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Need help with M1 Garand 30-06 load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by wolfe, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

    i bought a M1 Garand and after I loaded up some 30-06 rounds it didn't cycle properly.

    I have been told it could be a number of things but one guy I trust said my loads might have been a little weak.

    Loaded 147gr boattail bullets, H4895 46.0 grs..

    Any opinions? Or what is the PERFECT powder for loading M1 Garands....

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert by far, but an M1 load I've read often is 150gr. flat-base FMJ's over 47gr. of IMR4895. That's supposed to be real close to the standard M2 ball load, AFAIK.
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    Here's a link that is often used to answer questions about M1 Garand loads -

    Master Po's M1 Loads

    I use 46.0gr of Varget with 150gr FMJBT, and an adjustable gas plug.

    I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a perfect powder for the Garand. There are some that are so far outside the correct pressure range that they are either unworkable or unsafe, but there are a lot in the middle.

    Edit: The link above works for Master Po's NRA data...no adware
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Apparently the Military thought IMR-4895 was ideal.
    That was one of the powders used in the Caliber .30 M1 152 grain Tracer load. (50.0 grains)

    Also the 152 grain M2 ball load. (50.0 grains)

    And the M2 166 grain Armor Piercing. (55.0 grains)

    The M14 151 grain Armor Piercing Incendiary. (50.0 grains.

    The M25 146 grain M25 Tracer. (50.0 grains)

    And the 176 grain M72 Match. (50.0 grains)

    But IMR-4895 is not the same as H-4895.

    Still I think you might be a little light if the M1 is short stroking.

  5. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

    Excellent... Thanks for the info.. i wish i would have bought IMR-4895. I think I'll be able to find some IMR-4895
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I would bump it up a grain or two and see if if functions with H-4895 before rushing right out to buy something else.

    Hodgdon says the 150 & 155 grain starting load is 46.0 grains.
    Max is 51.0 grains.

    Anyway, H-4895 started out years ago when Bruce Hodgdon bought rail cars full of surplus 30-06 powder from the government after WWII, and started selling it in drums, cardboard cans & paper bags.

    It worked fine in M1's to fight WWII & Korea with, so it should still work fine now.

    Unless you have a gun problem, not a powder charge problem.

  7. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

    Very well could have a problem with the gas block and since I bought it January 1 and first time I fired it was last week there is no telling.

    Suggestions? Think I should buy a new adjustable gas plug?
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No, I think you should bump up the load like I said before, at least past the starting load a couple of grains, and go try it again.

    You have no way to know if you need an adjustable gas plug or not till you get enough gas to cycle the action.

    Your only other option is to buy some 30-06 mil-sup or comercial M1 ammo and see if it works with mil-spec ammo or not.

    Matter of fact, that would be a great idea to see if it works with mil-sup or mil-spec ammo before you start fixing what isn't broke.

  9. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

  10. springer99

    springer99 Well-Known Member

    My standard match load is 46.5gr of H4895 with a Hornady 150gr FMJBT in the nose. H4895 and IMR4895 are very close in performance. Your M1 should cycle fine with loads even lighter than that without a problem.

    Without having more information about exactly what it isn't doing, makes it tough to suggest a solution, but I doubt it's your load. First things I'd do is make sure it's lubed correctly, then maybe a tear-down and see how bad the carbon build-up is on the end of the op. rod.
  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    I assume that you have thoroughly cleaned your M1. Old grease and preservatives on the mechanisms of the rifle can restrict cycling.

    While lubrication and grease are the M1's friend, too much in the recoil spring tube in the op rod can restrict cycling. It kind of acts like a shock absorber.

    Your load is around what i shoot in my M1 so it is fine.

    If you shoot Garand safe powders and Garand safe loads, an adjustable gas plug is not necessary. IMR4895, H4895, and Varget are three good powders for the M1. There are a few others.

    An adjustable gas plug is needed if you want to shoot current day hunting ammunition in your M1. Today's ammunition is generally loaded with slightly slower powders that what the M1 was designed for and the port pressure will be too high. Without the adjustable gas plug to relieve some of the pressure, you risk bending the op rod.
  12. beefyz

    beefyz Well-Known Member

    I shoot & reload for a garand. i'll side with Rc & Cfull graf. you're load is within parameters. it might not be as high as what some believe a "battle load" of the same powder was, but your load is certainly enough to make a garand function. Traditionally, garand loads function around imr/h 4895 & imr 4064. If you can't get a garand to shoot around them, you have bigger problems. RCs suggestion about getting some mil surplus(HXP) is a good one. if you belong to a club somebody is bound to have some of that. and ironically, alot of us who shoot a garand regularly have heard/seen instances where the HXPs loads were a bit "hot". if it functions with mil surplus,then i might suggest you look into your reloading technique for the garand. it CAN be finicky about reloads. and as suggested, a good cleaning/lubing should be done first. a shuster or mc cann is not needed to diagnose your problem. i don't use them anyway. its more challenging and fun to reload what the beauty was made for and shoot your own.
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    I most emphatically do not think your load is too mild. GI ball was not hot, was not a magnum load, your load has been shot by many, and it is fine in your rifle.

    If you are having short stroking issues with a 150 and 46.0 grs H4895, your problem is related to the gas system.

    The most common issue is a worn gas cylinder or a worn operating rod piston. There are gas cylinder gages, used to be available from the CMP, and you can measure your operating rod piston with a caliper. You will have to look up the values as I don't have them memorized.

    [SIZE="3"]M1 Garand  BMR 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	[/SIZE]

    RC: EEK! Do not quote powder charges from TM manuals. I believe you got your data from one of the dash numbers of this TM: TM 43-000 l-27 ,TECHNICAL MANUAL, ARMY AMMUNITION DATA SHEETS, SMALL CALIBER AMMUNITION

    These manuals are not reloading manuals. This manual may have powders and weights listed but the powders are not the blended powders that we use. Weight levels varied by powder lot. Army powder was accepted with pressure and velocity data, and a data sheet accompained the powder lot to the ammunition plant. Anyone putting 50 grains of commercial IMR 4895 behind a 150 gr bullet would get a “real load” in their Garand. A real bad load.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  14. poco loco

    poco loco Well-Known Member

    actually Hodgdon's site shows from 49 min to 53 max for a Nosler 150g BT, the only 150g bullet they have listed.....

  15. poco loco

    poco loco Well-Known Member

  16. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    The data on the Hodgdon site is fine for bolt action rifles but not designed for use in a M1 Garand. You don't want to generate too much pressure in a Garand.

    As for the OP's load of 46.0gr H4895, that should be almost perfect in a Garand. I have shot hundreds and hundreds of rounds with that exact load of 46.0gr H4895 with a 150gr bullet. The current Hornady manual has a section in their 30-06 data specifically written for the Garand. Their Max for H4895 and a 150gr bullet is 46.4gr. Something other than the powder charge is causing the problem. I'm 100% sure 46.0gr H4895 with a 150gr bullet will shoot very well in a properly functioning M1 Garand.

    IMO the best powders for Garand ammo are H4895, IMR4895, IMR4064, AA2495 and AA2520.
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    If you have to start somewhere for load data, Master Po's temple has a collection of NRA loading data for the Garand.

    I deleted the URL to Master Po's as I have been informed it is infested with malware.

    Still, having shot 10's of thousands of rounds through Garands, it is my opinion that with a 150, 47.5 grains IMR 4895 is a max.

    Pressure wise, the locking mechanism can take more. Recoil wise, you speed up the operating rod much faster you will experience bent operating rods, excessive peening in the receiver heel, and mal functions. There were lots of malfunctions with the 2001 Garand Match ammunition, that stuff was clocking 2900 fps and the CMP had to tone down the ammunition from all the complaints they had.

    If you notice with the data from Master Po, the heavier the bullet the more you have to cut the charge. This is directly related to gas port pressure.

    The specification you see about GI ammunition being 2750 fps +- 50 fps is only true in one Frankfort Arsenal pressure barrel. (My guess as to a FA barrel, but it was one barrel) All ammunition acceptance was calibrated to that pressure barrel. That pressure barrel was not a Garand.

    The best way to determine the proper velocities for a Garand is to shoot US GI ammo, the earlier the better, when the Garand was pulled from service all that was left was machine guns and I believe the ammunition started getting hotter. You will find that once you chronograph 50's vintage US GI 30-06 the velocities with 150's are about 2600-2650 in a Garand.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  18. wolfe

    wolfe Well-Known Member

    Well Glad to hear I was using about the right load. My bullets were actually 147 gr with 46.0 gr of H4895. I was told that H4895 might be to slow buring but i'll take your word on it as it is what I load my Rem 700 .308.

    I think I discovered my cycling issue. I took it to a gunsmith when I bought it. I had one of the guys that maintains the local VFW color guard rifles and he stripped it down at the gun club tonight. When we took the operating rod out it had a really slight bend to it.

    I was afraid that my loads might have been too hot and damaged the rod (shot 16 rounds last week to determine it didn't cycle). From the info I read it doesn't appear to be too hot.

    So I have learned and expensive lesson. Over $130 less from what I see the going rate for a springfield operating rod is going for.

    I am also going to invest in an adjustable gas plug so I can allow for hotter loads..

    Glad to finally have a thread people want to talk about.
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Wolfe, I don't know who told you 4895 was too slow a powder for M1 30-06 ammo but they are totally wrong. 4895 was developed specifically for military 30-06 ammo.

    You can also use Varget and IMR4064 without any worries. AA4064 is similar to IMR4064 and AA2495 is almost the same exact powder as 4895. AA2520 is the Ball Powder equivalent to 4895 and is nicknamed "The Camp Perry Powder." All those powder are perfectly safe in the Garand and will produce accurate ammo, choose and enjoy! BTW, those aren't the only powders that can be used but they are the only ones I'm sure of. According to the charts Reloader 12 and 15 are right in the middle of the powders I listed but I have never used them. I'm sure other reloaders will chime in and tell us about the Alliant, VV and Ramshot powders that are safe to use in the Garand.
    It's not how "hot" a load is that will bend the op-rod, it's the powder burn rate that is the problem. A slower powder is still building pressure when the bullet passes the hole on the barrel that bleeds off pressure to operate the action. Slower powders will punish the rifle and cause problems. The powders I listed above are in the correct burn rate range for the Garand. You did not bend your op-rod with the load you shot in that rifle!!! If it's bent it was bent when you bought it.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  20. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

    The op rod is made with two bends in it which is normal, what you want to check for is to see if the op rod is binding by doing the tilt test and also check the gas system for wear. (undersized piston and over sized gas cylinder)

    It could be as simple as proper greasing that is causing your problem.

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