Reloading for a M1 Garand- The National Match


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ali9cg8
December 26, 2012, 10:26 PM
Hello all,

New member here and I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this forum. I don't have a "reloading mentor", but it seems like this is the place to come for great advice. So here goes; I'm toying with the idea of starting some handloading for my newest addition. I started the learning process reloading for my HK P30 9mm, and am now obsessed.

Regarding my shooting background, I started shooting black powder and trap with my dad at around 15, moved up to the M1 Carbine (good), and then the 1903 (not so good). Since I'm a female lefty, the bolt action flow just wasn't happening. Took it up again recently and I've got the shooting bug back. I love to shoot service rifles and my first attempts at 30.06 reloads have been promising. The Garand load is obviously more complicated, but I'd love some advice or suggestions if anyone is willing to share. This is my dream rifle, and I would love to shoot it more. It was refitted in 1952 as a type II National Match and was rarely fired after that.

I'm going to spend the rest of the night poring over the expertise in the threads, but would appreciate any tips or advice.

Thank you!

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Centurian22
December 26, 2012, 10:35 PM
What reloading equipment (press tools etc.) do you have. The basics are covered in many many threads. Glad you're taking the 'leap'. Hope you get to shoot plenty more now that you 'roll your own'.

Grumulkin
December 26, 2012, 10:37 PM
The M1 Garand...

1. Don't use powders that are too slow or you can damage the op rod.

2. Best not to use bullets over 168 grains.

3. The Hornady manual has Garand specific loads. I think though that some of the powders they recommend may be a little too slow.

4. Use mil spec primers to prevent slam fires.

5. I'd recommend a small base die even if the regular ones seem to work to hopefully prevent slam fires.

6. You don't need to crimp.

7. Don't try to use the brass for too many reloadings as a Garand will beat it up. Check for incipient head separations when processing resized brass AFTER resizing.

That's all I can think of for now.

cfullgraf
December 26, 2012, 10:45 PM
Grumulkin has some good advice.

To add, there is a limited range of powders suitable for the Garand. the risk, as said, is damage to the op rod.

If you have not been to the CMP forum, check it out. Lots and lots of good information of all things M1, as well as other retired US service rifles and CMP activities.

http://forums.thecmp.org/index.php

Welcome to the forum.

ali9cg8
December 26, 2012, 11:13 PM
Thank you,

I have been to the CMP forum, and eventually it got to be a little overwhelming. Kind off a "too many cooks in the kitchen" mentality and has a tendency to veer off into "my Garand is more special than yours" territory. Blah. I've just spend a few hours over here and you really appreciate the lack of competitiveness and just the general enjoyment of the exchange of advice between shooters.

ali9cg8
December 26, 2012, 11:29 PM
Going back to the RCBS single stage. I'll be triple checking every step in the proper OCD fashion. I don't expect to see my family much, but when I do, I will require them to address me as "Bob Lee".

dmazur
December 27, 2012, 02:07 AM
I got into reloading a few years back, and I accidentally started with one of the easiert rounds to reload, .45ACP. When I decided to reload .30-06, I encountered the requirement to lube and trim cases. (Something generally not part of pistol cartridge reloading.)

Then I got a Garand, and I learned about the importance of setting up sizing dies and controlling what is sometimes called "cartridge headspace", Wilson gauges, RCBS Precision Mic, etc.

Then I read that reloading difficulty can generally be ranked from easy to hard as pistol cartridges, bottleneck cartridges, and bottleneck cartridges for gas guns. After working through this process, I agree with this ranking.

An awful lot of Garand information on this forum has been posted by Slamfire1, so you could start with that. As his name indicates, he has some firsthand information about slamfires and how to minimize their occurrence. Here is one to get started -

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=311077&highlight=garand+slamfires

Even though they don't happen often, I believe it is wise to understand what conditions set up a slamfire and do everything possible to make these conditions near impossible.

Good luck. The Garand is a fun rifle.

(Hopefully your family knows who Stephen Hunter is? :) )

TooManyToys
December 27, 2012, 03:40 AM
Welcome to the forum!

The LYMAN #48 Reloading book specifically recomends;
IMR-4064 & IMR-4895 for powders, and 150gr-168 gr bullets for the M1 Garand.

USSR
December 27, 2012, 09:41 AM
Well, since you have a National Match rifle, you might as well shoot National Match loads. In 1965 the M72 Match load consisted of a 174gr FMJBT bullet with 46.5gr of IMR4895 powder. IMR4895 powder is readily available, and I would suggest you use either 46.5gr of it with a 175gr Sierra MatchKing bullet or 47.0gr with a 168gr Sierra MatchKing bullet. Good Luck.

Don

ArchAngelCD
December 27, 2012, 12:29 PM
Post #3 supplies a lot of good advice.

Several other posts recommend bullets no heavier than 168gr and recommend 4895 and 4064, also very good advice.

I have been reloading for years and I tried a lot of different combinations.
Here is my current M1 Garand load:
Greek Surplus brass
CCI #34 LR primer
Surplus 150gr Spitzer bullets
46.4gr H4895
~2700 fps

I suggest keeping your loads at or around 2700 fps, no need to push them to the original military specs of ~2800 fps. I have found accuracy is better ~2700 fps.

The 3 powders I think perform best in the M1 Garand are IMR4895, H4895 and IMR4064 but there are others. Varget seems to work well too but i have not used it because I'm happy with the results I get with H4895.

As for primers, if you don't want to buy or you can't find CCI NATO primers there are others I've used without any slam-fires. I have used CCI-200 and Winchester LR primers without incident. Just as a side note, I have also used CCI-400 and CCI-450 primers in .223 ammo without incident with CCI #41 or Remington 7 1/2 primers were unavailable.

I also recommend replacing all the springs in your M1. Wolff Gunsprings (http://www.gunsprings.com/index.cfm?page=items&cID=2&mID=88#504) has a spring kit with all 4 replacement springs for a good price. I feel that will go a long way in protecting you from slam-fires and protect the op-rod too.

Welcome to the forum...

Flatbush Harry
December 27, 2012, 12:45 PM
+1 for USSR's comment.

I've been using 168gr Sierra Match Kings over 47.0gr of IMR 4895 as my standard match load. It is wonderfully accurate in all my .30-06 hunting rifles for practice as well as my Garands.

FH

Kevin Rohrer
December 27, 2012, 08:17 PM
Read this:

http://home.comcast.net/~jlemons01/ReloadingForTheM1Rifle_JohnRClarke.pdf

Fatelvis
December 27, 2012, 08:17 PM
USSR hit the nail on the head. The loads listed are proven, no need to develop a load, it's already been done. Have fun shootin that thing!!

SlamFire1
December 28, 2012, 04:18 PM
My advice for reloading for Garands/M1a’s is to

1. Full length resize in a small base die

2. Trim cases

3. Clean primer pockets, ream to depth

4. Prime all cases by hand, verify that all primers are below the case head, and use the least sensitive primers you can find.

5. Use IMR4895/AA2495/H4895 powders.

6. Seat the bullets to magazine depth, no longer than 3.3” inches for the 30-06, no longer than 2.8 for the 308, shorter is fine.


The Garand has a free floating firing pin, like this M1 carbine. The M1 Carbine and the M1 Garand have a firing pin retraction cam. This cam pulls the firing pin back during extraction. It also has limited utility as a safety device, but is easily defeated by tight or long rounds. If you sized your round smaller than the chamber the odds would will be in your favor to have an in battery slamfire.

Only at final cam down is the firing pin retracted. Up to then the firing pin is totally free floating and tapping the heck out of the primer.

This is a M1 Carbine firing pin retraction cam.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/M1%20Carbine/DSCN1383FiringPinEngagingbridge.jpg


This is the M1 Garand firing pin retraction cam they are functionally identical, just the carbine is easier to visually understand.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/Slamfires/oob2b.jpg


This is a M1 Garand receiver and the firing pin is fully forward and just touching the firing pin retraction cam. As you can see there is only thousand's of an inch of forward movement left in bolt cam down and yet the firing pin is out about 0.064" of the bolt face.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/Slamfires/ReducedDSCN6749IHCReceivershowingbr.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/Slamfires/ReducedSCN6746HRReceivershowingbrid.jpg



This is the location where out of battery slamfires occur.

If the bolt has to stop here to crunch fit a long case or a fat case that firing pin is rebounding off the back of the primer at its highest velocity and the lugs are not engaged.

That is why it is important to small base size cases used in these rifles and to set up the dies with a case gage and size to gage minimum. (Assuming you don’t know the headspace of your chamber, if you do, always be 0.002 to 0.003” less) You want the bolt to close without resistance. This will reduce the risk of an out of battery slamfire.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/ReducedWilsongagemeasuringnew308bra.jpg

There are some who say small base dies are not needed in these rifles, the Gunwriter Mike Venturino has been one. For years he has been saying in print that only standard sizing dies are need. But in the July 2012 issue of Guns Magazine, he is testing an M1a and a AR10 and his reloads are too tight. I find it humorous to read of him beating the bolts open with scrap lumber. Ha, Ha.

If you attempt to small base size with a spray on lube you will stick the case in the die. I recommend RCBS water soluble or Imperial Sizing wax. These are excellent lubes.


For these rifles it is safety critical to ensure ream primer pockets are at depth, reaming them to depth is a good idea, seat the primers by hand, and verify that all of the primers are below the primer pocket. There is a chance that a cocked primer, with the anvil firmly seated on something, will cause a primer initiated slamfire. One poster swaged his primer pockets, which shaved brass donuts into the pocket. He left the donuts in the pocket, which resulted in high primers, and his AR10 slamfired in battery. Clean those pockets! A high primer can cause a slamfire but only if the anvil is firmly seated. High primers are one of the most common cause of misfires because the primer won't fire unless the anvil is seated and is pushed up into the primer cake. http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01/04/ammunition_st_mamotaip_200909/ However, given a shallow pocket it is theoretically possible that high primers could slamfire, given debris in the pocket, you can get a slamfire.


Mr Faatz stuffed an extra anvil in his primers pocket as he was unable to get unsupported high primers to ignite. Reference A.

Just examine the back of the ammunition you have and see if there are high or cocked primers.

It is also safety critical to use the least sensitive primer around because these rifles will slamfire in battery or worse, out of battery, given a sensitive enough primer.

Federal primers are the most sensitive primer on the market and the most "slamfiring" primer in Garands. I have lots of web accounts of slamfires with Federal primers. Don’t use them. I recommend CCI #34's and Tula7.62 primers as they considered "Mil Spec" primers. Which means they are less sensitive than commercial primers, federal being the most sensitive commercial primer on the market. Rifles do slamfire with “mil spec” primers, it is just the frequency is far less. I have accounts of slamfires in AK47’s, FAL’s, FN 49, SKS’s, AR15’s, AR10’s, MAS 49/56, M1 carbines, Tokerev SVT , commercial BAR, and probably more types which I did not keep a record. More slamfire accounts with Garands are currently being posted than any other type probably due to the high number acquired from the CMP and the long, heavy firing pin of the Garand.

The only mechanism which I have not found a true “primer initiated” slamfire is the HK91 mechanisms. And that is probably due to the incredibly stiff firing spring to be found in roller bolts.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Rifles%20various/PTR%2091/DSCN1880Springonfiringpin.jpg

When firing single shot, use a SLED. Do not put a round in the chamber and drop the bolt. Lots of inbattery slamfires, and a few out of battery, have happened because of this. You want to slow the bolt down. When rounds feed from the clip the friction between cartridges slows the bolt a bit. You want to use a SLED as that slows the bolt a bit.

If loading a Garand without a SLED, lower the bolt about 1” over the follower and let go. Always get your hand out of the way so that if the mechanism slamfires the operating rod does not cut through the palm of your hand.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/Slamfires/IMG_3279Boltoneinchforwardofbackfollower_zps1ec72907.jpg


This guy said he had been shooting M1a’s for 15 years and never had a slamfire. He put a tight case in the chamber, it had a CCI #34 primer, and dropped the bolt.

His chances of an inbattery slamfire would have been much better without an interference fit case.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/Slamfires/M1aslamfire3.jpg

Use powders that are close to IMR 4895 in burning rate or just use IMR 4895. High port pressures are the concern. High pressures will create excessive operating rod acceleration. Reference b. recommends choosing powders that have burning rates between IMR3031 and IMR4320. This includes powders such as IMR 4064, and Winchester 748. Accurate Arms stated that AA2520, AA2495 and 2700 are their best powders for the M1 Garands. Some have noticed that AA2700 is actually a slow burning powder, listed as even slower than IMR 4350. But Accurate Arms told me, that because it is a ball powder, the pressure curve has dropped enough that port pressures are not excessive for a Garand. I believe the first choice of powders are IMR 4985, H4895, AA2495. In the 30-06 I have used a load of 168 grain Sierra Match, 47.0 grains IMR4895, LC cases, and CCI #34 primers OAL 3.300” for years. This is a great target load, should be considered a maximum load, does not hurt a thing to cut it a grain or two, and it shoots great in my match Garands.


Tried the Tula 7.62 primers this year and they shoot well:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1%20Garand%20Targets/M1GarandTarget201212-1.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1%20Garand%20Targets/TulaPrimers194-6XGarandMatch1.jpg
Other targets with the CCI #34 primer:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1%20Garand%20Targets/M1GarandTarget193-6X4Dec2010.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1%20Garand%20Targets/195-7XM1GarandSFProne.jpg

Check cartridges for case head separation. Gas guns are hard on brass: the bolt unlocks while there is still significant chamber pressure. Because of this the case gets stretched on extraction. Carefully inspect cases for stretch ring marks. They occur about .4” of an inch ahead of the base. You can verify if the cases are internally necking by inserting a bent paperclip in the case, and feeling for an edge. A number of shooters I have asked claim various case lives in the M1 or M1A. Some have case head separations about the fifth reload, like the ones from a bud’s M1a below. Others have taken their cases up to ten reloads. The useful lifetime of a case is determined by case head separations, case neck splitting, or primer pocket enlargement. When any one of these failure mechanisms happens to a case, it has exceeded its operational lifetime. In my experience, US military brass holds up better than commercial cases. But this is a broad generalization. You want to use heavy cases over light cases.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/23%20times%20fired%20LC308/DSCN1965editedCKfivetimesreloadedandrangepickup.jpg


References:
a. The Mysterious Slam-Fire, American Rifleman, Oct 1983
b. Reloading for the M1 Rifle, American Rifleman, Mar 1986

IROCZ
December 28, 2012, 05:23 PM
Wow, you really can't add much to what Slamfire just wrote...I think he has done a bit of work with John C.'s masterpeice! And I agree small base dies are critical to safety!

USSR
December 28, 2012, 06:21 PM
Wow, you really can't add much to what Slamfire just wrote...I think he has done a bit of work with John C.'s masterpeice! And I agree small base dies are critical to safety!

Well, I will respectfully disagree with Slanfire's statement about the need to use small base dies with the M1 Garand. While I do use a SB die to initially resize any once-fired military .308 or .30-06 brass I buy just in case they have been fired in a machinegun (likely for .308, unlikely for .30-06), once I run them through my Garands I then resize with a standard FL sizing die. So why is it extremely unlikely that a SB die will add a measureable amount of deterence to an out of battery slamfire? Simply because, the only thing a SB die does that a standard FL doesn't do is to slightly reduce the diameter of the part of the case down near the web area. This part of the case is where the brass is it's thickest, and the amount of pressure necessary to "blow out" this part of the case is well beyond the pressure level that the Garand operates at. So, that leaves the possibility of a too long case (case base to case shoulder measurement), and this case headspace measurement is controlled with both types of dies by how far the die is screwed into your press. So, use a SB die if you want, but is it necessary? No. Just MHO.

Don

IROCZ
December 28, 2012, 06:47 PM
Not argueing Don but the SB dies take the base down a bit as you described. The idea is to chamber the round with the least amount of resistance as an aid to preventing a slam fire occurennce.

Grumulkin
December 28, 2012, 06:50 PM
There are various uncommon things that may have never happened to you but don't dismiss the possibility that it can happen. Back in the days when I used to be smart, I ran hundreds of reloads through an M1A using standard dies and Federal primers and had nary a slam fire. Does that mean I should use regular primers in an M1A? No, it just means I was lucky.

I also never believed in the need for small base dies for the Garand until a recent reloading experience in which I had multiple, fortunatley in battery, slam fires even with mil spec primers. I know the Garand can double, but I'm pretty convinced I had slam fires as they never occured with CMP ammo. So, even though it may not be necessary with every gun, I'll use small base dies in reloading for my Garand forever.

ArchAngelCD
December 28, 2012, 06:57 PM
Speaking of in battery slam-fires and CMP ammo, the only slam-fires I ever personally experienced were 3 on the same day with Greek surplus CMP ammo. Right after that happened I ordered a set of springs from Wolff and changes all the springs in my M1 like i suggested in another post in this thread. It has not happened since. (thank goodness!)

IROCZ
December 28, 2012, 07:07 PM
I've never had one, but was on the line when others did.

USSR
December 28, 2012, 07:21 PM
Not argueing Don but the SB dies take the base down a bit as you described. The idea is to chamber the round with the least amount of resistance as an aid to preventing a slam fire occurennce.

Yes, SB dies take the base down a bit more than standard die, but that part of the case is not what is potentially preventing the cartridge from completely chanbering. So, if you want to feel good without actually dealing with the real problems (case headspace or high primers), use SB dies. Also, I have seen so-called in battery slamfires with my very own Garands, but they were nothing more than rookies milking the trigger while I let them shoot my Garands.

Don

Grumulkin
December 28, 2012, 09:31 PM
It's not that the cartridge is prevented from chambering but rather that there is more resistance to chambering. I'm not sure how you can say that resistance to chambering can be caused by only one factor, i.e. headspace.

By the way, with my reloads the primers were not high. All the cases were full length sized with a standard die and it's highly unlikely I was "milking" the trigger since the slam fires never happened with CMP ammo. The second shot also came so fast there was no chance to even release the trigger.

ali9cg8
December 28, 2012, 10:42 PM
SlamFire,

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

ali9cg8
December 28, 2012, 11:00 PM
Thank you all so much! Your advice and the links provided have been invaluable. I load without fear for the 1903, but the M1 reload process has just seemed overly daunting. But it can be done!

So, I'm going on the online supply shopping spree tonight (before the X-mas credit card bills become a reality).

Favorite retail sites? Need some mil brass, primers, 4895....always looking for good sources.

And, since this is a precision load and I'll be working single stage, are there any tools that you simply cannot live without? Or just make the process more enjoyable? I seem to buy shooting supplies like all other women buy shoes.

ArchAngelCD
December 28, 2012, 11:07 PM
Wow, you really should have bought what you needed 2 weeks ago before Obama made his speech on reinstating the gun ban, Everyone went nuts and bought most of the reloading stuff up.

Try Powder Valley (http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/) and see if they have anything left. There are CCI #34 primers and Tula 7.62 NATO primers still available but no 4895. If you hurry you can get some Accurate Arms AA2495 which is their version 4895.

ali9cg8
December 28, 2012, 11:35 PM
I was too buy loading up on 30 round mags!!!

Found some IMR tins in the garage. Smells okay.

ArchAngelCD
December 28, 2012, 11:41 PM
I'm serious, buy what you need tonight because everyone is going nuts and causing a shortage by what they are doing. Like i said, CCI #34 primers and Tula 7.62 NATO primers are both still in stock at Powder Valley.

Good luck finding everything you need. I'm glad I bought 8 lbs a few weeks ago just because I was getting low on powder. I got lucky again...

ali9cg8
December 28, 2012, 11:47 PM
Midsouth has a #34's on backorder- expected on 1/1.

This sucks.

NEVERMIND- CIVILIAN

ArchAngelCD
December 29, 2012, 12:01 AM
Midsouth has a #34's on backorder- expected on 1/1.

This sucks.

NEVERMIND- CIVILIAN
Powder Valley has then and for less money. ($33/K)
http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/

Don't wait, do it now...
I have 5000 #34 and 5000 #41 so i'm not ordering any more.

ali9cg8
December 29, 2012, 12:03 AM
AHHHH!

I have about 2000 rounds of M1 carbine milsurp that I can probably do some trading with, but getting military brass is like finding a freaking unicorn...should I stock up on some Lapua?

ArchAngelCD
December 29, 2012, 12:07 AM
If you qualify to buy from CMP you can purchase 200 rounds of loaded 30-06 ammo for only $98 and then reuse the brass.
http://odcmp.com/Sales/ammo.htm

Enbloc clips are also in stock, 25 for $20.
http://odcmp.com/Sales/accessories.htm

rodregier
December 29, 2012, 06:41 PM
Up to say 250 yards the bulk Remington 165g PSP projectiles are a good buy for accurate loading the Garand in my experience. (Trajectory is better beyond 250 with a HPBTM projectile). Use 168g load data.

http://www.natchezss.com/Bullets.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=RX&prodID=RX235951&prodTitle=Remington .308 165 gr PSP 100/bag

rodregier
December 29, 2012, 06:43 PM
You don't have to use mil-spec brass for reloading the Garand, good commercial is fine. Using the cartridge gage to setup your resizing die is really important. (as mentioned earlier).

SlamFire1
December 31, 2012, 10:13 AM
SlamFire,

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Thanks, I must have lived too long, as people are now thanking me on my advice on how to reduce the risks of a slamfire , when prior to the turn of the century, I received a lot of hostility.


I found out the hard way that the NRA advice, that “only high primers” and your worn out blunderbuss caused slamfires, was patently false. The NRA staff always misdirected the conversation away from anything having to do with the design of the mechanism, never acknowledged primer sensitivity, their root cause for all problems was “shooter misconduct”.

It does seem that with all the reports of inbattery and out of battery slamfires that the shooting community is recognizing that primer sensitivity and the kinetic energy of the firing pin has been the primary root cause of slamfires. I am of the opinion that all measures necessary must be taken to reduce the probability of a slamfire, especially an out of battery slamfire.

When I read and have talked to people who have had out of battery slamfires in Garands the most common themes were Federal Primers and standard sizing dies.

There are enough out of battery slamfires accounts with US and Greek military ammunition to give me the willies, :what: but the most dangerous reloading condition in these mechanisms is an insufficiently sized case and a sensitive primer. You cannot totally control individual primer sensitivity, you can buy primers that are on average less sensitive, but you can control how much you size the case.

I wanted to show that standard sizing dies sometimes do not reduce a case enough to drop in the chamber.

Gene Barnett cut me this reamer cut gage. He also cut me a 30-06 reamer cut gage. These gages are exact duplicates of the chambers of the match rifle barrels he cut as he used the same chambering reamer to cut these gages.

Wilson gages are excellent for their purpose: to measure length from shoulder to base. Wilson gages are cut large between the shoulders so that you can drop a fired case into the gage and get a very good idea of the headspace of a bolt action. It does not work for a gas gun, because cases are stretched during extraction in a gas gun. But, the limitation of these gages is that they don’t measure “fatness”.

The reamer cut gage will display “fatness”.

Unsized range pickup cases. One falls into Wilson gage, as expected, the other will not drop into reamer cut gage.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/OncefiredWRA68unsizedincasegages.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/OncefiredWRA68caseheads.jpg

one case sized in standard sizing die

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAtrimmedandLeediesizedcase.jpg

Lee Die sized case does not drop into reamer cut gage.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAsizedinLeedie.jpg

Small based sized (actually sized in an RCBS small base die) drops all the way in.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Small%20Based%20Sized%20Cases/WRAresizedinRCBSSmallbasedie.jpg

I also purchased reamer cut gages from Compass Lake Engineering http://www.compasslake.com/. Frank has a number of barrel stubs that he will cut with a chambering reamer to make you a reamer cut gage.

I will "confess" that most of my range pickup cases dropped into the reamer cut gage after sizing in the Lee die, but go deep enough into your brass bucket and you will run across fat cases especially if you have once fired military cases.

But to continue pounding on this subject, but without additional pictures, is something happens when you stuff a bullet in the case. This is not appreciated till you get gages, but there are dimensional changes when you stuff a bullet in the case.

My second out of battery slamfire, occurred with 30-06 cases that were sized in a Bonanza NM sizing die. It sized cases down more than my RCBS standard. I did not have small base dies at the time. Each of the Bonanza sized cases would drop into the reamer cut gage. But when I reloaded the same cases with powder and ball, and tested them by dropping them into the reamer cut gage, rounds stopped basically at the location you see in with the standard based sized 308. Just a little case head sticking out. I sort of tossed it off because conventional wisdom was that only high primers caused slamfires. To prevent high primers I had individually reamed each primer pocket to depth and inserted a Federal Match primer by hand and visually inspected each case to see that every primer was well below the case head. I reamed the pockets to an excessive depth, probably 0.006 to 0.008” below the case head in the errant belief that if high is bad, then really low must be good. Events showed the fallacy of that theory. I was sighting a new NM Garand with a new Barnett barrel. The receiver was cherry and the parts were virtually new in the box GI. That Garand slamfired out of battery, from the clip, blew the back of the receiver heel into my face, busting my shooting glasses and cutting my cheek. My shooting glasses prevented a hail of brass and powder bits from getting into my eyes.

Except for the receiver, I am still using all the other parts from that rifle, including the trigger mechanism, and the reconstituted parts made those targets I previously posted.

There are a few things that can be learned about this 1) always wear shooting glasses, 2) primer sensitivity is always important 3) cases change dimensions after you seat a bullet 4) even a slight interference fit increases the risk of an out of battery slamfire.

Now just where the case changed dimension, I don’t know. Maybe the shoulder is buckling, or the sidewall. But when I started sizing with small base dies, loaded rounds dropped flush into the reamer cut gages.

So it is my opinion that clearance between round and chamber is very desirable.

TooManyToys
December 31, 2012, 03:57 PM
Smamfire1,

I can't imagin the amount of time you must have spent assembling & composing this information! and then presenting it in the clear and concise way! (Nice photos too)

It is contributers like you (and others) who continue to make this site a treasure of experiance, knolledge & wisdom.

I'm sure I speak for many readers when I say Thank you for sharing.

Centurian22
December 31, 2012, 04:51 PM
Slamfire1,
Very informative, clear and well presented information! I don't have any semi-auto centerfires yet, but this gives me a very clear understanding to watch for if I obtain one in the future or encounter one from a range 'neighbor'.

Thank you for taking the time to assemble and present this.

ali9cg8
January 1, 2013, 01:21 PM
SlamFire-

This is going to probably be a total "durrr" question. So, when you're talking small based dies, you're using the 308? I have both the FL and the SB 30.06 dies, but I just wanted to clarify your process and see if I can pick up the "must haves".

Thanks!

Red is Dead
January 2, 2013, 09:01 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/686446/rcbs-small-base-sizer-die-30-06-springfield

SlamFire1
January 2, 2013, 10:13 PM
SlamFire-

This is going to probably be a total "durrr" question. So, when you're talking small based dies, you're using the 308? I have both the FL and the SB 30.06 dies, but I just wanted to clarify your process and see if I can pick up the "must haves".

Thanks

I have small base dies in 223, 308 and 30-06. Those are all the calibers I shoot in NRA Highpower, and these are calibers which I have multiple rifles and semi autos.

I don't have pictures of my other small base dies, but I have them. :)

Havok7416
January 2, 2013, 10:56 PM
I am a little out of my league with the great advice already put forth and I am fairly new to .30-06 reloading (M1 specific). I would like to point out that I use 178 grain A-MAX bullets and Hornady load data particular to the M1 with no ill effects. Something to keep in mind if 150-168 grain bullets aren't available.

USSR
January 3, 2013, 07:29 AM
Yeah, no problem using th 178gr Amax (great bullet) in the Garand with a suitable powder. Afterall, M72 Match ammo uses a 174gr bullet.

Don

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