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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been interested in creating a Mil-Spec equivalent load for the 30 M1-Carbine 110 grain FMJ Load with minimal flash. As I’m new to the members of this forum I will point out that I’m an experienced hand-loader (meaning 3 decades personal + other experience) and that when I offer public information unless stated otherwise it means I’ve used “bench-rest” case preparation and hand-loading techniques to isolate the one variable I’m interested in which in this post is gunpowder choices which allow hand-loaders to duplicate Mil-Spec M1-Carbine loads in Mil-Spec M1-Carbines. This means flash holes uniformed, Primer Pockets uniformed, all cases at the same overall length, all cases within a very tight weight range AFTER prepping, etc.
The ONLY gunpowder I have thus tested that can get the M1-Carbine up to within the Mil-Spec muzzle velocity range is Win296 which is the same as H110. I expect to get a 110 grain projectile to a mean muzzle velocity between about 1970 and 1900 FPS.
A typical test result in an Inland M1-Carbine which I believe is CMP Korean re-import vintage using recent vintage Win 296 in LC 1950’s cases are these: N=6, Mean = 1967 FPS, SD=11 FPS, 70 degrees F (via O 35 chrono.) Yes, N=6 is less than statistically significant “by the book” but with an SD repeatedly at 10 or 11 FPS across an entire powder charge test range in this series I consider it to be reliable in this particular case. The projectile in use was the Remington Bulk 110 RN SP.
At the same time and under the same conditions I evaluated Hodgdon Lil’Gun and discovered it could not be loaded to full Mil. Spec and all the powder charges I tried all had high standard deviations and extreme spreads. I tried annealing the case necks to see if this made a difference and no difference was noted. The curve of powder versus velocity was non-linear which I found to be a good reason to not continue testing. So in the case of this particular M1-Carbine Lil’Gun was not an acceptable option given my goals.
I have limited resources in terms of not being able to buy and test all the gunpowders available that might work in this weapon.
Can other users in this forum offer any other choices besides the above mentioned Win296/H110 that you have found that allow you to get full Mil Spec MV loadings using 110 grain FMJ or jacketed SP projectiles? Please state if you are using a new or re-barreled M1-carbine so we can all decide if having a newer and tighter barrel/chamber/barrel might somehow be figuring into the results you are getting.
 

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14 gr 2400 110gr JSP mixed cases

AVG: 2024.36
STDEV: 33.38
Dev as % Avg: 1.65%

'44 Inland original barrel

zoom-zoom

I might add that the M1 carbine is a pop gun. It is not a precision "bench rest" kind of thing. Individially weighing popgun cases seems to be a lot of wasted time.

Load, Shoot, Enjoy. GI2
 

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H110 is it for me. I use the minimum from Hodgdon manual and get very good accuracy. I decided to stop there as my handloads were the most accurate of all the factory ammo I tested too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
14 gr 2400 110gr JSP mixed cases

AVG: 2024.36
STDEV: 33.38
Dev as % Avg: 1.65%

'44 Inland original barrel

zoom-zoom

I might add that the M1 carbine is a pop gun. It is not a precision "bench rest" kind of thing. Individially weighing popgun cases seems to be a lot of wasted time.

Load, Shoot, Enjoy. GI2
I'm not going for real high precision and appreciate the limits of the platform. What I'm after is any gunpowder that gives Mil-Spec range MV and has a reduced flash signature. Gunpowder is of course the preferred method of reducing flash if it can be done as trying to find and/or adapt a modern flash suppressor, etc., is a lot more involved. (I contacted a well known flash suppressor maker about getting one for an M-1 Carbine and got a "We'll NEVER make one" response. This was interesting to me as with the many millions being made...someone besides me must be interested in flash suppression on an M1-Carbine.
I put the "benchrest" techniques to work only on the test loads so I more fully isolate the variable of interest and then when I'm done do a "final" evaluation of at least 30 shots in "standard prep" cases as I'm definately not OCD and nobody is going to find me with 1,000 rounds of fully bench-rest prepped 30 carbine ammo to shoot out of a stick that has probably seen WWII, Korea, Viet-Nam, and ?, before ever making it to me.
Thank you for your feedback!
 

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I should add that 14 grains of 2400 is a very hot load. Use with caution. You will need to back it off to get down to mil spec speed.
 

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I'm not certain that any of the powders that can be used for the carbine will be low enough flash for what you want. The powders are all slower burn powders and will need to be real tight with the powder weights ie. h110 and WW296. I am not familiar with any of the powders that might get you the low flash your looking for. You could cast lead boolits for it and use Uniqe, Red or Blue Dot etc. but you won't get function with low density loads like that.
 

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There are surplus M1 carbine flash hiders around. They don't look to be flash suppressors, but more like a flash hider. They are a little cone-shaped thing that clamps to the barrel end with a thumbscrew. Last one I saw was about $70.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are surplus M1 carbine flash hiders around. They don't look to be flash suppressors, but more like a flash hider. They are a little cone-shaped thing that clamps to the barrel end with a thumbscrew. Last one I saw was about $70.
I may end up adapting a commercial 30 caliber flash suppressor and staying with the standard powders.
I was hoping someone had some experience with something new but if this forum is dry then probably there's not much hope on that.
Thank you for your responses so far!
 

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You may want to take a look at VihtaVuori N110. Their powders typically have a very low flash signature.
 

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At one time I had a Ruger Blackhawk revolver in 30 Carbine and a couple of carbines. The maximum W-296 listed by Winchester with a 110 grain bullet was 14.0 grains. Hodgdon showed 15.0 grains of H-110 and I think IMR had 14.5 grains of IMR-4227. The IMR load would stick the cases hard in the Ruger cylinder and velocity was lower than H-110. With a maximum load of H-110 I could get the highest velocity and the cases fell out of the cylinder. I downloaded to 14.0 grains and usually bought Winchester but even 14.0 grains of H-110 worked very well. It was flashy in the revolver though. For low flash and nearly as good velocity was Accurate #9. A#9 is fairly low flash, especially compared to H-110. The max load of 2400 gave lower velocity. There is a slower ball powder that is normally only sold to ammunition companies. I forget the Hodgdon / Saint Marks name / number but the maximum load was 16.0 grains. It was the same or nearly the same as old W-680. It is faster than A-1680. It was sold as surplus powder with a Hodgdon number for a short time.

The IMR-4227 I tried was the old, made in Canada powder and not the current made in Australia version, which is old H-4227, but dyed black to look like an IMR powder.

Accurate #9 became one of my favorite 30 Carbine powders because of the good velocity and lower flash in the revolver. H-110 was still the top velocity and lowest pressure powder.
 

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You might take a look at the surplus powder dealers and see if any WC820 is still available. It was originally used in the .30 Carbine, and should have the flash retardant added per military requirements. As I understand it, this powder is either very similar or equivalent to AA #9.

ETA: Jeff Bartlett lists WC820, although the lot he currently has is slower-burning than some of the older ones - he lists it as an H110 equivalent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for your continued responses to this thread.
The 30 M1 Carbine cartridge is obviously very much in a class nearly to itself and just finding powders that are suitable for full MV Mil Spec loads in the M1-Carbine is limiting and when other attributes such as flash suppression are sought it goes almost to nil.
Thus, the experience represented on this board is worth much more than a casual reader might appreciate.
 

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I'd try about 12 - 13 grains of Vihtavuori N110. You should end up getting a velocity of around 1950 fps and most of the powder should be burned in the barrel so the flash should be low.
 

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14.8-15.0 gr H110. Easy enough. Just about every competitor on earth uses thos load or WC296. And these are top notch guys like George Wilson and others who have been consistently at or near the top.

My ES and SD really narrowed significantly when approaching these loads. You acheived a SD of 11 FPS. What do you expect????? It is a carbine. What's the point???? It couldn't put them all in the X-ring if it shot laser beams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
14.8-15.0 gr H110. Easy enough. Just about every competitor on earth uses thos load or WC296. And these are top notch guys like George Wilson and others who have been consistently at or near the top.

My ES and SD really narrowed significantly when approaching these loads. You acheived a SD of 11 FPS. What do you expect????? It is a carbine. What's the point???? It couldn't put them all in the X-ring if it shot laser beams.
I offer this in the academic spirit and do not intend to be any less than fully respectful to you in my response.
First, I agree with you that the M1-Carbine is what it is. There are things that can be done to get it or keep it shooting to within its design limits and that is reasonable but expecting it to become more than it is will likely remain a pursuit of dubious value due to the wide availability of other weapon designs that are more precise by design than is the M1-carbine.
Second, most competitors I think are more interested in other factors than muzzle flash, which is the real focus of this thread. I have literally decades of experience in various cartridges and in using W296 which is exactly the same powder as is H110 and I have not intended to devalue it's worth but do not think it represents the best possible low flash gunpowder in the M1 Carbine given my own experience. Thus, I have elected to "poll" this forums membership to discover if anyone had experiences that they could offer that might lead to other (lower flash) gunpowder choices for the M1-carbine.
Third, to address your comment about the ballistics which you quoted: It is my own belief that if my test series ammo is not as ballistically uniform as I can make it, the value of the gunpowder tests will be reduced as something like varied cartridge case capacity, mismatched headstamps = different lots of cartridge brass, etc., will become more dominent factors in the chronograph results and any loading decisions I make will have less solid statistical basis as a result.
I am statistically trained at the University level and have used them professionally and personally for decades. I do NOT claim to be a statistical expert but point this out as I'm NOT guessing or playing at games but basing my writing on what I have good reason to believe are valid statistical principles. I will offer these examples to make what I hope will be a point of interest:
In a "standard normal distribution" = "normal distribution" which is assumed to be the case in most common instances the standard deviation allows the estimation of a range of values within which a particular sample result is likely to fall based on the real test values that the standard deviation was calculated from.
If one 30 carbine loading produced these test values:
N=20 test shots
Average Muzzle Velocity = 1900 FPS
Standard Deviation = 33.3
and another test produced these values:
N=20
Average MV = 1900 FPS
Std Dev = 10 FPS
We can estimated that if we wanted to have an over 99% chance that all subsequent test shots were to land within that greater than 99% test range those ranges for the above two tests would be about these:
For N=20, MV= 1900, Std Dev = 33.3 the expected muzzle velocity range would be from about 1800 to 2000 FPS.
For N=20, MV=1900, Std. Dev = 10 the expected muzzle velocity range would be from about a low of about 1870 to a high of about 1930 FPS.
If me make the highly likely decision that muzzle velocity correlates well with actual chamber pressure and also that we dont' want ANY shots above the allowed value of - say - about 2,000 FPS then this is true:
For the loading with the Std Dev of MV = 33.3 FPS we can't chose an average muzzle velocity above about about 1900 FPS because with this level of variation there is very likely to be at least one or several shots in every 100 shot string that will reach 2000 FPS.
For the loading with the Std. Dev of MV = 10 FPS we can chose an average load average muzzle velocity of up to 1970 FPS with over 99% confidence that the highest muzzle velocity in any 100 round string will just reach about 2000 FPS.
If a person did choose to try the 1970 FPS MV powder charge from the 10 Srd Dev load test then at least 30 shots at that 1970 FPS powder charge level should be shot across the chronograph and the group evaluated at the same time to confirm that that exact loading continues to perform as expected. If this 30+ shot "final test" looked fine I would just load away and not do any further chrono testing unless some part of the components changed and I had to reconfirm that the ballistics were still where I wanted them to be with the new component(s) and/or changed component lots.
Thus, my basic point is that - within reason - keeping all loadings to lower muzzle velocity variance (lower Standard deviations) allows one to choose an average muzzle velocity much closer to the maximum allowable values in industry loading information and also of course reduces vertical stringing of shots as the range increases if that is also a desirable goal given the particular weapon being considered.
......
Low flash may not seem to be of much use outside of LE or the military but in both of those cases and ALSO night time varmint hunting using NV equipment having a low or non-existent muzzle flash on a "bare barrel" can keep NV equipment from "flaring" and is in my opinion can therefore a worthwhile goal to consider. One basic approach could well be to first reduce the muzzle flash as much as possible on a "bare barrel" and then to screw on either a mechanical flash suppressor and/or a sound suppressor to that already reduced muzzle flash and thus try to just end the muzzle flash completely.
.....
Again, all comments within this thread are of value and I have no intent in this or any other post to offer other than full respect to all posters on this thread and within this forum.
 
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