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Thread: Reduced jacketed loads in an M1

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Reduced jacketed loads in an M1

    Anyone have experience with reduced jacketed bullet loads in the M1 Garand? I was talking to an acquaintance at the range who was having trouble with his M1. It was cycling OK, dropping the brass close so clearly light loads, but it wasn't terribly accurate, dinner plate groups at 100 yards.

    He had just started reloading for it. It looked like he was using some commercial 150gr FMJ bullets and good brass, but his load data indicated 45gr. IMR 4064. I asked why it was so light, and he said it shouldn't be, because it was a load recommended by his "M1 expert".

    I had my chronograph so I shot one over it and it clocked 2388fps. I think that's slow enough to fall into "reduced load" territory. He was adamant that his "old time expert" had told him that's what he needed to keep from damaging the old rifle.

    I've shot reduced loads before that were accurate enough, and if you're just punching paper and the rifle cycles it seems like a good idea, but I don't see how it's really necessary. People shoot HXP surplus ammo in them all the time, by the thousands, and that stuff is fairly hot, around 2800fps. They seem to hold up fine.

    What confused me was the accuracy problem. He was blaming the ammo so I suggested bumping it up a bit since his load is well below book starting load. I'll be curious to hear if that helps. I know, I know... too many unknowns to diagnose an accuracy problem, and it's not even my rifle to shoot. I was just wondering if anyone had ever had a similar problem.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    His "M1 Expert" isn't.

    45 grs. of IMR4064 with a 150-grain bullet is a mid-level load according to Speer for the .308 Winchester and in 7.62 NATO brass would approximate M80 Ball velocity of about 2750 fps. To approximate cal. .30 Ball M2 velocity with a 150-grain bullet in GI .30-'06 brass will take 50 grs. of IMR4064 for the same 2750 fps.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I use a reduced load of 43 grains of IMR 4064 with the Hornady 150 FMJ/BT as my go-to load for my M1 because I have a couple of pins/screws in my shoulder and want a little less recoil. I've tested that load many times in all sorts of temperatures and it runs right about 2450 fps. In my M1 it is accurate (2" at 100 ). I'm using WLRS primers. I would have thought 45 grains would be more like 2500+ fps.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Interesting. I only shot one round through the chronograph, so who knows. I suspect that the accuracy might not be load related. I didn't shoot it myself for accuracy, just one through the chronograph. I don't let anyone else shoot through my chronograph, made that mistake exactly one time.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    A friend used reduced pull down powder loads in his M1 for health reasons, aka bad shoulder. He used Korean PS ammo, pulled and weighed the same powder, recharged with 38 grains and reseated the bullet. It was ok, he wasn't a big time match shooter but it got out to 200 yds. and let him stay in the game a while longer. He's down to M1 carbine and boltgun shooting with 'the load' now.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Many years back I wrote to the NRA regarding a reduced load for a 1903A3 springfield I had at the time. They suggested from 37 to 40 grains IMR 4895 and a Sierra 125 grain spitzer bullet loaded in military 30-06 cases. They also went on saying that this load was used for 300 meter shooting back in the day. Tried this out in my rifle and yes it was accurate. And definitely easy on the recoil. Don't know if it would cycle a Garand though. Frank

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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