Loads for M1 garand


September 19, 2011, 11:03 PM
Hey all,

I just got a new M1 Garand, I hear that it only likes to eat certain ammo? For curiosities sake, what is safe and not safe to use in it?

What are some good loads for this bad boy?

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September 19, 2011, 11:49 PM
Congratulations on your new M1.

The operating rod is the weak link. Ammunition that generates high pressure at the gas port will cause damage to the operating rod.

Most current 30-06 hunting ammunition is not safe for use in the Garand due to the op rod. The ammunition can be used when the gas plug is replaced a pressure relieving plug. There are two that I know of, the Shuster (spelling?) and McCann (I think).

Hornady and Federal make Garand safe ammunition. The boxes are labeled as such.

Powders safe for the Garand are limited. I use H4895, IMR4895, and Varget. There are a few others. The Hornady loading manual has Garand safe load chapter. There are some sites on the internet with reputable data. Go look at the CMP forum for a wealth of Garand reloading and general information. http://forums.thecmp.org/index.php

Generally, bullets are limited to 150 to 180 grains. There are some folks that use bullets lighter than 150 grains. I am dabbling with 110 grain bullets. For 100-200 yard matches, the recoil is reduced and the ballistics of the smaller bullets is not a factor.

Not sure about anyone using heavier than 180 grain bullets.

Full length size your brass. If the cases were fired in another rifle, you may want/need to small base size the cases first, but generally that will not be necessary. Cases fired in your rifle will not need small base resizing.

CMP Greek surplus HXP ammunition is a good source of cases. The ammunition costs about what factory new empty cases cost and you get to "unload" them in the bargain.

Enjoy your rifle

Pat M
September 20, 2011, 12:01 AM
I am relatively new to reloading for the Garand, but I have had good results with IMR 4895 and bullet weights of 150 and 168 grains. As the previous poster mentioned, the Hornady manual has a chapter on reloading for the Garand. I would also recommend this article:


chris in va
September 20, 2011, 12:17 AM
47gr of 4895 and a 150gr bullet. Hundreds through my 1945 SA.

September 20, 2011, 06:26 AM
I've heard 45 Gr of H4895 under a 168 gr SMK is a nice easy load to shoot and safe. I have NOT verified this, nor have I shot it in my own garand.

Hodgdon's website shows the powder load to be safe with a 168 gr projectile. Middle of the road actually.

September 20, 2011, 06:39 AM
The Garand section in the Hornady manual has already been mentioned and I would also recommend it.

For what it's worth, Mil Tech uses Remington 150 gr. loads for testing their Garand rebuilds.

Kevin Rohrer
September 20, 2011, 12:50 PM
46gr of BLC-2 and a 147-150FMJBT = M2 Ball

September 20, 2011, 01:18 PM
Don't overlook IMR4064. It's a great choice for the garand. I use 150gr M2 bullets and 168gr match bullets in mine.

September 20, 2011, 02:31 PM
Just get an adjustable gas plug and you can shoot any 150gr - 180 gr. ammo you like. This is the one I own and it works great.


Once you have it adjusted for the ammo you are using, it only takes a minute to swap it out for the original gas plug if you want to shoot M2 ball ammo. Just screw it back in when you want to use your other ammo.

September 20, 2011, 06:05 PM
IMr 4895 is the "Go to" powder for the Garand. H4895 and AA2495 are so close that I think the only real differences are due to lot differences. When H4895 came out, it was advertized as a duplicate of IMR 4895. Accurate Arms told me they blend AA2495 to have the same pressure curve as IMR 4895. So, buy by price.

You will find that 47.0 grains IMR 4895 will shoot exceedingly well with a 150, 168 or a 175. It is a maximum load with the 175.


September 20, 2011, 06:10 PM
Nice target!!!

September 20, 2011, 09:09 PM
Thanks Guys, I appreciate the information! It looks like i am going to end up using the adjustable gas plug wombat, i appreciate the input.

Slam fire, nice target.

September 21, 2011, 12:50 AM
Like said above, it's the powder you use that's important. You DO NOT want to use a powder that's too slow so that it's still building pressure at the gas port in the barrel. That can damage the Op-Rod. The classic powders for the Garand are any of the 4895 powders and AA-2495 which is almost the clone to 4895. Also, AA2520 is the ball powder equivalent to 4895. As mentioned above IMR4064 is also a good choice. There are other appropriate powders but the ones I listed are the ones I've used so I can tell you they work well.

My current Garand loads are:
46.0gr H4895 under a 150gr Spitzer bullet
47.0gr IMR4895 under a 150gr Spitzer bullet

September 21, 2011, 02:40 PM
I use a 168gr. bullet with 46.5Gr IMR4895. Pleasent to shoot, After 30 years I see no errosion on my 54 SA rebuild or my H&R.

September 21, 2011, 09:57 PM
Slam fire, nice target. _

Thanks. I am happiest having set a range record for our December Garand match that day, a 483 is a good score with a service rifle, it is above average with a Garand.

Garands are hard to shoot, they kick for one thing....:rolleyes:

Small bore prone has improved my consistency shooting High Power prone. And the hole in the middle shows it.

Mac Attack
September 22, 2011, 07:03 AM
46.3 gr Varget under a 168 gr SMK works great in my M1 with a Shuster plug.

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