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Mike_Mills
04-11-2009, 01:56 AM
I need some tried and true 30-06 loads for the M1 Garand using H4895 and IMR4895 powders with a 168 gr bullet. I am most interested in the load recipe using IMR4895 but I do have a pound of H4895 I purchased by mistake and want to use it up.

I am going to be using the Widener's 168 gr "mil-spec" bullet.

I will be using the CCI "mil-spec" primers but may also use Winchester large rifle primers.

Any help on a recipe would be appreciated. Thank you.

NuJudge
04-11-2009, 07:12 AM
I have no experience with the CCI primer you mention. It is supposed to not just be hard, but magnum strength. The Winchester is regarded by many as being actually hotter than the CCI mil spec. Regardless what you do, work up to it.

For years, I shot about 46gr of IMR or H4895 (I could not tell the difference) in .30-'06 Garands, with Winchester primers.

Here is a good website to compare people's suggestions against:
NJ Hipower Rifle (http://radomski.us/njhp/)

Bill H
04-11-2009, 09:02 AM
Depending on the powder, something like 45-47 grains should be about right.

Since 4895 does vary a lot in burn rate, experiment before you load above 45 grains.

jaildog
04-11-2009, 11:26 AM
Mike the tried and true IMR 4895 load for the M1 with 168 grain is 45-47 grains of powder. Service rifle reciepe load em and, shoot em. Hope this helps.

Mike_Mills
04-11-2009, 01:49 PM
The loaded seven with 46.0 gr of H4895 with a Fed 210M primer. They went over the chronograph at 2542 fps with a SD = 32. Note that this is over 100 fps slower than shown on the NJ High Power web site at the link, above. It seemed a bit low to me, too. Even though the bullet is heavier than the ball ammo, I was expecting more. The rifle functioned just fine - no hint of anything bad.

The rifle and I aren't good for more than about 3-4 MOA with ball ammo, so judging accuracy of the ammo is very subjective so I couldn't judge the accuracy other than to say it wasn't horrific.

I plan to reload using the CCI primers and will switch over to the IMR4895 when it arrives next week. That's a lot to change, so it seems another range session is in order before I load any significant quantity of ammo. I also need to get a new chronograph, as the one I have died.

Maury Krupp
04-11-2009, 02:35 PM
What are your expectations/requirements?

Are you trying to get the smallest group off a 100yd bench or hold the 10-ring from prone at 600yd? Or something else?

As Bill H and Jaildog noted, for highpower match shooting the normal charge weight is between 45-47gr of IMR4895.

The often seen "industry standard" published by NRA calls for 47gr; 46.5 seems to work just as well for me and several other folks I know. It will hold the 10-ring if I and my rifle can.

Differences in nominal charge weights less than 0.5gr don't seem to matter much. I will accept a +/- 0.2gr variance for short-line loads and 0.1gr for 600.

For H4895 I usually need to be 0.5gr lower (eg, 46.0) than for any IMR load.

I haven't seen any truly significant difference on the target or over the chrono with any primer I've tried (CCI, Rem, Win).

Generally speaking, load development for .30cal Across-the-Course shooting is a waste of time. In the past 70 years someone else has tried just about everything at one time or another. Sometimes folks will find something that's marginally better, or cheaper, or cleaner, but the good old 168-175gr bullet, around 47gr of IMR4895, and just about any Large Rifle Primer formula will clean any target when it's pointed correctly.

There's no need to re-invent the wheel - unless you want to ;)

Maury

Mike_Mills
04-11-2009, 03:05 PM
Actually, I am trying to NOT reinvent the wheel - I'm looking for a tried and true recipe.

As far as expectations go, I was a little surprised by the low velocity I obtained (2542 versus an expectation of around 2700 fps). It has been a long time (~10 years) since I loaded 30-06 and then it was mostly for a long barreled, Model 1917 bolt rifle using a slower powder (W760). Is this a mistaken expectation on my part or is the measured 2542 fps genuinely slow?

oney
04-11-2009, 05:46 PM
The usual disclaimer is to have you check reloading manuals ect... try a list of components... work up the load for your particular rifle... what works for me might not work for you, or be safe for your rifle. With that said...

Here is my 30-06 load....
LC 69 Case
168 HPBT (Nosler or Hornady)
45grs IMR 4895
CCI 34 Primer
3.34 OAL

The load doesn't beat me to death, and performs well at 600yds. I use it in my Garand and '03.

"THIS WE'LL DEFEND!"

"Life has many choices... Eternity only has two!"

Maury Krupp
04-11-2009, 06:05 PM
"Actually, I am trying to NOT reinvent the wheel - I'm looking for a tried and true recipe."

I kinda thought that based on your original post. But there are some people out there who actually enjoy tweaking their loads to a gnat's ***. Reloading for them can be a hobby (or obsession) unto itself :)

"As far as expectations go, I was a little surprised by the low velocity I obtained (2542 versus an expectation of around 2700 fps). It has been a long time (~10 years) since I loaded 30-06 and then it was mostly for a long barreled, Model 1917 bolt rifle using a slower powder (W760). Is this a mistaken expectation on my part or is the measured 2542 fps genuinely slow?"

I don't think your numbers are way off. Rummaging around in my records and throwing in a bit of fudge factor for the heavier bullet, I find almost identical chrono numbers for a 173gr bullet (MV2533, SD39). That's with 46.0gr IMR4895 and a WLR primer. CCI34 primer numbers are about the same.

Sierra says the optimum velocity for their 168MK is around 2550-2650. That's probably good for any other 168gr bullet as well. Add another 0.5 or 1.0gr powder and I think you'll be pretty close.

I don't worry too much about the numbers though. I use them to be sure I'm at a desired velocity (milspec, manufacturer's recommended, supersonic at intended range, etc). Then I look at the ES and SD to see if they're all flying in a 10-ring size formation.

After that it's up to me to hold 'em and squeeze 'em.

Maury

Mike_Mills
04-11-2009, 06:10 PM
Very good, Maury! Thanks also to the others - oney, Bill H, jaildog and NuJudge. I'll be off to the loading bench to make a few rounds for testing as soon as I get the IMR powder, next week.

I think I'll make about 24 rounds and shoot them over the chronograph. I'll get some stats, ensure functioning and get accuracy data, too.

slamfire1
04-11-2009, 10:28 PM
There are lot to lot variations in powder, so the advice of 45-47 grains of IMR 4895 is good.

For my match Garands, and in my match bolt rifle, I have used a load of 168 Match (any brand) 47.0 grains IMR 4895/AA2495 any case, WLR/CCI#34 OAL LT 3.30”

When AA2495 was cheaper I used kegs of it. There was absolutely no significant difference charge weight/velocity when compared to IMR 4895. When I called Accurate Arms, they told me the powder duplicated the pressures curves of IMR 4895. Stupidly, they call it AA2495 instead of AA4895.

I have not tested H4895 in a 30-06. In a 308 it is close to IMR 4895 but it is not identical.

In case you might have an interest in other powders, below is data with powders that are entirely acceptable in a M1 Garand. AA2520 is a ball powder and shoots very well in Garands and M1a’s. IMR 4064 does not meter as well as IMR 4895, but it is an outstanding powder and the slowest you should go in a Garand.

I never tested IMR 3031 in a 30-06, but many sources state that 3031 is the fastest you should use in a Garand. It does shoot exceptionally well in the 308 and today at the range the Club president was shooting almost touching groups at 200 yards with it in a 30-06.



M1 Garand Douglas Barrel 1:10 twist



168 Sierra Match 47.0 grs AA2495 wtd WLR FC Cases OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 F

Ave Vel = 2632
Std Dev = 16
ES = 50
Low = 2616
High = 2666
N = 10


168 gr Sierra Match 47.0 AA2520 WWII cases WLR OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 F )

Ave Vel = 2658
Std Dev = 35
ES = 85
Low = 2612
High = 2697
N = 5

168 gr Sierra Match 48.0 IMR 4064 wtd LC66NM WLR OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 F

Ave Vel = 2594
Std Dev = 18
ES = 38
Low = 2575
High = 2613
N = 5

Two different targets, one shot in competition, the other in practice. IMR 4895 is a consistant performer. All charges were dropped, and all bullets seated on a Dillion 550B.

http://www.milsurps.com/images/imported/2009/03/1957XM1GarandSFProne-1.jpg


http://www.milsurps.com/images/imported/2009/04/M1Garand3006168Nosler47-1.jpg

Mike_Mills
04-12-2009, 04:17 PM
Gentlemen, here is my question. It is an important question, too.

What criteria do you use to select from amongst the various powder charges fired during load development testing? When I make up some loads using IMR4895, when it arrives, how will I down-select? How do you know what is too hot? How do you know what is too low?

Remember, I already tested 44 and 46 gr charges of H4895. That's two full grains apart. Both were good accuracy. Both cycled the rifle. Both had decent, but not low, standard deviation in muzzle velocity (SD ~ 40 fps). Neither got even close to the published velocities for their respective charge weights.

Should I use the ladder method (Audette method)? I do plan to throw the charges, not hand weigh them.

oney
04-12-2009, 05:23 PM
I am obsessive compulsive, so I write everthing down, for each load I test. I usually start by picking a powder that is known for success in the ammunition I am loading. IMR 4895 and IMR 4064 are proven powders for both .308 and 30-06, and safe for use in a garand. I also like to select powders that can be used for more than one specific caliber.

I start with the lowest load data given in my manual and work up in .5 grain increments. I usually make 5 - 10 examples of each load and test them. What I am looking for when I test, is the best accuracy at the range I intend to load the round for, in the specific rifle the round will be used in, with the least amount of recoil. I also look for pressure signs ect. although this is not an exact science. I also pay close attention to the performance of a load when I duplicate what others say is their accuracy load, or what the manual gives as the best load. I try to stay away from the high end of the loading spectrum for a particular cartridge. SAFETY is the watchword for any reloader. Start at the bottom of the load and work up.

Back to the obsessive part of my thought process. It's a blessing sometimes, as well as a curse. :runaway: I reload for accuracy and performance. If I'm going to take the time to reload, I take the time to make the best round I can afford. One thing I do, is I throw each powder charge short, and then trickle charge it up to the weight of powder I am seeking. Yes, it takes more time to load, and the difference it the charges I throw might not be all that great, but when I get to the line, I have no doubt that my ammunition is capable of doing what I want it to. I just have to do my part. Reloading to save money, in my experience is a myth... I do it for the accuracy I can obtain from a cartridge I loaded.:super:

Hope this helps...

"THIS WE'LL DEFEND!"

"Life has many choices... Eternity only has two!" :thup:

slamfire1
04-12-2009, 06:06 PM
What criteria do you use to select from amongst the various powder charges fired during load development testing? When I make up some loads using IMR4895, when it arrives, how will I down-select? How do you know what is too hot? How do you know what is too low?


We are discussing loading for a gas gun. One that was fielded in 1936, and taken out of service in the 60's.

You have to live within the limitations of the gas system.

The Army developed its weapon system, using pressure barrels, port pressure gages, high speed cameras, and many more unmentioned test fixtures.

I can develop my ammo looking at primers, groups, and a chronograph.

Most of my advice is subjective.

1. How does the rifle run?

When the CMP issued Federal ammo during the earlier Garand matches, they let Federal use commercial standards. The stuff was close to 2900 fps with a 150 FMJ. Lots of malfunctions happened. All over the line. The USMC (Ret) that I scored for, his Garand partially ejected a clip of seven or six rounds feeding the hot stuff they issued. Groups were not very good either.

The CMP then tested vintage ammo and told Federal to load to that velocity for the next couple of years.

So, short of blowing the receiver heel off, how does your rifle run? Are you having operating rod dismounts, misfeeds? I like having a barely perceptible clip/clop to the action. When the whole extraction/ejection/feed cycle is a big bang, I believe the load is too hot.

2. What is the case life?

Is the rifle pulling the case heads off in two reloads? Less than five? Are the rims being pulled off or ripped at an angle? These are all indications that the action is being opened before pressures have dropped in the breech to an acceptable level. Too much port pressure means the action is being opened sooner, and more violently than expected.

You will bend operating rods when the operating rod is pushed too hard. That is proof positive of problems.

3. What is the accuracy?

You will find that when you go below a certain velocity level, accuracy goes to pot. For short range shooting, find the load that runs the smoothest, shoots the best, at the lowest level. For longer range shooting, find a faster load that runs smooth and shoots good.

The rifle was designed to hum along within a limited range of energy input. It will not be happy below that level and you will be beating the components up when you exceed that level.

So Grasshopper, in time you will learn enough about the mysteries of these rifles. As you learn, your heightened level of knowledge will lead you to understand that you have become a Master :bow: and that you are able and ready to stand on your own. Then, in the fullness of time, when you meet your Buddha on the road, you can slay him :yikes: , and walk past to arrive at your true destiny.

Mike_Mills
04-12-2009, 07:35 PM
When I met Buddha, he turned out to be nothing more than a big hippie. So, I won't be relying on THAT method.

I've been thinking about this question this afternoon. I was hoping to just follow a pre-set recipe or just load to a mil-spec velocity. The problem is, there's no "mil-spec" for the 168 gr bullet. If, as you say, powder lots vary with this powder, I am doomed to do some load development testing of THIS lot, when I get the can.

I think I will do the Audette "ladder method" at 200 yards. I do want to throw my charges and this is the best way I know of to get to the proper powder charge for throwing because it is based up on on-target accuracy.As of now, it's probably going to be in the range from 46 to 47 gr of IMR4895.

Maury Krupp
04-12-2009, 07:37 PM
I'm not as complex as some others might be.

I throw but still check each powder charge to ensure it's within my acceptable tolerance. That's more my OCD than anything else and I'm fine with that :banghead:

On the rare occasions now when I do test a load all I do is make up a half-dozen or so in 0.5gr increments until I reach the recommended charge. I shoot these to see if my gun blows up. If they pass I load some more up and shoot enough to satisfy myself they're not the source of any problems on the target. Usually I'll chronograph ten shots; mostly just to satisfy my curiosity on what sort of numbers they actually produce.

I've done the Audette Method a couple times in the past. When the results came out the same as what the grey haired, gold badge and P100 wearing Masters and High Masters told me it would be I quit bothering.

A lot of cleans and match winning scores were fired by good shooters using the "industry standard" .30cal loads way back when. If those loads were good enough for them then they're good enough for me now :thup:

Maury

Edited to add:

I can't say I've ever seen any major lot to lot differences in commercial IMR4895.

Powder manufacturers have a vested interest in testing out those differences before their product hits the shelves. Reloaders don't want to re-test every time they buy a new jug; the company liability lawyers probably don't want to deal with them either.

Surplus IMR4895 is another matter. The army loaded each lot to pressure and velocity so they didn't care about any variations.

The problem I have with using blind thrown charges is more a lack of complete confidence in the throwing machinery and operator's ability to produce consistent charges.

If I'm using ball powder I'll throw and seat all day; extruded I like to check.

PSCHMID
04-12-2009, 08:22 PM
In my case, I have found that 47.5gr of IMR4895 behind a Speer 168gr HPBT with appropriate standard CCI primer will give right at 2700fps and average 2.24" groups @ 100 yrds when hand-held from a bench.....group average is of six eight-shot groups.....range from biggest to smallest group was 0.49". Back off at least 2 grains to start. Don't know what if anything this may be doing to the working parts.

Mike_Mills
04-13-2009, 01:41 AM
Maury, this is commercial (virgin) IMR4895.

I am sorely tempted to just go with 47.0 gr and be done with it. I can load 20 or 50 rounds and fire them for accuracy and chrono numbers. If nothing's wrong*,... I load a bunch.

* Primers and fired brass look good, SD is decent, accuracy is decent, rifle function is 100%,.. what else?

Maury Krupp
04-13-2009, 10:38 AM
Maury, this is commercial (virgin) IMR4895.
I am sorely tempted to just go with 47.0 gr and be done with it. I can load 20 or 50 rounds and fire them for accuracy and chrono numbers. If nothing's wrong*,... I load a bunch.

* Primers and fired brass look good, SD is decent, accuracy is decent, rifle function is 100%,.. what else?

You can never be 100% sure what will happen with any given combination of rifle/ammo components.

That's why I'd make a few at 46.0, 46.5, 47.0. See what happens as you work your way up. Just to CYA.

If all is good I'd still probably only make a small "bunch" of around 100-200 or so for extended field testing. Shoot a match or two with them.

Once you're satisfied with the load's performance in actual use it'll be OK to crank up the progressive.

Maury

Mike_Mills
04-17-2009, 11:31 PM
Well, I received my IMR powder in the mail and my new chronograph came, as well. So, I am ready to start loading. Sunday is a day at the range. I'll get my data then. It's supposed to be hot, too, almost 100 degrees. So, that's good for load testing - no surprises during the hot days of the summer.

Sunray
04-18-2009, 03:54 AM
"...I'm looking for a tried and true recipe..." That doesn't work. No two rifles will shoot the same ammo, the same way. You must work up the load for your rifle.
In any case, IMR4064 gives more consistent accuracy with a 168 grain match bullet.
You don't need CCI #41 primers either. They're nothing but a marketing gimmick for magnum rifle primers. Seat regular primers properly and you'll have no problems.

Mike_Mills
04-19-2009, 01:42 AM
Sunay, I understand what you are saying about working up a load but a guy's got to start somewhere. With a 30-06 cartridge and 4895, there should be a well-established region where one will likely start and end up. It's not a new wildcat cartridge or a new powder.

The CCI primers and 4895 powder were purchsed for use in the 30-06 loads. I already have them. They are a faite acompli (a done deed).

lucky dog
04-20-2009, 01:36 PM
Mike, you must realize that what shoots great in one rifle might not do nearly as well in another. Even if the rifles are from the same manufacturer and built the same day they will shoot differently. That is why you must develop the load that works best for your rifle. If my rifle likes 46 grains yours might work best with 47.5. When I develop a load I do it "old school", start low and go up .5g at a time (I make 10 of each) until I get to the max suggested. Ten rounds of each load will give you a better idea of how the load groups than five will. You will see the groups get smaller and then they will open up. The smallest of course is the load your rifle likes. From there you tune the recipe by small adjustment of powder and bullet seating.
I stay away from maximum loads. They are not the easiest on the equipment and usually not the most accurate.

Mike_Mills
04-20-2009, 03:02 PM
Guys, I think we are on different wavelengths here. I am not intending to develop a load that works only in one of my rifles because I have several of them and intend to feed them all the same ammo. I want (really, "need" is a more correct word) a load that works in all of them. These rifles do not require custom-tailored handloads to perform reliably. I am after a load that works reliably in all my rifles and would work in YOURS, too. I am not after highly customized match ammo, although the ammo I produce will be very high quality. Lake City does not load for one Garand they load for all Garands. That's what I am after.

I agree with staying away from maximum loads - 100% agree.

Did the US ever manufacture ammo for the garand that used a 168 gr bullet? If so, what muzzle velocity did it have? Unless something strange pops up, I can just replicate that with an appropriate powder charge.

Does the new production Garand ammo use a 150 or 168 gr bullet? Has anyone measured the performance of the new production ammo?

Here's an update with the little bit of info I have collected to date.

I have fired several rounds using both H4895 and IMR4895. I have fired rounds using 44, 46 and 47 gr of H4895. I have fired rounds using 44 and 47 gr of IMR4895. In all cases, the rifle functioned properly. These two powders are yielding velocities that are within about 50 - 100 fps of each other given an identical powder charge. I think if I load with 46.0 gr of either, I will be in the 2550 to 2600 fps range with this bullet. That velocity is right in the middle of the range of velocities shown in the Sierra Manual for their 168 gr MK bullet in a 30-06.

In none of these loads did I notice any particular banging or clanking of parts. Then again, I have no real idea how to tell if the rifle is being pushed too hard by a reload. Most were single loaded and extraction and ejection has been 100% with all of them.

lucky dog
04-20-2009, 05:41 PM
M2 ball was used with the Garand. The bullet is 150gr flat based bullet with a velocity of around 2800fps. There is an armor piercing M2 round for the 30 caliber MG that uses a 165-168 bullet but I do not know the velocity.

I am of the opinion that 168gr bullets are at the maximum weight for the Garand. If I did not need the extra bullet weight for distance, then I would use the 150 gr flat base with 47gr of 4895 and know I was close to what the rifle was intended to perform with.

Parashooter
04-20-2009, 05:44 PM
OK, seems like you could benefit from a brief history lesson.

The 1906 bullet (as in .30/06) was a 150-grain spitzer. After that one proved a bit disappointing in WWI, Ordnance developed a 173-grain boattail and loaded it in a cartridge adopted as "Ball, M1". Instrumental velocity at 78 feet was 2640 fps. Shortly before WWII, however, the army decided to return to a 150-grain bullet with "Ball, M2", which was the standard ball round for the rest of the .30/06's military career.

M2 ball is, however, pretty dismal as a long-range target round, so the services brought back a slightly modernized version of the M1 bullet for match ammo called M72 in .30 cal. and M118 in 7.62mm, loaded to that same nominal velocity of 2640 fps at 78 feet. As far as I know, the military never adopted any load with the 168-grain Sierra in .30/06 (although they did in 7.62). Lots of competitors wanting an accuracy edge did pull the GI 173's from M72 Match and replace them with Sierra 168's, giving slightly less pressure and about 10fps greater MV.

So the answer to your main question is that if you want a "standard" load for military .30/06 rifles with the 168 Sierra, you're looking for a velocity around 2650 fps at 78 feet (or about 2690 at the more usual 10'). Such a load should be virtually indistinguishable from Federal's Gold Medal ammo, GM3006M, listed by Federal at a MV of 2700 fps, and significantly better at mid-range (600 yards) than Federal's current "M1" ammo (AE3006M1) with a 150-grain spitzer at 2740 fps.

http://www.milsurps.com/images/imported/2009/04/gi173box-1.jpg
Box top on GI 173-gr FMJBT's from the DCM.

Maury Krupp
04-20-2009, 06:52 PM
Milspec for Cartridge, Caliber .30, Armor Piercing, M2 was 2715fps. The bullet was a nominal 165.7gr flat base.

That's the closest USGI load for a 168gr bullet. But it was designed for piercing armor (duh) not piercing paper so accuracy was only part of the design requirement.

Federal Gold Medal Match and Hornady's new "Garand Match Ammo" use a 168gr bullet and work well back to 600. If you can afford it.

The old Federal "Garand Match" ammo used a 150gr; the new Hornady stuff wil probably do the same. OK for 200yd on the SR target; lacking a bit at 300 and 600.

If your objective is to punch itty-bitty cloverleaf groups off a bench from 100yd the time spent finding the load your rifle likes best might be worthwhile. Why you're trying to do that with an M1 is probably the subject for another discussion :banghead:

I know I'm sounding like a broken record but if you're just trying to hold the 10-ring from position across-the-course, 46.5gr of IMR4895 (+/- 0.5gr) and a 168gr match bullet will do the job in any M1 worth shooting it through.

Any time spent tweaking for perfection would be better spent shooting more of the less tweaked but still good enough ammo. The trigger actuator is usually the weakest link.

Maury

Mike_Mills
04-20-2009, 07:20 PM
Broken record much appreciated, Maury. 2700 fps with a 168 gr bullet seems like a pretty hot load based upon my testing. I was going to load 46.0 gr and call it good. Your 46.5 gr also sounds good to me.

Maybe I should start a poll. :)


Thanks to you all, I got started reloading in the right spot because everything to date has worked, for both powders. I think I'll load up a bunch at 46.5 and call it good. After I've shot them for functioning and accuracy and chronographed them I can load up a bunch more.

I was going to load about 1,000 rounds, so I wanted to get it right. It's like going into the ball ammo manufacturing business. :)

Parashooter
04-20-2009, 10:15 PM
"As far as expectations go, I was a little surprised by the low velocity I obtained (2542 versus an expectation of around 2700 fps). . . Is this a mistaken expectation on my part or is the measured 2542 fps genuinely slow?"

"2700 fps with a 168 gr bullet seems like a pretty hot load based upon my testing."

You really ought to take a look at Hodgdon's data site, where you'll find maximum loads of IMR4895 for 165-168 grain bullets at over 51 grains, for velocities in the 2850+ fps range. There's nothing "hot" about a 2700 fps load, nor is 2542 fps unreasonably slow unless you're shooting at 1000 yards (where 168's aren't a real good choice anyhow). It seems to me your confusion derives from a batch of H4895 that's a little on the slow side or an inaccurate chronograph - both within the realm of reasonable expectations.

Lance Boyle
04-21-2009, 09:42 AM
Mike,

I am in the same mode you are right now, I've finished the M1a puzzle long time ago and now am working the garand puzzles. I've been shooting LC and HXP for the last couple of years since my CMP addiction started. I only dabbled with a few match bullets early on and the particular rifle didn't seem to notice I spent the extra money so I gave up due to time constraints and just shot the HXP.

Only recently did I go back to the drawing board looking for more in a rifle I built up from a CMP service grade barreled receiver. I originally tried to get good accuracy with some of Pat's surplus 150 grain M2 ball bullets. Well they were only fair so I said what the heck and tried some Nosler 155's and some Sierra 168's.

The Nosler was good and I could tweak it some more but I stumbled into a very nice load for my HRA with the 168 SMK. Sunday I shot off the bench over the chronograph and 7 out of 10 shots were touching, the three outliers brought the group out to two inches, the worst I called off at the shot due to my eye bugging out.

168 SMK
HXP 73 case, trimmed, primer pocket uniformed with sinclair tool
WLR primer
47.0 IMR 4895

Of course i wasn't using the same brass as the books, they used Frontier and Federal for their loads. So it's a bit apples and oranges to direct compare them. I also was a tad suprised to see my velocities were lower than the reloading manuals stated. 47.0 should yeild 2700 fps according to Sierra but netted me 2560 fps.

-Is it my chronograph?
-Is it my lot of powder?
-Is it my like new HRA barrel?

All that doesn't really matter, it's shooting like a house of fire off the bench at a 100 yards. All I need to do is make sure it works out to 400 yards from position and I've done the job.

When I get time I still might tweak the 155 Nosler load to get a slightly lighter recoil. I only worked that one up to 2600 fps and that was about a two inch group too, with lots of bullet holes touching each other.

So I'm guess I'm saying.... load some at 46.5 and 47.0 and shoot!!!! It's all a guessing game until then.

slamfire1
04-21-2009, 06:52 PM
I also was a tad suprised to see my velocities were lower than the reloading manuals stated. 47.0 should yeild 2700 fps according to Sierra but netted me 2560 fps.

-Is it my chronograph?
-Is it my lot of powder?
-Is it my like new HRA barrel?


It could be chronograph misalignment, I doubt it is the powder, and it could be the barrel.

Being off by 50 fps is an insignificant difference. I think with a Normal Distribution 63% of the time the true lot average will be within two standard deviations of the average. Or something like that: find a college kid who accurately remembers his statistics for the correct explaination.

I try to shoot a "reference" load over my chronograph. If velocities are way off, I readjust the chronograph. Instrumentation error is real.

Also, shoot some ball ammo over the chronograph. If it is slower in your barrel than in the books, guess what, its your barrel.

When the Government accepted powder, the Government inspector carried a reference cartridge. The load was calibrated in the Government pressure barrel. He fired the thing in the contractor barrel and measured pressure and velocity. Which of course were different from the Government barrel. He then adjusted the data by the differences.

There are things as fast barrels and slow barrels. If you shoot a "calibrated" cartridge in a barrel and get low velocities, it is my belief that while velocities are less, pressures are not. I also believe that high velocities in a fast barrel means high pressures.

It is lose/lose no matter what you do.

http://www.milsurps.com/images/imported/2009/04/30M721732640fpsammocansideDSCN9365-1.jpg

Bayou
04-28-2009, 11:15 PM
.....Did the US ever manufacture ammo for the garand that used a 168 gr bullet? If so, what muzzle velocity did it have? Unless something strange pops up, I can just replicate that with an appropriate powder charge.

Does the new production Garand ammo use a 150 or 168 gr bullet? Has anyone measured the performance of the new production ammo?...

FWIW the attached pic from Hornady's website shows some stats on their 168 gr A-Max Garand ammo.

I plan to shoot my Garand for the first time this weekend, weather permitting. I made two clips each of 47.0 gr IMR4895 and 55.0 gr of H4350. Both of these loads use new RP brass, WLR primers, 168 gr Nosler HPBT Match bullets, an OAL of 3.339" and no crimp. I have an adjustable gas plug and I'm hoping the H4350 loads will work out OK as I have plenty of that powder on hand. I made the IMR4895 rounds because I had a little bit of that powder left and I figured it would be good to start off with a traditional load using the stock gas plug to see how the rifle cycles and groups before trying the H4350. I'll be chronying the session so I'll post up a range report next week.

MEHavey
04-30-2009, 08:14 PM
Count the "turns" of the gas plug adjustment screw from open to closed before you start the 4350 test firing.

Be sure you open up the adjustment (near) all the way for first shot (it shouldn't function),

Then close half the turns for second shot (it may/may not function)
- If it does, open up a quarter of the turns
- If not, close down a quarter of the turns

Third shot...
- If it functions, open up an 1/8 of the turns
- If it doesn't, close down 1/8 of the turns...

Fourth shot ... adjust open or closed by what amounts to 1/16 of the turns. (You get the pattern.)

By this time you should be there.


.

Bayou
05-02-2009, 08:26 AM
Count the "turns" of the gas plug adjustment screw from open to closed before you start the 4350 test firing.

Be sure you open up the adjustment (near) all the way for first shot (it shouldn't function),

Then close half the turns for second shot (it may/may not function)
- If it does, open up a quarter of the turns
- If not, close down a quarter of the turns

Third shot...
- If it functions, open up an 1/8 of the turns
- If it doesn't, close down 1/8 of the turns...

Fourth shot ... adjust open or closed by what amounts to 1/16 of the turns. (You get the pattern.)

By this time you should be there.


.

Thanks, that's pretty much what the instructions that came with the plug said as well :thup:

Sunray
05-03-2009, 01:03 AM
"...a guy's got to start somewhere...." Yep. That's what loading manuals are for. The Hornady manual has M1 Rifle specific loads, but that's a fairly recent thing. Any manual's 168 grain data will do. If you want a shooting because it's fun load, use 150 grain FMJ bullets and work up a load.
The rifle was desgined to use .30 M1 ammo with a 174.5 grain bullet at 2640fps. Not .30 M1 ammo's 152 grain bullet at 2700fps. In 1940, M2 ammo's MV was raised to 2800fps to match .30 AP's 168 grain bullet ballistics.
"...Did the US ever manufacture ammo for the Garand that used a 168 gr bullet?..." .30 AP at 2800 FPS. Match bullets they weren't.
Relax. Loading for an M1 isn't rocket science. There's no magic load that shoots well out of all rifles. You have to work up the load for any rifle. It just doesn't work that way. The only really important thing is to full length resize every time and watch the case length. If you're going to use match grade bullets, weigh every powder charge too. Match quality ammo requires meticulous loading techniques.
Hodgdon gives 48.0 to 51.2 of IMR4895 and 43.0 to 47.5 of H4695 for 168 grain bullets.
The CCI primers will do nicely, since that's what you have, but you don't need magnum primers(that's all CCI 'milspec' primer sare) for either powder. Magnum primers are for lighting hard to ignite powders and for extreme cold weather shooting. They burn a bit hotter for a bit longer. Don't worry about it. They're what you have.
"...M2 ball is, however, pretty dismal as a long-range target round..." It was never made for target accuracy. It's battle ammo.