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    Member ArtPahl's Avatar
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    Issue Balll Ammo

    About 15 years ago, a friend became interested in WWII military rifles, namely, M1icon's. He acquired 3 of them; CMPicon and elsewhere. He got some of the Greek ball ammo from the CMP. In his quest for US ammo, he came across an individual with several hundred headstamped LC68. The gent also had a Smith Corona 03-A3 and wanted to sell the lot as a package deal for $800. My friend didn't want the rifle but reluctantly (!!) agreed. We fired some of the ammo in both his M1's and his A3 and it is slow--averaging 2560 fps and with wide extreme spreads averaging 111 fps for 5-shot strings. It would not function my Springfield M1--the last shot would eject but the clip would stay in the rifle. The Greek stuff ran 2700 fps +/- depending on the rifle. I am curious as to what this Viet Nam era ammo was intended for. It seems obvious it was for vintage weapons, possibly for ARVN troops but, with it this slow, operation of machine guns, as well as M1's would be marginal. I finally pulled the bullets on 300 rounds, dumped the powder and reloaded them with 50 gr. of IMR4895 bringing the velocity up to 2720 fps and the extreme spread down to 81 fps. Any knowledge or opinions?


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    Really Senior Member Neal Myers's Avatar
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    My opinion only: By 1968, the only use for M2 ball was in putting together tracer linked machine gun belts. The US military had no need for "down loaded" .30-06 ammo. A few thousand M1903's & variants had been sold by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship in the early '60's, but I don't recall seeing any vintage rifle matches.

    My guess is that you saw the effects of storing ammo in a hot attic for several years.

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    Member steveu's Avatar
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    The extreme spread is probably caused by the case weights varying. I have some LC64 in 7.62 that I sort by weight to get the groups smaller. It's not match ammo, but good enough for plinking or new shooters.
    Remember, the cases for that ball ammo were produced on a couple of different machines and then dumped into a bin together before they were loaded.

    FWIW,
    Steve

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    Contributing Member RASelkirk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Myers View Post
    ...My guess is that you saw the effects of storing ammo in a hot attic for several years.
    For real? I've got a couple hundred rounds up there, 145° at times in the summer. Stored there for lack of room under A/C, but I can find room for sure if this is the case.

    Russ

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    Senior Member jond41403's Avatar
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    Yes, an attic is less than an ideal place to store ammunition. Basements are not good either unless they are temperature and moisture controlled. The rule I always use for firearms or ammunition is, if I'm comfortable, they are comfortable, but I store all my items in living space
    Last edited by jond41403; 11-26-2019 at 12:35 AM.
    "good night Chesty, Wherever You Are"

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jond41403 View Post
    I store all my items in living space
    Agreed, same here and always have. There are regulations regarding ammo storage in the military and many guys don't realize. We had to adhere to some very strict storage, or ammo gets rotated out and destroyed. Have a read sometime and see... My ammo is in my shop, which was a family room when I bought this house.
    Regards, Jim

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    Senior Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Agreed, same here and always have. There are regulations regarding ammo storage in the military and many guys don't realize. We had to adhere to some very strict storage, or ammo gets rotated out and destroyed. Have a read sometime and see... My ammo is in my shop, which was a family room when I bought this house.
    Proper storage is the key. We fired massive amounts of WW2 dated .50 cal during tank gunnery training in Germanyicon in the Seventies. It all functioned like it has been made last week. The only time it caused any hassle was when range conditions were so dry tracers were restricted and pulling them from the belts was a PITA.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old tanker View Post
    range conditions were so dry tracers were restricted and pulling them from the belts was a PITA.
    Did that many times in the prairies too. Kind of took the fun out of shooting MG... I also shot WW2 dated .50 in Yakima in the early '80,s we'd purchased from the US sources and it was ball, trace, AP. All went fine.
    Regards, Jim

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    The late 60s was some of the worst years for M2 ball IMHO. Too many other things going on then they had to step up and start making it again including using different powder CMR-100 IIRC. None of it compares to WW2/KW era ammo for velocity.

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...averaging 2560 fps..." Sounds like deteriorated powder. I'm wondering if it may have been reloads. Current start loads of IMR3031 run 2697 FPS. An 'LC' head stamp doesn't really mean much. Just a WHAG though.
    The absolute best .303 Ball I've ever fired was 1944 vintage DA. Fired in about 1981ish. It made the crappy IVI we got later look Chinese.
    "...By 1968, the only use for M2 ball was..." Nope. U.S. National Guard still used M1icon Rifles and .30 M2 ammo. The Kent State shootings happened in 1970. The Ohio National Guard were carrying "loaded" M1 Rifles.
    "...if I'm comfortable..." As daft as it sounds, that could not be more accurate.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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