Ammo to Feed M1A Rifles

Ammo to Feed M1A Rifles

Throughout the '70s and '80s the service rifle to beat in NRA Highpower competition was the M14/M1A and the bullet that most people fed it was the Sierra 168 HPBT #2200. The "168" served shooters well from 200 to 600 yards and millions of them were loaded by the Lake City ammo plant as a component of M852 match ammunition.

M852 was the standard U.S. military sniper round until the advent of M118LR and its 175-grain BTHP Sierra bullet, which extended the reach of 7.62 NATO precision rifles past 1000 yards. Fired from 22-inch M14 barrels, the 168 has a tendency to go subsonic at around 900 yards.

Civilian competitors who didn't have access to an endless supply of M852 like the military teams rolled their own ammo in LC brass using powders compatible with the M14 gas system like IMR4064, IMR4895 and Hogdon H4895 topped with the 168 at approximately 2550 fps. While the M14 gas system is not as fussy as the long, skinny op rod of the Garand, powder burning rates should be kept close to those listed above to avoid battering the receiver.

As a gunsmith who works on M14-style rifles on a daily basis I do a lot of accuracy testing and chew through a lot of ammo. I don't always have time to load my own, and for the last couple years I have relied on Federal American Eagle #A76251M1A 168-grain OTM ammo for testing M1As and .308 Garands.


This new Federal load appears to be the civilian version of the old military M852, and accuracy is outstanding. I have fired numerous sub-moa groups through rifles I didn't expect to perform at that level and honestly this ammunition makes my rifles look good. The chronograph revealed an average velocity of 2557 fps on a very cold Maine morning.


My only complaint about the American Eagle ammo is that Federal doesn't produce enough of it to go around and it always seems to be in short supply with recent political issues stretching supplies even tighter. Try some of this ammo if you can find it. Although the logo on the box states it is meant for M1As it shoots great in bolt-action rifles also.

American Eagle 168 OTM M1A ammo

American Eagle 168 OTM M1A ammo comes packed in the typical red Federal box complete with a picture of an M1A on the front. Buy it if you can find it.

The 168-grain M852 load

The 168-grain M852 load (top) was eventually replaced with the 175-grain M118LR, which provided supersonic velocity past 1000 yards for sniper use.

M852 military ammo

M852 military ammo could be identified by its knurled brass case, and dominated the high power line through the years when the M14 was the choice.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

3 Ring Silencers

3 Ring Silencers

Patrick Sweeney heads to the range to look at suppressors from 3 Ring Silencer Corporation.

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be a virtual online event, due to the current COVID-19 situation. Industry

2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Online Event Due to COVID-19

Second Amendment Foundation - July 16, 2020

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by...

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and manufactured! Ammo

SIG Sauer Ammunition — How Good Is It?

Tom Beckstrand - August 20, 2020

We go behind closed doors at the factory to see how SIG Sauer's ammo is developed and...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention. 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a helluva deal! Handguns

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney - August 12, 2020

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

SIG Sauer's OTM match grade load in 6mm Creedmoor is a long-range shooting powerhouse. Ammo

SIG Sauer 6mm Creedmoor OTM Match Grade Ammo

Eric Conn - August 05, 2020

SIG Sauer's OTM match grade load in 6mm Creedmoor is a long-range shooting powerhouse.

New from Federal Premium is the Hydra-Shok Deep .380 Auto! This is the first expanding load in this caliber to consistently penetrate beyond the FBI-recommended 12-inch minimum in both bare gel and heavy clothing. Ammo

Federal Hydra-Shok Deep .380 Auto — First Look

Samantha Knight - July 17, 2020

New from Federal Premium is the Hydra-Shok Deep .380 Auto! This is the first expanding load in...

Hornady's new .224 Valkyrie bests the venerable .223 Rem. Ammo

Hornady .224 Valkyrie ELD Match Ammo

Eric Conn - August 17, 2020

Hornady's new .224 Valkyrie bests the venerable .223 Rem.

Adopted during the great arms race at the end of the 19th Century, the 6.5mm Arisaka would serve under many flags and outlived the Empire it was designed to defend. Ammo

Japanese 6.5x50mm SR Arisaka — Before the Creedmoor

David M. Fortier - August 12, 2020

Adopted during the great arms race at the end of the 19th Century, the 6.5mm Arisaka would...

See More Ammo

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now