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Thread: M1 Garand try to size cases

  1. #21
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I'm not sure using non-Garand spec ammo would effect resizing the cases. Break/ bend op rods and other assorted ills to the rifle but I'm not sure it would expand the case so much that it would be impossible or approaching impossible to resize.

    But I've been wrong before, would like to hear the mechanics behind the over expansion.

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    That's what Small Base Dies are about. I use them for my AR-15 and HK91...
    Yep, same here.

    When I switched to resizing my '06 cases with RCBS Small Base Dies, not only were chambering issues eliminated (actually experienced very few of those), but I noted an uptick in accuracy using the same cases, and same bullet/powder/primer combo.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy
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    When I got my Garand from DCM almost 40 yrs ago (prior to CMP) I was strongly advised to use only ammo that was specifically for the Garand. The reason is that factory ammo is mostly configured for commercial guns not Garands and the pressure curve of the powder is not appropriate for the Garand. I wasn't aware of any problem caused for reloading the cases but learned that it would very likely cause a bent op rod. So my personal opinion is that the casing is expanded too much. Also it is very possible that his op rod is already bent which would require replacement (a pricey item).

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohavedog View Post
    When I got my Garand from DCM almost 40 yrs ago (prior to CMP) I was strongly advised to use only ammo that was specifically for the Garand. The reason is that factory ammo is mostly configured for commercial guns not Garands and the pressure curve of the powder is not appropriate for the Garand. I wasn't aware of any problem caused for reloading the cases but learned that it would very likely cause a bent op rod. So my personal opinion is that the casing is expanded too much. Also it is very possible that his op rod is already bent which would require replacement (a pricey item).
    I will copy this and send it to my friend to let him go from there . thank you .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I do not know if it is still true or not, but in the 1980s I was told by Mike Bussard at Federal Cartridge in Anoka, MN that their 150-grain softpoint load in the .30-'06 was loaded with 52 grains of IMR4064 and that its interior ballistics as to breech and port pressure were very similar to the military Ball M2 service load, and could be used in the Garand without restriction. I do not know if this is still the case.

    If you have commercial 150-grain softpoints, it wouldn't hurt to pull one down and to weigh the powder charge. If it is an extruded-tubular powder and the charge weight does not exceed about 52 grains, you should be good to go.

    I do know that commercial softpoint loads of the 165, and 180 grain weights are generally loaded with slower powders such as IMR4350 or a spheroidal powder similar to H414, W760, etc. in charge weights around 55-58 grains. These slower powders and heavy bullets are a surefire receipe to generate excessive port pressure and will bend the Garand operating rod, which is both difficult and very expensive to find a suitable replacement.
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  6. #26
    Boolit Bub Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    I do not know if it is still true or not, but in the 1980s I was told by Mike Bussard at Federal Cartridge in Anoka, MN that their 150-grain softpoint load in the .30-'06 was loaded with 52 grains of IMR4064 and that its interior ballistics as to breech and port pressure were very similar to the military Ball M2 service load, and could be used in the Garand without restriction. I do not know if this is still the case.
    The Garand-Gear guy did extensive testing of various commercial 30-06 'hunting' ammo and found that more than a few loads in the 150gn range are actually 'Garand-safe'; however, all factory '06 'hunting' loads can be MADE SAFE to shoot in an M1 through the use of an adjustable gas plug - either the one the GG guy sells or the one Schuster Mfg makes.

    http://www.garandgear.com/m1-garand-ammunition

    These adjustable plugs allow you, literally, to 'tune' the M1's gas system and the reciprocation speed of the op rod to the energy level of the '06 ammo you're shooting, so it can be fired without risk of damage.

    I use Schuster's adj. plug in my 'hunting' Garand, which is set up with a forward-mounted Scout scope for deer and hogs. The plug is currently tuned for Remington's 220gn CoreLoks (@ 2400+fps) ammo, and my rifle is zeroed to hit 1" high @ 100yds. I've also developed a handload using Hornady's 220gn RN bullets over Varget that runs close to the same velocity as the Remmy load and hits virtually to the same POA.

    The only down-side to the plug is that if you switch to shooting different '06 ammo - say, going from a 220gn load to shooting a 165gn or 180gn load - you'll need to 're-tune' the gas system/op rod to the ammo by adjusting the plug's internal venting screw to creating reliable functioning without beating up the gun. It's not hard to do, but it does take some amount of patience and range time.

    Also, FYI, if you're shooting handloads, a mere one-eighth to one-quarter turn of the plug's adj. screw (either way) can tighten or open up groups even if there's no noticeable difference in function or felt-recoil. I played with a few back-n-forth quarter-turns with the screw while shooting my 220gn handload and found a setting where the groups were noticeably tighter than groups fired on other settings, so that's where it's been left.

    From Schuster Mfg.'s website:

    Remove existing gas plug, and replace with your new adjustable gas plug. Start with setscrew at the factory preset position. Turning the screw about ¼ turn at a time, tighten screw, and fire until the rifle functions reliably with your particular load. If the adjusting screws seems to loosen, install the hollow locking screw and tighten against the original setscrew locking it in place. Locating your Rifle’s sweet spot requires some trial and error. Once rifle is functioning properly, try turning the setscrew 1/8 of a turn at a time and fire a few rounds. Repeat until best group is found. Some shooters like to scribe a small line on the setscrew itself, and use it as a marker for identifying plug position (i.e. 3 o clock).
    http://www.schustermfg.com/m1-garand...able-gas-plug/

    These slower powders and heavy bullets are a surefire receipe to generate excessive port pressure and will bend the Garand operating rod, which is both difficult and very expensive to find a suitable replacement.
    Again, the advent of adjustable M1 gas plugs has rendered this problem moot. That is, in fact, why they were invented.
    Last edited by Nick Adams; 06-16-2019 at 03:49 PM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Bub
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    When I purchased my M1, it was equipped with a non-adjustable (one size fits all) gas plug for shooting any "commercial" round. Lots of primers pushed out of seat, and acted almost as if it had a generous chamber. Changed it after some deeper thought that increasing volume only slows the timing down, which would act as if I had too much headspace. It's a long shot, but did your friend have one of these plugs installed? As soon as I changed it back to the GI plug, all problems stopped.

    Sometimes the gremlins in a rifle need a little smoking out! It was a couple of months worth of tinkering on the load to find that the gas plug was my issue. A giant thanks to the mass of knowledge that is on this forum, I look here before anywhere else for thoughts.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    An awful lot of assumptions for unseen and not having been inspected. The wonderful platform we call the Garand and all the magic it contains, no one really knows until the piece is gauged, measured and inspected. Possibly seven decades and how many conflicts/rebuilds, how many hands, how many hands that should not be touching. Worked one and was told it had a ratchet brush and compound applied to clean rusted chamber (it now has a new tube)! I think my first steps would be measuring fired cases, head space and throat and possibly a chamber cast and move on from there. After earning all these gray hairs that old saying none of what you hear and half of what you see does seem to make life a little easier.

  9. #29
    Boolit Bub Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zingger View Post
    When I purchased my M1, it was equipped with a non-adjustable (one size fits all) gas plug for shooting any "commercial" round. Lots of primers pushed out of seat, and acted almost as if it had a generous chamber. Changed it after some deeper thought that increasing volume only slows the timing down, which would act as if I had too much headspace. It's a long shot, but did your friend have one of these plugs installed? As soon as I changed it back to the GI plug, all problems stopped.
    That's why I use an adjustable gas plug and not a 'one-size' non-adjustable plug, even though Schuster Mfg. offers one of those too. (They call it a high-volume plug).

    I know a few guys who hunt deer with their M1s.

    In the spring and summer they install the G.I. plug for service rifle and Vintage match competitions and zero their M1s with Lake City, HXP, or whatever G.I. M2-type ball ammo or equivalent handload they have.

    In the fall, as their thoughts turn to gearing up for the annual Deer Camp, they remove the G.I. plug and install an adjustable plug which they've previously tuned to shoot a particular '06 hunting load. Then it's off to the range to do a quick confirm that the zero's still good with that ammo (typically the same stuff they used to fill last season's tag), and they're good to go. Easy peasy.
    Last edited by Nick Adams; 06-16-2019 at 03:52 PM.

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy

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    I think the original question was about brass, fired in a M1, not being resized to fit the original rifle. Lots of good comments about on a number of issues. If the brass is properly resized, it should be returned to the SAAMI specs for that caliber. Is the press lever camming over against the bottom of the die on the downstroke to ensure the die is being fully utilized? Adequate lube is a must to prevent a case from sticking. To much and you will see some denting of the case. I suggest you recheck the die setting to ensure full resizing.

    Commercial rounds are a gamble in a M1. While you have a pretty good chance that the chamber pressure will be within SAAMI limits, there is no guarantee on the port pressure. Bent operatizing rods are almost a guaranteed thing with prolonged use of an excessive port pressure round. Have seen the receiver heel cracked on a Garand that had commercial rounds fired in it. The owner actually tried to reweld it. As stated above, an adjustable plug is a must if you get away from what the rifle was originally designed for. It is even good for all rounds since you can lessen the impact on the receiver with all rounds.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think the original poster is trying to resize Garand brass to SAAMI Specs rather than BACK to the rifle the brass was fired in. Since the brass was fired in that rifle, it will go back therein. There is no need to oversize the cases. Back off the resizing die a turn or two, lube the case, resize and try it in the original rifle. If it will not go, turn the sizer down a quarter turn and repeat until the bolt closes.

    I do this for my Garands and did so on my three Match M-14s. Label the reloads to the Specific rifle and you are good to go. It really is that simple. You need to let the rifle tell you when you have resized enough.

    Adam

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    I had copy all that is posted and sent it to my friend. Thank you Hope he is able to see what his problem is from all you wrote .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA sez - one way or another - resize cases with RCBS SMALL BASE dies in a LARGE ROBUST PRESS!!!!!
    Use STP OIL TREATMENT for a case lube.
    Trim sized cases OAL to specs.
    Make SURE cases chamber FREELY in yer rifle.
    Use CCI Military primers.
    >>> You CANNOT screw up with semiautos. SLAMFIRES!!! KABOOM!!! <<<

  14. #34
    Boolit Master


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    Getting ready to go to the range last weekend, I had to dig into my last ammo can of loaded clips for the Garand and decided it might be time to reload some 30-06. So, over the last couple of days, I've full-length resized a little over 750 mil-surp cases and, much to my surprise, actually had TWO cases that wouldn't go all the way into my standard RCBS die. much as described by the OP. Both were late-50s 'FA' brass and neither showed any indication of overpressure. No clue what might've caused the anomaly 'cause all that brass had been loaded with same M2-equivalent load and fired in the same rifle over the last year or so. Oh yeah...before anyone asks...I miked those cases after I popped them out of the die and they measured within .001 of unsized 'FA' out of the same bucket of empties that went into the resizer slicker'n snot on a doorknob.

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  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Loaded a lot of ammo for one without problems. I must be doing something wrong. Small base dies and lanolin/heat case lube.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy
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    I Custom Reload my ammo for each specific rifle on establishment, label the ammo to the gun and have NO need for small base dies. NONE of my Garands, Match M-14s, ABL M49s, Tokarevs or Hakims "Needed" small base dies because the fired cases ONLY went back to the original arm the ammo was fired in.

    I have each arm at the bench when I reload and the gun "tells" me when I resized enough. Reloaders can, and often do, resize cases too much. This same problem occured with many belted magnum rifles until reloaders finally sized to the case shoulder rather than the useless belts.

    Adam

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    I also use lanolin and small base dies, but I have also found that some times the cases need to be annealed. If a case is old or been used it may be work hardened .
    jim

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy

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    To each his own, but with my Garand and M1-A rifles I worry about a slam fire. I always go back the a full length resizing to ensure that a round will feed without and resistance.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master



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    I may be over simplifying things, but it seems a full length resized case with length verified, should be to Sami specs and work in all guns. I used to load 180 grain bullets with 3031 and use them interchangeably in my Garland, 03A3 and Remington 700. I never had any problems. I only had a small Lyman turret press to size with.

    Something has to be wrong with the resizing process. Bad die, die not adjusted correctly, poor quality lube or press is not adjusted correctly or has problems. Otherwise, the brass should be able to be resized to Sami specs and work in all .30-06 rifles.

    I will admit that I have had some 308 mil surplus brass that took a lot of force, but sized correctly. I usually use castor oil for case lube. Sometimes mixed with lanolin.

  20. #40
    Boolit Bub Nick Adams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirate69 View Post
    To each his own, but with my Garand and M1-A rifles I worry about a slam fire. I always go back the a full length resizing to ensure that a round will feed without and resistance.
    Slam-fires are a valid concern, but the risk can be minimized or eliminated in M1s & M1As by:

    (1) using CCI #34 (7.62) Mil primers; and

    (2) fully re-sizing your cases (mil or commercial) using Small Base dies, which are made specifically for brass to be chambered and fired in Mil or Mil-pattern semi-automatic actions.

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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