Can't use commercial hunting ammo? Then why does springfield list the spec's on the M1a as Caliber: 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester)? And the manual, under Ammunition reccomends SAAMI spec ammo, which would include the commercial hunting stuff. It does note that non military ammo may have a softer primer, leaving it more prone to slam-fire, but that is the only warning I see. Hey I'm not calling anyone out, as I've only owned mine for about a week, so there's a ton I don't know, but I sure would appreciate some more folks chiming in on that subject.
As for hunting, sure Ive got a bunch of rifles that are "better" deer rifles ie scoped .270 and .243's that are lighter and sub moa accruate. But my M1a is going to get some use too for deer and pigs this season just 'cause I like it and it's different, and as far as I know I'll be using the Winchester power point in .308 Win.