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Thread: What is everyones go to powder, bullet, primer and brass for a .308 Springfield M1A1?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Apr 2008
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    What is everyones go to powder, bullet, primer and brass for a .308 Springfield M1A1?

    Just traded into a M1A1, and wondering what everyones similar rifle shoots the best. This rifle has had about 200 rounds, all factory thru it. It has the Springfield heavy duty scope mount, with Millett steel 30mm rings, and a Weaver Grand Slam 8-32x44 with German type crosshairs, with lighted reticle. I got 3 boxes of ammo with it, and shooting some white box Winchester is shooting under MOA, all the time I have had to shoot it, at 100yds. Also was wondering if the small primer brass shoots any better than large rifle. Also has anyone shot the 147 pulled bullets you see advertised often? My old go to load was a near max load of Win. 748 and a boat tailed 150 soft point. All replies appreciated!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
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    G.I. brass, Rem 9 1/2 primer, H4895 powder.
    Cheapest 147-150gr Spitzer or FMC.

    I can't see well enough to warrant a better bullet.

    No scope, just spoils the whole idea for me.
    But if I did scope it, then I'd need a good Sierra 168gr MatchKing.
    Last edited by Walks; 08-24-2019 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Auto-correct
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  3. #3
    Federal brass because that’s what we had on hand
    WLR Primers
    42 grains of Varget
    168 SMK

    shot amazing out of my fathers M1A

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Brass from GI brass. Jeff Barlett Cast 200 grain bullet gas checked and H-335 because I have a lot of it. It shoots as good as 70 year old eyes let it
    Don't buy nuthing you can't take home

    Joel 3:10

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



    curator's Avatar
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    Koger:

    I load my M1A ammo using Lake City brass, IMR 4895, CCI Mil-spec primers, and Sierra 168 grain match kings. This combo is a winner for long range accuracy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The old duplication load for m852 was LC cases (match preferred), federal lr match primer, 41.5 grns of IMR 4895, and a 168 grn match bullet HPBT. ( a lot used sierra My m1as did better with Hornady's or lapuas. The 170 grn lapua rebated boat tail really shined from 600 yd line. This load is normally in the 2650 gps range and duplicates the sight settings for M852 LC match ammo.

    Deburring the flash holes and uniforming the primer pockets makes a improvement. Watch neck tension and case length. I also sorted brass got neck concentricity ( thickness) using the best of a lot for 600 yards and farther. Watch the gas piston for carbon build up inside it there are 2 holes a drill bit that fits each hole makes a good scrapper to remove it. Keep the bolt roller bearing greased. when built up tuned and bedded these can be very accurate rifles. A ported gas plug with the right port for your load can soften functioning and improve accuracy and make sejection easier.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Long ago I quit using the 168s because the 175 Sierra MK was better. I load it over 41.5 gr IMR4895 in Match prepped LC cases (sized with RCBS X-die which negates trimming and gives exceptional case life in the M1A/M14 rifle), Winchester WLR primers and seated to an OAL of 2.815 for feeding from the magazine. Accuracy was and is excellent out of my match M1A and numerous M14 match rifles. Here is the rifle and the last 200 yard ten shot zero confirmation group I fired at 200 yards.

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    My "rack grade" M1A, as with all SA M1As I've shot (been quite a few over the years) have all shot at "Nation Match" accuracy level which is 2 moa or better with 10 shot groups. That's with the standard M852 duplication load (same as above only with the 168 MK).

    A good standard M80 load with 147 gr bullets is LC cases, WLR or #34 primers and 42.5 - .43.5 gr (for 2800 fps chronographed). Pull downs unless from the same lot of ammo will not give the best in accuracy. Commercial 147 or 150 FMJBTs usually give excellent accuracy with that load.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Larry or anyone else who has pulled the fmj bullets from M80 ammo and replaced with a commercial bullet for a less expensive match load, which bullet did you use? Did you find one where you didn’t have to dump the factory power charge but could replace the bullet?
    Thanks

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    With US M80 ball I Mexican matched using the Sierra 150 MK (not the 155 Palma) for 200 yard stages and for 100/200 yard reduced matches. No change in powder charge was necessary.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Great stuff guys. How close is H4895 to ImR-4895, the reason is I have 3 8# kegs. Anyone had any luck with the 155gr BTHP's, I have a source for them at decent prices, in bulk.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the information on which bullet for the Mexican Match ammo Larry.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by curator View Post
    Koger:

    I load my M1A ammo using Lake City brass, IMR 4895, CCI Mil-spec primers, and Sierra 168 grain match kings. This combo is a winner for long range accuracy.
    /\ Ditto for the powder and bullet selection.

    My brass is mostly Federal and Winchester, sorted by manufacturer first and then by weight of the casing. The Federal is all from one lot number and has proven to be very good in terms of consistency out of a particular bolt gun. Those cases are neck sized only and confined to one rifle.
    In my M1A I prefer to use the Winchester casings because I don't worry as much if I lose a casing or two. (which is likely with a semi-auto rifle)

    The Sierra 168 gr Match King is the bullet in .308 Win for the best accuracy. The 165 grain Game King was my fall back for hunting and it shot to the same point of aim as the 168 gr Match King at any reason hunting distance.

    As for powder, years ago I bounced around a bit in search of the best powder and ALWAYS came back to IMR 4895 for .308 Win. I finally stopped being a fool and just settled on 4895 for the 308.

    I keep IMR 4064 on hand for 7mm-08 loads. I have used IMR 4064 for 7mm Mauser with good results and it is my back up for 308 Winchester if needed due to powder shortages but for 308 Winchester nothing beats 4895. You can load all three cartridges (7mm-08, 7mm x 57 & 308 Winchester) with either 4064 or 4895 (using the appropriate charge weights for the powder you're using) but If I had to have just one rifle powder it would be IMR 4895.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


    nagantguy's Avatar
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    4895 as Larry and others have stated,projectile don’t seem to
    Matter as much-150-175 . Anything milsurp 4895 is my go
    To unless it’s Varget -

  14. #14
    Moderator



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    GI brass, 4895, CCI 7.62 military primer and either 168gr Amax or 175gr SMK.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    M1A1 - powder, bullet, primer and brass

    Powder - 4895 or 4064

    Bullet - Hornady 168 BTHP Match - $100 per 500

    Primer - CCI Large Rifle

    Brass - Lake City "LR" Long Range or IMI Match 308

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check