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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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    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.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    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
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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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    Just buy some jacketed bullets, and 4895

    The Garand deserves it





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    USPSA/IPSC

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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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
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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
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    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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    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
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    Beautiful wood on that M1. Mine is all mismatched shades.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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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

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    If you are having trouble finding 4895, which you probably are, pick up some 4064.
    I shoot it in my M! with cast and it works as well as 4895.
    If it were me, I would save the Unique for calibers better suited for it .
    If you were shooting a bolt gun in 30-06 it would be fine.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    4064 shoots great in my Garand!

  15. #15
    I found a couple of pounds of IMR4895. Headed to the range today to see (loaded 37.0 gr under GC-312-155-2R).

    Sixteen gr of Unique, as expected, did not cycle; my only group with it was a 1.25" group at 25 yards.
    Last edited by Jayhawkhuntclub; 08-22-2020 at 01:42 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I thought I read somewhere that unique powder was tried in the trials of the garand as a replacement powder to save cost. Anyone have any info on this? I seem to remember it on a C&R rifle forum years ago. Loaded with the 150 gr jacketed bullet

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by GOPHER SLAYER View Post
    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.
    Interesting, I find the M1 to be the lightest shooting rifle I have ever fired in 30.06.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    My wife loves my M1 Garland more than me!

    We were still dating when I introduced her to it. We were out shooting and I had a 5 or 6” steel plate hanging at 80 yds. She had never fired so much a 22 rifle before but was quite comfortable with her 12 ga. 870 Police shotgun so I was pretty certain she would not be too put off by the Garrand.

    She told me she wanted to shoot it and after some schooling, she fired her first shot off a rest.

    A miss.

    Then I stood slack jawed as she pounded that plate the next seven for seven!

    Wow! She calmly turns towards me as the enblock clangs off the windshield of my farm truck and asks me if the ammo was expensive or hard to come by. I say it’s easy and inexpensive and ask her the obvious next question, “Do you want to shoot it some more”?

    The answer was, “yes, I believe so”!

    So another enblock is loaded and she goes to work again!

    This time she gets a little over confident and is not allowing the plate to resettle after being tagged!

    I had planned on re-selling that rifle because I stood to double my investment but I could see that might not very smart now! I commented that I supposed I better hang onto that rifle and she said, “yes, pretty much”!

    If a raging crowd were to show up at our house she’d be after that 870 and “her” Garrand.

    Three44s
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I will PRAY for you, sir.
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
    ...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40


    Carpe SCOTCH!

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
    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!
    Years ago I had a member of the CMP Forum Unclenick Get me some some loads on quick loads Thanks Nick
    Take the info for what it is. The use of it is 100% at your own risk.
    To get some base line info it may be a long read. But shows that "The Load of 34 grains H-4895" will work!
    Using 2.28” COL, and your cases have 68 grains of overflow capacity or if they have 70 grains of overflow capacity (numbers in the range I've run into with Garands), the pressure difference will be about 4.6% or about 22,494 psi vs. 21,459 psi peak, respectively, and 6775 psi and 6756 psi gas port pressure, 0r about 0.3% difference, respectively (expansion as the bullet goes down the barrel tends to even remaining pressure out). The velocity difference calculated is then 1925 fps vs. 1901 fps from a perfect bore with .0734 in˛ cross-sectional area. If you get your hands on a chronograph and measure velocity, I can then adjust the QL parameters to deduce what is closer to actual pressure in your gun based on the velocity it actually gets. That will compensate for how tight or loose your gun actually is.
    It looks to me like the 311356 is about a 4 caliber ogive radius so it's about 0.6" of total ogive length. That .305" diameter is a tight fitting slightly over-bore section in a .311 groove barrel, and is probably meant to be perfectly happy jammed into the lands for good starting alignment. So you could probably seat it out pretty far to see if that improves accuracy.
    If you use that forward lube groove as a crimp groove, you will seat to about 3.22"-3.23" COL, from the drawing. Leaving the front groove exposed, I'd expect to seat to around 3.300" when throat contact occurs in a tight match chamber, but I don't know your gun's chamber and throat, so YMMV. Those seating depths get you 22,557 psi and 1920 fps, and 21,869 psi and 1902 fps, respectively, in the QL calculator.
    I looked through the powder tables to see if any powder will do any better for you with your bullet. It looked like Accurate 4064 fills the case best without under-burning. 36 grains. 20570 psi peak, 6577 psi at the gas port, and 1900 fps, even. It fills the case almost 70%, where 34 grains of H4895 only has about 60% fill. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it will actually perform better in the real world, where H4895 may still do better. Using a magnum primer could benefit you with that low load density. With a lot of extra space to pressurize, they can often bring about better MV consistency.
    If you've looked at Chris Long's theory (I still don't know your actual velocity, so I can't adjust) 34.2 grains of H4895 would hit a sweet spot, and 35.1 grains of Varget would hit the same sweet spot, but with maybe 20 fps lower velocity. QuickLOAD shows the peak pressure being the same within 500 psi for the two, with the Varget being a little lower. The Varget gives slightly more gas port pressure.
    If you go to match the peak pressures of your existing load of 34 grain of H4895, it is equaled by 35.2 grains of Varget. The velocity difference is then only around 14 fps different (1887 fps vs. 1902 fps) but the barrel time is shorter for Varget so it will exit in a different part of the barrel vibrations movement. Nonetheless, you may find an accuracy advantage in shorter barrel time. Just have to try it to see.
    When I changed the OAL to what is shown in the pictures he ran some new #'s and says
    Your pressures are too low for a seating depth difference of a tenth or two to cause trouble. You have enough extra space that you're just changing pressure by 1000 psi or so.
    [b] After sending some to 8 guys on that board we all shot them and they were comparable with The Match 30-06 Hornady 168 at 100 Yards with the only exception of shooting low one click.
    Shot almost on par with M1 Ball that the CMP was selling made by Pyral {HXP}
    But were way easy on Smaller Shooters and Older Shooters.
    I settled on 35 of Varget with the 311365
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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