View Full Version : 1956 M1 Garand 30-06 ammo questions

Any .45
May 27, 2009, 05:44 PM

A friend of mine has recently purchased an M1 garand and has heard a million different answers on the ammo question. So i figured I would bring it to the people I trust, since I don't know much about the rifle, I must ask. Would there be a problem shooting modern 30-06 ammo, or is there a specific manufacturer or load I should tell him to look for? The other question he asks is about the M1 Carbine. Is there a difference in ammo and the clips or is it all the same. Any info would help thanks.

Any .45

Tucker 1371
May 27, 2009, 05:54 PM
Would there be a problem shooting modern 30-06 ammo, or is there a specific manufacturer or load I should tell him to look for?

I have heard of problems from other members here on TFL but I am not familiar with them specifically, I am sure someone will post with better info shortly. For now I would not shoot commercial loads, at least not full power ones. Stick with surplus 30-06 to be safe is my advice.

The other question he asks is about the M1 Carbine. Is there a difference in ammo and the clips or is it all the same. Any info would help thanks.

If you're asking about a difference between the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine the answer is YES. The carbine fires what is called .30 Carbine and takes a detachable magazine whereas the Garand fires 30-06 and has an internal magazine fed by a bandolier.

May 27, 2009, 06:02 PM
You can damage the oprod if you fire modern hunting ammo in it. The advice I've been given from most Garand guys is to stick with M2 Ball or equivalent or purchase an adjustable gas plug and shoot anything you want through it.

I'm going to be taking my M1 along as a backup rifle on my late-season bull elk hunt and since I'm planning to pack either Norma or Federal hunting rounds for it I just ordered the adjustable gas plug from Fulton Armory a couple of days ago. It was ~$30, very cheap insurance against screwing up an awesome piece of history and one of the greatest rifles ever designed if you ask me. Like I said, I'm just taking mine along as a backup so I'm not even planning on using the hunting loads much. I figure I will shoot a box of 20 to figure out the gas plug setting and to get the sights zero'ed and then I'll pack another box of 20 along for the hunt in case anything happens to my primary rifle or ammo.

That all said, you might still be fine if you don't shoot anything over 180 grains and better to stick to 150/165. But why take the risk? It's $30.

May 27, 2009, 06:06 PM
Welcome to the ranks of M1 Garand owners. You'll hear many opinions about ammo soon. The basics are that the Garand was designed to use a round with a specific bullet weight and powder burning rate for best results.
Because the Garand uses the energy (pressure) from the burning powder to operate its action, you need to make certain that the pressure that the action sees is not too much nor too little, but within a range of acceptability.
Too much pressure can and will damage the operating rod (read expensive), too little & the rifle will short stroke & fail to eject or feed.
GI 30-06 with 150 grain bullets & IMR 4895 powder is the round the rifle was designed for. You can go up a bit in bullet weight to no more than 175 grains and you can go down in weight. You can use slower powder, but no slower than IMR 4064 (or equivalent). There are folks that have used factory ammo successfully in their Garands. There are also folks that have damaged their rifles with factory ammo. You probably will be OK if you try factory ammo that is 150 grain and NOT the hot hot stuff. (read cheap factory 150 grain ammo) However, you do so at your own risk.
You can buy surplus 30-06 from the CMP or you can re-load using the appropriate powders and projectiles. You can also buy GI type ammo from the major suppliers which they usually have. Just not now. I can't even find 30 caliber bullets right now.
You can get information here: http://www.surplusrifle.com/garand/index.asp
and you can Google M1 Garand and find a huge amount of information about those old warhorses.
Once you have owned and fired an M1, you'll always want to own one. they are great rifles.


May 27, 2009, 06:11 PM
I forgot to mention that Hornady also makes a special offering just for M1 Garands (but it's expensive):


Any .45
May 27, 2009, 10:32 PM
Thank you all for your input. As mentioned it belongs to a friend. But I'm looking at one now. Are there any factory loads that anyone has used and recomends that are with in spec, AZ already mentioned the hornady are there others. Also where can I find the surplus ammo? Again thanks

May 28, 2009, 08:22 PM
The CMP is where you can find milspec ball ammo for your Garand. Most is Greek these days, but I've shot some and reloaded some and it's good stuff.
To keep the op-rod intact, try these handloads if you have a bud to help you assemble them:
1)HXP or LC brass, SB sized, trimmed to 2.485", flash holes deburred, primer pockets cut to a uniform depth with a Lyman or Sinclair pocket uniforming tool, 48.0 of WW 748 or BLC-2, CCI milspec primer, 150 grain Sierra Prohunter flatbase, overall loaded length of 3.250".
2)Brass as above, CCI milspec primer, 47.0 of IMR 4320, 165 grain Hornady BTSP Interlock, seat to cannelure and light crimp.
3)Brass as above, same primer, 46.0 of IMR 4064, 180 grain Hornady BTSP, light crimp seated to cannelure.

DON"T try to hotrod your Garand; they won't hold up to heavy loads, factory or otherwise. Most factory hunting ammo is loaded for use in ANY gun, not necessarily the Garand. You can easily bend the op-rod or do serious damage to the action if you use Hornady Light Magnum ammo! Stick to sensible reloads with MEDIUM BURNING RATE POWDERS unless you change the gas plug to the adjustable one. CB.

Flatbush Harry
May 28, 2009, 11:41 PM
If you are going to use other than M2 ball ammo, get a Schuster or McCann adjustable gas plug. They are available from both Brownell's and the respective manufacturers, among other sources.

If you use commercial .30-06 or reloads of unknown provenances without an adjustable plug, you can expect a random, and, spectacular disassembly at some point...period.

M1 Garands were designed to perform successfully with a specific gas pressure curve through the operating system. Various morons will tell you to use current commercial .30-06 loads. Remember, advice is worth what you pay for it.

If in doubt, reference the Hornady reloading manual which has a M1 Garand section, Hornady AMAX commercial loads for the M1 Garand or M2 ball from Lake City, HXP or CMP.

YM won't Vary.


May 29, 2009, 10:55 AM
I got my CMP (then DCM) Garand in 81 or 82. Most of ammo I have shot was M-72 30 cal match or hand loaded to match the M72 (47 grns of 4895 pushing a 168 or 175 SMK bullet), in matches or some of the earlier sniper schools I ran (when we were using the M1C/Ds). I have also shot tons of comerical '06 keeping the bullets in the 150-180 grn range with no ill effect. My Op Rod is original and still works. The gas system still is within specs.

In the Mid 70s I was the weapons Sgt, for a Special Forces company. We were using Grands, BARs and A4 MGs. I had to put on a few classes with they guns using the 30 cal, but couldnt get any mil ammo through the system. I got the funds to buy comerical ammo and re-loaded a lot to conduct the classes, I stuck to the 150 grn bullets both in the comerical '06 and reloaded ammo, we didnt have any problems. (Linking the ammo for the A4 was a pain in the butt though.)

Anyway, if you stice to bullets less then 180s grns and med burning powder and loadings you'll be fine.

May 29, 2009, 11:08 AM
Federal makes an American Eagle .30-06 FMJ load that is safe for use in the Garand.

Other than that, stick to military surplus or handloads for which you've done the homework to load correctly. Not terribly difficult once you've done the requisite research.

June 8, 2009, 07:55 AM
good info guys

June 8, 2009, 06:53 PM
Garand fires 30-06 and has an internal magazine fed by a bandolier.

this comment caught my eye. Time to show my ignorance..or something.

Are any of the Springfield Armory, M1A configurations, based off of the Garand? Heard as much the other day in a gun shop. So this would be a detachable mag,,Garand config.

For just matching up w. the OP question,,would a Garand like ammo loaded to about 2800fps..faster or slower?

June 8, 2009, 06:58 PM
How about pulling the GI Ball and replacing them with 150gr hunting bullets over the GI powder.
My grandfather did that with Remington Bronze points. for his Remingyon 740

Tucker 1371
June 8, 2009, 07:02 PM
So this would be a detachable mag,,Garand config.

Not too sure, there may have been a few prototypes in 30-06 but from my understanding an M1A isn't much more than a Garand in .308 with a detachable magazine.

June 8, 2009, 07:10 PM
A bandloier is a pouch or belt used to carry ammunition (or maybe a happy-go-lucky band groupy). The bandolier holds the loaded enblock clips which the shooter uses to charge the internal Garand magazine.