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What ammunition does your M1A prefer?

This is a discussion on What ammunition does your M1A prefer? within the M1A /M14 Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; Just curious what you all have found. I will be shooting mainly at distances from 100 to 600 yards and am hoping to find something ...

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Old 11-12-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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What ammunition does your M1A prefer?

Just curious what you all have found. I will be shooting mainly at distances from 100 to 600 yards and am hoping to find something that'll shoot within 2 MOA at short and long ranges.

I have a new Match rifle and will soon start running different kinds of ammo thru it to see what is most accurate. My .308 bolt action prefers 168gr Remington. I would assume M1A's will like 175gr Federal Match best, but I have a variety of brands/weights to test.

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Old 02-17-2012, 08:39 PM   #2
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It has been years since I was into M1a but a proper for M1a load and the 168 SMK is a good place to start some have great luck with the Palma type bullets.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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I've found American Eagle 168gr. most accurate for me. I shoot Winchester Q3130 150gr. w/decent groups at 200yds. & it's alot cheaper.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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I have a "loaded" M1A with heavy SS barrel, NM trigger and NM front sights.

I use 150 gr. bullets with no problem. I shoot mostly Remignton Core-Lokt because that is what I hunt with and so my scope, when I do use it, is zeroed for use with 150 gr. bullets. They also tend to be the cheapest most readily available ones around me. I also sometimes shoot the 147 gr. Winchester white box 7.62 x 51mm FMJ NATO. I notice only a slight difference of more accuracy with the 7.62 NATO FMJ because it is more aerodynamic while the Core-Lokts have protruding, sometimes misshapen lead cores. I also shoot Hornady occasionally and really like it, too. Hornady cost more but I use it whenever I do anything to change zero to my rifle and then need to re-zero. I've used Winchester ballistic Silvertips as well and they perform fine but have not seen such a difference between their performance and that of the Core-Lokts to warrant the $3-4 price increase to exclusively use them.

None of the ammo, in my experience, is so different that it will exceed your 2 MOA requirement. All are well within that if you do your part. But, I have only shot out to 200 yards so can't reliably say that your groups using any of the ammo I use would not open up more. But, all the ammo I've used function well in my rifle even if there are slight accuracy differences; none of them have caused jams, misfeeds, excessive dirtiness, or any other cycling issues.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:27 AM   #5
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I've been using the WWB and Federal at 200 yards with good results. Hope to get out to 600 when the weather inproves.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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I used to shoot a Sierra 168 MK across the course. Most folks have moved to the Sierra 175gr MK nowadays at the long line.

For the short line, I tried a reduced-recoil load using a Speer 125gr TNT bullet over 41gr IMR4895. It was great for shooting standing and sitting-rapid fire.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Handload. 178 gr AMAX, 43 gr. Alliant RE-15, CCI BR-2 Primer, Federal Premium brass (soon to be Winchester) Before the "no federal brass in an M1A" crap starts, just shut it. I know. Other than that, its 1 MOA all day long, and posted 3 groups that were SUB-moa at 200 yards on same day. It's like a laser out to 500, which is the farthest we've shot to date. It'll blast milk jugs all day, with scary consistency at that distance. Anything closer is just easy. Using 4.5-14x Nikon with Mil-Dots. Fun day, every day.

200yrd best shot groups 178 amax by Hillbilly Skeeter, on Flickr

As measured with RCBS Digital Calipers.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #8
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My M1A eats anything. I feed it everything from Brown Bear to Hornady Match. With Hornady 168gr, I've shot MOA at 100 yards with my Scout in a Sage EBR chassis.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:47 PM   #9
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So far 168 Serria Matchking, has had great results for me. I will try American Eagle 168 this weekend.
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