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Thread: looking for advice reloading 308 ammo for M1 Garand

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  1. #1
    Member Daimler1989's Avatar
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    looking for advice reloading 308 ammo for M1 Garand

    Hi,



    I own a M1icon Garand chambered in 308 Winchester and want to reload ammo. With commercial ammo, the gun is quite finicky and does not work well with some brands, as well as it doesn't digest military surplus ammo of MEN and DAG with 147 grs FMJ bullets (produces short strokes). So I'm on my own and will be using the 170 grs lapua Lock base bullet and the VV N140 powder (of which I have plenty in my stash, because I use it for 30-06 for my M1917 and Springfield 1903A3).

    VV reloading data lists 45.5 grains of N140 with the 170 Lock Base as an accuracy load, but that's the load max. Is N140 too slow burning for the Garand in 308? Can I use this load or is this load too hot for the Garand? I don't want to damage the op rod with a heavy, slow burning powder and a heavy bullet?

    best regards
    Ulrich

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    Really Senior Member Gun Surfer's Avatar
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    I don't think at 45.5 gr of powder weight and a 170 gr bullet you are going to have excessive port pressure or hurt the oprod. The burn rate appears to be faster than IMR 4350 and about similar to H380. As you say, its a max load and you have to be concerned about chamber pressure. If those are your bullet and powder available, all you can do is incrementally work up a load from some lower charge weight to be safe, and hope the rifle functions ok. (They list an accuracy load for the 167 Scenar and N140.) There are Garandicon shooters and VV powder users in this forum, you'll probably get some more help.

    I have no experience with a .308 Garand, but I am a little surprised 7.62 NATO ammo would not cycle your rifle. Who made or converted the rifle?

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    Member Buntlineguy's Avatar
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    I like 43.0 grains of IMR4895, a 150 grain spire point and Remington brass. Good groups at 100 yards.
    B

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    Really Senior Member Gun Surfer's Avatar
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    Daimler is apparently from Germanyicon, which I think normally translates to VV powders and Lapua or S&B bullets, though I think they might have access to some US made components. He has a 1917 and a 1903A3, so they definitely have access to US guns. I'm curious as to where the Garandicon came from.

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    Member SGTHurley's Avatar
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    How about putting an adjustable Shuster valve on the rifle and dial it in that way?

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    Really Senior Member Gun Surfer's Avatar
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    For the VV N140 powder and 45.5 grain load he is talking about, dont think he will need the valve.

    There are several folks from Europe and Germanyicon who post here (either natives, expats or maybe even military stationed there), and they seem to have access to a variety of US made stuff, perhaps better access than our Canadianicon friends. So I assume they can get the Shuster valve over there, but I dont know that for sure. One of the Canadians was talking about not being able to get US reloading components due import/export restrictions from US, but then was saying that was ok and they are developing their own market sources. One of the Germans who posts here is usually about Lapua and VV powders, those seem to be prevelant over there.
    Last edited by Gun Surfer; 02-12-2011 at 10:48 PM.

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    Member Daimler1989's Avatar
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    Thread Starter

    some more info

    Thank you all for your replies and let me give you some more information. US made weapons are available in Germanyicon, but scarce. My M1917 came from am large mil surp supplier in the late 90's (who now offers not much mure than junk and no more US guns at all), my Springfield came from a small gun shop whose owner does import small numbers of completely refurbished guns from USA (new barrel, new stock etc). My M1icon was built on a HRA receiver with new barrel etc by a german gunsmith who worked as a Chief Small Arms Repair for the US Army in Germany and is well known for his work on the Garand. He tried the gun after I coplained about it functioning not reliable and producing short strokes and he didn't have problems with some commercial ammo - he said it might need some time for running in. Now with about 400 round through it, the M1 still doesn't digest everything I feed it with.

    As for reloading components: VV powder and Lapua bullets are very common here and easily available, US made components are a little bit harder to come by. Buying powder is restricted: You need a license and then you are only allowed a certain amount per year (max 5 kilogramm for me) and per 5 years - and you are not allowed to store more than a certain amount of powder in the licensed place (max 3 kilogramm at once). So you can't try too much different powders as those rifle powders come in 1 kilogramm cans...

    I considered an adjustable valve before and think there should be no problem to buy one from the USA. But I'm not sure if it might solve the problem, which obviously lies in too less pressure at the gas port. Some commercial brands work well (interestingly im most cases it's hunting ammo), while most FMJ ammo with 147/150 grs bullets is not reliable. From what I understand there's not enough gas to push the op rod back to the end - possibly because of the diameter of the gas port in the barrel. Can I cure this with another valve which opens more?


    thanks for your hints and best regards
    Ulrich

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    Really Senior Member Gun Surfer's Avatar
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    Schuster DCM Adjustable Gas Plug with Wrench M1 Garand Steel Parkerized - MidwayUSA


    Ulrich, looks like this Schuster adjustable gas plug might work for .308 with short stroke issues, link is to Midway USA. One guy in the reviews used it for that reason. Also, I do not think you will have port pressure issues with a 45 grain load of N140, but in all of my manuals that is over the max. Max loads in my manuals for a 170 gr Lapua bullet are 44gr, and for a 168 gr Sierra are about 43. So I think your constraining factor will be chamber pressure. You can see how it functions when you work up a load. If you get a Schuster valve as recommended by SGT Hurley your flexibility should increase and it might function with that DAG 7.62 ammo. Thanks for the information on availability of stuff in Germanyicon, that was very interesting.
    Last edited by Gun Surfer; 02-13-2011 at 06:23 PM.

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  13. #9
    Member Daimler1989's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Surfer View Post
    Also, I do not think you will have port pressure issues with a 45 grain load of N140, but in all of my manuals that is over the max. Max loads in my manuals for a 170 gr Lapua bullet are 44gr, and for a 168 gr Sierra are about 43.
    Thanks, obviously they changed their reloading data. This is the latest version - with 45.5 grs for 170 grs Lock Base, called an "accuracy load". http://www.lapua.com/en/products/rel.../relodata/5/70

    regards
    Ulrich

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    Really Senior Member Gun Surfer's Avatar
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    I have noticed some manuals, especially some of the factory data tend to be on the safe side. However, my 1903 NM rifle tends to max out at below max loads using the 150 gr Sierras, so it pays to be safe. When I got to 1 gr below a max load, noticed a slight "ring" sound with heavy recoil, and the primers where getting pretty flat, so had to back off 2 gr. Each rifle is different. Let us know how things work out for you.
    Last edited by Gun Surfer; 02-13-2011 at 08:33 PM.

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