M14 and M1A Talk M14 and M1A rifles - General Posting

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Old 07-10-2012, 17:19   #1
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846 Surplus M14 Loads

Greetings,

I have been playing with some loads for my M14 using 846 Power from Weidners with 145 grain FMJ bullets. I know they are kinda light. Brass is Lake City. Recommendations for loads were about 44 grains. So I loaded 44 grains. Wolf Military Primers. Last winter (about 10 outside) they would feed about 50% of the time. I figured it was due to the cold and the lube on the rifle. Now that its warm outside, they won't cycle the action at all. I bumped the power up to 45 grains. No signs of stress, and they won't cycle either. At 46 grains they dribble out the ejection port. But they all dribble with multiple mags used. But recoil seems high. They don't show any signs of excess pressure, they also measure on the calipers no bigger than any others. The 44 grains loads cycle my FAL without issue, but its gas system adjusts. I didn't adjust it for these loads.

I have some Indian ammo which I pulled bullets and powder (bullets are 149 give or take a few) and reloaded with 44 grains of 846. These cycle just fine.

I have a bunch of Australian and South African surplus they feed just fine. My loads using the same bullets, cases and primers and 43 grains of AA2520 feed to perfection.

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:35   #2
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I have loaded and shot similar loads thru my M1A, with no problem. The only differences I see is that your shooting thru a M14 vs my M1A, I have been loading 145gr Orange Tip Tracer projectiles vs yours, which I assume are FMJ ball projectiles, and the last difference is I'm using WC846T (which burns a little hotter than std 846). I've tested both 45grn and 46grn and both cycle my M1A with no problem. Maybe your powder is going bad. ie: getting weaker as it ages. The reason I suggest this is because of your statement that using AA2520 (which is slower burning than WC846) with the same projectiles works good.

Just my suggestion. Maybe somebody else can chime in.
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Old 07-11-2012, 16:45   #3
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My last jug of 846 from Weidners didn't have a lot#, it was simply marked as pull-down.
I got better accuracy by increasing the charge to 44.5gr compared to 42gr I used in a faster lot of powder. I'm using it in a fal, also Mini 14 & AR-15.

For accuracy, I find myself using less than listed loads on this chart, especially if it's a faster burning lot. Good to see you're working up your loads with caution.
Your load may still on the mild side. Be safe.

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Old 07-11-2012, 18:06   #4
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I am going to continue to take a lot of care in working up the loads. My certainly doesn't have a lot number on it. According to the above chart, I am still below the minimum with 145 grain FMJ bullets. What was weird is that my FAL (A century build) shot by my son last week (he's a Marine) produced some excellent groups at 100 years with the loads at 44 grains. No mag in rifle, it seems to group better without the mag. I had never tried handloads in it. I was ready to sell it, but now I am not so sure. I guess one can never have enough guns.

I am going to use a crony this weekend to measure some loads. I have a bunch to try AA2520, IMR4948, H4948, IMR4064. Thanks for the information.
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Old 07-11-2012, 18:32   #5
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A crony will help for sure. I was an idiot for getting rid of my Federal Ordnance M-14 SA.
Like I mentioned, I started at at 42gr in my fal and worked up as far as 45.5gr but it seemed to like 45gr. Have to admit, the gas plug was turned off for single shot for testing.
Good luck, hope to hear how you made out. Post some pics if you can.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:14   #6
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I shot a bunch today. All through the chrony. Results are average of five:

Lake City Long Range - 2622 - Fed Great
Indian .308 with 44 grains of 846, 150 Gr FMJ - 2785 - Fed Great
Reloads LC Brass, Wolf Primer, 46 Grains of 846, 145 FMJ - 2779 - Two failures to cycle
Reloads LC Brass, Wolf Primer, 43 Grains of AA2520, 145 FMJ - 2661 - Failure to cycle
Reloads LC Brass, Wolf Primer, 40 Grains of 4895, 168 SMK - 2470 - Failed to cycle
Reloads LC Brass, Wolf Primer, 41.5 Grains of 4064, 168 SMK - 2547 - Fed Great

This trip to the range was frustrating. At this point I don't see the 846 as working good in my M14. Too many failures. I compare it to my South Africa, Lake City LR or Australian Surplus which feel flawlessly. Powders in stock at my house for 308:

AA2520
AA3031
IMR4985
H4895
IMR4064
W846

Bullets in Stock

400 Sierra Match Kings 168
800 145 Grain FMJ's

My FAL feed all of the above rounds without issue with good accuracy. The M14 gas system is kicking my butt.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:15   #7
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I am heading to the basement to tear the rifle down to inspect all the parts and closely inspect the brass.
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Old 07-14-2012, 16:20   #8
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Perhaps your rifle just doesn't care for that lot of 846?
4895 and 4064 are also my favorites. 44gr 4064 & 168gr Game Kings would shoot quarter size groups at 200yds in my Remington heavy barrel 308. This was with commercial and military brass.

I noticed most of your failures were with LC brass. Where did you get it?
Some places sell different grades once fired LC brass depending what it was fired in, bolt action, M14 or M60.

Good luck & keep us posted.
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Old 07-14-2012, 18:02   #9
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I got from Weidners. I thought about that too. Very easy to eliminate the variables. I have Winchester .308 brass, primers other than Wolf, and a good powder selection. Right now I have torn down the M14 for a cleaning and inspection. Tuesday after work I will shoot it again. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 07-15-2012, 16:21   #10
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I took the rifle apart. The gas system needed a little cleaning. I also cleaned out the valve whatever it's called for cutting the gas system off. I noted that with a dummy rounds when extracting the bolt seems to catch on something. Haven't figured it out yet, if its normal or a problem. Still looking. It seems to be something that could cause problems. I did note that all brass ejects to about the 1 o'clock position.
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Old 07-15-2012, 17:03   #11
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Are you testing with the stock or without? My friends Chicom M-14 had problems like yours. The front sling swivel screw protruded too far inside the stock and the operating rod was binding on it. Just a thought.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:30   #12
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Testing with the action out of the rifle. I gave the gas system a good cleaning. Will grease the roller and more testing Tuesday after work. My dad has a lot of land and we have a 100 yard range setup. So we'll see.
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Old 07-17-2012, 18:42   #13
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Lets give a good update tonight. Its been pretty hot here in central New York. Went up to shoot the thing. The 44 grains of 846 surplus shot at an average of 2722 (five shots). All cycled and all landed about four feet to the one o'clock position. So I guess I have my loads. I cleaned the gas system over the weekend. But since I have owned the thing, I have always cleaned the gas system after each time at the range with the exception of the inside of the gas piston and the gas plug. Never cleaned them ever. I used the recommended drill bit technique. Found a drill that fit tight and turned it by hand. Lots of carbon came out of both. So I think we have our solution for Douglas' M14. Clean it please. Thanks for everyone's comments.
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Old 07-17-2012, 18:43   #14
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Funny thing tonight. I brought a friend with me to my dad's range. He shot the Chrony so I guess my dad will be getting a new one before he gets back from Lake George. Right through the middle with an AR-15.
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Old 07-17-2012, 18:59   #15
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Lake George got hammered with a storm this evening, especially up in Hague. I watched the storm from a distance here in Hudson Falls, just south of Queensbury. Beautiful country up here. Sorry to hear about the Chrony. Was it because the bore is so much lower than the sights? Good luck!
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:02   #16
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I think that it can be very hard to shoot through a chrony with a scope. I live in Rome and my dad south of Utica. Nice county in Central New York, but lousy government. So your favorite loads are using 4064 and 168 game kings. I loaded five of them for accuracy testing after the chrony testing last Saturday. I purchased 2000 rounds of brass last fall from Weidners. No telling how it was shot. It was pretty dirty. I deprimed, cleaned, used the dillon on the primer pockets then sold half for more than the purchase price. However I had some labor in the process.

I setup the brass in basement and would do 20 or so at a time each time I went to the basement and some more each night after work. Then I resized, cleaned again, then primed and put into extra heavy zip lock bags that came with the manuals on some Cisco Networking Gear. So when I want to reload I just grab a few out of the bag. Thanks for your comments.
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Old 07-21-2012, 23:10   #17
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Just for reference, I've loaded quite a bit of 7.62 using Pat's 846 powder. I found 45.0 gr behind a 147 gr FMJBT functions my FAL, M1A and M14 very well, no failures with over 6,000 rounds between thre three rifles. I ran it across a chrono and got 2740 fps with this load.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:22   #18
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Thanks for the comments. I played around a lot with the powder, my FAL likes 44.0 (but it feeds anything) while the M14 sorta likes it. For example last week it liked it. This Saturday the first three it failed to feed. I then mixed it the mag (one of one and then one of the other) with Aussie surplus. It all shot without a single failure. Ejected to the one o'clock nicely into the net. I am thinking its more of the rifle issue than an ammo issue. I just got done taking the rifle apart and cleaning everything. I took the mount off and drilled a hole (following the path of the roll pin) where the roll pin goes through the piece that replaces the stripper clip guide. I then tapped the hole for a set screw. With the roll pin it was always loose. With the set screw it's nice and tight. I didn't drill into the receiver so don't worry. I will test it Tuesday.

I have been looking at a nice Amilite AR10 to add to the stable.
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Old 07-22-2012, 19:06   #19
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My best guess is that LC brass. Even though you re-sized it, the dimensions
may not be right due to spring back of the brass. It may work ok in one rifle
and not another depending on chamber specs. I had a bucket load of
CAVIM brass that would not feed/extract in one bolt gun and one M1A,
another M1A was fine.
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Old 07-22-2012, 20:55   #20
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The problem with misfeeds. Maybe the basement itself. My basement has moisture problems. If I leave the powder out too long, I get squid.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:19   #21
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Originally Posted by SAN14 View Post
My best guess is that LC brass. Even though you re-sized it, the dimensions
may not be right due to spring back of the brass. It may work ok in one rifle
and not another depending on chamber specs. I had a bucket load of
CAVIM brass that would not feed/extract in one bolt gun and one M1A,
another M1A was fine.
That is a pretty good observation. I can perform a work around to test this. I can load up some test loads using other brass. I have a few hundred Winchester brass, I will try this out and give the results Tuesday after I get to the range. I have been going twice a week watching my dad's house while he is gone.

Something to think about is when after the rifle was warmed up, it cycled fine. A friend from work who shoots a military issue M14 (Air National Guard Rifle Team) said it could be the lube or other issues that get resolved once the rifle heats up a little bit.
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Old 07-23-2012, 06:21   #22
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Originally Posted by uban77 View Post
The problem with misfeeds. Maybe the basement itself. My basement has moisture problems. If I leave the powder out too long, I get squid.
I agree with you on that. The basement is pretty dry and finished. I keep the ammo in a sealed can. I run the dehumidifier round the clock into the basement drain. I did however think about what you said, humidity can certainly cause problems.
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Old 07-23-2012, 22:23   #23
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Get a case gauge, Wilson is a good one. I wouldn't even consider reloading 7.62 or 5.56 brass without one. That will tell you with absolute certainty if the brass is properly sized and the shoulder set back properly before you load the brass.

I hear a lot about brass springback, but I can tell you about my experience. I "acquired" two duffle bags full, and I mean full, of 7.62 brass fired in a helicopter gunship a few years ago. I've been reloading this stuff to shoot in my two 1919A4 Brownings. I resize with RCBS Fl dies, prime off the press, then charge, seat, and crimp in a Dillon 550. I check about every 20th case when resizing.

Now, if I were going to have any stretched brass or oversized brass, I'd think it would be this stuff. However, I check regularly and in loading one full bag of brass, and about half of the second one, I have yet to find any brass that did not resize back to proper dimensions. So much for the springback theory. I simply haven't seen it at all.

I think your problems are likely in the gun itself. Be sure the roller is properly greased and the op rod well lubed too, and everything else clean. I also have a Winchester M14 duly papered, and while I don't shoot it a lot, I do take it out once or twice a year, and at least my gun likes to be well oiled for proper function.

Good luck with it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:25   #24
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You might try mag primers with your powder
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:02   #25
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Surplus Loads

Originally Posted by medalguy View Post
Get a case gauge, Wilson is a good one. I wouldn't even consider reloading 7.62 or 5.56 brass without one. That will tell you with absolute certainty if the brass is properly sized and the shoulder set back properly before you load the brass.

I hear a lot about brass springback, but I can tell you about my experience. I "acquired" two duffle bags full, and I mean full, of 7.62 brass fired in a helicopter gunship a few years ago. I've been reloading this stuff to shoot in my two 1919A4 Brownings. I resize with RCBS Fl dies, prime off the press, then charge, seat, and crimp in a Dillon 550. I check about every 20th case when resizing.

Now, if I were going to have any stretched brass or oversized brass, I'd think it would be this stuff. However, I check regularly and in loading one full bag of brass, and about half of the second one, I have yet to find any brass that did not resize back to proper dimensions. So much for the springback theory. I simply haven't seen it at all.

I think your problems are likely in the gun itself. Be sure the roller is properly greased and the op rod well lubed too, and everything else clean. I also have a Winchester M14 duly papered, and while I don't shoot it a lot, I do take it out once or twice a year, and at least my gun likes to be well oiled for proper function.

Good luck with it.
I have two of the Wilson case gauges that I got form Dillon when I got my decrimping tool. I also make a dummy rounds to test my loads. I use quality reloading gear. RCBS Trimmer, Co-Ax Press, and for 7.62x51 I use C&H Dies. I agree that the problem is the rifle and not the loads.

In my earlier post I noted that my rounds wouldn't fire with a cold rifle. After a shot a few and cycled manually, I then loaded every other round surplus and reloads. All cycled without a problem. As the rifle got warm it worked better. I still have the rifle torn down on my work bench. I am paying close attention to the gas system of course and also the chamber. Busy week at work this week so I haven't touched the think since Sunday, but I will look at those items carefully.

Like Networking when something is not working you fix the problem by slowing figuring out what you know. By doing that you eventually fix the problem. In this case slow doesn't matter as long as I get it done. I have learned a lot. Thank you for your posts.
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