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Old August 27, 2011, 05:20 PM   #1
'88Scrat
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M1 Garand Ammo question

As some of you know I recently posted a thread about an M1A EBR and what it would cost to build one. I went to a gun show near me and was unable to find an M1A Standard for less than $1500 which is quite frankly more than I am willing to spend on the rifle alone.

I did however run into a guy who had an M1 Garand for sale that had to get rid of it due to money problems (he offered me a price that was to good to pass up) and I am now the proud new owner of an M1.

I don't know a whole lot about M1's but I know enough to know they like being fed 150 grain ammo. So I found an ammo table and bought a box of Winchester 30-06 SPRG 150 GR. Power-Point. I also bought a box of 30-06 tracers made by FN on a whim

Later I found out that apparantly M1's also need to have a certain powder or something or that the OP rod can be damaged. This was news to me.

Is the ammo I picked up safe to shoot or do I need to find something else? Also what would you suggest in the future?
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Old August 27, 2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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Your best bet will be to buy some of the M2 surplus ammo from the CMP. This ammo will be safe and reasonably accurate, as well as affordable. If you're looking for something a little more accurate, I believe that Federal, PMC and Hornady all load M1 specific ammo. It will be marked as such. The Hornady load is supposed to be very accurate. All of these loads were designed around the M1 (I'm a little hazy on the history of the M2 load, but it's absolutely safe in a Garand).

Another option, if you're able, is handloading.

As for firing commercial ammo, I would shy away from it. In my own opinion, I think the perceived risks of firing small amounts of commercial ammo in a Garand are a little overblown. That said, I still don't do it. There are too many alternatives, and even if the risk of damage is low, it's too easy to avoid.

One final possibility is to purchase and install one of the adjustable gas plugs. I believe that Schuster makes one, there is another manufacturer that does not come to mind right now. These plugs will allow for the use of virtually any ammo after proper adjustment.
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Old August 27, 2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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If reloading isn't your thing, Federal makes a good load specifically for the Garand that I like quite a bit. It's reasonably accurate and not horribly priced (but not quite cheap, either).
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Old August 27, 2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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There used to be a ajustible gas regulator ( Schuster M1/M1A Adjustable Gas System ) you coud fit to the garand to allow it to shoot differant 30-06 ammo .http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=412046
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Old August 27, 2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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The Greek ammo from CMP is what I plan on getting some more of. Wish I had bought a bunch when I made my previous purchase of it.
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Old August 27, 2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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The powders typically used in commercial hunting ammo is too slow and crates too much pressure at teh gas port, thus battering the op rod over time. It won't destroy it right away but will be impacting it harder than for what it was designed.

- Use GI ammo, the cheapest being from CMP for about $0.50/round compared to $1/round commercial.

- Use commercial ammo specifically made for the Garand. Again cheapest is the Hornady sold by CMP, ut others make some too.

- Handload with 147 - 168 gr bullets at or below 2,700 fps using powders in the range of IMR4895 (H335, H4895, TAC, Varget, IMR4064). See Hornady or Sierra manuals.

- Get an adjustable gas port and tune it for your chosen ammo of any brand or type.
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Old August 27, 2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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I have four M-1s and I wouldn't shoot hunting ammo with bullets heavier than 180 grains or any of the "light magnum" ammo.
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Old August 27, 2011, 11:09 PM   #8
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"...tracers made by FN..." Might be corrosively primed. Not a big deal. You just have to flush the barrel and gas system with hot water before cleaning.
It's rumoured that bullet weights over 180 grains can damage the op rod. The box of 220 grain Silvertips I tried, long ago, did nothing. Blew a ground hog into next week though.
I've never had any issues with factory ammo. Haven't used any for eons either. Never seen nor heard of any rifle being damaged by the ammo alone prior to being on the Internet either. However, both Federal and Hornady load ammo specifically for the M1.
"...an M1A Standard for less than $1500..." You won't at a gun shop either. There are a few on Gunsamerica around $1250 though. An M1 is a better rifle anyway.
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Old August 28, 2011, 10:48 AM   #9
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For the best prices on a used M1A look at the PX at M14firingline. Good deals show up often, $1200 and up is the average.

Contrats on the M1, there is a lot of Greek surplus M2 ball around, buy 1k rounds and have fun.
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Old August 28, 2011, 11:13 AM   #10
shrewd
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someone once told me that you could simply take the gas screw out entirely, which in effect makes it a bolt action, as the gas escapes completely and you have to rack the op rod to chamber another round.


can anybody confirm that this is true and safe?
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Old August 28, 2011, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
can anybody confirm that this is true and safe?
Can't confirm it from personal experience, but if the gas sylinder is opened like that, then you won't have the pressure needed to work the action, and will have to do it manually. Gas would be vented out the front where the nut is missing, but should be safe, as far as personal injury, unless you get your hand out there (and how that might happen I can't imagine).

The M1 Garand is designed to fire MILITARY ammo. Only. That's a 150gr bullet @ 2740fps +/-. Or the heavier 172gr @2650+/-. And it is built to operate at the pressure curve used in the GI ammo. Again, ONLY.

Over the years commercial .30-06 ammo has been increased in pressure and velocity. Just take a look at the ballistics tables today. 150gr .30-06 is doing 2900fps! Think of it as running a car made for 87 octane gas on 100 octane. It will run (maybe run pretty good), but its running "hot". Things ARE going to go wrong, likely sooner than later, due to the extra strain on the engine. Same thing with the Garand.

All autoloaders are made to operate within a certain pressure level. get outside that, and things can be damaged. It may happen the first time, it may not happen for a long time, but the odds are that it will happen, if you keep at it long enough.
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Old August 28, 2011, 01:30 PM   #12
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someone once told me that you could simply take the gas screw out entirely, which in effect makes it a bolt action, as the gas escapes completely and you have to rack the op rod to chamber another round
Yeah, it'll work like that, but the gas still has to go somewhere, so the gas that comes out of the vent that bleeds into the gas cylinder is gonna go the route of least resistance, or toward the front where the plug should be. Have fun getting that plug back in and working propertly.

In doing so, its gonna carbon up the treads, and if done enough the gas it going to cut/ruin the treads.

I for the life of me can't understand why someone wants to screw up or modify a great system like the Garand.

You don't need adjustable gas plugs, (they aren't legal in CMP -GSM Matches) just shoot what the gun was designed for. You want to plink, get M1 ammo from CMP. If you reload, use reloading guides designed for the Garand. Stick to medium burning powder, 150-180 grn bullets, loaded to 2700-2600 fps, good enough for anything in North America.

If you don't reload, but want to hunt, just pull the 150 grn bullets from surplus ammo and stick in a 150 hunting bullet (Mexican Match). You can go as far as 165 grn bullets in Mexican Match without hurting any thing.
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Old August 28, 2011, 03:04 PM   #13
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I looked at the CMP website and I think I'll buy some bulk M2 ball ammo.
In the meantime are my 40 rounds of commercial ammo going to hurt it that bad? I don't own another rifle chambered in 30-06 so I don't have anything else to use the ammo I bought in. I would like to use them if I can but not at the expense of damaging my new M1.
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Old August 28, 2011, 03:18 PM   #14
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I really doubt 40 rounds of 150 grn stuff is gonna hurt the gun, I just wouldn't recomend a steady diet of the factory stuff without consulting the ammo maker to see if it's fit for a M1.
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Old August 29, 2011, 03:09 AM   #15
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Probably won't hurt it. My first M1 had an uncut (square cornered) op rod and I shot a few boxes of Federal and Winchester hunting ammo in it (150 gr) before I learned that is a no-no. No apparent damage to the op rod or receiver.

But, I don't plan on doing that again. Now it is just milsurp and handloads according to the M1 guidelines. I like Kraig's idea of replacing the milsurp cartridge bullets with 150 gr hunting bullets as an expedient solution. I might have to do that and compare POI and accuracy with unaltered milsurp and my 150 gr handloads.
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Old August 29, 2011, 03:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
can anybody confirm that this is true and safe?
As stated, it will disable the gas mechanism.

Removing the gas cylinder lock screw (aka "gas plug" or "gas nut") may be safe, but that doesn't mean it is a wise thing to do. The gas cylinder lock is usually only finger-tight, and without the lock screw, it can become unscrewed and fall off. If the rifle is fired at a bench, however, this may not be a problem.

As I don't shoot competition, I find the adjustable gas cylinder lock screws to be an OK thing. You can run with "near mil-spec" loads and open up the port a little to reduce receiver heel battering.

The original part can be easily swapped back if you do shoot in competitions occasionally.
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Old September 3, 2011, 03:22 PM   #17
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thanks for that info guys, i didnt think about the carbon build up on the threads

then again when i heard that i only really listened because i figured hey, one day that could be useful info. as for now, i'm still happily plinking away (and always slightly adjusting the sights) with ball ammo from the cmp. ill continue to do so until they run out, i reckon.

it is rather easy to run out of, though.
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Old September 8, 2011, 10:30 PM   #18
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As stated previously the Schuster or MCCann adjustable gas plugs lets you shoot an brand of ammo in the Garand. Put the old one in the but stock so you always have it with the rifle if you want to shoot in a match that requires original condition rifles.
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Old September 9, 2011, 05:53 PM   #19
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Ha! I'm waiting for a phone call from a guy with a buggered up op rod on his M-1. I have a spare on hand and will see if it fixes it.
By the way, the Greek '06 ball the CMP is selling is good stuff. It shoots better than most of the Lake City I've shot.
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Old September 10, 2011, 09:33 AM   #20
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The Garand was my first match rifle purchase from what was called DCM/director of civilian marksmanship (now CMP) for $125.00. I had it turned into a match configuration by an old Marine armourer out of Arkansas and the rifle shoots very very good. That was in the eighties, so I'm not 100 years old. Anyway, a great rifle and a lot of fun to shoot.

My favorite load is using 168 grn match bullets over either Varget, 4064, or have even had great results with RL15. I think buying the cmp ammo is great for just everyday plinking.
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Old October 18, 2012, 01:33 PM   #21
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Yeah, you can shoot it a round at a time with the gas port plug removed...but why would you want to do that? The garand is made to pow away, eight rounds of .30-06 lovliness follwoed by your satisfying "ping" of the ejection of an enbloc. Its just not the same otherwise. Just get a ported gas plug from garand gear.

http://www.garandgear.com/m1garand/d...-plug?sef=hcfp
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Old October 19, 2012, 12:46 AM   #22
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Mine all shoot the best with hornadys M1 match load that uses the amax bullet. Taken a few deer with that combo as well.
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:07 PM   #23
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Buy alot of non corrosive surplus, save the brass, learn to reload. I find reloading is somewhat therapeutic. Everyone should have some occasional peace and quiet in their lives.
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Old October 19, 2012, 06:25 PM   #24
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Try here http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.aspx?item=AP3006CAN Do it quick, they sell out fast. price comes out to $13 and change per 20 round box. I've liked all the other calibers of prvi I've bought. It's always been good clean accurate ammo.
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