Thursday, March 12, 2009

On the subject of the care and feeding of the Garand

Rustmeister noted in comments Modern 30.06 loads are hotter than what the Garand was designed for and can damage your baby. Which is something to consider.

Remember a while back I wrote on pressure, and when it comes in, and why military arms are generally designed specifically around a cartridge? That's very much in my mind, and I plan to be careful about it. Generally, jacketed bullets from 150 to 170 grains weight can be safely used when loaded to pressures that will both give accuracy and cycle the action properly; heavier bullets, no. Lighter jacketed often no, because the powder type and charge that works best for them often does not play well with the operating system of the Garand.

Cast bullets as heavy as 200 grains, sometimes with a slower-burning powder than IMR4895, have been used successfully in the Garand due to the fact that a cast or cast and gas-checked bullet has a lot less friction in the bore than a jacketed bullet with that hard copper-alloy coat; but you do have to watch pressures to make sure you stay in the range.

I've been told the Federal American Eagle .30-06 with 150-grain FMJ bullet matches up to military M2 ball specs, but haven't checked that out for myself; I do know that one local range that regularly runs service rifle shoots sells that ammo for the matches with that as the reason.

Speaking of the Garand, after shooting it to check it out, when time allows I'll use some stuff to clean the old oil and grease(happily, doesn't look like much) out of the wood and refinish it carefully(so as not to damage the stock markings). Right now it's 30-something and damp outside, and I ain't gonna do it. I did a few years back in similar weather, because the rifle in question was really greasy and I just couldn't wait, but I about froze doing it. My hands get stiffer in the cold than they used to, so I'll wait for things to warm up a bit.


vlad said...

per page 66 Nov-Dec 1994 American Rifleman. Service rifle loads for Garand and other semi-auto and pump rifles
168-180 grain jacketed (approximate M74 Match)
44.0-47.0 IMR/H4895
43.0-45.5 2015BR
46.0-50.0 IMR4064/W748/2495BR

They say that if you use slower powders than those listed
there is a good chance it will damage the op rod and
other parts. So ..... after SHTF we have only powders slower than those listed. what do we do?????

We remove the gas port plug , or leave grenade launcher
on rifle to hold gas port open and use the rifle as pull-bolt. This until I think of a better way.

Note that the SKS (I aint familiar with AK) has a hole through each side of gas tube at the point of rear travel of the op rod. I surmise that is to relieve excess gas pressure. I can find the point of rear travel on Garand op rod and drill a hole through gas tube there. Will a 1/8" hole
on each side of gas tube at that point relieve gas pressure so I can use even the slowest powders?
Damfino. I wish I could telephone Mr Garand at Springfield Armory and discuss this with him.

Firehand said...

That is a good question, for which I have no answer.

Yeah, makes it kind of difficult to ask when the phones don't go to heaven, doesn't it?

Windy Wilson said...

At the local purveyor of fun things that go bang I specifically asked them about which commercial loads were suitable for the Garand, and they sold me 100 rounds of Federal American Eagle in the red box (with the eagle on it, of course).