M1 Garand specific loads


December 14, 2007, 06:30 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have an M1 Garand on the way from CMP and I will be reloading for it. I have already purchased Lee .30-06 dies and the other tools I will need.

While going through my 7th Ed. Hornady manual, I noticed that there is a distinct difference between regular .30-06 Springfield and M1 Garand loads. I understand from my own research that the Garand was designed to use M2 ball, and that there is not too much room to play with concerning reloads or commercial rounds, lest you want to bend your op-rod or have cycling issues.

Finally, the question:
I have a good amount of IMR4895 and a box of 500 Hornady .308 150 gr FMJBTs. There is not a load using IMR4895 in my manual for the 150 grainers. Are there any loads out there that I can use and not worry about damaging my rifle?

Cpl David Blythe

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December 14, 2007, 06:42 PM
You will have fun with the rifle.

From you reading you probably already know the 30 cal ball m2 was a 150 grain bullet.

A max load for 150 gr and 4895 is 52-53 grains. 48 grains is a very soft load to start with. I suggest you load a 16 rounds at 48 grains, 16 rounds at 49 grains, etc and try them. See what charge your rifle groups best with.

Above 50 grains, if you feel the least bit of stickiness in the operating rod cycling while firing, you are just beyond your rifle's max.

By the way I like Winchester Large Rifle primers.

December 14, 2007, 06:45 PM
Cpl Dave,

48.0gr - 49.0gr is where you want to be. Good choice with IMR4895.


December 14, 2007, 06:50 PM

Thanks for the info. I'm guessing that I will have to get to know my M1 pretty well before I will be able to tell if the cycling becomes abnormal. From what I've seen, cycling occurs very quickly. I don't plan on entering 1000 yard competitions just yet. So I do not see a need to load to the max yet.

Also, this is a field grade, so unless it is a 1/1,000,000 rifle for some reason, I don't expect it to get out past 500 and hold any group well.

On a side note: I wonder why Hornady did not list IMR4895 in their manual for 150-155 gr. rounds? Maybe I will ask Hornady this question also.

December 14, 2007, 06:51 PM
I tried a load with 150 gr SMK and it shot well in my match Garands. The data below was chronographed with a 26 Wilson match barrel. It is right where I want to be with a 150 grain bullet.

150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 WWII cases OAL 3.290
24 Mar 04 T= 70 F

Ave Vel =2722
Std Dev =24
ES 76
Low 2673
High 2749
N = 10

December 14, 2007, 06:53 PM
You may be surprised at what that old Garand will do. It's probably going to do well out at 500+. All of mine do, as long as the load is right and I'm having a good day.

By the way, IMR 4895 was made specifically for the Garand, and was the standard powder for it's rounds.

Hope this helps.


Steve in PA
December 14, 2007, 08:00 PM
47.0gr of IMR-4895 and 150gr FMJ's are my pet load for my M1 Garand.

December 14, 2007, 09:17 PM
I've shot and tested the Hornady 150fmjbt #3037 bullets in my Garand loads. Note that older Hornady manuals the listed overall length was 3.258-3.260". At this length the cannelure of the Hornady 150fmj bullet was outside or forward of the case mouth. The 7th Edition manual lists the overall length at
3.185". At 3.185"o.a.l. the cannelure is properly located at the case mouth for a proper crimp. I've shot them at 3.258 and the shorter 3.185 with no issues. Here's one test in my CMP Garand:
Hornady 150fmjbt #3037, RP cases, RP 9 1/2 primer, outside temperature 50
IMR 4895 powder- factory new
This is just one test in one rifle but 47-47.5 gr. shoots extremely well in 2 CMP's and one Springfield. A load somewhere between 46 and 48 grains of IMR4895 will do well. No need to push the Garand and the Garand is hard on brass! You'll probably find the headspace is a little longer than your average bolt action 30-06 chamber. When sizing your Garand brass it's easier on the brass to not push the shoulder all the way back to "zero". A tool such as the RCBS Precision Mic will help adjust your sizing die to size the shoulder back to a certain length however if you leave the shoulder longer it may not chamber in other 30-06 bolt rifles. Watch your fired cases from your Garand for extractor nicks and burrs on the case head and rim. I get some nicks in the rims and file the head and rims to remove nicks before resizing the brass. Here's a useful link for info if you haven't seen it:

December 14, 2007, 09:41 PM
I do have the 3037 FMJBTs. I had to go over to the bench to make sure, though.

It seems as though 48 gr. of IMR4895 +/- 1 or 2 gr. is what I will be working with.

RG1 isn't the only poster I've seen that has mentioned that the Garand is hard on .30-06 brass. How many loads can I expect to get from a 'light load?' I'm thinking that the amount of powder doesn't really have much to do with the brass life, but rather its the action that destroys it. Can I expect to get at least (on average) 5 reloads or more?

Thanks for all the great info. When I finally get this rifle in, I'm not going to be worried about what I'm feeding it..... unless everyone on this board wants me to blow up my 'new' M1 :)

Again, thanks for all the help, gentlemen.

-Cpl Blythe

December 14, 2007, 10:21 PM
4-5 reloads is a realistic number. You'll also get a few neck dents but they'll size out.
I check all cases inside with the bent sharpened wire feel method to feel for any stretch marks or cracks just to be on the safe side. I haven't found any bad cases that I've shot yet. Mostly I check the brass if it's from once-fired that I sometimes buy.
You're going to like your new Garand! It'll come with a pretty good manual. Note that it needs the proper GREASE in locations it'll show in the manual. A good stripping and cleaning before use is needed. One CMP rifle had cosmoline in the op rod spring housing and cosmoline in the clip latch that caused premature clip ejection problems with Greek clips only. Cleaning out the cosmoline in the clip latch and spring cured the problem.

December 15, 2007, 04:43 PM

Welcome to the truly addicting world of the M1 Garand. I've been using/rebuilding/reconditioning these things for about a decade now. It is a wonderful rifle and you will grow to love it.

My 4895 load for 150gr is: 47gr H4895, 150gr FMJ or SPT, CCI34primers, LC match or IMI cases. OAL=3.30". I try to load at least 48 rounds at a sitting for consistency sake and will often do a couple hundred at a time. I use Redding dies and a Redding turret press.

Couple of other recs regarding loading for the M1:
Use the Sinclair Intl primer pocket uniformer: http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=RECPUN&item=UN-8002&type=store
The biggest contributor to slamfires in these (or any military rifle with free floating firing pin) is not having the primers correctly seated just below flush. When properly seated you should be able to feel that the top of the primer is below flush of the case head. I personally use the uniformer with each reload to ensure the pocket is always clean and uniformed to assist in making sure I don't have one sticking out proud. I use the uniformer chucked in a cordless drill with their power screwdriver attachment: http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=RECPUN&item=UN-8005&type=store
You can also get a kit with both large and small uniformers and the power adaptor for $48 which saves you about 15 bucks if you also reload for small primer rifles (223, m1 carbine): http://www.sinclairintl.com/cgi-bin/category.cgi?category=RECPUN&item=UN-8KP&type=store

Lee Auto Prime Tool: http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=807875&t=11082005
Be sure to get shellholder as well; I'd recommend the complete set so you always have the option for most common calibers other than 30-06 (the "holy grail" caliber :)). The link for the shellholders is near the bottom of the page linked above. This makes priming a whole bunch of cases pretty painless after you size, trim , and chamfer them. I actually keep a couple of these on hand because the piece you apply pressure to is a pretty cheap pot metal type casting and can break (I've broken 2 over the last 5 or so years).

Regarding the rifle itself:
rg1 above correctly notes you should strip and clean all of the gunk out of the rifle. I've gotten some rifles that were so full of cosmoline it was amazing they could be successfully test fired at CMP. The manual from CMP is great and shows you step by step how to dissassemble it. For grease there are a bunch of options. I've used many different types and they all work. Moly axle grease is cheap and a single tin will last a whole long time. My previous favorite was a blue synthetic grease NLGI-2 from Brad-Penn (local to me) origninally formulated for oil drilling machinery in wet and freezing conditions. Now I use ONLY XF7 from MD Labs. It works in hot/wet/rain/cold/ice & freezing nearly arctic western PA mountains flawlessly. It makes cleaning easier and is an awesome anticorrosion agent. In fact, when a "new" rifle makes its way to the shop, I detail strip, clean, inspect, gauge the parts. Then degrease and apply thin layer of XF7 to everything except the inner gas cylinder and op rod piston. Then I lube with additional XF7 per the directions you'll find in the CMP manual. Further XF7 info here:http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000569

Get an Orion 7 Op rod spring: http://www.m1garand.com/Garandparts.htm Item G28a. I put these springs in every rifle I deal with if possible. I have one rifle that has been firing using the same one of these springs for over 4 years now. Thousands of rounds (stopped counting after 1st barrel shot through) and still going. It is well worth it. They also carry a spring kit with all the necessary springs in it which is quite convenient.

CMP Scout Mount: http://estore.odcmp.com/store/catalog/catalog.aspx?pg=product&ID=830&item=&sfv=&cat=EQA&desc=&udc=&mct=&vndr=&ba=&pmin=&pmax=&note1=&note2=&note3=&note4=&note5=&max=
I consider this a nontraditional but very useful "option" to add to your M1. I use/used these to mount optics (primarily Eotech or Aimpoint) but can be used for scout type scope or handgun scope as well. The Eotech and Aimpoint both work great on the garand and can help give you low light capability. The ones CMP has are true picatinny type rails and are excellent. They are manufactured by Amega Ranges and are availble in a weaver configuration from them. The CMP price is less than what I've seen them for most other places.

Any other questions just holler. There are a whole bunch of very knowlegeable Garand folk here and I've learned a bunch from them over the years. Hope this helps



December 15, 2007, 06:06 PM
Be sure to run the numbers first. The Greek HXP surplus from the CMP is pretty cheap, cheap enough that I haven't bothered to reload '06 ammo yet. If you're reloading for fun or for accuracy, then proceed as others have mentioned.

You're gonna love that M1, I love mine!

December 16, 2007, 01:59 AM
KODB & others,
Thanks guys, I too gained some good info. I bought the Greek HXP & am keeping all the brass!!
I describe the Garand as the most social of guns. It is a way to have something in common with a WWII vet or a young kid that plays "Call of Duty". Definitely a thrill to own one.


December 16, 2007, 04:33 PM
Wow, that's some great info. I did get my spam can of 192 Greek rounds on clips recently. I had planned on just keeping the brass to reload, but I will do the numbers to see what's cheaper. I enjoy reloading just as much as shooting, so if the price is very similar between handloads and greek surplus, I will reload. I guess it gives me a way to enjoy my firearms when I'm not able to be at the range!

As soon as this thing comes in I'll take lotsa pictures.

Snapping Twig
December 16, 2007, 05:41 PM
I shoot a Remington 740 in 30-06 and it disliked my typical load of IMR 4350, so I found some information about semi auto rifles and settled on IMR 4064.

My Remington has gone from a horribly inaccurate rifle to something approaching a MOA shooter with the change of powder. The action cycles better as well, less violently.

Check into IMR 4064, you ma like it as well.

December 16, 2007, 07:59 PM
I checked last weekend with my local powder shop, and they do not have any. Nor do they have anymore Varget (bought it all).... AND I just bought the last two pounds of IMR4895..... I think its time to find a new supplier :/

They tell me that they only restock their reloading supplies once or twice a year...

December 16, 2007, 10:30 PM

I think you will like reloading for the Garand. I have stockpiled a goodly deal of milsurp greek and us ammo for practice and rainy day useage but prefer to shoot my reloads if hunting or accuracy is needed. I think you will find that the above quoted loads will shoot tighter groups than most milsurp although not always. The absolute best 30-06 milsurp for the Garands came out of Denmark a couple of years ago and actually had a lower extreme spread on velocity than my handloads by about 10 fps. It was primo stuff that I still have a couple of thousand of laying around for competition or a rainy day.
Other than that, I am sold on Sierra Gamekings and Hornady 165SSTs and 155 Amax and 178 Amax for all of my 30-06 needs. I load all of my 30-06 so it is garand safe including that which I use in my bolt guns. Simplifies ammo selection greatly and prevents mishaps that could hurt the gun.
Also, (it came up and I posted on another recent thread here) you might consider (strongly) getting a set of McCann gas nuts. This will enable you to use just about any ammo safely in the M1. The gas nuts are vented and have different size orifices you can use to shoot heavier bullets/slower powders/commercially available ammo that might not be otherwise garand safe. I really believe anyone that has an M1 should own a set as it gives you a certain amount of flexibility in ammo. http://www.gokart.net/shop-utopia/mccann/scope/parts.html


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