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Old March 28, 2013, 11:00 AM   #1
Join Date: December 14, 2010
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My M1 has ammo issues

Got a box of 150 gr American Eagle ammo to zero my M1 with. The local range doesn't permit M2. AE ammo is made by Federal and this stuff is not labeled as M1 specific, as some ammo is.

The stuff shot OK and ejected, but didn't always rechamber. The resident gunsmith, who also shoots M1's
says its the fault of the ammo.

I also note the original zero on the rifle was pretty low. The rifle has a Dymo label rack number on it, so if it went from the ARNG to CMP with an overhaul unnecessary, its possible it may have had the same zero.

The gunsmith said this AE stuff is less powerful than M2 and gives less pressure, hence the failure to rechamber.

Will all civilian ammo be this bad?

I know I should avoid heavy bullets or I'll bend the operating rod.

Should I invest in an adjustable gas port?

Is the adjustable gas port legal for "As Issued" competition?
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:13 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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"Normal" factory ammo, from Winchester, Remington et al, won't cause low-pressure problems. Generally, just the opposite. Higher pressures than GI.

The higher pressures at the gas port, not the bullet weight as such, are what cause the problem of bending an op rod.

I'd install an adjustable gas port for practice use with whatever ammo is your choice. You can always go back to the original plug if that is the rule at competition matches.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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I've never heard of a range that bans lead core 30 caliber ammo. are you sure the guy didn't think you were talking about penetrator ammo(black tip)?

what art said, a lot of factory ammo(and I think AE is among it) has slower burning powder so rather than hitting it's pressure apex halfway down the barrel, it hits it right at the muzzle where the gas port is and that excess pressure bends the op rod, you can use whatever bullet weight you want so long as it uses the right type of powder and loaded to the right pressure tolerances.

I'm no armorer so I can't tell you why your garand is not functioning but I would heavily advise you not to continue with the AE, get ammo that specifically states on the box that it's M1 safe.
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Old March 29, 2013, 01:12 AM   #4
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Before I condemned the ammo, I'd make sure the rifle was up to speed.

Gas cylinder clean/op rod face clean, gas port clean? Cylinder plug tight?

Does the rifle run with M2 or other appropriate ammo, or is this your first trip with it?

Good luck
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Old March 29, 2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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Did you happen to..

hand cycle the rifle (with no lube on it) about 50 times?

When I got mine in the 80's, that's what i did then detailed it and lube.

Ran like M1 should.

For now dismount action from stock, remove OP rod spring and follower arm,
the place the heel of action on edge of bench as you hold the muzzle, (if bolt is closed, the raise the muzzle and the OP rod and bolt should glide open about 35 degrees or greater, lower the muzzle and the OP rods / Bolt should close fully about the angle downward.

If not do the hand cycling with a dry rifle and then relube.

Also, take a .45 bore brush and epoxy it to a 8" lenght of garage door cable or outboard tiller cable, and polish the chamber.

Let us know what happen.

Ammo try and find the Hornady ammo that's marked "For the M1 Garand"
any US arsenal M2 ammo should function the rifle with nm problem, SOME Greek ammo (think any late HXP) is a little hotter than normal but a few round should be okay.
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Old March 30, 2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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I've never heard of a range that bans lead core 30 caliber ammo. are you sure the guy didn't think you were talking about penetrator ammo(black tip)?

Something is not right. Every range I have ever been to allows lead core ammo. Many have a steel core rule.

Get a few thousand rounds of Greek HXP and blast away.
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Old March 31, 2013, 03:02 AM   #7
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I've put a couple hundred rounds of AE thru my Garand but also all kinds of mixed brass reloads, PMC, FN and Rem and Win softpoints and my own reloads. I've never had a fail to feed, fire or eject. I would go back over your M1 real closely or find a 'smith very familiar withh the M1.
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Old March 31, 2013, 04:31 PM   #8
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I doubt that the ammo is the issue...

Make sure the gas cylinder plug is tight. A loose gas cylinder can cause a loss of pressure. If you have a poppet-type gas plug, make sure that there is no crud in the valve, which may cause a leak.

A worn gas piston on the op rod can also cause function issues as well. Minimum piston diameter should be diameter of .5250"

Another issue, albeit less common, may be the alignment of the gas port in the gas cylinder.

Also check the operating rod spring to make sure that it's not worn/damaged.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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I read this in the OP:
The local range doesn't permit M2.
So this does not make sense:
I've never heard of a range that bans lead core 30 caliber ammo. are you sure the guy didn't think you were talking about penetrator ammo(black tip)?
Most M2 ball surplus around (whether USGI or Greek HXP) has a steel jacketed bullet; it attracts a magnet, therefore is banned at many ranges.

The M1-specific ammo from Hornady is copper jacket; CMP sells them but they are months behind right now. Both loads run in my rifles. Not sure about the Federal AE M1 ammo, since Federal might have some steel jacketed 7.62NATO bullets around.

Also, the Greek HXP ammo is a little hotter than USGI M2 ball, but really, the later USGI was made weak and the HXP is normal.

That said, probably a gas or spring problem. In addition, is it possible that an adjustable gas nut was already installed and it has been adjusted so your ammo does not work?
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