To reload ammo for a Garand: average costs?


Ignition Override
November 10, 2009, 11:13 PM
Have never owned a Garand.

After buying current CMP surplus ammo, could you reload it for $.30/round or less, using the lowest-cost bullets, or do these rifles tear up the brass as some rifles do with .308 (M-14, G-3)?

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November 10, 2009, 11:21 PM
I found a great deal on some bullets at the last gun show and am out for around $0.26 a round and that is without buying powder in bulk. If I step up to an 8lb jug things drop closer to $0.20 each.

November 11, 2009, 01:02 AM
Another concern is brass life.

While some set their dies for minimum sizing, in an attempt to prolong brass life, this creates the very real danger of slamfires with rounds that don't chamber quite all the way.

If you set your full-length resizing die for SAAMI minimum, you will probably have shorter brass life, but your ammo will be a lot safer.

Many who reload for the Garand recommend limiting reloading to 4 or 5 times for the same brass. So, if you're looking at total reloading cost, I wouldn't assume infinite brass life... :)

I found the Garand doesn't tear up the rims too badly, but it does tend to dent case mouths on the op-rod. This is generally not a problem, unless it is so badly dented that you can't get it into the resizing die.

November 11, 2009, 01:59 AM
like benzy, ive also found good deals on bullets and imr4895 powders that make it really cost effective.

i saw 500 m80 milspecs on gb for 52 dollars recently. its not uncommon.

also like dmazur said, sometimes its normal to dent the case mouths but it rarely hinders brass life. i start checking for casehead seperation after 4-5 loadings. more often than not its the case mouth that splits in protest during resizing, which is a pretty easy to read sign that its time to scrap it.

also try to find military brass, and even better, de-milled machinegun brass like de-linked 1919 browning machinegun cases. usually they are of the lc variety and are very thick walled and tough. ive seen them go 10+ times.

also consider that the condition of each individual rifle chamber will play into how long brass will last.

you will need to trim often, although if trimmed around five thousandths under spec, many can load twice between trimmings.

November 11, 2009, 10:10 AM
I inspect the brass carefully and keep load to medium/low side. When either the neck splits or the primer well begins to get loose they get tossed. I generally shoot six or seven loads with the Garand then shift them to the bolt actions until they have to be discarded.

November 11, 2009, 10:51 AM
I figure .25 to .38 depending on components. Not counting brass as I have a lifetime supply. Or at least til I'm 80 yrs old :D

November 11, 2009, 10:59 AM
I'm currently reload M2 ball for about $0.15 per round, not counting the cost of brass. It helps when you were wise enough to scarf up the last of USGI surplus IMR4895 at $10 per pound, and M80 pulls at $0.05 each.


Ignition Override
November 12, 2009, 01:46 AM
Thanks. I've only once helped a very seasoned friend reload, but so far don't have gear yet, just dies, bullets and some .303 Prvi. for the LEs; no primers to be found in Memphis stores: very self-centered buyers won't give others a chance to even buy their First Pack of 1,000....

Reading abut .308 brass damage has helped to steer me away from considering any good CETME G-3 in the future.
Can't see wanting a gun that needs a 'port buffer' (whatever they are), unless really cheap to buy, cheap for a gunsmith to install, then with reloads a max of .30/round.

Am still sort of new at all of this (despite my age).

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