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Old 07-17-2020, 07:06 PM
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This question is only for people that load for older M1s.
The honor guard for the Amvets post I'm a member of is having extreme difficultly with the latest blank rounds they received. I service an maintain all the rifle and this is the problem. The ammo seems to be incorrectly sized for the chambers of the older rifles. Sometimes the ammo won't go into full battery and it gets light strikes and doesn't fire, included in this the last live round sticks in the chamber.
This ammo is supplied free from lake city. My thoughts are to try and run the ammo through a small base 30-06 die with no de-primer pin and see if they will cycle. I'm at a loss here and if this works I might be getting in contact with lake city.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:44 PM
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I've reloaded for M1 Garands for many years, though I've never loaded nor shot blanks in them. That said, a couple of thoughts come to mind;
1. Are the chambers squeeky clean and free of pitting?
2. Do you have any of the previous blanks still available, and do they still chamber and function well?
3. Do you have, or have access to, a cartridge gauge? That might be quicker than trying to resize your cases.
4. Are your recoil springs in good shape?
Just some thoughts off the top of my head. Good luck.

Conrad
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:48 PM
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I would contact the issuing agency to see if they are having a rash of complaints about the ammo. In my personal experience with AMVET or similar M1 Garands is that they are typically worn out and poorly maintained - as in they have received zero maintenance for many years. Without a hands-on examination of the rifles, it is impossible to troubleshoot them. You could try running a few rounds into a stripped small base sizing die, but I would start with a small quantity then test fire them.

I expect that your problem is more likely gun-related, than ammo-related.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:25 PM
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Several questions for you....Is the ammo really Lake City which has the red wax looking tip or then current run from Brazil that have the star crimp which are VERY anemic?

If the ammo is the star crimp casing did the post change the blank firing adapters for the new ammo?

If not, there lies some of your problem, then make sure you get an actual .30 cal M1 Garand chamber brush and clean the chambers. GI Bore Cleaner is great if you have any, otherwise good old Hoppe's #9 will do a bang up job for you

Both styles of blank ammo are very dirty and need to have the chambers cleaned much more often than firing M2 ball ammo. The star crimped ammo seems much dirtier to me...

Lastly, will a round of real M2 Ball chamber properly? If so, then your idea of re-sizing the blank casings has merit.

Like you, I am also the armorer for the American Legion Post 4 here in Billings.

Feel free to PM me and am happy to lend a hand on what I have learned.

Randy

PS. See if one of the cartridges that won't chamber in the M1 will chamber in a 1903.....most posts still have some of them for ceremonial flag presentations.

If the post doesn't have one, maybe you or another post member will have a commercial 30-06 rifle to check it out.

Any possibility that you have a case gauge for 30-06 or access to one? They are invaluable for this sort of problem.

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Old 07-18-2020, 09:16 AM
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I'll try and address as many of the questions and comments in a single post.

The previous batch of blanks had no issues.
Other posts are reporting the same issues.
Yes the guns are well cleaned and maintained I'm the one who does that.
I've replace all the older style blank adapters with newer "POPS"
style.
Now here's the rub, I do have a case gauge and the ammo seems to be in spec. I though maybe on the not going into battery it might be user error so I asked if they might be easing the bolt forward rather then letting travel on it's own.
The captain of the team said he loads all the rifles and lets the bolt full travel.
I don't have any appropriate live ball ammo to test them with but I could get some.
This is getting frustrating and I'm at a loss trying to figure this out that's the reason I tought to try the small base die..oh and yes it's lake city ammo.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:23 AM
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Our guys were constantly "checking" the chamber to ensure that there was a round and then easing the op rod forward ....not always in battery, so I understand your problem on that.

I had to tell the guys on a service yesterday that if they are going to chamber check the rifle, to be sure to let the op rod spring snap it back into battery or bop the op rod handle briskly to make sure that it IS in battery.

Randy

PS. In our latest batch of ammo we are finding many rounds badly bent or dented from the factory rendering them useless. This MIGHT be a culprit for you as well.
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Old 07-18-2020, 09:57 AM
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Randy I'm going back to the post today and pick up a 100 rounds of the new blanks, I've already ordered a small base die and I'll give that a try.
The post commander said that lake city was contacted about the issue but were non-responsive.
I'm not personally on the honor guard, just the armorer. I was there yesterday to return one of the M1s that was misbehaving.
When they got back the honor guard was pretty frustrated. They still had the two rounds that didn't fire due to light strikes so I loaded a clip with those two rounds at the top and went behind the building to test them. Both fired fine but the live round left in the chamber still stuck and I had to do the mortar maneuver to get it out.
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:04 AM
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Blank ammo is notorious for fouling everything in a garand. Almost like using black powder.
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:21 AM
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Blank ammo is notorious for fouling everything in a garand. Almost like using black powder.
This is absolutely true. When I first started servicing these rifles for the honor guard they were in horrible shape and most were non-functioning.
I got them calling me when 100 rounds have been fired per-gun and even then the cleaning patches come out as black as coal.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:05 PM
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Any time there is a fit problem, measure. Measure an offending round and find out why it isn't chambering. Check body diameter in a few places and even check the neck diameter (I had a few fired blank cases given me that had a hefty crimp on the neck which could possibly alter the shape of the neck impeding chambering, I didn't reload them, I tossed them).Then you can decide the proper fix. My first thought was using a standard F/L sizing die w/o decapping stem. I have never needed a "small base" sizing die for my Garand...
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:39 PM
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Any time there is a fit problem, measure. Measure an offending round and find out why it isn't chambering. Check body diameter in a few places and even check the neck diameter (I had a few fired blank cases given me that had a hefty crimp on the neck which could possibly alter the shape of the neck impeding chambering, I didn't reload them, I tossed them).Then you can decide the proper fix. My first thought was using a standard F/L sizing die w/o decapping stem. I have never needed a "small base" sizing die for my Garand...
I sort of tried what your saying by sizing some standard fired 30-06 brass, after being sized with a regular die they would not chamber in one of the M1s I had in the shop.
I pick up 3 more rifles today and will be working with them next week.
I had a de-milled M14 a few years ago that wouldn't chamber any load made with standard dies, when I switched to small base they worked fine.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:16 PM
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Hi Andy!

This will be a little round-a-bout, but please bear with me.

Back in the early '90s when I transitioned from an '03A3 to an M1MKII, I had a problem where my Garand would eject the en bloc clip and round #8 after firing round #7. My gunsmith (who had been weened on the Garand) and I spent a number of summer Sunday afternoons trying to determine what was wrong, with little success. Then I happened to be shooting a Regional Match at Quantico when I struck up a conversation with on older Warrant Officer assigned to the Weapons Training Battalion and he educated me on trouble shooting problems with the Garand, telling me that the most likely culprit for a Garand malfunction was a worn "nub" on the bullet guide. I was then walked over to the armorer's van, had my guide replaced, and shown by an armorer how to enlarge a worn "nub".

The easiest way to check the timing without a timing gauge (which indicates a worn bullet guide) is to insert a fully loaded en bloc clip (you can get away with either blanks or dummy rounds) into the magazine well. If the bolt/op rod release to go into battery before the full clip is seated, the bullet guide is worn out of spec.

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:57 PM
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Hi Andy!

This will be a little round-a-bout, but please bear with me.

Back in the early '90s when I transitioned from an '03A3 to an M1MKII, I had a problem where my Garand would eject the en bloc clip and round #8 after firing round #7. My gunsmith (who had been weened on the Garand) and I spent a number of summer Sunday afternoons trying to determine what was wrong, with little success. Then I happened to be shooting a Regional Match at Quantico when I struck up a conversation with on older Warrant Officer assigned to the Weapons Training Battalion and he educated me on trouble shooting problems with the Garand, telling me that the most likely culprit for a Garand malfunction was a worn "nub" on the bullet guide. I was then walked over to the armorer's van, had my guide replaced, and shown by an armorer how to enlarge a worn "nub".

The easiest way to check the timing without a timing gauge (which indicates a worn bullet guide) is to insert a fully loaded en bloc clip (you can get away with either blanks or dummy rounds) into the magazine well. If the bolt/op rod release to go into battery before the full clip is seated, the bullet guide is worn out of spec.

Hope this helps!
Thank you I will try that and try not to get M1 thumb in the process...
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:10 PM
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Andy, the best method that I used to avoid M1 thumb for the almost the years that I shot the M1 in NRA matches, was to ride my thumb on the top cartridges using the pinky side of my hand to "trip" the op rod, then brought my hand up like you would when executing a "smart salute". This method saved me from the dreaded" M1 thumb" for ten years with my Garand and six with my M1A!
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:16 PM
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Andy,
Have you learned anything from the rounds you have and the rifles?

Please let us know your findings where you learn the REAL problem....

Randy
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:10 AM
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Andy,
Have you learned anything from the rounds you have and the rifles?

Please let us know your findings where you learn the REAL problem....

Randy
Randy as of now I'm still leaning towards a ammo issue. I have three of the M1s in the shop right now for service and cleaning and will check all the specs but I doubt there will be any problems.
When I picked up these rifles I also got a 100 rounds of the lake city blanks. The small base die should be in the mail today so that's my next task plus I'll focus on super cleaning the chambers.
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:40 AM
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Since our post honor guard is extremely busy with funerals, the rifles are subjected to harsh use and extremely dirty rifles. The honor guard, captain, does have a cleaning sessions but not the regiment cleaning with time constraints. We have had the same problems with miss fires but I can attest to the biggest culprit is dirty chambers, bores and bolts. So far, with proper cleaning, we have not had any issues. We use the same ammo from Lake city and have not had a problem. Try and give the rifles a good cleaning to start off and if that does not work, you may have to isolate the problems as the other members have suggested.

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Old 07-21-2020, 11:10 AM
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Since our post honor guard is extremely busy with funerals, the rifles are subjected to harsh use and extremely dirty rifles. The honor guard, captain, does have a cleaning sessions but not the regiment cleaning with time constraints. We have had the same problems with miss fires but I can attest to the biggest culprit is dirty chambers, bores and bolts. So far, with proper cleaning, we have not had any issues. We use the same ammo from Lake city and have not had a problem. Try and give the rifles a good cleaning to start off and if that does not work, you may have to isolate the problems as the other members have suggested.

Nick


I've gotten the honor guard to call me when they have fired 100 rounds and no more before cleaning. I normally pick up the rifles on Friday and return them the following Friday 3 at a time.
So I have plenty of time to do a complete take down and cleaning. However I haven't really done a in-depth scrubbing of the chambers just a normal brushing and swapping. I'm using a "Dewey" ratcheting brush on the chambers. I don't have a bore scope so I really can't see the chambers that well, I might buy a dental mirror to have a better look inside.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:15 AM
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Andy, forgive me if you are experienced with this Honor Guard Unit and their guns, but I have a couple of dumb questions to ask?

First, I have to ask about the configuration of the rifles? Many Honor Guard Rifles are incapable of shooting standard ammunition, since they use blank only Ceremonial, Caliber .30, M1s. The rifles are permanently altered to function as a repeater and will not automatically eject the brass, so operator has to reload manually.

Second, what caliber are the Guard rifles? Some Guard units are using 308 M1s, so 30-06 will not chamber.
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Old 07-21-2020, 11:35 AM
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Andy, forgive me if you are experienced with this Honor Guard Unit and their guns, but I have a couple of dumb questions to ask?

First, I have to ask about the configuration of the rifles? Many Honor Guard Rifles are incapable of shooting standard ammunition, since they use blank only Ceremonial, Caliber .30, M1s. The rifles are permanently altered to function as a repeater and will not automatically eject the brass, so operator has to reload manually.

Second, what caliber are the Guard rifles? Some Guard units are using 308 M1s, so 30-06 will not chamber.
No need to apologize. The rifles are all 30-06 M1 Garand's ranging from 1942 to 1956. The rifles are all capable of firing live ammo if the blank adapters were remove.
I keep a pretty extensive supply of parts in my shop for these rifles, including one spare rebuilt op-rod for the rifles with worn lugs. I donate all the time and parts to the honor guard at no cost.
A few weeks back the post Commander was going to list my name on the board as post Armorer I asked him to please not to do that. I told him I didn't want everyone coming to me asking to have their firearms worked on. I am a trained gunsmith but I only work on guns anymore for friends and family, plus the post.
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:10 PM
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. . . The ammo is supplied free from lake city. My thoughts are to try and run the ammo through a small base 30-06 die with no de-primer pin and see if they will cycle. I'm at a loss here and if this works I might be getting in contact with lake city.
OK, not caliber or configuration issue. How about comparing the measurements to a SAAMI standards using a micrometer to see if the case is correct? I have a tight chambered Model 1903 Springfield that I have to partially resize some cartridges in order for them to fully chamber. I believe my problem is the neck diameter is slightly large after seating the bullet, which could happen with a crimped case?? I set the decapping die, without the decapper and keep trying a round, resetting the die lower until the round easily chambers in the gun, then just run the rest. I hesitate to do a full resize just in case I get a case stuck in the resizing die. Not sure how one would handle cleaning out a loaded round from a die??
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Old 07-21-2020, 02:29 PM
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OK, not caliber or configuration issue. How about comparing the measurements to a SAAMI standards using a micrometer to see if the case is correct? I have a tight chambered Model 1903 Springfield that I have to partially resize some cartridges in order for them to fully chamber. I believe my problem is the neck diameter is slightly large after seating the bullet, which could happen with a crimped case?? I set the decapping die, without the decapper and keep trying a round, resetting the die lower until the round easily chambers in the gun, then just run the rest. I hesitate to do a full resize just in case I get a case stuck in the resizing die. Not sure how one would handle cleaning out a loaded round from a die??
I haven't check the specs on the ammo yet, I have some of the older ammo that worked just fine it's a 2014 batch. The offending batch is from 2018.
The stuck live round in a die would be tricky.
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:39 PM
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Somebody must own a commercial chambered 30-06 bolt rifle..you can check multiple rounds, or all of it,, of the LC blank ammo and see if it chambers,,or not.

If it does,,you've removed the idea that the ammo is out of spec.

I'd then look at the M1 rifles chambers.

I would think from the descriptions of the blank ammo used and how 'dirty' it is that the ammo is leaving a substantial layer of fouling on the walls of the chamber to build up.
Carbon deposits or what ever fouling it may be, something on the order of the carbon that can build up in the gas system/piston face when standard ammo is used.
In that case it takes a lot of rounds to build up to the point of being a thickness that needs to be scraped to be removed.
But the blanks seems to be so much more capable of layering the chamber with a deposit that would quickly change the spec(s) of the chamber in some manner so a blank cartridge wouldn't chamber properly,
It only takes a few .000 build up to do that.

If the deposits are as hard as to need a scraping to remove them, then a brushing and wipe during cleaning time isn't going to do the job in restoring the chamber to a clean state.

Boiling water treatment?,,something like the Outers Foul-Out bore/chamber cleaner?,,do they make a carbon/fouling remover reamer for the 30-06 like they make (made?) for the .22LR?

If you resize the LC Blanks in a small base die and they do chamber OK,,I think that's telling you that you have a carbon deposit build up in the M1 chamber(s) near the base.
Resizing smaller than spec is just avoiding that buildup. But as the buildup increases,,the amt the die resizes the case down will not be enough and the problem will come back.

Just my thoughts..
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:22 AM
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They do make a finish reamer for 30-06 and that's not a bad idea but I'm not sure how you would go about turning the reamer in a M1, maybe be a ratchet of some sort.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:48 AM
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I have another maybe dumb question. Since these are running so dirty, how often is the gas system, piston, etc. cleaned?
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:36 AM
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I clean and service the entire rifle every 100 rounds. Technically there isn't a 'piston" the op rod serves that roll along with actuating the bolt to remove spent cases.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:00 AM
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You’re right. I mis-spoke.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:05 AM
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This was happening with the other adapters too?
Old blanks + old adapters worked ok.
New blanks + new adapters and it’s not. Do I have that right?
If so, it would appear the problem lies with one of those two items.
I know I’m not helping much and that’s about the limit of my sleuthing
P.S. thanks for helping them out. Worthy cause, for sure
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:54 AM
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Our post has used the following blank ammo as seen in the pictures,

The red tip uncrimped ammo is from Lake City and WRA and when used with the OLD Blank adapters ran very well, cycling the op rod with no problems and NO failure to fire.

The Lake City 12-13 is crimped and requires the NEW blank firing adapter, they are very anemic and will not reliably cycle in guns with the OLD adapter, they are marginal at best even WITH the new adapters. This ammo is also subject to primers not detonating when struck.

The red tipped un-crimped ammo from LC and WRA require the OLD blank firing adapter and usually ran without issue. Unless your post does very few services this ammo is pretty well used up and gone.

As you can see in the pictures attached the Lake City is frequently damaged in manufacture. Often as many as 1 per box

When the M1's are properly cleaned and lubed, if there is a malfunction it is usually in the ammo.. This assumes that all parts are in good order and not worn out.

The CBC is also a 6 star crimp with white sealant requiring the NEW adapter and is even more anemic than the LC. In MY opinion the worst of the lot....

Hope that helps ......

Randy
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M1 Garand-blank-ammo-30-06-001-jpg   M1 Garand-blank-ammo-30-06-003-jpg   M1 Garand-blank-ammo-30-06-004-jpg   M1 Garand-blank-ammo-30-06-006-jpg   M1 Garand-blank-ammo-30-06-007-jpg  


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Old 07-23-2020, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessie View Post
This was happening with the other adapters too?
Old blanks + old adapters worked ok.
New blanks + new adapters and it’s not. Do I have that right?
If so, it would appear the problem lies with one of those two items.
I know I’m not helping much and that’s about the limit of my sleuthing
P.S. thanks for helping them out. Worthy cause, for sure
The problem started with the new batch of ammo, the adapters are the newer POPs style but I replace the older ones several years ago.
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Old 07-23-2020, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by growr View Post
Our post has used the following blank ammo as seen in the pictures,

The red tip uncrimped ammo is from Lake City and WRA and when used with the OLD Blank adapters ran very well, cycling the op rod with no problems and NO failure to fire.

The Lake City 12-13 is crimped and requires the NEW blank firing adapter, they are very anemic and will not reliably cycle in guns with the OLD adapter, they are marginal at best even WITH the new adapters. This ammo is also subject to primers not detonating when struck.

The red tipped un-crimped ammo from LC and WRA require the OLD blank firing adapter and usually ran without issue. Unless your post does very few services this ammo is pretty well used up and gone.

As you can see in the pictures attached the Lake City is frequently damaged in manufacture. Often as many as 1 per box

When the M1's are properly cleaned and lubed, if there is a malfunction it is usually in the ammo.. This assumes that all parts are in good order and not worn out.

The CBC is also a 6 star crimp with white sealant requiring the NEW adapter and is even more anemic than the LC. In MY opinion the worst of the lot....

Hope that helps ......

Randy
When I replace the old style adapters is was more a issue of safety then function. As the barrel threads start to erode do to flame cutting the old style would sometimes be shot off the rifle which isn't safe. Even chasing the threads wasn't enough to keep some of them in place.

The ammo since I started servicing the rifles has been the crimped type not the wad type.

Here are the two different types of adapters. The older style is barely held in place and if the treads are weak off they go.
Newer style is held on in two places and short of a live round being fired it would be nearly impossible to shoot one off the rifle.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:58 AM
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As long as we are discussing the M1 Garand in ceremonial use, I might also mention that many well meaning armorers tighten the front hand guard too tight therefore making the orifice out of the barrel going into the orifice in the gas cylinder out of alignment which means the op rod is NOT getting the full benefit of the gasses needed to fully cycle the op rod.

I was taught that the thickness of a credit card between the rear of the front hand guard and the band that it fits into does the trick, or you can take a flash light and visually make sure that they are in proper alignment and then tighten the blank firing adapter.

With the anemic ammo being sent out, these rifles need all the help they can get to run as they should.

Randy
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:43 AM
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I don't really measure that distance I just hand tighten the adapter and back it up to downward position. Here's a photo of the last one I serviced today, I'll be returning them tomorrow. This is the oldest one they have from 1942 it still has the early style milled trigger guard.

First photo show's hand tight, second backed up to the downward position.
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Old 07-23-2020, 11:56 AM
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Hope you find the root cause of your problem....I still believe that it is in the less than stellar ammo being issued.

Seems like you understood my concern of BFA's being overtightened....just used a different approach.

Randy
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Old 07-23-2020, 12:10 PM
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I remember the red-cardboard-disk blank ammo from my high school ROTC days in the mid-1950s. We used those rounds often in manually-operated M1s and in 1903A3 drill rifles.

I remember that we received safety instructions not to ever fire a rifle with blanks at others, such as in mock battles. The old Army master sergeant who was our high school's commandant of cadets did a routine demonstration. He loaded a blank into the chamber of an M1, closed the bolt and put the butt on the ground with the rifle oriented straight up and down. He then pressed an empty M1 clip down over the muzzle and gas cylinder so the base of the clip's indented "bullseye" was directly over the muzzle.

He then fired this arrangement and the clip was propelled about 30 feet into the air. It was impressive! Those blanks did pack a punch, for sure.

By the way, the red-capped blanks were routinely loaded from "reject" cases, but I have successfully reloaded those fired cases with proper bullets, and they worked just fine.

John
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:13 PM
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If a finish reamer is required to clean the chambers I understand that it is turned from the bore end via a long rod.

Similar to reaming a revolver forcing cone from the barrel end.

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Old 07-23-2020, 01:18 PM
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Do you have a Standard Issue M1 Garand or a Camp Perry National Match one. My National Match has a tight chamber and much of the free US Government Ball ammo that I would get would not chamber, but the National Match Rounds would. You may need a small base die. Wilson, Foster or Whidden might even make you a die that would size the case without touching anything else on it other than the neck and body since you are talking about blanks with no projectiles.

Bob
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:29 PM
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Do you have a Standard Issue M1 Garand or a Camp Perry National Match one. My National Match has a tight chamber and much of the free US Government Ball ammo that I would get would not chamber, but the National Match Rounds would. You may need a small base die. Wilson, Foster or Whidden might even make you a die that would size the case without touching anything else on it other than the neck and body since you are talking about blanks with no projectiles.

Bob
These are all standard issue rifles, but I have no idea if the barrels are original, most likely not plus the stocks are way to nice of wood to be a field grade rifle.
I've already gotten a small base die and ran a 100 rounds of the blanks through it and will return them along with the 3 rifles I serviced tomorrow. I'll ask the Captain of the guard to use them first to see if there's a improvement.
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