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dolphin717
June 18, 2010, 09:15 AM
I just got a used, but almost unfired M1A....WOW! Shoots great with new ammo......I bought some reloaded 308 from a reputable reloading source...every 3rd or 4th shot jams, and the empty has to be forced out with a rod. Is the problem the ammo or the gun just not been fired enough? Thanks WC

Edward429451
June 18, 2010, 11:05 AM
You better leave that ammo alone if you like that rifle ;)

azredhawk44
June 18, 2010, 11:37 AM
every 3rd or 4th shot jams, and the empty has to be forced out with a rod.

The extractor rips over the groove and the bolt won't grab the case to do the extraction for you?

reputable reloading source

Hmm.

I shoot two types of ammo in my M14. Factory 150gr ammo, and my own reloads up to 168gr bullet weight.

I don't trust any other ammo to go into my rifle.

chris in va
June 19, 2010, 01:06 AM
That reloaded ammo is probably out of spec for your particular application, IE 308 semiauto rifle. At least for my Garand, there are specific criteria that must be met for it to function properly. Bullet weight/profile, powder charge, sizing setup, etc.

I'd compare a round that works with the reloaded one with a caliper and see what the differences are.

pythagorean
June 19, 2010, 08:44 AM
Most likely it is the reloaded ammo. In an M1-A the design is really for FMJ military style rounds although many will feed .308 hunting loads from the popular companies without a problem except for marring up the soft lead noses of these loads.
I'd stick with the inexpensive Win white box 147 Ball (usa) stuff for most shooting and if I wanted edge cutting accuracy use the 168 boat tailed hollow points from various manufacturers.

brmfan
June 19, 2010, 10:52 AM
$18 for 20rds of fmj you call 'inexpensive'??? :eek:
In today's market you'd be lucky to find any .308 fmj... granted... but it sure as heck ain't 'inexpensive'!

Dolphin: I've been using Georgia-Arms reloads for years in mine with no problems. They have "canned heat" deals that are hard to beat.

44 AMP
June 19, 2010, 11:33 AM
Semi auto rifles (M1A included) are machines that do two things, shoot and operate, while other rifles only do one thing, shoot.

So, not only must the ammo shoot well, it must also operate the rifle, and there is where things get tricksy.

The M14 (M1A) was built to shoot GI ammo. Period. It will handle a few other loadings, but the range is small, compared to a bolt action, or any manually operated repeater. Things that are of no concern in a bolt action can be critical in an M1A, like the pressure curve.

What is most likely happening with your "reloads" is that the pressure curve is right on the upper end of what the rifle wants, and "every 3rd or 4th round" is opening too soon. Shoot that ammo out of a bolt action, or trade it off, don't use it in your M1A. Damage to the rifle can result (or may have already happened!)

The GI ammo loading is a 150gr @2750+/-, while civilian .308 ammo is actually hotter than that. Shooting ammo that is too hot (or has too "wrong" a pressure curve) can damage the rifle. Bent op rods, while simple to replace, are very spendy.

4V50 Gary
June 19, 2010, 11:48 AM
Mil-Spec ammunition is loaded so that it ensures that certain pressures and velocities are attained. Even though your reloader may be reputable, his loads may not be optimal or mil-spec for a gas operated gun and the pressure may not be enough to function the action.

Slamfire
June 19, 2010, 12:06 PM
I bought some reloaded 308 from a reputable reloading source...every 3rd or 4th shot jams, and the empty has to be forced out with a rod. Is the problem the ammo or the gun just not been fired enough?

Just this month, at my Club's 100 yard reduced Highpower match, we had a smiliar situation. The shooter is an experienced AR Camp Perry shooter, but he is new to his M1a.

His M1a is a nice match M1a, Barnett barrel, heavy stock, totally matched out rifle.

He was shooting his rounds and having failures to extract in rapid fire. I don’t remember him using a cleaning rod to remove the cases in the chamber. But he might have.

He was using LC Match brass, 41.0 grains IMR 4064, 168 Match, I don’t remember the primers.

His load was not hot, I have used 42.5 grains IMR 4064 across the course with the same brass and bullets.

He was given someone else’s ammunition to shoot to complete the alibi malfunctions. Those rounds functioned perfectly.

As an aside, the borrowed ammunition had Imperial sizing wax on the cases to reduce case stretch. The loader said “I am not rich like you guys and I need my brass to last longer”. Lubricated cases also reduce breech friction and the rifle runs smoother.

Anyway I asked the shooter how he sized his cases. He used a Lee Standard sizing die and just sized to the shell holder plus a quarter turn. I told him to get a Cartridge headspace gage and size to gage minimum.

I recommended small base dies, but that went over like a lead ballon due to all the people who scream that they are 1) un necessary and 2) will "overwork" the brass.

Since I only shoot small base sized brass in my 223, 308, and 30-06, my experience and observations tells me these anti small base fear mongers are merely repeating what they have heard.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/ReducedWilsongagemeasuringnew308bra.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/CartridgeHeadspacegagelinedrawing.jpg

Next match we will find out whether he is making progress on creating ammunition that is not too fat, or too long.

Either one of these will leave cases in your M1a.

There are some buds reloads I would shoot, but “unknown” or “gunshow” reloads, I would pull the bullets, resize the brass, and dump my own powder charges after weighing the bullets.

pythagorean
June 19, 2010, 05:03 PM
I have to admit a mistake in pricing the white box USA 7.62 NATO that I use and buy by the case or half case. The price per box (20) is $18.99. The code on the box is Q3130.
I recommend this ammunition for extremely clean and functional properties in an M1-A. I use it in my SOCOM 16 regularly and it hardly leaves any carbon or metal fouling. Bullet weight is 147gr FMJ.

teumessian_fox
June 19, 2010, 05:36 PM
Do not ever shoot someone else's reloads, I don't care how reliable you think they are.

THORN74
June 19, 2010, 11:36 PM
im gonna say it was the ammo not being resized correctly. It could be the gun but i would belive the ammo is bad first, even if u think the source is good mistakes can happen.

the only thing my M1a has ever had issues with is some steel cased wolf, that i got cheap. put 500 rounds of that stuff thru, out of the 500 had Fail to Feed. 0 extract issues. put another 500 of DAG surplus, she ate them like candy!!!

next time skipp the reloads and buy some surplus. then enjoy ur rifle :D

dolphin717
June 21, 2010, 12:28 PM
The Georgia Arms supply is out, I'm looking at Federal American Eagle...any opinions or suggestions...looking to purchase 200-300 rounds...Thanks WC

Tim R
June 21, 2010, 01:30 PM
First, I have a great deal of respect for Slam Fire and his expertice. Rather than small base dies I would recomend using the Forester NM 308 match die. I have also had good results with the Hornady match bushing dies for both 308 and 223.

For years I used a regular RCBS '06 sizing die for my M-1 Garands in that caliber. Seem to work OK. Now that I have a M-1 with a little better barrel I went to a Forester Match sizing die and Ultra seating die. I haven't seen much of a difference on the target, but still no issues with functioning correctly. It's been more of the nut behind the trigger problem.

I believe the Federal would work OK, but I would think starting to reload would be the way to go. This is the only way I can afford to feed '06, 308 and 223.

dolphin717
June 21, 2010, 02:10 PM
I have been reloading shot shells for years on a MEC progressive loader, but have no knowledge about reloading rifle or pistol ammo. I did look into pistol reloading a few months back and looked at a progressive reloader, but don't recall the name....any info about reloading the 308, equip, etc.....would be appreciated...Thanks WC

pythagorean
June 21, 2010, 03:03 PM
RCBS Rockchucker and RCBS dies.
Progressives are more expensive.

azredhawk44
June 21, 2010, 03:26 PM
RCBS Rockchucker and RCBS dies.
Progressives are more expensive.

Certainly work-able. Probably a bit more expensive than I would choose if I were to repeat the purchase today.

Dolphin, whatever press you go with needs to be stout enough to handle the repeated stresses of resizing .308 brass. I snapped an RCBS Partner press in half several years ago on a .308 case. I moved up to a RockChucker out of brand loyalty, and now have a replacement Partner press that does all my utility-work related to case prep, but do my heavy work on the RockChucker.

I'd suggest Lee's Classic Cast press for a single stage. It costs less than the RockChucker and is just as strong. Lee dies are fine, too. I currently using an RCBS X-die to try and limit how often I have to trim my .308 cases. I hate trimming cases.

Judging from the friction I've seen involved in .308 cases, I can't recommend progressive presses for that cartridge. Or larger ones.

Be sure to use a good case lube. Use a lube pad... not the spray products like Hornady One-Shot. Great way to ruin dies with scratches and increase friction, maybe even getting stuck cases.

Case trimming in mandatory with .308. You'll need a full trimming setup. Cheapest is the Lee system, most expensive and best is the Giraud case trimmer.