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Old 11-16-2016, 07:54 PM
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Can anyone tell me what would be the hottest ammo allowed in a Garand,? ie max bullet weight and velocity. I have a good amount of 1953 Lake City 30/06 ball ammo that clocks at 2739fps. I haven't pulled any down but I assume they are the standard 147gr FMJ. Is this too hot for the operating rod in my rifle?
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:32 PM
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That ammo was made to be fired in a Garand.
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:38 PM
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There are several types of 30-06 commercial ammunition that are represented by their manufacturer as being safe for use in all rifles including semiautomatics. Most manufacturers have a website where you can read about the different cartridges and their compatibility, advantages and appropriate applications.

You might also want to look into a new ported gas screw for use in the M1 Garand. Unlike a venting gas screw (patented by John Garand in 1945), a ported gas screw works by changing the initial conditions in the gas cylinder. The ported gas screw increases the starting volume in the gas cylinder, which results in lower peak pressures. No adjustments are required and no gas will vent from the device. The ported gas screw will produce lower peak pressures in all brands of ammunition that meet the SAAMI specifications for the 30-06 cartridge, regardless of bullet weight.

I've seen several makers of the ported gas screw, some priced in the $35 to $40 range. Do a google search on ported gas screws for M1 rifles and you may find that's the fix for those who have concerns about shooting commercial ammo in a Garand.
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Old 11-16-2016, 08:51 PM
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Any handloads for the M1 should use powders in the IMR 3031/4895/4064 relative quickness range. Slower propellants (4320/4350/4831) are to be avoided. They can create excess port pressure, resulting in bent op rods, a very bad thing. The original powder used for the various .30-'06 military rounds intended for use in the M1 was very similar to today's 4895. I believe 150 grain bullets are best in order to stay within the allowable port pressure envelope of the M1, although heavier bullets can be used. I would definitely not use any factory ammunition loaded with 200 or 220 grain bullets. In fact, I will personally not use even 180 grain bullet loads. I think it makes much more sense to use ammunition suited for the M1 than to screw around with adjustable port devices. Just me, but no way would I do that with mine.

Last edited by DWalt; 11-16-2016 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:48 PM
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I agree with DWALT. The rifles operating rod can be damaged by commercial .30-06 loads.
Stick with M2 Ball of the many military brands. LC, HXP or ammunition specifically branded M2 Ball.
If you hand load, IMR 4895 and a 150 gr FMJ boat tail performs very well in the M1 Garand. 168gr is as heavy as I would go.
Jim
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Old 11-16-2016, 10:14 PM
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DWalt is exactly right. You have to be careful with the Garand Rifle but they are a beast with the right loads. Federal makes a special loading in their "American Eagle" specifically for the Garand. You might give it a try.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:12 AM
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I shoot military stuff in my one and only M1. It's a large supply of Denver Arsenal M2 dated '43 mostly. I also have some cans of the 70's Korean 30-06,,I bought it when it was $69.95/240rds delivered ,,ouch!

But I still installed a Shuster (sp?) adj gas port on the rifle to be able to tame the ejection and recoil.
The orig op rod I had to replace as it was battered. They are getting tougher to find and expensive.
The adj gas port allows me to have the rifle function 100% but w/o finging the brass to the hinterlands and wondering if that ammo I'm using is maybe a bit off for the Garand function curve.
Back off the gas port screw and fire a round, close it up a partial turn till the rifle functions. Takes maybe 3 rds to adjust. No difference in appearance.
I could use it for commercial or handloaded ammo too but never have.

It's just a range toy for me, shoots 2.5/3" groups at 100m. 1945 Springfield mfg rebuilt in '52. Nothing special but I'd like to keep it working with the assortment of ammo available.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:38 AM
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I still have 3 wood crates of Danish 30-06 loaded in enblocs. Best ammo ever. But, berdan primed.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:10 AM
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I believe M2 ball ammunition has a 150 grain bullet at 2800 fps. I have used Winchester white box ammo with success but pick up surplus whenever I can.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:55 AM
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Feed it the good stuff!
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:21 PM
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Patrick,

As mentioned, you need to watch port pressure so you don't bend the op rod. USGI ball ammo in 30M1 is either M1 ball (a 150gr FMJ flat base bullet), M2 ball (a 150gr FMJ boat tail bullet), or M72 Match (the 172/173gr FMJBT match bullet). If I remember correctly, all 3 rounds are in the 2700 fps velocity range.

I have 2 Garands that I have shot in competition, a 1940 vintage Springfield in 30M1, and a late '50s H&R that was match tuned as a 308 chambered M1MkII. The key to making these rifles is to maintain a safe port pressure.

If you are shooting a 30M1 (30-06) chambered rifle, you want ammo that is rated as the equivalent to M2 Ball. If you are shooting an M1MkII (308) rifle, you want ammo that is rated the equivalent of: M80 (147gr FMJ), M852 (168gr SMK), M118 (175gr SMK). I would avoid any surplus M118LR (175gr SMK) in a Garand, because it is loaded HOT! I have chronographed M118LR at over 2750 fps, which is 200 fps over the match ammo target velocity.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:39 PM
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An adjustable gas plug will allow most ammo to be used in your rifle
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Old 11-17-2016, 03:08 PM
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Hello forum;

Glad I stumbled onto this thread. I have both a 1943 Remington 1903-A3 in 30-06, and a 1966 Red River Army Depot rebuild of a 1953 IHC M1 Garand. The M1 Garand appears to be unfired (SA barrel dated 9/65) all other parts are IHC, including op rod, and again it looks like it went direct from RRAD to CMP and then sat until sale as a SG.

Question for me after seeing this thread is I do have a quantity of Remington-UMC 150 grain Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point commercial ammo, and I just looked the boxes are all marked 2910 fps velocity.

With what I'm seeing above in the thread, it looks like this modern commercial ammo should not be fired in wither the 03-A3 or the Garand. Forum opinions solicited. Would not be competitive, just steel plate gonging at 100 yards on occasion.

Another point, while researching some time back for the 03-A3 I thought the original (1906) ammo was 150 grain at muzzle velocity of 2700 fps, then about 1926 the Army redesigned to 173 grain at 2647 fps and called it .30 M1 Ball, then again in 1938 went back to 151 grain at 2805 fps and called it .30 M2 Ball.

I am not a reloader so mil-surp if I can find it, but mostly commercial and I previously though the 150 grain would maybe work for both.....but I don't want to risk anything on either the 03-A3 or the Garand.

Any thoughts and/or opinions will be well appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:20 PM
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I have never heard of anyone having any issues firing commercial 30.06 ammo in an 03A3. The warning about using only GI ball ammo applies to the Garand, not the 03A3.
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmansguns View Post
Hello forum;

Glad I stumbled onto this thread. I have both a 1943 Remington 1903-A3 in 30-06, and a 1966 Red River Army Depot rebuild of a 1953 IHC M1 Garand. The M1 Garand appears to be unfired (SA barrel dated 9/65) all other parts are IHC, including op rod, and again it looks like it went direct from RRAD to CMP and then sat until sale as a SG.

Question for me after seeing this thread is I do have a quantity of Remington-UMC 150 grain Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point commercial ammo, and I just looked the boxes are all marked 2910 fps velocity.

With what I'm seeing above in the thread, it looks like this modern commercial ammo should not be fired in wither the 03-A3 or the Garand. Forum opinions solicited. Would not be competitive, just steel plate gonging at 100 yards on occasion.

Another point, while researching some time back for the 03-A3 I thought the original (1906) ammo was 150 grain at muzzle velocity of 2700 fps, then about 1926 the Army redesigned to 173 grain at 2647 fps and called it .30 M1 Ball, then again in 1938 went back to 151 grain at 2805 fps and called it .30 M2 Ball.

I am not a reloader so mil-surp if I can find it, but mostly commercial and I previously though the 150 grain would maybe work for both.....but I don't want to risk anything on either the 03-A3 or the Garand.

Any thoughts and/or opinions will be well appreciated.
I too have an 03A3 as well as a Garand. As long as your A3 is in good safe condition I see no reason why you shouldn't shoot up that commercial ammo in it. Now, if you had a straight up 1903 Springfield rifle, I'd advise against it, but then only because I'm not clear about the serial # timeline for the weak receivers these rifles had. The 03A3 as far as I know is perfectly able to handle modern 30/06 ammo. The only reason the Garand can't handle it is due to the gas system and pressure curve it is designed for.
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmansguns View Post
...the original (1906) ammo was 150 grain at muzzle velocity of 2700 fps, then about 1926 the Army redesigned to 173 grain at 2647 fps and called it .30 M1 Ball, then again in 1938 went back to 151 grain at 2805 fps and called it .30 M2 Ball...
Precisely so. "Hatcher's Notebook" is a direct result. Complaints by the Infantry during WW1 about the M1917 machine gun not shooting as far as the firing tables claimed. A young Captain Hatcher was detailed by the Ordnance Corps to prove to the grunts they didn't know what they were talking about. Oops...

http://sin.thecthulhu.com/library/we...s_notebook.pdf

Still a lot of useful info in his book.

Last edited by old tanker; 11-17-2016 at 05:05 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:23 PM
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I have encountered the OP's question many times in my 25 year NRA Service Rifle Match shooting career....

My reply to most was to go look up the price of a replacement operating rod and then decide whether or not you want to shoot anything hotter than M2 ball, M72 etc or a handloaded equivalent with the same burn rate powder. ( IMR-4895, with a 150 flat base bullet)

Randy
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growr View Post
I have encountered the OP's question many times in my 25 year NRA Service Rifle Match shooting career....

My reply to most was to go look up the price of a replacement operating rod and then decide whether or not you want to shoot anything hotter than M2 ball, M72 etc or a handloaded equivalent with the same burn rate powder. ( IMR-4895, with a 150 flat base bullet)

Randy
My original posted question was not whether I could shoot ammo out of the specs of M2 Ball ammo.

My question was whether the ammo I have on hand, LC53 IS indeed M2 Ball based upon DATE of manufacture. I fully understand the physics of the Garand operating system and the need for a pressure curve within the original design parameters. I'm NOT looking for anyone to tell me it's fine to shoot modern day commercial 30/06.
Based upon reading Hatcher's writing, I think that all the ammo manufactured in 53 other than sniper specific ball would probably be M2. Am I correct in this assumption?

Last edited by patrickd; 11-17-2016 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:59 PM
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Beware what looks like military surplus that is not in a proper container. Saw a guy nearly come to grief that way with his Garand. He bought a bunch of milsurp ammo that had clearly come off a machine gun belt. However, at some point afterwards the stuff had been hotrodded and reassembled.

His gun was hanging up and he asked to score a few rounds of my boxed M2 to check function. His gun then worked fine. I fired two rounds of his "milsurp" ammo from my 03A3 and EVERYBODY on the firing line came to look. Stoked didn't cover it. The report was super loud and the recoil downright nasty. I declined to shoot any more of the stuff, but it would have been interesting to get a chrono reading from a Model 1917 with that longer barrel.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:48 PM
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Privi Partisan and Black Hills makes great ammo for the Garand. Fine brass too. The Hornady 9th & 10th Ed. manuals have Garand specific reloading info.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
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Beware what looks like military surplus that is not in a proper container. Saw a guy nearly come to grief that way with his Garand. He bought a bunch of milsurp ammo that had clearly come off a machine gun belt. However, at some point afterwards the stuff had been hotrodded and reassembled.

His gun was hanging up and he asked to score a few rounds of my boxed M2 to check function. His gun then worked fine. I fired two rounds of his "milsurp" ammo from my 03A3 and EVERYBODY on the firing line came to look. Stoked didn't cover it. The report was super loud and the recoil downright nasty. I declined to shoot any more of the stuff, but it would have been interesting to get a chrono reading from a Model 1917 with that longer barrel.
I am 100% positive this is original milsurp ammo. Back in 1957 my Grandfather purchased a surplus rifle through the NRA. an M1903A3 for $15.00 + 2.85 shipping and handling. It shipped out of Letterkenny Ordnance Depot in PA. (I have the shipping documents.) Later he also purchased a bulk quantity of surplus ammo through the NRA which I now am in possession of. This ammo was stored for well over 50 years in a GI ammo can up in his attic. I know the ammo is genuine LC 53 and serviceable . Yesterday I had the very same 03A3 and ammo at the range and fired some over a chronograph. It clocked at 2737 and 2739 fps. I'd say any ammo 63 yrs old with only a 2 fps deviation is plenty well preserved.
Last year I bought a Garand and was just asking whether this 1953 vintage of GI Ball ammo was manufactured with specs consistent with the Garand. It's not packed in bandoliers and the only markings are LC53 on the rim. It has red colored sealant on the primers.
Thanks all for your guidance.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:17 PM
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LC53 is a great choice to shoot in your Garand. Go have fun with it!

Randy
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:46 PM
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As long as you know that the ammo is USGI, it is M2 Ball. When the Chinese copy ammo, they duplicate all of the markings. I am not certain when the various Army Ammunition Plants stopped using corrosive primers, so I suggest that you give your rifle a thorough cleaning after you shoot your LC53.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
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As long as you know that the ammo is USGI, it is M2 Ball. When the Chinese copy ammo, they duplicate all of the markings. I am not certain when the various Army Ammunition Plants stopped using corrosive primers, so I suggest that you give your rifle a thorough cleaning after you shoot your LC53.
Here is a link to when the various Army Ammunition Plants stopped using corrosive primers.

http://www.odcmp.org/1101/usgi.pdf
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