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What bullet for a M1A?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tarvis, Sep 12, 2009.

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  1. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    I recently purchased a SA M1A Socom16 and am curious what bullets work well. I plan on shooting targets, rabbits and possibly ground squirrels with this rifle, so a good hunting bullet along with a FMJ suggestion would be great. FWIW, I started off by loading 168 SMK's in front of 45gr of varget.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Kind of like hunting deer with a howitzer, really doesn't matter what bullet you use. For targets the 168gr SMK's are one of the best.
     
  3. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    I guess what I'm asking is what bullet design seems to work well. It's kind of a dumb question, but hopefully someone will have some good experiences to share about loading for an M1A. I'm not necesarliy looking for a armor piercing HE tracer for shooting chipmunks, but if you know where I can get some...
     
  4. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    I would think that if you select a 165gr soft point with a profile close to the SMK, like the GameKing, your load workup should be easier.


    NCsmitty
     
  5. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Considering military ball ammo was loaded with 147 gr FMJ bullets in the 7.62x 51(308 Win) you can't go wrong loading the same 147 or 150 gr surplus bullets for plinking and varmints if you don't want to ruin pelts. JMHO.
     
  6. myhandle87

    myhandle87 Member

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    You want to stay a bit lower on the powder with the M1A, just because of the gas system in it. I'd reccomend staying around 42 grains of powder, and using IMR 4064. If you want some good target loads, that will do just fine with the sierra 168 HPBT. For most of your uses, it'd probably be better to stay with the 147 grain BT FMJs since that's what the gun is designed for.
     
  7. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    How did the 168's shoot for you? Did they cycle okay? I ask because I know for a fact that it wont shoot the 175 grain smk's at all. I think the limit is 168 grains.
     
  8. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    I haven't fired the 30 rounds I loaded yet. I'll let you know how they do though. Sounds like the consensus is to shoot 150ish grain bullets.
     
  9. shilo

    shilo Member

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    "I know for a fact that it wont shoot the 175 grain smk's at all. I think the limit is 168 grains."

    I shoot 175smk out of mine without any problems.
     
  10. longdayjake

    longdayjake Member

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    Is yours a 16" socom? I shoot 175 grain out of my Loaded, but the socom wont cycle the same loads. My loads are a copy of the m118LR. I seriously doubt that you have a 16" socom as I have shot them from the socoms and had 0 luck with them. Others I have spoken to say the same thing. The 150 grain bullets are about all I would use from the socom because of the loss in velocity.
     
  11. Bart B.

    Bart B. Member

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    Folks on the US Army rifle teams used LC match ammo with the 172-gr. bullet pulled and a Sierra 180 HPMK seated in it. Won a lot of matches and set a few records doing so. Those 180's drove tacks from a really good barrel.
     
  12. Jacka L Ope

    Jacka L Ope Member

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    Might want to hold the bus on that one. :D

    Not too long after I purchased my M1A, I emailed SA regarding various bullets and ammunition manufacturers. This is the response I received:

    Some of that information may have changed since then but not likely much of it has. One way to find out is to write and ask.

    Another thing to remember is that these are gas-operated firearms that have specific port pressure requirements necessary to operate the mechanism correctly. Meaning - not all powders can be used when reloading for these rifles with the expectation that acceptable pressures will be generated to operate the mechanism as designed.
     
  13. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    What powders have you found to work well, or conversely not work well?
     
  14. shilo

    shilo Member

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    "Is yours a 16" socom? I shoot 175 grain out of my Loaded, but the socom wont cycle the same loads. My loads are a copy of the m118LR. I seriously doubt that you have a 16" socom as I have shot them from the socoms and had 0 luck with them. Others I have spoken to say the same thing. The 150 grain bullets are about all I would use from the socom because of the loss in velocity."

    Yes out of my loaded and my buddys socom16. basically M118LR duplicates. 42.5 grains R15 and 175 smk.
     
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