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M1 Garand

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  • M1 Garand

    My fellow shooters and reloaders let me ask away. I picked up a M1 really easy from a neighbor-he has or had 2 of em. 150 bucks.

    Wanting to reload a good hunting round. Understand to not exceed 165/168grn(Barnes preferrably) and to use medium powders with CCI primers to prevent "slam" fires. Think M34's is it? Don't know nothing about ball ammo and it's use outside of practicing.

    Always had a hankering for one and heard of its accuracies. Needs some major barrel cleaning and have begun with Sweets and Break Free. Stock is original and looks like the foward peice needs to be replaced. Outside of that it looks like a shooter and recently was still being used.

    Any help would be great.

  • #2

    If you duplicate the 150 gr FMJ M2 load, which gives approximately 2700 fps with IMR or Hodgdon's 4895, you'll be right in the ballpark for what your rifle prefers. Powders much slower, or loads much heavier, and you run the risk of bending the operating rod, and perhaps damaging some of the other components.
    CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program, the old DCM) has surplus US GI and Greek M2 ball for REAL reasonable, and it's in reloadable cases, and comes in bandoleers and 8 round clips.
    I took my Harrington & Richardson 1954 vintage M1 to a turkey shoot couple weekends ago, five rounds could be covered with a half dollar...enjoy!


    • #3
      Handloading the Garand

      Just to reiterate what DW had to say, loading the Garand requires powder in that mid burning rate. Powders such as H4895, IMR 4895 & 4064, RL-15 works well as do others in that burning rate.

      The gas port requires about 14,500 psi and the slower burning powders, 4831 RL-19, etc, hold that pressure up near 20,000 psi and it reaks havoc with the Garand actuating rod. The rifle will take a few rounds of this then troubles start. Some factory ammo will damage the Garand also.

      I have fired a bunch of rounds of hand loaded ammo in various M1's and mostly the 168 grain Sierra, with an appropriate charge of 4895 , 4064 or RL-15. I don't think I have ever loaded 180 grainers but know of folks who have. There is no reason that wouldn't work as long as correct burning rate powders are used. It does seem to be at it's best with the 150-168 grain weights, however. This is really a pressure not a velocity thing and factory velocity can be boosted a bit up to about 2800 fps with the 150-168 grain bullets.

      By changing the diameter of the gas port, as has been done on caliber conversions for the rifle, (one particular 338-06) we can adapt that to any powder or load. This is considered to be the biggest down fall with the Garand, this lack of flexibility in loading. With the M-14/M1A gas system it is capable of handling a much broader range of gas pressures at the port, due to it's tappet gas piston. Sort of an unnecessary fix when the 308 cartridge will only work with the mid burning rate powders.

      Anyway, I'm off the subject, enjoy the Garand. Handloading for it is a snap and they work better than the Remington or Browning auto-loader sporting rifles.
      Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


      • #4
        it's a pressure thing and not a velocity -- well that is clear. I don't think it necessary in my case to be concerned about the gas port being enlarged. Wanting to keep shooting what is best in its original design with the exception of ball ammo. The Barnes TSX and the way I am beginning to look at it is that with the "ribbs" on the shank would be ideal for limiting pressures. So would the North Fork bullets -- correct me if I am wrong. Now am I on a path that would enable this rifle to be used in this sense?

        I do have both small base dies and standard dies for the .30-06 so what is actually preferred? Noticed with the SKS ammo that it is very hard brass does this mean I can't load cheap Remington brass-feeding problem? What is your idea on slam fire and preventive measures? Meaning soft cup or hard? CCI? Federal?

        Operating rod--is their an after market that is "superior" to what is stock on this? Any help is greatly appreciated.

        thanks again.


        • #5
          Loading stuff...

          Standard dies should work fine if you carefully full-length resize and trim. IF the cases were fired in a machine gun or other weapon with a large-ish chamber, you might want to use the small base die, fire them in your rifle, and then use the standard die from then on. You're not going to hurt anything using the small base dies exclusively, just pay attention to not pushing the shoulder back.
          In operation, the firing pin 'sloshes' back and forth in the bolt while it's cycling. When the bolt pushes a round into the chamber and goes into battery, the firing pin is still moving and CAN move forward with enough momentum to actuate a soft-cup primer. I guarantee, it's not much fun when an '06 doubles, or even dumps the magazine full-auto...I think that the CCI Number 34 is the GI spec primer, but check to make sure.
          The bullets you've mentioned should work fine, just don't immediately go to the top of the recommended loads with them. Better to start on the bottom and work up to the point where the rifle functions consistently, and call it good. It's never ever going to be a .300 Mag., but it IS possible to use long bearing surface bullets, and up to 180-190-200 grain bullets in an M-1 successfully and without damage.


          • #6
            Originally posted by grizz106 View Post
            I picked up a M1 really easy from a neighbor-he has or had 2 of em. 150 bucks.
            Any chance he still has the other one? I have always wanted one as well. Are there any CMP affiliated clubs around Eagle River?


            • #7
              Garand loads

              grizz, Advice so far seems right on. The thing about pressure has to do with the pressure at the gas port. Stay within recommended loads and keep the system clean. The slower powders that allow magnums to get max velocity will cause problems with the Garand. The top end loads with the slower powders over-pressure the piston/ operating rod and can bend or wreck the rod or housing. The Garand is designed to shoot and function with spire point bullets in the 150-172 gr range. As others have stated powders like IMR/H 4895, 4064, Rl 15 and Varget would be good choices- I've always used the standard.... 4895 in medium loads. Garands are a classic and are great rifles when loaded and handled right.


              • #8
                Civilian Marksmanship Program affiliated clubs in AK...

                I just looked, and don't see that CMP has any clubs listed for Alaska. There ARE alternatives...IF you are a member of a Veteran's organization, like the VFW or American Legion, your membership qualifies you the same as a rifle and pistol club. Additionally, the Garand Collector's Association ( ) offers membership for very reasonable, that also qualifies you, as does being retired or active duty military, and some LEO.
                Other requirements for acquiring CMP rifles and ammunition can be found at
                Rifles that the CMP currently has available are listed at:
                Online sales of ammunition, tools, parts, and accessories are at:
                Hope some of this helps out.....


                • #9
                  received some very good info from you gents. If I need to join the VFW or the American Legion I can, just have not done so--can now see the benefits of this. Done some beer drinking back some yrs back and some good folks there in the Post I stopped in-but that was yrs back. This is just another project among others



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