This is a discussion on 190 berger vld, need feedback. within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Good day to ALL!
I am seeking opinions on using a BERGER 190gr VLD bullet in the M1a. I am quite familiar with the difference ...
Good day to ALL!
I am seeking opinions on using a BERGER 190gr VLD bullet in the M1a. I am quite familiar with the difference between chamber pressure vs. port pressure.
I have installed 2 port pressure reducers on my weapon. The first is a Sadlak grooved Ti NM piston, the second is a schuster overbored and vented(1/64" vent) gas plug. I must also take into consideration the bearing surface of the bullet which is slightly less than a SMK. Targeted velocity will be 2350-2400fps. This should beat the 175's in exterior ballistics.
Before I run all the ballistic calculations, I would appreciate any feedback that the board could give. Is this feasable? what powder would you use?
would i be better off with the berger 155.5 fullbore with a load of 44 gr IMR4895??
Thank You and Regards to all, Todd
I've never tried a bullet that heavy, my top end has been 180 grains. While ballistically, it seems like it's doable I wouldn't want to use my rifle as the guinea pig. The mass of the bullet might create more recoil energy than the rifle was designed to take, even with the Shuster plug.
But my QuickLOAD software says that theoretically 41gr of IMR 4895 should produce about 52,000 PSI and about 2480 fps, reasonable numbers in my opinion. IMR 3031 would also be a good powder to try, about 38.5 grains would be equivalent to the 41gr IMR 4895 load with slightly lower port pressure and slightly lower muzzle velocity (maybe 20 fps or so).
If I were to test the load I'd work up from about 39 grains of IMR 4895 to no more than about 41.5 grains. I'd also make sure that I had a clean chamber and no lube on the cartridges. If there is lube on the cases then the pressure on the bolt face will increase and might crack a bolt lug.
The F Class National Champs I know are using 185 gr Bergers in their 308 Bolt guns and winning. Their loads are way too hot for any M1a.
One very senior shooter I know, when he shot on National Guard teams, he claimed they used 190 SMK's. I have no idea the powder charge or level. And, if the rifle broke, it was fixed with tax payer money. He claimed 190's shot well.
I tried 190's in a Garand and used a vented gas plug, still the recoil was severe, it felt as though the rifle was being shaken apart, and the accuracy was not that good. So I did not try that experiment in M1a's.
I don't recommend anything heavier than 175's
I was squadded with an Army Reserve team shooter, they were using 185 gr Bergers and Varget in their AR10's at Camp Perry. Apparently the service rifle long range aggregate was won with this combination. AR10's are different mechanisms.
Todd, there are some great previous discussions about using heavier bullets in the M1A. Look back for them and you will see two camps on that issue. One says "yes you can", the other is "no way." I use mid weight bullets (185 Berger LRBT) for my LR loads in my M1A, which is set up with a bored and vented schuster plug and heavier op rod spring.
I use IMR4064 and have the 185's going 2500-2525fps and it is an incredible LR load. But, if you are only looking to shoot 800yds and less in matches, I would be looking at working up a load with those 155.5's. The extra cost and recoil of the 185's buys you much less up close than at 1000yds.
A few other comments to address your post:
Grooved piston - I love Sadlak stuff, but found that piston bled pressure off too much and would not fully cycle my action with my match LR loads.
What powder? I would start with some IMR4064; I recommend that not because of some vast knowledge, but only beacuse it works so dang good in the last four barrels (three Bartlein and one Obermeyer). So, Why change what works?
I personally find VLD's a pain to load for in a gas gun, but that is just a preference.
I have shot many thousands of the 185Berger LRBT's. I go thru about 1700-2200 185's a year, in addition to the full power M118LR (current), and M852 (1990's). I have been using the Berger 185's with a heavy competition schedule for 3-4 years now. I go thru about a barrel a year between both of my competition M1A's.
During this time: NO malfunctions, breakages, etc. My primary rifle is an older (SN 32,???) that was used a lot by an All Guard shooter. He often used the rifle instead of the Team rifles. What I am getting at is this rifle has used full power loads for a long time. It is too bad that this rifle does not have a round count from before I owned it. So, with myself using the 185's in addition to many years of competitive shooting and who knows how many barrel replacements, there are no problems.
We have discussed this issue previously, with Rammac adding some good info to the discussions. Yes, shooting the heavier bullets is not for every rifle and person, but it can be done (and is done) regularly by competitive shooters - ask Bamban for his opinion on the matter.
The original poster appears to be knowledgeable about the concerns of using the heavier bullets. Todd has taken steps similar to myself (I run a schuster plug and a Wolff heavy op rod spring).
I will report back here the day my rifle(s) experience any failure that can be attributed to shooting 185's. I am not sure it is going to happen.....(hopefully I did not just jinx myself).
Fellow Shooters, I would like to thank you for all of your input. It is deeply appreciated. Warmest Regards--Todd
To the post that criticized my use and how many posts I make. I dont post just to see how many i can rack up, I dont sit on the computer all day, If you need a personal reference if I am a serious shooter ask Old Sarge. I will only post if I have a legit Q. I will answer only if I can honestly be of help. A wise person once told me I will learn more by listening(and reading) than I would talking. There is alot of truth to that.