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Old 07-19-2010, 08:32 PM   #1
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M1 Ball ammo

I am just curious as to the loading data for the M1 Ball ammo, since the M1 Garand was designed around the M1 Ball ammo. From what I know of the M1 Ball, it was loaded with a 175 gr bullet to about 2640 - 2700 fps. What powder was used for that load? And what was the powder charge?
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:54 AM   #2
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

There would have been several, but probably IMR 4895 or 4064. There was no fixed charge with commercial powders, it was adjusted from lot to lot to give desired P&V.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

I get good accuracy, and reliable Garand function, from 165 grain spitzer bullets and 47 grains of 4895.
I have never chronographed this load, and it is the maximum listed in my ancient Speer manual. Years ago, I worked up to it from 46 grains of 4895.
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

I don't have any references at hand, but my recollection is that WWII was fought with M2 ball. There were several different projectiles in use, all type classified differently. The AP slug was 165 grains, the Match Ball was 173 grains and the regular slug was somewhere around 147-150 grains.

The NRA published ball equivilent load tables to get the correct Garand port pressures with IMR 3031, 4064 and 4895. Load data for WW 748 was also included. Velocities may not match the milspec for the rounds. Data included 150 and 165 gr bullets, can't recall if the 175 was included. Scott Duff published a book on the M1 that'll tell you everything you want to know about it, may include load data, I just don't recall.

FWIW, Wikipedia claims M1 ball was adopted in 1936 and used a 174 gr ball @ 2640 fps, but this was replaced in 1938 with M2 ball using a 152 gr bullet @ 2805 fps.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

The M2 Ball was loaded to match the trajectory of the M2 AP ammo. M2 Ball was a 152 gr bullet loaded with 50. gr of IMR 4895. The M2 AP ammo was 166 gr bullet also loaded with 50 gr IMR 4895. The M72 Match was a 175.5 gr bulet loaded with 50 gr of IMR4895.
Since the M1 Garand was designed around the M1 Ball, I was just curious as to what the military load was.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:39 AM   #6
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

Note Charlie's post above- the arsenals may have used a powder similar to IMR4895 but IMR4895 is a cannister powder with known, repeatable pressure characteristics. That's not the way military-or large commercial - ammunition operations get their propellant powders, which are NON CANNISTER powders.

You may be quoting eqivilent loads using IMR4895, or someone may have pulled & weighed loads that allegedly used 4895, but production runs would not have used 4895 as we know it. War time demands would have required that plants use any type of powder that could have produced the required velocities at acceptable port pressures. Thus, the array of ball equivilent loadings published by the NRA using cannister type powders.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

My data is taken from CARTRIDGES OF THE WORLD. Which has a listing in the back for all US Military loads.

Also, from a DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY TECHNICAL MANUAL TM 9-1305-200.

As well as ARMY AMMUNITION DATA SHEET SMALL CALIBER AMMUNITINO FSC 1305 TM 43-0001-27

http://www.dtic.mil/dticasd/sbir/sbir032/a044a.pdf
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

The load data published by the NRA for the Garand (expect the port pressure data to have been developed by HP White, but there was no credit) was 49 gr of cannister grade IMR4895 (what handloaders buy) for the 150 gr bullet. I didn't bother to verify other bullet weights, all load data I've seen for the match ball seems to indicate poor relationship (by a full grain or so) to the 168 gr SMK. Fuzzy memory suggests 46 or 47 gr with the SMK.

The comparison between this load data and that cited by those TMs strongly supports Charlies cited facts that the arsenal /commercial powders are not the same as cannister powders and that loads vary by the characteristics of the various powder lots.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:23 AM   #9
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

While on the face of it, 4895 as loaded by the military was a non-cannistered powder, the fact remains that 4895 was introduced to reloaders as surplus. And I suspect that ANY powder changes over the years up to and including Bullseye. Military loadings are loaded to a specific velocity/pressure range. If they got the velocity they sought without undue pressure ... done. And it's not as though cannistered powder doesn't vary. Hodgdon rifle powders were especially notorious for this, far more so than military powders. Years ago, I was a fledgling commercial reloader. We won't get into the many, many, many, many reasons why that venture failed. But in the short time I was active, I bought 3 distinct versions of Accurate Arms 2230. The first 100 pouds or so was 2230. The next big order was several 100 pounds of 2230S which was about 10% faster than the original. The next purchase, for private use, was 2230C which was about 10% slower than regular 2230. And as an aside, almost without fail, the ist Accurate manual gave loads that were a specific percentage spread between starting and maximum loads. When I commented on that to their ballistic technicians, I got the very polite version of DUH!
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:15 AM   #10
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

Millions of rounds were loaded with WC852 which is a ball propellant. There are two variations of it known as FAST AND SLOW by the arsenals. The fast was loaded into ammo for M1 Garands. The slow was loaded into belts for 1917/1919s BMGs. The slow gave high port pressures on M1s which was not a problem in BMGs.
It won't blow rifle up but will wreck gas cylinders on M1s.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:48 AM   #11
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Re: M1 Ball ammo

I just received a batch of WW2 AP 30-06 ammo from the CMP. Just out of curiosity, I decided to weigh the powder charge when I changed out the primers to non corrosive primers. I got 3 different lots from 3 different Arsenals(DEN 42, TW 43 lot #18756, LC 4 lot #12790. They were all loaded with IMR4895, but the powder weights were very interesting.
The TW made ammo had powder charges that ranged from 49.5 gr to 50.5 gr. Most fell between 49.8 gr and 50.3 gr. About what one would expect with IMR 4895 and a 167 gr bullet.
However, the LC made ammo was much hotter, and powder weight varied more. Low was 50.5 gr, and high was 52.5 gr. With most falling between 51.5 and 52.0 grains.
I haven't wieghed the DEN ammo yet.
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