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  #1  
Old 05-16-2012, 8:21 PM
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Default Any of the Walmart 30.06 ammo safe for M1 Garand?

Let me start off by saying I am well aware of the gas system issues that may arise during use of commercial ammo in M1 Garands. I am also aware that CMP sells cheap ammo specifically made for the M1, however it won't be here in time for my trip. ( I have 4 cans on the way)
So of all the ammo weights and brands available at Walmart, is there one that might be less likely to damage my rifle? I have several boxes of the federal 150 grain, and several Remington 150 and 180 grain and even some Winchester 170, 180 grain. Anyone with first hand knowledge/experience of using brands commonly sold at walmart in their Garands??
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Old 05-16-2012, 8:26 PM
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Quote:
Any of the Walmart 30.06 ammo safe for M1 Garand?
no, the burn rates of thoe powders are so far off that you will bend your op rod
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Old 05-16-2012, 8:57 PM
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I understand the 170-180-200-220 grain loads would use a slower powder but wouldn't standard power level 150s be OK?
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:31 PM
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Well, I'll let you know on Moday when I get back. I am bringing 60 rounds of the cheapest federal 150 grain and I am gonna shoot them through my brand new cmp special rifle!
What's a new op rod cost anyway?
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2012, 9:32 PM
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Ok, according to the gunsmith that runs the local store, who also happens to have both carried an M1 in Korea, and builds/tunes/works extensively with them, the standard pressure 150 grain commercial loads are just fine. Don'e get light magnum or any of the other "hotter" loads. He says that the Remington ones are all he has used in his for the past several decades. He likes the surplus too, but since he has easy access to the green boxed stuff... He is one person that I would trust to know what they can and can't do. You can form your own opinion on this. But he was an armorer in the Marines for a very, very long time.

-Mb
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Old 05-16-2012, 9:36 PM
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Tagged. My friend has a garand and has been trying to find some safe ammo for it
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  #7  
Old 05-16-2012, 9:47 PM
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People misunderstand this whole thing about commercial ammo on Garands. It's not the weight of the projectile that matter but port pressure. M2 ball port pressure is lower than some of the commecial rounds even at lighter bullet weight. Slower burning powder will have a higher port pressure than faster burning ones. If you look at a Garand op rod, it is very long an "could" bend with improper ammo.

Federal and Hornady do make Garand spec ammo. Some commercial stuff "might" work and some might not. Why risk it as op rod are about $125 and up for a used one or you could get it rebuilt.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:02 PM
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Alternatively, buy a Schuster gas valve for $30. You can adjust the gas pressure at the port and use whatever ammo you like.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:07 PM
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Yes, but it sounds like he needs ammo now. I would just use the 150 grain stuff and not stress.
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Old 05-17-2012, 9:14 AM
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I would wait to shoot it until the CMP stuff arrives myself
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  #11  
Old 05-17-2012, 9:20 AM
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The FUD around here is pretty deep...

...this should clear things up.


Shooting Commercial Ammunition in your M1 Garand


(Fight the FUD)



GR
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  #12  
Old 05-17-2012, 9:24 AM
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You can get away with 150s for now...
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Old 05-17-2012, 9:37 AM
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I have a single shot gas screw that turns your Garand into a straight pull bolt action, and lets you shoot any 06 ammo, and you don't have to chase your re-loadable brass.
The downside is no "ping".
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:14 AM
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So it looks like the Federal and Remington 150 grain loads both fall under the pressure of the M2 ball, even without the vented gas port plug. Which means that the old guy that has been shooting these things forever seems to know what he was talking about.

-Mb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandimal View Post
The FUD around here is pretty deep...

...this should clear things up.


Shooting Commercial Ammunition in your M1 Garand


(Fight the FUD)



GR
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:56 AM
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A few boxes of the 150's will be fine. I'd worry about anything heavier that 165's.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandimal View Post
The FUD around here is pretty deep...

...this should clear things up.


Shooting Commercial Ammunition in your M1 Garand


(Fight the FUD)



GR
This /\

FYI- -the NRA has a similar opinion regarding the use of commercial ammo.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:46 PM
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Reading my manual that came with the rifle this morning:
"if commercial 30.06 ammo is used, select loadings with bullets lighter than 180 grains. Firing bullets heavier than 180 is not unsafe but may develop higher residual pressures at the gas port near the muzzle. This can damage the op rod"
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Old 05-17-2012, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gun toting monkeyboy View Post
Yes, but it sounds like he needs ammo now. I would just use the 150 grain stuff and not stress.
One more time
It is not just the bullet weight but also the burn rate of the powder of commercial ammo that can damage the Op Rod and even crack the receiver heel
Evertime you fire the rifle the bolt hits the receiver heel, using commercial ammo the bolt will travel at a accelerated rate and hit the heel harder
Metal fatigue does not happen overnight but is accumalative, these are old battle rifles and who knows how much stress the receiver heels have already been through.
You may get away with firing thousands of rds of commercial ammo before you have a failure or it could happen on the very first rd.
Do you feel lucky??
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Old 05-17-2012, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gun toting monkeyboy View Post
So it looks like the Federal and Remington 150 grain loads both fall under the pressure of the M2 ball, even without the vented gas port plug. Which means that the old guy that has been shooting these things forever seems to know what he was talking about.

-Mb
True but commercial manufactures can change powders at any time and then what?
Even they fellow that did the testing will tell you this as this is why he also sells and recommends a modded gas screw
Somewhere I have a E-mail from Remington saying that they do not recommend their 30.06 in a Garand
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Old 05-21-2012, 7:53 PM
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The 150 grain Federal (cheapest stuff at Walmart in 30.06) did NOT damage my CMP Special! (I fired 3 boxes)
Of course the 3 boxes of HXP arrived here about 3 hours ago.
I found some M1 Garand specific American Eagle 30.06 at Outdoor sportsmen in Stockton today but its 23 a box verses 16 for the federal at walmart.
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Old 05-21-2012, 7:53 PM
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The 150 grain Federal (cheapest stuff at Walmart in 30.06) did NOT damage my CMP Special! (I fired 3 boxes)
Of course the 3 boxes of HXP arrived here about 3 hours ago.
I found some M1 Garand specific American Eagle 30.06 at Outdoor sportsmen in Stockton today but its 23 a box verses 16 for the federal at walmart.
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Old 05-22-2012, 2:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
The 150 grain Federal (cheapest stuff at Walmart in 30.06) did NOT damage my CMP Special! (I fired 3 boxes)
Of course the 3 boxes of HXP arrived here about 3 hours ago.
I found some M1 Garand specific American Eagle 30.06 at Outdoor sportsmen in Stockton today but its 23 a box verses 16 for the federal at walmart.
But did it put undue stress and fatigue the reciver heel ????
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Old 05-22-2012, 7:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
The 150 grain Federal (cheapest stuff at Walmart in 30.06) did NOT damage my CMP Special! (I fired 3 boxes)
Of course the 3 boxes of HXP arrived here about 3 hours ago.
I found some M1 Garand specific American Eagle 30.06 at Outdoor sportsmen in Stockton today but its 23 a box verses 16 for the federal at walmart.

The damage that shooting the wrong ammo does to your Garand is cumulative and may not manifest itself immediately.

Recently a buddy broke the receiver of his .308 Garand conversion after years of shooting .308 commercial ammo. The rear portion of the receiver simply separated from the rest of the rifle. I was kicking myself because towards the end of the receiver's life, the op rod started to come off every few rounds. I think the op-rod problem was a manifestation of the damage of years of shooting commercial ammo.

Luckily, the CMP has bare receivers and my buddy was able to get a replacement.
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Old 05-22-2012, 7:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
The damage that shooting the wrong ammo does to your Garand is cumulative and may not manifest itself immediately.

Recently a buddy broke the receiver of his .308 Garand conversion after years of shooting .308 commercial ammo. The rear portion of the receiver simply separated from the rest of the rifle. I was kicking myself because towards the end of the receiver's life, the op rod started to come off every few rounds. I think the op-rod problem was a manifestation of the damage of years of shooting commercial ammo.

.
Well Said!!!!!!!
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Old 05-22-2012, 8:15 AM
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Thank you! I just purchased several.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandimal View Post
The FUD around here is pretty deep...

...this should clear things up.


Shooting Commercial Ammunition in your M1 Garand
GR
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Old 05-22-2012, 9:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
The damage that shooting the wrong ammo does to your Garand is cumulative and may not manifest itself immediately.

Recently a buddy broke the receiver of his .308 Garand conversion after years of shooting .308 commercial ammo. The rear portion of the receiver simply separated from the rest of the rifle. I was kicking myself because towards the end of the receiver's life, the op rod started to come off every few rounds. I think the op-rod problem was a manifestation of the damage of years of shooting commercial ammo...
Eric's work over at garandgear.com is regarding 30-06 ammo in an otherwise spec. M1 Garand.

Wonder off the reservation, and you are OYO.

- The 308 is not the 30-06.
- Conversions often create unintended consequences.
- Dismounting op-rods are indicative of worn and out-of-spec parts.


Me...? I like Eric's Ported Gas Plug. I think it's an elegant "low-compression head" solution to a variety of concerns... including heavy-for-caliber bullets, "hot" bolt-gun hand-loads, and excessive bolt/heel battering.

I recommend it whole-heartedly.


Do you need it for Remington "Green-box" or Federal "silver-box" ammo...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post
But did it put undue stress and fatigue the reciver heel ????
The Science and Engineering says... NO.

(FUD says otherwise...)



GR
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Last edited by Garandimal; 05-22-2012 at 9:49 AM..
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  #27  
Old 05-22-2012, 10:12 AM
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I am far too in love with my new HRA Service Special to shoot any ammo out of it where I would be questioning the powder burn rate. I bought 600 rounds of HXP and 500 rounds on the Hornady M1 match. I wouldn't shoot anything else without an adjustable gas plug. YMMV.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:42 AM
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Why is it so hard for people to just answer the question posed? I thought I put enough disclaimers in there to avoid this ( "I am aware of the issues surrounding the use of commercial ammo" I knew about the adjustable gas plug, I knew the powder burn rates differ all I didn't know was if there were any brands types off the shelf so I could use my new toy! Turns out there ARE.
I appreciate the collective knowledge of this forum, i really do, but why do so many threads have to devolve into silly arguments here?

Summary:
My garand worked fine on Walmart federal 150 grain "power shock" soft points! I have 5 more boxes I will shoot those too I will report promptly with pics should the milled steel receiver on my m1 crumbles, cracks, falls off or explodes.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
Why is it so hard for people to just answer the question posed? I thought I put enough disclaimers in there to avoid this ( "I am aware of the issues surrounding the use of commercial ammo" I knew about the adjustable gas plug, I knew the powder burn rates differ all I didn't know was if there were any brands types off the shelf so I could use my new toy! Turns out there ARE.
I appreciate the collective knowledge of this forum, i really do, but why do so many threads have to devolve into silly arguments here?

Summary:
My garand worked fine on Walmart federal 150 grain "power shock" soft points! I have 5 more boxes I will shoot those too I will report promptly with pics should the milled steel receiver on my m1 crumbles, cracks, falls off or explodes.
Amen
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garandimal View Post
Do you need it for Remington "Green-box" or Federal "silver-box" ammo...?

The Science and Engineering says... NO.

(FUD says otherwise...)

GR
Actually...that is not exactly what it said, Garandimal

The money quote from a careful reading of the link , IMHO, is this:

It is important to mention that the commercial ammunition tested is for a specific lot number. The manufacturers can change the load at any time, and without warning. Some of the loads tested do not produce excessive peak pressures. This can change without notice if the manufacture reformulates their ammunition.

Bottom line, using the standard gas plug, some of the commercial ammo exceeded the peak port pressure of M2 ball and some did not. Since the OP did not mention that he was using the ported gas plug, results obtained with it would appear to be irrelevant to this discussion. What should be borne in mind by anyone contemplating the use of standard 30.06 (by that, I mean not specifically listed as "Garand safe") commercial ammo in a Garand with a standard gas plug is this...30.06 powders and loadings are changed by manufacturers from time to time and without reference to how such changes will affect the longevity of a Garand. What was within pressure limits on one occasion, may not be at a later date.

That being said, I am interested in the ported gas plug and like the concept, although I wonder how having a non adjustable port would affect reliability of operation with different ammo.

Last edited by Mustang; 05-22-2012 at 2:33 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
Why is it so hard for people to just answer the question posed? I thought I put enough disclaimers in there to avoid this ( "I am aware of the issues surrounding the use of commercial ammo" I knew about the adjustable gas plug, I knew the powder burn rates differ all I didn't know was if there were any brands types off the shelf so I could use my new toy! Turns out there ARE.
I appreciate the collective knowledge of this forum, i really do, but why do so many threads have to devolve into silly arguments here?

Summary:
My garand worked fine on Walmart federal 150 grain "power shock" soft points! I have 5 more boxes I will shoot those too I will report promptly with pics should the milled steel receiver on my m1 crumbles, cracks, falls off or explodes.
Falstaff, the reason that you did not get a simple answer is because you asked a complicated question. The bottom line is this, commercial ammunition is not formulated specifically to be safe in a Garand unless it says that it safe in a Garand. Read the link to garandgear.com and note well this passage:

It is important to mention that the commercial ammunition tested is for a specific lot number. The manufacturers can change the load at any time, and without warning. Some of the loads tested do not produce excessive peak pressures. This can change without notice if the manufacture reformulates their ammunition.

Some of the commercial 30.06 did not exceed peak M2 ball pressure and some did. There is no guarantee that those brands that did not, will not be changed in the future.

By all means, shoot whatever ammo in your 30.06 that you care too, but never confuse getting way with something that is risky with something that is not risky, simply because you got away with it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falstaff View Post
Summary:
My garand worked fine on Walmart federal 150 grain "power shock" soft points! I have 5 more boxes I will shoot those too I will report promptly with pics should the milled steel receiver on my m1 crumbles, cracks, falls off or explodes.
Also has worked for me for years either when I did not have surplus or had not reloaded any 06. However, does it mean it is the "best" for the M1? Using "quality" surplus or down loaded reloads of your own making may be better for an old rifle.

Note that you always read the "don't use commercial" warning, yet there is never actual proof of a failure from the use of it. When you ask about this, the story is alway's someones uncle's brother-in-law had his M1 fail from using... There is never a 1st hand account. Just say'en.

Also, what ammo do you suspect was used in the 50's, 60, 70's, & maybe 80's before the big surplus market? - yes, commercial.
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Old 05-22-2012, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1A Rifleman View Post
Note that you always read the "don't use commercial" warning, yet there is never actual proof of a failure from the use of it. When you ask about this, the story is alway's someones uncle's brother-in-law had his M1 fail from using... There is never a 1st hand account. Just say'en.

Also, what ammo do you suspect was used in the 50's, 60, 70's, & maybe 80's before the big surplus market? - yes, commercial.
I saw the broken Garand receiver and even though I was not present when it came apart, I consider my experience to be "first hand"...just say'en

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1A Rifleman View Post
Also, what ammo do you suspect was used in the 50's, 60, 70's, & maybe 80's before the big surplus market? - yes, commercial.
What powder did themanufacturers use in commercial 30.06 loads back in the 50's, 60's 70's and maybe 80's? Possibly the mountains of WWII surplus 4895 powder? Have commercial loads changed since then? Just say'en...

Last edited by Mustang; 05-22-2012 at 2:07 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 2:01 PM
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I saw the broken Garand receiver and even though I was not present when it came apart, I consider my experience to be "first hand"...just say'en
OK, but still were not talking apples to apples. A 308 conversion is a bit different. Isn't 308 a bit higher pressure - I thought it was. Also, were we using 150/165 grn or heavier?

Otherwise, I guess maybe your the winner - the first 1st hand account I have found in years.
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Old 05-22-2012, 2:28 PM
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John was shooting his Garand at the Sac Valley Shooting Center monthly silhouette match at the shooting point next to me when he had problems with the op rod coming off. Two weeks later, I spoke to him and saw the Garand receiver in pieces.

I'll see if he can post pictures of it or at least let me.

You are right, a .308 conversion is not quite an apples to apples comparison...but here's the thing...pressure is pressure. Whether it comes from a .308 or a 30.06 matters not. And 30.06 ammo not specifically loaded for Garands can be of any pressure. That is what you seem unwilling to acknowledge.

Last edited by Mustang; 05-22-2012 at 2:32 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 2:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
And 30.06 ammo not specifically loaded for Garands can be of any pressure. That is what you seem unwilling to acknowledge.
Any pressure? Not likely. Ammo subject to extreme or low temperatures may develop high pressures that are un-predictable. Is this what you mean?


Ammo needs to meet specific pressure specifications, and in the US it is specified by SAAMI. The specs were created to spec dimmensions, pressures, and other requirements for ammo to be created and safely used in modern weapons ... etc.

Now, a question maybe is the M1 a modern weapon? If commercial was not safe in an M1, you would find a specific warning. After all, commercial has been used in M1's ever since M1's have hit the commerical market or civilian hands - meaning for years now.

Last I checked, pressures for GI Ball were higher than SAAMI specs for commercial. This would tend to indicate commercial is safe. But, a question may be where was the pressure measured - port, muzzle? There may be no way of really knowing.

The point is, there is no certain that commercial ammo is bad for the M1. Commercial ammo that is close to the specs of GI Ball would seem to be fine, but again there is uncertanity in using commercial as well.
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Old 05-22-2012, 3:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1A Rifleman View Post
The point is, there is no certain that commercial ammo is bad for the M1. Commercial ammo that is close to the specs of GI Ball would seem to be fine, but again there is uncertanity in using commercial as well.
I didn't mean literally "any pressure". Obviously commercial ammunition is loaded within limits. But here's the thing...those limits are peak overall pressure, not pressure measured at the Garand gas port.

The "Shooting Commercial ammo in your Garand" link is instructive.

First the author tested the peak port pressure of various M2 ball rounds, finding a range of approximately 940 psi for HXP 65 to 1160 psi for LC 66.

http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pressures/Figure3.jpg

The author then tested 10 commercial rounds that were not specifically advertised as "Garand-safe", including 8 different 150 grain loads. Three of these 150 grain loads exceeded the peak port pressure of the highest pressure M2 ball load (the LC 66)

http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre.../Pressure8.jpg
http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre.../Pressure9.jpg
http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre...Pressure12.jpg

Of the five that didn't exceed the highest M2 ball peak port pressure, three were close. ALL eight exceeded the lowest M2 ball peak port pressure.

http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre.../Pressure6.jpg
http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre.../Pressure6.jpg
http://www.garandgear.com/images/Pre.../Pressure7.jpg

So, three out of eight exceeded the highest M2 ball port pressures and three of the remaining 5 were close to exceeding it. Those do not sound like very good odds to me. Especially considering the caveat that the author included about commercial ammunition loadings being subject to change without warning.

Of course, no one is claiming with certainty that commercial ammunition is bad for a Garand. It seems obvious, however, that a relatively high proportion of even 150 grain commercial ammunition has the potential to exceed normal M2 ball port pressures. That is a risk that I choose not to take.

Last edited by Mustang; 05-22-2012 at 3:49 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 3:41 PM
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This is not my receiver but is a picture I saved from another forum of a cracked heel after many rds of commercial ammo.
Again , metal fatigue is accumalative and doesnt happen overnight. You may be able to shoot many ,many rds before you have a failure.
Is it worth the chance? No not to me especially when there are many options to reduce the risk of damage.

I have also seen Op Rods dismount when using commercial ammo.

Last edited by Orlando; 05-22-2012 at 3:44 PM..
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Old 05-22-2012, 3:50 PM
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I didn't mean literally "any pressure". Obviously commercial ammunition is loaded within limits. .
Mustang, assuming I understand the graph correctly, big if this late in the day,the links you provided include Privi and Fiochi ammo as the commercial. These are not US made, do they even meet SAAMI requirements? - Probabley not, but maybe thats a different argument about using Wolf or other ammo from questionable sources.

However, notice that Remington and Federal appear to be below or at the GI curve. What about that?
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Old 05-22-2012, 3:56 PM
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I don't have enough evidence about whether or not your WalMart ammo is safe for your Garand, so I just posted what I would do, based upon my experience. I agree with the others who posted that you asked a complex question with many variables, expecting a black or white answer.

Metal fatigue and op rod failure are not simple, "will it or won't it blow up my rifle?" questions, I thought there was value in most of the responses and I learned something from several of them.
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