How do you know if data load from a manual is good (safe) for M1 Garand 30-06

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  • Darthargel01

    Junior Member
    Aug 31, 2022
    60
    Indianhead, MD
    Howzit guys!
    Reloading cherry here! I just got my Lee Classic Turret kit and I'm about to head to Lowe's to build me a bench. I'm heading out to the gun show next week to look for powders, etc, for my first reloads! I have been reading the Lee 2nd edition Reloading manual and went to the data load section for 30_06 springfield to look for what I need to buy next week. The book was not specific to 30_06 Garand. They have lots of load data for 30_06 springfield though.

    My question for any Garand reloaders, from your experience, how will I know if the load data is safe for Garand (without buying other loading data books or googling) by just looking at what's in the kit's manual?

    Much Mahalo in advance!
     

    guzma393

    Member
    Jan 15, 2020
    567
    Columbia, MD
    You are better off cross referencing with known publicized data when it comes to garand safe loads. There are specific sections in manuals and articles that talk about them. You dont want to risk damaging the op rod pioneering your own.

    Don't hesitate to hit up Google for online articles and references. You will quickly find multiple publications for tried and true garand safe loads from hodgon, hornady, etc. to name a few.
     

    6-Pack

    NRA Life Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 17, 2013
    4,797
    ☭ Maryland ☭
    Not specific to the Garand, but get a few reloading manuals. I know Hornady has loads specific to the Garand.

    I’d recommend Lyman and Hornady to get started. There are many powder/bullet combinations out there and they aren’t usually within 1 book.

    I know you may not want to but more books, but you’ll find what you’re looking for much easier.
     

    Darthargel01

    Junior Member
    Aug 31, 2022
    60
    Indianhead, MD
    Thank you for the quick responses. Looks like I will have to buy other books for this round. I have googled but many people said to trust the published manual first before other's online concoction.

    As my question stated- for my personal knowledge- I'd still like to know for future reference- when given a load data, how would you know the difference between M1 garand safe vs regular 30_06 loads. Because I have not reloaded and wouldn't know the safe vs max, all the recipes are like chinese writings to me at this point. I thought maybe I can someday have a mental algorithm what is safe for Garand vs my other 30_06 when given a recipe.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    10,037
    Not Far Enough from the City
    There are areas of reloading where you'll want to seek firearm specific information. You'll come to know what they are as you familiarize yourself with different manuals. A common example would be 45 Colt, where there are standard 45 Colt Single Action Army and similar clone loads, and intermediate lever action designed loads, and still much heavier loads for some Ruger and Freedom Arms and Thompson Center firearms only. Similarly, there are lighter loads suitable for older .45-70 Trapdoor rifles, and then there is data specific only to more heavily constructed .45-70 actions. The M1 Garand is another such example of a rifle with its own special considerations, and there is load data so named for M1 Garand that is tailored to match.

    So to answer your question, do look for and use load data sources that specify being "For M1 Garand."

    As an aside, do consider picking up a Hornady manual. It will (as mentioned above) have your Garand specific information. But just as importantly, especially when starting out, it will have data for specifically named and numbered Hornady bullets, which is a brand you'll encounter as often or more often than most others, when looking for bullets. And starting out, having specific bullets that are specified by brand and part number can help you to minimize the questions that will invariably present themselves with regard to bullet substitutions.

    You will never make a better investment in the reloading hobby than obtaining good reloading manuals. They're about much more than simply the "load data" that people tend to think about.

    Good Luck!
     

    dbledoc

    Active Member
    Apr 8, 2013
    1,273
    Howard County
    Just an FYI you can get an iPad version of the Hornady manual. You can subscribe for an annual update or you can purchase an individual caliber for under $2
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    10,805
    There are areas of reloading where you'll want to seek firearm specific information. You'll come to know what they are as you familiarize yourself with different manuals. A common example would be 45 Colt, where there are standard 45 Colt Single Action Army and similar clone loads, and intermediate lever action designed loads, and still much heavier loads for some Ruger and Freedom Arms and Thompson Center firearms only. Similarly, there are lighter loads suitable for older .45-70 Trapdoor rifles, and then there is data specific only to more heavily constructed .45-70 actions. The M1 Garand is another such example of a rifle with its own special considerations, and there is load data so named for M1 Garand that is tailored to match.

    So to answer your question, do look for and use load data sources that specify being "For M1 Garand."

    As an aside, do consider picking up a Hornady manual. It will (as mentioned above) have your Garand specific information. But just as importantly, especially when starting out, it will have data for specifically named and numbered Hornady bullets, which is a brand you'll encounter as often or more often than most others, when looking for bullets. And starting out, having specific bullets that are specified by brand and part number can help you to minimize the questions that will invariably present themselves with regard to bullet substitutions.

    You will never make a better investment in the reloading hobby than obtaining good reloading manuals. They're about much more than simply the "load data" that people tend to think about.

    Good Luck!
    This. IMHO, Hornady is my most references reloading manual, with a close second being Lyman. Lyman's AR reloading manual is also super nice. I have Lee, which is good, but at least the latest one I have from ~2 years ago just is missing a lot of current powders and a number of current cartridges and has some odd bullets...but if you cast with any Lee molds it is awesome, and also Speer which can be hit or miss, but fairly good. You can also get a free Alliant loading manual by going to their website and requesting it. They'll mail it to you in 4-8 weeks.

    As for M1 data, Master Po's reloading data referenced above is considered the gold standard. Hornady also has load data specific to the M1 Garand in it. Lastly Hogdon has some M1 specific load data for their powders.

    Those would be the 3 resources I use.

    You'll have to know a bit if you need something specific to your firearm. You already know you need load data specific to your Garand, which is good. In most cases, you'll just need to do some research with a new gun. Now if it is a NEW gun, you are pretty good. If it is an old gun, or a reproduction of an old gun, you'll need to research to know if you need load data specific to the gun. As referenced, 45 long Colt, or 45LC is one of those. Ruger makes a much studier framed handgun so it can take MUCH hotter loads. This is also generally the case with a 45LC lever gun. Most reproductions or ANY originals CANNOT take that extra power. However, 45LC loads in loading manuals are almost always designed with the lower power firearms at question or else they'll say it is a Ruger only load. If in doubt, only trust the load if it says it is designed for something. For example, my Hornady book says it is designed for 45LC handguns and reproductions, it is not targeted at Ruger's handguns even though it was tested in a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk (as it says, safe in ALL 45LC handguns). Other manuals have 45LC loads and then right next to it, it has 45LC (Ruger only!) as a section. IMHO, I only like loading to my least common denominator. I have a 1903A3 that could take warmer .30-06 loads. I don't think I need to beat it up, so the somewhat cooler loads that an M1 Garand is safe with and the powders that produce the proper gas pressure the M1 Garand want are just fine. I don't need to try to juice that extra 100fps or so that I COULD do in the 1903A3 (I don't need the extra wear or recoil). And I for SURE don't want to have to separate out my .30-06 reloads either for myself or any possible next of kin that find my reloads even with labels. Last thing I want is accidently loading up my Garand with ammo not safe for the Op Rod and trashing it.

    Now in most cases, what is NOT safe for a rifle is usually not going to blow it up. I can load up some hot .30-06 with a powder that burns too slow for a Garand (so there is too MUCH gas pressure at the port) and I could probably shoot a few hundreds rounds and my Garand would survive. But it puts extra wear on the op rod and track and makes it more likely it will eventually jump/bind/bend. It doesn't happen with just one round. It happens after repeatedly running it too hot.

    Same with a non-reproduction safe 45LC load. They are not hot enough that your reproduction 45LC is likely to blow up. But it WILL put extra stress on it and cause things to get sloppy, stretch the top strap, etc. very quickly and wear out the gun in a matter of hundreds of rounds, rather than thousands or tens of thousands of rounds. And of course you DO risk blowing it up. Your Ruger only 45LC load might be producing 22k PSI (I forget what the max 45LC is vs Ruger max) and it is designed for 16k PSI or something. All fine and good and then oops, you accidentally seated some rounds short, or dropped a bit too much powder and now you've got some rounds running 25 or 26k PSI. Now you are pushing a LOT more pressure.
     
    Last edited:

    Darthargel01

    Junior Member
    Aug 31, 2022
    60
    Indianhead, MD
    There are areas of reloading where you'll want to seek firearm specific information. You'll come to know what they are as you familiarize yourself with different manuals. A common example would be 45 Colt, where there are standard 45 Colt Single Action Army and similar clone loads, and intermediate lever action designed loads, and still much heavier loads for some Ruger and Freedom Arms and Thompson Center firearms only. Similarly, there are lighter loads suitable for older .45-70 Trapdoor rifles, and then there is data specific only to more heavily constructed .45-70 actions. The M1 Garand is another such example of a rifle with its own special considerations, and there is load data so named for M1 Garand that is tailored to match.

    So to answer your question, do look for and use load data sources that specify being "For M1 Garand."

    As an aside, do consider picking up a Hornady manual. It will (as mentioned above) have your Garand specific information. But just as importantly, especially when starting out, it will have data for specifically named and numbered Hornady bullets, which is a brand you'll encounter as often or more often than most others, when looking for bullets. And starting out, having specific bullets that are specified by brand and part number can help you to minimize the questions that will invariably present themselves with regard to bullet substitutions.

    You will never make a better investment in the reloading hobby than obtaining good reloading manuals. They're about much more than simply the "load data" that people tend to think about.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks Uncle Duke. I actually just ordered the Hornady manual before I even read your note! LOL
     

    Darthargel01

    Junior Member
    Aug 31, 2022
    60
    Indianhead, MD
    Many if not most will tell you keep the bullets in the 150-168 grain range. From experience you really don't going much going heavier.

    The classic powder for it was IMR4895. I prefer H4895 as it meters better. 4064 will also work fine.
    Thanks Bolts Rock! I looked for all 3 and not one of the mainstream online dealers (Midway, etc) seems to have them in stock. I hope the list on Hogdon that I got from the kit will show some more powder suppliers/brands. I'll be going to the gun show next week. I'm hoping I can find some at a fair price.
     

    Darthargel01

    Junior Member
    Aug 31, 2022
    60
    Indianhead, MD
    This. IMHO, Hornady is my most references reloading manual, with a close second being Lyman. Lyman's AR reloading manual is also super nice. I have Lee, which is good, but at least the latest one I have from ~2 years ago just is missing a lot of current powders and a number of current cartridges and has some odd bullets...but if you cast with any Lee molds it is awesome, and also Speer which can be hit or miss, but fairly good. You can also get a free Alliant loading manual by going to their website and requesting it. They'll mail it to you in 4-8 weeks.

    As for M1 data, Master Po's reloading data referenced above is considered the gold standard. Hornady also has load data specific to the M1 Garand in it. Lastly Hogdon has some M1 specific load data for their powders.

    Those would be the 3 resources I use.

    You'll have to know a bit if you need something specific to your firearm. You already know you need load data specific to your Garand, which is good. In most cases, you'll just need to do some research with a new gun. Now if it is a NEW gun, you are pretty good. If it is an old gun, or a reproduction of an old gun, you'll need to research to know if you need load data specific to the gun. As referenced, 45 long Colt, or 45LC is one of those. Ruger makes a much studier framed handgun so it can take MUCH hotter loads. This is also generally the case with a 45LC lever gun. Most reproductions or ANY originals CANNOT take that extra power. However, 45LC loads in loading manuals are almost always designed with the lower power firearms at question or else they'll say it is a Ruger only load. If in doubt, only trust the load if it says it is designed for something. For example, my Hornady book says it is designed for 45LC handguns and reproductions, it is not targeted at Ruger's handguns even though it was tested in a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk (as it says, safe in ALL 45LC handguns). Other manuals have 45LC loads and then right next to it, it has 45LC (Ruger only!) as a section. IMHO, I only like loading to my least common denominator. I have a 1903A3 that could take warmer .30-06 loads. I don't think I need to beat it up, so the somewhat cooler loads that an M1 Garand is safe with and the powders that produce the proper gas pressure the M1 Garand want are just fine. I don't need to try to juice that extra 100fps or so that I COULD do in the 1903A3 (I don't need the extra wear or recoil). And I for SURE don't want to have to separate out my .30-06 reloads either for myself or any possible next of kin that find my reloads even with labels. Last thing I want is accidently loading up my Garand with ammo not safe for the Op Rod and trashing it.

    Now in most cases, what is NOT safe for a rifle is usually not going to blow it up. I can load up some hot .30-06 with a powder that burns too slow for a Garand (so there is too MUCH gas pressure at the port) and I could probably shoot a few hundreds rounds and my Garand would survive. But it puts extra wear on the op rod and track and makes it more likely it will eventually jump/bind/bend. It doesn't happen with just one round. It happens after repeatedly running it too hot.

    Same with a non-reproduction safe 45LC load. They are not hot enough that your reproduction 45LC is likely to blow up. But it WILL put extra stress on it and cause things to get sloppy, stretch the top strap, etc. very quickly and wear out the gun in a matter of hundreds of rounds, rather than thousands or tens of thousands of rounds. And of course you DO risk blowing it up. Your Ruger only 45LC load might be producing 22k PSI (I forget what the max 45LC is vs Ruger max) and it is designed for 16k PSI or something. All fine and good and then oops, you accidentally seated some rounds short, or dropped a bit too much powder and now you've got some rounds running 25 or 26k PSI. Now you are pushing a LOT more pressure.
    Thanks Lazarus! I also just downloaded the Alliant guide.
     

    Rockzilla

    Active Member
    Feb 6, 2010
    4,042
    55.751244 / 37.618423
    PM Sent.. I uploaded a "ZIP" file with some PDF files with Garand load data.
    the PDF's also have the URL's in them where the nfo was captured from so
    you can verify it.

    As mentioned Hornady is a good manual for data. Got a bunch of manuals
    check out "Scribd" for nfo also. Cross reference load data from different sources
    is always a good idea

    let me know if there any problems with the file(s), scanned them.


    -Rock
     
    Last edited:

    tjiann

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 15, 2022
    389
    AACo
    PM Sent.. I uploaded a "ZIP" file with some PDF files with Garand load data.
    the PDF's also have the URL's in them where the nfo was captured from so
    you can verify it.

    As mentioned Hornady is a good manual for data. Got a bunch of manuals
    check out "Scribd" for nfo also. Cross reference load data from different sources
    is always a good idea

    let me know if there any problems with the file(s), scanned them.


    -Rock
    Any chance I could get a copy of those files too? Thanks.
     

    Bolts Rock

    Living in Free America!
    Apr 8, 2012
    6,087
    Northern Alabama
    Thanks Bolts Rock! I looked for all 3 and not one of the mainstream online dealers (Midway, etc) seems to have them in stock. I hope the list on Hogdon that I got from the kit will show some more powder suppliers/brands. I'll be going to the gun show next week. I'm hoping I can find some at a fair price.

    Other powders will work but those three have the most history.
     

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