Friday, May 05, 2017


About 20 years ago I bought a Garand at a gun show.  I already had a .30-40 Krag and a 1903A3 Springfield rifle (supposedly "Match Quality"), so I thought I ought to bring myself up to World War II in my collection of military rifles.

I ordered a couple of boxes (40 rounds) of 150-grain .30-06 for the Garand.   Couldn't find any 165-grain ought-six, so I'll try this stuff out and see how well it functions in the M1.

I'm aware that the Garand really likes what it likes, and poops all over itself if it gets fodder it doesn't like (such as very hot loads, which hammer the whatchamaycallit thingie ... if you know what I mean, you don't care if I use the right terminology. )

 (What you DO care about is whether I refer to the M1 as a "gerAND" or a "GARund".   I pronounce it as it's spelled; so there!)  

SN 3568***

If I'm reading the chart right, the gun was built by Springfield Armory in October of 1944.  The gun is older than I am; and that's saying something.

I had originally wanted to buy an M14 (the civilian version, not the select-fire), but the price was out of my league; and the Garand is a by-Gawd real .30-06 instead of that wimpy .308 version.    Except that I liked the magazine feed of the M14, and I had trained on them in Basic back in 1968 at Fort Lewis.   (And fired a few rounds through the select-fire version in The Land Of Bad Things the following year.   CF: the story about The Chief, earlier this month.)

So I need to get some range time in with that rifle, now that I've found some ammo which will probably function reliably and will probably not damage the gun.

Anybody who knows more about Garands than I do, you're invited to let me know if I've made an error in judgement.  I really like the Garand; I just haven't fired more than a dozen rounds through it.  I have ten clips, which I also bought on the cheap at a gun show.

I even got the oiler kit, the web sling and the canvas gun case that goes with it.

I'm all set for an interesting day at the range.  I've not fired a rifle on the Main Range at my gun club for several years, so I've been reading the new 'terms of use' (safety and etiquette).   It gets kind of complicated.   I like trying new things ... or perhaps better called "old things that are new to me", so I have something to look forward to.


Anonymous said...

You are probably OK with standard factory 150 gr. What the Garand does not like is slow burning powders, like IMR4350 or H4831. The gas impulse is all wrong and you will bend an operating rod in no time. The gun likes medium burning powders like 4895, H335, or even 3031. That is if you reload for it, and you might as well. Just don't do it on your Dillon 650.

Jerry The Geek said...

Thanks, and I appreciate your advice. Also, I'll probably accept your advice, because I'm a tyro when it comes to the Garand.

I'm not reloading my ammunition; I can, but I won't. I don't expect to shoot enough that the 150 grain ammo I have ordered will soon be shot up. And frankly, it has been decades since I reloaded my own RIFLE ammunition (use to load tons of .30-06 and .25-06, but I don't even have the dies any more.)

And yes, I have loaded thousands of rounds using 4350 and 4931 ... my father bought a 200 pound keg of "reclaimed" 4895 (and several pounds of other rifle powders, such as 4350 and 4831) which we used to shoot in .338 and a few other wildcat (at the time) calibers.

I don't have his boldness when it comes to experimental caliber and loads, but I've shot thousands of rounds ... mostly at jackrabbits, deer and antelope .. and as you say, some of them were more 'amiable' than others.

We carried a series of rods with us on hunting trips to Wyoming and parts of oregon, and it was not an uncommon sight to see my father using stacked quarter-inch rods to create a make-shift "cleaning rod" to extract over-expanded cartridge cases. I've watched him more than one time search for a fence post to use as a hammer, to force a rod down the barrel in hopes of clearing the chamber; we use to call the stuck cases "oops!".

Actually, Pop had much more colorful names for brass that wouldn't eject. But he always admitted that perhaps he might have loaded the round just a little hotter than the case could handle. That's why we both had at least three rifles with us on any given hunting trip.

My father never went hunting for game; he was always hunting for an experimental reload that worked. P.O. Ackley was great for varmint loads, but he often took advice from gun-bloggers who were much more ... um ... daring.

Again ... take three rifles, one of the has to work. Eventually.

Jerry The Geek said...

typo: not 4995, but 4895 gunpowder. The good thing was that the military was de-militarizing 30.06 ammo like crazy. They would carefully disassemble .30-06 ammo and sell the individual components ... primed brass,, powder; not so much bullets. We never used primed .30-06 brass without carefully depriming them. Never trusted the primers.

My father once bought a 200 pound "keg" of 4895; it worked great for loads that we used for shooting jackrabbits.

And yes ... it took us less than two years to empty the keg.

The best years of my life!

Wouter de Waal said...

Garands are fun.

I used mine to shoot IDPA, just because I could. Not the ideal gun for that :-)

Loaded a local ball powder apparently equivalent of H380, used a 110gr (!) intended-for-30-carbine bullet. Hey, it's IDPA, you don't need a lot of bullet or a lot of range. For "real" bullet's I've used our local equivalent of 335 (also called 335 :-)

Have fun!