Wednesday, September 4, 2013

M1 Garand ammunition. Just the bare fact that ammo is 30-06 is not enough.

I know people who own M1 Garands probably know this, but I thought I would mention it just in case there are some new owners out there.  Most M1 Garand rifles are chambered for 30-06.  But they need a specific load. If you just cram any old 30-06 round you buy into a clip and fire it, you may well bend the operating rod in the rifle. Then it's out of action until you can find and fit a new one.

In the 1980's and 1990's, there was a lot of Korean 30-06 coming into the country in M1 clips. This was made by PMC and was supplied to the Korean army,  then sold as surplus.  It's fine and works without any difficulty in a Garand.   Today it's hard to find this old  surplus ammo.

As The Other Ryan mentioned in a post on his blog recently,  Privi Partisan is making 30-06 ammo specifically for the M1 Garand now. I have been trying to order some from AIM Surplus for months.  When I get their email telling me it's in stock, I immediately go on line to buy a can. But it's already gone. So I put my name in for an email notification when more comes in, and the cycle repeats itself.  Eventually I will get some and I have enough of the old Korean ammo stashed to see me through if necessary.

The main point is don't just put any old round in your rifle because the M1 needs that specific load. You can load your own of course, but if you don't reload be sure to buy the right ammo.


  1. Maybe you know the answer to this one, in regards to the Springfield Garands which were chambered in 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester civilian). I'm sure the standard 7.62 NATO ball is fine is these rifles but is .308 ammunition in similar bullet weights (150 gr SP) and the 147 ball pretty much equal?

    I ask because my favorite hunting rifle is .308 Winchester and I wonder if its ammunition can be loaded in the Garand as a backup. The heavier bulleted loads - Nawp, ain't going there.

  2. Most of those .308 Garands were made for the U.S. Navy and used some pretty shaky modifications. It's not the bullet so much as the powder type and the charge. Let me see what I can find on it. I've never owned a .308 Garand, even my MAS 49/56 is chambered in the original 7.5 French MAS instead of having been converted to .308.

    Pioneer Preppy, if you know the answer to this jump in here.


    This is a link to a Shooting Times article on the M1 Garand in .308. It primarily deals with the new builds Springfield Armory did a few years ago, but might be of use to you.


    This is a thread from the Civilian Marksmanship Program forum for the M1 Garand. I think it will have the information you need.

    Good Shooting.

  5. what you need is the Schuster adjustable gas plug. Then you can shoot modern ammunition and not damage your weapon. You can buy them from midway or brownnells.

    john in SD

  6. Every so often I see people opining that the end of the world won't be a problem for them because they have their trusty M1 and a drum full of clips. I wonder if those people even understand the limitations imposed on them by the Garands ammo preferences. Why anyone would choose a rifle that, within its own caliber, limits them to a narrow range of ammo is beyond me.

  7. There are a huge number of people who shoot high power matches with the M1 Garand, and I guess 99% of them reload their own ammo, so it wouldn't be a factor for them. Then there are the guys like me, who just happen to have some M1 Garands on hand and stock ammo for them as a matter of course. I don't think of the M1 as a survival rifle so much as one tool in the tool box. I have quite a diverse collection of rifles and should be able to find one that shoots just about any common caliber, though not necessarily all these weird commercial hunting rounds. Ammo is always a pain in the ass in my experience, one way or the other. For instance, that cheap Russian .223 shoots fine in some AR-15 rifles and won't work worth a damn in others. I guess it comes down to what you are comfortable with. If pressed, I'd admit I have two Samurai swords I bought in Japan that are honed down to razors edge and if the Zombies overrun me I am going out slicing and dicing! ;-)

  8. Thank you sir, the Springfield I was alluding to is a modern Springfield M1 Illinois, manufactured in very early 1990s, not a military bring back or surplus find. I should have said that in 1st post - sorry. Appreciate the links - I will go forth and learn more. :^)

    Commander Zero - what our host said. My pair of Garands (Standard and Tanker) aren't my onlys, just the long range semi. The AKs and Mini-14s are here too. I know the Garand has some limitations (heavy and long) but no magazines and quite a few en blocs stored over the years makes it worthwhile.

    1. I almost always think in terms of surplus guns, since that's where my interest primarily lies. The new builds from Springfield in .308 are not subject to the problems the old rebuilds in .308 were. CMP is a great place to find the answers to questions pertaining to the M1 Garand or M14, because a lot of the semi-professional high power guys hang out on various forums there.

  9. I saw an article on Garand ammo at They have a replacement gas plug that allows the use of lots of brands and bullet weight ammo. It is not adjustable, it just adds some "dead" volume to the gas tube system. They have lots of data on peak pressures and total impulse for many different kinds of ammo. Check it out!