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Good Morning all,
I want to try and make up some new loads for my Garand and M-14.
Will be using 150 gr Hornady bullets,
IMR 4895 for the Garand (30-06), and H4895 for the M-14(.308).
I need some advice on the max powder load?
Plan to go from 47gr to a Max of 48gr for the Garand, 2 gr increments,
And 42gr to a Max of 44gr, 2 gr increments for M-14.
Are these safe max loads?
I know the over pressure signs to look for but am really careful with the semi's......
Thanks,
wcmd
 

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I wouldn't exceed the maximum loads listed in reloading manuals like Hornady.
I like Hornady because it has loads especially for the M1 Garand and M1A.

Using other peoples loads is dangerous because each rifle is different.

I use IMR 4895 and a 168gr BTHP for both my M1A and M1 Garand.
Winchester primers and LC brass.

None of my loads are anywhere near the maximum listed.
Less than maximum loads gives me outstanding results in both rifles.

Maximum power loads are not always the most accurate and they
accelerate wear and tear on your rifles.
 

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The Garand was type classified in 1936. It used a service round developed in 1906. Technology was not as sophisticated as today, plain carbon steel was the primary material used in firearms. The 1906 round used powders that were obsolete in the 1930’s , operating velocities and pressures were lower. The velocity of the original 1906 round was just at 2700 fps. As I will address later, it was 2700 fps in a Frankfort Arsenal pressure barrel. Pressures were also low, nothing greater than 50K psia. Based on American Rifleman match ammunition data, there was a lot of ammunition which peak pressures were closer to 40 Kpsia than 50K psia. Might have even been loads that were high 30 Kpsia. What mattered was velocity, port pressure. The breech pressure was a not to exceed. Today’s’ commercial ammunition zips a 150 grain bullet at 2900 fps and I believe pressures are 60 Kpsia.

Even though the Garand was made of alloy materials it still used the M1906 cartridge and was designed to operate within the pressures and velocities of the 1906 cartridge. There are several first order considerations when developing loads for the Garand. The first is port pressure. This rifle is limited by port pressure. If port pressure is too high than the mechanism is over accelerated which will bend operating rods and cause malfunctions.

When the 2001 Federal loaded ammunition was used at the Camp Perry Garand Match, it was loaded to commercial specifications. The retired Marine I was scoring, he old enough to be a Korea War vet, his like new Garand malfunctioned with this Federal ammunition. I can recall seeing his partially loaded clip jump up out of the receiver in rapid fire prone, causing a jam, and the Marine looking angrily at it. He pulled the clip out and tossed it on his mat. Since the Garand Match is a no alibi match, the Marine decided to quit for the day and shoot the ammunition at home. There were so many reports of ammunition created malfunctions that the next order of Federal ammunition was significantly reduced in velocity and pressure.

I believe it was that year during the standing stage that we all heard a rifle discharge after the "load" command. My hutmate was a near the shooter and it was a inbattery slamfire. Federal ammunition has very sensitive primers and when that primer went off, everyone heard it.

There is another consideration, not talked about, and that is fatigue to the receiver sidewalls. The bolt rebounds off the back of the receiver in both Garands and M1a’s. The sidewalls absorb that impact and given enough impacts receivers have been known to crack. The attached pictures are of one example. Hot loads that smack that receiver heel even more are not needed or wanted.

As for powders. IMR 4895 has got to be the “nominal” powder for Garands and M1a’s. This powder loaded most of the WWII and match ammunition for these rifles. The pressure curve is correct for these rifles. There are close copies or just duplicates of IMR 4895 that are excellent powders and if the price is right, are worthy of consideration.

Accurate Arms told me that AA2495 copied the pressure curve of IMR 4895, grain for grain I can’t tell a difference. Instead of naming their power AA4895 they named it something different and confuse everyone. H4895 is a little different but that may be due to the differences in lots. When H4895 first came out it was supposed to be a copy of IMR 4895. These are excellent stick powder choices for the Garand/M1a.

Accurate Arms told me that AA2520 duplicates the IMR 4895 pressure curve, grain for grain. If you want to use a ball powder, AA2520 is a good choice. I prefer the stick powders but AA2520 shots well.

When developing loads I used ball ammunition from the period when the Garand was the service rifle. I believe late 60’s 30-06 ammunition was tailored towards the 30-06 machine guns left in inventory.

My TW56 ammunition gave me 2680 fps out of a 26” match barrel. That gave me an upper velocity boundary when comparing a load of 47.5 grains IMR 4895.

People quote data from Technical manuals not understanding that all velocities and pressures were traceable to Arsenal pressure barrels. Government lot acceptance was conducted with pressure cartridges developed in a Frankfort Arsenal barrel (I assume FA) and vendor pressure barrels were corrected to the FA values. The only barrel which gave the TM velocities and pressures were one FA test barrel. That is why I shoot military surplus in my barrels and compare performance from my data, not TM data. And my data is slower than the TM specs.

As you can see from the data below, when fired in service grade Garands, that load of 47.5 grains of IMR 4895 is just over 2600 fps in a 24” service barrel.

As for maximum loads, I consider a 150 grain bullet with 47.5 grains IMR 4895 a maximum load for my Garands. It would not hurt to cut this load by a grain.

I regularly shoot a 168 Match with 47.0 grains IMR 4895.

My load of 175 Match with 47.0 grains IMR 4895 is probably a little hot for this action, but the velocities are under the 2650 fps for 174 FMJ match ammunition, so it is probably OK.



M98 30-06 26" 1-10 Wilson Barrel


150 gr FMJBT TW 56 Ball
24 Mar 04 T= 70 °

Ave Vel = 2680
Std Dev = 31
ES = 78
Low = 2620
High = 2698
N = 6

150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 190 ≤ WWII ≤ 195 OAL 3.290"
24 Mar 04 T= 70 ° F

Ave Vel = 2722
Std Dev = 26
ES = 76
Low = 2673
High = 2749
N = 10


M1 Garand 5 827 YYY GI Barrel


150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 190 ≤ WWII ≤ 195
24 Mar 04 T= 70 ° F

Ave Vel = 2619
Std Dev = 28
ES = 101
Low = 2559
High = 2660
N = 16



M1 Garand 5 925 YYY GI barrel



150 gr Sierra Match HPBT 47.5 IMR 4895 CCI#34 190 ≤ WWII ≤ 195 OAL 3.290"
24 Mar 04 T= 70 ° F

Ave Vel = 2630
Std Dev = 33
ES = 109
Low = 2580
High = 2689
N = 16



M1 Garand Match 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 (185 to 190 gr) WLR OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 ° F )

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



175 Sierra Match 47.0 grs AA2495 wtd CCI 34 R-P Cases OAL 3.30"
5 May 00 T = 82 ° F

Ave Vel = 2631
Std Dev = 8
ES = 23
Low = 2617
High = 2640
N = 5







 

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Hello All,

I believe the loads listed in the original post with IMR 4895 are a little on the conservative side. For some reason USGI Ball in the late 1960's was loaded a bit light. Nominal velocity is sposta be around 2800 fps. This stuff chronographs around 2600-2650 fps. The powder charge from rounds I broke down was around 49 grains of what LOOKS like IMR 4895. I found this powder charge with cannister IMR 4985 is very good for accuracy with any decent 150 grain bullet. You CAN go considerably heavier, but I didn't see a point of raising powder charges when accuracy was so good. Commercial and GI cases in .30-06 seem to be pretty close in weight so there doesn't need to be any compensation for that.

Be careful though as Your Mileage May Vary.

As for H4895, I have never used the stuff so can't comment there. There seems to be a noticeable difference between case weights in .308 Win / 7.62 NATO. With commercial cases, I usually load somewhere between 41.5 and 42.5 grains of IMR 4895. IMR 4064 seems to work better in this application for me though. I typically use 43.5 grains with IMR 4064. The powder charge will vary a bit depending on lot because I typically try to get velocity from 2550 to 2625 fps out of the M14 types.

Consult Loading Manuals!!!!
- Ivan.
 

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In 308 I get good accuracy with both IMR-4895 and H-4895. In 30-06 H-4895 does much better and is less position sensitive in the long case than IMR-4895. H-4895 is faster than IMR-4895. Accurate A-2495 is very similar to IMR-4895 and is in fact made at the same IMR plant in Canada. The biggest difference I can tell in rifles without flash hiders is A-2495 has much more muzzle flash than IMR-4895.

Service rifle load data from Hodgdon #25 manual for 308 Winchester.

150 grain BT - Lake City military case - 40.0 - 42.0 grains H-4895

150 grain BT - Winchester commercial case - 41.0 - 43.0 grains H-4895


In 30-06 there isn't always a lot of difference in case capacity between military and commercial cases but there are some larger and smaller capacity cases depending on brand.

Note the max loads here are hot ! They are at the max end of Garand loads though.

The NRA says 49.0 grains of IMR-4895 is max with a 150 grain bullet. The CMP service rifle load originally loaded by Federal for CMP I have measured at 48.7 grains f IMR-4895. A lot of people that got used to the mild LC67, LC68 and LC69 ammunition that was sold by CMP complained that the new Federal load was too hot. Federal stated that it was loaded and tested in spec. In response CMP had Federal change the powder charge to be the same used in the 168 grain CMP match ammunition which was 46.5 grains of IMR-4895 but with the Sierra 150 grain FMJ bullet instead of the 168 grain SMK.

My personal Garand load was 48.0 grains of IMR-4895. Some people go to 48.5 grains without problems and get near military velocity. Others start showing overpressure at 48.0 grains. Accuracy seems best around 46.5 to 47.5 grains.

These days I've found H-4895 to be more accurate in 30-06 than IMR-4895 but I still prefer IMR-4895 in 308 Winchester.

Maximum Garand loads with H-4895 go to 48.0 grains with a 150 grain bullet. This can be too hot is some rifles. The Hornady Garand load data is very strange. They show a max load with 46.4 grains with every bullet weight. With the heaviest bullet I find that is too much and with the lightest bullet I find it is not max, but not a bad load.

My best Garand max loads, (these can be too hot in some rifles, these are maximums)

150gr - 48.0gr H-4895 MAXIMUM! (Recommend downloading a bit)

168gr - 46.5gr H-4895 MAXIMUM (or 47.0gr Varget MAXIMUM)

175gr - 46.0gr H-4895 MAXIMUM (bullet weight not recommended for extended Garand use)

The maximum H-4895 loads can be increased by about a half grain (0.5gr) when using IMR-4895 in both 308 Winchester and 30-06.
 

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I can't speak for the .30-06 or H4895. I have used .308 150gr Hornady SSTs and have worked loads up to 43.5 gr in my AR with IMR 4895. Haven't been able to go to near the Max load data because it seems to me that Hornady's loads start getting high pressure signs right around the middle of their load data. You will want to start at the bottom and work your way up. Do you have a chrony?
 

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*I* don't tend to run maximum loads especially in gas guns. Achieving factory ballistics with a suitable powder ISN'T typically a maximum load.

The .30-06 using a 150 grain bullet in a factory load is quoted as around 2930 fps. I don't use those in a M1 Garand. The military loading is specified as 2800 fps. I chronographed PMC 150 grain bullets in their old camouflage box at 2780 fps which is pretty close. I still thought those were a bit hot. LC 67 or LC 68 M2 Ball chronographed around 2600-2650 fps out of the Garand. I pulled a few rounds and the powder charge was around 48-49 grains of what LOOKS like IMR 4895. My load of 48.5 grains of IMR 4895 gives pretty close to the same velocity. This isn't even close to a max load and is way under the nominal velocity for this cartridge.

With a .308, you don't really have all that much room to work with. This is a small case and pressures are fairly high even in factory loads. NATO ball gets very close to 2800 fps in my gun (which surprised me also). I don't typically load 150 grain in this caliber, but my standard load with a suitable powder is still about 20 fps under Federal 168 grain GMM.

I don't see how duplicating factory velocities with a suitable powder and staying well under published maximums is all that dangerous.

- Ivan.
 

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I'm fortunate that all 3 of my M1As like a lighter load. I use 38.7 grains of IMR-4895 in commercial cases behind a Hornady 168 grain HPBT Match bullet. My velocities are around 2300fps and I get 15/16" to 1 1/16" 5 shot groups with them at 100 yards.
 

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Keep them safe and sane!

*I* don't tend to run maximum loads especially in gas guns. Achieving factory ballistics with a suitable powder ISN'T typically a maximum load.

With a .308, you don't really have all that much room to work with. This is a small case and pressures are fairly high even in factory loads. NATO ball gets very close to 2800 fps in my gun (which surprised me also). I don't typically load 150 grain in this caliber, but my standard load with a suitable powder is still about 20 fps under Federal 168 grain GMM.

I don't see how duplicating factory velocities with a suitable powder and staying well under published maximums is all that dangerous.

- Ivan.
On the other hand, factory .308 loads, like the first 180gr Federal Premium 20 rounds I ran through my new NM, are a bit too hot with heavier bullets. While they certainly functioned the rifle, the recoil, compared to later loads to Service rifle specs, were "noticeable" to say the least.

I'm fortunate that all 3 of my M1As like a lighter load. I use 38.7 grains of IMR-4895 in commercial cases behind a Hornady 168 grain HPBT Match bullet. My velocities are around 2300fps and I get 15/16" to 1 1/16" 5 shot groups with them at 100 yards.
With those loads, your on-line name is very appropo, slopoke! GI2

Having built and loaded for bolt-action hunting rifles for years, I have not worried about such minor things as rifle action battering, micro-cracks, action sideplate flexing, etc. Example: working with what is in my mind the strongest bolt action built (some would argue, but I'm not far wrong...), the original Weatherby MkV nine lugger, I remember reading that it didn't fail with test loads up to 124,000 psi. Wowsers! I'm betting that the M1 and M14 action would become an isometric exploded view drawing at about 85 - 90k!

I tell all my customers who reload that uber-velocities are not what this is all about unless you have some unique application. Nonetheless, I have a good friend who feels that "Aw, they build all sorts of over-engineering into these guns, and they can stand a lot more than the reloading manuals allow!" His Rem 7400 is regularly fed loads that make me [and his rifle...] shudder.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...RcMNTuqsKYjTiAKgsdHcDQ&ved=0CEIQ9QEwAw&dur=48

He occasionally has to pry a spent case out of the action, where it finally succumbs to an overly swollen head dimension, and they mostly all have very loose primer pockets! For what, you have to ask? An additional 100fps maximum? Some day this rifle will come unglued!

Take'r easy, my friend!
 

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On the other hand, factory .308 loads, like the first 180gr Federal Premium 20 rounds I ran through my new NM, are a bit too hot with heavier bullets. While they certainly functioned the rifle, the recoil, compared to later loads to Service rifle specs, were "noticeable" to say the least.

I remember reading that it didn't fail with test loads up to 124,000 psi. Wowsers! I'm betting that the M1 and M14 action would become an isometric exploded view drawing at about 85 - 90k!
Hi MesaRifle,

Perhaps the 180 grain loads were just cycling the gun too energetically and not really increasing recoil all that much. The bolt's impact on the back of the receiver is very noticeable. I sometimes shoot 180 grain factory loads in my bolt guns and while there is a noticeable difference, it isn't that great.

A Japanese Arisaka action tested out to 120,000 PSI pressure before it let go. I believe cartridge cases only hold to about 60,000 PSI before things begin to deform that should not, so factory velocity is good enough for me.

- Ivan.
 
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