M1 Garand - Reloading


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ping
November 29, 2005, 08:12 PM
I currently load for bolt action rifles but it appears there is a difference in the M1. I am currently shooting Lake City military grade M2 ball boxer primed and thus saving the cases. Got a few questions:

1. Is the primer sealed into the case requiring a special die to extract.

2. What primer should I use. I currently use WLR primers but I have heard they may be to sensitive and that when the bolt slams shut it could fire.

3. From what I understand IMR 4895 should be the selection for powder. Any one have load data for this.

4. I believe I have read that a 150 grain bullet should be used. Can you use HPBT or SBT - does it matter.

5. Also I have noticed of the Lake City ammo that I have shot there is a few that have the neck distorted. They are slightly dent in the neck portion. I am wondering what causes this. Is this a normal thing with the M1 - maybe it is the first or last round in the en bloc and this is normal? Would full sizing process correct this or should I just toss.


I know there are alot of questions - I just want to do it right, safe and not damage my M1. Love that rifle.

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Smoke Rizen
November 29, 2005, 08:46 PM
I'll try to answer a couple of your Qs... Your standard sizing die will remove the primers just fine, but you will need to remove the crimp ring from the cases with a primer pocket reamer before replacing with the WLR primers, which will work fine IMHO. Some believe you have to use a harder primer to prevent slam fires, but I have not witnessed,or experienced any problems with standard rifle primers. As to bullets, I like the 173gr. LCM FMJ but I believe when I run out of my current supply I'll have to try something else, as they are in short supply. My information has always been to use IMR or H 4895 with 150-165gr. bullets and IMR 4064 with heavier points. I'm not sure of the answer on the distorted cases. Are you saying they are disstorted after firing? If so it has to be caused by your chamber, or somehow in extracting the case. Maybe someone else has experience with that.

musher
November 29, 2005, 08:56 PM
1. The primers are crimped in the military loads. I haven't had any problem knocking them out with a dedicated depriming die (it just deprimes, doesn't size the case). They do take a bit more effort. You'll have to swage or cut out the crimps with a crimp removing tool before repriming. Dillon makes a great swager, but it's spendy.

2. I use CCI primers and haven't had any problems. I've heard the same thing about other primers being too sensitive--Federal, mainly. Make SURE you seat your primers completely. A high primer can cause a slamfire. CCI makes a milspec primer that's probably best, although I just use the standard primer with no problems.

3. 4895 is an old standby. The 5th edition of hornady's reloading manual has a specific section for reloading the garand. Good place to look for recipes. Main thing to worry about is going too slow on the powder. Too slow a powder will result in too high a pressure in the system when the bullet clears the gas port. This could result in a bent op-rod.

4. Shouldn't matter, though your feed reliablity may suffer if your bullet is shaped too funky at the point--EG Round nose lead. HP match bullets feed fine, as do SPBT and ball. Haven't tried other stuff.

5. Dents in the neck are common. They should come out fine during resizing. If not, toss the case.

oneshooter
November 29, 2005, 09:19 PM
The Garand should do it's best work using a 147-165 grain bullet. Flat base or boat tail will do, alltho the boat tail will hold velocity better at extended ranges ( 500+). Powders used the most are IMR 4895, H 4895, and Varget. I use the IMR 4895 for my 30-06 Garand but my 308 NM prefers Varget. Primers are standard large rifle. The dings and dents on the case necks are pretty much standard for the M1, it has a pretty violent axtraction/ejection sequence. Finding the best load is half the fun!:D

http://www.garandflash.com/

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

ocabj
November 29, 2005, 10:34 PM
I currently load for bolt action rifles but it appears there is a difference in the M1. I am currently shooting Lake City military grade M2 ball boxer primed and thus saving the cases. Got a few questions:

1. Is the primer sealed into the case requiring a special die to extract.
The primer sealant is not an issue. The primer crimp is. I've run across the occasional shot LC case that breaks decapping pins when I attempt to deprime them. After several bent pins, I switched to a Lee universal decapping die. Works great. I use the RCBS swaging die kit to remove the primer crimp.

2. What primer should I use. I currently use WLR primers but I have heard they may be to sensitive and that when the bolt slams shut it could fire.
I use Winchester large rifle primers. No problems with slam fires.

3. From what I understand IMR 4895 should be the selection for powder. Any one have load data for this.
Hornady lists 47.1gr IMR 4895 as max for a 168gr bullet. I don't have an official data manual with commercial IMR 4895 data for the Garand and 150gr bullets, but from experience, you will need to start at around 44.0gr and work your way up and get to around 2700 for a solid load.

4. I believe I have read that a 150 grain bullet should be used. Can you use HPBT or SBT - does it matter.
It doesn't really matter what type of bullet you use, but you should understand that the 30cal bullets you find in 150gr are a lot shorter in length from base to ogive than M2 ball FMJ bullets. This may affect the depth you will want to use when making your loads.

5. Also I have noticed of the Lake City ammo that I have shot there is a few that have the neck distorted. They are slightly dent in the neck portion. I am wondering what causes this. Is this a normal thing with the M1 - maybe it is the first or last round in the en bloc and this is normal? Would full sizing process correct this or should I just toss.
This is known to happen on random rounds. If I mangle the neck when trying to resize, I just toss it.


I know there are alot of questions - I just want to do it right, safe and not damage my M1. Love that rifle.[/QUOTE]

cracked butt
November 29, 2005, 10:38 PM
When priming, use a hand priming device and set the primers below flush. I use WLRs and never had a problem, I'll save the CCI-34s for my SKS. Press mounted priming systems tend to only set the primer flush (at least my experience with the Rockchucker)

I mainly shoot 165/168 gr bullets through mine, and find my particular rifle prefers IMR 4064.

Extraction/ejection will usually flatten out one side of the case neck, on my rifle, it also leaves a small divot on the casehead where I believe the case hits the oprod on its way out. I can easily tell how many times my brass has been fired by the number of divots in the brass.

IMHO, I think most of the slamfire incidents have more to do with how a primer is seated and how the bolt is closed on the round than the type of primer itself. If you leave the primer flush with the case or slightly above, chamber a single round and let the bolt fly shut, its a recipe for a slamfire. If you keep the primers below flush, use an en bloc clip or let the bolt 1/2 way down by hand before letting it go, slamfires shouldn't be a concern.

Dave R
November 29, 2005, 11:54 PM
Regarding load data, Speer No. 13 reloading manual notes several loads specifically for Garand/M1.

30Cal
November 30, 2005, 12:55 PM
I use 45.5gr IMR4895, WLR, LC brass, 3.325" with a 168gr HPBTM in mine--works well. 4064 is another good powder.

I highly recommend getting a case gage so that you can set your sizing die optimally. If you size them too much (which is very likely if you use the die manufacturer's instructions to set the die up), you'll see premature separations at the case head after only a couple reloads (3-4).

Ty

BruceB
November 30, 2005, 03:00 PM
There is a new factor available in loading for the semi-auto military rifles. It is the RCBS "X" Die.

To read an extremely good article on this new tool, go to

www.castboolits.gunloads.com

and scroll down to find the 'Military Rifles' forum. In that forum, go back in time to Sept 9/05, and a thread started by myself, titled "M1A Arrived Today", and near the bottom of the first page is a LONG multi-part post by Larry Gibson concerning the use of the X Die in 7.62 NATO rifles. I am certain that his conclusions will apply equally well to my Garand .30-06.

He reports case life FIVE TIMES LONGER than when using standard dies. I will have X Dies coming for both the 7.62x51 M1A and .30-06 Garand in the very near future. Incidentally, Larry is well-known over there, and highly-qualified in the handloading field.

BruceB
November 30, 2005, 03:09 PM
DANG IT!

I just tried my link above and although it takes us to Castboolits, the thread doesn't show up in Military Rifles.

To get to the X-Die article, hit the little "search" button in the toolbar, and type in "Larry Gibson" as the poster to search for. It should come up OK.

Sorry.

ping
November 30, 2005, 11:03 PM
I sure appreciate all the good infomation. Glad to hear someone else had neck problems in the spent brass. Not all of them just a few. I agree it must be from the extraction operation because you are right it is pretty violent but works. It will be interesting to see if the resizing corrects the dent in the neck. Have not bought my die's for this yet. I am using the x-die on for my .308 so sounds like a good idea for the 30-06. So it sounds safe to shoot between 150 to 168 grain. I guess the LC ammo is 150 grain. Have not had a chance to separate one and weigh it.

MNgoldenbear
November 30, 2005, 11:22 PM
I use about the same load as 30cal -- 46 grains IMR 4895, LC cases, WLR primer, 168 grain Sierra HPBT-M, 3.34" OAL -- get about 2550 fps from my Garand. If you prefer to shoot the M2 ball bullets, I think several suppliers have the actual item. River Valley Ordnance has them for $55/M plus shipping from MO.

1) Not a problem getting the crimped and sealed primer out. Do need to remove the crimp -- cutting is a little easier than swaging.

2) Keep primers seated properly and you shouldn't have any problem.

3) IMR 4895 is a very good powder, but not the only one. Check manuals for loads. Note that some recommend certain loads for Garands specifically, and these invariably use the medium burning powders like IMR 4895, IMR 4064, etc.

4) Doesn't really matter what the point is like, within reason, though the soft points will get banged up a bit. The FMJs and HPBTs will probably do best. I use the 168 match bullets, but the regular ball is 152 grains, and the match ammo is 173 grains.

5) Yeah, the dings at the mouth are typical. SHouldn't be a big deal -- they'll size out.

ping
December 2, 2005, 08:57 PM
Thanks for that info on removing crimp. I will try to cut it out before I buy a tool.

Khornet
December 3, 2005, 09:53 AM
I use it for loading my M2 Ball ammo. Works very well. Sizing easily removes the neck dings. Primer crimps are a pain to remove but you only have to do it once. Best accuracy in M1 seems to be at 2600-2700 fps.

Now back to processing the 500+ LC cases Don sent me. God bless him for decrimping them!

MNgoldenbear
December 3, 2005, 01:17 PM
Thanks for that info on removing crimp. I will try to cut it out before I buy a tool.
Actually, I do use a tool to ream the crimp off -- part of the RCBS case prep center stuff. Just seemed easier than using the swaging tools that go on the press. (Have that too, and it works fine, but didn't care for all the yanking that had to be done.) The dedicated swaging tools are supposed to be really nice, but it's a lot more money, and it didn't seem worth it for what I was doing volume-wise.

Khornet
December 5, 2005, 06:23 AM
I have one from C-H and one from RCBS. The C-H unit goes on top of the press, with the shell holder in it, and the ram drives the swager up from below into the pocket. I found that to get sufficient swaging I needed enough force to bend the case head rims.

The RCBS unit screws in like a normal die and has a rod projecting down into the case. The case sits on the swaging button on the ram, and is pushed up over the rod. The rod bottoms out on the case head and drives the case onto the swager. The case then has to be knocked off the swager. Works great, if slowly, for .223, but at the reccommended setting it doesn't completely swage .30-'06 and I have to touch up with a reamer. So for M1 loading I just use a reamer now.

USSR
December 5, 2005, 07:08 AM
Get the Dillon Super Swage 600 and never look back.

Don

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