2nd outing with the M24 - load development - M14 Forum

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2nd outing with the M24 - load development

This is a discussion on 2nd outing with the M24 - load development within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; It's amazing the number of "maximum" loads that are available from various sources and manuals for the 308 and 175/178 Gr Bullets and RL15. Nosler ...


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Old March 19th, 2017, 06:20 PM   #1
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2nd outing with the M24 - load development

It's amazing the number of "maximum" loads that are available from various sources and manuals for the 308 and 175/178 Gr Bullets and RL15. Nosler says 44 Gr, Alliant says 45, Hornady no data, Sierra 45. On the internet, even more.

Guess that's why we test.

The loads range from 41.6 - 42.8 Gr of RL15. The Hornady 178 Gr ELD-X bullets were seated to an COAL of 2.83". It was a semi arbitrary depth and seemed to be what most folks were using. The best loads were 42.8 Gr. at 0.321".

I did find a rather large problem with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge. By accident I dumped one case and measured one of the good loads, what I found was extremely disappointing. The Advertised +/- 0.1 accuracy of this device is not up to the guarantee, even after repeated Calibration runs. Significant difficulties were found with any but the Slow dispensing settings, still Auto Charge had a difficult time hitting a mark. When I measured several cases, I found the charge error was several points under the 0.1 Gr point, one load was 0.6 off.

In the attached target only the last three sets were measured & verified on a beam scale. Sets 5,6 & 7 were to exactly on load. Not sure what happened with 6, but 7 was the best of the set, at 0.321".

The Chrono at the range was broken so I don't have a velocity. Inspection of the case heads was checked after each shot, and no evidence of overpressure were observed.

Maximum COAL with the 178 Gr ELD-X bullet contacting the lands is 2.979", so I have a lot of leeway to play with.

- Bryan
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Old March 20th, 2017, 08:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BWHookDrver View Post
It's amazing the number of "maximum" loads that are available from various sources and manuals for the 308 and 175/178 Gr Bullets and RL15. Nosler says 44 Gr, Alliant says 45, Hornady no data, Sierra 45. On the internet, even more.

Guess that's why we test.

The loads range from 41.6 - 42.8 Gr of RL15. The Hornady 178 Gr ELD-X bullets were seated to an COAL of 2.83". It was a semi arbitrary depth and seemed to be what most folks were using. The best loads were 42.8 Gr. at 0.321".

I did find a rather large problem with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge. By accident I dumped one case and measured one of the good loads, what I found was extremely disappointing. The Advertised +/- 0.1 accuracy of this device is not up to the guarantee, even after repeated Calibration runs. Significant difficulties were found with any but the Slow dispensing settings, still Auto Charge had a difficult time hitting a mark. When I measured several cases, I found the charge error was several points under the 0.1 Gr point, one load was 0.6 off.

In the attached target only the last three sets were measured & verified on a beam scale. Sets 5,6 & 7 were to exactly on load. Not sure what happened with 6, but 7 was the best of the set, at 0.321".

The Chrono at the range was broken so I don't have a velocity. Inspection of the case heads was checked after each shot, and no evidence of overpressure were observed.

Maximum COAL with the 178 Gr ELD-X bullet contacting the lands is 2.979", so I have a lot of leeway to play with.

- Bryan
Most guys that use a auto powder dispenser set it few tenths low then they use a manual powder trickler too hit there mark.

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Old March 20th, 2017, 08:11 AM   #3
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RCBS Chargemaster is the best of the bunch unless you go crazy with your $$$. Mine throws charges right on the money...easy to verify with the built-in scale.

Most reloading manuals are very conservative but always work up the powder charges gradually.

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Old March 20th, 2017, 09:14 AM   #4
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I am going to assume that you looked up "Maximum" loads so that you know not to go there. The M1A does not like "Maximum" loads. Hornady, Sierra, and Zediker reloading manuals list loads for "service rifles" that will keep these rifles operating without damage. It is not a question of excessive chamber pressure but rather exceeding port pressure and damage to the operating mechanism. By the time you see excessive pressure signs from the primers, you've very likely exceeded the port pressure limit and run the risk of op rod damage. If you already know all of this, disregard and go make holes in paper. As for your problem with powder drop, I'm old school and use an old Redding 3BR-slower but accurate.

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Old March 20th, 2017, 10:37 AM   #5
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I found an electronic balance that has a resolution out to .01 gn. As long as you check for zero between each load you will get very repeatable loads by measuring them manually. Good shooting and enjoy the rifle!

Russ

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Old March 20th, 2017, 11:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by boomerpusher View Post
I am going to assume that you looked up "Maximum" loads so that you know not to go there. The M1A does not like "Maximum" loads...
I have both an M1A and M1, and unless you have unlimited $$, or nearly unlimited, funds, yeah, it's a no no.

The USMC shooting team actually cooked their M1A's to 2800 FPS, (according to an armorer on the team) but they had the funds to rebuild when they bent things... He spent a lot of time rebuilding M1A's, and according to a number of folks on the team, he was THE guy on the team with the most experience with the M14/M1A platform. He retired last April.

But an M24 is a bolt gun so less susceptible to damage of higher charges. I'm going to see what the loads chrono to and stop at 2650 - 2700 FPS with RL15 & 178 Gr ELD-X bullets.

Once I get a good relative load, I'll start extending the bullet a bit more and see what happens.

- Bryan

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Old March 20th, 2017, 03:12 PM   #7
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By chance do you have fluorescent lights around your scale ?

They have been known to create havoc around digital scales.

Also try only using the scale plugged into the outlet... nothing else.

And you might try the McDonalds plastic straw fix.... second mod... and the fourth mod has merit as well.

http://www.accuracy-tech.com/rcbs-ch...modifications/

Remove static...

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...r-performance/


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Old March 20th, 2017, 09:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ripcord View Post
RCBS Chargemaster is the best of the bunch unless you go crazy with your $$$. Mine throws charges right on the money...easy to verify with the built-in scale.

Most reloading manuals are very conservative but always work up the powder charges gradually.
I really second the RCBS Charge Master; mine is dead smack on the grain too. If you're going to be doing a lot of precision loading in the future, save yourself some grief and get one. You won't regret it.

Forget about further load development until you get a properly working chronograph. I have never found maximum published loads to be the most accurate out of any of my rifles. Middle of the road, somewhere, will be the winning powder charge.

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Old March 21st, 2017, 02:46 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=bfoosh006;2664194]By chance do you have fluorescent lights around your scale ?

Fascinating, I do have a double bank of fluorescents above the work bench.

I did another run last night setting the target below what I needed, and set it to slow speed. Of the 18 charges only 3 were on the money. Most were + or - .05 to .2 off. One was .3 out. I dispensed it into the pan and then transferred to a beam scale and trickled the final .1 Gr.

I did more research into the Hornady and what I found I did not like. I'm not opposed to switching charging units, but it does tick me off.

I'll do some more testing tonight without the fluorescents and see what happens. Overall the Hornady will not work with anything but slow speed. At Med it will overshoot 50% of the time. If your using CFE 223 it overshoots about 85% of the time.

This weekend I'll bring my own Chrony and see what I've got. The cases don't show signs of overpressure yet. and I'm fine tuning one low and one higher load. But still below the 25 Gr max at 41.8 and 42.8.

Thanks for all the tips and tricks, static problem looks to be solved!

This is the first rifle I've shot that is better at shooting than I am, and its going to be fun getting all I can out of it!

- Bryan

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Old March 21st, 2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfoosh006 View Post
By chance do you have fluorescent lights around your scale ?

They have been known to create havoc around digital scales.

Also try only using the scale plugged into the outlet... nothing else.

And you might try the McDonalds plastic straw fix.... second mod... and the fourth mod has merit as well.

http://www.accuracy-tech.com/rcbs-ch...modifications/

Remove static...

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...r-performance/
I am considering getting an automatic powder scale myself.

In your first link I noted a reference to putting RF chokes on the power cords to help stabilize the zero of the balance. As one of my other hobbies I am a ham radio geek and I use those chokes all the time on my station. BUT they are only effective in choking of frequencies at the radio frequency level (kilohertz to megahertz) and not 60Hz line voltage.

I suspect that stray RF energy may have an effect on something like this if the scale was being operated relatively close to a powerful commercial radio station (within a mile or so). Even a ham next door running high power could do the same thing. The power cord in this case will act as a radio antenna and transmit the RF frequencies to the scale which could mess things up.

My thoughts on the matter. Still want to get the scale though.

Regards,
Badger

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