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Thread: M1 Garand loads??

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    M1 Garand loads??

    Hey guys I'm new here. My father's been reloading for awhile and we need some info. Not new to casting or reloading. He's casting bullets and making loads for his 1917 enfield and colt 1911. We're going into giving it a whirl with our Garands. He's got some castings made up, I don't know how to describe them except they're in a normal FMJ contour shape with three lines on the end of it. They weigh 190gr. each. What are you guys having best luck with for powder to cycle the action. Are we too heavy on the bullet, should we go with a different contour? What type of powder works best? How much powder would you use of IMR 4064 if we went with that. Any test loads you guys have used that work good in your Garands would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    311299 (314299 if the throat is worn) at 205-209 gr (WWs+2-3% tin WQ'd) over 30 gr 4895 (29 gr H4895) with a dacron filler (1 gr) always shoots quite well in my M1903 and M1s. Not had any functioning problems or fouling of the gas system with that load either. Bullets are sized .311" and Lubed with Javelina. Hornady GCs are used. Cases are U.S. GI with WLR primers. Velocity runs 1800 -1850 fps depending on barrel.

    Larry Gibson

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    190-200 gr boolit 35 -37 gr of imr 4350 no filler wlr primer cases eject about 2-3 feet out of the rifle and it shoots around 2 inches at 100 out of 3 rifles for me

  4. #4
    Banned

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    pretty much what larry said g/c's and 4895

  5. #5
    In Remembrance

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    Same load as I use with 190gr. SHPBTM condoms, 52.0grs. WW #760, CCI #250 Mag primer, substituting Lyman #31141 or LEE C312-185-2R, WDWW, sized .309, (or .311), lubed LTL. If it goes in the back, it'll come out the front. Acceptable accuracy with no leading of bore or gas system, or damage to the op-rod.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Tumtatty's Avatar
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    Can you use a Lee TL312-160-2R for M1 Garands?

    I currently use this for my Enfield. I heard these could be used for my Mosin Nagant as well. Is that true as well?


    Thanks!

  7. #7
    In Remembrance

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    Yes, Tum, a pal just got that mould and has had success with it in SKS, M1, and Lee-Enfields. I do not know his powder charges, sorry, but they are approximating full-bore. Next order, I may just have to get one too!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Tumtatty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HABCAN View Post
    Yes, Tum, a pal just got that mould and has had success with it in SKS, M1, and Lee-Enfields. I do not know his powder charges, sorry, but they are approximating full-bore. Next order, I may just have to get one too!
    If you find out what the loads are, please let me know. Will A2400 work ok? I use it for everything else so I assume so.

    Does "full-bore" mean a full charge as if using commercial bullets?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    2400 will work but probably won't cycle the action; you will have to rack the slide yourself. It probably WILL make the action hiccup but not cycle.

  10. #10
    In Remembrance

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    TumT, we don't get together often, but as soon as I know I will PM you what he's using. When it comes to cast, we both start loading boolits on top of proven charges for j-words of the same weight, and work down from there if necessary: frequently, it isn't, which may be surprising to some. We use WDWW, gas-checked, tumble-lubed LLA, and all we ask of boolits is 4MOA. Some do better, but our 'accuracy' loads use expensive stuff like Sierra HPBTM or Hornady AMax. We have not progressed YET to finding 'accuracy' loads using boolits.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Andy_P's Avatar
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    Take care with what powder you use with the Garand. Use of powders much slower than 4064 can cause excessive wear on the Op Rod due to the longer pressure curve produced.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Tumtatty's Avatar
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    What powders would you recommend? Would Magnum primers help 2400 do the job?

    I'm ok with moving to a different powder.

    It worries me a bit to use so much powder with a cast boolit. I've normally used 16.6 gr 2400 and jumping up to 30+ seems steep. But I've never shot an M1 before and have no idea what it takes to make it function properly.

    Thanks for the input! I"m glad I don't have to buy another mould!

  13. #13
    On Heaven's Range

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    Once again we must repeat that USING CAST BULLETS is NOT the same as using jacketed bullets in a Garand. The precautions for powder speed observed in JACKETED loads DO NOT, repeat NOT, apply to cast-bullet loads in the M1. In this appplication, such precautions are myths and old-wives' tales.

    For example, the 4831 powders are properly eliminated from use in JACKETED loads in M1 rifles because the gas pressure at the muzzle (and thus at the gas port ) is TOO HIGH, and the op rod etc are indeed in serious danger of being damaged..

    In the Garand using CAST bullets, slow powders such as the 4831s and 4350s work extremely well with cast bullets, and without any danger whatever to the working parts of the rifle.

    H4831, to use one example, allows the cast bullet a gentle start, and because of its slow burning rate, the acceleration continues in a moderate way until the bullet arrives at the muzzle at a speed consistent with its cast consruction, and with JUST enough pressure to operate the action efficiently....NOT overpressured or "overdriving" either the bullet OR the op-rod. Ejection is nice and gentle as well, indicating the LOW pressure at tjhe gasport.

    Try about 40 grains of H4831 with any 180-200 grain .30 gas-checked bullet, and see for yourself.

    I say again: you are dealing with a different situation when using cast bullets in the Garand, and the old traditions, stories and methods for using jacketed bullets DO NOT APPLY.

    Somewhere on this site is the "BobS load" for the Garands. Search for "BobS load" and read it, because it's highly educational.
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master


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    The lighter cast bullets are going to require more powder to provide sufficient gas port pressure to function the action. More powder means more pressure which means more accelleration which means more velocity which means you will probably be shooting the lighter bullets too fast for the 10" twist of the M1. Accuracy will only be "acceptable" as stated. If you want good accuracy you need to keep the velocity between 1800 and 1900 fps. Use a heavier bullet (180 gr minimum up through 220 grs) with a medium purning powder (4895 always works well) or a slower powder like 4831. As mentioned by BruceB 4831 when used with heavier cast bullets will also provide the appropriate velocity without exceeding the pressure limits of the gas port.

    Larry Gibson

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bob S's Avatar
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    The "BobS Load" from Bob S

    My M1 load was almost identical to my 03A3 load, posted below in a thread where someone was looking for a 200 or 300 yard aught-six load. The bolt gun load was 311284 with 40 grains of WW II surplus 4831, sheet of pink (very important!! ) toilet paper over the powder, and the gas check seated to the base of the neck. That load shot extremely well in the 03A3. When I bought my first M1, circa 1966, I bumped the charge up to 42 grains, and seated the bullet to the crimping/dirt scraper groove to fit in the M1 magazine. All bullets were cast of straight wheelweights, no heat treating. Had not heard about heat treating at that time, but the wheel weights in the days of yore had considerably more antimony in them than today. I used Sierra or Hornady Gas Checks (crimp-on) and used the then-new Alox-beeswax lube. That first M1 had a new barrel, and I had glassed it, but it was in no way completely match-conditioned: the gas cylinder was reasonably tight, but not peened, and I removed it to clean on a regular basis. The cast loads would group about as well as M2 ball in that rifle, which is to say five-shot groups fired from the prone position into about 2-1/2” at 100 yards fired slow fire (single loading); fed from the clip, groups (8 rounds now) would open up to a bit over 3” @ 100 yards. Now at that time the five-ring of the Able target used for 200 and 300 yard firing was 12”, and the V ring was I think 4 or 5”, so you could do OK with the cast stuff at 200 yards. There were two things that made it difficult to shoot well: first, it took about 35 clicks of elevation to get centered at 200 yards, and secondly, because of the long barrel time, if everything was not absolutely perfect when I broke the shot, it would throw a wide 4, where a jacketed load might still catch a 5. In my correspondence with Col. Harrison at that time, he estimated that the muzzle velocity would be about 2000 fps, but it might have been lower than that. When we went to the decimal targets (1967, I think), the load/rifle/shooter combination wasn’t competitive anymore, but it was still OK for practice standing or sitting rapid at 200 yards. I still used the 40 grain load in the bolt gun (03A3), because it would clean the SR target at 300 yards if the nut behind the trigger was tight on that day. I got my Master classification in 1973 using this load in the 03A3 exclusively at 200 and sometimes 300 yards, but it was not up to shooting Master class scores out of the M1 on the decimal targets.

    At about the time that I was doing this, Ed Harris had written an article in TAR in the old “In My Experience” column about using a cast load in a National Match M1. His load was not the same as mine; IIRC, he was using 4895 powder and a somewhat lighter bullet, but I do not recall the details. He reported an unpredictable zero shift and serious leading of the gas cylinder/piston. I didn’t experience any leading, but I did dismount the gas cylinder after every range session, and brushed a few lead flecks off of the piston with an old brass bore brush, and I cleaned the gas cylinder with a shotgun bore brush. I never had more than superficial lead flakes in either place. As for the zero shift … the 311284 load shot four minutes to the right of my zero with M2 ball. This is to be expected with a load with a heavier bullet and longer barrel time in a right hand twist. Shifting back to M2 ball, my no-wind zero went right back to where it should be. So the no-wind zero with the cast load was “different”, but predictable.

    Fast-forward about 20 years, and when my stash of WW II surplus 4831 ran short, I tried substituting 4350, and got about the same results. This was fired at 100 yards prone:





    This was fired with a guesstimate for the elevation and I didn’t touch the windage. You can see from this target the approx. 4 minutes right , and the elevation required to get “on” at 100 yards.

    Cast bullets were always a means to an end for me, not the end-all. I had an unlimited supply of wheelweights, and as a poor high school and undergraduate student in the 60’s, a bunch of cast bullets meant only an investment of my time when I could not afford a box of Sierra Internationals. For some high power shooting in those days, they could be competitive at 200 and sometimes 300 yards, but for 600 yards I had to “bite the bullet” and spring for the Sierras. These days I enjoy shooting cast in the as-issued competition, where they can be very competitive, if you are allowed to shoot your own ammo.

    Resp'y,
    Bob S.
    Last edited by Bob S; 03-26-2008 at 12:55 AM.
    USN Distinguished Marksman No. O-067

    It's REAL ... it's wood and steel!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Garand heavy load recommendations needed

    I would like to cast bullets in my Garand for milsurp silhouette, with rams out at 500 meters I think I need something with some oomph. Looking over Garand info here for two hours, a lot of good stuff already available, but not much in the upper end of the heavy range. Here's what I have; WWII 4831, WC860, AA2700, AA2230. Bullets I'm considering are a 'fat' .30 Lee GB at 180 gr., Saeco #315, Lee 309-200R, Ideal 311413 and 308334. I have COW, dacron, and poly buffer(Grex), and TP. Regular or magnum or military primers. My CMP Garand is in very good shape, a Service grade. Due to budget issues I need to work with what I already have. Thanks for your consideration. Tim EDIT: I will have the Mod. 314299 GB mold soon, but not in time for this match.
    Last edited by dualsport; 12-13-2009 at 02:58 AM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    One of my friends has been knocking down rams with his Model 1917 rifle. I'll get load data from him when I see him Sunday and let you know. I seem to remember that it is a surprisingly mild load that was doing the job.

    Vern

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Checked with my friend today. He's using 13.5 grains of Herco powder behind a 175 grin bullet cast with wheel weights and it takes down a ram every time he hits it. 12.5 grains of unique will give about the same velocity as the Herco. I don't know what kind of velocity he's getting with that charge, but I would think matching or exceeding the velocity with powder that is right for the Garand will also knock them down. Hope this helps.

    Vern

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Papa smurf's Avatar
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    Had a M1 afew years back that worked well with a load I got from an old issue of The American Rifleman. It was 30 gr IMR 3031 with Lyman #311291 and there #2mix. and
    I sized to .308 . Good Shooting -----------------------Papa Smurf

  20. #20
    Boolit Master GrizzLeeBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vernz View Post
    Checked with my friend today. He's using 13.5 grains of Herco powder behind a 175 grin bullet cast with wheel weights and it takes down a ram every time he hits it. 12.5 grains of unique will give about the same velocity as the Herco. I don't know what kind of velocity he's getting with that charge, but I would think matching or exceeding the velocity with powder that is right for the Garand will also knock them down. Hope this helps.

    Vern
    Vern, Is your friend shooting at lever action silhouettes at like 200 meters, not full distance 500 meter rams?

    That load only goes about 1500 fps. According to my Lyman Cast bullet book, with a 311467 that has a pretty good BC for a +/- 175 gr. boolit, you would have over 30 FEET of drop and almost 6 FEET of drift in a 10 mph wind at 500 meter (550 yard) rams. Velocity at the target would be around 900 fps. While that would probably knock over rams, you would certainly "ring" quite a few that stayed standing.
    Not saying it can't be done, and maybe he is, but thats a LOT of elevation and windage to adjust for at 500 meters.

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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