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147 gr., .308 M80 Ball - magnetic...Lake City production?!?!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 196scoutmaster, Nov 4, 2009.

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  1. 196scoutmaster

    196scoutmaster Member

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    I may have gotten a pricey lesson this past weekend. Went to a local gun show, found a guy selling 500 count of 147 gr., .308 M80 ball. He said it was "new Lake City production" - but there was nothing saying "Lake City" on the package. Just "147 gr., .308 Cal. M80 Ball". I had a couple M2 balll bullets with me and visually they looked pretty close. He was asking $100. I walked away, came back in a couple of hours and we made a deal at $90. I'm thinking - "Great...500 bullets for my M1" :D I tell a buddy on Monday about my "find" and he says.."are they magnetic?" I said "oh crap". :uhoh: Got home and sure enough - they are magnetic. I've pulled 20-30 of them and checked sizes and weights. All are 147 - 150 grains, within length and diameter tolerance and plated. On a few the plating has worn so it looks like they've been sitting around awhile - and the plastic is of an older type - somewhat aged.

    so...a couple of questions:
    1. What did I buy? Can this be Lake City ammo?
    2. Knowing some ranges don't allow magnetic ammo - can I still load this for my M1? Is it safe? I sure don't want to wreck that wonderful toy in any way. Or have these now become necklace material to be sold at a flea market?

    I'm open to feedback - even if its "what a dumb butt". I'll have a better dose of "caveat emptor" the next time - and bring a magnet.
     
  2. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Don't know about .308, but Lake City .30-06 is very common for those of us who buy through the CMP. Some is delinked belted ammo, all have mild steel jackets on the bullets which attract a magnet. Some ranges do not allow it for fear of sparks if rocks are struck, but it works okay.
     
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Could be a steel jacket, could be armor piercing with steel core penetrator.
     
  4. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    It's most likely common steel jacketed GI ammo. ??

    The arsenal that produced it should be indicated on the head stamp, "LC" if it's Lake City stuff. And the date of production. but it really doesn't much matter for normal ball ammo.
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

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    If the headstamp says "LC", along with a two digit year, then it's Lake City. They've used mild steel jackets for a number of years. No problem.

    Don
     
  6. Steve Marshall

    Steve Marshall Member

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    If you bought loaded ammunition for 18 cents apiece I'd say you got a great deal. If you bought bullets for 18 cents apiece it's still not horrible. You said M80 so that means
    7.62x51 and yes they probably are steel jacketed, but that was normal. There are ranges that won't let you shoot them so just hang on to them until circumstances change. I have components that were purchased 20 years ago. I've moved 5 times since.
     
  7. Ed Harris

    Ed Harris Member

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    Gilding-metal-clad-steel or "GMCS" is the standard specification jacket material for M80 Ball, because its principal use is in linked ball-tracer pack for machineguns. Back in the days when the M14 rifle was standard issue ammunition lots destined to be packed in clips and bandoliers had plain gilding metal jackets. Ammo in cartons may be of either type. Non-US ammo may be of either type. USE A MAGNET TO CHECK. It is not unheard of to get both types of jackets in the same can of ammo because for MG pack there is no requirement to restrict parts to dedicated lot of bullets off the same machine line, so when the loading machines get hungry they just grab the closest bullet bucket.
     
  8. 196scoutmaster

    196scoutmaster Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback. Looking at my original post I wasn't clear about what I have. What I have are bullets, not loaded cartridges. I'll hang on to them - probably use them for hunting vs. target shooting. And I'll work on being a smarter buyer.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Whatever they are, and I agree they are very likely just LC FMJ steel jacket, they are worthless for hunting bullets.

    Don't even consider using them on a game animal!!

    FMJ is for the range.
    Soft point expanding bullets are for hunting.

    rc
     
  10. 196scoutmaster

    196scoutmaster Member

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    Thanks rcmodel. point taken on the hunting v target.
     
  11. juk

    juk Member

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    you could cut one and look at the cross section. That way, you would be absolutely sure.
     
  12. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Huh? Sure of what? Appearance will tell you nothing. Everybody has said that copper plated MILD steel jackets have been used in military ball ammo for many years. It's perfectly safe and DOESN'T harm barrels.
     
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