The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 14, 2008, 08:19 PM   #1
surg_res
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 568
What exactly makes a M1A barrel National Match?

Can anyone explain the difference between the NM and standard M1A barrels? I understand the difference in most of the other components but what about the barrels. Is it a manufacturing difference, testing differnece, materials, marketing...? The rate of twist seems the same. SA doesn't say much on their website. Thanks.
surg_res is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 08:41 PM   #2
wjkuleck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,220
Sure!

Conformance to the Ordnance M14 National Match Barrel.

Alas, commercial barrels as a rule do not conform to the specs. "NM" has become a marketing term. It should properly be used only to refer to rifle components that are made to the corresponding Ordance drawing for the National Match version of that component.

In the case of the ARs, there are no Ordnance NM parts or drawings, so the vendors have to use their imaginations .

I can say in the case of Fulton Armory that we make (actually, have made by Krieger, both the cut-rifled Krieger and button-rifled OEM Criterion by Krieger barrels) our barrels to the NM drawing.


As for others, you'll have to ask them what they mean by "NM."

Regards,

Walt
__________________
Author, NEW! The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
The M14
and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide
The AR-15 Complete Assembly
and (New 4th Edition) Owner's Guides
wjkuleck is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 08:08 AM   #3
Swampy1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2007
Posts: 130
surg,

Walt is telling you straight... but I'll add that these days when picking a barrel for a "NM" rifle build you want to pretty much go with the barrel maker that has the rep for the accuracy you want.

Kreiger has always been there, as has Douglas-Barnett. Obermeyer, Hart, and Shilen all have good reps but prepped barrels are not commercially available. You need a good M14 or M1 'smith who will acquire the blank and turn it to the correct contours and install it for you.

Sometimes you get lucky..... A few years back I had an old M1 fitted with a new Wilson .308 barrel. This was in the days of cheap milsurp 7.62 Nato and I wanted a "plinker" M1. Wilson makes probably the least expensive M1 replacement barrel on the market... but that's not to say it's a "cheap" barrel.....

This rifle with the Wilson tube was so accurate with milsurp ammo that I decided to go ahead and "Match it Out". I bedded and unitized, added NM sights, trigger job... etc.... all done myself and turned it into a full blown "National Match" M1.

This has turned out to be the most accurate M1 I have ever shot. It now has 4500+ rounds (logged) down the bore and still brings home the bacon at the long line. At last October's Missouri State NRA 600 yard Championships I ended the event as the "Service Rifle Champion" with a 774-29X shooting this rifle and barrel.

Just my 2 bits....

Swampy

Garands forever
__________________
Pres-CEO Swampworks Inc. / JLK Bullets http://www.swampworks.com
The difference between a Hot Dog and a Weenie is a very fine line.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
Swampy1 is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 08:37 AM   #4
bobn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2006
Location: midwest
Posts: 857
although not an expert i have owned several match grade garands/m1as. when shooting hipower the ability for the sights to follow properly has always been the issue. never the barrel. fwiw, bobn
bobn is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 10:53 AM   #5
surg_res
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 568
Thanks for the info. A while back someone in here mentioned that the standard barrels were chrome-lined and the NM were not. The discussion was that this was some sort of trade-off of durability for accuracy. I have not been able to validate that statement.

Second, when selecting ammo, I was wondering if in an NM versus standard barrel the m118 or m118lr is inherently better than other surplus 150gr varieties or if this heavier ammo is better through any .308, due to it's inherent qualities--i.e. boattail, weight/length-to-twist, etc. My position is that I have a "standard loaded" M1A by SA with NM sights, stock and barrel. I am looking into stocking up on some .308 ammo and thinking about m118 (not the m118LR). Also, i was wondering if there are durability issues with the NM versus standard barrels, and if so, what care should I take to improve barrel life, etc. Thanks!

Last edited by surg_res; March 15, 2008 at 01:27 PM.
surg_res is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 01:57 PM   #6
wjkuleck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,220
Thanks, Swampy1.

As for chrome-lining, in the past there was a noticeable performance hit for chrome-lined barrels, as they weren't as uniform in the bore as the un-plated bore. Today, we're finding that our chrome-lined Criterion by Krieger barrels shoot as well as the un-lined barrels.

Of course, we're not going to convince the die-hards, which is why our top-line Krieger cut-rifled barrels are unlined .

Swampy1 is also right on when it comes to vendor. We've settled on Krieger, having had sold other brands in the past.

NM barrels will not wear any faster than the corresponding non-NM barrels. It's just that after a while (hopefully, a good, long while) the NM barrel gracefully degrades to Service Rifle standards .

Oh, and M118 isn't 150-grain. It's 168, with a Sierra HBBT Match King bullet.

Regards,

Walt
__________________
Author, NEW! The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
The M14
and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide
The AR-15 Complete Assembly
and (New 4th Edition) Owner's Guides
wjkuleck is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 06:46 PM   #7
4EVERM-14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2006
Location: Pennsy
Posts: 569
Accurate information from all of the posters. But on question. I thought m118 was loaded with 173gr FMJ. LR118 with 175 Sierras and it was m852 that carried 168 Sierras. Yes?
Also years back four groove barrels tended to shoot 173 gr. FMJ better then the six groove barrels. I don't know if that is still true.
__________________
David
NRA Benefactor Member
Distinguished Rifleman #731
Presidents 100
4EVERM-14 is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 07:21 PM   #8
wjkuleck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,220
I sit corrected, 4EVERM14.



Thanks!

Regards,

Walt
__________________
Author, NEW! The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
The M14
and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide
The AR-15 Complete Assembly
and (New 4th Edition) Owner's Guides
wjkuleck is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 08:12 PM   #9
surg_res
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 568
Walt,
What is your personal preference for production ball ammo for the M1A? Lets say you want to kill coyote at 300 yards.
surg_res is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 08:17 PM   #10
nbkky71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Location: Davidson, NC
Posts: 416
The ammo that you should stock up on is whatever performs best in your rifle surg_res. My M1A started life as a loaded-standard many years ago and that rifle loved USGI M852 (168gr) and Federal Gold Medal Match. With most surplus ammo I could keep them in the outer edges of the 10-ring & some of the 9-ring. too. The only exception was Hirtenberger surplus ammo, which my rifle would shoot like a house on fire!

M118 or M118LR is best suited for extended ranges and at today's prices, it's awfully expensive to shoot at short ranges or for practice. But then again, so is the 168gr ammo too! I believe that the SA. Inc. barrel is a 1-11 twist rate, which should be fairly accurate with most ammo types. Try out several brands and see what shoots best.

Are you planning on reloading for your rifle?
nbkky71 is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 08:59 PM   #11
surg_res
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 568
I am hoping to begin reloading in the next couple of years. Part of my plan is to shoot ammo with durable brass. The small quantities of ammo that I have tested have all faired well, of course the heavier match bullets did slightly outperform the 150gr cheaper stuff. I have not tested enough to know for certain which is best for my rifle, but I'd still like to stock up for the many reasons to stock up. As long as I can drill a pig in the head at 200 yards, I'm satisfied with the ammo. As for expense, $1 per shot seems to be the usual cost for good ammo when bought in bulk.
surg_res is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 07:51 AM   #12
4EVERM-14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2006
Location: Pennsy
Posts: 569
Walt,
The question by surg_res about ball ammo begs another.
What would your opinion be about Mexican-Matching quality 150gr bullets into ball ammo? Worth the effort? I had done this as a supplement for short range matches until my supply of brass increased.
__________________
David
NRA Benefactor Member
Distinguished Rifleman #731
Presidents 100
4EVERM-14 is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 10:12 AM   #13
wjkuleck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,220
Quote:
Walt,
What is your personal preference for production ball ammo for the M1A? Lets say you want to kill coyote at 300 yards.
Out where I live, Coyotes are effectively protected 'cause they live in the National Park, so it's really not possible to go to the source. In my suburban development Ohio law frowns on plinking varmints in your back yard.

You can do no better for factory ammo than the Black Hills 168-grain Match King we (Fulton Armory) offers. Jeff Hoffman and his team are truly dedicated to making the best durn ammo they can. The Army has turned to them several times for special 5.56-MM loads.

Quote:
Walt,
The question by surg_res about ball ammo begs another.
What would your opinion be about Mexican-Matching quality 150gr bullets into ball ammo? Worth the effort? I had done this as a supplement for short range matches until my supply of brass increased.
As you know, since you used the term, that this was a common practice with the 168-gr Sierra. My suggestion? Try it both ways, as for a given lot of ball you might not see a difference at short ranges.

Note that some of this stuff we do for the sake of "headspace"—"shooter headspace," that is. If our cranial-sited warmware computer believes that "x" will give us an edge, by God, it will! Kinda like the placebo effect. More charitably, when you have confidence in your equipment, you are more likely to give your best performance. Works for violins, rifles, motor cars...

Regards,

Walt
__________________
Author, NEW! The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
The M14
and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide
The AR-15 Complete Assembly
and (New 4th Edition) Owner's Guides
wjkuleck is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 10:32 AM   #14
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
How many matches have been won by M1As with our without match barrels at Camp Perry, say, in the last 10 years? I guess if you're winning, you get to call your barrel a NM barrel, regardless of manufacturing criteria.
Alleykat is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 02:23 PM   #15
wjkuleck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2007
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 1,220
Quote:
How many matches have been won by M1As with our without match barrels at Camp Perry, say, in the last 10 years?
Actually, not many (any?), as the AR-15/M16 has been dominating since the beginning of the '90's. Once the Marine Corps team was ordered to turn in their M14s, no service teams have used it at all.

Regards,

Walt
PS Heck, some years ago a fellow won the Wisconsin State Championship with one of our M14 Service Grade rifles. Sometimes its the man or woman behind the buttstock that counts .
__________________
Author, NEW! The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide
The M14
and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide
The AR-15 Complete Assembly
and (New 4th Edition) Owner's Guides
wjkuleck is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 09:40 PM   #16
30Cal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2002
Posts: 1,106
Quote:
Walt,
The question by surg_res about ball ammo begs another.
What would your opinion be about Mexican-Matching quality 150gr bullets into ball ammo? Worth the effort? I had done this as a supplement for short range matches until my supply of brass increased.
Now that surplus is .50¢ a pop, and decent bullets are .25¢ each, I don't think it makes sense anymore to spend extra time to go halfway to match ammo.

I'd just buy a big bag of surplus brass and shoot match bullets as they were meant to be shot.
30Cal is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09858 seconds with 7 queries