Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

cool article: RELOADING for the MATCH M14

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Sven, May 19, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Sven, really want to make your brain hurt? Get that book "Handloading for Competition: Making the Target Bigger" on Glen's webste.

    I love that book.
     
  3. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    Oy! So far as I know, there are only two really detailed articles available on the 'net about reloading specifically for the M1A (and to a lesser degree, the M1) and the problems they can pose. Between Zediker and this one, I think damn near everything is covered: headspace, OAL, powders, primers, SAAMI specs, cautionary advisories, etc.

    Steve's right--Zediker's book will give you headaches. You'll need a buncha bookmarks and a highlighter if you want to be serious about reading it. I found that there's a lot of knowledge in his book, but between reading the two websites above, I had enough covered for my M1A reloading that I didn't make any changes in my reloading regimen or layout after reading his book. Most of the book "Handloading for Competition" seemed too detailed for my needs; without a lot of experience, I speak clearly off the cuff---it seemed more geared towards BR shooters.

    Check out

    http://www.snipershide.com/thinkblack/blackhandloads.html

    for the only other detailed M1A reloading page I know of.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Actually,

    Handloading for Competition is specifically written for Highpower shooters. Glen even states early in the book that going to the Benchrester level of detail isn't required for the HP game. Some of the stuff is a little overboard for HP IMHO, but Glen is a better shooter than I am, so maybe he can get the extra benefit from it.

    Steve
     
  5. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    Hmm. I think my reaction is 'oh, yeah, that's right.' I shoot 'long range' once in a while-- out to 1000 yards (but just rarely). I dunno how to classify my type of shooting since I've never seen a Highpower match. But the ammo seems accurate for my desires, somewhere between .4-.7 MOA. Someone, and I think it was you, Steve, said that an MOA rifle was enough to take a state championship if the shooter was good; that advice has guided my reloading standards. I know the rifle is easily capable with FGM or BH.
     
  6. Carnitas

    Carnitas Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Northern California
    Every so ofted I get it in my head about how cool it would be to do super duper match grade reloading..... then I read up on it and give up right there.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    John Holliger was the one that said it to me. He's the 2002 Civilian Service Rifle National Champ, so he oughtta know. A 1 MOA rifle and ammo combo IS capable of winning every HP match in the country. The game makes the shooter, not the gun, the variable. However, ammo that shoots into .25" at 600 yards definitely gives the shooter an advantage over the one shooting into 1 MOA (roughly 6.5"). A 6" wind mistake will keep the first shooter in the X or the 10 at most. The same wind for a 1 MOA gun might give the shooter a 9. Thus, you make the target bigger with bettre ammo.
     
  8. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    I agree with Steve. Its easy to get hung up on the utmost "mechanical accuracy" of the rifle/load. Somewhere in the Zediker article I believe it says something like: Benchrest shooters need a handfull of "perfect" rounds, Service rifle/Highpower shooters need a bunch of "good" rounds. I believe the rifleman has a whole lot more to do with the score, than the rifle! Good shootin`!
     
  9. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Man, that article did give me a headache, and moreover, I have no idea WHERE to start in regards to which sizing dies to buy, etc...

    ...he's telling me to find a good _machinist_ to make my reloading gear? jesus, is this really necessary?

    As a newbie, I have to say...reloading is not easy for newbies to understand... there are so many terms and tools.

    I have no idea where to start. Right now, buying Port .308 sounds more reasonable than learning all this, unless I can get someone to take me under their wing or something.
     
  10. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    Sven, forget that finding a machinist crap. I dont think anyone here does that. If you`re new to reloading, stick with the basics. Buy good dies, keep your brass trimmed to proper length and chamfer the mouths, keep your powder charges within a reloading manual`s guidelines, and use good quality bullets. Some of Zedikers methods, are for people who have mastered thier shooting, and are looking to get that last little bit of mechanical accuracy from thier rifle (Or have too much idle time on thier hands! LOL). Seriously, load the best ammo you can, using one of the respected manuals, and use a few thousand of those rounds practicing, and I guarantee your scores will continue to improve!
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Stop Stop Stop Stop Stop!!!!

    No Sven, don't do it. Pay attention to our buddies over at the FL HP site, or what I will tell you as I have followed in their footsteps and it WORKS.

    Redding type S full length sizing die. Find the right bushing that will size your necks but only enough that the expander button merely sweeps the inside of the neck.

    Forster Ultra seating die.


    Wa-la. You have great dies and little hassle. Runout should be BEAUTIFUL. Read Zediker's book instead of whatever is at sniper's hide. I have a feeling if he's recommending custom dies then its not the info you need. Take your info from competitors with proven records in your field of interest .


    Fatelvis, Zediker isn't recommending custom dies as close as he will get is Wilson and even that is overkill for a HP gun for many...I think that machinist stuff is from sniper hide.


    Sven, one thing to remember for as long as you shoot this game. Temper ALL comments from anyone with this statement: "Paranoia strikes deep." Pay attention to what a lot of great shooters do, and then see what the lesser shooters do. Lesser shooters will try to get better with their handloading, when the real problem is between their ears. The best shooters seem to find that paranoia about loads is a waste of time.

    I will take you under my wing as much as I can from a distance. Just let me know. I'm no great shakes myself but handloading is the easy part of this game.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2003
  12. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    It don't take an Einstein..

    Sven,

    I dunno where you read about a machinist, but hang with Fatelvis and Steve. Most serious shooters only take a few steps in their reloading for accuracy, all the rest is just a bunch of fussy tweaking.

    I dunno what FL HP is, but I'm not saying the following to belittle it: I use store-bought products--an RCBS X-die set with a Redding competition seating die and a Dillon 450. I used to use the bare minimum--a plain old RCBS full length die and the Redding competition seating die--which is more than what I'd bet 75% of M1/M1A reloaders use (by the comp seating die). You can use a full length die and seating die (for more consistent seating) from anyone, Hornady, RCBS, Redding, etc. Some are better than others; none of them are "machined" in a custom manner (I remember now--Zediker recommended some minor machine tweaking-- don't remember why, and dismissed it as "too fussy for me" BR extremes. I'll go out on a limb here because it's been 2 years since I read it, but I'll say there was absolutely nothing wrong with the sniper's hide article. It's basically a reprint of an NRA treatise. One thing's for sure--follow the Sniper's Hide article religiously about the paper clip trick for checking for web separation--that'll at least save you a big headache on the shooting line, and at most save you from maybe a disasterous failure).

    Keep your headspace within specs; that's the most critical thing I can think of regarding reloading safety. All the rest is looking to mechanically make up for the user's perceived failing of the ammunition to group well, rather than blame the shooter.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    FYI, the reason that I and others recommend the Forster over the Redding is that the Redding seating stem has a tendency to flare with compressed loads ( Redding documentation will specify no compressed loads). The Forster has not shown a tendency to do this.
     
  14. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    Milsurp ammo

    Steve,

    Sven's reaction (where's the milsurp?) is the normal, typical reaction most new shooters have to finding out "what's required" for safe and initial start-up. I know it was my reaction also, but I got into it because OEM ammo broke my bank 'way too soon for my 'shooting pace'.

    I wonder about something I read and would like to know if you have any experience or advice: that Hirtenberger, Radway, and Port .308 ammo is "copper-washed", that is, steel core with a copper wash. A magnet proves it with all 3 that I've tested. The idea is of course, that the steel core tears up the barrel quickly. I'm of hte opinion and practice that no round is a "plinking" round in my target/competition guns. I plink with plinking guns, and in those cases, don't worry about the damage I'm doing to a milsurp rifle shooting milsurp ammo.

    In your experience/opinion, how detrimental is it to shoot this kind of copper-washed ammo through a 'high quality' rifle like a Loaded M1A?
     
  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Good catch, I totally forgot about that.

    [drill instructor mode]
    G-D IT SVEN, IF YOU SHOOT STEEL CORE AMMO THROUGH THAT KREIGER BARREL I'LL WRAP IT AROUND YOUR HEAD!!! NOT TO MENTION WHAT YOUR BUILDER WILL DO!!! HE'LL START SPINNING NOW AND WON'T STOP WHEN HE DIES!!! HE'LL BE A HOOK ROTISSERIE IN THE GRAVE!!!![/drill instructor mode]


    Ahem!

    Ok, I have no idea what the steel core bullets (port/hirt whatever) can/will do to a good barrel. Regarding the SA Loaded barrel, I don't know that either. Seems like you oughtta treat it as best you can. I don't buy bargain basement gas for my truck, I don't eat McDonald's if I have a choice, and I put good ammo through my match guns. (I will however, shoot crap ammo through my crap guns...but they're crap guns!)

    Here's my philosophy: Kreiger barrel costs about $340ish, right (Kreiger website)? Kreiger fitting costs another $160. Having a M14 savvy smith to re-skim the gun after the rebarrel runs another $100 or so. Add to all this the shipping. So, you've got $600+ into that barrel now. Every single round decreases barrel life. Somewhere between 3500-6000 rouds she will begin to die at distance and it will be time for another one. That's about two seasons for me. No way in hell am I going to put junk through that thing. If I can't trust the ammo to give a 100% accurate representation of my performance, then its not going down that barrel. Each time you shoot a match gun, it is either a LEARNING experience or a COMPETITIVE experience. Shooting crap will ensure that you #1 do not know whether the bad shot was because of you or because of the crappy ammo you're using, #2 will put doubts in your head and if anything, riflery is a mental excercise above all others, and #3 due to 1 and 2, you will put more rounds through the barrel trying to verify what you could not before.

    There is a happy medium here. Good components. Good tools. Good friends to help. Temperance using common sense. They are all you need. No voodoo.
     
  16. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    Alright, Steve, per our PM:

    Could you help me create a shopping list for getting started on reloading for the M1A, as well as sources for the parts?

    Single stage, not progressive.

    Regarding budget, I prefer to buy good stuff that will last a long time, and usually find you get what you pay for.

    In exchange, you will be rewarded eternally with (fill in your own prize).

    -s
     
  17. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,860
    Location:
    Lockport, IL
    Try Midsouth, they`re almost always the cheapest.
     
  18. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    I agree with Fatelvis; while Natchez sometimes has better prices, they hurt you with the S&H to make up for it. Midway is the other fair S&H vendor.

    Dunno what Steve and you have discussed and if I'm outta line by buttin' in, just hammer me...but I'll take the liberty since you've posted this. If you're not adverse to EBay, you might try it for an RCBS Rockchucker and your powder measure and dies, whatever brand you decide. I'm partial to the Hornady powder measure, but the Lyman 55 is quite accurate also; I'd steer clear of the RCBS Uniflow for its' inaccuracy. I'd probably suggest the RCBS/Ohaus line of beam scales (5-0-5 is good enough to start with). I like the PACT electronic dispenser and scale for weighing and measuring chores (weighing bullets, brass and powder charges). It makes the entire process about as quick as can be expected; doing these things on a beam scale is pulling teeth. Downside is it's $250; ya gotta know you're committed to reloading before you dump that kind of bread. As for dies, y'almost can't go wrong with the big names; I defer to your emails with Steve and his thoughts for suggestions.

    Almost all this stuff can be had for a "best" price on EBay, and I can't think of any of it that isn't lifetime warrantied by the OEM (except the electronic stuff), so if you buy on the internet to save some green, as long as you get the product, if there's anything wrong with it, a phone call will get it fixed. The cheapest way out in my opinion, albeit a possible minor hassle.

    If Steve advises you to deburr the flash hole, I'd go with the Lyman tool; it runs about $9 and is built for a drill; beats the Sinclair Intl tool to death (it clogs on a drill and goes for almost 2x the price.) Lyman and RCBS make a primer pocket uniformer that's pretty cheap, and is intended for a drill also.

    RCBS makes a manual trimmer ("Trim Pro" I believe it's called)-- that can be adapted with common tools to work with an electric (or portable) drill. The advantage of the RCBS is that it's the only one that offers a 3-way cutter made for chamfering, deburring and trimming by the OEM. Reduces 3 steps into one and thereby cuts time by 2/3. Some folks don't think it cuts accurately enough, but my reloads are .4 - .6 MOA, and that's good enough for me. I can trim, chamfer and deburr > 400 cases an hour with this setup.

    By the way, if you want to skip the expense of a tumbler for cleaning bullets temporarily, a great substitute is a gallon of white vinegar which can be had at most large grocery chain stores for ~$3. Put your brass in a container, swish it in the vinegar for 30 seconds, and you're done pour off and save the vinegar for reuse. Rinse the cases in a bath of water and dry them in a partially open oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. They won't shine like tumbled, but they're just as clean. and for a case lubricant, nothing beats Imperial sizing die lubricant.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2003
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    I am not an expert.

    Ok, actually, the NRA says I am, which is precisely why I'm saying I'm not. Yes, I'm shooting Master scores, but I still have a lowly Expert card. FWIW, the times that I have my head properly centered on my shoulders, the accuracy of my ammo and rifles SHOCKS me, but I'm still a doggone Expert so if you want to "Crap" can this info its fine by me.

    I'm not sure if I can improve uglymofo's paragraph. If you need to save money, use Ebay. The list is roughly the same either way.

    Ready on the right, ready on the left, all ready on the firing line!

    Here we go.

    Yeah, I think the RCBS Rockchucker is a good press, especially when retrofitted with Hornady's LNL bushings. OR the Hornady LNL single stage is a fine press I'm sure. Being somewhat of a turret press fan, I REALLY like the Redding T7. It should finally eliminate all the torque concerns that hover around turret presses. Use it and you can keep all your goodies installed all the time.

    Dies - Again I suggest the Redding type S bushing die (full length). Spend a few more bucks and get several bushings. Finalize on the one that has you barely brushing the inside of the neck with the expander ball. That way it'll work your brass as little as possible and the ball will sweep the neck for obstructions. I also recommend the Forster Ultra seating die. It will keep the case and bullet in line while seating and the stem is more resistant to flaring from compressed loads.

    Scales - I have been using an old Lyman/Ohaus M5 for years. It is the ancient version of the RCBS 1010 before they started painting them green. Dead nuts accurate and puts a little history on my bench. SAME scale as a 1010 but oughtta be <$50 off of Ebay. I DO NOT recommend an electronic after seeing the discrepancies that my roomate's scale will have. He has had a ton of static and air movement issues that he just can't get past. He is back to using a RCBS scale or my Ohaus. FWIW, I have seen this same problem with other electronic scales.

    Powder measure - again I agree with uglymofo, The Hornady has a GREAT reputation, as does the Lyman 55. Supposedly the Lee is quite good, but you might want to buy two just in case a kitten falls on it and breaks it into tiny pieces.

    Calipers - see if you can get a block of steel from a machinist and have him measure it in several places (h/w/d) with his high-dollar calipers and write the measurements on it with a sharpie. Then take your block to Harbor Freight Salvage or Sears and get yourself a set of cheapies, but check the measurements on the block. Now, if you drop your calipers and they clatter on the floor, you just say "aww shucks" instead of something else. If you get Craftsman calipers, you just get some more for free. Remember to get .001" measurements!

    Bullet puller - you'll need this one. I really like the collet type pullers that go in a press. If you get a turret, you'll love having this set up all the time. Doesn't make a mess like a hammer type does.

    Those are the "need to haves" but there are a lot of "nice to haves" to come.

    Stoney Point OAL gauge and comparator - Lets you find exactly where the rifling is so you can step off of that with your long range rounds.

    Stoney Point headspace gauge - helps you set up your sizing die so you won't work the brass more than you have to.

    More to come...off to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Match tomorrow so don't expect more for a while.

    One thing on the comparator and Forster seater die (and the Redding seater too). They measure from the ogive of the bullet, not the tip. Hollow point bullets, including match bullets, have very inconsistent tip lengths. The tips don't make a ballistic difference...I know you're wondering. Anyway, the ogive-to-base is VERY accurate on match bullets so the best way to seat and measure is using that ogive. The seater dies that were mentioned don't press on the tip of the bullet but rather the ogive so you get a much more uniform seating depth (ogive to rifling distance (jump distance) is more uniform). So, if you go to all that trouble for seating, why measure from the tip? That's where the comparator comes in. For your mag length loads, you will have to measure tips to make sure they are under max, but remember to look for the longest tip and just measure it. After a while you'll have an eye for which tips are the longest.

    See ya!
     
  20. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    tag teaming...

    And Steve jarred my memory--Stoney Point gauges!!

    I'm too cheap to buy twice, because the Sinclair Intl I have works, but it sure ain't convenient. If I had to do it again, hoopla and all Sinclair'd never hear from me. Stoney Point all the way.

    On an aside, Steve, I mounted my PACT on a brick stepping stone; heavy as hell, but it's all setup on a separate stool for portability and isolation. I don't get any vibration nor static, and I'm set up away from the air currents on that side of hte bench.
    (I keep reading occasionally that users have static problems with electronic scales. What are the symptoms?)
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    I asked him to post...he didn't Its up to him. His issues from my point of view are wandering zero and inconsistent measurements of check weights. Always within .1-.2 grains, and usually 100% right, but every once in a while it will really screw up.

    I think I'm going to stay old-fashioned about scales for a long time.


    The electronic WOULD help sort cases by weight in a more timely manner.
     
  22. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    PRK
    `

    Thanks, Steve. It's okay if he doesn't get to it, your summary is good enough for me.

    For my purposes, I'll never go back to a beam scale; one day one of my electronic components will die, and I'll have to stop reloading for a while, but it's well worth that future inconvenience to me. The PACT makes weighing cases and bullets a 'pleasure' next to the old 5-0-5 method.

    My scale is dead on about 80% of the time, and always within .2 grains (at least), for the umpteen times I've checked it. It's usually much better than that if I don't throw 4064. I use a small toy metal pot (which has always measured at 357.7 - 357.8 gr) so I guess my PACT is the exception for consistency.
     
  23. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,281
    Location:
    co
    sorry I did not get right back to you on the pact scale but here is my experience with it.
    I believe it is a very good scale if you can put it in a place that has a constent temp. and no air movement.
    plus it seems you need to have it setting on a very hard flat surface that is static free.
    also it matters how the electric cord runs and and if your hands or clothes have and static charge.
    if it does your reading will always change and it gets frustrating.

    I do plan on putting it someplace that it will work put as of now its a real pain.

    I weighed 50 loads on my rcbs 5-0-5 scale today before I ever got one to read right on my pact.

    thats about all I can say about it.
    thanks and good luck jon
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Jon, if you start weighing charges in the nude while standing in a phone booth, you can forget about the rent money!


    FWIW, I also saw the inconsistent measurements on another guy's PACT. I'd check my Ohaus and his PACT with check weights, and both would read exactly the same, then I'd put a powder charge on one, then move it to the other, and they'd be different (by as much as .2 grains)! ***? Of course, the Ohaus could be at fault as easily as the PACT, but considering how you can LOOK at the PACT and make it change a tenth, I place my suspicions on it.
     
  25. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    I asked Glen Zediker what to get, here's his advice:

    There you have it!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page