Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Ammunition - M118 Ball:

HELP!!! can anyone help me locate M-118 "special ball" Lake City match ammo in 7.62 NATO? someone must know where to find this stuff, also a price estimate. And if avalilable a performance estimate, Ive heard its supposed to be sub 1 MOA, is this correct?
308 gunner <>
USA - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 at 23:12:06 (ZULU) 
Anybody have word on that Lake City M-118 Match ammo? (173gr) where can you get the stuff? How much does it cost? Someone out there must know, come on boys lets do some networking!
308 gunner
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 17:44:18 (ZULU) 
Gunner; Since nobody else has and I have a minute. That ammo is kind of hard to find. Our Great White Father (and he has given the term new meaning)has ended the distribution of such things as surplus rifles and ammo to "Civies". I bought some match LC from a place called "Cheaper than Dirt" (on line I believe) that was advertised as refurbushed from ammo that was disassembled and reassembled to comply with Politics. I found it not particularly special in accuracy but the componenets were there. I disassembled it again and used the components to manufacture some "good stuff" after having fire formed the cases to my chamber with some old 150 grain ball bullets. Now I would not go so far as to suggest that a LE sniper who was restricted to factory ammo do something like that in order to taylor his load. No I would never do that! I never touched that woman! The Nurse is here with my medication now!
B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 17:58:58 (ZULU) 
Now that my medication has taken effect I reviewed a rather vague post about some body with a name same as mine that did some work with some LC match ammo. I realized that was indeed 30-06 ammo involved as opposed to .308 as I take it you were inquiring about. I was a bit on the move when I did that one please forgive me. I did not inhale.
B.Rogers <>
USA - Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 22:25:17 (ZULU) 
I would not lose too much sleep fretting about a source for 7.62 Special ball a.k.a. (brown box) This stuff may be the worst shooting ammo ever loaded by a U.S. ammunition plant. I suspect that it is machine gun ammo, designed to give a wide cone of fire. Just about any other ammo one can buy has got to be better than this stuff for accuracy purposes.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Thursday, January 21, 1999 at 01:25:37 (ZULU) 

Now on a serious note, does anyone out there Know the performance expectations of M-118 special ball 173gr. ammo? Any help greatly appreciated.
308 gunner <>
USA - Thursday, January 21, 1999 at 02:08:45 (ZULU) 
308 gunner,
Jeff Bartlett,SGN advertiser.has 173g.projectiles and LC match '06 brass, which are pulldowns.I've used these components, and Varget,to excellent result in my Garand.

JB <>
MT, USA - Thursday, January 21, 1999 at 05:26:37 (ZULU) 

I have access to 173 gr Match "pulled' ammo and use the 173's alot. Much cheaper than 175 and I can't tell any difference in accuracy out to 500. I'm loading them in Norma brass and LC Match brass and I do moly the bullets. The "Specs" for M118 can be found in Plastered, uhh I mean Plasters book, "U...know what Sniper", almost always hard to say that with out grinning !! I can get the 173's in 1,000 bullet bulk. Email me if interested.

Will <>
Still In, AL, USA - Thursday, January 21, 1999 at 06:27:48 (ZULU) 

good evening everyone! Just recieved a batch of bullets from HITECH AMMUNITION. They were supposed to be m-118 match, the enclosed information calls them m72 ball sniper match, fmjbt 173gr. My trusty not lab quality scale yields the following info: sample size 20, mean weight 173.8 gr, wieght ranged 2.2 gr, varience of 1.26%. This seemed excessive, so I checked sierra 168MK: sample size 10, mean wt 167.99, range .1 gr, wt varience .05%. Standard m59 ball: sample size 10, mean wt 147.01 gr, range 1.2 gr, varience .81% I think I now have a thousand fire forming bullets. These things are considerably more variable than the 147 gr ball bullets that my rem700 will not shoot; unless the heavier bullets stabilize properly in the 1-12 twist barrel and the 147's simply are too light I do not see any hope. Have not fired them yet, but am wondering if anyone else has info on these spitwads? SEEYA BYE LONGLINE
longline <>
wa, USA - Friday, February 12, 1999 at 08:03:29 (ZULU) 
Re: 173 gr. match bullets and accuracy enhancement

I'm sure you already know some of this stuff, but it may be new to some people.

When considering bullet quality, weight is supposed to be one of the least important elements. Jacket concentricity, roundness, base squareness, ogival length are the most important accuracy elements. However, these things are darn hard to check. Jacket concentricity can be checked with the ICC (Internal Concentricity Checker) which has been around since the early 1980s or so. P.S. or T.S. just had an article on it lately. Using this tool one can sort bullets into groups according to their balance characteristics. A well balanced bullet is a good place to start.

It is easy to check for cartridge/bullet concentricity in loaded ammo. Sinclair, NECO, and others sell little Vee blocks with a dial indicator for this purpose. Essentially, it works like this. Lay the loaded cartridge into the Vee block and position the dial indicator stem out near the bullet tip, not all the way out, but within .125" (3.17mm) of it. Slowly revolve the cartridge and you will be shocked at how crooked they are. This certainly does nothing to enhance accuracy, and causes bullet balance and concentricity problems as the bullet is forced into the throat.

If you can not do anything about the loading process, you can mark each bullet with a magic marker for its "high" side. Orient these cartridges the same when entering them into the chamber (if possible). Tactical people will see problems right here (i.e. loaded magazine). None the less this is one way to sort loaded ammo to enhance it performance. I will not go out on a limb and say your very next group will be a lot better, but I will say that in a long string or several 10 shot groups that the effect will make itself present. Of course one must have a rifle that is put together correctly, before any meaningful testing can be done at all. One must eliminate as much "background noise" first. Wind, bench technique, barrel cleaning, rifle problems, etc. are all such noises that can cover up small improvements (or degradations) to accuracy. Sometimes zigs compensate for zags and confuse us. I'm sure you already know this. Definitive proof is hard to come by in rifle shooting. The best we can do is to stack the cards in our favor and hope for the best.

For long range match shooting I liked cartridges that showed no more than .005 (.127mm) or so runout. This is the total indicated runout (TIR), actual runout was .0025 (.063mm). After loading a batch of cartridges for a match, I would go through them and put the better rounds in the 600 yard box. The doglegs went into the offhand and 200 yard rapid fire box where they wouldn't cause any problems.

Once I got into a batch of out-of-balance 69 gr. Sierra bullets. This condition is caused by the lead core not being centered in relationship to the bullet's center of form. In an all day 600 yard match I was shooting very large hollow groups. I couldn't buy a 10 or X for love nor money. Nothing but 9s and 8s were shot all day long and the shots were high, low, left, and right. To those not familiar with the 600 yd. target the 9 ring is 18 inches in diameter. The hollowness of the groups was quite clear and two of the matches were shot with a 24X Leupold so that helped me in reaching my conclusion.

So you must test your bullets to be sure they are good (or bad). Those 173's have done a lot of good work over the years, both on and off the target range. Most service rifle shooters claimed they worked best in 4 groove barrels.

To rule out bullet inconsistencies, buy Bergers, Cauterucios, JLKs, etc.

That's all for now.
Ron N.

Ron N. <>
USA - Saturday, February 13, 1999 at 14:26:34 (ZULU) 

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