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Old September 23, 2002, 11:21 PM   #1
Westicle
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M1 Garand goes KABOOM!!

happened to a friend of mine that lives local to me, so this is not third hand information. My friend was trying to get into reloading and traded a guy for a Lee Hand Press with 30-06 dies, went to the local gun store and bought some powder on the advice of the guy behind the counter who also gave him a good load to start with .

Here is what he Loaded,

52 grains of Winchester 296 powder into once fired 30-06 brass, bullet was 180gr Hornady SP.

The results are in the picture Below, the shiny bent up things up top are the remaining cartridges that where in the enbloc clip..... the first round fired was the only one used.

As you can see the stock was disintegrated and the reciever was cracked, also the trigger module was blown out of the rifle and the attachment point was sheared off. The bolt was found in two pieces with the firing pin being blown right clear of it. My friend suffered minor injuries and the worst was picking the splinters out of his face. The fired case is still in the rifle but the case head is obviously blown right off.

Rifle was a Springfield M1D Garand Circa 1942, not sure if the barrel was orig. or not but it was well used, a 30-06 bullet would fit into the muzzle clear down to the brass.

Morale of the story is to check it twice and then stand back and check it again..... the store should have sold him win. 760 powder which a 52 grain load is appropriate for. the only rifle load we could find in the reloading books after the accident for 296 was for a 30-30 winchester which max load took 18.7 grains of powder.
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Old September 23, 2002, 11:34 PM   #2
Steve Smith
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Thanks for posting this, Westicle. This is just another example of why you should ALWAYS check, check, and recheck your loads before trying anyting.

52 grains of W296...Jesus.
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Old September 23, 2002, 11:36 PM   #3
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They say that God looks out for fools and drunks ........... I take it he was not drinking so that leaves one option to fit that saying.


Sorry if I sound rough but ANYONE that does not read, research, pry, probe, study Etc. when undertaking something that can have disastrous results, and reloading IS one of them, gets what he deserves. 52 grains of 296 !!!!!!!!!!!! Why hell its a wonder that fine old M-1 is not in even MORE pieces.

Oh by the way 760 is a bit too much of a slow burning powder, specially with a 180 grain bullet for the Garand. May bend an op rod or at the very least give violent ejection. 760 is about the equivlent of H-414. (NOT to be interchanged with H-414)
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Old September 24, 2002, 01:23 AM   #4
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Gonna hafta shoot .22 rimfire for years to get over that flinch he has now.
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Old September 24, 2002, 01:27 AM   #5
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I am glad to hear your friend came out of the experience relatively well. He is fortunate to be impaled only by wood fragments. Could have been much worse.

Seeing the pic gave me chills. It is a good reminder of just how dangerous handloading can be when it is not done according to the rules.

I am reminded of a play on an old addage I heard today from a man who has been sitting beside me at the bench for a few weeks to "learn the ropes." He was having fun with the definition of "assume" (you know- you make "x" out of "U" and "ME"). Applying this to reloading, he correctly observed, "When you assume, you blow the (posterior region) off "U" and "ME"

Nate
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Old September 24, 2002, 05:49 AM   #6
stans
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Quote:
on the advice of the guy behind the counter who also gave him a good load to start with. Here is what he Loaded, 52 grains of Winchester 296 powder into once fired 30-06 brass, bullet was 180gr Hornady SP.
Well a couple of things spring to my mind. First, never take someone's word on safe loadings. Always check at least two reloading manuals. Since your friend just bought his reloading equipment and used a heavy charge of pistol powder, I would say he never read a reloading manual.

Second, the 180 grain bullet is not generally used in the Garand.

Third, the "guy behind the counter" is giving out lethal advice. Are you sure the guy did not say Winchester 748? If he really advised 52 grains of W-296, he should be made to sit behind a rifle loaded with his recommendation!
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:04 AM   #7
Mal H
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52 grains of W296 in a 30-06!

Frankly, the M1 is in a lot fewer pieces than I expected to see in the picture.

I'm afraid your friend is as much to blame if not more so than the guy behind the counter.
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:17 AM   #8
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Personally I would never load with out consulting at least two reliable published manuals (lyman, Speer, Hornady)

I would take the gun in to show your friendly gunstore reloading Ninja. Just so he does not make any recommendations to customers in the future. I would also let the store manager know that the only reloading advice they should give is:

"Buy the Lyman, Hornady, Speer manual (or whatever manuals thay sell), we dont give advice on loads"

"Only load acording to the manual"

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Old September 24, 2002, 08:23 AM   #9
Westicle
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grumpy this morning.... NEED A GOOD CUP OF TEA
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Last edited by Westicle; September 24, 2002 at 08:53 AM.
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:30 AM   #10
Mal H
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I'm sorry Westicle, just what exactly should we have said about your friends actions? What did you say to him when you found out about the mistake?
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:38 AM   #11
Westicle
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I said much the same thing, just seeing it repeated 30 times is kinda goofy..... sure you guys do that now but this was his first foray into handloading, his first round as a matter of fact.... did he screw up ? YES, now lets get over it.
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:40 AM   #12
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I appreciate you showing what happened Westicle, but I will stand by EVERY word I posted!

Being a new reloader is ANOTHER reason he should have done just as I said (read, research, pry, probe, study Etc.) before he even BOUGHT POWDER, let alone reloaded any rounds!

Let's face it..............does one go to the airport and ask the man behind the counter "say how do you fly that B-747 parked out there? Oh ok and then proceed out and fly it? I don't THINK so. Reloading is the same..................only difference is with reloading you can just kill yourself and maybe someone standing near you.............a 747 can kill tons of people. Sorry but that's the way it is.

It is a persons responsibility to get training, read, study etc. before undertaking something like reloading. Asking a "man behind the counter" does not qualify..................as he found out. The one good thing is he was not hurt bad and if he does continue to reload I guess he learned a valuable (but painful lesson). The lesson could have been learned a lot less painfully by the application of some common snese!
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:41 AM   #13
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An M-1 Garand is not just a 30-06, it's a gas operated 30-06 and requires a specific pressure curve to run correctly. IMR-4895 is the correct powder with IMR-4064 being okay in some loads. W-296 isn't even close to being correct for an M-1 gas system. I won't comment on filling the case.

52 gr of W-760 may be a good 30-06 bolt gun load, but it may be too slow for an M-1 gas system and may spike the gas port to high -- don't really know. Too high a pressure at the gas prt and you could bend the op-rod -- not as impressive as blowing up the receiver, but still puts the gun out of commission until the op-rod is replaced. I've got six M-1 Garands and I don't experiment with loads. I've got so much USGI ammo on hand I don't reload 30-06 at all.

So how did the op-rod and gas cylinder fare? Are they intact? Were they affected at all? I'm betting the pressure didn't reach to far down the barrel. From the photo it doesn't look like the op-rod even moved. There may be some salvagable parts after all.
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:50 AM   #14
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Not sure who should be pounded more, the guy who gave the advice or the guy who took it without double or triple checking the info...

I try to get at least three sources who agree on the info before I use it. Maybe thats why I've never KB'd a gun in about 30+ yrs of reloading.

Check.
Recheck.
Recheck.
Proceed with caution...
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Old September 24, 2002, 08:52 AM   #15
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Thanks for posting this. It is a sobering reminder of the dangers inherent in our hobby. Glad to see that no one was seriously hurt.
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Old September 24, 2002, 09:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Gonna hafta shoot .22 rimfire for years to get over that flinch he has now.
I think I'M going to have to shoot .22s to get over MY flinch from seeing that picture!

Just to look on the bright side: at least it wasn't Bullseye. Westicle's friend would be a bright red smear in that case.
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Old September 24, 2002, 01:23 PM   #17
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My god 52 gr of WIN 296 in 30=06 The advice the guy in the gun store gave is criminal .
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Old September 24, 2002, 02:15 PM   #18
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Westicle,

Not to beat up on this any more, but things do need to be said. Your friend needs to go to that idiot that recommended what is basically a pistol powder and demand some satisfaction. Anyone who knows anything about the 30.06 for the Garand knows that a medium speed powder is called for 4895, 2520, RL15 to name a few. W296 is best used for handgun magnum charges. I heard once that Winchester uses this powder in all their pistol ammo, but couldn't prove it by me.

The point is the guy who told your friend to use this powder needs to be shut up before he gets someone killed. I really wish that people who don't know what they are talking about keep their pie holes closed.

I'm glad your friend is alright.
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Old September 24, 2002, 02:56 PM   #19
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In 1967 I was en route from San Franscisco to Lafayette, La. when my checked baggage got left on the plane at the old Houston Hobby airport. I filed the claim with National Air Lines and checked in with the old Trans Texas Air Lines for the Lafayette flight and then ventured to the snack bar (it was before noon and the lounge was not open yet ). As I was eating breakfast a man begin a conversation with me and asked "how is it going Sgt.?" I told him OK if National finds my lost baggage and ships it to my home................a lot of my reloading equipment is in the baggage. He started laughing and was telling me about a friend of his. He bought a Lee Loader (30-06)and READ the directions and FOLLOWED them. When he charged the case he though "that lil dipper don't hold enough powder" The man said he tried 2 dippers and they "fit". He actually loaded 20 rounds like this but only got to fire ONE . Sure enough it was a KB! I guess some people even if they READ the directions will still screw it up.

I never thought to ask the nice gentleman (he paid for this old GI's breakfast) if his friend was a Texas Aggie
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Old September 24, 2002, 03:46 PM   #20
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Man o man, a M1D to boot too. Almost can make a Garand collector cry. The Garands were designed for M2 Ball. You should reload to meet that spec.
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Old September 24, 2002, 03:59 PM   #21
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Seems that gun store clerk stupidity is more common than I thought.

I remember visiting a gun store one time, and hearing the conversation by a clerk with a customer who was starting to reload.

This clerk was doing OK until he got to a "recommended load". When I heard what he said, my blood ran cold.

He was recommending to the customer a load consisting of a 240 grain JHP on 33 GRAINS OF BULLSEYE.

Said he had used this load with great success in his Super Redhawk. :barf:

The customer walked out of the door, apparently confused. I caught up with him and told him the following:

1. The load that was recommended was a BOMB.
2. It would DEFINITELY destroy his gun, and might KILL him upon firing.
3. Pleaded with him to NOT LOAD ONE ROUND, until he purchased some good reloading manuals and read the instructions, over and over again.

I then gave him my phone number, and told him to call me, 24 hours a day, if he had any questions. To the best of my knowledge, he is still reloading, and hasn't KB'd a gun yet.
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Old September 24, 2002, 04:03 PM   #22
Southla1
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A friend of mine here on TFL sent me an e-mail this AM about "rules for reloading". Someone also posted a thread on the same rules here in Handloading and Reloading..............even us old farts need to read and heed. Just because we never had a KB does not mean we CANNOT have one!
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Old September 24, 2002, 04:24 PM   #23
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"Gun store clerk stupidity" is a given. However, in this case, there is only one person to blame for what happened, and it is not the gun store clerk.
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Old September 24, 2002, 05:04 PM   #24
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I know a buy who can be a bit of an... well, it's hard to purely describe him in a family forum...

He bought a black powder rifle at a flea market or yard sale or something, and took the thing down to a local gun store, and told 'em, probably in a rather know-it-all fashion, that he needed stuff to shoot it with. He also likely explained that he wanted it to be really loud for shooting in the air on holidays - yeah, he's that kinda guy...

They sold him some lead balls that fit, they sold him some caps, and they told him how much volume of powder to put in it. And he probably told them... nay... INSISTED that they sell him their most powerful powder.

Luckily, for him, maybe not for the world at large, I saw his stuff before he loaded one and fired it. They sold him a pound of Bullseye. I'm pretty sure I know the old fellow who probably sold it to him, and can't say as I could really blame him much for the attempted homicide...
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Old September 24, 2002, 05:24 PM   #25
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After reading about the man who was recently killed when his reloads blew up, I think your friend is very lucky.

We're lucky in having this and other resources readily available and often forget that others are simply ignorant to the dangers of reloading. When I got started I was lucky to read The ABCs of Reloading, and after that gave serious consideration to not starting (wife and kids): up until I read that book, I had no clue.

That said, I can't necessarily place all the blame on your friend. I place the vast majority of blame on the bozo behind the counter who gave him the load data. IMO, his action was criminal. Master Blaster hit that one right on the head.

I have every reloading book I can find. Have printed every PDF available. I scour the online boards. And I do this because I got the bugeezus scared out of me before I even pulled a handle. If I hadn't been lucky enough to stumble across the reloading book during one of my bookstore raids, I could easily have been in the same category as your friend.
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