View Full Version : M-1 Garand and Ammunition Selection

October 15, 2008, 08:09 PM
Hello Everyone,

I am interested in purchasing my first Garand rifle and wanted to inquire about the ammunition sensitivity of this splendid rifle. While I already have a gunsmith I trust to essentially rebuild one for me, it is my understanding that the Garand is somewhat limited to a certain range (bullet weight?) of .30-06 ammuntion to ensure reliable feeding.

Can anyone provide me with the specifics on this?

Thank you for your time and attention.
- Anthony

"Before all else, be armed."

October 15, 2008, 08:11 PM
You should use surplus ammo in the Garand like the stuff you can buy from the CMP. Typically it is ball ammo around 150 gr bullets. If you shoot some of the modern ammo you risk messing up your gun. Check out www.odcmp.com

October 15, 2008, 08:17 PM
The problem is not so much the bullet weight, but the pressure curve of the powder used. Improper powder combined with heavier bullets can damage the operating rod.

There are 3 solutions for this. One is use mil-surp ammo. Two is to reload to military M1 specs. This info is on the web.
Three is to use an adjustable gas plug. Ask your gunsmith about this.

October 15, 2008, 08:45 PM
What those other guys said. Also if you reload, you can use varget and 4895 with 150-175 grn bullets without a problem. If you use a powder with a slower burn rate, you'll have problems bending your op rod. When I first got it, I didn't know this and used off the shelf 06 ammo. Started jamming like crazy, took it to a smith and the rod was bent. Oh well, I learned the hard way.

44 AMP
October 16, 2008, 12:48 AM
GI ammo (M2 ball) is a 150gr bullet @ 2740 +/-30fps. M72 Match ammo is a 175gr @ 2640 +/-30fps. These are the rounds the M1 Garand is built to handle. Modern commercial ammo is loaded to higher velocities (2900+fps for a 150gr) and a different pressure curve, and batters the M1, which can result in damage, usually a bent op rod. Shoot M2 ball (milsurp) or equal handloads and all will be well. Shoot commercial hunting ammo in it and you will eventually regret it.

October 16, 2008, 07:11 AM
Fulton Armory carries Hornady A-Max match ammo designed for the Garand and they also have the adjustable gas plugs:


I'm currently shooting the Greek surplus in my stick with no issues or complaints.

Tim R
October 16, 2008, 02:50 PM
Anthony, I guess my question would be why have a M-1 rebuilt? Why not get a CMP correct grade? The H&R Correct Grade I recieved was never issued and has all the same parts as it did when it left the factory in 1955.

I believe you would be spending about the same amount of money.

Just to help bring to light the M-72 match ammo had a 173 gr. bullet. I know, big woop.

October 16, 2008, 05:25 PM
Having shot match Garands, on and off, for a couple of decades, I have my opinions on what to shoot.

125 grain bullets shoot quite well in these things. But do not shoot maximum charges. I never shot them, so I don't have any loads

I only shot 150's, 168's, and 175's.

Do not shoot any bullets heavier than 175's. That is, until you get all the articles, do a lot of reading, and find out that you can't push heavy bullets very fast in this action. (In fact, so slow, that they are not worth bothering with)

A nice load for me was 150 SMK 47.5 grs IMR 4895 LC cases, CCI #34 primers.

A target load was a 168 SMK/Hornady/Nosler Match, 47.0 grs IMR 4895, LC cases, CCI #34. OAL .LT. 3.30". You could cut this by a grain or half a grain and would not hurt anything.

Lots of folks used IMR 4064. 48.0 grains with a 168 SMK shoots very well.

Still, you are best off to use IMR 4895. That powder was used in the National Match ammunition, its pressure curve is totally appropriate for the Garand. There is no need to re invent the wheel.

I had two slamfires with Federal primers, all other slamfires that bud's had were with Federals. Don't use federal primers in this action. I recommend CCI #34's, or if those are not available, CCI regular primers. What ever primer you use, you want "less sensitive", not "more sensitive".

I recommend you buy a Wilson type cartridge headspace gage, and full length size your cases to gage minimum.

I recommend that you seat all primers by hand and inspect each and every one to see that the primer is below the case head.

And don't forget to feed all rounds from the magazine. Use a SLED for single shot.

October 16, 2008, 07:13 PM
Hornady is now offering a factory load for the Garand. i think it would be worth checking out.

October 16, 2008, 10:08 PM
Hornady is now offering a factory load for the Garand. i think it would be worth checking out.

$2/ round.way to much to shoot in an M1

October 16, 2008, 11:55 PM
$2/ round.way to much to shoot in an M1

HAHA!! I give Hornady a salute to have to balls to charge $16 a clip for a garand!!!

Lets see. 192 rounds of surplus ammo MADE for the M1 for $50 from CMP (or $0.26 each round) or $2 a round. Hmm. Hard decision. I swear to god some of these companies really need to pull their heads out...

sneaky pete
October 20, 2008, 07:38 PM
Old Sneaky Pete here: I put one on my 1942 SA mostly cuz I heard that with proper adjustment you may be able to reduce your group size(not 3 shot but the whole 10 shot group). It did! Now what you can do to the Garand using the Schuster is turn it into a "Single Shot" rifle and then shoot any weight buller/powder combo that you want. Nedless to say this unit MAY disqualify your Garand from shooting certain types of formal matches---For me I don't care..THANX--SNEAKY