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308 Lake City surplus accuracy?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by DocHarman, Feb 25, 2006.

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  1. DocHarman

    DocHarman Member

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    I purchased 500 rounds of "308 NATO U.S. MILITARY LAKE CITY 7.62x51" for my new M1A Supermatch. I'm going to reload the spent brass.

    My question is this: How accurate should I expect this military surplus to be? @50yards??? @100yards??? @farther???

    I am going to reload with a Lee Collet die, and start with a generic formula such as, 168gr bullet (etc.) and work up a load in the normal fashion. How much improvement in accuracy should I get?

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. ATAShooter

    ATAShooter Member

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    If your surplus is 155gr or 143 gr, accuracy will be fair... Enough to hit enemy at 100 ok ( lots of fliers). Once you reload, and you go to say, a 168 hpbt Sierra matchking, ir 175gr Sierra hpbt Match king, you will find a MAJOR difference and the rifle can be fine tuned in. The surplus will get you sighted in close, but after you reload, WOW, watch that baby Go !!!
     
  3. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    The potential problem you may get with military shot 7.62X51 brass is it may have been shot thru machine guns and stretched out pretty good as a result. This will make it a little harder to size and shorten its reloading life.
     
  4. georgeduz

    georgeduz Member

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    you will find some brass from them that has not been shot at all.it works fine,those heavy target bullets do work well ,even more in match chambers.i shoot surplus ammo up 300 meters,it works just fine.i use open sights.
     
  5. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Expect no worse than 3 MOA. I've shot plenty that was consistently 2 MOA.

    USGI M80 Ball is, for me, an informal test of just how good a barrel is with bad bullets. Hope you got what you paid for with that Supermatch.
     
  6. ocabj

    ocabj Member

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    He will be reloading the brass from surplus (never fired) ammunition that he will be firing in his own rifle.
     
  7. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    Just remember that you will be needing to do a bit more "processing" on that brass...

    any mil-surp brass will have a primer crimp...at the very least use a deburing tool to put a chamfer on the primer opening...I have an RCBS primer pocket swager and use it...I have to use it on my 223 and 7.62 brass as well as some Sellier and Bellot brass...

    You will also need to make sure the brass is trimmed down to proper spec. Most mil-surp has a tendecy to grow in length quite a bit...but with a match chamber you might not have to worry too much about that...and with that collet sizer, once you get it trimmed to minimum length, then all should be good.

    Lastly...and MOST importantly...go have some fun brother. :)

    D
     
  8. Citadel99

    Citadel99 Member

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    Not true with 7.62--M118 and M852 do not have primer crimps! The other Lake City stuff does, though!

    Mark
     
  9. asknight

    asknight Member

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    Citadel99 is correct, at least in my case. My LC 173gr 7.62 was not primer crimped.
     
  10. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    Back when the M14 was the standard in competition, a lot of folks would pull the bullets off and replace it with a 150gr Sierra Matchking (aka "Mexican Match").
     
  11. Grump

    Grump Member

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    I first heard of "Mexican Match" with the .30-06 M72s and 173-gr bullets being replaced with Sierra 168 MKs.

    The practice had already been adopted with M118s in 7.62 about the time I heard of it. (I'm not THAT old...)

    Of course, that was before the 150gr SMK came out.
     
  12. Infidel

    Infidel Member

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    Did this "Mexican match" ammo (either version) demonstrably shoot more accurately than the undisturbed GI ammo?
     
  13. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Yes, Mexican Match shot noticeably better than either M72 or M118 in just about any decent barrel. Otherwise, the practice would have died out before M852 came along and pretty much duplicated the end result.

    There were some debates over whether the greater accuracy was derived from just plucking and planting with no other case treatment, or from pulling, neck-sizing, and THEN seating the new bullets. IIRC, there was little debate that sizing them would up the velocity about 30-50 fps.

    Another universally-accepted part of it was FIRST, seat the original bullets 1/16 or so deeper to break the asphalt sealant before pulling the bullets.

    The accuracy difference was generally going from 1.5 MOA ammo (you have only a 1/2-MOA circle for your wobble area and wind call errors before you leave the 10-ring at 300 and 600 yards), to ammo that would shoot .75 to 1 MOA. Some people claimed they could get no better than 2 MOA out of the M72s and M118s, but I *believe* they either couldn't shoot, or had so-so barrels that wouldn't do better than 1.5 MOA with the bestest ammo money could buy...
     
  14. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I've tried and tried to get the 173grFMJ to shoot well out of my Supermatch, but it just won't print under 2MoA. I can put a 168grSMK on top of just about any load and be guarateed at least 1.5MoA and usually 1MoA (it shoots like that with just about any commercial match bullet).

    Then again, I've got an old M1903 that likes those same 173grFMJ bullets just fine.
     
  15. USSR

    USSR Member

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    30Cal,

    You're not alone in not being able to get those M72/M118 bullets to shoot. In my Tactical rifle which will shoot into 3/8" at 100 yards with commercial bullets, I could not get them inside of 1". If they're given to you, take them, but don't spend any $$$ on the d@mn things.

    Don
     
  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    That's odd...

    I bought some 173 (actually 174 on my scale) surplus pulled bullets. I load them in .308 Win from a 700 Remington (con bells y whistles).

    They shoot every bit as good as Sierra 168 gr BTHP... just less than .5 inches.

    If this is luck, it would be a first for me.
     
  17. chestnut ridge

    chestnut ridge Member

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    We called the practice of replacing the 173 gr bullet with a 168 gr
    Sierra MK- "push-pull" It seems that setting a seating die to push
    the 173 gr bullet back about 1/16 inch will break any adhesion loose
    and then the collet puller will work much better. No other procedure
    was necessary other than seating the 168 MK.
     
  18. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    308 Lake City ammo

    Doc: I have a Springfield M1A Nation Match rifle and I managed to scrounge some Lake City National Match Ammo loaded with the Sierra 168 gr match bullet. It will shoot into 11/2" 5 shot groups at 200 yds when I do my part. Have not attempted to reload any yet.
     
  19. Grump

    Grump Member

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    NRA testing in the 1980s showed that pulled M72/M118 bullets could be reliably loaded to shoot less than 1 MOA out of just about any bolt gun with a high-quality barrel. Accuracy was more spotty in an M1A...
     
  20. P-32

    P-32 Member

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    I believe it was the 168 SMK which was used back in the glory days to make the Mexican match. At least thats what we used. Shot pretty good too if you didn't have any M-852 on hand. Our coach would even dump the power and re-weigh it.
     
  21. skip johnson

    skip johnson Member

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    Where can I purchase 7.62 Lake City Ammo (1960-1969)

    askipjohnson@hotmail.com
    I am looking for old 7.62 Lake City Ammo that was made in the 60's . I need about 100 rounds .
     
  22. callgood

    callgood Member

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