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Dies for 7.62 x 51 (.308)

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Old 03-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
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I have bought what appears to be a standard - loaded with the medium weight stainless barrel. It is not a Supermatch. I get to pick it up tomorrow, so I'll have more time to look into it's details. It is a pre-owned rifle, but looks like it was barely (if ever) fired. It comes with a nice bi-pod already on it.

I'l post photos Tuesday evening after I get it home. I am very excited about this acquisition.

I have ordered 500 rounds of the Federal 7.61 x 51 NATO stamped ammo. They are 150 grain bullets. I load my Garand and 1903-A3 with the 165 grain bullets.

I do have the latest Hornady loading manual. I have been using IMR-4064 for my .30-06 loads for 30 years, but I look into the 4895 for the 7.62x51 M1A.

I am overly anal about trimming rifle cases. I do it every time, whether they need it or not!

Now, I have assumed that I should only use the military 7.62x51 brass, either from my lot of purchased Federal, or range pick-ups. I am somthing of a range rat and I do pick up a lot of range brass for re-loading. I see a lot of .308 brass lying unclaimed at the range, but I have assumed that I should not try to reload these for the M1A - any comments?

I am going to try the standard .308 dies first and see how they work, if I need to I will buy a small base rsizing die later.

Now, recommendations on magazines. Springfield mags are VERY expensve, how about the CMI magazines?

Later I intend to scope this rifle for longer range shooting - any recommendations on scope mounting systems?
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:15 PM   #12
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TX you are about to own a very nice rifle. One of mine is the SS bbl loaded but accurized. You may want to look into that with a good M1A/M14 armorer at some time down the road. Bedding, unitizing the gas system, venting the gas plug, and honing the trigger mech will definitely turn it into a super accurate rifle.
You may do well with the standard dies so give them a try first. I went ahead and bought small base to begin with and then a small base XDIE.

I used to be a brass hoarder at the range too, but some time back got into some that wanted to stick in my die even with a good lubing. I quit picking it up when I ran into problems, also I didn't know how many firings some of it had been through.
A good rule is to put your brass in the salvage can after four firings. If you try for more you will definitely experience case head separations with the M1A.
The cost of an M1A is such that it is better to know what you are feeding it. Once you have had it for a while, you will develop a love for it like you have had with no other firearm. If you don't already have one, you will need to bring home its pappy--an M1 Garand then the M1A won't feel so lonely.
Be sure to read the articles by Glen Zediker and also jump over and join us sometime on the M14 Firing Line Public Forum. That is where you can gain tons of knowledge about the M1A/M14 rifle from Gus and Art. You really need to know how to care for it and how to enhance it.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:50 AM   #13
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In the M1A I have up and running now, I have put 32,000 plus rounds through it and I'll have to say 99% of the ammo used was and still is .308 Winchester, not 7.62X51 NATO. The brass I'm reloading is .308 win exclusively.
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