Handloading for the M-1 Garand


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elktrout
March 5, 2009, 10:45 PM
[B] Are there any special requirements needed to handload for the Garand?

Do you have to crimp the bullets in place? Any issues with primers? Any standard powders that should be avoided? I use IMR4350 for my bolt action 30-06, will that work good in the Garand?

What about bullets? Any style/weight seem to work best for reliability?

Thanks.

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jpwilly
March 5, 2009, 10:53 PM
Reloading for the M1 is rewarding. The Handloading section here has lots of info on the subject. In the end I chose to install a Schuster Gas Plug in my M1 allowing a broader range of powder options. Be sure primers are military or commercial with hard primer cups. Be sure primers are seated deep if the pimers are raised even flush you could get a slam fire.

More good advise here:

http://www.odcmp.com/Services/Rifles/dos_donts.htm

The M1 demands the following precautions be observed to ensure safe and smooth functioning:

The ammunition MUST be clean and free of corrosion (a case tumbler or a lot of hand-work polishing each case is a necessity). Clean ammunition will keep the chamber relatively clean and allow the cartridge cases to fully seat, and the bolt to close and lock.
The chamber MUST be kept clean! Dirty chambers can prevent a cartridge case from fully seating and will not allow the bolt to fully close and lock!
The overall length of the cartridge case must be closely monitored, as an overlong case (due to stretching from repeated firings or a new case that is out of specification) can keep the cartridge from fully seating in the chamber. Cartridge cases should be measured before every reloading and kept trimmed to proper length. A cartridge case stuck in the chamber and preventing the bolt from completely closing and locking is asking for trouble. A long or broken firing pin stuck in the forward position coupled with an overlong case, could result in the rifle "firing out of battery" causing a ruptured cartridge case and possibly injuring the shooter with brass fragments or escaping gas.
The primers should be of a lot at least as hard as GI primers. Soft primers can cause slam fires!
The powder used to handload/reload the ammunition used in the M1 must not be too slow burning or too fast... In other words, in order to maintain the proper "gas-port pressure", the cartridge must be loaded to closely match the original loading. A good standard load for the M1 Rifle would utilize a powder with the burning characteristics of IMR 4895, coupled with a bullet of either 172/175 grain weight at approximately 2660 fps., or 150 grain bullet at approximately 2700 fps. Other loads are possible, but must be worked up to with extreme caution.

jlmurphy
March 6, 2009, 01:10 AM
I think 4350 is a little slow, 4895 or 4064 would be better.

skidooman603
March 6, 2009, 06:10 AM
Add 748 powder

skidooman603
March 6, 2009, 06:11 AM
Hornady reloading manual has a whole section on Garand loads

Shung
March 6, 2009, 06:48 AM
get hard primers

USSR
March 6, 2009, 08:07 AM
Are there any special requirements needed to handload for the Garand?

Do you have to crimp the bullets in place? Any issues with primers? Any standard powders that should be avoided? I use IMR4350 for my bolt action 30-06, will that work good in the Garand?

What about bullets? Any style/weight seem to work best for reliability?


elktrout,

With sufficient neck tension, there is no need to crimp. Get yourself a primer pocket uniformer, and make sure your primer pockets are full depth. I suggest either CCI #34 or Winchester WLR primers. Use no bullet heavier than 180 grains. But, the most critical part of reloading for the Garand is the powder. The rule for atleast the last 50 years has been: no powder faster than IMR3031 or slower than IMR 4320. IMR4350 is too slow for the Garand. The problem with using too slow of a powder with the Garand is due to the port pressure restrictions of the design. Slow powder still have high pressure when the bullet passes the port, and this will bend your oprod in short order. Some of the suitable powders are (but not limited to): IMR3031, IMR4895, H4895, IMR4064, Varget, IMR4320, and RL15. Hope that helps.

Don

elktrout
March 6, 2009, 08:15 AM
USSR (Don) mentioned the CCI#34 and Win WLR primers. What other primers are "hard" primers that could be used?

Also, do you guys recommend military brass? I was considering buying some from the CMP. I know military brass has a primer crimp that needs removed. Anything else?

SlamFire1
March 6, 2009, 09:36 AM
A couple of points not mentioned.

Buy a Wilson type headspace gage, set up your dies using the gages. Size your brass to gage minimum.

I hand seat all primers and check to determine that no primer is above the case head.

I seat bullets to LT 3.30. It does not hurt a thing to seat deeper. You just don't want those bullets tips so far out that they cause a jam.

In a GI barrel, bullet jump does not make a difference on accuracy.

What other primers are "hard" primers that could be used?

CCI 200, standard LR have thick cups. Whatever you do, don't use Federal. They are the most slamfiring primer around.

rscalzo
March 6, 2009, 10:43 AM
Primers aren't really "hard" or "soft". They vary in sensitivity. Seating depth is one of the more important areas of concern. I use a Lyman primer pocket tool is make sure the pocket is clean and deep enough to allow proper seating. No problems to date. However, I use CCI 334 primers in my gas guns as an added measure. Unfortunatly they are getting hard to find.

elktrout
March 7, 2009, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the feedback. Are Remington 9-1/2 LR primers OK?

Steve in PA
March 7, 2009, 12:51 PM
IMR-4895, 150gr FMJ bullets and CCI 200 primers. Loaded and fired several thousand rounds.

elktrout
March 8, 2009, 12:52 PM
Any suggestions where to find CCI#334 primers?

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