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Posted: 10/7/2005 2:47:35 PM EDT
Are there any special considerations in getting a .30 cal. Garand rebarrelled to 7.62x51 (assuming competent gunsmithing, of course)?
I know that a stock .30 cal. Garand is relatively sensitive to ammo, i.e., the gas system, tolerances, etc. are set up for powders with specified burn rates, which is why you can't use commerical 30-'06 hunting ammo in them.  If you convert one to 7.62.x51 do you still have to be careful about what you feed it?  Also, any guidance on what this might cost (parts & labor) and recommendations on a gunsmith to do it?  I'm thinking of converting one, but will probably not pursue it if it's not advisable or too costly.
Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:00:56 PM EDT
I have done a few of these for clients. The quality of the barrel and setting the headspace correctly are the biggest concerns. I have found that the 308 conversions seem to generally like, pressure wise, loads with 147 to 150 grain bullets and the use of IMR 4895 and Win 748 powders with standard Win large rifle primers. You still have to be concerned about using real heavy bullets and slow burning powders as bending the op rod can happen. Done correctly they are very nice shooters. Charles the Gunsmith.  
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 4:45:27 PM EDT
I don't know nuttin about building them but my Blue Sky Re Import I had rebuilt by WTO in .308 is assume. No problems with Mil Surp or UMC ammo yet and reasonably accurite as well. I think mine has a 6 grove .308 instead of the 4 grove.

Karsten
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:12:46 AM EDT
Hemy,

M1 rifles in .308 or 7.62 Nato are fine shooters.  I own two that have been built up to Match Grade.

All ammo caveats apply with the conversions, same as the original '06 chambering.

1)  NEVER shoot bullets HEAVIER than 180 grains
2)  NEVER load powder SLOWER than IMR-4320

Note:  With commercial loads....  Even with bullets in the 150-165 grain range you can get powder that is slower than IMR-4320.  The commercial ammo makers use commercial bulk lot powderrs that can vary widely in burn rate from fast to slow and vary the charge weight to get the advertised MV for the load they are making that day.  They also usually will not tell you, when asked, whether the powder in any particular lot of ammo is safe for the M1's gas system.  Their usual response is, "Our hunting ammo is not suitable for the M1's gas system".   Do you believe them, or not???   The onus is on you if damage happens to your rifle.

As for me... I shoot only M2 spec milsurp and properly built handloads in my M1's.  No exceptions....

But hey... that's just me.       Do your own thing with your rifle.

best to all,
Swampy

Garands forever
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 5:37:09 AM EDT


All 3 of my Garands are chambered in .308...and I like 'em that way...

Link Posted: 10/8/2005 6:54:38 AM EDT
Thanks all for the great replies.  I don't reload, so I confess ignorance as to specific reloading powders and their associated burn rates.  To take this a little further, if I had a Garand converted, is there anything else that needs to be done besides re-barreling it?  I don't know the difference in the dimensions of the .30-06 vs. 7.62x51 cartridge, so my question is, does .308 load into standard Garand en bloc clips just like -06 ammo, and does it chamber and seat just as well?  Lastly, once converted can I plink with mil-surp .308 (S. African, Portugese, etc.), or do the loading specs for typical mil-surp create problems such as bent op rods, etc?  I am interested in this because I cannot afford an M1A right now, and I am thinking of getting a rack grade Garand and converting it.  Again, thanks very much for all of the info.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 7:07:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 10:49:33 AM EDT
1911 Builder,
Are you doing this type of work on Garands?  If you are, I'd like to get your contact information. Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/8/2005 4:40:52 PM EDT
IM sent. Charles.
Link Posted: 10/9/2005 5:22:32 AM EDT
The 308 case has less taper than does the 30-06.   Some (very few) garand receivers are a touch narrower than others, and a clip of 308 rounds will bind while loading, wheras the 30-06 has nop problems.

I have one receiver that 308 will not load well in.

You can check this before you send your rifle off for re-barrel.  Just load up a clip of 308 ammo and see if it will lock in as easily as the 30-06.  Most will.

Note: Do not chamber the 308 rounds in a 30-06 chamber, dangerous stuff can happen.

I never test with live ammo, always use dummies.
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