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Thread: 6.5x55 Garand - QuickLoad Help Needed!

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    6.5x55 Garand - QuickLoad Help Needed!

    Hey guys!

    I just rebarreled an M1 Garand to 6.5x55. It may have been done before, but thereís an outside chance that Iím the first one to try it! I have it cycling fine manually, and am ready to drill my gas port. Itís currently just a pilot hole.

    I donít have a Windows computer, so I donít have QuickLoad. I was wondering if I could ask for some help getting the pressure at the location of the gas port for some typical 140gr 6.5x55 loads with different powders. The gas port is right around 22.5Ē from the breech end, and the barrel is 24Ē long overall.

    I will probably end up using an adjustable gas plug on my rifle, but the barrel manufacturer asked me to get back to them with the dimension, and Iíd like to have something more scientific for them than just drilling out my port until it cycles with my preferred load.

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    Steve

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Great idea, i'll be watching this thread.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Now this looks like some fun.I`ll saddle up and go along for the ride.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well I can't help you with the load data but I'm very intrigued by this project of yours. Tell us more!
    Last edited by Peregrine; 09-08-2019 at 11:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    garandsrus's Avatar
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    Did you do have to do anything other than put on a new barrel? 6.5x55 is a great caliber.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    When 8x57 ammo was cheap and everywhere, I really, really wanted a M1 Garand in 8x57......

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
    Well I can't help you with the load data but I'm very intrigued by this project of yours. Tell us more!
    Well I got interested in this because I bought a case of 6.5x55 wooden blanks (M14) for about 2 cents a pop. I began using them as primed brass and fell in love with the caliber. Read below for more technical stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by garandsrus View Post
    Did you do have to do anything other than put on a new barrel? 6.5x55 is a great caliber.
    Agreed, it’s become my favorite vintage caliber. Only took us about 120 years to reproduce its performance profile with the 6.5 Creedmoor!

    Since the rim is thicker and the base is .480 instead of the standard .473, I was expecting to have to modify the bolt face, extractor and clips, however I found that the case head fits just fine into all 6 of the bolts I had available to test due to the Garand’s tolerances. I haven’t fired it semi-auto yet so I can’t know for sure, but it also seems like the stock extractor is going to work just fine despite the thicker rim.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    With regard to the clips, I was planning to make a Holbrook device and load them 7 rounds to a clip, but in testing I found that I was able to fit 8 rounds in about 3/4 of my clips. The remainder were too right and would not stack correctly. Not a big deal as I used a metallic silver sharpie to mark the ones that do work right!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    When 8x57 ammo was cheap and everywhere, I really, really wanted a M1 Garand in 8x57......
    I picked up an Egyptian FN49 that blew up in someone’s face due to an out-of-battery slam fire for $100. With another $150 I had a new 8mm barrel, 30-06 stock set and a Belgian bolt and carrier with the later and safer 2-piece firing pin and firing pin safety mechanism to prevent kabooms. It’s currently wearing a pristine 8x57, but since it has no collector value I’m kinda tempted to try to make a 6.5x55 barrel for this one too...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    I ran a couple of different powders through Quickload; The pressure at 22.5" is around 1150 to 1300 psi - The slower powders giving the highest pressure.
    Cap'n Morgan

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Morgan View Post
    I ran a couple of different powders through Quickload; The pressure at 22.5" is around 1150 to 1300 psi - The slower powders giving the highest pressure.
    Thatís awesome, thank you! Iím surprised the port pressures are so low. The M2 Ball load produced 1250 psi at the port, so I expected the 6.5x55 to be higher. But I guess it makes sense since itís an older, lower pressure cartridge firing a lighter projectile

    Is there any way you could please send the data so I can have the loads? My email is stevenew@bu.edu.

    Thanks again,

    Steve

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Steve.

    It would probably be easier for you to list the powders you plan to use (and the OAL of your loads). Then I'll be happy to crunch the numbers.

    BTW: The port pressure for a .308 Win is significantly lower - about 8300 psi for a 165 grains load. As I understand the Garands will work with .308 ammo using a chamber insert, so, if anything, the 12500 psi is on the high side (a 180 grains bullet in 30-06 with 58 grains IMR 4831 has a port pressure of 10200 psi)
    Cap'n Morgan

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Morgan View Post
    Steve.

    It would probably be easier for you to list the powders you plan to use (and the OAL of your loads). Then I'll be happy to crunch the numbers.

    BTW: The port pressure for a .308 Win is significantly lower - about 8300 psi for a 165 grains load. As I understand the Garands will work with .308 ammo using a chamber insert, so, if anything, the 12500 psi is on the high side (a 180 grains bullet in 30-06 with 58 grains IMR 4831 has a port pressure of 10200 psi)
    You're completely right! I meant ~10.5k PSI rather than 12.5k for the Garand's port pressure with M2 Ball. I must have confused myself with a different number, and really glad you pointed it out. I'm surprised that the .308 load produces such low pressure. I'd be interested to see if the Navy ones with the chamber insert also had their gas ports drilled out. I have a couple BM59Es in my collection and will measure the ports to see if they were opened up at all.

    So I think that in terms of QuickLoad simulations, I'd want as wide a range of burn rates as possible. I'll put down a list, and you can do as many of them as you have the patience for, no pressure at all to run them all! But preferable at least the extremes and maybe one or two in the middle.

    COAL is 3.025" for all loads.

    Viht N150 - 34.5 gr
    Viht N160 - 39.0
    Magnum - 49.5
    Viht N560 - 44.0
    IMR 4350 - 41.0
    RL 22 - 44.5
    IMR 4831 - 42.5
    H4831 - 45.0
    H1000 - 50.0

    Thanks a ton for your help!

    Steve

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    This is what QL came up with. Most of the loads are pretty mild and non of them are "in the red".

    COAL is 3.025" for all loads.

    -------------------------PSI

    Viht N150 - 34.5 gr---8460
    Viht N160 - 39.0------8900
    Magnum - 49.5--------No such powder in QL
    Viht N560 - 44.0------11380
    IMR 4350 - 41.0------10200
    RL 22 - 44.5----------10420
    IMR 4831 - 42.5-----10600
    H4831 - 45.0---------10930
    H1000 - 50.0---------11830
    Cap'n Morgan

  13. #13
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    I really hope you're going to post some pics when done!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Morgan View Post
    This is what QL came up with. Most of the loads are pretty mild and non of them are "in the red".

    COAL is 3.025" for all loads.

    -------------------------PSI

    Viht N150 - 34.5 gr---8460
    Viht N160 - 39.0------8900
    Magnum - 49.5--------No such powder in QL
    Viht N560 - 44.0------11380
    IMR 4350 - 41.0------10200
    RL 22 - 44.5----------10420
    IMR 4831 - 42.5-----10600
    H4831 - 45.0---------10930
    H1000 - 50.0---------11830
    Thank you so much for running these. I'm extremely thankful, the information is invaluable to getting this done right! I'll probably use the same gas port spec as the 30-06 Garand, and recommend the use of an adjustable gas plug for anything slower than IMR 4831.

    If you have any interest in ordering one of these barrels from Criterion let me know and I'd be happy to finish ream / headspace it to your action! Just got my FFL approved and have a 6.5x55 pull-through reamer on the way from PTG!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrimReaper View Post
    I really hope you're going to post some pics when done!
    You bet I will! I'm thinking about stripping a hackberry stock and leaving it unstained with a top coat of Tom's 1/3. Some will hate the light color, but I think it would look more Nordic to match the caliber

  15. #15
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    Here's some pressure tested load data for the Swede useing 4350 and 4831 with the 129SST
    https://goodsteelforum.com/forums/to...-6-5x55-swede/

    The Quickload pressure for Ramshot Magnum, 49.5gns, with a 140 Hornady SP at 22.5" is 11,455psi
    Last edited by lar45; 09-11-2019 at 03:58 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    If you post C.O.L. you must specify what the exact bullet bullet length is. Quickload calculates using seating depth, which independent of bullet type and length.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    That sounds like a great project.
    6.5 is way more accurate than .30.
    I once had a AG42 and it shot great.
    Should never have sold it.
    Maybe try using one of those adjustable gas nuts.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by lar45 View Post
    Here's some pressure tested load data for the Swede useing 4350 and 4831 with the 129SST
    https://goodsteelforum.com/forums/to...-6-5x55-swede/

    The Quickload pressure for Ramshot Magnum, 49.5gns, with a 140 Hornady SP at 22.5" is 11,455psi
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    If you post C.O.L. you must specify what the exact bullet bullet length is. Quickload calculates using seating depth, which independent of bullet type and length.
    I'll keep that in mind next time. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    That sounds like a great project.
    6.5 is way more accurate than .30.
    I once had a AG42 and it shot great.
    Should never have sold it.
    Maybe try using one of those adjustable gas nuts.
    Yeah, I love the 6.5x55. I'm also building a run of AG42 clones on a couple dozen stripped Hakim receivers that I happened into. The first few should be ready to go soon, with brand new wood and excellent barrels. And yes, I'll be using a Schuster gas plug on the 6.5 Garand.


    Steve

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    When 8x57 ammo was cheap and everywhere, I really, really wanted a M1 Garand in 8x57......
    A guy on the FAL Files built one several years ago. He seems to like it. I've seen rifles advertised in .35 Whelen and .338 Win Mag, too. I think that a Garand in either .35 Whelen or 9.3X62mm would be a neat one.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholst55 View Post
    A guy on the FAL Files built one several years ago. He seems to like it. I've seen rifles advertised in .35 Whelen and .338 Win Mag, too. I think that a Garand in either .35 Whelen or 9.3X62mm would be a neat one.
    Sounds neat, but I prefer calibers that decrease felt recoil!

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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