AA2520 Garand Load?


Marty B
March 2, 2010, 05:04 PM
I got a good deal on some Accurate Arms 2520 powder. I loaded some 30-06 with 44 grains and 175 gr FMJBT. Is this an acceptable load for a garand? I'm using Lake City Match brass. I don't have that powder in the only reloading manual that has Garand info in it. I called Accurate but the guy I talked to seemed rather uninterested and just told me to look at the 30-06 data.

Any help would be appreciated,

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March 2, 2010, 08:42 PM
It's slower than Varget, and I understand Varget is considered marginal for use in the Garand (too slow.)

I'm using an adjustable gas plug so I can adjust the gas system to work with the powder, bleeding off the excess. If you don't have an adjustable plug, you're kind of limited to the standard "Garand powders" if you want to avoid battering your receiver heel / bending an op-rod.

Here's an article that describes reloading for the M14, which is a lot like the M1 regarding powder burn rates, op-rod, etc.


and a quote from that article

I don’t know what port pressures are with all
available gunpowders, but that doesn’t matter as
long as I know this: the burning rate that defines
the upper limit is IMR® 4064. Use nothing slower.

Here's a burn rate chart -


You'll notice that AA2520 is the next one listed (slower) below 4064.

I wouldn't use it without an adjustable plug.

March 2, 2010, 10:05 PM
Accurate Arms told me that grain for grain AA2520 has the same pressure curve as IMR 4895.

This is where you want to be with a 175 grain bullet in a Garand, 2640 fps.


I have shot the 174 GI bullet with AA2520, but not in a Garand. I do have data with the 168 grain bullet in a Douglas Barrel.

With a 175 grain bullet I would not go higher than 47.0 grains. I would think an excellent load would be around 46.0 grains.

M1 Garand Douglas Barrel 1:10 twist

168 gr Sierra Match 47.0 AA2520 WWII cases WLR OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 ° F

Ave Vel = 2658
Std Dev = 35
ES = 85
Low = 2612
High = 2697
N = 5


March 2, 2010, 11:16 PM
Hornady lists AA2520 with the 155gr A-Max only ... OAL 3.240 (5th Ed.)
40.5gr at 2300 fps
41.9 at 2400
43.3 at 2500
44.8 at 2600
46.2 at 2700 max

March 3, 2010, 01:27 AM
Yes, AA2520 is a very good powder for the Garand...

March 3, 2010, 03:33 AM
Like said above, AA2520 is almost identical to IMR4895 except AA2520 is a Ball powder. It's perfectly safe to use for Garand ammo...

Marty B
March 3, 2010, 09:38 AM
I'm still a little confused. Some say no, some say yes. I realize now that it's maybe not the ideal choice but I have 16 lbs. of it so it would be nice if it would work. The best I can tell this load would put me about 2450 f.p.s. IF the powder is acceptable would that load be ok or would I need to increase my powder charge?

Thank you for the information so far!!!

March 3, 2010, 10:33 AM
Try calling Hornady since they at least listed a single bullet weight loading with 2520.
The Lyman's 48th lists a few loadings for a regular 30-06, none specifcally for a Garand ... along with the caveats about sticking to mid-range bullet weights, which they define as 150 - 168gr, and downloading their published data by a couple of grains for use in military cases.

March 3, 2010, 10:43 AM
The Accurate Arms reloading manual shows loads for the Garand using AA2520

March 3, 2010, 02:49 PM
I'm still a little confused. Some say no, some say yes.

There are lots of different opinions on the web. Some informed, some not very informed.

I have shot lots of AA2520 in my M1a's and some in my Garands. I don't shoot my Garands much, maybe once or twice a year. Just often enough to win my Club's Garand Matches. I don't have a lot of Chronograph data in the Garand, but that does not mean this powder is not appropriate for the Garand. Because it is. And the M1a.

I realize now that it's maybe not the ideal choice It is a good choice. The ideal choice is a matter that will never be resolved.

The best I can tell this load would put me about 2450 f.p.s. IF the powder is acceptable would that load be ok or would I need to increase my powder charge?

You can shoot very good groups with reduced loads in bolt gun. Gas guns do poorly with reduced loads. I have tried this in the Garand and 2400 fps loads shot poorly. You want to be at 2640 fps for best results. That is the velocity of match ammo, the ammo was tailored for this rifle, that is where you want to be.

Not over.

Maj Dad
March 3, 2010, 08:14 PM
Accurate Arms recommendeds 2520 as being within the pressure curve parameters for M1 and M14/M1A gas systems. I have used it in both with excellent results, and in some it is very accurate (I have several rifles and some are picky, some are easy). I had such good results I picked up another 8 lb keg to load all the 06 brass piling up on the shelf... It also gave me a repeated and witnessed 1" group from an 8mm Czech VZ-24 with iron sights (o.k, it has a glass-bedded action & first 2" of bbl) and 180 gr spitzers. It is a very good powder - my experience & my 2 cents... :cool:

March 3, 2010, 08:51 PM
I thought the link I posted was useful, but I found different information in "Reloading for the M1 Rifle", by John R. Clarke. He says -

...When reloading .30-06 ammunition for use in an M1 rifle, there are two things that must be considered over and above normal considerations. First is that the M1 depends - as the manual says - on the gas pressure from one round to operate the mechanism for the next shot. This pressure is delivered through a port near the rifle's muzzle to a piston to operate the mechanism. The pressure needed to do this is 6000 p.s.i. +/- 2000 and it is usually referred to as "port pressure". Though there are other factors, port pressure is largely influenced by the bullet being loaded and by the burning rate (or relative quickness) of the propellant powder used. To attain usable port pressures in a .30-06 M1 requires use of a powder with a relative quickness between IMR 3031 (the quickest) and IMR 4320 (the slowest). Powders that are "faster" than IMR 3031 will not develop useful velocities within safe pressure levels. Powders "slower" than IMR 4320 can develop useful velocities but generally develop excessive port pressures. Excessive port pressures in an M1 need not be a dangerous condition (though it can be). Excessive port pressure will damage the rifle sooner or later, by causing the operating rod to bend. It may also cause failures to feed, wherein the bolt cycles before the magazine follower can lift a fresh cartridge into the bolt's path....

Referring to the powder burn rate chart, AA 2520 is right above IMR 4320 and is therefore "OK" as far as Mr. Clarke is concerned. The other article described IMR 4064 as the slowest powder.

These powders aren't separated by much in the list, so maybe these authors are splitting hairs.

When I researched this a few years ago, I couldn't get a definite answer on whether Varget would work or not, so I chose to use an adjustable plug as a solution.

It looks like Varget would have worked fine without the adjustable plug.

Summary? Information on this topic isn't consistent. There is a potential problem if the wrong powder is used, but there appears to be quite a selection of "right" powders...

john wall
March 4, 2010, 12:03 AM
When 2520 first came out, the Garand and MI-A Service Match Rifles still ruled the roost at that discipline. This powder quickly became known as the "Camp Perry Powder". Any questions?

Now, I am too old and blind to shoot iron-sighted arms at long range, but still use Accurate 2520 exclusively for accuracy loads in the 30/06 and 308/7.62mm, with bullets between 168 and 175 gr. Worked then, works now. Also, hard to beat with heavy bullets (over 60 gr) in the 223/5.56mm.

I had a load with it that would generate 2642 average in a Garand using Military Match brass and the 172 gr bullet, but cannot locate it. It was in the neighborhood of 45.7 gr or so.

March 4, 2010, 03:58 AM
This is directly from the Accurate Arms Site:
2520 is a medium burning, double-base, spherical rifle propellant designed around the 308 Win. 2520 is our “Camp Perry” powder and is extremely popular with many service shooters. It also performs extremely well in 223 Rem with heavy match bullets (62 to 80 grain). This versatile powder has superb flow characteristics and is well within the threshold limit for the M14 systems.

If it is recommended for the M14 it will be just as good in the M1 Garand. AA2520 and AA2495 are both very similar to IMR4895. AA2520 is the Ball powder equivalent of the Extruded AA2495. There are more powders than you think which are appropriate for use in the Garand. Most of them will deliver accurate ammo too.

BUT, there is no reason to trust anyone here even though you did come here and ask. Call Accurate Arms and ask them, they will give you the information you are looking for...

March 4, 2010, 10:36 AM
AA2495 are both very similar to IMR4895.

Accurate Arms told me that AA2495 is their copy of IMR 4895. Stupidly they call it 2495 and confuse everyone.

I have used kegs of 2495 when it cost a lot less than IMR 4895. I have a lot of chronograph data with 2495. There is no significant difference between the powders that cannot be explained with lot to lot differences.

And grain for grain, there is hardly any difference between AA2520 and AA2495 in 30-06, 308 or 223.

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