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.308 Match Loads

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  • Texas1911

    TGT Addict
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    May 29, 2017
    10,598
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    Austin, TX
    Well, I picked up a new toy and I am looking for some good match loads. Gun is a National Match M1A which has a .308 Win chamber and a 1:11 twist stainless medium barrel.

    I'm thinking something centered around a 168 grain Sierra Match King or A-Max would suit it well. Berger VLDs would be cool, but I need something that will still fit in the M1A magazine.

    Let me know what you guys use, and what you use it in. A friend just picked up a 700 R5 so if you have a load handy for that, I'm all ears as well.
     

    SteveW

    New Member
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    Apr 2, 2008
    38
    1
    Austin TX
    42 grains of RL15 under a 168 grain SMK in Hornady match brass. Winchester large primer. Sized to fit the mag. Works very well in my friends Supermatch M1A. I have heard some 'internet discussion' about how Winchester primers are too sensitive for M1As and can cause slam fires. I don't know if that is true, but its never happned to me and I have shot a lot of reloads through a H&K G3. Not a M1A, but there you are..
     

    phatcyclist

    Active Member
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    Feb 22, 2008
    882
    21
    Austin, TX
    I use a 168 grain Nosler HPBT bullet with 44.5 grains of Varget in Winchester brass with CCI #34 primers w/ very light crimp in my bolt-action. I used a fairly close setup (only differing in OAL) in my old H&R heavy barreled survivor and got 2/3" groups with it. The Nosler bullet is as close as I could find to a Sierra Match King when I couldn't get them.
     

    Texas1911

    TGT Addict
    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0
    May 29, 2017
    10,598
    46
    Austin, TX
    42 grains of RL15 under a 168 grain SMK in Hornady match brass. Winchester large primer. Sized to fit the mag. Works very well in my friends Supermatch M1A. I have heard some 'internet discussion' about how Winchester primers are too sensitive for M1As and can cause slam fires. I don't know if that is true, but its never happned to me and I have shot a lot of reloads through a H&K G3. Not a M1A, but there you are..

    The G3 has an aggressive loading mechanism too.

    I'll check it out.

    One of the regulars at the range got some damn nice groups using Benchrest.
     

    Texas1911

    TGT Addict
    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0
    May 29, 2017
    10,598
    46
    Austin, TX
    42 grains of RL15 under a 168 grain SMK in Hornady match brass. Winchester large primer. Sized to fit the mag. Works very well in my friends Supermatch M1A. I have heard some 'internet discussion' about how Winchester primers are too sensitive for M1As and can cause slam fires. I don't know if that is true, but its never happned to me and I have shot a lot of reloads through a H&K G3. Not a M1A, but there you are..

    The G3 has an aggressive loading mechanism too.

    I'll check it out.

    One of the regulars at the range got some damn nice groups using Benchrest.
     

    Bullseye Shooter

    Active Member
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    Apr 28, 2008
    510
    1
    Texas Panhandle
    For the M1A and my .308 M1 Garand, I load 41.0 grains of IMR 4895 with the Sierra 168 HPBT and LC match brass. If you're using commercial brass, you could go to 43.0 grains. I use either CCI's military primer or Winchester Large Rifle primers.

    As long as you seat the primer below the case rim you won't have a problem with slam fires. Slam fires happen because of a high primer, not because of a particular brand.
     

    Texas1911

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    May 29, 2017
    10,598
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    Austin, TX
    How much of a difference does the brass make? How would you rate the importance of brass weight?

    Most of the stuff we get is cheap commercial, but I'll keep my match brass.
     

    djspump2003

    Active Member
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    Oct 19, 2008
    267
    11
    Austin
    I have the Savage F/TR with a 30" barrel, but a 1:12 twist. I tried working up several different loads with everything from 168g HPBTs to 210 Berger Match (they were supposed to send me 190s). I ended up settling on Brad Suave's match 1000 yard load:
    43g VARGET pushing 175g SMK HPBT, Lapua brass, Russian primer.
    He uses the Russian primers, so I bought a few thousand to try out. In comparison with Rem 9 1/2, BR-2, and Fed 210M, I would have to say that the Russian primers match up most closely with the Rem 9 1/2s. With the same comparison, the Federals have given me the best results. I went out to Eagle Peak and at 300 yards, got several .75" groups with the above mentioned load. That's about as good as I can shoot. The Lapua brass edges out the rest, but I haven't tried the Noslers sitting in my cabinet because the Lapuas last for at least 30 reloads. I hate Norma brass b/c it is twice as expensive, thin walled so that it expands the neck twice as much when I shoot it. I have to change out the bushing in my Forster die just for the stupid Norma brass. ...my 4 or 5
     

    Texas1911

    TGT Addict
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    May 29, 2017
    10,598
    46
    Austin, TX
    The M1A is 1:11 so I could get away with a heavier bullet, but it might have problems fitting in the magazine. I know moving up to the heavy grain bullets in .223 Remington causes that issue in AR15s.

    I'll have to try out the 175 grain SMKs. I've read that some of the guns like it, others do better with the 168 grain. That being said, I have noticed that the 175 grain exhibited less spin drift at long range.
     

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