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Old July 17, 2000, 06:51 PM   #1
Dave P
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Join Date: August 16, 1999
Location: North Florida
Posts: 1,270
Using the loose bullet in a dummy cartridge trick, I measure an OAL of 2.95" when the bthp hits the rifling. (sierra, 168 gr) Now, that of course does not fit in the mag, and if I back off about .020 for accuracy, it is still No Good!
So, what gives? Is this "normal"? Yes, I am aware that due to bullet tip distotion, the OAL is of limited value.
My best groups so far are about 2" with an OAL of 2.725" (don't tell anyone!)
FYI: I am a novice on this NM rifle and reloading. All advice is welcome.
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Old July 17, 2000, 07:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
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Dave, Welcome to reloading for the M1A! You should be able to load that projectile out just a bit further and still have it work in the magazine. This said, once you reach one stopping point go on to another. You still have powder, primer, brass, and rifle to adjust. You also mentioned that you were new to the M1A and reloading. Give it some time and have fun. Most importantly, be safe. These gas guns can be persnickity and unforgiving in their diet. Do a search on this subject here and you should be able to come up with some helpful info.
Good luck and best regards.
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Old July 18, 2000, 05:40 AM   #3
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I have been loading for the M1A for neary 14 years now and have always used 2.800 COL with the Sierra 168gr. BTHP (#2200) in both rifles that I have had (1 std. and 1 NM) with very good results.

This is also the COL that Federal uses with their 308M ammo with this bullet.

Have fun, the M1A can be challenging to load for.


Jim - NRA Life Member
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Old July 20, 2000, 03:45 PM   #4
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if ypou are going to use particular ammunition for long range, slow fire only, over length, re magazine feed is not a problem, Just a question of finding out what a particular rifle is "happy" with.

For the rest of it, sticking with 2.8"oal is probably a good idea, as military match ammunition was so loaded. Actually I have seen roiunds out to 2.820 or so, that fired accurately, and worked in magazines too. Proceed with care, and enjoy.
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