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Thread: Musings on the #4 and Garand

  1. #1
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    Musings on the #4 and Garand

    I spent several hours loading some BobS-type .30-06 loads for the Garand yesterday....and then went right out and fired them, plus a few dozen I loaded for the .303 as well. I say BobS "type" because I used different bullet designs where he used 311284. Also, instead of the old H4831 I tried earlier, I loaded 39.0 grains of IMR 4831 plus a small tuft of dacron. The bullets were 311291 and 311413, the first being a roundnose which works fine in my M1, and the second a spitzer design. Both are around 170 grains, and hence a good bit lighter than Bob's 284s. Over the course of eighty rounds, I had perfect function except for a single 311291 round which the bolt failed to pick up from the clip. The cycling was rather "soft" at this level, and I can easily increase the charge to speed up the bolt travel a tad.

    I ended the M1 session with a couple of groups with some leftover REAL BobS loads, using 311284 and 42.0 of old H4831. They shot a bit better than the 291 and 314 loads, and also functioned the rifle with a lot more snap.

    Boolits were water-dropped WW sized .311" with Felix lube.

    Since I was purposely running both charges AND bullets lighter than Bob's original load, I was tickled to get such good function. I was looking for a lower-edge starting point, and I found it.

    Shooting from the bench at 50 yards, the rifle and loads were definitely showing signs of promise. On NRA pistol 50-yard centers, I often had several rounds in the 1.19" x-ring, and on one 8-round string there were six 314s in that little circle.

    I like the concept, using the slow-burning powder (NOT FOR JACKETED LOADS IN THE GARAND) and adjusting the charge to get the needed pressure at the gasport.

    The rifle is showing a VERY pronounced first-round-flyer syndrome with these loads. Remember, these are compressed loads, so powder positioning is NOT an issue. However, on numerous occasions the first round would impact three or four inches low, and the second and subsequent rounds would strike right in the x-ring area. Something about the bolt lockup when chambering the first round is affecting the impact point....drastically!

    Firing over one hundred rounds left the bore gleamingly-brilliant. No leading of any kind was visible, and only one or two granules of 4831 were left in the barrel on inspection.

    With the .303 #4, I tried the same 39.0 charge of IMR 4831 with the Lee Bator 316-220. It too showed some promise, but tended to string vertically from 50 yards. This rifle has a Parker-Hale match sight with iris aperture, but my eyes were giving me fits and some of the stringing is most likely due to my inability to resolve the top of the post. I had some similar difficulty with the M1, but not quite as badly. Maybe eye fatigue was having its effect by the time I got to the .303.

    A series in the #4 with the same 316-220 bullet and Re-7 powder (20-24 grains in 1-grain increments) and dacron fill yielded enough accuracy to warrant further work. On an earlier occasion, simply adding dacron to the load of Re-7 with this bullet reduced the 50-yard group from FOUR INCHES to 1.25"....everything was precisely identical except for the dacron tuft!

    I'm awaiting a Merit iris aperture from Brownell's, which will be installed in the Garand's rear sight by just drilling and tapping the existing aperture. Hole size is #11 wire, and thread is 7/32 x 40, and returning the rifle to "stock" condition only requires replacement of the moveable sight element. The new M-14 will get the same mod when it arrives (which now looks like late August...woe is me!)

    I've owned scores of military rifles over many years, occasionally having over 100 different examples on-hand at one time, and I extensively fired every one of them, from Sniders to Armalites. Out of all those many types, the Garand and the #4 Mk2, along with two others, are my "pick of the litter". The others are the FN-FAL and the M-14. Once the M-14 arrives, all that I need is the FAL...and a DSA-built example will be the next priority. Four great rifles, each in perfect condition, will constitute my "military collection"...plus the SKS, of course.

    I do like military rifles.
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

  2. #2
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    .............I enjoyed reading your report very much. I have not shot my Garand much at all in the past 5-6 years and the last time was because the neighbor kid is all whacked out about Garands, so I took him to the range. Many years ago Midway had Remington 165gr C-L on sale so I bought 500 of them and using WC852, put them all into PMC brass. I remember Donna coming into the utility room as I was working the Dillon, and wanted to know if there was a riot or revolution going on somewhere . That 500 rounds of 30-06 was sure a pretty sight!

    A bit before, this was mid 90's or so, Garands in 'shooter' condition were going for less then $300. On the weekends every other mother love'in guy coming to the range had their Garand, and 3-10 boxes of PMC ammo they'd picked up at Turners Sporting Goods. Good ole Ken the rangemaster was giving it to me by the wheelbarrow load until I begged him to stop. It was drifted up like snow against the benches.

    I hate to say that I should get the thing out and excersize it some with cast, as I have way to many other rifles that fit that condition. At one time I decided that I would start with one rifle and continue with it until I had it figured out. Then I'd go to the next. That lasted for maybe a week, or it might have been less time then that.

    The 1917 Enfield is a prime example. It's had the 50 rounds shot through it that I'd loaded for Winnemucca and I haven't seen it since. And that was the sum total of it's shooting, and the load was what I used for my Springfield. That garage sporter Springfield I put together is exactly the same. Fifty rounds of cast through it and it's been in the closet ever since.

    What I need is a government grant or something so I can get all these rifle loose ends tied up

    ................Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

    Proud former Shooters.Com Cast Bullet alumnus and plank owner.

    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

  3. #3
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    Wink

    And I thought I had it bad.......... Thank you guys for the therapy, and good luck to you both!

    One of my kids just made a grandpa out of me last night. Going to the hospital in town later today to see her and my namesake. Had thought about stopping at the 'toy store' en route, but felt kinda guilty about even having the thought. No more!

    jethrow

  4. #4
    Boolit Master carpetman's Avatar
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    CONGRATULATIONS GRANDPA STRAIT!!!!!!!!! Hope grandaughter Jethrow(namesake)is doing well. Girl named Jethrow now theres a song waiting to be written.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpetman
    CONGRATULATIONS GRANDPA STRAIT!!!!!!!!! Hope grandaughter Jethrow(namesake)is doing well. Girl named Jethrow now theres a song waiting to be written.
    Ray,

    You ain't from the sticks, that's apparent.

    Damnit, her name is Jethrene!

    I have my own granddaughter on the way..in the oven or whatever....due here in September.

    Spoil her Jethrow. You should have bought her a nice little model 60 and handed it to her about 18 years from now and tell her when you bought it.

  6. #6
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    Cool Let's slow down here a bit boys!

    Dang, I was excited, but I dint think my English was that muddled. My kin/kid was the referred to "her," an my "namesake" is a him just graced with a middle name of Jethrow. He may also be an archangel,cause they gave him the first name of "Gabriel" along with my moniker as a middle. Ah, what things we do to the innocent!

    Just to keep you up to date with my personal life carpetman, my youngest daughter married the son of a crazy retired Texas neurosurgeon, who likes to take the family out bushwhacking them little Texas jackrabbit deer from blinds every year on a neighbor's ranch. So, it looks like I'll be visiting Texas after all. The boy, my son-in-law, inherited a fine old 1940 vintage Model 70 from his granddad, needing a buttplate. So I brought em both a present at the hospital today---flowers for my daughter and a Winchester buttplate for him.

    And jump, I'm almost as excited about that dang Sako/SK.Y 28-30 Finn(1938 vintage) I found last week. It should be good company for that M39 you put me on to a couple years ago.

  7. #7
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    And jump, I'm almost as excited about that dang Sako/SK.Y 28-30 Finn(1938 vintage) I found last week. It should be good company for that M39 you put me on to a couple years ago.[/QUOTE]

    Jethrow,

    I have a grandbaby due in September....cooker is a simmering now, don't know what to get for her..yet!!

    I want that 28-30....you done sed you practically stole it! I had a 28 and I probably should have kept it. The rifle was pretty long in the tooth and not the best shooter, but it had character. Should you discocver the 28-30 doesn't shoot well or to your liking, I have a 'select grade' 39 I'll trade you for it that is a shooter. No, I'm keeping my pet 39! I'd like to have a 28-30, even if it ain't a shooter, just as a 'keeper'.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up If it goes anywhere, it goes to you!

    Jumptrap,

    First off, congrats to you. Hope you don't worry it too much; I know I did. Too much free time I guess. Anyhow, it went pretty well up until the delivery, which was a 14 hour plus marathon, and unfortunately it turns out, for the most banal of reasons. Doctor urged "inducing labor" even though there was no good medical reason; turned out to be a scheduling thing. The hospital delivers the majority of newborns in the Tucson area, and they needed the space. God, how I despise bureacracies and those who serve them.

    By the way, that was a dandy idea of yours about buying Jethrow Jr. a rifle and presenting it to him on a distant birthday. Thankfully, Arizona Game and Fish has all sorts of incentives, special seasons, etc. for junior hunters, and they can hunt big game when are 12 if they have gone through the hunter safety course. Not so sure I'll make it til the boy's 18th. Think I'll go ahead and get it. Thanks.

    I'm just starting to horse around with the K-31, and wont even pick up that 28-30 til next week. Unlike ole Buckshot, I still show some restraint now and then. Well, I thought it was a "steal", especially from a shop. They always have 4-6 old Mosins, but it's virtually always just Russian firewood. This one also was tagged Russian Mosin, and priced under a hun like the rest. Course, it's about as far removed from a run of the mill Rusky as you can get in the world of Mosin. If it ever leaves my hands, it will go to you, either for what I paid for it, or in trade for that M39 as you suggest. jethrow

  9. #9
    Boolit Master carpetman's Avatar
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    Gramps Jethrow---What town in texas might you be visiting? (I know you'll try to get to Houston for a flashlight rezendevous(sp???).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethrow strait
    Jumptrap,

    By the way, that was a dandy idea of yours about buying Jethrow Jr. a rifle and presenting it to him on a distant birthday. Thankfully, Arizona Game and Fish has all sorts of incentives, special seasons, etc. for junior hunters, and they can hunt big game when are 12 if they have gone through the hunter safety course. Not so sure I'll make it til the boy's 18th. Think I'll go ahead and get it. Thanks.

    If it ever leaves my hands, it will go to you, either for what I paid for it, or in trade for that M39 as you suggest. jethrow
    Hey thanks! I bet it ain't worth a ****, might as well send it now. HAR! I wouldn't accept it for what you paid for it as it is worth much more than that. I ain't looking for a gift! I just happen to have 2 nice 39's and one is enough.

    Now, as for getting that child a gun or whatever, let me tell you something.

    My son, the dad to be, is now 27. I nearly lost him to cancer 10 years ago and there isn't words to describe how I love that boy, certainly no more or less than my other 3 kids, but he is grown and off on his own now and doing well. I bought him a Chipmunk rifle for his 5th or 6th Christmas. I have pictures of him checking it out on Christmas morning. Then, I have a picture of him holding a big groundhog he whacked..offhand... at 137 honest paces. I damn near cry everytime I look at it. It brings back a flood of memories, of what a good boy he was, how proud he was and I was of him, for making that shot. And too, then wondering why he had to suffer so much at age 17 and how he taught me what real courage is. That rifle is in my safe to this day and I fondle it sometimes. All of this surrounds a little boy and a .22 rifle. Priceless.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wink one light has dimmed and another come on!

    Let's just say it's a crazy world, c-man. even when you make a point of staying away from the left coast.

    No town, the old coot has a few hectares a ways north of San Angelo. According to the boy, he just blasts Purple Martins, or was it English Sparrows, most of the year. It's amazing to me how most medical doctors are such butchers in their free time as well as at work! jethrow

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    ..............Well poor ole Bruce's post is all hijacked to hell so I might as well stick my oar in the water and muddy it a bit further. My daughter Christian is getting married on the 17th of this month and on the 4th they had a bridal shower thingamabob at her soon to be inlaw's house up in Big Bear. Her intended's name is Bobby, who will be re-starting the San Bernardino County Sheriff's academy in July. He'd originally started in April but had injured his knee in PRACTICING for it and it hadn't healed fully so it was causing him a lot of trouble. I guess if your dad is a captain on the force, things like that can happen

    Both of Bobby's parents are really great people. His mom Linda had gotten Christian's photo album and had a real neat deal rigged up. She copied a bunch of the pictures and had a row of Christian's pictures and then under that a row of Bobby's starting from baby photo's to the most current.

    I have to admit to being all hard to breath and bleery eyed looking at them as I was there for most of'em or in a lot of'em with her, and you get kind of transported back, I guess. Christian was such a delightfull child and has turned into such a wonderfull adult that I guess it makes it even worse on a parent.

    My inlaws lived on the next 10 acre parcel for awile, when we lived out in the canyon. I suppose she was about 3 years old the first time she walked up to grandpa and grandma's all by herself. Well she DID have Gus, our old decrepit Australian Sheperd with her. We watched out the utility room window and poor Donna was just bawling. Her baby was making the trip all by herself. A big step, that.

    I can run it in my mind like a home movie. It must have taken her 15 minutes to go a hundred yards. When you're 3 and all by yourself there are so many interesting things to look at and pick up. She was always a kid ready for something new. A great photo I have of her is with her 7mm Mauser slung over her back and her hunting knife out as we're cutting open cactus fruit. Whether it was rappelling down the cliff faces in the canyon or mountain biking with the neighbor guy on a tandem mountain bike he had, if it sounded like fun she was there for it.

    The sad part is that it all goes by so fast. They're only little and really need you for such a short time. After that they're grown up the entire rest of their life. Not that you still can't find pleasure in them, but it's not the same.

    I'm afraid that Bobby's dad (Bob is as bad as I am. Regardless how many kids they have, they're going to be rotten. Christian and Bobby are going to have it tough with 2 grandpa's like me and Bob!

    ..................Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

    Proud former Shooters.Com Cast Bullet alumnus and plank owner.

    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

  13. #13
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    Cool hijacked?

    Seem to recall that some of the most interesting threads ever was hijacked ones; usually just gives a jumpstart to one that isn't going anywhere, no matter how good it is, and Bruce's was a very good one.

    Well estimable Sr. moderator Buckshot, I may have done a lil hijacking---and for that I am duly contrite--- but it shur weren't nuthin compared to your own verbose nuclear strike! Well, you'll get your payback when you first try to chamber cast boolits in that K-31. Probably will knock the 'sentimental old fart' syndrome clean outta ya; I know it did me. jethrow

  14. #14
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    ".............Well estimable Sr. moderator Buckshot, I may have done a lil hijacking---and for that I am duly contrite--- but it shur weren't nuthin compared to your own verbose nuclear strike!"

    Sorry . I get carried away talking about the kid.

    ...........Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

    Proud former Shooters.Com Cast Bullet alumnus and plank owner.

    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

  15. #15
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    Talking So many guns, so little time!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot
    .............I enjoyed reading your report very much. I have not shot my Garand much at all in the past 5-6 years and the last time was because the neighbor kid is all whacked out about Garands, so I took him to the range. Many years ago Midway had Remington 165gr C-L on sale so I bought 500 of them and using WC852, put them all into PMC brass. I remember Donna coming into the utility room as I was working the Dillon, and wanted to know if there was a riot or revolution going on somewhere . That 500 rounds of 30-06 was sure a pretty sight!

    A bit before, this was mid 90's or so, Garands in 'shooter' condition were going for less then $300. On the weekends every other mother love'in guy coming to the range had their Garand, and 3-10 boxes of PMC ammo they'd picked up at Turners Sporting Goods. Good ole Ken the rangemaster was giving it to me by the wheelbarrow load until I begged him to stop. It was drifted up like snow against the benches.

    I hate to say that I should get the thing out and excersize it some with cast, as I have way to many other rifles that fit that condition. At one time I decided that I would start with one rifle and continue with it until I had it figured out. Then I'd go to the next. That lasted for maybe a week, or it might have been less time then that.

    The 1917 Enfield is a prime example. It's had the 50 rounds shot through it that I'd loaded for Winnemucca and I haven't seen it since. And that was the sum total of it's shooting, and the load was what I used for my Springfield. That garage sporter Springfield I put together is exactly the same. Fifty rounds of cast through it and it's been in the closet ever since.

    What I need is a government grant or something so I can get all these rifle loose ends tied up

    ................Buckshot
    I'm not looking forward t my retirement at all, I'm gonna be so busy, casting all those boolits, working out all of those loads and traipsing back and forward to the range and through the hills getting meat. Dang, I got so much stuff lined up I'm gonna be like a one armed bricklayer in Baghdad.


    Mick,
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    Retirement

    Look forward to it, Mick, anticipation is the greatest of pleasures and the actual events sometimes don't live up to expectations. Perhaps retirement is a misnomer; actually we're as busy as we were working, we're just doing more things WE want to do and less that we have to do for someone else. Except for you married guys....

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Succinctly put, Scrounger. I may have sub-consciously set the 25-20/cast boolits project aside until retirement, knowing it would be a masochistic exercise. Basically, married retirement now provides enough time to get disgusted with outcomes like the 25-20, but not quite enough to really work on the puzzle as you should. Five cars/trucks driven by daughters and wife can create a few distractions as well.

    Straying off-topic.......I agree that some of the best text appears in that way, and the LAST thing I would want done is to discourage such posts.

    Christian's fiancee comes from a fine family. His grandfather was my Dad's partner for many years at work, and joined us on deer and bird hunts throughout that time. His dad and I worked in the same venues over the years, and bumped into each other more than once while so engaged. It is truly a fine thing to see two fine kids find one another and begin a life together.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Yeah, Al, five cars you have! Well, there are six of them here. I had my maintenance guys give me a detailed account for all of last year. 8,000 dollars worth of labor and hardware, plus software (oil, antifreeze, etc.). New, we are talking 4 caddies, 1 TA, 1 403 Olds river ready. Only the river ready had zero repairs. All cars have had zero billing so far this year, and because they all seem almost perfect I expect nothing more than software this year. Two caddies have less than 50K miles and are "brand new" by all practical looks and feel, so maybe we can say the payoff is now coming into fruition.

    Have I mentioned that I hate cars? World's worst investment. Caddies need buddies to rob parts from. ... felix
    felix

  19. #19
    Boolit Master FAsmus's Avatar
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    No.4 Mk I

    Bruce,

    I am looking for a good No.4 Mk I to shoot over long range.

    Do you have any idea where I might find one?

    Thanks for any help, good afternoon,
    Forrest

  20. #20
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    Forrest, good day, sir!

    The last three #4 Enfields I've owned came from Internet sites. Two were from Auction Arms, and the latest, a brand-new Fazakerly which cost a LOT more than I thought I'd ever spend on such a rifle, was purchased from a gent advertising on Gunsamerica. All three were just as advertised, and I was happy with the rifles. The chances of finding a decent rifle are far higher on the Internet, than in poking around through gunshops and classified newspaper ads.

    I'd suggest buying from someone on Gunsamerica, which is NOT an auction site. Do a search for such things as "Enfield", "Lee Enfield", ".303", "#4 Mk1 (and #4 Mk1/2, and #4 Mk2)". I keep an eye on the rifles there, and right now there are several decent ones ranging in the $200-and-'WAY-up price zone. For cast bullets, the two-groove barrels have a good reputation, although I haven't yet tried such a barrel personally. I'd avoid the cheapest ones listed, because a lot of these rifles were used hard in nasty climates all around the world and show the hard service they received.

    www.gunsamerica.com

    Although I now have my "perfect" #4 in the form of this Faz-built 1955 rifle, (named "Miz Liz" in honor of Elizabeth Hurley, another fine-looking Limey) I now find myself looking rather hard for a prime-condition Long Branch (Canadian) #4 rifle. These are generally accepted to be the best of all the #4 rifles, and I actually was issued such a rifle by the Canadian Army a looooooong time back (#85L7408, if anyone runs across it.....issued to me in 1958). I am also lusting after a new-condition L39A1 target rifle on GA, a Long Branch #4 converted to 7.62 NATO using a Sterling conversion kit with FUNCTIONAL magazine, plus A.J. Parker match sights....just a mere matter of $1000 (choke)!

    #4 Rifles are great fun to own and shoot, and still a lot less-expensive than similar-vintage Springfields or other US military rifles. Non-wartime #4 rifles seem to have better quality control on such things as bore diameters, etc.

    Hope you find a good 'un!
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check