M1 Garand Feed Problem

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by firelt, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. firelt

    firelt New Member

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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?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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.
     

  3. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    JonM-

    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.
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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.
     
  5. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    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.
     
  6. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    Jon and Locutus-

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

    JonM Moderator

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  9. triggerjob

    triggerjob New Member

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    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.
     
  10. firelt

    firelt New Member

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    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.
     
  11. triggerjob

    triggerjob New Member

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    The opperating rod on a garand is supposed to bent. True they can be bent too much, but that would cause problems on all cycles not just the first.

    If charging the weapon as I described doesn't solve the issue you've described. Then your first round may be getting hung up on a bur or sharp edge in the mag well.

    Having said that, the issue you've described is common with gentle loaders.
     
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    147-150 grain bullets, 4895 powder, MilSpec Primer** like Remington 9 1/2 or those CCI special order types. GI cases. Good to go

    ** To prevent "slamfires"
     
  13. crazycharlie2

    crazycharlie2 New Member

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    Your photo shows soft point bullets. Have you tried FMJ. I had a similar problem with a mil-surp, sporterized bolt action and found Remington Bronze Points solved the problem.
    However when you load 7 it works perfectly. When you load 7 the cartridge is on the right side and not on the left as your photo shows. Just thinking out loud. Might be something to that.
    When I was in basic I never had to smack the bolt with a fully loaded clip even with blanks or crimped cartridges.
    I suspect there is something, a burr or part hanging up that first round with a fully loaded clip. There is a clip release on the top left af the receiver. You might have some dirt or a burr on that release.
    I don't think it's the op rod.
    You might want to check the Shooting The Surplus Rifle forum for more info.
    surplusrifleforum.com
    Good luck.
     
  14. Silvertip 44

    Silvertip 44 New Member

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    Get a new Hornady manual. It has specific sections for the gas ops--M1, M14 (M1A).