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30.06 or 308 for a Garand?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mainecoon, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

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    I've noticed that CMP has some Garands available in 308 as well as 30.06. I have never shot either caliber but am trying to decide which would be best. Obviously, historical accuracy would say go 30.06. But does 308 provide more choices for cartridges? Any suggestions?
     
  2. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Member

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    historically accuracy goes to the '06? how come so many sniper rifles are chambered in the .308 ? I own couple M1As in .308 and a few AR10s (as in ARmalite). the Garands in WWII were '06 as was the BAR, after that, the .308s seem to be the most common accurate combat rifle.
     
  3. Tempest 455

    Tempest 455 Member

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    I like the 06 because that's the way most came and was the one my Dad used back then.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    The only solution is to have at least one of each. :)
     
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In an M1, there probably would not be much difference in performance between the two. The M1's gas system would be the limiter although with the pressure releasing gas plugs that are on the market, it does open up what commercial ammunition you can shoot in the M1.

    In Service Rifle matches, the Springfield '03 was replaced by the M1 which was replaced by the M14 which was replaced by the M16/AR-15. In part, this was due to what rifle was the current issue rifle at the time. So, I do not think differences in shooting accuracy would be an issue. The 30-06 and 308 Win Garand would have the same accuracy given everything else being the same.

    If you are a reloader and this is your first Garand, I would get the 30-06.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  6. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    TexasPatriot.308 said:
    The .308 was to allow a shorter action to be used in an auto than the 30-06 would allow while still approaching the same performance in the popular light loads of most service 30-06 loads.
    (In the heavier loads the 30-06 gets ahead by a good margin.)


    This would allow a shorter overal action, and easier feeding, for about the same perfomance. That is why it was adopted, it is a better fit for semi-auto box magazine fed guns.


    As for the OP:

    I would stick with 30-06 in a Garand. That is what they used in WW2 and were entirely reliable, the 30-06 is popular and widely available, and even today when .308/762x51 is sold out along with .223/5.56, 7.62x39, and similar cartridges widely chambered in box magazine fed guns there is plenty of 30-06 on shelves because it is not chambered in the guns people are hoarding ammo for.



    They use the same bullets, and you can match or exceed the perfomance of any .308 load in the .30-06. You can use loads you couldn't in a .308.
    The gun and action will be the same length anyways (since a .308 version is just a modified 30-06 one) and are you really going to rebarrel a garand in another cartridge to care about options compatible with a .308 action?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  7. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    I think he was talking about how to be the most true to what happened in the past, as opposed to talking about which round will be more precise (precision of .30-06 vs .308).

    OP - I'd say get a .30-06. That is what our ancestors carried into battle. A .308 M1 is more of a novelty.
     
  8. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    Since you would be buying the rifle as a shooter I would opt for the .308 Winchester (7.62 NATO). I have an M1 Garand in 30-06 as well as one in 7mm-08 (.308 necked down) as well as an M1A. While the 30-06 flavor is not all that punishing to shoot I have found the 7-08 and .308 rounds less punishing. That just being my opinion. Loading your own for either is likely 6 of one and a half dozen of the other as to military gas operated rifle service loads and buying either is also pretty much a wash as to cost. With the .308 loadings verse the 30-06 loadings you are likely giving up a few hundred FPS of muzzle velocity with heavier bullets which isn't much.

    The fact that given a choice I would opt for the 7.62 NATO flavor is here nor there as it is your decision. Maybe if I did not have a Garand in 30-06 my thinking would be different. Then I might opt for the 30-06. Your rifle and your call.

    Ron
     
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I don't think the .308 offers any advantage whatsoever in the Garand.

    There is still a LOT of surplus ammo in both calibers available.
    Prices are comparable (equally-expensive) these days.

    The difference in cost for handloading is miniscule.
    If you use 3 grains less powder to load the .308, you would need to shoot 2,333 rounds of .308 to recoup the cost of only one pound of powder by comparison to the 30-06.

    Otherwise, they use the same bullet and primer.

    I do like the "get both" idea.
    However, having personally accumulated far more guns than I can possibly shoot on any regular basis, I am well-acquainted with the corollary:
    "You can't shoot both of them at the same time."

    Also the axiom:
    If you take both of them to the range, you have twice as much work on your hands to clean them up afterwards.

    And do not forget the all-encompassing truth:
    It takes 10x the amount of work to get rid of a good gun "the right way" than it does to acquire it in the first place.
     
  10. cmars

    cmars Member

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    well depends on what your planning on doing with a Garand if you want a piece to collect and occasionally shoot go for 30-06 since the ammo is not cheap but you will have a very historic rifle or if you want to have a rifle that you do not care about the historic value but you want to shoot a lot go for 308 due to the price of ammo. It is your choice but these are just practical hints
     
  11. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    If you don't have an original Garand in 30-06 I would get. It's one of the greatest rifles ever built. I have 2 so my next purchase is the CMP .308 Garand. They are supposes to shoot as well as the M1A and they cost less. You can't get into a decent M1A for under $1500.00.
     
  12. Mencius

    Mencius Member

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    I am a definite Garand newbie. Was the original 30-06 Garand modified to shoot the 308 or was the receiver, etc. built from the ground up to shoot 308?
     
  13. nfafan

    nfafan Member

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    "I am a definite Garand newbie. Was the original 30-06 Garand modified to shoot the 308 or was the receiver, etc. built from the ground up to shoot 308? "

    Modified by the service armories - originally for the most part for use by their marksmanship teams until the M14 was eventually used.
    USNavy originally tried a .308 chamber sleeve and clip-follower(?) to allow for case lengths, then switched to correct .308 chambered/barreled recvrs and a few other small mods like the clip follower, maybe op-rod spring. Don't use the .308 chamber sleeve if you find one - too iffy.

    I have a "spare" CMP M1 that I was planning to have properly converted to .308; due to the cost and wider availability of .MIL grade .308 ammo, as opposed to "correct" M2-spec 30.06 FMJ for the base M1.
    If I had known the CMP was going to start selling .308 M1's - I'd have waited.

    Meanwhile, you can get a 30.06 M1 and buy one of the "adjustable gas plugs" to allow use of a wider range of commercial 30.06 that you can come accross.
     
  14. gondorian

    gondorian Member

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    I went for 30-06. The ammo cost is about the same, plus you can get 30-06 in so many places if you need too, even during the panic of right now. It is a good idea to get an adjustable gas plug so you can shoot commercial ammo without damaging your op-rod. I have one and it lets you shoot 180 grain loads easily. You probably could go heavier and slower but I don't reload (yet) so I don't know for sure.
     
  15. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    Now if someone would make an M1A in .30-06....
     
  16. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    30-06 as it was originally designed.
     
  17. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    I have them in both and really only have two observations to make:

    The en-bloc clips look oh-so-right filled with -06 pills, .308? Not so much. Subjective but, there you go.

    If you go .308 be sure to get a mag well filler block to keep the -06s out.

    Then this: Given the wide variety of .308 floating around my place, I fear loading up the hot stuff from time to time and using up a Garand with it.

    Nothing at all wrong with a .308 Garand - just have a care s to what you feed it.
     
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Actually Mr. Garand originally designed the rifle for the .276 Pedersen cartridge.

    Want to shoot commercial ammunition in a Garand?
    No problem, you can:
    A. Buy an adjustable gas lock screw or you can:
    B. Drill the Poppet valve out of the gas lock screw and use the rifle as a straight pull manually operated bolt action.

    I own and shoot M1s in both .30/06 and 7.62X51 and do so with surplus and commercial ammunition.
    Never bent an operating rod or cracked a receiver.
     
  19. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Member

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    If I were going to buy a Garand, I'd definitely stick with 30-06. In times of panic buying (which are getting more frequent as time goes on), ammo is more plentiful.

    I went ammo shopping yesterday at Academy and Walmart. The 30-06 ammo was virtually untouched.
     
  20. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    I've had a Springfield rebuild in 308 for years. I'm not really concerned if it's exactly correct ammunition wise, it's a Garand and it's mine and there never was any plan of ever selling it. Cost wise the difference in ammunition is nothing cause I make my own. Never shot a 30-06 version but I am happy with the 308.
     
  21. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    Don't convert 'em. Either a true .308 build or original flavor 30.06. If it's an older gun, leave it in 30.06. If buying a newly build one, then order it in .308.
    Conversions have a bad rep and make collectors angry.
     
  22. TonyInFla

    TonyInFla Member

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    I recently bought my first Garand from my step father. It's a little rough in the looks department but it's a great shooter. it's also a 308. I really like mine.
     
  23. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    I am not sure about some of what you are saying. To the best of my knowledge, every M1 Garand manufactured, with the exceptions of early development rifles was chambered in 30-06. That includes the NM rifles built in the late 50s. Now if that is correct then any M1 Garand chambered in 7.62 NATO is a conversion. No original M1 Garand left a US arsenal (Springfield Armory) or contractor's factory ( Winchester WWII) or H&R (Harrington Richardson), IHC (International Harvester) post WWII chambered in 7.62 NATO. While in 1964 the Springfield Armory did a REPORT OF EVALUATION ON NAVY CONVERSION 0F RIFLE, U. S. CAL . 30, Ml TO FIRE 7 .62MM AMMUNITION BY MODIFICATION TO THE BARREL, I don't believe the conversions were actually done by the Springfield Armory. The report did pretty much show that a barrel sleeve was not a good idea and that the best approach was to use a barrel originally cut and chambered in 7.62 NATO. These conversions were also taking place long after the last M1 Garand was produced.

    As to not converting a M1 Garand to .308 I see no reason not to. The rifles manufactured during WWII have a high collector value but only if the rifle is 100% correct as to each and every part. In the case of an early 100% correct rifle then yes, it would be foolish to convert a sought after collectable. However, the recent CMP rifles classified as "Correct Grade" were in the serial number range of 5.4 to 5.8 million making them well post Korea rifles starting around maybe 6/54. While a rifle like this may be correct as to parts these later rifles really don't command much of a premium as to collector value. Even their stocks at that point were the standard DoD cartouche. Rifles like these in my opinion are shooters rather than sought after collectables. The IHC and H&R rifles do command a slight premium of the later rifles simply because there were fewer produced. Again, even on these rifles they must be correct as to all parts to be of any value to a collector.

    So in conclusion I see nothing wrong with converting a later 1950s rifle to the 7.62 NATO chambering. A serious collector is not likely to have much interest in the rifle anyway. If the rifle is to be enjoyed as a shooter it matters not in my opinion and granted just my opinion.

    Just My Take
    Ron
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yes, I believe all production M1s were chamber originally in 30-06. There were some early development rifles and some rifles used as test rifles after WWII that were chamber in other cartridges but they really did not have the "M1" designation.



    If you consider then total number of Garands out there in public hands, the numbers are probably greater than the total production run of some civilian rifles that command very little premium in value.

    Six million or so Garands were made from the late 30's to the late 50's and if even just a million survive, that is a bunch.

    There are very few WWII Garands that did not go through a rebuild at sometime in their life so getting one with "correct" parts is slim. Even slimmer, is getting one that was not restored to "correct" by some one. So, a run of the mill Garand's value really will not rise much very quickly.

    Since a converted to 308 Winchester is a version of the Garand used by our government, I also see no reason to not convert a mixmaster Garand as long as it has no other collector's or historic value.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    He said, "historical accuracy goes to the '06." Meaning that for virtually all of its combat experience, the M1 was chambered for the '06, and hence an '06 would be more in keeping with the rifle's role in history.
     
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