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Thread: Unique powder in M1 Garand

  1. #1

    Unique powder in M1 Garand

    Well I loaded up 11 cases I had lying around with 16 grs of Unique and Lee GC312-155-2R. Anybody use Unique and 150-160 gr cast in an M1? I saw Lyman had a starting load of 18 gr for 160 gr boolit. I'm wondering if 16 gr will cycle the action. What do you think? I'll keep my expectations low.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    May 2013
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    The Garand gas port is about an inch behind the muzzle, and with fast-burning powders the pressure will have peaked and dropped off long before the bullet reaches the gas port. If you want a cast load which cycles the M1 reliably, start at about 36 grains of IMR4895, IMR4064, RL15 or Varget. With a stiff-operating fresh CMP rebuild with new springs you may need to go as high as 40 grains, but a smooth-working gun which has been run a bit should function with the lighter charge. It is recommended that you tuck about 1 grain of loose Dacron fill into the case neck - NOT pushed down against the powder! - before seating the bullet, to take up some of the free airspace in the case.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    399
    Yep, Outpost75 pretty much nailed it. With Unique you can easily develop accurate cast loads in the M1, but it becomes a straight pull bolt action rifle. That may or may not be an issue for you.

    We do have a really good sticky thread originally started by BruceB which goes into depth on cast bullet loads which cycle the action. He initially focused on the M1A, but there's a lot of good discussion on load development for the Garand as well in that thread:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...pringfield-M1A

    One of the things that BruceB found was that slower powders, like the 4350 variants and 4831, combined with heavy cast bullets (180 gr and heavier) worked best for him. This combination kept the bullet velocity in the range he wanted, but also kept the port pressure high enough to cycle the action reliably.

  4. #4
    I appreciate the replies. I'm going to the range this afternoon and see what happens. I can live with a straight pull bolt if it's accurate enough. I'm looking for some H4895, but that make take awhile.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    Nov 2015
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    I shoot a lot of those lighter loads, although I mostly use HP-38-- very similar to Unique. You may decide you like straight pull bolt-- depends on the range. I bought a spare gas plug for my M1 and drilled out the center, so it would be pull-bolt. When I want loads that cycle I just put the original gas plug back in. I have found over time that pull bolt is an easy way to shoot and neighbors at the range appreciate the fact that I am not tossing hot brass at them. Anymore, I stay in pull-bolt mode even with full loads.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy derek45's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    263
    Just buy some jacketed bullets, and 4895

    The Garand deserves it





    .


    NRA LIFE Member

    USPSA/IPSC

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    New Zealand
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    I converted my mini 14 to straight pull. I liked it that way but found the manual operation was too noisy when hunting - that noise is disguised by the muzzle blast, so I went back to auto cycle. On manual, the cases would drop in a small pile and was great for target shooting.

    Anyway, I'm interested in what a Garand can do with cast.

    P.S. derek45, that Garand is awesome!
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Kaneohe, HI
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    Someplace on the site is a post about the M1 load using I4350 and cast boolets.
    Works best, for me, with a dacron filler.
    I think they called it "The Load"
    I've shot many rounds through three of my Garands, and they all shot great.
    Cycle reliably, and consistent.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    993
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    The Garand gas port is about an inch behind the muzzle, and with fast-burning powders the pressure will have peaked and dropped off long before the bullet reaches the gas port. If you want a cast load which cycles the M1 reliably, start at about 36 grains of IMR4895, IMR4064, RL15 or Varget. With a stiff-operating fresh CMP rebuild with new springs you may need to go as high as 40 grains, but a smooth-working gun which has been run a bit should function with the lighter charge. It is recommended that you tuck about 1 grain of loose Dacron fill into the case neck - NOT pushed down against the powder! - before seating the bullet, to take up some of the free airspace in the case.
    from what I read and can remember it takes about 6-8000 psi at the port for full function. Im trying to find time to test a 200 grain bullet with 35 grains H4895 should function . Accuracy when I last tried cast was better at non functioning pressures and opened up once I reached operating pressures..... This is a newly built M1 with as close to new specs gas system, barrel and stock. Has just shy of 1000 FMJ rounds through it now. Should be about perfect for cast loads now. Using the 314399 sized to 309 and the nose rides the lands a bit

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy pacomdiver's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    eastern PA
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    Derek,
    love the pic with the enblock in the air, i could almost hear the "ping" when i looked at that pic

    ive loaded both the 311365 and 312185 both PC'd sized to 311 and GC'd thru some of my older springfield garands, they shot pretty good in my Jan 42 and March 42 never really got back to playing with them too much in the others since the 147s shoot good in my Harvesters, H&Rs and Winchester plus the M1D
    Last edited by pacomdiver; 08-02-2020 at 04:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    601
    Beautiful wood on that M1. Mine is all mismatched shades.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    GOPHER SLAYER's Avatar
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    One problem I will not have to worry about, I hate the M1 and have ever since I had to fire 40 rounds through one in boot camp when I weighed 117 pounds. I did qualify but, it was very painful.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

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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