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The M1A and Reloads.

This is a discussion on The M1A and Reloads. within the Art Luppino forums, part of the Gun Professionals category; Some people are going to receive reloading equipment for Christmas, others adding to equipment, so this is a good time to rerview the skills to ...


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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:18 AM   #1
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The M1A and Reloads.

Some people are going to receive reloading equipment for Christmas, others adding to equipment, so this is a good time to rerview the skills to produce a quality and safe reloaded bullet for the M1A and the M1 Garand. The material below has been, to some extent extracted from Jerry Kuhnhausen excellent "Shop Manual"

It has been my experience that more issues occure reloading for the M1 than the M1A/M14, the main issue has been SlamFires. The material below applies to the M1A also.

In the way of spectulation, it may be fair to assume the M1 bolt is moving faster into battery then the M1A bolt. Also, many of the original M1's today have an unknown wear factor.. Without getting into all that,, we as reloader's can practice a safe method to prevent Slam Fires.

The single most common reason for slam fires in the M1 involves the Primer. Seating the primer into a correct primer pocket is of the upmost importance which ever primer you select to use.

I have no idea how everyone preps the case primer pockets, but I have an excellent idea how it should be done, thanks to Mr. Kunhausen. It's simple, clean the carbon out, wrong, dangerous, and should be corrected.

If you really want a great present, find youself Jerry's Shop Manual, start on page 15, you will do youself a huge favor...
Art

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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:39 AM   #2
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Is it wrong or dangerous to clean out the carbon, or is it simple and correct to do so? I'm sorry, you kinda lost me.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 09:39 AM   #3
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Art,

I have single-loaded both the M1 Garand and M14 / M1A since 1960 and have never experienced a slam-fire. Nor have I seen or heard of one when I was on the line. I am NOT saying it can't / won't happen - but in a properly cared for firearm it should not happen. Both rifles are designed to make it impossible for slam-fires to occur. Having said that, I am realistic enough to know that nothing is idiot-proof. (When you make something idiot-proof, they design a better idiot.) All I am saying is that it is mechanically impossible to happen in a properly-maintained firearm.

As you say, most - if not all - of slam-fires are ammo-related. High, "soft" primers are the culprit. Use a primer pocket uniformer on your brass, clean the pockets, use a "hard" primer - I use CCI 34's - in a hand-priming tool and visually and tactile check after priming to ensure primers are below flush. All common-sense precautions but common-sense is sometimes very uncommon - especially for beginning reloaders.

Merry Christmas to all the Forum member and let's hope for a better 2017.

Semper Fi all!

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Old December 24th, 2016, 11:30 AM   #4
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Hello Ripcord

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripcord View Post
Art,

I have single-loaded both the M1 Garand and M14 / M1A since 1960 and have never experienced a slam-fire. Nor have I seen or heard of one when I was on the line. I am NOT saying it can't / won't happen - but in a properly cared for firearm it should not happen. Both rifles are designed to make it impossible for slam-fires to occur. Having said that, I am realistic enough to know that nothing is idiot-proof. (When you make something idiot-proof, they design a better idiot.) All I am saying is that it is mechanically impossible to happen in a properly-maintained firearm.

As you say, most - if not all - of slam-fires are ammo-related. High, "soft" primers are the culprit. Use a primer pocket uniformer on your brass, clean the pockets, use a "hard" primer - I use CCI 34's - in a hand-priming tool and visually and tactile check after priming to ensure primers are below flush. All common-sense precautions but common-sense is sometimes very uncommon - especially for beginning reloaders.

Merry Christmas to all the Forum member and let's hope for a better 2017.

Semper Fi all!

I am not all together with you on a "Properly maintainned rifle" position..

It is entirely possible to have a properly maintained rifle that has an advanced safety bridge, or a firing pin with too much protrusion or a short chamber,, or all three conditions..

Today many M1A's have close to, or just over Mim. .308 Win head space, 1.630" min.. With this situation, using for examle, GGG+ ball ammo, it is asking for trouble, slam fires being the worse.

Reloading for a chamber described above, calls for a case head space of at least .005" smaller then min. chamber HS of 1.630... Add to this a primer not at least .004" below flush because the primer pocket was not serviced properly one may end up with a hand full of parts, if you still have a hand..

Before this Thread expires there will many who agree with you, I would have too, until reading the Manual.. I have seen a number of slam fires, had two myself, both with a M1, blowing the stocks into three pieces, I assure you these rifles were well maintained.

It is very difficult to seat a primer to the proper depth unless the pocket is addressed properly without crusing the structure of the primer itself, which makes the slam fire proble even more likely to happen.

Do you have Jerry K's manual?

Thank for responding,

Art

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Old December 24th, 2016, 11:40 AM   #5
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I do have Jerry's manual, Art. My definition of a "properly maintained" rifle would not include the three conditions you mention. There are gauges available to check for these "no-go" conditions, firing pin protrusion being the easiest to check.

I agree the primer pocket MUST be properly prepared. I deprime, tumble, ream it to proper depth and hand seat the primer with an RCBS priming tool. All I can do is reiterate that in my entire decades-long shooting career, I have never had a slam-fire with either mil-surp or hand-loaded ammunition.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 12:31 PM   #6
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Other's shoould follow your procedure

It is good to hear the care you take addressing the primer pockests. Some of the cases I use, PPU I think, the primer pockets are two stage, sort of cupped bottom, the carbide pocket tool really leaves a rim/ledge for the primer to sit on, these cases have worked well, Serbia made I believe..

Lets hope everyone pays more attention to the pockets in reloading for the M1 and M1A, Jerry covers several different problem spots, having a better undrstanding never hurt anyone in reloading...

Thanks again...Art

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Old December 24th, 2016, 12:31 PM   #7
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Every case primer pocket is cut to the same depth using the Sinclair cutter. Every primer seated the same depth.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 01:04 PM   #8
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All this talk about being sure to 'properly seat' the primers and yet no mention of the simple 'finger tip test' to VERIFY that the primer is not higher than the base of the case (ideally it should be slightly deeper into the pocket than the base.

How or if you clean the pockets, or use a tool to 'uniform' the pockets is secondary - the important item is to NOT HAVE HIGH PRIMERS. If you are getting high primers, then YES you need to find the cause and fix it.

BTW, if your finger tip lacks 'touch sensitivity', just set each primed case on a flat piece of glass to verify that is doesn't 'rock' or ''wobble'.

On a similar topic - cartridge headspace.
The important part of resizing a case is that it easily FITS in the chamber and allows the bolt to be rotated fully closed.
If the bolt doesn't fully close, then you need to determine why and fix it.
And if the final 'fix' seems to violate your headspace measurements, gages, and 'hang tags' - well ... listen to what your rifle is saying about what fits into it!

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA

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Old December 24th, 2016, 01:44 PM   #9
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Note I said in my original post to visually and tactile check after priming to ensure primers are below flush.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 01:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill3508 View Post
Every case primer pocket is cut to the same depth using the Sinclair cutter. Every primer seated the same depth.
This

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Old December 24th, 2016, 03:06 PM   #11
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Every primer I load for every gun I own is given the finger test. If not right I seat it more until it is below flush. I don't think its necessary to be 4 thousands under as long as its under. I also use an RCBS small base sizing die to ensure adequate sizing for an M14 type rifle. In my H&R M1, I use std RCBS dies and have since 1989 for that rifle and never experienced any issues of any kind with it. Brass last until the rims are so hammered I throw them away for being ugly. Never had a bright ring or separation in the M1. Have always used Win brass in the M1. Use mostly Win brass in my M14's, but also Rem, Fed and some surplus. As to the slam fire, I have not had one nor been around when someone did, but I have certainly heard about them. I generally use CCI 200 primers in the M1 and M14 rifles but have also used 210M and WLR as well. Thanks for the reminder Art.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 03:38 PM   #12
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This
I use that with just the 'cutter' alone in my drill press out in the garage for the initial brass work and use a lee trimmer in the same press and trim every firing but use the primer 'cutter' in a handle as a 'primer pocket cleaner'... Have had no issues...
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Old December 24th, 2016, 04:35 PM   #13
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I recall reading that the residue left in the primer pocket will accumulate over use and obviously would lead to less depth in the pocket and needs to be reamed with the proper tool. Supposedly that residue is very similar to glass in substance due to heat and pressure the primer experiences upon being detonated/fired.

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Old December 24th, 2016, 10:44 PM   #14
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I have been uniforming primer pockets with a Redding tool since I have been reloading for my M1a. Primers always seat smoothly and below flush. No problems here. (Knocking on wood).

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Old January 6th, 2017, 05:26 AM   #15
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Proper case prep is the key to a successful range day. Cleaning, inspection, sizing, trim to lengh and beveling, ream flash hole and debur, and cut primer pocket to correct depth, seat primers below case head, and proper powder and weight.

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