View Full Version : m1 garand and factory ammo...

September 12, 2009, 11:52 AM
i hope this hasent been beat to death here, but i tried a search and came up with very little info. i was wondering if there were any m1 gurus out there that could help me out with a little cunumdrom....

i already know that the m1 garand gas system is made to work with period ammo. now, i think that that ammo was loaded to around 2700-2800 fps. i have been shooting boxes of federal 150 grain soft points bought from walmart. they shoot like a house a fire in my rifle. i am able to achieve 2" groups with it at 100 yards if i do my part. and thats with a not so lovable bore. this ammo is also cery inexpensive. at under 14 bucks a box!
my question is this, will shooting this ammo destroy my garand? i cant think that this ammo is loaded really hot, as i have had not one problem with the hundred or so rounds i have put down range. i know that the gas system is the weak point of the system. does anyone know if the pressures form the federal round is detrimental to the gas system on my garand? do you think that someone at federal would be able to answer this for me? just figured i would ask here first.

thanks for the help, and thank you for welcoming me to this forum. seems like a nice place to visit. brian

September 12, 2009, 12:06 PM
It isn't the velocity that is the problem, it is the burn rate of the powder used and the shape of the pressure curve.

I believe the only commercial ammo suited for the M1 is the Federal/American Eagle that says "For M1 Garand" on the box.

I did see claims that the PMC FMJ stuff was M1 friendly, but they don't seem to make it any more.

September 12, 2009, 12:17 PM
The issue is that modern powder, as mentioned above, is different

While you may not damage the M1 on the first shot, 100th shot, or 10,000th shot, you are damaging the gas system using most commercial loads

When I cannot get any more M2 ball for my own M1, I'm going to get an adjustable gas plug. This may be worth checking into, Brian

.300 Weatherby Mag
September 12, 2009, 12:17 PM

Hornady has an M1 offering too...

Flatbush Harry
September 12, 2009, 02:48 PM
Get an adjustable gas plug, manufactured by either Schuster or McCann Industries, from Brownell's or Midway. Install and adjust as per the instructions with the ammo you want to use, and you're good to go with any commercial ammo except for the light magnum stuff. Note that with the adjustable gas port fully open, the Garand works as a single shot rifle.

As to the choice of bullets, I don't use soft points as the soft points tend to deform as they cycle into the chamber. That said, FMJ ammo is inappropriate for hunting so you may want to use the Garand in single shot mode with appropriate hunting bullets.

ChrisB and Emcon5 are correct in noting the sensitivity of the Garand action to the pressure curve generated by the propellant used in the cartridge used. The rifle action was designed to work properly with M1 and, later, M2 Ball .30-06 ammunition. M2 Ball is still available from the CMP and, as noted, Hornady produces match loads for the Garand. If you reload, the Hornady manual has loads specifically developed for the Garand.

Good luck, and shoot safely,


September 14, 2009, 03:35 PM
If you don't reload and cant get M2 ball mil-surp ammo buy the adjustable gas plug. End of story....

September 14, 2009, 03:38 PM
The Hornady and Fed Garand ammo is great but...at $20-$30 a box you pay for your gas plug in 2 boxes worth and never worry again. I have shot 2K rounds through an M1 in the last year. Have an adjustable plug on my main gun and have had 0 troubles.

September 14, 2009, 03:51 PM
Gas system? Well I don't think it is precisely the "gas system", more like the operating rod is long and thin and I thought the problem was perhaps bending the op rod out of shape?

September 14, 2009, 03:54 PM


September 14, 2009, 04:01 PM
If you stick to loads that are similar to m2 you will never have a problem. Bullet weights are the key to look for. The M1 was designed to shoot 150 gr. slugs at 2800 FPS. It will shoot 150- 168 gr. at 2800- 2600 FPS forever without damaging the system. Any hot load can bend the Operating rod, and heavy bullets will change the pressure curve to be outside the tolerances. I re-load my own and use the recommended powders with 150-168 gr. bullets.

With a rifle tuned for the optimum load, you can expect great accuracy. I consistently get 1 MOA with mine. MOA = 1.047" group size at 100 yd. If I have a good day, I can get sub MOA. Don't worry overmuch about damaging the rifle, they are built to be rugged and to function in all types of conditions. The M1 Garand is NOT fragile and neither is the gas system. Unlike the m16-M4 rifles cleaning and fouling is not a problem. Misfires and malfunctions can happen, but are not common.

September 14, 2009, 06:20 PM
Gas system? Well I don't think it is precisely the "gas system", more like the operating rod is long and thin and I thought the problem was perhaps bending the op rod out of shape?

Don't know what this is being put under a microscope. The oprod is a part of the gas operating system. If it's damaged then by definition the gas system has suffered damage. I was just speaking generally, Tom.

September 14, 2009, 09:13 PM
+1 on the Op Rod.

Get a Schuster Plug.

Lots of knowledge over at www.odcmp.com. Good folks too.

September 15, 2009, 07:07 AM
Used to be, the Winchester USA (147gr WWB) and Remington-UMC (150gr) loads were ok as well, as was the American Eagle. And, of course, the CMP (http://www.thecmp.org/ammosales.htm) still has ammo, although not sure how much longer. Downside to CMP ammo is it "attracts a magnet". Your range can tell you if that matters.


September 15, 2009, 09:18 AM
This has been discussed at great length in past threads. It is not only bullet weight and velocity but as much burn rate of some modern powders. As recommended in the past...Why take a chance with your pride and joy? Either reload, buy the Fed Garand or Hornady Garand or CMP surplus or get an adjustable plug.

September 15, 2009, 10:36 AM
I bit the bullet, so to speak, and bought 40 rounds of the Federal .30-06 made for the M1. (I'm still slapping my head about forgetting to order surplus M2 ball from the CMP when I ordered my Garand!).

Anyway, FWIW, it shoots nicely and accurately.

I've got the Schuster adjustable gas plug to install - just waiting to clean the stock a bit more before I install it.

And, yeah, to add to what most folks have said: shoot surplus or M1 specific factory loads, hand load, or install the adjustable plug. No sense in tempting fate.

September 15, 2009, 10:41 AM
brian, to get the best control over your rifle's cycling you'll want to eventually begin to handload/reload the brass you're shooting now.

As you can see, ammo manufacturers have every liberty to change the recipe of their particular .30-06 recipes.

When you choose the primer/powder/bullet/case and the method of construction, you end up with precise control over the pressure of the round when it goes off, the burn rate as it goes down the barrel, and the velocity of the bullet when it leaves the barrel.

And you can load it for a LOT less money than the stuff that comes in pretty boxes at the store.

September 16, 2009, 09:22 AM
I thought I was going to save at least half on reloading but ended up shooting three times as much! :D Love every minute too

September 16, 2009, 09:29 AM
Yes, If you started reloading you find yourself enjoying shooting just that much more as well. It is satisfying when you pull a sub MOA target at 100 yds and realize "you" produced that ammo. Puts another dimension to your range trips.