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Rifle Reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by LubeckTech, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. LubeckTech

    LubeckTech Active Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Parkersburg, WV
    I have reloaded many thousands of handgun rounds over the past 25 years and now want to start loading 30-06 for my bolt action Savage and Garrand. Before I do anything I will read up on the subject starting with the Speer Realoading Manual. Along with that I'd like some advice on how the process of loading shouldered rifle cartridges differs from straight wall pistol and what things I need to pay special attention to (aside from double charging). My Garrand is stock and soon I will get an adjustable gas plug but until then what velocity should I be loading for and what powder should I start with using a 147gr boat tail soft point bullet? I know I'll need a lube pad & libricant (can't find carbide dies), a good caliper and case trimmer but what else in addition to the stuff I have for pistol cartridges should I have??
  2. rdaines

    rdaines New Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    St. Charles County, Missouri/ Pinal County, AZ
    No carbide dies that I know of for shouldered cases. Lube is critical to prevent a stuck case and a trimmer is necessary with you are a precision shooter. Setting the press to bump the shoulder but not crush the case can be challenging, maybe someone has a good set up procedure 'cause i don't, just trail and error for me. No need to balloon the case mouth either but placing the bullet and getting it to stay put before it get pressed can also be fun. When possible I switched to the RCBS dies with a loading window. Also, don't go nuts deburring and beveling the case mouth, I seen people make them razor sharp and thin, not necessary. If you are a precision shooter you may want to invest in a neck trimmer to uniform tension, I don't bother as I'm a practical shooter and am happy with 1 MOA.
  3. Chief 101

    Chief 101 New Member

    Apr 1, 2006
    With bottleneck there's one less step. Size and decap in one step. Ready to load. Chief aka Maxx Load
  4. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    I have had much better luck with cleanliness and the brass lasting longer if I tumble the brass after resizing, before priming to remove the lube.

    My process:

    1. Tumble with polish to remove range dirt and grit.
    2. Lube, I use lube pad, but many people use spray on.
    3. Resize and decap.
    4. Tumble with dry media to remove lube.
    5. Check case length with a gage, trim if too long.
    6. Prime.
    7. Charge.
    8. Seat bullet.
    9. Depending on caliber and gun, crimp.
  5. cdrt

    cdrt Active Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    The Lone Star State
    I would use IMR 4895 for that Garand load you asked about. It's the std powder for that cartridge in that particular rifle.
  6. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Participating Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    NE Georgia
    "Before I do anything I will read up on the subject starting with the Speer Reloading Manual."

    Good idea.

    "Along with that I'd like some advice on how the process of loading shouldered rifle cartridges differs from straight wall pistol and what things I need to pay special attention to (aside from double charging).

    lube cases

    pay attention to case wear a great deal more

    think about trimming to correct length

    match bullets to bore size

    How I do it:





    trim if needed (sometimes not if I'm using an RCBS X-die, available in 30.06, btw)

    tumble to clean off lube

    prime, add powder, seat bullet, crimp only if magnum or lever gun cartridge, some crimp with automatics, I don't

    If you're creative, you can do most all of this, including the basic de-priming, much faster on a progressive than you can a single stage.

    "My Garand is stock and soon I will get an adjustable gas plug"

    I wouldn't waste my money on a gadjet you don't need. I've shot thousands of rounds through garands, never needed an adjustable gas plug.

    "but until then what velocity should I be loading for and what powder should I start with using a 147gr boat tail soft point bullet?

    For your Savage: IMR 4350, you'll find a good load between 55-57 grains. I recommend 150 Nosler Ballistic Tips for 30.06. I've dropped a bunch of deer dead in their tracks every time I've used those bullets. I wouldn't bother with any other load, unless you've already bought those.

    "I know I'll need a lube pad & libricant (can't find carbide dies)"

    Forget the lube pad. Buy yourself a 2 ounce can of Imperial Sizing die wax. USE SPARINGLY. You'll be glad you did. Best rifle sizing die lubrication solution I've found and I've tried most of them. Works great, is truly economical because you don't use much.

    "a good caliper The Harbor Freight digital one is plenty good enoughand case trimmer The Wilson is the best manual for the bucks. If you go automaticed, go ahead and go with the Giraud and be done with it.but what else in addition to the stuff I have for pistol cartridges should I have??

    case trimmer
    Dies, your choice, I like to mix them, with an RCBS x-die as my sizer.
    RCBS case and chamber gauge is a good idea, especially if you want top notch accuracy. Check out the data provided in Metallic Cartridge Reloading related to this. Worth the cost of the book just for that information.
    Lee Universal decapper

    That should get you pretty close to the ballpark. Here's a good M1 Garand load:

    IMR 4895 45-47 grains, stay to the lower end as much as possible, no need to waste powder
    175 grain boat tail spitzer bullet from a good manufacturer such as speer, nosler or sierra
    Winchester primers
    seat bullet to match your chamber/throat, per the information in the Metallic Cartridge Reloading book.


    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
  7. NuJudge

    NuJudge Active Member

    May 20, 2006
    SE Michigan
    A chamfer tool and case gauge are nice to have also

    Many people make them, but they look like these:
    Chamfer tool:
    Case Gauge:

    Here are some websites from people who shoot .30-'06 through Garands:

    Look at the upper left for the Hyperlink "Reloading Stuph", and then see the data way down at the bottom:

    You'll have to register, but this site has no end of data for .30-'06 (and .308 and .223):


    I've never loaded 150gr bullets in the .30-'06 for the Garand, just 168 and 165gr bullets. Always IMR4895 or H4895, 46.5gr, with the 165 or 168gr bullet.

    For bolt rifles (NOT Garands), I've always liked 180gr bullets and a hot load of 4350 or MRP. If they won't shoot with those, the rifles won't shoot at all.

  8. Roadkill

    Roadkill Participating Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    I switched to IMR4895 for all my rifles because of my Garand. LUBE LUBE LUBE before resizing. Full length cases are difficult to remove when jammed up in a full length die. Reference setting them up, use a factory loaded shell/milsurp, pull bullet, remove powder, set into shell holder, run all the way up, then remove the decapping pin and holder from die and carefully tighten down the die until it fits the profile of the factory round. Again, do this slowly. Can do the same with round on bullet to set up the press for seating bullets.
  9. RustyFN

    RustyFN Senior Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    West Virginia
    I use the same system as NavyLT except I use Hornady One Shot. I am going to try Imperial when I run out of Hornady.
  10. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Participating Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    NE Georgia

    Go ahead and get the Imperial. It and the Hornady one shot make great companions for one another.


    I don't think he's asking about the hunting bullets for the Garand, but rather for the Savage he mentioned, as it's a hunting bullet. Unless you're in an area where you're making really long shots (over 300 yards) those 150's I mentioned really do the job on deer. As in no running by the deer. Bang, thwap, deer is down. Doesn't get much better than that. That's been my experience with them the past two hunting seasons on several deer. No, I wouldn't use them on a Garand. The Garand has a 1:10 twist barrel as manufactured and will provide much better performance with a 175 grain bullet, which was what it was designed for.


  11. IDriveB5

    IDriveB5 Active Member

    Oct 1, 2005
    Mount Airy, MD
    Dave, thanks for the information you have posted so far. Very helpful since I bought a .30-06 bolt action not too long ago and will begin reloading for that sometime soon. Have been thinking about using Sierra Game Kings and IMR4350.
    Could you mention what brass and primers you like, as well as what dies you use/prefer? I know you mentioned the x-die; what do you like about that?
    i only reload .357 Magnum and .45ACP, so the rifle stuff is new to me.
  12. Doug b

    Doug b Active Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    NW Ohio
    You'll also want an inside case neck brush and lube system for your .06's.Midway has an inexpensive multi cal. system using mica.
    Pulling a dirty neck across a dirty expander ball will eventually change your shoulder angle.
    A Redding resize die with their carbide expander ball add-on kit is a big help here also.
  13. halvey

    halvey Participating Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    If you are refering to neck turning, it's pretty much a waste of time on a factory rifle. As far as tension, you're better off using a bushing sizer die like the Reddings. That's said, I've messed with partially resizing only part of the neck - 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and full neck, and there is absoutely no difference on paper in 2 of my calibers in 2 of my bolt guns.
  14. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Mentor

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    pardon my piggy back question...

    but why do you guys using Imperial tumble to remove the lube?

    It takes such a small amount of Imperial to make them size easilly....I even skip lubing every 4th or 5th case and let the reidual in the die do the trick.

    I just give them a quick wipe with cotton rag when their done. I kind of assumed a little wax film was a good thing....for preservation and slight lubrication in the magazine.

    As for residual lube in the neck....I swipe the neck accross my thumb, scraping just a touch of lube into the neck prior to sizing. I check to see if any powder clings to the neck after charging (Auto-Disk), but never see any.

    The only "problem" I ever have is that when I dump a charged case in the scale pan to check the weight, then I'll notice a fleck or two of powder clinging to the neck.

    Tumbling a second time after resizing with Imperial seems like a fuss (mostly because it requires "batch" processing). What's the percieved return?
  15. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    I lube the old fashioned way - with a water based lubricant on a pad. I've noticed during storage - and my storage is by no means the best - 200 rds of .223 per each plastic zip lock - that the lube attracts any kind of dirt/grit it can and all the rounds end up with a gummy feel to them. Plus, I charge my rounds by hand from a LEE Perfect Powder Measure and if I don't tumble after resizing I get a few flakes the stick to the inside of the neck.

    I have had much more satisfaction from the cleanliness of the ammo and gun since I have started paying attention to the cleanliess of the brass. Also the ejected brass doesn't seem to pick up as much stuff from the range if it is cleaned after the lube.
  16. USSR

    USSR Mentor

    Jul 7, 2005

    DO NOT use IMR4350 powder in loads developed for use in your Garand. This powder is way too slow, and your Garand will bend or break the oprod. As previously mentioned, use a powder in the IMR4895 burn rate range for the Garand.

  17. BeJaRa

    BeJaRa New Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    I use the Nosler BT 150gr in my Garand and they function perfectly. I load them on top of IMR 3031 for excelent accuracy and function, but then again I have not had an opporitunity to shoot it over 150 yrds.
  18. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Participating Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    What type of primer is everyone using in the Garand?
  19. ocabj

    ocabj Senior Member

    Jan 22, 2003
    Riverside, CA
    I've been using Winchester LR in the Garand.
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Mentor

    Dec 29, 2006
    I have some very strong opinions on reloading for Garands. That rifle has a long free floating firing pin, and it does not take a long search before you find other people who have had slamfires in the thing. The worst type of slamfire is the out of battery slamfire. I had two. The last one knocked the back of the receiver off.

    My advice. Full length size. Use a small base die. Use Wilson type cartridge headspace gages and full length size to gage minimum. Use the least sensitive primers out there, which are most likely to be the CCI#34 “Mil Spec” primers. Do not use Federal primers.. Seat all bullets magazine length. Never seat bullets to touch the lands. Use a SLED when single loading.

    My slamfires were with match rifles and brass fired in military chambers. Brass must be sized smaller than the chamber. There should be absolutely no resistance to bolt closure. The reason is, that blasted free floating firing pin taps the primer when the bolt slows down. Standard sizing dies will not size big bloated brass enough to use in commercial type chambers. May not even be able to size big bloated brass in military chambers. Small base dies at least give more reduction.

    I was able to talk to a number of people who had slamfires. Every single target shooter I talked to who ever had a slamfire used Federal primers. Which includes me. That primer is too sensitive. The best primer in the old days was the nickel plated WLR. Unfortunately in 1999 Winchester redesigned their primers and made them more sensitive. Recently I saw a post where someone had a slamfire with the brass WLR.

    CCI seems to make the most insensitive primers, hear lots of complaints on these forums from folks who have out of tolerance firearms, they can’t light them off. Which is great for Garand users. I recommend CCI #34, and if you can’t get that, use CCI standard.

    All primers should be seated by hand and visually verified that they are below the case head.

    The Garand was type standard classified in 1936. That was a long time ago. Most off the shelf ammunition is too hot for the rifle. A lot of powders are inappropriate for the gas system of the rifle. I believe the first choice of powders is IMR 4985. Then next H4895, AA2495 (I used kegs of this stuff), and if you like a ball powder use AA2520. I think IMR 4064 may be a bit on the slow side for a Garand, but I have not used enough of that to form any intelligent long term conclusions. Basically a powder with a 4895 burn rate is appropriate for this gas system. A little faster is OK, a little slower may not, a lot slower is bad.

    I have used a load of 168 grain Sierra Match, 47.0 grains IMR4895, LC cases, and CCI#34 primers OAL LT. 3.300 for years. This is a great target load, and is full power for the Garand.

    With a 150 SMK I have used 47.5 grains IMR 4895, LC cases, CCI#34, OAL LT. 3.290”

    My rule of thumb is keep the 168’s at 2650 fps or less. The 150 grain bullets 2700 fps or less. I probably hot load the 175’s because I have used 47.0 grs IMR 4895 with them. But I finally settled on the 168’s for across the course work so I don’t think I damaged anything. It does not hurt anything to cut my loads by a half grain or more.

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