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Military Rifle Reloading

Article about: by TonyE I am old and retired, so I was speaking about before the 1988 ban on semi-autos. Back in those days I was a RFD and sold several M1 carbines over the years. My personal favourite at

  1. #21

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    I have reloaded for years. Not so much for my military rifles, but my hunting loads. 270, 243, and all of my pistol loads I use in shooting competition with. I don't shoot reloads in my military pistols or M1 carbines, because I don't shoot them hardly at all.( Note: Don't shoot reloads in M1 carbines!! I have worked on too many blown up ones in my life time from reloads.) I can get better ammunition with my reloads. as I check and re-check every one. I have learned from years of selling reloading Components and reloading for myself, NOT to Shoot other peoples reloads. I don't sell reloads out of my store either. I have people wanting me to reload for them and I just tell them I will teach you the safe way to do it and leave it at that.

    John
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  2. #22

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    I have reloaded all my firearms for over 30 years. I cannot remember buying a box of factory ammo except for .22 LR. If you collect and shoot military rifles cast bullets are sometimes the ONLY way to get great accuracy out of them. If your bore is worn a few thousandths you can find a cast bullet mold to fit. I have bought many surplus rifles that "wouldn't shoot well" The bores can be many .001 out of what they are supposed to be. If your mosin checks .311 and you are shooting .308-.309 out of it the accuracy will be crap. If you find a bullet mold that casts say .312 it will be a tack driver. I have seen this many many times. In 30 years of reloading I have had one FTF. The primer popped but wouldn't light a large charge of H110. I like the ability to seat bullets out to touch rifling-shoot light weight practice loads-try different loads for each firearm-try different powders-etcetcetc. In my world anyone who DOESN'T reload is an outsider..LOL All my friends feel the same way as I do! Reloading is almost as much fun as shooting for me and my family.

  3. #23

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    I'm UK based and I've reloaded quite a few types in the past, I've even tried casting my own slugs but it was just easier to buy them. Most of my reloading gear mainly gets used for making inert ammo and I've recently made my own hand loader for making a few display Boys rounds with stainless steel projectiles.

    I'm also thinking of getting into section 7.1 as I've steered away from early stuff with the intention of going down this route when I had the money.

    Tony, other than proving your requirement for a section 5, did you have to jump through many other hoops?

  4. #24

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    Quote by guns ltd View Post
    I have reloaded for years. Not so much for my military rifles, but my hunting loads. 270, 243, and all of my pistol loads I use in shooting competition with. I don't shoot reloads in my military pistols or M1 carbines, because I don't shoot them hardly at all.( Note: Don't shoot reloads in M1 carbines!! I have worked on too many blown up ones in my life time from reloads.) I can get better ammunition with my reloads. as I check and re-check every one. I have learned from years of selling reloading Components and reloading for myself, NOT to Shoot other peoples reloads. I don't sell reloads out of my store either. I have people wanting me to reload for them and I just tell them I will teach you the safe way to do it and leave it at that.

    John
    John, could you tell me if your comment about reloaded ammunition for the M1 Carbine is your recommendation or just something you dont like to do from personal preferance ? Of all the 'blown up ones' would you say that they were all the result of badly reloaded ammunition or is there some inherent defect in the Carbine design that you are aware of which reloads can exasserpate, I am aware that lead cast bullets and the deposits from these will cause lead fouling of the gas port and piston and so may cause failure to cycle (remember in the UK we are'nt allowed semi autos in anything other than .22 rimfire so straight pulls are our only option) but are you describing actual structural failure of the action, chamber or barrel ?? I would imagine ANY overload would have a detrimental effect on ANY firearm, what is it about the M1 Carbine that you consider makes it more susseptible to damage from reloaded ammunition than any other gun ?

    My apologies if I have misunderstood your post but I have been reloading for my M1 for some time and I know from other forums worldwide that many do likewise...........what is it we are missing..??

    Phil

  5. #25

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    A person can reload the 30 carbine shells for the M-1, but they had better know how to reload properly, as the 30 carbine is a sensitive caliber. The little straight walled shells were not designed to be high powered fast loads and the M-1 Carbines were not designed or Built to Take a high powered load either. The round is basically a pistol caliber being used in a carbine. You have to stay Strictly to the book for specs and if you tinker with it to try to up it's performance, you're asking for trouble indeed.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #26
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    M1 carbines have an inherently weak bolt. If the wrong powder/burn rate is used which results in the bolt coming back too fast it will crack across from the extractor. I have seen that happen a couple of times in the UK, including to one I had sold to somebody. I had to find a new bolt for him.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  7. #27

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    Quote by TonyE View Post
    M1 carbines have an inherently weak bolt. If the wrong powder/burn rate is used which results in the bolt coming back too fast it will crack across from the extractor. I have seen that happen a couple of times in the UK, including to one I had sold to somebody. I had to find a new bolt for him.

    Regards
    TonyE
    OK, interesting points, I keep my loads for the Carbine within limits and dont push them, no need to as it is only accurate out to about 300 yds which is fine for my purposes.............Tony...I'm intrigued by your comment about the bolt coming back too fast, you are talking about a semi auto obviously, 'Here in the UK..?'.....

    with my straight pull the bolt doesnt cycle and remains closed untill manually opened, how many semi auto M1s have you sold mate.

  8. #28

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    Like Wagriff and ToneyE have said you have to stay within strict spec. on these. Some years ago I had a man bring me a first year production winchester carbine with the bolt lug broken off and the reciever rail cracked clear through.( thus Ruining a very high priced collectable). This firearm had all early features. When asking what he had been shooting in this, he said" his reloads". I have had 4 more carbines in since then with the same problems. If you are lucky, you will have just a cracked bolt. But it is the other stresses on the receiver and other components I would be worried about.
    A carbine is what it is. It is not a target rifle. So with that said I do not Recommend shooting reloads in them. Factory carbine ammo is cheap compared to replacing parts, whole firearm or maybe your life.
    Just my thoughts dealing with carbines for the last 30 years.
    John
    Quote by Lugerlout View Post
    John, could you tell me if your comment about reloaded ammunition for the M1 Carbine is your recommendation or just something you dont like to do from personal preferance ? Of all the 'blown up ones' would you say that they were all the result of badly reloaded ammunition or is there some inherent defect in the Carbine design that you are aware of which reloads can exasserpate, I am aware that lead cast bullets and the deposits from these will cause lead fouling of the gas port and piston and so may cause failure to cycle (remember in the UK we are'nt allowed semi autos in anything other than .22 rimfire so straight pulls are our only option) but are you describing actual structural failure of the action, chamber or barrel ?? I would imagine ANY overload would have a detrimental effect on ANY firearm, what is it about the M1 Carbine that you consider makes it more susseptible to damage from reloaded ammunition than any other gun ?

    My apologies if I have misunderstood your post but I have been reloading for my M1 for some time and I know from other forums worldwide that many do likewise...........what is it we are missing..??

    Phil
    Last edited by guns ltd; 12-18-2013 at 12:04 AM.
    I specialize in M1 carbines and Lugers.

  9. #29
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    Quote by Lugerlout View Post
    OK, interesting points, I keep my loads for the Carbine within limits and dont push them, no need to as it is only accurate out to about 300 yds which is fine for my purposes.............Tony...I'm intrigued by your comment about the bolt coming back too fast, you are talking about a semi auto obviously, 'Here in the UK..?'.....

    with my straight pull the bolt doesnt cycle and remains closed untill manually opened, how many semi auto M1s have you sold mate.
    I am old and retired, so I was speaking about before the 1988 ban on semi-autos. Back in those days I was a RFD and sold several M1 carbines over the years. My personal favourite at the time was my MP44 which had been lightly modified to semi-auto only (honest) so was considered a Section 1 weapon.

    Regards
    TonyE
    British Military Smallarms and Ammunition
    Collector, Researcher and Pedant
    https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/

  10. #30
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    Ive likewise seen a dimwit blow up a 357 S&W. Man, the topstrap and a couple of chambers went through a tin roof with a tremendous BOOM!
    Never did see a guy pack up his range stuff and depart as fast as that.
    Typical guy full of hot air and braggadocio. One can almost predict what will eventually happen when types like that reload.
    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    I've loaded thousands of rounds of all different calibers and never once had a misfire or a failure of any sort. Not so with factory loads. The companies are under obligation to load ammunition that will function in Any firearm of the caliber, whereas the reloader can fine tune his loads to get the peak performance from his gun that he loaded it for specifically. Factory loads are always on the weaker side to be safely used in weaker actioned older weapons as well as the modern pieces also. It is absolutely true, though, that there will always be the reloader who insists on jacking up the pressures Too high, trying to get that extra bit of velocity and knockdown advantage, and will end up blowing his fingers off or destroying a perfectly fine rifle simply by being stupid. As a rule, I never reloaded Any brass more than 7 times, and regardless of the number loaded, always inspected each and every case before repacking it again. You can quite often see a light ring in the brass just above the base, and if this is seen, you toss that shell away. No exceptions. It's just common sense and safety to do so. That means that case is going to Separate and when it Does so, you have only your own foolishness to blame for any injurys and damage. I've seen horrendous occurrences happen to even the best firearms by idiotic reloading failures. One, I recall, was a newer Smith and Wesson Model 19 that the shooter was using cases that had been reloaded 15 times. The top of the cylinder blew out and took the top strap along with it-as well as 2 fingers and an eye. If a person doesn't know what they are doing, they have no place reloading Anything.
    Ill second the above guidelines.
    Common sense prevails over idiocy every time (the idiots being those who jack up loads to unsafe levels - not any of the members in this thread).
    I happen to know some of the most competent reloaders locally (I cant even begin to approach their level of reloading skill) and if common sense is used, its not only perfectly safe to reload but better accuracy can be tweaked from reloads over generic factory loads.
    As has been mentioned, factory loads err on the side of caution to prevent (some of the) disasters.
    Difficult to safeguard against fools though; loading a modern 45-70 (though that round is not exactly a hotrod) in a weak antique action is not advisable (at least I wouldnt) even though most .45-70 factory loaded ammo has been kept at low pressure.
    In order to get more out of the caliber type and safeguard against catastrophic accident - the .450 was created.
    Ed Turner via Chuck Hawks (firearm guru); The calibers are actually so similar as to be ballistic twins. The facts show these two cartridges to be all but one in their sameness. They look and perform on a par when loaded similarly, but most .45-70 factory loaded ammo has been kept at low pressure (well under 28,000 PSI) in deference to the trapdoor rifles still out there, which are designed for use with black powder (or black power equivalent) loads.

    Having a belted case prevents the similar looking .450 from being chambered in these older, weaker .45-70 actions and allows its owners a big performance boost over SAAMI standard .45-70 loads. Typical .45-70 loads drive a 300 grain bullet at around 1800 fps or a 400 grain bullet at around 1300 fps. The larger bullet, with its superior sectional density, will still get the job done on large game, such as elk, bear or moose at short ranges, but the 300 grain loads are usually intended for use on CXP2 size game. Yes, it is a big bullet, but most of these factory loads used a fast expanding "soft" bullet that, along with the poor sectional density, should convince most hunters to utilize heavier projectiles for large animals.

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