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Thread: M1A or Garand???

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    M1A or Garand???

    Looking at adding a new rifle to the collection.

    After having an SKS, AK47 and an AR15, none of which excite me much.
    Been thinking about an M1A or a Garand.

    I'm tooled up well for the 30-06 so was thinking on going with the garand but through reading and advice from some friends I keep hearing there picky to reload for due to there gas system? Not to mention your limited to 8 rounds.

    The M1A looks like a nice unit. Several different barrel lengths and stock combos to choose from. Personally a wood stock and 18 inch barrel would suit me fine.
    Never fired a 308 but guessing not much difference than the 06.
    Would need to retool, dies and brass.
    Have not heard anything about problems on reloading for them as I have on the garand.
    I see plenty of 308 ammo at every show I go too.

    Just wondering out loud!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    MUSTANG's Avatar
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    Start with the Garand as they are more difficult to get at times (in shooters hands/safe like mine and they are not letting go of them). As you have all ready stated, your set up for the 30-06 cartridge now. Then as cash is available pick up an M1Aas they seem to be available on many gunstore racks (both new and used) as well as dies/molds/etc.. . Of course; you need more than one of each.
    Mustang

    "In the beginning... the patriot is a scarce man, and brave and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Garand is not picky to load for with cast.

    Use ordinary FL resizing dies. You don't need or want "small base" sizing dies. These are a coinspiracy between the die makers and brass sellers to wear out your brass more quickly.

    DO use USGI surplus brass, if you can find any. It lasts longer and reloads better. While GI Match brass is best, ordinary Ball M2 cases work well and are long lasting, once you remove the primer pocket crimp. Best tool for removing the GI crimp is the Dillon Auto Swage. I load thousands of rounds for Garands yearly and this is what I use. If you only have access to range pickup brass, try accumulate Remington, Winchester, RWS, Norma, Lapua, any USGI or HXP.

    Federal and S-B brass are junk, sell to the scrap man.

    The Greek surplus HXP headstamp brass from the CMP ammo is very good and is worth seeking out the ammo to get the brass.

    Don't be afraid of WW2-era Ball ammo or fired brass from it. Any USGI brass made after 1934 which has visible neck anneal colors is good. Follow the WW2 manual to clean and oil your rifle, using hot soapy water heated in a canteen cup, or GI bore cleaner.

    Decap and wash older corrosive primed brass after firing in hot water with Ivory or Dawn dishwashing detergent to remove any residual chlorate salts. Then swage primer pockets, tumble clean when dry, then size and load as normal.

    Don't use ball or spheroidal powders in the Garand, stick to extruded powders it was designed for. Either IMR or H 4895, IMR4064, RL15 or Varget are the best choices for powder. Best cast bullet to use is the NOE clone of #311299, sized .311" and cast about 15 BHN, 50-50 linotype and wheelweights is good. Use NRA formula 50-50 Alox Beexwax.

    A charge of 35-40 grains of the above powders will cycle the rifle reliably. Start on the low end and quit when you get reliable function.

    Use standard Winchester large rifle primers. They are closest to military cup thickness, anvil point geometry and priming mix. The CCI military M34 primers are OK, but aren't the only suitable ones.

    Add a tuft (1 grain weighed) of Dacron polyester fiber, tucked in loosely into the case neck, NOT pressed down against the powder before seating the bullet.

    Use either the RCBS cast bullet expander or Lyman "M" die to slightly flare the inside and outside deburred case mouths to prevent shaving any lead in bullet seating. The expander plug should be not more than 0.002" smaller than the bullet. A .309 or .308 RCBS plug works best with #311299 sized to .310-.311" which is correct for GI Garand barrels.

    A heavy crimp is not needed, but the seating die must remove any mouth flare. Use the sized front driving band as a visual reference when seating. You want to see at least 1/16: of the driving band above the case mouth, but none of the lube groove. This length will feed fine from the enbloc 8-round clips and the #311299 is a good fit in the GI throat. If you have a new commercial barrel such as a Criterion you might need to seat bullets a wee bit deeper. Try chambering a DUMMY round, extracting it and looking at it to see if it is heavily marked by the rifling. Light marking which does not impair full chambering when the bolt is released, and which does not result in de-bulleting upon extracting a loaded round does no harm.

    Correct cast bullet loads will not foul the gas system. There may be some lead deposit on the opeatying rod which is easily removed with steel wool and Kroil. The gas cylinder can be cleaned easily by removing the gas cylinder plug only, NOT the gas cylinder lock, and cleaning the gas cylinder with a .410 bore brush and Kroil.

    Enjoy your Garand. You will find it MUCH less "fussy" to load cast for than an M1A "Pogo Stick"
    Last edited by Outpost75; 11-18-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man oldhenry's Avatar
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    If you stick with 4895 or 4064 you'll never have any problem with the gas system on a Garand. There may be more, but I have personal experience with 4895 & 4064.

    I agree with Mustang......get a Garand while you can (I have 3 & I'll never sell them).

    Henry

    .................................................. .................................................. .
    A real sport involves either gasoline or gun powder..............all others are just games

  5. #5
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    with both the Garand and the M1a variants you have to load within the working range of the gas system. its no big deal for either. i have both, and my personal preference is the M1.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Both are fine accurate dependable rifles in about the same performance range. Both will doany job suited for the cartridges. There are some diffrences in the 2 rifles though. These might have some bearing on what you chose.
    The Garand is a solid well built rifle 24" barrel in rack grade. Uussually 1-12 or 1-10 twist good for around 175 grn bullets. Wood is normally average but nice figured wood can be found. 8 round enblock clips that are ejected when last round has been fired. There is the sled clip that is a single load enhancement device that stays in the rifle and allows single round loading. Gas system is real finicky but to slow of powder or to heavy bullet and the op rod can bend causing functioning and loss of accuracy. Front hand guard can be an issue to accuracy with out mods. All in all a very solid rifle that's accurate and dependable. Parts are still available. The garand can be emptied with out cycling rounds thru action.
    The M1A/M14 is also a dependable accurate rifle that's also accurate. Slightly shorter action and possibly a little better bedding area. Shorter straight op rod that's not suiseptable to bending as the garand. Gas system is easier to work with but the piston needs to have carbon fouling removed occasionally ( I believe letter O drill and I don't remember the number drill for the small hole in the stem). On some the gas plug is ported also to lower operating pressures. Gas system can be slid forward easily so rifle can be removed from the stock with out "rocking" saving wear on the bedding. Barrels are 22" 1-10 or 1-12 so same bullet range as the garand. Again plain wood but fancier is available along with some very solid fiberglass heavy target versions. Uses a 20 round box magazine that stays in the rifle till removed.
    Trigger groups are very similar between both rifles and can be worked to 4 1/2lbs. 2 stage triggers on both rifles. safteys are also similar between the 2 rifles and lock the hammer in place. It used to be fashionable to lighten the hammers and a heavier spring to improve lock time for NRA High Power ) Slight differences in the pistol grips on the stocks and forends. Sights are similar, Battle grade, NM with hood and 1/2 min adjustment, front are available in different widths. Sight radious is a little longer on the garand. The M1A/M14 has scope mounts available that are easily removeable and repeatable. The Garands has scope mounts but not as functional unless you put the block on the barrel.
    My Garand is rebarreled to 308 / 7.62 with a medium heavy douglas barrel. I have used it to 1000 yds in matches Its completely bedded and tuned trigger is 4lbs 10 ounces. With a very short second stage that breaks at an added 1 1/2 lbs. Its a very useable rifle and very competitive.
    My M1As/M14s are also the same used out to 1000yds. ported gas system with interchangeable ports. Rear lugs added and bedded and tuned. Triggers are set up same as the garands. NM 1/2 min rear sight and .059 wide front sights.Front Sights are cut down for a 1 clk zero at 200 yds. This keeps sights lower at 600+ yds. Stocks are heavy walnut bishops. All are very accurate rifles.
    On a used garand if possible check the timing, throat erosion and muzzle wear. Otherwise look it over good for odd wear or damage. Remember some of these are pushing 100yrs old. The CMP can be a source of good rifles. On M`1a/M14s look over good for wear and damage. Check the throat erosion. Look for the modified flash hiders that have been taper reamed out ( a plus for accuracy). Also M1A/M14s came from springfield armory with 3 barrels the military used 2, A standard weight "pencil" barrel, A medium heavy barrel that had an extended chamber section, and a full heavy that was large dia to the gas system. Triggers were standard and tuned some. Some have glass bedding some M1As use the steel stock liner. Lugs both front and rear ( there are a few garands with triple lugs done by Clint Fowler also)
    Handle both and see what feels right and decide where you want to go.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I suggest you look at a Belgum FN49. 30-06, 7mm or 8mm. 10 round internal mag, stripper clip fed. Adjustable gas port, so far broader spectrum of operating pressures can be fired with bending anything. good luck

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Garand not picky to load for at all - just load for the Garand, and don't try to feed it any of the hotrods you cooked up for your 700.

    8 round clip is a LOT faster to get reloaded than a detachable box. The only real negative to the system is that it's fairly awkward to load less than 8 and you can't top off a partial magazine; the "tactical reload" of the day was to give the enemy whatever you had left after solving the immediate problem and stuff in a fresh clip.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    There are clips for the garand that are 2 round and 5 round but they are also one way use only. With practice you can load 2 rounds pretty easily, cross them in the clip push in and close the bolt. Not easy at first but can be learned. One nice thing is the enblock clips are inexpensive and can be modified at home for SLED, 2 rd and 5 rd. I can remember buying them .25 a piece. Troops were also taught to top off before advancing Hit the release button and the clip and rounds eject insert another. Its a fine rifle and does what it was meant to. It was built like a tank and heavy enough make the 30-06 easy to shoot.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    The Garand is just, well,,,,,a classic piece.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Love 'em both - but for awfulhand(offhand) shooting, always shot the Garand better as it had no 20 round mag right where I wanted to hold onto the gun ! The longer sight radius was helpful also. Always wanted one in .308, but can't make myself remove an original barrel from any of the dirty dozen in the safe. The very first one cost me $168 from the CMP(may have still been DCM then). Last one cost a bit more !

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    There are clips for the garand that are 2 round and 5 round but they are also one way use only. With practice you can load 2 rounds pretty easily, cross them in the clip push in and close the bolt. Not easy at first but can be learned. One nice thing is the enblock clips are inexpensive and can be modified at home for SLED, 2 rd and 5 rd. I can remember buying them .25 a piece. Troops were also taught to top off before advancing Hit the release button and the clip and rounds eject insert another. Its a fine rifle and does what it was meant to. It was built like a tank and heavy enough make the 30-06 easy to shoot.
    You are correct you can load any number of shells from 1 to 7 and it's not that hard. Once you learn it's easy. Another thing too, some Garand, not all, you can load an 8 round enbloc, don't let the action close, then place a loaded round in the chamber, then press the enbloc down all you can and let the bolt clos SLOWLY on the chambered round. Not all Garands will let you press the enbloc enough to let the bolt clear. Wonder if any soldiers done that in WWII and Korea? Sure would have surprised the enemy thinking you only had eight rounds!!

  13. #13
    Old retired Seabee

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    And if Colorado goes with the insane mag ban it should not effect the Garrard. And they already make a 3 or 5 round clip too.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You really can ignore the "wrong powders, wrong bullet weights" if you use a Schuster adjustable gas plug within reason! They have them for the M1A's too.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for all the input! Looks like I'll be looking for a garand.
    I've got two ammo cans of 42 and 43 headstamped GI once fired brass and a can and half of 50's GI brass.
    I use 4895 in my eddystone, so theres the powder..

    Cost wise I'm already ahead on the Garand as far as reloading components are concerned.
    Really did not want to tool up on brass and new dies for a new caliber, been shooting a 06 since I was a kid so its familiar to me.

    Lots of great tips, input and coments!
    Again thank you all!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Like some others on here, I am a fan of the M1 Garand and have been since I first carried one in service. I have a 1944 one right now in excellent condition and I would not trade it for any other rifle made. The M14/M1A is just a re-design of the M1. It has a short stroke gas system, a 22" barrel and is clip fed instead of an enbloc magazine. The Garand is just as easy to reload as the M14. I know, I have been there with both. I really like the ol girl and she points natural for me. I heard an old Marine Sgt. say to a bunch of recruits, if you can't shoot the M1, you need to join the girl scouts. There were situations where it would have been nice to have more than 8 rounds of ammo without a mag change but all in all, if I have to go into harm's way, I could ask for no better than a M1 and plenty of ammo. james

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Go with an FAL.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    Garand for sure. Also, be aware that you CAN shoot cast at low velocities in the Garand and get great accuracy. The rifle won't cycle, but that's not an issue. In fact, I changed out the gas plug on my Garand for one that has an open hole, so that it never cycles, even with full loads. All you have to do to reload is pull back on the handle and let go-- the spring closes the action fine. This lets you load the 8 round clip but choose when to toss the brass at your neighbor on the line (no hot brass down anyone's shirt).
    Hick: Iron sights!

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy 55fairlane's Avatar
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    The CMP store at camp perry had some 308 garands last week when I was there....I have both an M1 and M1A1(national match guns) the M1 is the better or more fun to shoot......hotrod ammo will break op rods in the M1......

    Aaron

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Well, the obvious answer would be to buy both ... but that's just the sort of thing that I would do without thinking twice ... (and I do have both) ...

    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

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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