Mil-Surp problems-Garand and Enfield

This is a discussion on Mil-Surp problems-Garand and Enfield within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Today I decided to take my new (well new to me) mil-surp rifles to the range for the first time. I took my M1 Garand ...

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Thread: Mil-Surp problems-Garand and Enfield

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Mil-Surp problems-Garand and Enfield

    Today I decided to take my new (well new to me) mil-surp rifles to the range for the first time. I took my M1 Garand and my MkI No.4 Enfield and shot from the bench @ 100 yards.

    First en bloc clip I loaded into the Garand ejected after the first two rounds. Second clip did the same thing. I check my target to see where my first four rounds are. They were high and to the left of the bullseye but two are close together the other two are flyers. I am estactic to see that I am on paper at least and that there is no evidence of keyholing. The barrel is pretty shot out as a .30 round will go to the neck. I get back to the bench and load my third clip. All eight rounds go boom and then that magical CHING sound. Fourth clip does the same thing. I am feeling good that the rifle seems to be operating correctly now and was enjoying myself. Load my fifth clip in, get my sight picture, pull the trigger, and then BOOM!BOOM! I just had my rifle double on me. I was getting stares from folks after that so I put the Garand away.

    Decided to change targets and try the Enfield. I fired four shots and as I went to work the bolt something was wrong. The bolt was hard to pull back but when I did get it back I had a head separation. The remaining 3/4ths of the cartidge was stuck in the chamber. I looked at the other spent cartridges and didn't notice any bulges or anything unusual. The rounds were reloads that I purchased from the range. I went and got my target. Not a single one on paper. Now I am no rifle expert, but I can hit paper and group decently with iron sights @ 100 yards with no problems usually. Don't know what the deal was on that? I was at that point frustrated and called it a day.

    So what are your thoughts and opinions on today? I read on a different forum where someone had experienced their Garand double fire and had chalked it up to an accidental bump fire since they were bench shooting. Sounded alot like what happened to me today. What about partially shot clips ejecting? Think I might need to replace the clip latch? Cartidge failure on the Enfield....bad headspacing,throat erosion, or perhaps a bad reload? I am new to mil-surps and I hope to continue to enjoy these fine pieces of history.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    Sounds like the M1 has trigger sear problems, possibly due to someone injudiciously stoning the sear surfaces or perhaps just due to wear. I once had my M1 to an excellent gunsmith for a trigger job because I used the rifle for competition. Used it for many years after that and then one day, while firing slow-fire prone during a match it doubled. The No. 12 metal marker at the Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club still has had a hole in it from the second shot from my doubling experience some time ago. A new trigger solved the problem which I suppose was from a combination of the custom work along with wear. I'm not familiar with the reason for the premature ejection but again it very well could be due to wear. I don't believe for a minute that an M1 will accidentally "bump fire" because it's shot off the bench. That's hokey. At least any parts you need for either issue are readily available and not expensive.

    I've got a few Enfields around here and have had others in the past and they do seem to be a bit hard on brass. It's said that the rear locking lug design is springy and stretches cases. I tend to believe it as I've always had short case life and incipient cases head separations if I tried to get more than about three handloads out of a case. It's also said that the chamber is a bit long in the Enfield so as to insure function with dirty ammo. Don't know if this is true or not but if it is then the combination of a long chamber and springy action would be death to cartridge cases. There are some things that may be done to mitigate the case stretching to an extent, neck sizing for one, but it's just something to live with when playing with the Enfield.

    I have to wonder how many times the brass you purchased had been reloaded. Guess it's an unknown but that case which failed may have been through the sizer die more than once. Once fired brass generally is fine in my experience. Don't fret about the Enfield. It's a great rifle design and fun to shoot. You might want to stick with new brass or once fired if possible. The .303 is most gratifying when hand loaded.

    A .45 bronze pistol brush makes a great extractor for removing a case that's stuck in a chamber such as you described. Just push it up into the chamber inside the case and pull. The bronze bristles will grip the inside of the case and pull it right out. Easy as pie. You may have already known this. It sure beats digging at the case with sharp objects and fouling up the chamber.

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    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    The premature clip ejection is probably due to a worn latch or spring. Garands won't bump fire unless someone has seriously lightened the trigger. Have a gunsmith check the trigger surfaces and interceptor (what keeps it from going full auto). The CMP forums can probably direct you to a gunsmith that can help you.

    If you got the Garand through the CMP, contact them and they will make it right for you in a very short time.
    Last edited by AutoFan; March 16th, 2008 at 11:29 AM. Reason: editorial

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Bump, any more thoughts?
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    I'd blame the reloads for the Enfield problem - lots of good reading about the Garand on the FultonArmory.com website. I'd blame that one on worn parts.

    Austin

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    eww
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    It seems the M1 will double if you slowly squeeze the trigger. I've seen more than a couple do it including mine. Just apply normal pressure to the trigger and it should be fine. As for the clip ejecting early check the clip latch for wear.

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eww View Post
    It seems the M1 will double if you slowly squeeze the trigger. I've seen more than a couple do it including mine. Just apply normal pressure to the trigger and it should be fine. As for the clip ejecting early check the clip latch for wear.
    Another member said "Hooey" on that thought. However that feels like what happened with me. I found a "Garand Dr." online and I am going to ship the rifle off when I get the funds to have all of the small parts and springs replaced. Should only cost around $150 to get her fine tuned into a good range shooter.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    eww
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    Another member said "Hooey" on that thought. However that feels like what happened with me. I found a "Garand Dr." online and I am going to ship the rifle off when I get the funds to have all of the small parts and springs replaced. Should only cost around $150 to get her fine tuned into a good range shooter.

    Better to be safe I guess, I know mine and at least 6 others that will double if the trigger is pulled slowly. It is your weapon and you need to feel confident with it, do what you feel you need to. Just a side question, what ammo are you useing? Stay away from modern ammo. The burn rate is faster and you run the risk of bending your op-rod.

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eww View Post
    Better to be safe I guess, I know mine and at least 6 others that will double if the trigger is pulled slowly. It is your weapon and you need to feel confident with it, do what you feel you need to. Just a side question, what ammo are you useing? Stay away from modern ammo. The burn rate is faster and you run the risk of bending your op-rod.
    It is some old Twin Cities (I think this is the factory) non-corrosive M2 Ball.

    Yep, I read up on not using modern ammo.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    eww
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    Twin Cities, Lake City and the Greek surplus are all good. Have fun with the M1. I'm no help on the Enfield, I don't have one....yet.

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    I suppose I'm the fellow who thinks doubling M1's because of slowly pulling the trigger is hooey. One or six, it's abnormal and something is up. It's an unsafe condition. Sounds like wear or trigger parts that have been monkeyed with. The shooter shouldn't have to manipulate a trigger in any fashion in order to avoid such a condition.

    It's said that op rods bend because of high port pressure. Rifle powders with slow burning rates (say IMR 4350 for example or slower) are supposed to contribute to bent operating rods as are bullets that weigh over 180 grains. Both render higher pressures in the barrel out where the port is. This doesn't necessarily mean higher chamber pressure but is just a characteristic of powder performance. I've seen a fellow shoot 220 grain round nose bullets through his M1 without any observable damage over time. I suspect he was using very moderate powder charges which may have mitigated the use of the heavy .30 bullet. Have also seen a fellow shoot a lot of IMR 4831 and who ended up with a bent op rod for his trouble.

    I've used a lot of IMR4895, and also IMR 4064, and BL-C2 along with 150, 165, 168, 173, and 180 grain bullets in my M1 for many years with perfect results.

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eww View Post
    Twin Cities, Lake City and the Greek surplus are all good. Have fun with the M1. I'm no help on the Enfield, I don't have one....yet.
    I am going to chalk the Enfield problem up to reloads. However I didn't hit paper with it!!! The Garand grouped decently @ 100 considering that the barrel is worn pretty well.

    The next time I go to the range I'll start @ 50 with the Enfield to at least find the paper. Kind of embarrassing to have to admit that.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I suppose I'm the fellow who thinks doubling M1's because of slowly pulling the trigger is hooey. One or six, it's abnormal and something is up. It's an unsafe condition. Sounds like wear or trigger parts that have been monkeyed with. The shooter shouldn't have to manipulate a trigger in any fashion in order to avoid such a condition.
    I am going to take your advice and have it checked by a gunsmith.

    I am no reloader so I will just stick to the non-corrosive surplus ammo that I can find. Eventually though, the well will dry up on M2 Ball and I might have to learn a thing or two about reloading to be able to feed the M1.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

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    Doc, who made your Enfleid?

    If it is Isphore, then the sight zero might be at 200yds instead of 100yds. Atleast this is the case with mine.

    My Long Branch zero seems to be at 100yds
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    The ol' M1 isn't so sensitive or delicate that one must avoid modern ammumition. Any standard velocity commercial .30-06 ammunition from recognized manufacturers will be fine and your M1 will eat it like candy as long as you're willing to foot the bill. The cautious M1 shooter might do well to avoid any 200 grain and 220 grain factory '06 loadings as well as the "light magnum" or "+P" loadings that are available.

    It's been a while since I've seen a store even stock the 220 grain round nose load for the .30-06 and I don't know what else may be out there that's put up with "specialty" hunting or target bullets in heavier weights. Such loads aren't really needed for M1 shooting anyway.

    If a sponsor would supply me with good quality .30-06 factory loads I'd shoot all I could get in my M1. Any sponsors out there? Bring it on.

    Another traditional indicator of proper port pressures is said to be in observing where the M1 is ejecting it's cases. If the rifle pointing downrange at the target could be considered to be 12:00 on a clock face, and the rifle is dumping the empties at 1:00 or 2:00 consistently then all is good. If it is flinging them out at 3:00 or even farther behind the shooter, ejecting them wildly and inconsistently, or very forcefully then this is suppose to be an indicator that port pressures are on up there. In handload development for shooting in the M1, my observations seem to bear this out. Mild loads cause the cases to dribble over the side, the rifle sounding almost like shucking an old Winchester Model 12 pump shotgun (it's surprising how light a load will still feed and function). The moderate loads will eject at about 1:30; as boring as watching a clothes dryer. Take a walk on the wild side with one's handloads and the rifle complains about it, slinging cases from here to yon and generally behind the shooter (sometimes far behind). Such excessive loads are a disservice to fellow shooters on a firing line at a match as well as to the rifle, and are totally unnecessary as the .30-06 delivers enough goodness downrange without trying to squeeze any "extra power" from it.

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