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I picked up an M1 Garand last week. At the range, I used reloads, some of which had been fired in a bolt action rifle. I shot 24 rounds loaded with 54 gr of Hodgdon 414, the bottom of load listing. When I examined the spent cases, I found that all twelve of the "FC 30-M1" cases had primers that had popped out a little. None of the other case types had the problem.
At home, I compared different headstamp 30-06 spent case weights, and found that the "FC 30-M1" cases weighed significantly more (8%) than other types. This suggests thicker case walls and lower internal volume. And perhaps higher pressure that would require lighter loads?
 

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M-1 Garands require a specific type of powder to work well in reloads. The wrong type of powder can result in a bent operating rod. The Speer Reloading Manual #14 specifically lists 3 powders that are good for the Garand. H414 is not one of them. Be careful reloading for the semi-auto Garand. This manual suggests three powders, H380, IMR 4895, and IMR 4064. I would pick one of those and work up a load.
 

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Alright, you two have gotten me curious as to whether the M1A experiences the same reloading sensitivity as the M1 Garand.
 

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The M1A is not as sensitive as the Garand to this problem.
Is this because a shorter cartridge would warrant a shorter, less flexible operating rod? Or am I thinking of the wrong part, and Garand's design was simply refined in the designing of the M1A?
 
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