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Thread: M1 Carbine reduced loads (look for a miracle)

  1. #1

    M1 Carbine reduced loads (look for a miracle)

    I am looking for something that may be very rare. At least my research has only found reduced loads with cast bullets that need gas checks. I belong to a Pistol Club that recently got approval for pistol caliber carbine use. .30 Carbine is technically neither a pistol or a rifle cartridge. We are restricted to a maximum velocity of 1550 FPS. Got to love Maryland. There are several soft pointed bullets that are over 110 grains. A lot of them may be designed for 30-30 use. Has anyone worked up a load using for example Sierra 123gr. Sp or even 150 grain plated bullets. That I am looking for the increase in bullet weight as to hopefully get it to cycle the action. By the way just before anybody panics, the carbine is a Auto-Ordnance facsimile. No World War II carbine will be mistreated under my care. Not that I'm looking to blow myself up either.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In my WW2-era Inland M1 carbine I use the Accurate 31-100T plainbased bullet with 7.4 grains of AutoComp. Despite the bore of my rifle having light frosting, I have no leading issues and the load cycles the carbine reliably and is more accurate than military FMJ.

    14 grains of IMR4198 will also cycle the gun, does not lead, and carbine velocity does not exceed your range velocity restriction.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Velocity Data for .30 Carbine in Rifle and Revolver:

    Ammunition__________Ruger 7-1/2”__________US M1 Carbine 18”

    LC44 Ball M1_________1586 fps , 20 Sd, 46 ES__1981 fps, 20 Sd, 56 ES

    WCC44 Ball M1_______1527, 21, 58___________1960, 23, 89

    Accurate 31-100T

    7.4 grs. AutoComp_____1527, 11, 29__________1692, 16, 54 Most accurate load

    14.0 grs. IMR4227_____1524, 12, 35__________1858, 13, 33

    14.0 grs. IMR4198__1178, 52, 125________1526, 30, 108
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    This might be a tough one. A heavier and longer bullet will probably bulge the case to where the cartridge will not chamber. Perhaps a faster burning powder than is normally used in the 30 carbine will get you what you want velocity wise and still function the action. I'm not feeling very optimistic about it, though. The tapered case is very dependent on pressure to seal off the chamber. With light loads you might get a face full of gas when the brass fails to upset and grip the chamber walls. Hopefully someone here has swam these Waters and can help you out. Good luck.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Lyman makes a 130 gr plain base bullet that will suit your needs. And it is very carbine friendly.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The 123 SP and heavier jacketed bullets also will not stabilize most often at full velocity let alone reduced out of an M1 Carbine. As mentioned the Lyman 311410 most often will stabilize down to 1200+ fps. Lyman CBH has several loads in the 1260 - 1550 fps range that will probably function the action with that cast bullet.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Boolit Master,
    Thanks for the wealth of information. The bullet you mention is a cast 100 gr. bullet from what I found. I have stayed away from casting with the exception of .58 mini balls for my 1861 Springfield. With that said I have close to 1500 Rainer 110 gr. plated bullets. I have no experience with the powders you mentioned. I know powders like H110 are very sensitive if the case is not almost filled. Reduced H110 charges has blown up more guns than we could count if the charge is low enough to settle horizontally across the case. Are the powders you mentioned sensitive this way? If not, do you think I could reduce your charges (because of the extra 10 grs. of bullet weight) and work my way up to cycling charges? Of course keeping an eye out for signs of over pressure?

    Of course anyone reading this please chime in if you think this a bad idea.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    YMMV. Especially if your Auto-Ordinance carbine isn't broken in, but I've found
    13.7 gr of IMR 4227 under a 110 gr RN to be a mild load that will cycle my old Inland carbine and a 1980's AMT Automag pistol. I haven't chronographed this load.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    lyman 46 reloading handbook bullet 311410 4.9 unique 1290 fps. and it works the action.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy kir_kenix's Avatar
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    I haven't had any luck with Unique reliably cycling any of my carbines...original or Plainsfield replica. IMR4198 or 4227 will both probably work at your desired velocity with a 110-130 gr boolit.

  10. #10
    BMI
    Funny you mentioned the M1 Carbine being broken in. I bought 3 surplus bandoliers of LC 1964 ammo. I gave them to my 14 year old son during a family range session. I asked him to shoot them all so I could reload the brass with new handloads. I just wanted the brass, striper clips, and striper clip mag tool. I went to the next bench to shoot my M1 Garand with several loads to find the best grouping load. About 30 minutes later I noticed him hovering over my shoulder. I asked him if he was talking a break. He replied no, I am all done. I was amazed and at the same time worried that he shot all the ammo so fast that the barrel was super hot to the point the rifling was all down range. To my surprise the barrel wasn't to hot to hold. I couldn't believe how fast he went through 3 bandoliers. Now 3 years latter I make sure to pace him.

  11. #11
    In my quest to get this project going I also went on line to see if I could purchase a slightly weaker recoil spring. Wolff Springs came to mind of course. They sell a heavy duty spring for the carbine and a standard spring. I was shocked to find out that they do not make any custom springs. If someone knows of a company that makes custom springs please let me know. For now I am going to try some of the suggested loads you all have contributed. I want to thank everyone for their input. I'll post results from crono testing and groups from 25, 50, and 100 yards.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Ok... I have some experience here. I have been shooting my Inland for decades with cast bullets. From 110 to 130 grain bullets with no gas check and a commercial variant of H110 that back in the day was known as H110 Data and I suspect that it is now what is sold as H108 in commercial containers. It is a tad faster than H110, so the loads are reduced by 10-12%. My load is 10.8 grains with a 110-115 bullet. If memory serves me, this load clocks in around 1300fps and cycles the action perfectly! With consumer H110 this would be a load of around 11.8 grains, please check the books as well.

    When I started shooting this load in the very late 90's, I was worried about lead in the gas port... got the tool to take it apart and do every couple of years. But, have never found any lead! My kids and I shoot at least an ammo can full of these per year. I am using the stock springs and fully stock bolt. I do not think I would go over 130 grains for the bullet, but I am concerned about wear and tear on my carbine... thus lead bullets only go down the pipe.

  13. #13
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    I have been using 10 gr of VV N110 for my "reduced loads". It's actually my "go to" load. The expended brass all goes into a neat little pile, and it's extremely accurate. It may give just a tad more velocity than the OP is looking for, but it cycles perfectly in my Inland.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Be careful with Wolff springs. Many times carbines fail to cycle with them because they are too strong. For lighter loads in the carbine I'd recommend 4227 powder. Works well for lighter loads in my carbines.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    BMI Funny you mentioned the M1 Carbine being broken in.

    Vulture8787,
    I really have no idea of the round count on my Inland, I've probably ran 3,000 through it since receiving it in 1982. Given the condition of the stock I assume it saw some service. But it will still hold a 1" group at 75 feet from a rest. The Automag, on the other hand, wasn't broken in. It took a while to get it to cycle reliably on Reduced loads. They both digest the aforementioned 13.7 grains 4427 faithfully now with less wear and tear.

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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