.30-06 Springfield Part 2 - Service Rifle Loads — Proven Reloads and Handloads (2022)

There's a reverence and a sense of history that envelopes you the first time you hold an M1 Garand (or an M1903, M1903A3, or M1917 Enfield, for that matter). Battle-proven firearms utilized by amazing individuals...many times, in harm's way. In order to truly appreciate them, there's a need to obtain the ammunition that was originally intended for these rifles. This includes either military M2 (Ball) or M72 (Match). Whether purchased or home-fabricated, it's time to head to the range.

Once you've become familiar with your service rifle, you might as well try your hand at NRA High Power Rifle competition. The course is completed via four strings of fire as follows:

Slow Fire - Standing - 10 rounds at 200 yards in 10 minutes;

Rapid Fire - Sitting or Kneeling - 10 rounds at 200 yards in 60 seconds;

Rapid Fire - Prone - 10 rounds at 300 yards in 70 seconds; and

Slow Fire - Prone - 10 rounds at 500 or 600 yards in 10 minutes.

Sounds like a challenge? Sounds like fun? It is and you'll gain a new appreciation for those who went before us!

Note: All of the load data that follows will work wonderfully well in the rifles mentioned above. However, I'll be discussing distance specific loads in an upcoming blog article titled, .30-06 Springfield Part 3 - Long Distance Target Loads. Part 3 will make any match-prepped, heavy-barreled, bolt-action rifle dance and, the M1903, M1903A3 and M1917 Enfield sing. Part 3 does not pertain to the M1 Garand. With this in mind, when reading the following information, think M1 Garand. The other rifles will follow suit but, think M1 Garand!

Reloading for the M1 Garand

(Video) INSPECTING BRASS & OPTIMAL TRIM LENGTH & NEXT INCOMING SERIES!

Fabricating ammo for the M1 is reloading, not handloading. What you're trying to accomplish is ammunition that matches or closely matches the original military specifications. In order to do so, you'll need to use bullets in a certain weight range and a powder with a very specific burn rate.

· Standard Military Ball, also known as M2, has a bullet weight of 147 to 152 grains.

· Military Match, also known as M72, has a bullet weight of 172 to 173 grains.

· The powder of choice is IMR4895.

· Other powders that closely match this burn rate are Hodgdon's H-4895, IMR4895's sister powder IMR4064 and Winchester's W748.

Over the years, our military arsenals and civilian contract manufacturers have utilized IMR4895 as their primary powder. In competitive rifle circles, it and H-4895 are still the "go-to" powders.Using lighter weight bullets is not an issue (more to follow); however, the use of overly heavy bullets and/or slower burn-rate powders can create a huge headache! Ignoring this bit of advice can cause pressures to spike (not good when you consider that the youngest of the rifles mentioned above is ~66 years old and the oldest is ~113 years old). Additionally, in the case of the M1, the rifle mechanism will operate with more force. More force equals bent operating rods and damage to other parts. Not good! Don't do it!

Let's Talk Brass

Unless you have access to prime surplus military ball or match ammo, you'll need to "roll your own." While it used to be very easy to obtain original surplus ball or match ammunition, it is not so today. You'll have to search high and low (or find someone with a hoard and see if you can talk them out of some). If you can't find this ammo, then keep a weathered eye out for once-fired military brass. Another option is to purchase Greek-manufactured M2 from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) or custom-fabricated M72 equivalent ammunition from Creedmoor Sports. Check out the following websites:

https://estore.thecmp.org/

www.creedmoorsports.com

M2 Ball brass will have a crimped-in primer and, depending on year of manufacture, a headstamp denoting a circle with cross centered and the arsenal ID plus year designation (i.e., TW54, SL53, LC60, etc.). When prepping this brass for reloading, use a separate decapping die to remove the crimped primer and, either swage the crimp out of the primer pocket or use a military crimp removal cutter. This makes future primer seating much easier!

M72 Match brass does not have a crimped-in primer, it's better annealed (heat treated) and, is more consistent in weight and wall thickness. M72 brass will have the arsenal ID plus year designation as well as the word "Match" or "NM" (National Match) on the case head (i.e., FA61 Match, LC63 NM, etc.).

Regardless of whether you're using ball or match, late-issue ammo or brass (1960 or later) is preferable. Do not purchase surplus military '06 ammo or brass that has a head stamp prior to 1953. The reason for this caution is due to the fact that primers utilized in military ammo, prior to that year, contained potassium chlorate, mercuric compounds or both. When fired, these primers deposit corrosive salts in your bore...a very fertile ground for rust and corrosion. The only way to clear your bore of these salts is by pouring a liberal amount of scalding hot water down your bore, running bore solvent through the bore and immediately following up with a patch or two gently lubricated with a top-end gun oil. The mercury released by some of these primers won't hurt your bore, but it will weaken the brass making it non-reloadable.

Military brass has thicker case walls and is less prone to dents and dings upon being ejected from an M1. If you can't acquire military brass, any civilian '06 version will work. Keep in mind, the rifle may beat this brass up a bit and it may not last as long through multiple resizings.

Speaking of resizing, I recommend the use of either "full-length" or "small-base" dies. Some military service rifle chambers will allow you to full-length resize, others won't. The ones that won't, do yourself a favor...grab a small-base die set and don't look back. Regardless of which die you use, make sure that your resized brass will cycle properly through the rifle action before completing the loading process. Confirmation tools, like the L.E. Wilson Case Length Headspace Gauge, can make this process a lot easier.

The key take-away(s) here would be:

· Use the appropriate sizing die for your chamber;

(Video) Most Efficient Load Development - 10 round load development vs OCW

· Keep your service rifle brass and hunting brass separate due to the more generous chamber dimensions associated with service rifles (i.e., don't over-work your brass while sizing);

· If using military brass, sort it by arsenal and date; and

· Make sure that your "civilian" service rifle brass is of the same manufacture and, if possible, the same lot number (i.e., eliminate variations in internal powder capacity).

Primers

If you sit down with a group of competitive M1 service rifle shooters and mention the words "large rifle primer," the answer is always the same. Based on my own personal experience, I agree with them wholeheartedly. In order of preference:

· Federal 210M (Gold Medal Match);

· Federal 210; or

· Winchester Large Rifle (WLR).

Another primer to consider is the CCI No. 34 Military Rifle Primer. I've been very happy with the other three primers but there are a few folks out there that swear by the No. 34. Food for thought.

Bullets

For manufacturer, weight and style of bullet, see load data below.

Time to make the lawyers happy.

Disclaimer: Since I have no control over variations in components, reloading tools or reloader's procedures, the individual is solely responsible for any changes in ballistics that may occur using this data. Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability whatsoever for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any product or data. I do not assume any liability in conjunction with the use of any product or data.

Loading Note: When substituting civilian brass in the loads referenced below, an increase of 1 grain of powder will be required to meet spec. This is due to civilian brass having larger internal case capacity than military brass.

M2 Ball

This ammunition utilizes a 147 to 152 grain Full Metal Jacket Boat-tailed (FMJBT) bullet at a muzzle velocity of ~2740 fps. Cartridge Overall Length (COL) = 3.185 to 3.240". You can match this spec as follows:

150 gr. FMJBT (Sierra or Hornady), 47.5 gr. of IMR4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

(Video) Improving Accuracy. Tuning 30-06 Springfield from 3 MOA to under 1 MOA

150 gr. FMJBT (Sierra or Hornady), 47.5 gr. of H-4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

150 gr. FMJBT (Sierra or Hornady), 50.0 gr. of IMR4064, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

150 gr. FMJBT (Sierra or Hornady), 50.0 gr. of W748, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

These M2 equivalent loads work great for the slow-fire offhand and rapid-fire sitting/kneeling portions of the NRA National Match Course. If you're looking for a little edge in accuracy, try Sierra's 150 gr. MatchKing, 155 gr. MatchKing or their 155 gr. PALMA MatchKing bullets. Another bullet that deserves a serious look is Nosler's 155 gr. Custom Competition.

Old School: If recoil is or becomes an issue in offhand and/or rapid fire, try substituting the Sierra 125 gr. Spitzer Flat-based Pro-Hunter bullet in the loads above. They are fun to shoot, light on the shoulder, less expensive and operate beautifully in the M1. You may be surprised at how accurate they are! If match bullets are an absolute must for you, try Sierra's 125 gr. Hollow Point (HP) or 135 gr. Hollow Point Boat-tail (HPBT) MatchKings.

M72 Match

This ammunition utilizes a 172 to 173 grain FMJBT bullet at a muzzle velocity of ~2640 fps. With 168 and 175 gr. match bullets, COL = 3.240 to 3.330".Here you can "tweak" the load a little (Yeah, I'm a handloader at heart...lol). You can match this spec as follows:

168 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 46.0 to 47.0 gr. of IMR4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

168 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 46.0 to 47.0 gr. of H-4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

168 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 48.0 to 49.0 gr. of IMR4064, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

168 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 48.0 to 49.0 gr. of W748, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

175 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 46.0 to 46.5 gr. of IMR4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

175 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 46.0 to 46.5 gr. of H-4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

175 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 47.0 to 47.5 gr. of IMR4064, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

175 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 47.0 to 47.5 gr. of W748, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

600 Yard Line

The heaviest bullet weight that can be utilized in the M1 Garand is Sierra's 180 gr. HPBT MatchKing. This is "the" bullet to use if you're shooting the 600 yard NRA target on a windy day! COL = 3.240 to 3.330". Try the following data:

(Video) The 30-06 and Load Data Video 70

180 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 45.0 gr. of IMR4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

180 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 45.0 gr. of H-4895, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

180 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 47.0 gr. of IMR4064, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

180 gr. Sierra HPBT MatchKing, 47.0 gr. of W748, Military Brass, Fed 210/210M or WLR Primer

What about other more modern bullets and powders? There are several "newer" bullets (of appropriate weight) and powders (of appropriate burn rate) out there and they'll work just fine. If you wish to try them, please feel free to do so but, remember...follow the bullet and/or powder manufacturer's recommendations! If you're not sure, call them. They will tell you what will or will not work in the M1 Garand.

Keep in mind that the parameters for M1 service rifle loads are very tight. Bottom line, please remember the title of this blog..."provenreloads-handloads." I wouldn't pass along this information if it didn't work, time and time again.

One or more of the loads referenced above will provide consistent, reliable and supremely accurate ammunition for your M1 Garand. Have fun and good shooting!

Hunting Loads for Semi-auto and Pump-action Rifles

Ah, hah...some of you thought that I had forgotten! In the previous blog article, ".30-06 Springfield Part 1 - Hunting Loads," I mentioned that I would discuss '06 hunting loads for our brethren that prefer semi-auto or pump-action "civilian-built" rifles. Bullet preference would be the standard "cup-and-core" type. Nosler Partitions also work very well in these loads. Bonded bullets are the rage these days but I'd leave them out of these loads. Bullet construction is a bit on the stout side and you may not get the results you want.

Here goes:

· Substitute 150 grain Spitzer Flat-based or Boat-tail bullets (i.e., Speer, Sierra or Hornady) in the M2 Ball load info referenced above.

· Substitute 165 grain Spitzer Flat-based or Boat-tail bullets (i.e., Speer, Sierra or Hornady) in the 168/175 grain M72 Match load info referenced above.

· Substitute 180 grain Spitzer Flat-based or Boat-tail bullets (i.e., Speer, Sierra or Hornady) in the 180 grain "600 yard" Match load info referenced above.

Note: COL should be set per bullet manufacturer's loading manual recommendation, not to exceed 3.340". Make sure that your cartridge length does not exceed your magazine length.

I've utilized the bullet substitution loads referenced above in the Remington 750 and its predecessors (i.e., the Remington 4, 74, 740, 742 and 7400) as well as the Browning BAR series and Benelli's R1. They work like a champ!

Needless to say, they also do beautifully well in pump-action rifles like the Remington 6, 76, 760 and 7600.

These loads will bring meat home to the freezer and a big smile to your face!

(Video) 30-06 150gn Hornady SST & 125gn Speer TNT

Go for it, my friend!

Note: All of the load data that follows will work wonderfully well in the rifles mentioned above.. ·Standard Military Ball, also known as M2, has a bullet weight of 147 to 152 grains.. The mercury released by some of these primers won't hurt your bore, but it will weaken the brass making it non-reloadable.. ·Keep your service rifle brass and hunting brass separate due to the more generous chamber dimensions associated with service rifles (i.e., don't over-work your brass while sizing);. 34 Military Rifle Primer.. If match bullets are an absolute must for you, try Sierra's 125 gr.. The heaviest bullet weight that can be utilized in the M1 Garand is Sierra's 180 gr.

These days, there are so many different rifle platforms and cartridges to choose from that a person could truly spin themselves right into the ground trying to make up their mind.. The '06 ranked first at 55, the .270 Winchester came in second at 19, the .30-30 Winchester was third at 5 and the .308 Winchester finished the list at 2.. Dad used factory ammo for a very long time.. He found that his rig had a penchant for Winchester 150 grain Silvertips for deer and 180 grain Power Points or Silvertips for elk.. As a youngster, I was thoroughly impressed with the rifle, cartridge, his shooting skills and how well this combo put game on the ground.. Hunting Loads (Bolt-action Rifle). If you forget your rounds and need to hit the corner market in Nowhere USA, they are probably going to have three brand choices: Remington Core-Lokts, Winchester Power Points and Federal PowerShoks.. Spitzer (Sierra Pro Hunter), 50.0 to 52.0 gr.. of H-4831, Winchester or Remington Brass, Winchester LR Primer. With a .30-06 bolt-action rifle in your hands, good rifleman skills and carefully tailored handloads tuned to the rifle, well...as an old friend from Texas would say, "It just don't get no better than that!"

Modern Method: Utilize a flash hole uniforming tool from Lyman, RCBS or bench-rest manufacturers to both deburr the flash hole from the inside and uniform the flash hole diameter at the same time.. Concentric neck wall thickness equals same bullet pull, brass to brass, upon firing.. 11) Neck Sizing - Some folks will stand firm and utilize a neck sizing die for their long range brass.. First, neck sized brass must be relegated to the particular rifle that the brass was fired in (no sharing brass between match rifles).. One way to do this is to balance your scale then set the scale to your powder charge weight and throw and weigh a 100 loads worth of powder (dumping each load back into the powder bottle from whence it came).

Note: All of the load data that follows will work wonderfully well in the rifles mentioned above.. ·Standard Military Ball, also known as M2, has a bullet weight of 147 to 152 grains.. The mercury released by some of these primers won't hurt your bore, but it will weaken the brass making it non-reloadable.. ·Keep your service rifle brass and hunting brass separate due to the more generous chamber dimensions associated with service rifles (i.e., don't over-work your brass while sizing);. 34 Military Rifle Primer.. If match bullets are an absolute must for you, try Sierra's 125 gr.. The heaviest bullet weight that can be utilized in the M1 Garand is Sierra's 180 gr.. This is "the" bullet to use if you're shooting the 600 yard NRA target on a windy day!

of IMR4064, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of W760, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of IMR4064, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of W760, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of IMR4350, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of W760, Federal, Remington or Winchester Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. Some of these loads may appear to be a bit "warm" when compared against current reloading manuals but, I've never had a lick of trouble with any of them as long as they were fired in a Remington 700 or Winchester Model 70 Series or equivalent bolt-action rifle.. of IMR4064, Winchester, Remington, Hornady or Nosler Brass, Winchester LR Primer. of IMR4350, Winchester, Remington, Hornady or Nosler Brass, Winchester LR or Federal 210 LR Primer. of H-4831, Winchester or Remington Brass, Winchester LR Primer. of IMR4350, Winchester or Remington Brass, Winchester LR or Remington 9-1/2 LR Primer. Note : For information regarding '06 hunting loads for semi-auto or pump-action rifles, please check out my upcoming blog article: .30-06 Springfield Part 2 - Service Rifle Loads.

This being the case, it'll take 10+ years before the barrel powder fouls and copper's up to the point of needing professional help to get it back to peak accuracy.. If you've had an after-market barrel recently installed on your action, please check with the barrel manufacturer regarding their barrel break-in procedure.. By utilizing barrel break-in, I've been able to extend the accurate usable life of my match rifle barrels a minimum of 2,000 rounds.. Bore brush should be of stiff nylon-type construction; Good quality solvent (like Shooter's Choice or Butch's Bore Shine); Patches for your bore size.. Needed to push patches down the bore; Rifle maintenance/cleaning vise to hold rifle during cleaning; and Approximately 40 to 60 rounds of ammo.. Fire one round and clean the bore until all residue is gone.. When the barrel breaks, you'll feel the bore brush get easier to push through the bore and it'll only take about 2 to 3 patches to get the bore clean.

Max Load VARGET42.3 gr.44.2 gr.. Max Load H489543.2 gr.44.8 gr.. Max Load H489539.8 gr.42.0 gr.44.2 gr.. Max Load VARGET40.3 gr.42.5 gr.44.7 gr.. Max Load VARGET37.9 gr.40.3 gr.42.7 gr.45.2 gr.. Max Load H489538.2 gr.40.5 gr.42.9 gr.45.2 gr.. Max Load VIHT N-14039.4 gr.41.5 gr.43.6 gr.45.7 gr .46.7 gr.. Max Load H 489537.2 gr.38.3 gr.39.5 gr.40.6 gr.41.8 gr.

The most consistent and, therefore, most desirable of the "old school" brass would be FA 63 Match, FA 64 Match, LC 64 Match, LC 64 NM, LC 66 Match, LC 66 NM, LC 72 Match or LC 77 Match.. If you decide to switch from military match brass to civilian brass, I’d recommend utilizing Winchester, Remington, Federal, Norma, Hornady Match, RWS Match or Lapua Match.. When utilizing civilian brass with loads that were developed in military match brass, you can increase the powder charge by ~1.0 grain to closely match pressures and ballistics achieved in the military match brass.. IMR 3031, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer168 gr.. IMR 4895, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer168 gr.. IMR 4895, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer168 gr.. H-4895, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer168 gr.. IMR 4064, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer168 gr.. IMR 3031, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer175 gr.. IMR 4895, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer175 gr.. H-4895, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer175 gr.. IMR 4064, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer175 gr.. IMR 4064, LC Match, Fed 210 Primer180 gr.

What are some basic tips to keep in mind when reloading the .30-06 Springfield?. The .30-06 will run on many powders, but the author prefers the slower-burning options, such as IMR4350 and Reloder 19 and 22 The author trims all cases, even new brass, to the .30-06's standard case length of 2.494 inches There are many pet handloads out there that will produce good results, but one of the most versatile involves 180-grain bullets (Sierra ProHunter or Swift A-Frame) atop 54.5 grains of IMR4350. If you’re loading for a bolt gun or single shot, you may take full advantage of the neck sizing technique, but for the autoloaders, slides and any other action, you need to full-length resize your brass.. The last group of powders is where I’ve found the best velocity and accuracy with most bullets.. The .30-06 Springfield is still the benchmark of the .30-caliber cartridges.. The 150-grain bullet makes a good long-range choice for the ’06, especially with a premium bonded-core bullet.. Seat that Scirocco to 3.340 inches (the maximum Cartridge Overall Length for the .30-06) over top of 61.0 grains of Reloder 19 for 2,950 fps and a rather flat-shooting combination.. The 165-grain Nosler Partition is another favorite in the .30-06, and when mated with 57.0 grains of Reloder-19, sparked by a Federal GM210M primer, it makes a good choice for deer, elk and much of the African plains game.. The Sierra came out at 2,650 fps, while the Swift A-Frame came into the world at 2,680 fps.. For heavier game, the 220-grain slugs make a good choice, especially at short to medium ranges.. If you want to crimp, you can set the RCBS seater die up to give a good roll crimp, but be sure your bullet has a cannelure, or you’ll damage the bullet and have some serious feeding issues.

Federal Gold Medal, Remington STS and Winchester AA HS (High Strength) hulls aren't sold to the reloader.. While Federal, Remington and Winchester provide a few basic components (i.e., wads and primers) to the reloader, only Winchester sells the same powder used in their factory shells.. Winchester AA 2-3/4" Target Hull. Winchester AA 2-3/4" Target Hull. Winchester AA 2-3/4" Target Hull

Why The .30-06 Springfield Is Among The Best Cartridges To Reload: The Springfield represents what might be the most well-balanced case design in the most well-balanced bore diameter available.. Secondly, the Springfield case — in addition to being the benchmark for all .30-caliber cases — is of a nearly perfect size, in that it delivers a velocity range that makes all sorts of sense for common animals at sensible ranges.. A good 165-grain bullet and IMR4350 make a lethal combination in the .30-06 Springfield.Thirdly, the shooting characteristics of the Springfield are such that nearly anyone can learn to shoot it … and shoot it well.. I have found that the Springfield makes an excellent cartridge to teach a new reloader because it’s large enough to avoid the numerous compressed loads that the .308 Winchester has, and it doesn’t have the associated case stretching issues that the belted .300 Winchester Magnum does.. For example, while the .30-06 has plenty of room in the case to load the longer monometal bullets, the faster-burning powders show a definite advantage in both accuracy and velocity.. I’ve had good results using many different brands of cases, though as with most cartridges, the match-grade cases have given the best results.. I don’t really crimp my .30-06 cases, no matter what bullet I’m using — unless it’s for target shooting in a military autoloader, and then I use a taper crimp, and just enough to make sure the bullets won’t “pull” during the cycling process.. For those who like the upper and lower ends of the bullet weights, the 220-grain Woodleigh Weldcore or Hornady InterLock make excellent bear medicine, and there are many 130-, 140- and 150-grain bullets that will handle deer and antelope across a hayfield or on the prairie.. The .30-06 can be a good candidate for cast bullets; they are cheap to make and a great way to have a new shooter become familiar with their rifle, without the recoil of full house loads.. You’ll see some fast powders, some slow powders, light bullets, heavy bullets and a few middle-of-the-road loads; that’s just a testament to the versatility of the .30-06 case.. 62 Printable MOA Targets with DOT Drills - Rifle Range in YARDS This impressive target pack from our friends at Storm Tactical contains 62 printable targets for rifle and handgun range use.. He has been handloading ammunition for 20+ years, and has loaded a wide range of pistol and rifle ammunition, from the lightest plinking loads through the heavy hitting cartridges designed for animals that are measure in tons.

The competition is divided into two categories: Match Rifles and Service Rifles.. Many of the techniques beneficial for a Benchrest rifle are of no value for a Service Rifle.. As if we don’t already have enough to think about when reloading Service Rifles, we need to make a few comments about the cases as well.. As with powders, bullets and cases, some primers are better suited to use in Service Rifles than others.. The physical act of repriming a case for use in Service Rifles is no different than that of ammunition to be used in any other type of action.. In the case of Service Rifles in particular, high primers are far and away the leading cause of slam-fires.. Case selection is a common facet of almost any type of reloading but becomes especially important when loading for the Service Rifle.. Aside from the normal considerations of the functions a case must fulfill, the violent nature of the Service Rifle’s cycling imposes some unusual requirements on the reloader.. Case gages are another item that should be a high priority item for Service Rifle shooters.. This gets back to the fact that loading for Service Rifles is just plain different than loading for Benchrest rifles.. Another point that drives home the need to gage during the reloading process is that Service Rifle shooters tend to load fairly large quantities of ammunition.

New powders, bullet materials, construction, and shapes make handloads of the antiquated 30-06 Springfield shoot 200 to 300 fps faster than the original and nearly as fast and hard as some old magnums. That increased the case’s powder capacity about 5 percent, making room for enough extra fuel to push a 180-grain bullet nearly to the same muzzle velocity as the best known, factory loaded magnum of the day, the 300 H&H Magnum.. In order to fit the 30-06 Ackley Improved into a standard 30-06 chamber, one must ream that chamber to the new dimensions of the Improved case.. Most of us might imagine this a cartridge in its own right, and of course it is, but we can also consider it the 30-06 “improved.” (If you can improve a cartridge by changing its body taper and length, why not its bullet diameter?). As if the 280 Remington wasn’t a sufficient improvement of the 30-06, it was subsequently improved itself to become the 280 Ackley Improved, a design so effective and popular as a wildcat that Nosler legitimized it as a factory round several years ago.. Because doubling a projectile’s velocity quadruples its kinetic energy, increased velocity from new powders is a big improvement, but bullet design and terminal performance are what really bring the old 30-06 into the 21st century.. Image shows several .308" diameter bullets that help make the antiquated 30-06 Springfield an improved cartridge.. Terminal bullet performance plays a major role in improving the antiquated 30-06 Springfield.

Like many Quebecers, the Garands spoke French, and even after the family emigrated to Connecticut in 1899 and Jean started speaking English, a French accent remained for the rest of his life.One standard piece of .30-06 handloading advice, especially for Garands, is that military cases are heavier than commercial cases, so loads need to be reduced.. Along with the rifle, he provided a bag of Winchester 150-grain Power-Point bullets he had purchased off an Internet site for hunting handloads, and some 150-grain MK 4z military ammunition loaded by the U.S. military for British Commonwealth countries that continued to use the .30-06 long after the Lend-Lease program of World War II.. Military ammunition for the Garand was loaded with bullets in the 150- to 172-grain range at mild .308 Winchester velocities, and most commercial .30-06 ammunition is too warm for safe M1 pressures.. At least a couple of companies offer replacement Garand gas plugs, one adjustable.However, Tom is a confirmed handloader, so I started by doing considerable research on handloading for M1s, including the specific Garand sections in the Hornady and Sierra loading manuals.. This M1 Ball ammunition was designed for long-range machine-gun barrages, then a common military tactic, but by the time the Garand rifle appeared, the .50 BMG had taken over the long-range role, and .30-06 machine guns were primarily used at closer range.Various sources claim the M1 bullet weighed 172, 173 and 174 grains, a mystery explained by a list of .30-06 service loads in Hatcher’s Notebook, the reference work by General Julian Hatcher.. Due to its adaptation to the Garand, IMR-4895 was designed to burn most efficiently at around 50,000 psi, rather than the 60,000+ psi of many modern rifle powders, including the 20mm cannon powder Hodgdon sold as H-4831.. During research I started a list of other potential Garand powders, eventually ending up with seven candidates: IMR-4895, H-4895, Accurate 2495 (essentially its version of 4895), IMR-4064, Hodgdon Varget (another Extreme powder that is slightly slower than H-4895), Alliant Reloder 15 and Vihtavuori N150.I also decided to limit handloads to two bullets weighing 150 and 168 grains, approximating the bullet weights used during the development of the Garand.. Not many bullet makers offer 172-grain .30-caliber bullets anymore, and while some published data includes heavier bullets, many Garand shooters advise against using anything heavier than 172 grains due to possible op-rod damage.. Just because loading data for a certain powder makes it appear similar to IMR-4895, many newer powders burn more progressively, maintaining higher pressure farther down the bore – even all the way to the gas port on an M1 Garand.

The smokeless propellant commonly known as “5744” has been produced in several countries.. Mike is shooting his favorite Model 1903 “parts rifle” with 3x Leatherwood scope.. Some shooters are leery of rifle barrels with only two grooves, but in my experience, they work just fine with cast or jacketed bullets.. In Mike’s experience with cast bullets in ’03/’03A3 Springfields, Lyman mould 311299 has usually been the best performer.. Bullets were fitted with Lyman gas checks, sized to .310 inch and lubed mostly with Alox.. The bullet was a Lyman 311299 loaded over 25 grains of A-5744 powder.. This group was fired from a Remington Model ’03A3 using Lyman 311299 bullets and 27 grains of A-5744 powder.. It wasn’t until early in this new century that I bought another military ’06.. That was with .310-inch bullets.. My old Lyman mould number 311291 was long gone, so a fresh one was ordered, along with Lyman mould numbers 311041, 311299, 311284 and 311332.. That is, nothing will top Accurate 5744 for a cast bullet rifle powder.. It is the old advice of, “Be sure to clean all copper fouling from a rifle barrel before shooting cast bullets.. The rifles still shoot cast bullets just fine by my standards and provide good, inexpensive shooting for skill building.

Videos

1. Hornady Case Prep Center Trimming Rifle Part II (30-06)
(gavintoobe)
2. Webley & Scott Empire 30-06 Springfield ~ A rifle with a surprise!
(GunBlue490)
3. Loading 30-06 for Africa with Hornady 165gr CX Bullets
(gavintoobe)
4. Reloading .30-06 for the M1 Garand
(GuitarGunner)
5. 30-06 Springfield Cartridge Profile (Everything You Need to Know!)
(Outdoor Creatives)
6. TESTED: Hodgdon H4350 Powder
(gavintoobe)

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