Loads in M1 Garand for match shooting


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txgunsuscg
March 6, 2013, 10:17 AM
I am contemplating getting a CMP Special Garand for use in Fleet matches (both .308 and .30-06 are legal). I found 168 gr Match .30-06, but from other uses, I am familiar with the M118LR and its ballistics and would like to use that in a .308 Garand. Can anybody tell me if shooting 175 gr through an M1 is good to go? I had heard somewhere that you didn't want to go higher than 168 gr in .30-06, but didn't know if that applied to the .308 as well...
Thanks.

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SlamFire1
March 6, 2013, 11:43 AM
Garands are limited by their gas system. Loads that produce too much port pressure will cause malfunctions and damage the rifle. As for bullets, the “best” overall bullet out to 300 yards has been the 168 SMK, at 500/600 yards I would use 175 SMK’s. The military match load was a 173/174 FMJBT but it was not a hot load:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/IMG_0003M72LCMatch30-06.jpg

My standard match load has been a 168 SMK with 47.0 grains IMR 4895 and a CCI #34 primer. I have run 175 SMK’s with that powder charge but I consider it a maximum in this mechanism.

A 175 grain bullet is as high as you should go with 308 Win’s in Garands. It is possible to try higher bullets with gas port disabling devices, I tried 190’s one match at long range, heavier bullets shot poorly, the recoil was excessive, and was hard on the gun. Hard to explain that last one, but the whole recoil experience seemed hard on the rifle.


I ran a primer test in 2011. I had purchased Wolf and Tula7.62 primers. Tula 7.62 were advertized to be the same insensitivity as CCI #34’s, which are a mil spec primer. Mil spec primers are less sensitive than commercial primers, due to a combination of a thick cup, different primer mix, and other factors. They exist because military weapons often have heavy free floating firing pins. Heavy free floating firing pins have a tendency to ignite sensitive primers before the trigger is pulled. An accidental discharge will range from embarrassing to fatal accident.

My load is a standard match load in the Garand. Garands are not magnums and the loads they fire are in today’s world, mild. Heavier loads, powders like IMR 4350, will over accelerate parts in the Garands leading to malfunctions and long term will damage parts.

What I saw in my test, holding case, bullet, powder the same, was that velocities and group sizes change with change of primer.

My old standby of the nickel plated WLR and CCI #34’s shot very well, the Wolf and Tula primers also shot very well. I was disappointed in the groups with Federal primers.

Because of their sensitivity, I do not recommend Federal primers in Garands. Federals are the most sensitive primer on the market and the most slamfiring primer ever in Garands/M1a’s.


M1 Garand BMR Receiver Douglas Barrel 1:10 twist

150 gr FMJBT 1966 Ball

14 Nov 2011 T= 74 F

Ave Vel = 2545
Std Dev = 20
ES = 68
Low = 2513
High = 2581
N= 8


174 FMJBT White Box 1968 NM M72, Headstamp LC67 match, box velocity 2640 fps

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2592
Std Dev = 28
ES = 103
High = 2647
Low = 2544
N = 10


174 FMJBT 47.0 IMR 4895 Lot L7889 thrown LC62NM CCI #34 OAL 3.30

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2632
Std Dev = 20
ES = 60
High = 2671
Low = 2611
N = 10

174 FMJBT 47.0 IMR 4895 Lot L7889 thrown LC62NM Tula 7.62 lot 1-10 primers OAL 3.30

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2582
Std Dev = 15
ES = 49
High = 2602
Low = 2553
N = 10
excellent group


174 FMJBT 47.0 IMR 4895 Lot L7889 thrown LC62NM Wolf NCLR lot 18-09 OAL 3.30

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2607
Std Dev = 17
ES = 57
High = 2642
Low = 2585
N = 10


174 FMJBT 47.0 IMR 4895 Lot L7889 thrown LC62NM WLR (Nickle) OAL 3.30

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2650
Std Dev = 19
ES = 68
High = 2688
Low = 2620
N = 10
Very good group


174 FMJBT 47.0 IMR 4895 Lot L7889 thrown LC62NM CCI200 OAL 3.30

14 Nov 2011 T = 74 F

Ave Vel = 2599
Std Dev = 22
ES = 75
High = 2637
Low = 2562
N = 10
Very good group

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/DSCF2871M1GarandBMR.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/M1a%20and%20Garand%20Receiver%20Pictures/DSCF2875M1GarandBMR.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Primer%20Test/DSCN1660.jpg

100 yard reduced course match targets with Tula and CCI #34 primers

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/M1%20Garand%20Targets/TulaPrimers194-6XGarandMatch1.jpg

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

lakecitybrass
March 6, 2013, 01:18 PM
That is excellent information. A Beretta Garand? Wow. I wish I had bought one when I had the chance. There is an extreme Garand guru in Portland who might have one.

Do you have any LC brass you like best? (Headstamped year) I recently bought a small quantity of LC Match brass.

SlamFire1
March 6, 2013, 02:30 PM
Beretta parts are excellent. That rifle is a match Garand, a rack grade Garand is a 4 to 5 MOA at best, most of the parts on that rifle are Beretta and it functions fine.

I am of the opinion that the early 60's brass is the best LC match brass produced. Articles from the American Rifleman of that period describe the efforts to make the National Match brass. Brass made 1962, 1963, 1964 is some of the finest LC 30-06 brass ever made. But, starting in the Kennedy Administration, Sec Def Robert Strange Mcnamara deliberately destroyed the Arsenal system and began the trend to contract out core functions of the Department of Defense . Brass made late in the 60’s , particularly the LC69 brass I have, while the stuff goes bang, I see off center primer holes, and that makes me think that the contractors are just running the Government plants they operate into the ground.

I am using older RA54 brass in matches. I bought 700 primed cases years ago, am up to the sixth reload on the stuff and it shoots fine for what I am doing.

lakecitybrass
March 6, 2013, 07:10 PM
Then there were all those M14's cut up and the machinery to make M14's being sold overseas.

Most of my Garand brass is LC 69 except for the LC match that I am hoarding.

I have on H&R that Milton Hoch in Portland made into an H&R correct Garand. On my Springfield 1944 Garand, he rebarreled it with a Krongsberg barrel from Norway. It is pretty accurate off the bench.

BullfrogKen
March 6, 2013, 10:47 PM
You're going to the Fleet matches at Quantico next month?

I'm not aware that a .308 Win M1 Garand was CMP legal.

Litlratt
March 12, 2013, 06:39 PM
You're going to the Fleet matches at Quantico next month?

I'm not aware that a .308 Win M1 Garand was CMP legal.
The rules are different for an M1 and an as-issued M1.

ArchAngelCD
March 22, 2013, 05:26 AM
If I were shooting a .308 M1 I would load it with a 155gr Sierra MatchKing bullet. I do like the 168gr SMK bullets in the 30-06.

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