The Survival Podcast Forum

Armory, Self Defense, And EDC => Firearms (Including Long Guns, Pistols) => General Ammo, Reloading, Bullet Casting, & Ammo Craft => Topic started by: Biff on February 12, 2009, 11:00:38 AM

Title: Reloading .308
Post by: Biff on February 12, 2009, 11:00:38 AM
I recently picked up an M1A and I've got a couple of questions regarding reloading the .308 round.  I have about a half dozen reloading manuals but they don't seem to answer my questions, and I've also been checking online.

From what I understand, the M1A may be prone to slam-fires if you're not using hard primers, such as CCI #200 or the CCI 7.62mm NATO Spec mil primers #34.  Since it's nearly next to impossible to find these primers, how much 'risk' am I taking if I use Federal or Winchester large rifle primers instead?  (And so far I haven't come across using the mil-spec primers in my reloading books.)

And if I'm lucky enough to find these mil-spec primers, I assume to back off/use the minimum powder charge loads like for a magnum primer?
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: Craig67 on February 16, 2009, 07:05:10 PM
Not using the #34 primers is a risk, how much I can't say. I will say that I reload 7.62X39 for my SKS which has a free floating firing pin like the M14/M1A and I use normal WLR (Winchester Large Rifle) primers. No issues up till now.

I understand that the #34 primers should be treated like magnum primers but if you were developing a load you'd begin at a starting load anyways. Then you could work up to where the load was most accurate/ reliable in your rifle.

I have heard that the M1A may be hard on brass, might be a good idea to use military brass if you can find it.


Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: Biff on February 17, 2009, 06:02:50 PM
Thanks, Craig!  +1
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: longrifle on February 20, 2009, 12:25:35 PM
I've heard this before about slamfires. I've been shooting M14/M1As for years and never had a problem. You might check out (  Someone there should be able to help you out.
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: ElyasWolff on February 24, 2009, 09:19:00 PM
Cant speak for the M1A but FWIW the AR-15 has a floating firing pin too, and it will leave a mark on the primer cup when chambering a round. That said i have never had a problem with 1000's of my reloads using WSM or CCI400 primers.
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: kernal_panic on February 26, 2009, 06:06:43 AM
Congrats on the M1A, like you I picked one up recently and also will reload for it. I got lucky and laid my hands on a small quanity of #34s.

Like the other guys I have used primers other than the CCI military primers for autoloading rifles with mixed results.

back in the 90s when 7.62x39 went from $2 a box to $7 over night I hand loaded it. remington cases which used a small rifle primer with winchester small rifle primers.

yeah not such a good idea. bam bam BRAAPP. slam fire!

in my ar-15, which has a lighter fireing pin than the SYS i owned I have used CCI small rifle magnum primers with no problems.

Ballistically the #34 is the same as the CCI large rifle magnum. I have fired normal civie .308 through my m1a and not had a slam fire. the manual indicates match ammo should not be used do to sensitivity of the primer.

now here is my question. do you load pistol rounds that use large primers? if so what brand primers do you use?

I use winchester pistol primers (both sizes) and cci rifle primers, both sizes. CCIs are silver and winnies are gold. I know at a glance if its a pistol or rifle primer.

if I were you in this situation I would stay on the hunt and settle for cci large rifle magnum primers.

hey I did a little digging and came up with this! check it out: (

here is the exerpt:

I also recommend the use of WW large rifle primers due the fact that they are almost as hard as mil spec. The CCI #34 is a mil spec primer but, it's a MAG primer as well and should be used with ball powder. Federal Gold Medal Match primers are very good primers but, some say they are are very soft and should not be used in a "M" gun due to the fact of SLAM FIRES!

also read that link for gasgun reloading.

I guess I won't pass up those large winchester rifle primers next time. which i had read that BEFORE the gun show this past weekend.
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: spooky-1 on February 26, 2009, 08:43:11 AM
Hey Biff,

When you accomplish your goal of reloading the .308 for your M1A, will you let me know how the bullet functions? Reason I ask is I too own an M1A and I recall it saying in the manual to not use reloaded ammo in these rifles, I thought, "Why not?", so I am kind of using you as a reference (guinea pig) before i go out and buy all the reloading equipment.
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: kernal_panic on March 01, 2009, 02:56:26 PM
every manufactuer says not use reloads. basically because idiots blow stuff up. they won't warrenty it if blows do to reloaded ammo.
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: Biff on March 01, 2009, 04:28:28 PM
It's a used M1A so I'm not worried about the warranty.

Found some CCI LR magnum primters.  Just trying to find the rest of the components so I can start reloadning.  Will keep ya posted.  Thanks all!!!
Title: Re: Reloading .308
Post by: M-14 on March 05, 2009, 06:33:07 PM
When loading 7.62 for my M1A I use a CCI 250. The 250 is supposed to be almost identical to the 34. Both of these primers have a harder cup than the Fed. 210/215. I also load 7.62 with with a Fed. 215m for my M-40 and have had no trouble shooting that ammo through my M1A.