Thinking About Doing This Stuff

This is a discussion on Thinking About Doing This Stuff within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I was going to get a second AR, but somehow I ended up sending an M1 order form to the CMP instead. From my understanding, ...

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Thinking About Doing This Stuff

    I was going to get a second AR, but somehow I ended up sending an M1 order form to the CMP instead. From my understanding, it is not wise to shoot modern commercial loads out of these rifles, which brings me here. What should I look for in a basic setup to load 30-06 for an M1 Garand? I started to look around online and in the stores, but without having a basic knowledge of this process, I'm a little lost.
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    Member Array lprmcnit's Avatar
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    An M1 is never a mistake. :) There is a lot of great info on the CMP forums on reloading and all kinds of other Garand related issues. I was looking for an M1 reloading link i thought i had on my iPad, but was must have misplaced it. If you search in Google for "reloading for Garand" that is another starting point . You can also order Greek surplus ammo from the CMP for sbout $.50/rd. Hope this helps. The M1 is classic snd you won't be dissapointed.
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    You can shoot current commercial loads with your Garand, but with caution and good sense. The gun does best with bullets in the 150- to 168-grain range. Hornady and American Eagle (and maybe others) make 150-gr ammo that's loaded specifically for the Garand. In general, just about any commercial 150 gr FMJ round is fine, but you probably want to confirm catalog velocity to be sure. Skip the hunting ammo.

    There is a ton of info on line on what good reloads are for the Garand. I got 500 free .30 cal bullets with my new press 2 years ago, so after I got my Garand I worked up a load using 4895 powder and it was rewarding to see the groups shrink as I approached the "sweet spot" .

    Welcome to the Garand club!
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    I will have to check my manuals but I think the Speer and Hornady manuals have loads specifically for the Garand. And congratulations on acquiring a fine piece of American history.
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Man, I wish I had a Garand! Congrats on that first off. I have my preferences for my .30-06 loads but if you look in the book, (I'm looking at Hornady 7th Edition right now) the bullet weights listed are 150-155 grain, 168 grain and 178 grain. For the 150-155 gr. loads in .30-06, a hotter load, (but not the limit) is around 2,800 fps. whereas the M1 load for that bullet weight is listed on the higher end at 2,500 fps. This is a very general statement but comparing the loads, it's clear that the M1 loads across all of the bullet weights are meant to be of lower velocity.

    Are you just starting out reloading altogether and needing info on reloading equipment? (dies, shell plates etc..) Not entirely sure what would answer your question regarding "basic knowledge" so forgive me. Maybe you're looking for a press, progressive or single stage?

    Edit Add:

    I have a Hornady AP Progressive press like this one and really like it. Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive Press

    However, if it were me and I was only going to load rounds up for the M1, I may consider investing in a single stage press, where detail is given to each stage of the operation manually, including the powder charge.

    There are guys on here that have way more experience than I do with reloading but I think I can put down a few things that you will want to look in to in order to get you started if you're starting from scratch. These are items that midway has available. Of course there's other sources, including looking online for used equipment as well. All of these are mix-matched brands but are just examples of things that you want to buy, but will also need to make sure that what you buy will compliment each other and will work well together. Remember, just examples:

    1. Press (single stage or progressive?)

    2. Reloading Handbook

    3. Shell plate / holder for .30-06

    4. Caliper (capable of measuring to 1/1000 of an inch) - Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6 SS

    5. Powder scale - RCBS Model 1010 Magnetic Powder Scale 1010 Grain Capacity

    6. Case Trimmer - RCBS Trim Pro-2 Manual Case Trimmer Kit

    7. Deburring tool - Forster Chamfer Deburring Tool 17 to 45 Cal

    8. .30-06 die set - Lee RGB 2-Die Set 30-06 Springfield

    9. Case Lube - Hornady Unique Case Lube 4oz Tub

    10. Bullet Puller - RCBS Pow'r Pull Impact Bullet Puller Kit

    11. Primer pocket cleaner - http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSe...pocket+cleaner

    And to make your brass all shiny purdy, you'll need a case tumbler - Hornady M-2 Case Tumbler 110 Volt

    If nothing else, that should get you off to a good start on what things you'll need to look for. Information on case dimensions, powder charges, bullet weights and primers will be found in your reloading handbook.
    Last edited by mprp; June 12th, 2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: another add
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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    To clarify, this will be my first steps into reloading. I have no idea what to do or what to look for. 30-06 will be the most expensive caliber I'll have (other than .22), and I want stuff that has absolutely no chance of hurting my Garand, so I figure it would be worth it to start reloading.

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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    In the book that I mentioned there are two separate sections, one for .30-06 and one that specifically is under M1 Garand. Shouldn't be any confusion once you've looked at the book.
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    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

    Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.

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    In only recent times the internet rumor mill has not been kind to M1s and just what is appropriate ammunition. A great, huge war was fought with the rifle. It's sturdy enough for civilian purposes. M1 rifles aren't so difficult to feed and they love properly prepared handloads. No adjustable gas plugs required. Just stay away from really slow-burning powders, bullets heavier than 180 grains, or nuclear-powered handloads and you're there! I've fired more rounds through the M1 than any other single center fire rifle kept around here. Over a 21-year period my M1 has seen heavy use in local high-power competition. This does not include all the fun shooting, load development, and bench rest accuracy efforts. The uncut op rod is still stroking right along and the barrel is more accurate than ever. I obtained it as a DCM gun in the mid-1980s, after picking up a dog of an M1 ten years before. Attention to maintenance and lubrication reaps benefits with the M1 that sees regular use.

    I'm not one to consider the M1 to be a "wilting flower" of delicacy in the rifle world but I'd be a little reluctant to shoot the Hornady Light Magnum or similar factory ammunition in the M1. I've chronographed the Hornady Light Magnum 150 grain load in a 24-inch barrel to find it clocked about 3020 fps. It is a bit warmer than typical 150 grain .30-06 stuff. Don't know what Hornady does to achieve the velocities but it is difficult to duplicate them with any sort of handload using 150 grain bullets.

    Plain ol' 150 grain "Fedingchester" hunting ammunition seems to give correct function though I've shot very little of it. It's fairly certain that they don't load this stuff with really slow-burning powders.

    Knew a family member who was enamored of 220 grain round nose bullets for hunting (small Texas whitetail no less). Was fond of handloads concocted with 220 grain Hornady round nose bullets over heavy charges of IMR 4831 so loaded up a batch of them when he got his DCM M1 back in the early 1980s. His M1 ate 'em right up. Ejection was quite "enthusiastic" though. Very violent and erratic. The cases could have been deadly projectiles in their own right. He shrugged off the information offered on appropriate M1 loads from out of the NRA M1 booklet of the day. As far as I know he continued to get by with it. It was easily observable that the M1's ejection habits with the load were abnormal and that a condition ripe for damage was evident.
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    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    Oh yes, gasmitty. While a number of powders work extremely well in the M1, IMR4895 is tops for me too.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    What would be a good press to start with? I've seen the Lee Turret Press mentioned quite a bit.

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    I have an RCBS Rock Chucker press I have been using for over 30 years and have not been able to wear it out yet.

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    I have an RCBS Rock Chucker press I have been using for over 30 years and have not been able to wear it out yet.

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press

    RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Single Stage Press Kit
    So with that do you set the press up for one step, do it to your batch, then change the tooling for the next step, and continue like that? Also the kit is just about everything you need minus shell holders?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tubadude View Post
    So with that do you set the press up for one step, do it to your batch, then change the tooling for the next step, and continue like that? Also the kit is just about everything you need minus shell holders?
    Correct and once the dies are set up and the lock rings adjusted the only change needed is to unscrew the die and screw in the die for the next step.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    Correct and once the dies are set up and the lock rings adjusted the only change needed is to unscrew the die and screw in the die for the next step.
    Thanks! That looks like a pretty good starter kit

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    Do you guys crimp when loading for the M1?

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