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View Full Version : M1a ammo???? What to use.


masterbush
12-16-2008, 12:37 AM
Can I use federal .308 or does it have to be the nato spec 7.62 stuff? I take delivery of my scout squad next week and I dont want to ruin it. Thanks prettty new to this any comments would be appreciated.

:confused:

Josh
12-16-2008, 12:53 AM
with few exceptions m1a and commercial m14 rifles are head spaced for .308 win ammo.

The only thing you need to worry about is powder burn rate.

M1A Rifleman
12-16-2008, 12:21 PM
Commercial ammo should be fine. My suggestion is to stay clear of Wolf etc. Some commercial ammo may not function correctly for different reasons so you will need to try and see. For instance, I had a box of Remington's UMC 308 win where the bullets key-holed and I had several case head separations.

As for GI type 7.62 ammo, I would suggest being carefull and research before you buy. Some foriegn military ammo still uses corrosive priming, and worse, their manufactuing standards could be third world making their ammo potentially unsafe. If you can still find it, Portugese surplus is good stuff. Iv' also had good luck with Spanish, Norwegian, and CAVIM.

Omega13device
12-16-2008, 1:13 PM
M1A Rifleman is correct. The headspace tag that Springfield includes with the M1A says you can use "high quality commercial .308 ammunition" in addition to 7.62 NATO. As far as what "high quality" means, you've gotten some good advice above.

For 7.62 ammo I've used South African surplus and it's fine. AIM has it in stock from time to time for $60/battle pack (you don't have to pay the $75 you often see on for sale boards unless you're desperate). The Lithuanian surplus is much newer and is supposed to be excellent. Don't buy Indian surplus unless you know what you're doing as some of it is corrosive.

Sumo99
12-16-2008, 1:15 PM
My SAI scout squad, from the factory, was headspaced for 7.62 NATO. It came with a card that had the headspace listed and it said to only use 7.62 NATO. You don't just have to consider the headspacing, but also the possible higher pressure and lighter primers of commercial .308. Like M1A Rifleman said, just make sure the NATO ammo is high quality and non-corrosive. I think there is some Indian and German surplus ammo out there that has been causing some problems.

Some will say it's okay, some will say only use NATO. In the end it's your call.

I put 50 rounds of Magtech .308 through my rifle when I 1st bought it because that was the only ammo the gun shop had is stock. Now that I've stocked up on 7.62, that's the only thing I will put through my rifle.

Mosby
12-16-2008, 4:17 PM
I shoot milsurp in my M1A Loaded without a problem. Have to to try commercial due to price. Anyway try the link below, you may have to register to see the "Ammo Bunker" section. These folks are really helpful when in comes to civilian version of the M14. Be forewarned you'll spend extraordinary time at the site soaking up the knowledge.

http://www.m14tfl.com/upload/

Mosby

_Odin_
12-16-2008, 5:03 PM
First off, congrats on the outstanding choice of a rifle - easily one of the greatest long-guns ever designed. My personal favorite - next though, you should consider getting an LRB Arms M14 -> www.lrbarms.com

Now onto ammunition:

The M1A is designed specifically to shoot 7.62 NATO (M80 Ball-ammo). .308 is the commercial equivalent and has softer primers and thinner case walls. Also, the type of gun powder used in commercial ammo (.308) varies whereas the 7.62 NATO is ball-powder based (if it's manufactured to mil-spc).

The main issue is with respect to slamfire - w/ the M1A/M14 the firing pin will strike the primer of the cartridge when a round is chambered (same w/ other military rifles). With soft primers (ie. commercial ammo, ie. .308) there is an increased risk of a slamfire or out-of-battery explosion. You should always be using harder primers (7.62 NATO) as this is what the M1A was designed for. A lot of the .308 stuff out there is more for bolt-action rifles.

odysseus
12-16-2008, 5:35 PM
Although plenty of people shoot commercial .308 all day long through their m1a\m14s. There is not a pandemic issue with slamfires these days to my knowledge, but there is always an outside risk. However I have shot, along with milsurp 7.62 NATO, plenty of commercial .308 like Federal, Remington, Winchester etc. through them without any issue.

.

Josh
12-16-2008, 6:04 PM
Difference between .308 win and 7.62 nato

http://www.fulton-armory.com/308.htm

With a proper receiver bridge, commercial ammo and primers are not an issue. Many shooters out there are using match primers for their m1a loads.

UBFRAGD
12-16-2008, 10:26 PM
Good information above this topic is really useful because of caliber confusion/weapon manufacturer variations. All I know is my SA NM M1A barrel is stamped
"308 WIN"
and when I used various 7.62x51 ammo I had all types of issues--feeding jamming extraction cycling accuracy just the blues.......

Now I shoot 308 win exclusively and guess what, no problems, Glock-like functioning. 168gr BTHP molycoats and lightweight Hornady TAPS. I'm paying $.75 to $1.20 / round but the darn thing delivers every pull of the trigger and that's what counts.

Will be ordering one of those FA pistons soon.....looks good.

windsheer
12-16-2008, 11:12 PM
I have a Springfield nm m1a thats about 2 years old , I was schocked and really bummed at how it would NOT function with surplus ammo. I really should of got the loaded model as its more ammo friendly.

The Scout is almost the same as the standared minus a couple of inches and should fire any 7.62 NATO or 308. The German nato ammo thats out now is really good stuff , stock up on that while it is available. Good job on getting your hands on a Scout these days as they are all sold out from my sources.

30Cal
12-17-2008, 8:59 AM
Will be ordering one of those FA pistons soon.....looks good.

Not sure what you mean there. The fit of the gas piston has a subtle affect on accuracy. Not even the big team armorers understand it, other than that they'd test till they found one size that worked best in a given rifle.

A standard USGI piston will last almost forever--you'll need to shoot out the better part of two barrels before it and the gas cyl start to loose they're edge for top level accuracy use.

There are, I believe, only three types of USGI piston. The standard one, a grooved "NM" one (which non of the big teams used on a widescale basis and won't work well with anything but heavy match ammo), and a Ti coated one that went into the sniper versions (the teams didn't really use those either).

I'm of the school that says no polishing of the piston, the theory being that it subtly rounds the edges of the rings and decreases it's self-cleaning abilities.

_Odin_
12-17-2008, 9:15 AM
I think Windsheer was refering to the Ti coated pistons made by Sadlak (sp?) and sold by FA. I was looking at these myself actually... never used one though.

My assumption is Ti coating helps by keeping carbon deposits from building up as fast/making cleaning a bit easier. Anyone have any experience with these?

(bottom one = Ti coated. Top = Mil-spec):
http://www.lrbarms.com/images/600_Gas_Pistons.JPG

Crazed_SS
12-17-2008, 11:04 AM
I have a Springfield nm m1a thats about 2 years old , I was schocked and really bummed at how it would NOT function with surplus ammo. I really should of got the loaded model as its more ammo friendly.



Yours doesnt work with surplus? Hmmm...

I've shot everything in mine.. South African Surplus 7.62, Venezulean Surplus7.62, Winchester Super X .308, Remington UMC .308, Federal .308, American Eagle .308, etc.. no issues.

I have a M1A Loaded with the SS barrel.
So far, I have only tried SA Surplus in the Socom 16 and worked flawless.

Sumo99
12-17-2008, 11:21 AM
I have a Springfield nm m1a thats about 2 years old , I was schocked and really bummed at how it would NOT function with surplus ammo.
My friends NM M1A is marked .308 as well and it won't chamber a 7.62 round without slamming the oprod forward. The 7.62 casing is just long enough to not allow the bolt to close on it's own. Needless to say slamming the oprod is not a good thing to do. Good thing he has a SOCOM as well that will eat surplus ammo all day.

Sumo99
12-17-2008, 11:30 AM
Yours doesnt work with surplus? Hmmm...

I've shot everything in mine.. South African Surplus 7.62, Venezulean Surplus7.62, Winchester Super X .308, Remington UMC .308, Federal .308, American Eagle .308, etc.. no issues.

I have a M1A Loaded with the SS barrel.
So far, I have only tried SA Surplus in the Socom 16 and worked flawless.
Are Loadeds chambered for 7.62 or .308? If it's 7.62 that would explain why both .308 & 7.62 works in it. I believe most National Match rifles and up are chambered for .308. I wonder if maybe the tolerance of a NM M1A are just a bit tighter than the loaded. :confused:
Nice rifles by the way. :cool: I really need a 2nd M1A/M14

UBFRAGD
12-17-2008, 4:40 PM
Yeah I know this thread is about M1A's digesting ammo but the side topic of pistons is pretty interesting too. The reason I have been thinking of changing my piston is because it is totally pitted and cratered. (Functions flawlessly and decently accurate tho). I do not know why and can only speculate that unscrupulous vendors sold me milsurp corrosive ammo and advertised it as non-corrosive the first couple weeks I owned the rifle. (Yes I clean the rifle after every session but sometimes not until the next day or two...)

masterbush
12-22-2008, 8:34 AM
So I should be able to shoot any good quality ammo. Is there anything I should upgrade or can I shoot it for a bit with no problems. Also got the M1A loaded coupon is there anything I should get from that for it like the bi-pod, vented handguard, stuff like that?

Any one here load there own ammo for the M1? Is brittish .308 same crap as regular surplus 7.62?

Pick it up tomorrow I am psyched!!!!!!!!!! Any recomendations for a decent scope for its money.

Sumo99
12-22-2008, 9:00 AM
You should be fine with quality .308, just stay away from the heavy grain bullets.
As far as the coupon, get mags. The vented hand guard looks cool, but has it's drawbacks (cracks easier, the heat waves coming off your barrel can obscure your sight picture). I would also skip the bipod, it isn't great for accuracy. Spend the money and get a Harris bipod or other quality bipod that mounts to the stock and not the gas cylinder. Other than thay, I would get tools and cleaning supplies (gas wrench, combo tool, castle nut pliers, etc).
I don't know much about scopes, but as for scope mounts stay away from Springfield's. Get either a Sadlak, Smith Enterprise or ARMS or Bassett.
Before your first outing, make sure you give it a good cleaning and then re-grease it. M1A's like grease better than oil. The one mod I will recommend is Sadlak's spring guide. It really does help smooth out the action.
Enjoy your new rifle.

GM4spd
12-22-2008, 9:10 AM
[QUOTE=windsheer;1792551]I have a Springfield nm m1a thats about 2 years old , I was schocked and really bummed at how it would NOT function with surplus ammo. I really should of got the loaded model as its more ammo friendly.

Your M1A should function with milsurp ammo---if it doesn't,there is
something wrong with your rifle and/or mags. Couldn't tell you the
problem without seeing it. Pete

Hoop
12-22-2008, 10:53 AM
Your M1A should function with milsurp ammo---if it doesn't,there is
something wrong with your rifle and/or mags. Couldn't tell you the
problem without seeing it. Pete

Not necessarily. I think the NM versions have a little tighter tolerances vs. the standard models so they can have problems with certain military ammunition if they're loaded hotter/necks are slightly different etc. The NM model I shot didn't like some surplus stuff either but was fine with handloads and "commercial" stuff.

GM4spd
12-22-2008, 11:41 AM
Not necessarily. I think the NM versions have a little tighter tolerances vs. the standard models so they can have problems with certain military ammunition if they're loaded hotter/necks are slightly different etc. The NM model I shot didn't like some surplus stuff either but was fine with handloads and "commercial" stuff.

Does SA specifically say NOT to use milsurp ammo in the NM? I find it hard to believe
they are using different chamber dimensions for their NM rifle as opposed
to their regular models. If what you say is true people using milsurp in these tighter tolerance rifles risk
having an "out of battery" explosion if the bolt is not fully locked up,again
very hard to believe SA doesn't specify this in writing. Pete