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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:13 am 
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Mil-Surp Owner
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I just bought this like new 2004 Springfield Armory (IL) M1 Garand on Auction Arms from a gun dealer out of state. I received it Monday at a local gun dealer. While I was at the gun dealer I also picked up a pack of 30-06 165 grain reloads.
I took the rifle to my in-laws yesterday and proudly showed it to my Army Vet Father-In-Law. I told me many of his memories shooting one like it. I then took it outside and loaded it up thinking I would allow my Father-In-Law the honor of the first shot...
However, he was a little slow in getting out there, so I carefully took aim at a distant bucket and pulled the trigger...
In an explosion that rang my ears and hurt my hand, the gun was destroyed. After a few minutes of holding my throbbing hand, I checked for other injuries, and found none except to my wallet. $1,000 gone!
Checking the gun, well you can see the stock was destroyed. I found the remaining seven rounds, of which one was so badly mangled, the bullet was missing.
The bolt was locked in place and would not move, but looking up inside from the bottom I could see what was left of the case, and I could see the damage to the bolt.
I found part of the stock 36' to my right, and part of the stock 35' to my left.
This morning I used a rawhide mallet to open the receiver as recommended my S/A. The case looks to be damaged by extreme pressure.
I went to Gander Mountain last night and talked to their S/A authorized gunsmith.
He said I need to contact S/A and ship the gun back to them, including some of the reloads for testing.
I have since downloaded their M1 manual and read that using reloads cancels any warranty.
I am thinking about contacting a lawyer. Someone needs to buy me a new M1 and compensate me for my hand, which is still stiff and hurting, I just don't know who yet. I am guessing the reloading company.
It was a bitter sweet Thanksgiving. I am thankful I didn't let my F-I-L take the first shot. I am thankful I am still alive, and will heal. But I am ticked off that my new gun, something I have lusted after since that early 1990s, is now in pieces, and I'm out one grand.
I will keep you posted as events transpire.
Alan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:35 am 
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Mil-Surp Owner
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I thought I would add that I did check the barrel for obstructions before I shot it.
I just contacted the gun dealer where I bought the reloads to warn him that there may be a problem with the reloads. He says he shoots tham all the time with no problem, and that the Garand is built so well, no load should hurt it.
Springfield Armory is closed for Thanksgiving, so this may have to wait until Monday.
Alan


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:46 am 
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How many times have we said and read on this site NOT to shoot commercial ammo and especially not someone else s reloads in a Garand? I know you are hurting, physically and financially, but really, you should have done some research.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:00 pm 
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Sorry that this happened to you and glad it wasn't any worse

Be interested in an analysis of the ammo- certainly the shooter took some risks and unfortunately became an example


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:02 pm 
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:shock: :( OUCH!!...you are REALLY lucky all you lost was some $$$.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:07 pm 
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My GOD-- You are lucky you still have a HEAD!!!!!! :shock: :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:17 pm 
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sgthurley wrote:
How many times have we said and read on this site NOT to shoot commercial ammo and especially not someone else s reloads in a Garand? I know you are hurting, physically and financially, but really, you should have done some research.


Couldn't agree more with the Sarge here. NEVER EVER shoot someone else's reloads, ESPECIALLY in a Garand. The Garand has a narrow selection of powders that are acceptable, anything out of that tolerance is, well, you now can see what happens. If you are going to shoot reloads in your Garand make DAMN sure you made 'em and you know what you're doing. I'm glad you did not suffer any other injuries or get hurt worse.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:21 pm 
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Ag,

I'm just glad you’re ok. I have to wonder if that round was double-charged. When you recover, you should weigh the rounds to see if any one is heavier than the others. I might be tempted to pull the bullets and inspect the rounds but after seeing what they look like..hmmmmmmm, it might be best to just dispose of them safely. Lets wait for the reloading experts to chime in here.Again, I am relieved you’re physically ok.

Regards,

NM

ps. I notice the headstamp on the round that blew up is different then the Lake City brass in the later pictures. Again, hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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Last edited by natlmatch on Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:26 pm 
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That looks like a real catastrophic failure! What was the name of the company that made the reloads or were they made by a private party ? Never ever shoot any reloads from a private individual or unknown quality. I seriously doubt its a problem with the rifle but a ammo problem. I'm afraid you wont have much of a legal leg to stand on unless the gunstore recomended them as being safe to use and even then I wouldnt count on getting anywhere. You used ammo that is not recommended by the company that made the rifle . If you read the fine print on commercial made reloads there is usually a disclaimer that says they are only responsible for the cost of ammo and not any damage.I'm glad you are OK it looks like you could have been seriuosly injured. Probably have to chalk this one up to experience and a hard learned lesson


Last edited by Orlando on Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:30 pm 
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Since you talked with the dealer you may want to see if he has the recipe that was used in those reloads, or at least direct you to the company that remanned them. That may help you in finding out why this happened. This looks so much like an over pressure situation especially looking at the shell casing, maybe an extreme case head seperation.

The comment made by the dealer also showes his myopic understanding of military firearms. The M1 Garand was developed for a specific cartridge, with powder, that was to react a certain way. As I understand it the powders used (4895 and 4064) are medium burn rate powders. They develop pressure in a gradual consistent upward curve. Powders with burn rates at either end of the spectrum either develop pressure to soon or to late causing excessive pressure on the op-rod and internal components. I had a good group of people that kept me on a narrow plank as I purchased my rifle, and helped me develop my reloads with great caution.

The M1 is a strong and robust rifle, but nothing is bullet proof, excuse the pun. I'm not sure what Springfield will say but I'm sure they will point out the use of reloads. As long as the reciever and barrel are not damaged you maybe able to rebuild it, others may comment on that wisdom, but there's always that possibility.

Sorry for your loss, maybe you can look at CMP as an alternative to purchasing a "new" M1

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:41 pm 
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I looked a bit closer at the cases and noticed that the primer pockets had been beveled. In other words the crimp used by the cartridge manufacturer to hold the primer in had been removed. This would indicate a reloaded shell. The one that exploded was a match tuned case, more than likely a Lake City case.

The worst experience Ihad in reloading was the opposite of yours. I forgot to charge a few cases and thay did not go bang!! When reloading you need to stay focused and in tune with your equipment.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:59 pm 
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WOW, i think that this should be made a sticky. i really hope that you are all right.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:50 pm 
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Boy does that suck! But like many of the posters before me, you should never shoot reloads in a Garand or any gun for that matter when the reloader is unknown. Saving a few pennies on ammunition has cost you a $1000 rifle. Don't know what else to say. Live and learn.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:26 pm 
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The reloaded round could not have been loaded with the right powder. Firing on an unlocked bolt would not show or do the damage you photographed. Contact the gun store and find out who reloaded the ammo. If it is the owner,sue him for damages and a replacement rifle.
I have shot the M-1 in competition for many,many years and have never seen a failure that severe. A full casing of 4895,4350,3031 would not do that damage. IMR-4227 would develop dangerous pressures as would any pistol powder. A too light of charge would not have done that either.
The face of the bolt is shattered. That would take well over 100,000PSI to do the damage you show. Notice the brass case base has smeared brass on the face of the bolt.Notice the primer has chipped away at the firing pin opening.
You can rule out:

Firing on a unlocked bolt: While It could be at fault, ( firing pin stuck out too far ) You said it was your first shot. If the bolt closed normally, and you pulled the trigger, the bolt had to be locked in order to fire.

Plugged Barrel: The barrel would be budged or split.

The bolt did not fail. It had it's side blown off due to an extreme force. I have seen M1's with tens of thousands of rounds through them. " Loosey-Goosey's" we used to call them. No bolt ever failed.

Case failure. A ruptured casing at 55,000PSI would damage the other rounds,clip and may blow out the bottom of the trigger assembly, it would not shatter the rifle in this fashion.
You case has NO BASE anymore. It was blown away and the case telescoped into the bolt face.

Reloaded ammo seems to be at fault. I would look there first. Pull a bullet,weigh the powder, see if you or a friend can ID the type of powder.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Those other rounds in the picture have a different headstamp then the blown round.Check all the reloads for anymore like the blown one.Maybe they were loaded wrong?


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