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firelt 02-17-2013 04:16 AM

M1 Garand Feed Problem
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Hi all-

I've got an M1 that has a peculiar feed issue that I cannot seem to nail down. When I insert a fully loaded clip the rifle initially functions properly. That is, the clip depresses the follower enough to unlock the follower assembly which should allow the bolt to strip the first round and chamber it with a light tap on the operating rod handle. What happens with mine is that the bolt will travel forward about 1/2 inch and then stop. Only after striking the operating rod handle hard enough to cause some real pain in the palm of my hand will it begrudgingly chamber the first round. After that, it functions just fine. In order to fix the problem I have done the following: First, I cycled all of my clips (15 of them) through the rifle. No help. Second, I purchased and installed a new milspec follower spring. Improved overall function, but didn't solve my problem. Third, I disassembled it and carefully inspected all involved parts for evidence that it was hanging up someplace. I found a rough spot in the op rod follower track and smoothed it out but it didn't help. Fourth, on a whim I inserted a clip with only 7 rounds. Wow! It chambered that first round so fast it almost took my thumb with it.

I've thought of heating all of my clips and stretching them so they don't have as much tension but I'm worried that they won't hold the rounds.

I've attached a picture of the point were the bolt stops moving forward.

Has anyone encountered a similar problem and if so how did you overcome it?

JonM 02-17-2013 04:24 AM

If your using off the shelf ammo you may have a bent operating rod. Garands do NOT like factory ammo especially with bullets past the 150 grain mark.

Some loading manuals have garand safe loading data for heavier bullets. Unless you have a schuster type gas plug installed and adjusted correctly civilian factory ammo should be avoided like the plague.

firelt 02-17-2013 04:29 AM


Thanks. I do not use factory ammunition, I load all of my own. This particular ammo is a Winchester case and a Hornady 150gr BTSP.

JonM 02-17-2013 04:32 AM

Ahh ok. Make sure your using garand safe data and charge weights.

Is it a recent issue??

Have you been keeping the oprod and bolt and reciever mating surfaces properly greased?? old grease needs to be removed frequently before it gums up.

firelt 02-17-2013 04:38 AM

I've been using low end (as in not the hottest loads) data from Lee's reloading second edition, I was not aware that their were specific data charts for the Garand. I will find one and make sure I'm in tolerance before I shoot it again.
This is not a recent issue, I've been struggling with it for awhile. I routinely clean it after each use (old Army habit) and apply new gun grease for each use.

locutus 02-17-2013 08:05 PM

One of the most important things with hand loads is to never use powder slower than 4320.

The Garand action is very strong and you can work up full power loads, just not with slow powders.

The feeding----check for bent op rod.

firelt 02-18-2013 02:56 AM

Jon and Locutus-

I'll strip it down tomorrow and inspect the op-rod. Thanks for the load advice.

JonM 02-18-2013 04:02 AM

the actions are strong. its the oprod thats the weak sister in the garand design. the M1A/M14 have the same issue. with heavier bullets you get more backpressure in the gas system meaning the oprod gets pounded much harder. lots of folks get a schuster gasplug so they can regulate the gas flow to the oprod and relieve the overpressure and the battering the rod takes on heavier powders allowing the use of better heavier rounds and a more varied source of powder.

triggerjob 02-18-2013 08:35 AM

All garands do this it is either operator error, most likely or a weak recoil spring. When you "charge" an M-1, you are suposed to hold the bolt back with knife edge of your hand, push the clip down till it locks, and then swipe your loading hand back, pushing the chargeing handle all the way to rear while you get your thumb out of the way. Then you allow the bolt to SLAM closed from the farthest back it will go. It will load evry time. Remember the Garand is the greatest battle implement ever devised, you don't have to be gentle, if fact if your are the don't work as well. One other thing, don't screw around with your enbloc clips they are supposed to be tight.

Remember, let the bolt slam home.

firelt 02-18-2013 07:33 PM

After a close inspection, the winner is: bent operating rod! Thanks for all the help, everyone. Since I reload my own ammunition, does anyone know a reliable source for good load data for the M1? I'm not going to replace the op-rod just so I can bend it again with a load that's too hot.

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