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30-06 rounds for the M1 Garand

Discussion in 'M1 Garand' started by Roys, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Roys

    Roys G&G Enthusiast

    How can you tell if the military round you are looking at is an M2? Every thing I hear is shoot only the M2 cartridge, so how do you tell if it is something else? There is an M1 but that's old stuff, not likely to find any of that. Then there is the, M14 which is Armor Piercing Incendiary, that will have a black or red tip. M25 Tracer, that will have an orange tip. My concern is, is there any thing out there that is too hot to shoot in the Garand?
    The Ammo cans and boxes are labeled M2, no problem but could there be some special loads for use in a machine gun for instance. If I don't have the ammo can or box, how would I know? Unless maybe, just maybe, there was only M2 rounds made, that would make it a lot easier on me to figure out. Thanks, Roy
  2. texnmidwest

    texnmidwest Sir Loin of Beef Forum Contributor

    My understanding is that if you find military ammo in 30-06 it will be safe to shoot in a Garand. All the loads of the time were of the same pressures whether for machine guns of garands. I would not shoot any modern commercial ammo through your garand with out installing an adjustable gas plug. Please correct me if I am wrong. There could be exceptions out there.
    tbird430 and M14man like this.

  3. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    ammo crate2.jpg As Tex says, most US military, and most foreign military made in the 40's thru 60's will be OK for the Garand. Black tipped AP is safe, hard to find Incindiary which is blue. Tracers were red, early, orange... later.
    The US m2 is a flat based bullet weighing about 150-152 grains. Some foreign stuff may be as light as 147. That may be boat tailed. Even M1 ball is safe, but that is rarely encountered now. Note, military match ammo which is usually 173 grain, is safe for the Garand also. In the attached photo M2 ball is bottom, and a 147g boat tail from a 7.62 Nato is on top.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
    Ten Man likes this.
  4. Orlando

    Orlando G&G Evangelist

    There is some foreign made M2ball that is junk and not safe to use or underpowered. Stick with good quality and you will be fine. If you arent sure post back here with the headstamp of ammo in question
    texnmidwest likes this.
  5. Roys

    Roys G&G Enthusiast

    Thank you all for your thoughts and advice.
    All of my 30-06 rounds (for use in my M1) are of military US manufacture. Any commercial rounds, if I had any, would or have been used in a bolt action. I have enough brass on hand to load a few hundred rounds, so that is what I'm doing. I was issued an M1 in Boot Camp, among other things, they said the M.V. was 2600 fps to 2800 fps. so with that in mind and not wanting to beat the hell out of it, I've started loading it for 2600 fps to 2700 fps. so it should out live me.
    M14man, The top round in your picture is the 7.62 x 51 NATO round. The thing that got me wondering about the 30-06 round was years ago I bought a can of lose military 7.62 x 51 rounds, they were advertised as "bright and shiny" And they were, they shot very, very hard compared to other 7.62 rounds that I had, that got me wondering if they had been loaded for something other than the M14, like maybe an M60 or other high performance weapon. I dumped out the ammo can that they were shipped in and found traces of tumbling media (looked like walnut shells) after doing a little research I found a few opinions that said tumbling would break down the powder to smaller granules which would burn hotter/faster and would increase the pressure and velocity, most other opinions said tumbling would not affect the powder. I tweaked the op-rod on the M1 that was built for the 7.62 x 51 round and had to have it replaced. I chickened out and separated about a thousand rounds and dumped the powder, they were all of foreign manufacture, if that may have made a difference. Some had the circle with an X inside, I think that means it was loaded to NATO spec's.
    Sorry about getting so long winded. It's too bad we don't have a General Store with a wood stove that we could all sit around and talk like in the old days. Thanks for listening Roy
  6. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    My post says it is a Nato round.
    That was a file photo I kept, and more or less was used to show the flat based M2.
  7. TheJoker

    TheJoker G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Over $2 a round. Ouch!
  8. texnmidwest

    texnmidwest Sir Loin of Beef Forum Contributor

    I reload for my Garand using M80 bullets and IMR 4895 powder. I also have a match load using 168gr sierra match kings over IMR 4895

    Even with the expensive bullets it only costs me 42 cents a round. It would be less if I bought components in bulk.
    Ron The Legend and 870shooter1 like this.
  9. 870shooter1

    870shooter1 G&G Evangelist

    Does CMP still sell the 172 grain pulled bullets? They were great in the Garland and M1A!
  10. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    I bought a 20 box of 30 cal. marked made in Columbia maybe 35 years ago. First round almost dislodged receiver out of stock, splitting stock. Took rest of ammo apart and through away. IMR 4895 seemed to burn dirtier than others.
  11. M2 BALL is about all you are going to find now. Maybe some AP. It was loaded with WC852 and there are two variations of WC852 (SLOW/FAST).
    Note: Item 161 (WC852 FAST) and (WC852 SLOW).
    In production it just came out that way but when tested the SLOW lots gave too much port pressure so instead of destroying the lots they had they loaded it for belt fed Brownings only. If you shoot belt ammo delinked in a Garand chances are good you will have SLOW propellant which will give you way to high a port pressure and warp your op rod or worse.

    Jeff Bartlett (GI BRASS) had tons of it for sale 25 years ago and it was slow. I got some and loaded it in a bolt gun which worked fine as my across the course rifle was a Mod 70 Win and my load was 55 gr. SLOW with a 168 on top of it.

    It is also good in magnums. Loaded some in 308 and it wouldn't even all burn and left lots of unburned propellant in bore.

    I pretty well figured I could use IMR 4831 load data and it was pretty close.

    Dispersion on M2 ball is rather poor due to the laxness of the ammo spec for ball ammo. I don't have access to a Frankford Arsenal ammo handbook so don't remember the acceptance dispersion it was required to deliver. Match ammo was 3.5" mean radius at 600 yards and I think the ball ammo is more like 5.0" but not sure about that at this writing.

    A very accurate load I developed is 43.3 gr. 4895 with the 173 Match bullets. Works great in bolt guns, not sure if it will drive a Garand or not. I have not fired my Garands in three years due to a wreck messing up my neck and spinal fusion of C5,6 and 7 as a result.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  12. I use Varget and 150gr bullets when I load for the Garand. Burns clean and the rifle operates smoothly.
  13. TXplt

    TXplt Gun Toting Boeing Driver Forum Contributor

    I bought a Garand Gear gas plug for mine and it's worked great for shooting commercial 30-06 ammo. What it does is provide more space for the gas to expand which keeps the pressure down while making the impulse of energy equivalent.
  14. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    Unless the mil surp ammo is specifically marked M2 somewhere on it, it is likely NOT Garand compatible. An awful lot of countries adopted bolt guns or (more commonly) machine guns in 30-06 that could handle the full power load, and when they decided to move to a more modern rifle platform they went in another direction.
    Since they never adopted the Garand, however, there was no need to produce a specialty wussy load for those items and they continued to produce the hotter round.
    A lot of foreign ammo you find with a ballistic tip, incendiary, or other specialty load (besides "sniper ammo" and certain tracers) was loaded specifically for machine guns.
  15. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I've tumbled live rounds. I never noticed any difference. But even I don't trust me!;):rolleyes:
    MoDoc likes this.