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Old 04-13-2017, 12:21 AM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
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Default Hunting ammo in a Garand?

A family member has just bought a M-1 Garand in really nice condition.


He wants to shoot an occasional wild pig with it. Can he use just any commercial hunting ammo he has on hand for his Winchester M-70 .30-06?


I think I read that the Garand needs powders that burn at a certain rate to work well and avoid damage. ??


Does the M-1 normally feed softpoint hunting ammo well?


I like Federal's Premium ammo with Nosler bullets. Is that a good choice for use in an M-1?
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:44 AM
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Ammo with too high port pressure can damage the op-rod. I've heard of people not having problems for hundreds of rounds of commercial ammo but I wouldn't chance it. A new correct op-rod isn't that easy to find and they cost $150- $200.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:46 AM
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I would not use factory 30-06 hunting ammo in a Garand because of the risk of excess port pressure and a possible resulting bent or broken op rod. The Garand needs medium rate powder in the IMR 4895 range in order to function properly and I have handloaded many, many rounds of hunting ammunition with 4895, 4064 and similar powders. Bullets are best in the 150-165 grain range, but you can go up to 180 gr. if need be. I've never had a problem getting standard softpoints to feed in the Garand, but you could use any bullet with one of the harder plastic tips if you were concerned about it. I've shot lots of the Nosler Ballistic Tips with nary a single malfunction. I've never hunted pigs with a Garand but have taken quite a few deer with them. They're a hoot to hunt with and should make a great pig gun. Enjoy!
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:00 AM
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First thing I would do, with ANY Garand is go to Orion 7 and order a complete spring package for it.
Here is an exhaustive study of commercial ammo compared to US & Greek M1 ball ammo.
M1 Garand Ammunition and the Ported Gas Plug
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:01 AM
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Answering your questions in order:

1. Good for him. Even if it's barely deserved most of us feel patriotic while handling a Garand.

2. & 3. No. As you've probably read, too slow a powder results in too high pressure at the gas port and will bend the operating rod. In order to be able to advertise higher velocity some modern .30-06 commercial loads use powder that is too slow for a Garand.

4. Mine & my friends' have fed jacketed soft and hollow points. Also I have not experienced or seen any feeding problems with round nose home cast lead. Do not believe the myth that lead bullets will clog the gas system. To get normal gas port pressure with slow moving cast bullets you use powder that would be too slow for jacketed bullets.

5. I would not fire anything advertised as "premium" without knowing more. You could call or e-mail the manufacturer and ask. Remington's yellow and green box Core Locked stuff has worked well in Garands for at least 50 years. Since I reload I have not bought commercial .30-06 in decades but I'd bet a nickel it still goes on sale every fall. It also makes deer hit the ground. Buying expensive premium cartridges for a round that has more than enough power with common cartridges always looked silly to me but I've never hunted wild pig.

I hope this is helpful without boring you with reloading stuff.

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Old 04-13-2017, 01:43 AM
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The port pressure where the gas goes from the port in the barrel to the gas cylinder then pushes against the piston head on the op rod is about 6000 to 8000 psi. Too much port pressure can and will damage an op rod. Commercial ammo is loaded to a higher pressure than military ammo. Powders like IMR 4895, Hogdon 4895 and and IMR 4064 plus a couple ball powders that fall in the same basic burn rate. These are the powders that are most frequently mentioned as being acceptable for the garand. When you go to the slower powders like IMR 4320, 4350 and 4831 they burn slower so their port pressures can be considerably higher. Bullet weights like 150 grain, 168 grain and the military's M72 match ammos 172 grain are those normally used in the garand. Some shooters get the schuster adjustable gas cylinder valve. That one you can let more gas out while not damaging the op rod. The three bullet weights I mention are the only three I will shoot out of a garand. They ain't making new op rods and mint ones or reconditioned ones can be pricey. Frank
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:50 AM
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So, basically, it's a handloader's rifle, or MAY be able to use Remington Core-Lokt?


Remington makes autoloading hunting rifles. Surely, they must intend for ther ammo to be safe in them? But is what's okay in a Remington Model 4, 742, etc. safe in an M-1?


One reason why I prefer bolt actions is that I can use the newer high velocity ammo without concerns.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:02 AM
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I would be surprised to learn that either Federal or Winchester do not sell suitable .30-06 cartridges. Remember, .30-06 cartridges were traditionally sold with the expectation that some of them would wind up being fired in low number Springfield 1903s, rear locking Winchester Model 1895s and Garands. However, I'm not familiar with current product lines.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:17 AM
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You want to keep velocity around 2700 fps. IF you want to shoot higher velocity ammo in the Garand, get an adjustable gas plug. Like this one:
Schuster DCM Adjustable Gas Plug Wrench M1 Garand Steel Parkerized

Or this one:

Ported Gas Plug
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:25 AM
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I think even military ball will put a real hurt on a pig with decent shot placement. I try to punch through both lungs with hand guns and they don't go far. A 30-06 hits a lot harder even without expansion.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:50 AM
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I would suggest that factory loads using 150-165 grain bullets would be perfectly OK to use in an M1. Heavier bullet loadings (say 200-220 grains) use slower powders, and there is a possibility of oprod damage.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:01 AM
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I agree with vonn, ball ammo at pig hunting range should work fine with a solid hit.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:19 AM
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The problem is that commercial ammo has a slower powder than GI M2 so the port pressure remains high for too long. Consequently the op-rod is trying to open the action while there is still enough pressure in the case for it to firmly grip the sides of the chamber. An adjustable plug (Shuster?) or a plug that increases the volume at the gas port is required to guarantee safe operation with commercial ammo. One type bleeds off gas and the other effectively delays the shove on the op-rod.

The Remington semi-auto guns were designed for the commercial ammo of the time, so it is largely a non-issue for those guns.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:15 PM
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I shot my first deer at 20 with an M-1 Garand while stationed at FT Hood, it was DRT and I was one very happy private!!
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:08 PM
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My buddies Dad hunted deer with a M1, he was WW2 infantry.
He did have a fancy stock from the old Herter company and
a scope, GI issue. He shot Remington ammo in it, don't know
what it was, this was back in 60s. He never had any trouble
but he shot less than a box a year. I always thought he was a
glutton for punishment dragging a M1 around the woods. To him
the M1 was the best rifle in the world.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswancutt View Post
First thing I would do, with ANY Garand is go to Orion 7 and order a complete spring package for it.
Here is an exhaustive study of commercial ammo compared to US & Greek M1 ball ammo.
M1 Garand Ammunition and the Ported Gas Plug
I have 3 that get shot regularly......Still running original springs......No problems.....

The only way to shoot factory ammo in the Garand with out possible damage is to install a SHUSTER adjustable gas plug........Install and open it up....Rifle will not cycle......Shoot as you close it till the rifle will cycle.....Hornady & Federal both make Garand specific ammo........

Great article!!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:12 PM
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If it is just a wild pig........
put that ball ammo on the shoulder, and pull the trigger.

I don't see any problems.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:09 PM
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Is FMJ ball ammo legal for hunting in all states?
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:32 PM
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Texas Star, I have several M1 rifles, one of which I shoot a good bit and since I used up my stash of M2 ball a long time ago most of the shooting is with commercial ammunition. I stay in the 150 to 170 grain bullet weight range. I usually carry it on the deer stand and least once or twice a season and I've taken several whitetail deer and a few hogs with it. My favorite ammo is Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain pointed soft point and it works just fine without any feed or op rod issues at all.

I'm not a fan of the Schuster adjustable plug because, well, you have to adjust it and it's a pain in the bohunkus to set up and if you change ammo or bullet weight you have to perform the test shots to make sure you don't need to re-adjust it. I prefer, instead, the so called ported gas plug. All you have to do is exchange it with the regular gas plug and your all set, no hassle, no adjustments, just plug and play.

I bought into the hype about commercial ammo and bent op rods about 20 years ago when I got my first Garand so I bought a couple of spare op rods just in case. I decided to go ahead and shoot select commercial ammo and if I bent an op rod I'd just replace it. Two decades later and after hundreds and hundreds of rounds of commercial ammo those spare op rods are around here somewhere unused still in the wrap. In my experience, if you stay in the 150 to 170 bullet weight range and install the ported gas plug, shooting commercial ammo is not a problem.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Is FMJ ball ammo legal for hunting in all states?
Hunting with FMJ ammo is not legal for hunting game in most states. Hogs, though, are not considered "game" in most states so you can pretty much shoot them with anything in those states where hogs are considered property and not game animals.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
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Is FMJ ball ammo legal for hunting in all states?
No. FMJ is illegal in Washington. Considering all the other expenses incurred going on a hunt if you can afford to go you can afford a box of Remington Core Locked.

The the local club has about eight M-1s that they got from the DCM. Their condition is so good that they'd make a lot of you drool. Before we lost the lease on the outdoor range there was a monthly match in which you could bring your own rifle or shoot the club M-1s with FMJ that came from the CMP. It was an unrecorded casual "fun" match run like a real match except you could fire your scoped AR-15 varmint rifle or what ever you wanted. Technically the old Garands should not have had a chance but I always kicked butt with them. After they get up off the mat not too many guys can shoot worth a hoot.

I have my own as well. Being comfortable with M-1s helped.

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Old 04-14-2017, 12:59 AM
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stay away from the heavy bullet weights, I would stay in the 150gr area of cartridge at normal pressures and speeds, stay away from the super hot stuff

like already mentioned stay with a lead pointed bullet like a core-lock or federal power- point or a hollow point that runs in those velocity's

there are still a lot of older 30-06 rifles in the field and the Garand was shooting the same ammo as the 03 Springfield in ww2 and Korea

so as long as you stay in that class of ammo, I will wish your friend God speed and good hunting
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:33 AM
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Actually a lot of folks who own the winchester 1895 rifle or saddle ring carbine download their ammo in 30-06 because way back when these rifles were new they found out that shooting the 30-06 versions would cause damage to the front of the bolt. And as far as low numbered springfields being fed full power 30-06 loadings either military like lake city m2 ball or heaven forbid commercial 30-06 ammo I was only issued two eyes and two hands. Handloader or rifle magazines once did a very easy test on low numbered 1903 receivers. They whacked the receiver with a large screw driver. Think with the exception of maybe one all failed.
While not a metallurgist it was pointed out the grain structure and how it was changed by actually over heating prior to both Springfield and Rock Island armories installing pyrometers and then going to the double heat treated receivers. So no the low numbered springfields should not be fired. And then there is the single heat treated 1903 bolts which even the CMP say that the low numbered springfields should never be fired with one of the single heat treated bolts in the receiver. I have an 1898 krag and it gets fed remington 180 grain core lokt ammo. Have enough cases now that soon will be shooting cast bullets only. Same for my 1895 Winchester (made in 1915) 30-40 krag. That will only see cast bullets. Frank
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:40 AM
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I'd either get some LCA surplus Military ammo (still available in some places) or PRVI-Partizen current made to LCA specs. Surprisingly the PRVI is really good stuff in my experience.

That said, a Garand is a fine rifle but I would NOT want to lug that heavy sucker through the woods on a hunt!
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:49 AM
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wasn't the early 03's chambered for the 30-03 that is a weaker round than the 30-06?
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:30 AM
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wasn't the early 03's chambered for the 30-03 that is a weaker round than the 30-06?
While that is true all the 1903 rifles chambered for the original .30-03 cartridge were recalled to have their barrels set back and rechambered for .30-06. The few that were not converted are rare collector items. Consequently finding cartridges for them is not a problem for the average Joe. The low serial number Springfields under discussion here were .30-06s. After a tiny number of their receivers failed in the field it was determined that their heat treatment was faulty. During heat treating workers had been judging the temperature by the color of the metal. Pyrometers (high temperature thermostats) were installed and the procedure was changed from a single heating and quenching to a hardening followed by tempering. When low number Springfield 1903s were returned for an arsenal rebuild low number receivers were destroyed. However, there was never a recall of all of them. Many were issued again during WW II. Large numbers of low number Springfield 1903s were sold as surplus to civilians and remain in use. I owned one that had been sporterized into a very attractive hunting rifle. While I only shot cast bullets through it the man I bought it from hunted with it with common factory cartridges and so did the man I sold it to. (I loaned the man I sold it to my copy of Hatcher's Notebook before he bought it so he could make an informed decision.) No doubt the ammo manufacturers' are well aware that some of their .30-06 cartridges will be fired in low number '03s.

Since this is the first time that I've read it I am skeptical about the claim that Model 1895 Winchesters did not hold up to .30-06. However, I'm no expert on Winchesters. The only Model 1895 I reloaded for was my uncles' .35 Winchester. (For those not familiar with it, that is a larger cartridge than the common .35 Remington. It is a necked down .405 Winchester that fired a 250 grain .358" spitzer at 2,400 fps)

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Old 04-14-2017, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
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wasn't the early 03's chambered for the 30-03 that is a weaker round than the 30-06?
The .30-03 could be described as a .30-40 Krag rimless, improved. It used the same 220 grain round nose bullet as the Krag.

In 1905 the Germans brought out their spitzgeschoss, aka pointy bullet. This bullet stayed supersonic to a bit past 1000 meters and allowed volley fire to almost 4000 meters. Militaries around the world were quick to respond. We hurriedly designed the .30-06 with a 150 grain spitzer. The Brits replaced a 215 grain round nose bullet with a 174 grain spitzer to get .303 Mk VII ball. The Russians replaced a 198 grain round nose bullet with a 147 grain spitzer to make Type L 7.62x54R.

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Old 04-14-2017, 09:15 AM
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I use one of the Shuster adj gas plugs on my M1 and like it. I don't shoot a lot of commercial stuff, but I do shoot various headstamped Milsurp '06. I adj'd the plug to allow the rifle to barely kick the brass out of the rifle. Easier on me, the rifle and finding the brass.
A few rounds of Rem commercial following that on day at the range shot about the same with the commercial brass piled around the same point,,maybe just a little further away.
I'd feel comfortable shooting the commercial ammo in it if I wanted to or went hunting with it (but I don't hunt anymore).
The Shuster adjusts quickly anyway, 2 or 3 shots is about all it takes to tame it unless you're real finiky about where you feel comfortable with it. Then it's just a matter of remembering where to clock the allen wrench between settings if you want to change it.

The '95 Win in 30-06 was noted for developing a headspace problem. The face of the bolt would set back allowing the problem, not the bolt assembly itself against the locking lug.
Wether it was from firing readily available '06 military rds in the years after WW1 (and II) as many will say or if it's a design problem with the rifle and that high pressure cartridge,,I won't hazzard a guess.
It did and does happen, you can actually see the set back very easily on the bolt face generally. Maybe some overly generous handloads contributed too, but no one will admit to that!
It's not as common as some articles on it would lead you to think, but it does happen. The new repop 95's don't have any problems with that so I'd think it was a combination of steel, heat treat, design more than anything.
I shoot light loads w/cast bullets or keep jacketed loads on the minimum end for my 95 in '06. It was made in '16 or '17 IIRC, so I owe it some
respect for it's age I guess.

My Low# Sedgley '03 Sporter is a 12gr RedDot shooter only. It doesn't have the glass hard brittle rec'vr, so it most likely went through Sedgleys secret annealing process (set it in a gas flame and let it turn blue).
He did re-case harden many of them in his shop, some were not I guess from the looks of mine.
The Low# recv'rs and other 03 parts he bought from the Gov't were bid on as scrap steel and purchased as such.

As long as they are not the brittle glass hard all the way through structure like a glass coke bottle, I personally will shoot them.
Otherwise,,no. Too many examples around for your viewing pleasure of the jigsaw puzzle pieced guns that let go.

One very nice Low# Sporter built by a well known early 20th century gunsmith (name escapes me right now) recently fragmented at a shoot.
The well documented life of this rifle had been carried with it for multiple decades, carefully handloaded for and logged.
Then one fine day in the middle of a friendly match it just gave it up and shattered into hundreds of pieces at the firing of a shot in the match.
All the usual suspects have been gone over and no outside reason has been found (so-far) that I am aware of for causing the kaboom. Injuries to the shooter, but recovering Ok.
Who knows,,but they do have a history and that cannot be disputed.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:48 PM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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[...] The '95 Win in 30-06 was noted for developing a headspace problem. [...] Maybe some overly generous handloads contributed too, but no one will admit to that! [...]
I watched a .270 Win. Remington Model 700 and a .30-06 Ruger Model 77 get damaged by reloads so without knowing whose loads damaged those Model 95s I do not immediately accept that Winchester sold thousands or (tens of thousands?) of rifles that were not adequately strong for their cartridge. Is this another case of a few damaged guns being made widely known by the internet?

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Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
[...] Sedgley's [...] Low# recv'rs and other 03 parts he bought from the Gov't were bid on as scrap steel and purchased as such. [...]
When I was buying sporterized military bolt rifles Sedgleys were too expensive. That does make the collectors buying Sedgleys look foolish.

By the way, I fired thousands of cast bullets over a little lower charge of Red Dot through an old clunker .308 practicing off hand. I dug my lead out of the back stop and got my Red Dot in partially used large containers from men who had quit reloading shot shells so the practice cost little more than the primers and gas checks.

Last edited by k22fan; 04-14-2017 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:02 PM
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DWalt DWalt is offline
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"Handloader or rifle magazines once did a very easy test on low numbered 1903 receivers. They whacked the receiver with a large screw driver. Think with the exception of maybe one all failed.
While not a metallurgist it was pointed out the grain structure and how it was changed by actually over heating prior to both Springfield and Rock Island armories installing pyrometers and then going to the double heat treated receivers. So no the low numbered springfields should not be fired. And then there is the single heat treated 1903 bolts which even the CMP say that the low numbered springfields should never be fired with one of the single heat treated bolts in the receiver. "


There is enough myth and disinformation about low-number '03s to fill a truck. For the real story, one should read Julian Hatcher's "Hatcher's Notebook," where he lays it all out in considerable detail. In summary, the Army could never find enough evidence of danger to justify pulling the low-numbered '03s out of active service.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:32 PM
Drm50 Drm50 is offline
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One of my favorite rifles is a 95 Win. I use GI match brass and
pulled bullets from a bunch of 1905 -30/40 that I got cheap for
less than cost of bullets. I keep it under 45000psi and have no
problems.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:56 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
[...] The '95 Win in 30-06 was noted for developing a headspace problem. [...] Maybe some overly generous handloads contributed too, but no one will admit to that! [...]

I watched a .270 Win. Remington Model 700 and a .30-06 Ruger Model 77 get damaged by reloads so without knowing whose loads damaged those Model 95s I do not immediately accept that Winchester sold thousands or (tens of thousands?) of rifles that were not adequately strong for their cartridge. Is this another case of a few damaged guns being made widely known by the internet?




The 30=06 cal Win 95 developing headspace problem by bolt face set back was well documented well before Mr Gores invention of the internet came along.
It was discussed and cussed as far back as the 1930's with the experts of the day telling shooters to avoid using Military loaded ammunition in them.
That it happens/happened is not in dispute, you only have to see a number of them to observe the condition. The flat face of the bolt is set back nicely imprinted in the dia of the head of the 06 case.
Soft steel?, Thin bolt face?, there are other opinions too. The locking lug never seems to be disturbed nor the locking surfaces of the bolt itself.

Maybe that WW1 ammo had more to do with the 03's shattering than most give it thought. Lot's of maybe's.

One of the 'fixes' used to be to mill out the face of the bolt for a flanged plug and silver solder it in place in the blind hole. Reface and redrill for firing pin.
Headspace re-established and using what was called a good tool steel (?) the strength of the bolt face was better than the original for the job.

I've seen a couple done that way and they've seemed to survived OK. No telling what has been shot thru them since but the headspace has remained in spec. Most gunsmiths would cringe at such a repair today with liability being what it is, but that was then. Now most would probably look for a replacement bolt but the pluged and refaced bolt works fine. Modern adhesives hold them in place if the silver solder scares people off.

I shoot my 95 in 30-06 and never have had a problem with it. I keep the loads min or near it. That's what I do with all my reloading anyway.

The Sedgley I bought for $500 about 7 yrs ago. I thought it was a good price for one and a nice rifle/I don't see them for less than 1K now.
Shoots very well. I'll take those any day over production line sporters. Just something about them. A Cleveland Arms 03 Sporter on a NM bbld action and a Hoffman Arms 98 Mauser sporter both in 30-06 round out the 06 group (other than the M1). The latter 2 both look like they were stocked by DuBiel and are a real joy to shoot and handle. All are Lyman 48 equipt.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:21 AM
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[QUOTE=2152hq;139555639]Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
[...]
Maybe that WW1 ammo had more to do with the 03's shattering than most give it thought. Lot's of maybe's.
QUOTE]

WW I military 30-06 was loaded with Pyro DG to give the 150 gr 30-06 bullet about 2700 fps. WW II ammo was loaded with IMR 4895 to give the 152 gr M2 bullet the same velocity. 4895 was somewhat slower burning than Pyro DG and pressure was reduced from somewhere around 48,000 CUP to 42,000 CUP (they called it PSI back then). I think this information is in Hatcher's Notebook also.
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