Springfield Armory M1A Ammo Question

This is a discussion on Springfield Armory M1A Ammo Question within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I thought I'd see if anyone had experience with the M1A. I've shot my M1 Garand(30-06 of course :) ) a lot and found that ...

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Thread: Springfield Armory M1A Ammo Question

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    Member Array lprmcnit's Avatar
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    Springfield Armory M1A Ammo Question

    I thought I'd see if anyone had experience with the M1A. I've shot my M1 Garand(30-06 of course :) ) a lot and found that it only really likes milspec ammo. It makes it hard to do a tactical rifle class where they require lead free frangible ammo. Does anyone have experience with the M1A using non milspec or reloaded .308 ammo? I love the Garand/M1A platform; the only problem in the past has been using non-standard ammo. I could go to the Ruger Ranch Rifle and .223, but like the power of the .308 round. Appreciate in advance your comments and advice.

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    You'll have to research this but there is a gas port adapter for Garands that allows them to operate with standard factory ammo rather than military rounds only. Don't know what it costs or what it's actually called, but the info's out there.

    I think .308 versions are more tolerant of factory ammo.
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    I have never had any issues with shooting other than mil spec ammo from my M1A with the exception of one or two test reloads, getting case length and powder charge adjusted. Avoid any heavy bullet weight above 168 it will/can damage your rifle.
    I will run some hunting ammunition through my rifle if I find it cheap and have gotten some decent groups from it.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Avoid any heavy bullet weight above 168 it will/can damage your rifle.
    Where can I find more info on this? I have thousands of rounds of 180 grain and was thinking of burning them up in my M1A.
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    I've successfully developed an extreme "powder puff" load for my M1A that utilizes SR 4759 and a 125 grain Sierra bullet. The rifle sounds like an old pump shotgun when it cycles but so far it has always fed and functioned with the load.

    I've not played with bullets heavier than 180 grains in the M1A nor have I used them with really heavy powder charges. I have seen others on the firing line who were willing to push the envelope with both 168 grain bullets and 180 grain bullets using heavy powder charges in the Springfield Armory M1A. At a Texas state high-power match some years ago I was squaded with a gal who proved to be the high woman shooter at the end of that match and 5th overall. She shot 3 weekends per month during high-power season. It was a humbling experience.

    Anyway, she shot her Springfield Armory M1A with what amounted to an overload with 180 grain Sierra Matchkings and claimed no trouble out of her match-tuned rifle. Her dad was some high muckity-muck officer at one of the San Antonio military bases and she had access to military armorers which may have had something to do with the serviceability of her rifle despite the pounding it was taking. She had no problems handling the rifle, the load , or the recoil over the two-day match. I guess it is all in knowing what you are doing. She was a short little thing.

    I've observed other competitors who also used really heavy loads in their M1A's. Apparently the rifle is pretty durable. I haven't felt the need to explore loads on the heavy end of the spectrum with my own M1A.


    I've played with the M1 to a greater extent than the M1A and a dead stock M1 rifle is more adept at handling loads that are at variance with standard military ball than most folks these days seem to think. It will shoot bullets to 190 grains and will also digest light loads with 125 grain bullets. In my view the M1 is not so picky as it has been represented on the internet of late.

    The M1 also will give indications that a load is excessively heavy when ejection becomes more violent and cases are being flung at random instead of its habitual manner of ejection which is generally at 1 o'clock to 2 o'clock to the right of the muzzle.

    Both the M1 and M1A rifles that are well broken in, have springs that are within proper specs, kept perfectly clean, and are properly lubricated are amazing machines for launching projectiles down range and quite versatile in handling various loadings.
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    The military load is a 147 gr bullet that can be found in WWB and so forth. I use Federal American Eagle 168 gr OTM in mine. It is very accurate and reliable, I would recommend it to anyone with an M1A. I also bought a box of Winchester Silvertip 168 gr .308 for it, but I haven't tried it yet. I've read that it's a great load for it though and I expect it to do as well as the Federal I've been using.

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    Supertac45 the M1A/M-14 series was developed for the standard 147 grain ball ammo. Using heavier loads/bullets can cause damage due to excessive recoil and excessive wear due to the same reason.
    t is just like shooting a steady diet of heavy loads out of a pistol, yeah they will handle it but will/can cause damage over a period of time. The premier site for M1A and M-14's is the M-14 Firing Line Public Forum. There are several posts and articles about the heavy load subject.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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