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Black Hills 175gr HPBT vs. NATO 118LR

This is a discussion on Black Hills 175gr HPBT vs. NATO 118LR within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Besides manufacturers’, is there any difference between the Black Hills 175gr Match Hollow Point vs. NATO 118LR? My SE Crazy Horse M21A5 is chambered and ...


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Old June 4th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Black Hills 175gr HPBT vs. NATO 118LR

Besides manufacturers’, is there any difference between the Black Hills 175gr Match Hollow Point vs. NATO 118LR?

My SE Crazy Horse M21A5 is chambered and reamed for the 175gr NATO 118LR. Will my rifle know the difference if shooting Black Hills with similar specs? Wanting first hand knowledge based answers.

If yes, why?

If no, why?


Thanks for your help.

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Old June 4th, 2010, 11:59 PM   #2
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Did some research after my post:
.308 Win vs. 7.62x51--The Straight Scoop

Before we go much further, we want to address the oft-posed question "Are the .308 Winchester and 7.62x51 NATO one and the same?" The simple answer is no. There are differences in chamber specs and maximum pressures. The SAMMI/CIP maximum pressure for the .308 Win cartridge is 62,000 psi, while the 7.62x51 max is 50,000 psi. Also, the headspace is slightly different. The .308 Win "Go Gauge" is 1.630" vs. 1.635" for the 7.62x51. The .308's "No-Go" dimension is 1.634" vs. 1.6405" for a 7.62x51 "No Go" gauge. That said, it is normally fine to shoot quality 7.62x51 NATO ammo in a gun chambered for the .308 Winchester (though not all NATO ammo is identical). Clint McKee of Fulton Armory notes: "[N]obody makes 7.62mm (NATO) ammo that isn't to the .308 'headspace' dimension spec. So 7.62mm ammo fits nicely into .308 chambers, as a rule." You CAN encounter problems going the other way, however. A commercial .308 Win round can exceed the max rated pressure for the 7.62x51. So, you should avoid putting full-power .308 Win rounds into military surplus rifles that have been designed for 50,000 psi max. For more information on this interesting topic, read the following articles: Gun Zone's 30 Caliber FAQ; Cruffler.com Technical Trivia, June 2001; and last, but not least, Steve Redgwell's .308 vs 7.62x51 Analysis, which really provides a definitive explanation. Reloaders should also note that military ammo often is made with a thicker web. Consequently the case capacity of 7.62x51 brass is usually less than that of commercial .308 brass. You may need to reduce recommended .308 Winchester loads by as much as 2 full grains, if you reload with military 7.62x51 brass, such as Lake City or IMI.

M118 LR and the MilSurp Ammo Option
One reason the .308 Win is so popular is the availability of very inexpensive 7.62x51 military surplus ammo. As explained in more detail above, a 7.62x51 chamber is NOT the same as a SAMMI-spec .308 Win chamber. Nonetheless it is normally safe to shoot 7.62x51 NATO-class ammo in your .308 Win because current .308 Winchester rifles are designed for higher maximum pressures.

Among the many types of military ammo sold to consumers, there is the "Good Stuff", namely Lake City M118 LR ("Long Range"), and everything else. The M118 LR is the true milspec ammo issued to U.S. military snipers. Boxer-primed and loaded with Sierra 175gr MK projectiles, M118 LR rivals some commercial match ammo for accuracy. Tests by SniperCentral.com reported the M118 LR produced .5 MOA to .7 MOA groups in some rifles. Note: M118 LR has a thick sealant right at the case mouth. Shooters report that if you re-seat the bullets just about .020" deeper this can break the sealant and potentially improve accuracy. Normally, your best source for M118 LR is the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), which recently sold it by the case at $399.00 for 920 rounds. The CMP is currently out of stock, but it is available online from Ammoman.com, and Impact Guns. Expect to pay a lot more, however. Ammoman sells M118 LR for $350.00 per 500, and Impact Guns charges $24.99 per 20-round box--way too much!"

http://www.6mmbr.com/308Win.html

Anybody shoot civilian match grade ammo out of a
NATO 7.62x51 head spaced rifle?

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Old June 5th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #3
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308/7.62 is a lot more interchangable than 223/5.56. I have shot commercial out of Nato chambers and so have most everyone here. Black Hills is good to go ammo!

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Old June 5th, 2010, 06:22 AM   #4
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I don't have "1st hand knowledge", but in general the rounds should be very similar.

About the question of whether your rifle will shoot better with one than the other...
the answer is always YES - but you won't know which one without testing!
Either round 'should' shoot well, and be suitable for 1000 yard competition.

There are going to be small differences between the rounds such as:
1) exact HS, and OAL
2) bullet lot # and maybe mfg
3) MV & pressures
4) powder, primer, case, etc.

And all of those things can change if different 'lots' of the rounds are compared.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old June 5th, 2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Unhappy Pressures?

This pressure myth must be explained fully and not just passed around on the internet like some bit of regurgitated gossip

The wide differences between SAAMI .308 chamber pressures and 7.62x51 NATO chamber pressures as published are irrelevant because the pressure readings are taken by different methods. It becomes meaningless in this discussion.

The burning rate of the powder being used is the important thing when we're talking about the M14/M1A platform. The pressure at the gas port is what counts. That's why shooters are cautioned to avoid using .308 SAAMI spec hunting ammo, especially with 180 gr. or heavier bullets in these rifles, because this ammo will probably use powders that will produce higher than spec gas port pressures.

I would not hesitate to use LC M118LR, Black Hills 175 gr. Match, or Federal 175 gr. Gold Medal Match ammo in any of my M14/M1A rifles. They all are loaded with powders that fall into the correct pressure range.

The headspace issue has been overstated also. There's always the chance of some off-the-wall builder chambering one of his creations too tight or too loose, but in the vast majority of instances competent builders will set headspace at around 1.632"/1.633". This will enable the shooter to use commercial .308 SAAMI ammo as well as 7.62x51 NATO ammo excepting some made in a few third-world countries that may be a little on the long side. When in doubt don't shoot junk ammo through your valuable rifle or at least invest in a decent cartridge gauge to check out the ammo and perhaps have a competent gunsmith check the rifles headspace before shooting it

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Old June 5th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #6
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You'll have to buy a box of each and give it a try. While you're at it, get a box of everything you can get your hands on, and try them as well.

My Crazy Horse loves M118LR (duh). The next best I've tried is Privi 168 match, then LC M80 ball. It likes Hornady TAP as well, but I haven't fired enough of it to say where it ranks, plus it fires to a different POI (about 2" right at 100), which is annoying.

I've never gotten my hands on any Black Hills 175s, but no one can tell you what your barrel will like. However, it'll speak for itself.

For instance, my stick absolutely hates FGMM, I mean like 3 moa, when I'm getting 1.5 out of M80. It doesn't make any sense, but who cares? M80, PPU 168s, and M118LR are all cheaper than FGMM.

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Old June 5th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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Have a SAI SM headspace 1.630 all I feed it is the bh match 175 gr. Think they use remmington brass. I've tried NATO ammo once and it gives me extraction problems. It was LC brass. Difference between the two you mentioned is the brass.

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Old June 5th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82nd ABN View Post
Have a SAI SM headspace 1.630 all I feed it is the bh match 175 gr. Think they use remmington brass. I've tried NATO ammo once and it gives me extraction problems. It was LC brass. Difference between the two you mentioned is the brass.
I dissagree about BH Brass, all my Rifles love BH Match Ammo, 168 or 175 but I am pretty sure that BH uses Winchester Brass,sure looks like it to me!

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Old June 5th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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My LRB with a SEI M118 barrel seems to do better with 175's than even 168's.
It also seems to group better with a little hotter load, but I watch my primers/extraction very closely and it's still well below max.
My milder 168's are easier to shoot, but don't group as tightly.

But they do fine in my SAI Super Match.
Haven;t tried the 175's in it yet..they do too well in the SEI to waste em.

I think there are several recipes for your own M118 reloads..be careful but have fun if you try to duplicate it.

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Old June 5th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackArrow View Post
.308 Win vs. 7.62x51--The Straight Scoop

The SAMMI/CIP maximum pressure for the .308 Win cartridge is 62,000 psi, while the 7.62x51 max is 50,000 psi.
It doesn't seem to matter how many times this gets debunked, somebody will continue to post this faulty data. Yes, the SAAMI pressure spec's for the .308 Winchester is 62k psi as measured by a piezo electric transducer, BUT, the 7.62x51 cartridge was pressure spec'd using the old copper crusher method as used by the gov't arsenals at the time of that cartridge's adoption. The results of the two methods used are NOT COMPARABLE! When SAAMI conducts pressure tests using the copper crusher method, they label the results as C.U.P. (copper units of pressure). While the gov't called the pressure of the 7.62x51 50k psi, it is actually 50k C.U.P. To give you an example as to how the 2 relate, the .30-06 is rated at 50k C.U.P. and 60k psi. So, there is diddly squat difference between the pressure level of the .308 Winchester and the 7.62 Nato round. Essentially, the only difference between the two are the more generous chamber dimensions allowed in the 7.62x51.

Don

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Old June 6th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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FWIW, Paul at LRB said shooting commerical .308 rounds out of their 7.62x51 receivers was ok.

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Old June 6th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Domestique View Post
FWIW, Paul at LRB said shooting commerical .308 rounds out of their 7.62x51 receivers was ok.
No one Here disputed that, what they said was that Commercial .308 Hunting Rounds should not be used in an M1/A especially if they are over 180grs, they are loaded to a different Spec which doesn't do Your M1/A any Good no matter who made the Receiver!

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Old June 6th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #13
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Interesting Don. So you're saying government pressure tests for 7.62 NATO rounds are out of date?

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Old June 6th, 2010, 09:19 PM   #14
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Cool

Sherlock, I totally a agree with you. I never run surplus NATO or foreign ammo through my rifle. Other shooters can do what they like and many have no problems running Turkish loads through their guns, but my M1A's have always shot best on Federal Ammo. According to my experiments, it seems Standard M1A's were made for American Eagle 150 gr FMJBT. That round is the only one I'll shoot for GP. I believe a rifle develops break in memory for a round during day to day use if you always stick to it, and as a result, there is more uniformed wear in parts, plus your sight in procedures will most always be the same. Otherwise your gun is all over the place trying to adjust to the small variances in pressures, brass, bullets, gas, and fouling, not to mention never getting a true zero. Since we are talking mechanics, this analogy is apt. I learned from a family of race car drivers to always run the same engine oil in your car throughout its life. If you keep changing the variables around, your car can't adjust. I suspect the same holds true with a machine gun. Of course it's going to shoot pretty much anything you put through it, and your car will run on Pennzoil or Valvoline, but we are talking about longevity here, and accuracy and performance.

In regards to my original question. I'm going to do what the gentleman said above, shoot two boxes each of BH 175 gr, Federal GM 175, and NATO 118LR for four 5 shot groups each through a bench rested M21A5 Crazy Horse using a Leopold 3.5x10 Mark IV M3 at 100 yards. I'll write about the results and post pictures around the 1st of July.

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Old June 7th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #15
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Hold Your Horses

Whoa, Black Arrow! I never meant anything negative about using USGI Ball or any good quality foreign NATO milsurp ammo. In fact, my ammo stash has thousands of rounds of LC M80 Ball, Hirtenberger '79, SA, and Port. Sadly, I used up all of my RG. What I was referring to as third world junk ammo was stuff like the Indian, Pakistani, and some (not all!) of the Eastern European ammo that's been circulating like Wolf and Silver Bear and its cousins. I won't use it in my LRB, and wouldn't advise anyone else to use it. I apologize if my post wasn't absolutely clear.

About your comment directed to Don (USSR) asking if gov't pressure tests on 7.62x51 NATO ammo are out-of-date, well they were done using an older but respected method (copper crusher) that some still consider superior to the piezo transducer method. I'm positive that you would find reams of info dealing with that controversy if you used a good search engine and some effort to find it.

Oh, and while I'm here I might comment that with modern oil technology all of the premium grades of motor oil available are fully compatible with each other. It used to be said that changing brands mid-stream was not advisable due to the possibility of that practice causing sludge to build up but that's an outdated concept, unless you've discoverd a stash of forty year old motor old somewhere that you want to use

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