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Loading for M1 Garand

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 1JW, May 9, 2012.

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  1. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    Just got my first M1, and want to start reloading for it. I currently reload all my pistol ammo, and use a Dillon XL650. That being said the dillon does not do well with stick powders. Is th H4895 a stick powder? I know the IMR 4895 is. I have some 150gr sierra spitzers i want to reload. Interesting enough i called both Hodgdon and sierra, and got quite different data from both. Sierra told me IMR 4895 44.5 g is start load at a volocity of 2,600 and 51.7g max at 3,000
    IMR or now Hodgdon told me IMR 4895 49.0g start at 2,856 and max 53.0g at 3,009.
    If H4895 is a stick powder, any recommandations for a sphericle powder?
    Or does anyone have any suggestions in dealing with the Dillon stick powder issue?
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  2. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    can you please verify the Dillon model you are have.

    as for measuring stick powder.... the Dillon will disperse +/- .1 gr
    plenty accurate for general use. if extrema accuracy is what you want than one often goes with a tray of prepared cases auto filled a grain or so short and than topped off individually with a trickler. you than have a case filled as accurate as the scale you are using.
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Both H4895 and IMR4895 are stick powders. They are similar in performance but not identical. For my M1 loads, I use a little less IMR4895 than H4895 to get approximately the same velocities.

    The top end of the loads you indicated are probably a bit warm for the Garand. The Hodgdon starting load is greater than it needs to be for the M1 in my opinion.

    Military ammunition gave velocities around 2700 to 2750 fps or so depending on the source and where the chronograph is placed. The surplus Greek ammunition I have chronographs at slightly over 2800 fps out of my M1 with the chronograph 10-12 feet in front of the rifle. When I got my first M1, I chronographed some surplus US ammunition and it was not as fast as the Greek, but I do not have the data in front of me at the moment.

    I am no help with the Dillon powder measures and stick powder.

    I have loaded 223 Remington on my Hornady L-N-L and it did not excite me. I intended to load some 30-06 on the progressive and even purchased dies but i have never used the dies. So, I load rifle cases on a single stage. It works fine for me. Others seem to do well loading rifle on the progressive presses progressively.
     
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Garand ammunition was not loaded hot, people are quoting velocity figures from a military TM which is only applicable to pressure barrels, not Garands.

    I have chronographed period US ammunition in Garands and the 150 stuff is below 2700 fps. Machine gun stuff, ie LC 69, was hotter. Greek ammunition is hot and I have pictures of a receiver that cracked with Greek. Most commercial ammunition is way too hot.

    The maximum load for your Garand with a 150 should be 47.5 grains IMR 4895 in a LC case.

    I do not recommend sizing and priming on a Dillion. You should prime off press and inspect each and every primer to see that it is below the case head.

    You should use small base dies and you should set up your dies with a cartridge case gage. Size to gage minimum.

    Never ever use Federal primers as they are the most slamfiring primer out on the market. Never use any primer that is marketed as “more sensitive”, and that includes match primers and benchrest primers. The priming mixtures and thin cups are inappropriate for Garands. Use “mil spec” primers which include CCI #34 and TULA 7.62.

    Seat the bullet below 3.30" Never attempt to seat any bullets to the lands.

    I use my Dillion 550B to dump IMR 4895 and seat the bullet. I have won many vintage rifle matches with ammunition I have loaded on the Dillion.
     
  5. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    I have had pretty good results with TAC under a 147 gr. FMJ. TAC is a ball powder with a burn rate very close to 4895. It works very well with the dillon powder measure.
     
  6. USSR

    USSR Member

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    1JW,

    While the Sierra and Hodgdon folks gave you load data for the .30-06, they did not give you load data that would be suitable for a .30-06 in a M1 Garand. With IMR4895, I suggest 47.0 - 48.0gr with 150gr bullets. Rather than switch to ball powder, I would suggest you look into why your powder measure doesn't do well with extruded powders. Just MHO.

    Don
     
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Did you specifically tell them you were loading for a garand? Because those max loads are HOT for the garand, IMO. Stay around 47 grains. 44 may not cycle reliably either.

    I'd start at 46 and work up to 47.5 max. But that's just me.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    While IMR4895/AA2495/H4895 (basically the same powder) all throw plus or minus more than a half grain in my Dillion 550B, I do not believe that it makes that much of a difference in a hand held rifle. Now maybe for F class at 100 yards with a scope shooting off sandbags and a rest, but out to 600 yards, the largest errors on target are due to position and bad wind calls.

    These targets were fired in competition with Garands with my Dillion 550 B powder measure. The last one is a bolt rifle with an aperature. I believe I could shrink the groups if I shot more with the post, and more than once or twice a year with a Garand. The ammunition will shoot inside my hold.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    When i soke to both Sierra and Hodgdon I did specify that it was for the Garand, and that is what they told me they tested it in. I was planing on using Dillon dies?
    I also thought that with the issue of stick powder in the Dillon, i would use my RCBS 2000 if i am going to go the stick powder route. Dillon even makes mention of stick powder issues.
    I have CCI#34 primers i intend to use. I will also be checking each case for proper seating of the primers as I have seen all over it is very import to get proper seating.
     
  10. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Well, you got some bad advice. I would be willing to bet that the guys you spoke with are not aware of the port pressure limitations of the Garand design. Under no circumstances go above 49.0gr of IMR4895 with a 150gr bullet for your Garand.

    Don
     
  11. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    I will start with 46.5g
    Any imput on dillon dies.
     
  12. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    What about C.O.L? I don't have there info in front of me right now, but if they were wrong on powder weight who knows if they were right on the C.O.L. ?
     
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Regardless of die, I highly recommend setting up your die with case gages. You do not want a case that is too long.

    [​IMG]

    This ledge is the difference between Go and No Go. Seldom will you ever size your cases to the correct length by the hit and miss method of sizing to the shell holder plus a quarter turn. You need gages to measure shoulder set back.

    [​IMG]

    I recommend small base dies for these rifles for following reason: you do not want a long case or a fat case to delay bolt closure. It is positively risky in these actions.

    At this location the firing pin is touching the receiver bridge and is fully forward. If the bolt has to stop to crunch fit a fat case or a long case, that free floating firing pin is just wacking the heck out of the primer and yet, the lugs are not engaged. This is where out of battery slamfires occur in this rifle.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the receiver bridge and firing pin in these pictures. The primary function of the receiver bridge is to cam the firing pin back during extraction and hold the back of the bolt up. It is very ineffective in preventing the firing pin from rebounding off the primer during feed as it is only retracted during cam down.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This pencil mark is the location at which the firing pin is free to go all the way forward. Given a sensitive primer, your rifle can slamfire here. If your rifle slamfires here, at least there is some lug engagement, but the lugs are not fully seated and engaged so it is possible there would be damage to the lug or receiver seats.

    [​IMG]

    Long and/or fat cases just increase the potential for in and out of battery slamfires. Therefore, make sure your cases are smaller than the chamber.

    Here is some of my chronograph data of 150’s and my load. I don’t know why, but my load clocks faster in my SAKO than a Garand, maybe the barrel is tighter.

    Code:
    [SIZE="3"]M1 Garand  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						
    
    
    M1 Garand  5 9XX, XXX 					
    							
    150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 190 ≤ WWII ≤ 195	OAL 3.29”
    24 Mar 04	T= 70 ° F	 				
    							
    Ave Vel =	2630						
    Std Dev =	33						
    ES =	109						
    Low =	2580						
    High =	2689						
    
    SAKO   24" Barrel   				
    							
    150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 190 ≤ WWII ≤ 195	OAL 3.290"
    17-Aug-06	T = 85 °F	 
    				
    Ave Vel =	2703	 			
    Std Dev =	26.41	 			
    ES =	80.66	 		 	 		
    High =	2739	 					
    Low =	2659	 		 		 	
    N =	10[/SIZE]
     
  14. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    Thanks Slamfire, i have a Dillon case guage and it is three teared? Which do you know would be the proper tear to gage off of?
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I stole this picture from the Dillon site. Looks to me as you can measure the length of a sized case and trim length.

    [​IMG]


    For a Garand/M1a size to the lower step. That is the "GO". The upper step is "No Go". Your rifle should be between "Go" and "No Go", therefore a case sized to the minimum "GO" should give you the clearance you need, without having too much headspace.

    Remember, these case gages are cut fat between shoulder and base so you can drop in a fired case and measure fired length.

    The gage on the right is a reamer cut gage. It was cut by a chambering reamer and is exactly the same as the chamber it cut for my rifle.

    As you can see with these unsized cases, the Wilson gage will accept a fired case, the reamer cut gage tells you the case will be an interference fit in the chamber.

    [​IMG]


    These gages will not tell you if a case is fat.

    This is one of the fat cases sized in a standard Lee sizing die. It will not drop all the way into the reamer cut gage. This little bit of interference is enough to cause an out of battery slamfire given a sensitive primer.

    [​IMG]

    This is the other of the fat cases sized in a small base die. I think it was sized in an RCBS small base though you see a Redding box. Anyway, it drops all the way in.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  16. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    So as far as the dillon one i assume you want low step on both? can you tell me where to get a reamer cut gauge?
     
  17. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Trim length is not critical for accuracy, it just keeps the case neck from pinching the bullet in the chamber, which is important for safety. I trim to minimum, but as long as they are below max, you won't have an issue.

    For reamer cut gages, call Frank White at Compass Lake Engineering. http://www.compasslake.com/ Last one he cut for me, a .223 gage, cost me about $35.00. Might have gone up since then.
     
  18. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    Thanks Slamfire, i spoke to dillon, and there dies are small based, and i also shot compass lake an email as they are closed already.
     
  19. 1JW

    1JW Member

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    So until i get a cut gauge i suppose i need to use a caliper to check for fat cases?
     
  20. USSR

    USSR Member

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    1JW,

    Seat your bullets to a depth of which 1 caliber (.308") is enclosed within the case neck. Do not count the boattail in that measurement. Regarding case gauges, I have always used the RCBS Precision Mic which only measures case headspace, and in many thousands of rounds, I have never had a cartridge fail to chamber.

    Don
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    A cut gage is probably not necessary if a Dillion sizing die is a small base die.

    You can drop a round in the chamber and see if it binds.
     
  22. morrow

    morrow Member

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    Just see if a round drops in the chamber and ejects or not.
     
  23. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Member

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    I got my M1 in 2009; I worked up a load in 168 grainers and now load 150's.

    I use Winchester cases, CCI #34 primers, 48.5 grains of IMR 4895 and a Hornady 150 grain SST (#30302). I chrony almost 2750 at a distance of maybe 10-12 feet from the muzzle.

    Yeah, I full-length resize even the virgin brass, and trim to 2.484". Also, a light taper crimp into the cannalure. COAL is right at 3.22". I do check EVERY CASE for proper primer seating.
     
  24. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Something that hasn't been discussed here, that perhaps should is, I recommend that anyone loading for a Garand buy and use a primer pocket uniformer to help ensure that there will be no "high" primers. Just MHO.

    Don
     
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