt gun!
  6. Matt-man

    Matt-man Well-Known Member

    This according to Zediker : With the M14/M1A you need to bump the shoulder back some as a safety measure. A round that doesn't go fully into the chamber, or doesn't go easily into the chamber, can cause the rifle to fire with the bolt not fully closed & locked. The results are usually catastrophic.

    For reference, Black Hills Match factory ammo measures 1.620" on my headspace gauge. After firing in my M1A they come out at 1.625"-1.627". I resize back to 1.622" with a Hornady full-length die.

    The other thing you want to make sure of with these rifles is that the primer is seated well below flush (by a few thousandths at least) in the pocket. A primer that sticks out can cause the rifle to go off as the bolt is closing with the bolt unlocked.
  7. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    Collet Dies & M1A

    I load for a NM M1A and I use a full length sizing die in a set of Redding Comp dies. I full length resize all my cases and put a slight crimp on all loads with my seater die. These loads do very well in competition.
  8. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Well-Known Member

    I've just started load development for my M1A.

    I check case OAL on all new brass. I ream primer pockets to uniform depth on all new brass. I full length size each time with an inexpensive Lee die, I seat with an RCBS bullet seating die and then crimp lightly with a Lee factory crimp die.

    Only reason I have the Lee dies is because the RCBS standard 308 die set does not full length size, only neck size.

    I don't wanna ruin a $1500 rifle (and my health) due to carelessness. YMMV.
  9. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

    From RCBS's website: Their "standard" .308 set does, in fact, f.l. size. Part #15501.
  10. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    I know of someone from online that uses a neck bushing die for the M1A. Most guys just use the standard FL sizing dies (or SB as necessary). I would consider using a bushing die if someone made one in a SB flavor, but I wouldn't expect it to make much if any difference on paper.

    I don't know of any hard-holding competitive shooters that crimp. If your bullets move at all, ever, you need to send your sizing die back to the manufacturer to get it fixed. There should be more than enough neck tension to secure the bullet.
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    I like the RCBS X-Die for my M1 -- this die keeps cases from "growing" after full-length resizing and increases case life significantly.

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