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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a CMP-purchased Springfield M1. I got it last year. I also purchased a case (200) of HXP Greek NATO ball ammo for it and shot that exclusively and flawlessly. Yesterday, I reloaded some ammo and went to check my zero this morning.

I went through the first clip flawlessly and got my zero where I wanted it, and ready for this weekend's ViMSAR match. So then I decided to shoot a clip or two of reloaded commercial brass to see if it shot the same.

Well, 3 of the 16 rounds have heavy primer strikes but they didn't fire. On the plus side, I proved to myself and my stepdad that I don't flinch when I shoot!

In what must surely be unrelated, I also now have a 50% failure to feed the next round, also causing flinching tests as I wind up just dry-firing.

So then I shoot another clip of reloaded HXP. Everything fires as before, but now I still have the 50% failure to feed the next round.

Both the commercial and HXP are once-fired and drop perfectly into my Dillon case gage. I tested every single one, the same as I do for all my reloads. I am loading on a Dillon XL650 and this batch was with Herters dies, though the decapper finally broke and a new set of Lee dies is on the way.

My load data is a 150-gr. FMJ atop 44.5 grains of Accurate 2460. This is the starting load listed in the Lee manual as well as the Accurate website.

Interestingly, the equivalent starting loads for IMR powders are the same in both manuals, yet a spreadsheet that I have for duplicate military ball loads show several grains less for the powder.

I checked everything for high primers. And I tried shooting the failures-to-fire a second time, but they still didn't light. These are new CCI 200 Large Rifle primers. The commercial brass is mixed headstamp, but of the three failures-to-fire, two are R-P and one is FC.

I try to provide any information that might be useful, so here is a recap of the 4 clips I just fired:

8 rounds of reloaded HXP: flawless.
8 rounds of reloaded commercial: one failure to fire, several failures to feed from the right side of the magazine.
8 more rounds of reloaded commercial: two failures to fire, more failures to feed from the right side of the magazine.
8 more rounds of reloaded HXP: no failures to fire, but several failures to feed, incl one from the left side of the magazine.

Any ideas? I'm hoping to show up with a semiautomatic rifle this weekend...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay, now we are going to start showing my ignorance, aren't we? Time for me to FINALLY research exactly how this rifle works and what all that parts are that need maintenance.

I've owned a Mini-14 my whole life. I got an M1A SOCOM two years ago, but this is my first M1 rifle, and I suppose I need to make sure of all that, eh?

There are just too many coincidences here, with flawless operation until today's reloads.

Also, I should specify that the failures-to-feed were all from the bolt not picking up a round and then closing on an empty chamber. There were no jams. Which actually lends more weight to the coincidence theory, doesn't it?

Okay, I will start will a search for info on breaking this rifle down for full maintenance and seeing if everything is where and how it is supposed to be and pretend my ammo has nothing to do with it, which is what I expect with the care that I load ammo with...
 

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For the failures to fire; headspace issues maybe. How does the firing pin look? Do you have a gauge to check it? Check the bolt face, make sure there is no crude on it that could prevent the primer from making a full hit. Check your cases in a case gauge if you have one. Make sure they are within spec. Some primers in some lots can sometimes be bad. Its just the way it is, so try a different brand of ammo just to rule out the ammo being a problem...

Remember, just because you have load data for 30'06, doesnt mean that the pressure curve for the load you choose is right for a gas gun. Some powders do not produce the correct port pressure for gas guns. Mostly load manuals list the firearm that they were tested in and 30'06 loads are usually tested in a bolt gun, where port pressure is not a concern...There is no port....

Failures to feed in an M1 are usually a result of worn parts down in the mechanisms that act as a mag follower in the Garand.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Is the gas screw tight?
Is the bolt clean?
Is the gun greased?
I'd start with the gas screw - - -
Uh, no, the gas screw was NOT tight! I can spin it with my fingers!

Okay, I can guess how this could cause not enough gas pressure to cycle the bolt fully to the rear and therefore not pick up a round.

Could this in any way cause the failures-to-fire? I don't see how anything can stop a CCI primer from going off and still leave it with a heavy strike, especially 3 out of 16 and only with these commercial brass reloads today. I've been using this lot of primers in lots of loads in lots of other rifles.

At least I might have a semiautomatic after all, in the meanwhile...

I have it field-stripped at the moment and will do a good cleaning and check the torque specs on things.
 

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What you describe makes me want to suggest the following:

1. Clean (especially the chamber, with a chamber brush) and grease the rifle.
2. Measure your op rod spring; it should be between 19.0 and 20.25" in length. If shorter, replace with a new spring from Orion 7. Do NOT buy the Wolf (or anyone else's) 'extra power' spring!
3. Measure the piston end of your operating rod.
Garand Gas Cylinder Diameter Specifications:

Maximun New (or NM) 0.5260"
Minimum New 0.5253"
No Go 0.5250"

Main Body 0.5280" +0.0020"
At Entry 0.5303" +0.0007"
Taper between the two 0.0080" per inch


Operating Rod Specifications

Piston Diameter: 0.5260" to 0.5253" (under .5250" calls for rejection)
Piston Thickness: 0.1900" to 0.1550"
Tab/Lug Height: 0.3200" to 0.3170" (under .3100" calls for rejection)
Tab/Lug Thickness: 0.1000" to 0.0950"
Tab/Lug Width: 0.2650" to 0.2350"


Operating Rod Spring Specifications

Spring Length: 19.00" to 20.25"
Operating rod spring must be right-hand wound and free of kinks or flat spots
4. Download the Troubleshooting Chart from Nicolaus Associates.
5. Try bumping your powder charge up 0.5 grains and see if that will make the rifle function.

ETA: D'oh! Maybe I should have read the whole thread before I submitted my reply! Still, it's beneficial info, I guess.
 

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Gas screw loose????
Gas cylinder/op-rod out of spec???
Op-rod spring too worn out????
Non-USGI enblocs???

You are coming into battery with insufficient energy to strip off a round. I would start with a new op-rod spring. I have had several rifles with worn out op-rod springs and a new spring really slicked up the action.

I would ignore failures with the relaods. Stick with the known to trouble shoot your issue. The only issue with the HXP is the FTF.

Use only USGI enblocs. The M1 is not exactly undergassed. If you are having FTF without extraction issues then you have most likely a simple solution. You don't have the gauges to inspect the parts.

How far does the round go into battery if at all????

I would contact the CMP and talk to Phil New. He's the head armorer.
 

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Uh, no, the gas screw was NOT tight! I can spin it with my fingers!

Okay, I can guess how this could cause not enough gas pressure to cycle the bolt fully to the rear and therefore not pick up a round.

Could this in any way cause the failures-to-fire? I don't see how anything can stop a CCI primer from going off and still leave it with a heavy strike.

At least I might have a semiautomatic after all, in the meanwhile...

I have it field-stripped at the moment and will do a good cleaning and check the torque specs on things.
No, wont stop the primer from going off, but will short cycle the bolt causing the bolt to not pick up another round. Based on your tests though, it sounds ammo-related...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...Check your cases in a case gauge if you have one...

Remember, just because you have load data for 30'06, doesnt mean that the pressure curve for the load you choose is right for a gas gun. Some powders do not produce the correct port pressure for gas guns. Mostly load manuals list the firearm that they were tested in and 30'06 loads are usually tested in a bolt gun, where port pressure is not a concern...There is no port...
I already mentioned that every round fit in a Dillon case gage.

I did know that load data matters on a gas-operated rifle, so here's how I picked my load data. I have a spreadsheet given to me for duplicating military ball ammo by guys that shoot these in competition. The three loads are all IMR powders. I'm sitting on dozens of pounds of Accurate powders, two of which are in between the burn rates of the IMR powders. I selected Accurate 2460, which is the closest.

The spreadsheet's loads were all a few grains UNDER the recommended starting loads for IMR powders, according to the Lee manual.

I selected the starting load for the Accurate 2460, which was the same between the Lee manual and the Accurate website. But, I almost wondered if I should drop a couple grains less like the IMR powders were.

Would the powder still make a big difference under that procedure?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, wont stop the primer from going off, but will short cycle the bolt causing the bolt to not pick up another round. Based on your tests though, it sounds ammo-related...
Hmm, I was just thinking the opposite. Doesn't the loose gas screw give evidence that the failures to feed were rifle-related?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gas screw loose????
Gas cylinder/op-rod out of spec???
Op-rod spring too worn out????
Non-USGI enblocs???

You are coming into battery with insufficient energy to strip off a round. I would start with a new op-rod spring. I have had several rifles with worn out op-rod springs and a new spring really slicked up the action.

I would ignore failures with the relaods. Stick with the known to trouble shoot your issue. The only issue with the HXP is the FTF.

Use only USGI enblocs. The M1 is not exactly undergassed. If you are having FTF without extraction issues then you have most likely a simple solution. You don't have the gauges to inspect the parts.

How far does the round go into battery if at all????

I would contact the CMP and talk to Phil New. He's the head armorer.
One of my en-bloc clips is from the CMP, provided with the rifle. The rest are all from the case of Greek HXP. This is their second use. I also have a two-round from Brownells, but haven't used it yet.

If I understand your questions, I am not having a problem with the rounds going into battery, once they are actually stripped from the magazine. I did not have any issues with the factory HXP, but I forgot that I still had one clip left so I didn't test it after the other issues. I will try to get back to the range tomorrow to conduct more tests after tonight's cleaning and torquing. I will also fire off that last clip of factory HXP if I need to.
 

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Hmm, I was just thinking the opposite. Doesn't the loose gas screw give evidence that the failures to feed were rifle-related?
If a round is chambered and the hammer falls and hits the pin, the gas screw has nothing to do with whether the primer kicks off...
 

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I already mentioned that every round fit in a Dillon case gage.

I did know that load data matters on a gas-operated rifle, so here's how I picked my load data. I have a spreadsheet given to me for duplicating military ball ammo by guys that shoot these in competition. The three loads are all IMR powders. I'm sitting on dozens of pounds of Accurate powders, two of which are in between the burn rates of the IMR powders. I selected Accurate 2460, which is the closest.

The spreadsheet's loads were all a few grains UNDER the recommended starting loads for IMR powders, according to the Lee manual.

I selected the starting load for the Accurate 2460, which was the same between the Lee manual and the Accurate website. But, I almost wondered if I should drop a couple grains less like the IMR powders were.

Would the powder still make a big difference under that procedure?

Thanks!
If you are in the burn rates of 4895, 4064 you should be ok on powders. Maybe you have some bad primers.

If thats not the case then you need to check the firing pin. Make sure the protrusion is not less than spec. Dirt in your bolt could be a problem.

Need to make sure the hammer spring is not weak and hitting the firing pin too lightly. Need to make sure the hammer spring housing is not deformed. Need to make sure the hammer is not hitting the safety lever.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Primers were purchased new last year. I have loaded thousands of these CCI primers in .30-06, .270, .308, 6.5x55mm, .300 Savage, and .220 Swift, just off the top of my head.

These are the first failures to fire and all three were in the commercial brass loaded in the M1 which today has experienced other issues as well.

I'm just not ready to believe these primers are bad. However, I'm also staring at big dents (just like a fired case) in these primers.

My cases were lubed with Hornady One-Shot, which already claims to not hurt powder and primers. After sizing, they were cleaned in Lyman liquid Case Cleaner for several minutes. They were then rinsed in hot water and left to dry.

So thinking about this, I suppose it might be possible that maybe some cases weren't dry yet. Would water in a case cause this problem?

Something else I just considered. Some of this commercial brass is from my uncle and some of that appeared to already be decapped. I'm now thinking it is possible that perhaps HE sized some with a lube that is damaging to primers and maybe not all of that got out with the Lyman cleaner, especially as it would have been there for a very long time.

This just made me remember that when I checked one of the cases for proper powder charge (this Dillon measure is dead on every time) the charge was two grains low. I looked in the case and there was some powder sticking to the case wall. Hmmm, maybe there is something to this theory after all.

This would also explain why the failures only occurred with that brass and not in the HXP which was recently fired and only handled by me and my methods.

I'm an electrician by trade. Troubleshooting is SUCH a pain when there's more than one thing going wrong at the same time, isn't it?!

Thanks for the continued ideas that are forcing me to think this stuff through. I'm getting more and more confident that we are going to get this licked by the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If a round is chambered and the hammer falls and hits the pin, the gas screw has nothing to do with whether the primer kicks off...
Correct. I was thinking of the failure-to-feed problem at the time. We are on the same page after all.
 

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Water moisture in a case can cause primer failure. I think you may be on to something that water or other lubricant caused primer failure.
 

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Water moisture in a case can cause primer failure. I think you may be on to something that water or other lubricant caused primer failure.
I concur, and combined with a loose gas cylinder nut, and HXP clips being reused (not a good track record on these for reuse) I think there are a couple factors here combining to add to your woes.

Get a gas cylinder wrench from fulton and get that nut tight, get some USGI enblocs, and load them up with HXP ammo or Federal, or Hornady M1 spec ammo, or some Lake City and test her out.

Let us know what happens after that.

Semper Fi, Rob
 

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First things first, completely strip, clean (tear down bolt and clean) and grease your rifle. Tighten the gas screw, a 1/4 inch drive ratchet with extension works great.

Then fire rifle again, "if" you still have problems diagnose from there
I have fired amny thousands of rds and never had any issues with the enblocs that the Greek HXP is loaded in.
Some report problems with the German marked JMO enblocs when trying to load anything but HXP in them
JMO
 
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