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OK, I'm frustrated...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Powderman, Mar 8, 2005.

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  1. Powderman

    Powderman Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    I need some load recommendations.

    My M1A will shoot, and shoot well--with 168 grain MatchKings, or 175 grain MatchKings.

    I can not, however, afford a steady diet of these bullets. So, I have purchased a quantity of 147 and 150 grain pulled milsurp bullets.

    My 03 Springfield loves the 147 grain boat tails. And, the Garand seems to like the flat-based 150 gr. FMJ.

    However, the M1A is finicky. It does not like the cheap bullets. I, on the other hand am tired with seeing 5-7 inch groups at 100 yards with this rifle and the milsurp bullets. :banghead:

    So far, I have tried IMR 4895 and BL(C)-2. Any suggestions?
  2. Mikul

    Mikul Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Your M1A seems to like heavy bullets. This is a function of your barrel's twist rate. Long story short: shoot heavy bullets or change the barrel.

    Of course, you are comparing surplus 150gr bullets to match 168gr. There is a big difference there. Bullet quality is one issue. Try loading some 150gr Hornadys. I've seen them cheap at the gunshows and have a box of 500 at home. Also compare the OAL of the rounds that shoot well and the ones that don't. I'll bet the match bullets are longer and seating closer to the rifling. You can seat the 150's out long enough to do this unless your throat is painfully eroded. Don't worry about the crimp groove if the bullets have them. You can ignore it without affecting accuracy.

    Of course you can try a dozen different 150gr bullets. One of them just might work. A friend of mine is shooting 55gr bullets out of his AR that should be shooting 75gr according to the twist rate. You can't argue with a one-hole group.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Or some bulk Remington 150 or 180 grain softpoints.
    I don't think dinking around with powders is going to make pulled bullets shoot well in a barrel that they obviously don't suit.
  4. cookiemonster

    cookiemonster Member

    Nov 24, 2004
    Willis, TX
    Vary your powder...I have heard tell that Vihtavouri and Norma powders work very well in NM and other high end barrels....guy up at work uses nothing but Norma powder in his M1A...but he feeds his Nosler and Sierra...I am sure that if you look around....

    Hornady BTHP match 165 grain can be had for about $16 per hundred...same for 180 grain BTSP....$16 bucks...

    500 bulk Winchester 180 PSP for $50 bucks.

    I don't know what your budget is on buying components...but there are plenty out there to choose....I think even Hodgdon powder makes a "variety" powder kit...like 4 diffrent powders, 4 ounces each...makes up one pound and they charge like 15 or so dollars for that.

    Check out Midway and Midsouth...also think about mebbe shooting gas-checked lead bullets in it...

  5. ocabj

    ocabj Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Riverside, CA
    I think 147s should be fine with a 1 in 11 or 1 in 12 that you probably have. Do you have any factory or surplus ammuntion that uses 147 and 150 gr bullets (ie: Winchester FMJ white box, Hirtenberger/Aussie NATO)? Get some. See if they group well. If one does, then chrono that ammunition. See if you can duplicate the velocity of the good grouping factory/surplus stuff.

    As far as powder goes, try IMR 4064. It's one of the most commonly used powders, especially in 308. I use Varget for .308, but in a bolt, not a semi.
  6. P0832177

    P0832177 member

    Jun 8, 2003
  7. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Houston, TX
    I never had luck with cheap winchester 147's. I could not get the accuracy out of the Super or National Match with the cheap bullets. 168 Seirra or the 150 Seirra Palma's do real well. The 150's work best out of the National and the 168 Seirra's work best out of the Supermatch.

    Anyway here is some food for thought. I was thinking about rebarreling my SuperMatch, so I talked to Springfield. My barrel has around 4000 rnds down it and is just starting to show some lost in accuracy. Not much but some. Anyway, $750 for the barrel and bedding.

    So given the cost of the barrel and bedding, I will not cheap out bullets on my M1A's anymore. I would rather pay a bit more for good bullets and good accuracy for the life of the barrel, then cheap bullets, poor accuracy and an expensive barrel.

    Just my $750 on the topic....
  8. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Wabash, IN

    I haven't had earth-shattering results using the Win 147gr or Mil-Surp pulled bullets in that range, But I have worked up loads that shoot equal or better than the Portuguese or Aussie Surplus ammo - which are the best on the market.

    Here are my loads for my M1A using the 150 class FMJs:
    45.5gr of Reloader 15 Win LRPrimers OAL 2.79"
    44.5gr of Win748 " " " " "
    44.0gr of Varget " " " " "
    44.0gr of H4895 " " " " 2.80"
    43.9gr of IMR4064 " " " " 2.79"
    44.8gr of BL-C(2) " " " " "

    ALL of these loads are listed in the most accurate order and use Mil-Spec cases which run 10 to 20gr heavier than most all commercial brass. If you use lighter commercial brass, you will need to increase your powder load by 12% or 1.2gr for every 10gr difference in case weight.

    You will notice these are loaded with an OAL on the short side - I've found that my Loaded Standard will start stringing horizontally if I extend the bullet any further toward the lands. Also, if you crimp the bullets, stop - my rifle hates that and will again string crimped bullets horizontally.
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