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M1 Garand vs M14/M1A

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by eclancy, Mar 8, 2008.

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  1. eclancy

    eclancy Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    N. Catasauqua, Pa
    Many of you have talked about the M14/M1A and the M1 Garand. I know about the mag question and the M1A having its 20 rounds. My question to you is in a different field. It deals with the ballistics of the 30.06 against the .308 round. My studies seem to show that in accuracy and ballistics at long ranges i.e. over 800 to 1000 yds, the 30.06 seems to hold its bullet more accurately than a .308. What do you guys think about this question. Also one more point is in the Tanker and Scout area. With the barrel being short does that not again change all the ballistics and accuracy data of both calibers to save a few inches of barrel length ?


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    Thanks again for taking the time and effort to read this data. I hope you have learned a little of the history of the M1 Garand.
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  2. H2O MAN

    H2O MAN member

    Dec 16, 2007
    My thoughts:

    The full length, unaltered M1 Garand can accurately go a bit longer than the M14 - however, the M14 offers the rifleman more flexibility.

    Shorter the barrels on either of these rifles = less muzzle velocity.
    Short barrels are accurate, but they can't accurately reach out as far as the standard length barrel.
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    Accuracy degradation at longer ranges seems to begin when the bullet drops below the speed of sound. Trans-sonic shock waves. That happens closer in with a shorter barrel...

  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    First of all, you are trying to compare one gas gun to another. With cartridges that are, at best, have a velocity difference of 150 fps.

    Gas gun platforms limit the pressure at which the cartridge operates. So looking at velocity tables that show a significant velocity advantage for the 30-06, with slow burning powders, is meaningless. You cannot use those slow burning powders in the Garand. The gas system won't handle it.

    I tried 190's and IMR4350 in a 30-06 Garand. I removed the gas tappet on the gas lock screw, making the rifle essentially a bolt rifle. Recoil was hard and accuracy was not first rate. My rifle provided better accuracy with 168’s and 175’s. My conclusion was that regardless of the on paper ballistic advantage I got, the energy I was putting into the structure caused irregular bending moments, effecting accuracy.

    I do know a service rifle team member who regularly shot 190’s in NM M14’s in the 60’s and 70’s. This was not common practice when I started shooting, and I don’t know why.

    You obviously have not shot a service rifle at 1000 yards. Consistant accuracy with a service rifle at 1000 yards is extremely difficult to acheive. There are times that you cannot see the black bull over the post, regardless of the rifle. Given the same bullets, the shooter's windreading ability, perfect hold, and range conditions (luck) are more important to a score than whatever small ballistic advantage you gain with an increase of 150 fps.

    Of course between shooters of equal ability under equal conditions, firing an infinite number of bullets, there would be a difference between scores. But such things never happen. The shooter does not control what relay or range conditions he shoots under. I have fired in rain squalls with the next relay having perfect wind free weather.

    You would think the increased sight radius of a Garand provides an advantage, but not really.

    What does give a significant advantage is going to a bullet with a significantly higher ballistic coefficient, with less recoil. And that is why the 6mm and 6.5 mm bullets rule in long range competition.

    The Garand phased out on the firing line due to factors other than the inherent accuracy of 30-06 versus 308.

    Firstly, the best Government issue 30-06 ammo was loaded with the 174 FMJBT. At the end, the best Government issue 308 ammo was loaded with the 168 Sierra Matchking. The SMK was a better bullet, by at least 25%.

    The Garand would pound itself out of tune in less time than a M14, and it took more work to get it back into match tune.

    The 30-06 Garand always kicked more than a 308 Heavy Barrel M14.

    Since most folks shot at 1000 yard line what they used out to 600 yards, the M14, or the M1a, was the rifle that most people used.

    A shooting bud of mine got into the 1000 yard shoot offs with his triple lugged Garand in 308. This was about 1999 or so. My friend, an ex USMC Vietnam vet, was shooting against a member of the current USMC rifle team with the shoot off determining the winner of the match. My friend had a cheering section because of the number of folks who wanted the Garand to win. The USMC shooter had his team mates as a cheering section. Well my friend lost by a point or two, but it still was an outstanding performance by both. As he was stripping off his gear, he heard one of the Marine team shooters asking their Coach, “what kind of rifle is he shooting?”. This lead to other questions and answers, and at the end of the match, he was surrounded by these young Marine shooters, all surprised and pleased to find out that my friend was a Marine*, and that he had trained with the Garand in basic!

    *The Marine Corp culture is "Once a Marine, always a Marine".
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