A long range Garand

zfk55sr

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This is one of the "never sell" rifles in the SP armoury. I stumbled into some 7 years ago and my son will be making his debut appearance at camp Perry in 2020. This is the rifle he'll train with this summer,. Some of you older gents may remember Don (Mac) McCoy.

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This was communications between my Son and two Grand Masters familiar with the rifle, at least by reputation. The other two Grand Mastered multiple times at Camp Perry. Some comments were mine.
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Any Ideas on this?
This is a one of three Garands built by Don McCoy in this specific manner. The 190gr projectile is specified, and now I should be explaining what we found on our range today.
The rifle sent all 8 rounds downrange in a single trigger pull . The barrel has been hBN sealed and we're shooting 175SMKs, impact coated. Chrono shows a nominal 2,475. There's no doubt that the gas port is set to accommodate the 190s without damaging the op-rod.
This is the rifle.









This was the original explanation.
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Noted Garand competition builder and accuracy specialist Don McCoy of Santee, CA, built this M1 for me in 2001. It is built on a selected Springfield receiver (1943 manufacture date), and has an Obermeyer 5R barrel with 1:10 twist. It is designed to shoot 190-grain bullets with exceptional accuracy out to 1000 yards.

This rifle has numerous custom accuracy features, including a lugged receiver, glass bedding with additional custom fabricated steel plate fittings that tie the receiver into the bedding with 3 bolts, ½-minute rear sight, reaming to ensure barrel & gas cylinder clearance as well as machining the end of the gas cylinder for stock clearance, and many more machined accuracy refinements. The forward hand grip is also glass bedded with attention taken to ensure complete clearance for the op-rod. The heavy stock is English walnut with a Fullerplast finish as only McCoy can do.

The 2-stage trigger is extraordinarily smooth and makes the rifle a joy to shoot. The rifle has approximately 40 rounds through it. It was function-fired by McCoy and later broken-in by myself using Tetra Gun followed by a dry patch every round for the first 10 rounds, every other for the next 10, and then 5 + 5 for the final 10 rounds. After the last 5 rounds it was immediately cleaned with Tetra Gun, dried, and a patch with Militec-1 lubricant was run down the bore while it was still hot. After returning from the range, the bore was cleaned with Sweets 7.62, followed by Tetra Gun. Lastly a patch of Militec-1 lubricant was run down the barrel. All cleaning & lubrication/protection was run from the breech to the muzzle.

From here on out, the rifle will clean up easily with either Tetra Gun or Kroil, followed by the Militec-1 for conditioning and as a protectant/preservative. An application of Sweets 7.62 every 200 rounds or so will help prevent copper build up. The purchaser will get the fired brass from the break-in session.

This rifle is one of only three like it that McCoy has built in his long career building match Garands. His clients include some of the top High Power competitors and collectors in the country. I have a McCoy M1 in .308 with an Obermeyer 5R 1:11 barrel, which I fired in many High Power matches with great success.

A fine, accurate, and unique rifle from one of the outstanding M1 accuracy specialists at the peak of his career.

I also have video of McCoy in his shop going over the features of this rifle which I'm sending with the rifle.
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By "one of three" I didn't know what he meant until the video on the rifle arrived. It was made by McCoy explaining the exact constrution of this rifle by serial number. Beside every aspect of the rifle being bedded, its triple pillar bedded. I'll post another picture of those pillars as soon as I get my sister in town to forward them our here.

So, should I be using 190's exclusively or can I simply boost the charge to obtain the right pressures?
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This was a question by a Garand competition shooter.
"The next question I have is how do you know the McCoy rifle you have was built to fire only 190 gr. bullets."
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Because McCoy made a point of it in the DVD he made for this rifle.

This is the bedding. Note the three welded pillars and the corresponding bedded receivers in the stock.













It seems that Mr. McCoy and I will be speaking today. He feels there may be a timing problem. He's very ill now and I won't be taking much of his time. With his advice I intend to solve it here. I posted this in case you gents thought of something I've missed. I was hoping to not have to bother him at all if it appeared to be something obvious to you. I suspect pressures too low may be involved, but I've never dealt with a M1 that was a custom build.

Thanks for any advice.

BTW........ Close examination of the trigger group shows a positive lock up and plenty of hammer/sear contact before release. The trigger seems to be a 4.5 pull.



Makers Medallion.




Stage one.




Stage two.




Any ideas at all? Dumb in the first place to try a 175 in lieu of a 190? Any ideas before we bother Mr. McCoy?

Latigo


CDR Xfire
Apr 03, 2011 #2 2011-04-03T16:49
Latigo,

Mac adjusts his triggers to the absolute minimum sear engagement, with most of the weight in the first stage. I was sure that mine would double, but it doesn't. It has been very, very dependable. But mine is single lugged only at the back. (I went and dug my triple lugged rifle out of the safe a while back ... it was built be Clint Fowler, and the forward lugs are slightly different and located more forward).

These rifles are meant to be fired with the buttplate HARD into your shoulder, even in offhand where you can't use the sling. If you use a "soft" hold as in benchrest shooting, you are probably bump-firing it. The combination of the way the rifle recoils, and the trigger technique ("milking the trigger") will make it double, or even simulate full auto fire. I can do this on purpose, it gets folks attention with an M1A and ten rounds in the magazine. (if you are using your mechanical rest, you may get the same efect)

I would fire it in a good solid prone postition with a tight sling. If you want the security of a rest for ammo testing, put a sandbag under your gloved hand. If it still doubles, do the same with M72-equivalent 173 or 175 grain loads. If it still doubles, it needs some attention. The Easy Button would be a new hammer tuned for a bit more sear engagement. If all this doesn't work, then you need to talk the The Master himself. The "unkown" to me is how Mac's forward lug system may effect the way the rifle flexes under recoil forces, and how that may effect the minimum tolerable sear engagement.

Hope this helps ...

Resp'y,
Bob S.

think it does help. I was prone with the rifle bagged fore and aft. My usual way to pull the trigger on any rifle is to pull with folllow through and hold the trigger to the rear before making a conscious release............................. but considering his trigger setup, now I'm not so sure.
After doubling, I extracted the next chambered round and we noticed the primer was dimpled. I also think I remember having pulled the trigger after doubling and there was no release, just as if the hammer had not reset at all. I cycled the bolt and it fired the next chambered round ok.
Ok, so the load was with a FLS case, TTL less than manual length, primer seated just below flush, 175gr SMK seated 10 thous off the lands, 45.5gr of 4895 and a MV of 2540. I had a guy tell me about the US Army Manual data book listing the 173gr with 50gr of 4895. It sounded way wrong so I googled it and found there had been an error in TM 43-0001-27 saying that 50gr of 4895 was a match load with the 173gr projectile. I'm thinking now that I should have been at 46.5gr of 4895 anyway to make things work with the right MV and pressures. With a gas port tuned specifically for a 190, can chamber pressures that are too low cause any of this?
And the soft hold sure could have happened. I was excited about the whole thing anyway.

Don (Mac) McCoy, now in his 90's and I just spoke to him and his protoge on the phone. Too much info to type right now, but I'll be back after we implement everything he asked us to do with the rifle with full explanations.
Latigo

I was able to speak with Mr. McCoy last evening, probably for the last time. His protoge is taking over everything very soon now and I don't want to bother him again. At age 92 he doesn't need to be answering questions from someone into his first Garand. He was good enough to explain the exact nature of the rifle to me.
He said there is not a mechanical way for that rifle to double. It was all me. His exact words were, "Chamber each round with your fingers. Don't use one of those single round setups. Let the bolt close narurally. Breathe on that trigger, don't just pull it. Do all that and you'll be shooting right along with the best of them, but only if you're capable. The rifle already is. It was designed for 190s, so use 190s. The load we gave you is for military brass. Use it."
The gent taking over all of it is Mark Hendricks. He's been studying under Mr. McCoy for a long time and it now ready to keep the shop running with the same quality Garands. He's avaliable to me anytime I want to call, so I'm sure I'll have more questions later. We loaded 190 SMKs with Mr. McCoy's load data last night and we got load data from Mark for 175 SMKs as well.
I'll post targets after we take it all out to our range saturday or sunday. Its still pretty cold here so we'll be shooting from our ShootShed at the 100 yard mark. Its going to be a fun summer.
One thing I forgot. His load data is hot! A few of them with amounts over book maximums by a full grain, and one that's two grains over.




Pierre St. Marie <mkntraksk31@gmail.com>
Fri, Mar 15, 5:11 PM (20 hours ago)
to David





David, this is the C/C communication we received between J. Sopko and RL Steinberg, both of the other two multi Grand Masters. Distinguished Naval Marksman RL Steinberg is the one who proofed our new Type PS 1,000 yard Diopter at Quantico. The same one you have.
P
===========================================================

Hi Joe, (Joe Sopko)
Yup, exactly!
I cut and pasted your earlier reply on this subject and sent it to the fellow in Montana and it turns out that it wasn;t Mac that told him to neck size, it was Mark. Anyway, he is going to take your advice about bumping the shoulder back. That's exactly what I would have told him too, but I thought your advice would have more credibility than mine :)
I remembered the story of Dave Fiehtner blowing a Navy Mk2-1 apart with the 190 SMK load. It turns out that someone told him to seat the bullet WAY out to jam them in the lands ... and the result wasn't pretty, either ... slam fire with bolt unlocked, rifle came apart in two major pieces and a bunch of little ones. He was fortunate that he was not seriously injued.
More later .....
Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Sopko <joesopko@mac.com>
To: Rls1998 <rls1998@aol.com>
Sent: Sat, Dec 17, 2011 5:31 am
Subject: Re: Resizing for LR
Hi, Bob,
I was just thinking about a more fundamental issue. It's not possible to successfully only neck size brass from an M1 or M14 since the brass is ejected hot and continues to expand unconstrained after ejection. The ejected brass is often ~.005" or more larger than the chamber. It's also one reason that service rifle brass doesn't last as long as a bolt gun. All these are reasons that I'm becoming a believer in using headspace gauges with service rifles. Another story Mac told me was that he built an M1 with a tight (benchrest-type) chamber for someone many years ago. Even though Mac warned against it, that person was adamant about it and is a person that should have known better. So, Mac built it for him with a lot of caveats. The result was not good.
Joe
On Dec 13, 2011, at 9:18 PM, Joe Sopko wrote:

Hi, Bob,
For my 308 Win Mk2's, I full length/small base resize all my brass. I found that a headspace on Mac's rifles need to be setback a couple more thousandths than normal. I set them back about -0.003-4" from zero. I agree that neck sizing for an M1/Mk2/M14/M16 is not a good practice.
Now, I don't have any of his 30-'06 rifles, although he tried to convince me for years that it would be a better long range gun. Since that would be a different reamer, I can't say if the headspace is the same due to gunsmith technique or due to a worn reamer. I asked Mac about the characteristics of his 308 chamber a few years ago and all he told me was, "I only have one reamer for 308." :)
Mac was one of those masters that if he told you to do something, it usually was what you should do. However, I'd try FL SB first at zero headspace. Then, bump it back a few thousandths and see which shoot better.
Another option is to call Mark Heckman who took over for Mac. He may have some better insight (Mark Heckman <mheckman@gmail.com>).
Joe
On Dec 13, 2011, at 5:19 PM, Rls1998 wrote:
What are you doing for brass prep for your MR and LR gas gun loads? Just FL? Body die to bump the shoulder back a controlled amount? Other?
TIA!
Bob S.

I've been mostly a bolt gunner since we retired, but I've thought about this particular part with the gas guns a bit. Since the case comes out HOT as you note, and continues to expand without the restraint of the chamber walls, it is larger than the chamber. As the case cools back to ambient, you recover SOME, but not all, of that expansion in the neck and shoulder area since the brass in that area of the case has been stressed into the non-linear portion of the sterr/strain curve, but not past the 2% yield offset. OTH, the brass just above the base of the case HAS been stressed beyond the yield pioint, and that portion cannot be recovered on cooling. That's the permanent stretch, and the major reason for very short case life with the gas guns. What all of this means is that a once-fired case from a gas gun does not accurately represent the chamber dimensions. It will not go back in the chamber without significant resistence. But the shooter wouldn't necessarilly be conscious of this resistence because the op rod spring is usually (but not always) enough to overcome the resistance. I f you remove the op rod spring, and try to chamber a once-fired case manually, you feel it. (I did this with my first M1A about 1983 when the Mickey Mouse cast op rid cracked!). With a bolt gun, a once fired case gives a reasonably accurate indication of the chamber dimensions, and the dimension that you measure from that case is at least a good approximation of zero headspace. With a gas gun, that once fired case is longer than the chamber ... maybe by several thousandths. So how do you determine the "zero" point for that chamber with a once-fired case? I suspect that the .003-.004 that you are bumping your cases back is actually bringing you to near the "zero" point for that chamber. What do you think?
What case gauge are using to measure your bump=back?
R/Bob

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Sopko <joesopko@mac.com>
To: Rls1998 <rls1998@aol.com>
Sent: Sat, Dec 17, 2011 5:31 am
Subject: Re: Resizing for LR
Hi, Bob,
I was just thinking about a more fundamental issue. It's not possible to successfully only neck size brass from an M1 or M14 since the brass is ejected hot and continues to expand unconstrained after ejection. The ejected brass is often ~.005" or more larger than the chamber. It's also one reason that service rifle brass doesn't last as long as a bolt gun. All these are reasons that I'm becoming a believer in using headspace gauges with service rifles. Another story Mac told me was that he built an M1 with a tight (benchrest-type) chamber for someone many years ago. Even though Mac warned against it, that person was adamant about it and is a person that should have known better. So, Mac built it for him with a lot of caveats. The result was not good.
Joe

Another option is to call Mark Heckman who took over for Mac. He may have some better insight (Mark Heckman <mheckman@gmail.com>).
Joe

44 grains of IMR4320 was the "Navy" and "Air Force" long range load under a 190 in a LC M118 match case. The loading room at the Navy unit never loaded 4895 under 190's; too fast a powder for best accuracy and functioning.
46gr H4895
Hornady 150 gr FMJ
CCI #34 primer
HXP brass

Easy on the rifle and very accurate. Camp Perry load.
The last M72 ammo loaded was ordered loaded by the DCM and was charged with 46.5 grains of IMR4895. I heard that at Camp Perry originally
LC or comparable brass, 48.0 of WW 748 or BLC2, 147-150 FMJ ball bullet.
Swage the crimp, cut the primer pockets to a uniform depth, CCI military primer, and squeeeeeeze the trigger.

======================================================================================

Don Mcoy passed away 3 days after I last spoke to him.

P.W. St.Marie
 

canman

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I've got a 7.62 single lugged M1 built by Clint Fowler years ago. He also built my double lugged M1-A. Both are problem free accurate rifles. This is something else all together.
 
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Foul Mike

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Beautiful rifle. Something Garand shooters would appreciate.
I shot many Matches with a Garand of much lessor quality and did OK. but that one is set up to win.

Sometimes the answer to a problem is simple and known to the OLD Garand shooters, so my question is.

What primers are you using? It does make a difference. FM
 

Sooter76

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The Garand was the rifle that got me into milsurps... I was disappointed when I found out that the tales of the Garand's amazing accuracy (that still prevails) is largely due to the National Match guns and those that have specifically been accurized. Still a great gun tho.

Ironically I quickly found the Garand to be my least favorite as I gravitated to bolt actions, especially the Lee Enfield.
 

YF12A

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Remember bidding on a McCoy Garand a couple of years ago. It got too expensive really quick. Bought an M-1D in consolation. Now, with my eyes I can still use the D, but still wonder...
 
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Foul Mike

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I am certainly no expert such as Mr. McCoy, only an OLD shooter but I would try a different primer such as CCI#34 or Win LR.
I was told early on by the Older more experienced shooters not to use Federal primers as they were too soft/sensitive and could slamfire.
I was using Federals at first and at a match had my rifle double twice during the match.
The RO stepped in behind me the first time and asked me if I was using Federal primers and I told him yes.
He told me then Never use Federals as they are too sensitive and I took that to heart, started using Win LR and never had another problem.
I had quite a few rounds already loaded up with Federals and figured I would just shoot them out at practice.
It went well for a while then I had the last 3 rip off with one pull on the last clip I shot. I pulled what I had left and re-primed with Win. End of problem.

I have never seen all 8 go at once as you have going but did see and hear several times over the years where rifles doubled and it was usually Fed. primers involved, sometimes a too well lubed trigger group.

Where you have changed from the recommended load, I wonder if the bolt is not cycling back far enough to re set the trigger group fully?

We have a member here, Kraig from Wyo. who I feel certain knows all about this.

He can't spell for shit but I put that up to him being an Officer, just a pimp from me, and I hope he gets in on this as he knows his shit.

Some of my thoughts from when I posted this AM are not here now and I don't remember what they were so that amounts to a hill of shit. Maybe they were doing some fixing on the site?

I do hope that Kraig gets here as I feel certain he knows exactly what is going on and can answer your questions. I haven't seen him post lately and do hope he is alright.
Regards, FM
 
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zfk55sr

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Thank you for your observation, Mike. Much appreciated.
I have no questions. They were answered long ago in the fall of 2011. The 8 shots were caused my son's failure to pull the rifle in tight to his shoulder. Note the sear stage contacts in the photos. The rifle was designed to be used as a single shot rifle, with the cartridge hand fed into the chamber. Latigo actually milked all 8 rounds downrange without knowing he was doing it.
As for the recommended load........ It has shown it's worth right here on the SP range in Lost Prairie. All that needed to be done was follow Mr. McCoy's recipe and firing instructions to a T. It performed exactly as we were told.

The entire thread posted was simply a back & forth of observations by a number of Grand Masters about this amazing rifle in 2011 and 2012. Since then, my Son is an extremely happy camper.
Thanks again!
P
 

pmclaine

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Bob S in that back and forth is a great guy.

He has answered a few of my questions over at the CMP Forum.

Super knowledgeable, a remnant of a fading era.

Thank you for posting this thread.

I have to reload for my Garand soon and Im switching all my .30 from 168 to 175 so Ill check to see what they were sitting the round over.

7045781
 
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pmclaine

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Bob is the one who proofed our 1,000 yard Diopter Sight System at Quantico. He was rewarded with the #1 Diopter off the production line. My son made him a personal presentation box in appreciation.

View attachment 7045793View attachment 7045794View attachment 7045795View attachment 7045796View attachment 7045797
I understand he had a Massachusetts connection while in the USN and spent some time up here.

We used to have a thriving high power community but its been decimated.

I shoot monthly with some of the survivors at Ft Devens.

Some of the stuff/knowledge these guys have needs to be written down.
 
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m1match

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Thank you for sharing, I became friends with Don "Mac" McCoy in 1998 when he built my first 308 Garand that I used in NRA Highpower service rifle competition. I feel privileged to call him a friend even though I'm about 45 years younger. Don was a Pearl Harbor veteran, being stationed at the PBY Catalina base at Kaneohe Bay when it was attacked on December 7, 1941. He as an aviation machinist through WWII and after the war he participated in many Navy marksmanship teams, earning his Double Distinguished awards in rifle and pistol.

He built 3 308 Garands for me, 2 rear lugs, one without, one with a Douglas barrel, two with Obermeyer barrels. They shot well and I used them to make Expert at NRA Highpower and NRA Long Range. With the maturity of the M16 in service rifle competition, the 308 Garands became obsolete, in 2004 I switched to a John Holliger built service rifle upper and after two matches with it, I had my Master classification in Highpower and Long Range.

They are still great old rifles, and the last Garand that Don built for me was a 30-06 service grade rifle with a Danish VAR barrel and Danish birch stock with his signature Fullerplast finish. I still use that rifle in JC Garand matches and it shoots well.

My 308 loads in the Garand are Lake City cases, CCI 34 primers, 168 or 175 Sierra Matchkings, and 42.0 grains or IMR 4064 or Reloder 15. They shoot well in both my GA Precision 308 bolt gun and in my Garands.

In 30-06, I think my load was Lake City cases, CCI 34 primer, 168 Sierra Matchkings, and 46 grains of IMR 4895.

I switched to CCI 34 primers around 2000 when I had an out of battery slam fire using Federal 215M primers that cracked a receiver but fortunately didn't damage anything else including me. The CCI 34 primers are some of the hardest primers and the thing to remember is that the Garand has a "receiver bridge" under the bolt with a keyway that is supposed to prevent a firing pin from traveling forward enough to ignite a primer if the bolt is out of battery, but these rifles are now 70 years old or older with many thousands of rounds through them and that receiver bridge could be worn enough to allow out of battery slam fires, like happened to me. I took the cracked receiver to Don and using another CMP purchase receiver, he rebuilt the rifle for me. He used his gauges on the cracked receiver and confirmed that the receiver bridge was worn and allowed the firing pin to travel forward while still out of battery. By using a primer designed for US military rifle use, the CCI 34 at least reduces the chance of an out of battery slam fire.
 
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Foul Mike

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OK, the joke is on me. I thought you actually had a problem and was giving it my best shot, not that that is worth much.
I didn't know it was all a History lesson.
A senior moment for me and I have a lot of them. Getting old is not for the feint of heart.

The only thing Golden about the Golden years is the front of my drawers. FM
 
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zfk55sr

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Your best shot is worth more than you think, and not a history lesson. Just the tale of a rifle and it's journey with my son.
My gold is fading to a much lighter color now. Much closer to the end than the beginning, so my Grandchildren are my life now for the most part. The most important thing for me was for my son to eclipse me in all of my fields of what meager expertise I may have stumbled into in my lifte time, and for me........... that has been accomplished..
Thanks, Mike.
 

Foul Mike

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Ya, pretty much the same for me. My Grandkids own and shoot some pretty nice Iron. They find them at Gramp's place.
I can tell some stories about HP shooting years ago with my Kids. It was a Great time, spent a lot of loot and my younguns ALL learned to shoot and shoot to this day. Proud of them all. FM
 
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zfk55sr

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I have a feeling that your Grandchildren are a bit older than mine. I married at 32 and my children made me wait till I has 65 before they gave me my first one. LOL Julian Ricochet St.Marie is now just 13 and already an experienced reloader with a small collecti0on of his own rifles and pistols. He loves the Vetterli rifles, and my Granddaughter Saylor Jean inherited the family 1982 Chipmunk .22 made when they began in Oregon.

This is Saylor with her brother Julian on the SP range last summer. ........... and Julian with his Vetterli.7046355

7046353
 

Foul Mike

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Ya, you are kind of late to the game. My oldest Grandson is now 16 and driving so anyone out on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, Look out cause here he comes.

I "Issued" to each of my 3 children, 1 girl and 2 boys, all 30 to 40 years old now: and all are shooters.
It took a few years between "issues."

#1- 1 ea. M-1 Garand , with a basic load and instructions to maintain the "Basic Load" and reloading shit to do so.

#2-1 ea. A Model B High Standard 22 pistol with instructions as to shoot only Target or SV rounds.

#3 -1 ea- High Standard H-D Military pistol and they already know to shoot SV rounds. Ammo issued by Pa.

#4 -1-ea Marlin 39A with the best iron sights affixed, as I always wanted one when young and could not afford it.

ALL are being used and the "Basic Load" rule is adhered to. Each and every one of the High Standards has a new driving spring installed when "issued." and I doubt they will shoot them out.

I have one 39A "issued" to my oldest Grandson now and he is "Dead Nuts" on with it. Nice rifle and a Good Kid.

My other Grandkids all have a 39A, waiting in Gramps safe, but we have to wait until their testicle drop.

Regards Foul Mike
 
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zfk55sr

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Love hearing that schtuff, Mike. Great plan fulfilled. Congrats.
For me, it's pointless to follow that route since they have the choice of any of the rifles in the armoury to shoot for the day.
They're a bit young (lightweight) to be shooting the FNs, Garands, k31's etc for the time being. My Grandson Julian does use the .243, the .270 and his Vetterli, but he's well padded with a shooting vest.
This Sako .243 was his birthday present last summer. The look on his face was priceless.

7046909
 
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kraigWY

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45 years ago this month, I went to work for the Anchorage Police Dept. When I took the Oral Board to be hired, the Chief read though my application, laughed and said "you can't spell for shit", then hired me. Got by for 20 years, and after being retired for 25 years, I still cant spell, BUT, they dont deduct from my pension checks for spelling, So Mike, I'm not offended.

I have not seen one of McCoy's Rifles so I cant comment on them, except to say they are nice looking rifles.

As to slam fires with the Garand, I dont believe it can happen. The rifle is designed where the firing pin is block, keeping it from going forward until the bolt is locked in battery. Before the bolt rotates closed (or in battery) the firing pin is blocked by the base or back of the bolt. As the boat rotates the "L" shape of the rear of the firing pin drops into a slot allowing it to move forward when hit by the hammer discharging the rifle.

You can see the pointer pointing at that slot, and the firing pin pointed a few degrees to the left. The firing pin cannot move forward until the bolt rotates a bit more.



Now we've all seen loaded rounds that have been chambered, then extracted, and noticed there is a small dent on the rear of the primer. BUT NOT ENOUGH for the round to fire unless its a soft primer. If the primer is soft, the whole cup is soft and may not have enough fiction to hole the primer in the pocket. It is possible for it to slide back and fired when the bolt face slams against it.

If this occurs the expansion of the pocket and force of the bolt allows the spent primer to be seated back into the case leading many to believe a slam fire occured.

Gen Hatcher explains this in his book 'BOOK OF THE GARAND" (Which any Garand owner should have).

I read through these post rather quick so I may have miss read the part about a whole clip in full auto. If that occurs I dont believe its the fault of the bolt/firing pin but a defective sear. I wasnt there nor did I examine the rifle so I'll not address this further.

I agree with others here, never use federal primers in the Garand, or in my opinion, any other semi auto rifle (or pistol).

I've tried them in bolt guns but never saw an accuracy advantage for federal primers over Winchesters, and use them (Winchester) in all my firearms.
 

m1match

Sergeant
Belligerents
Jan 2, 2003
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kraigWY, I agree with most of what you've said, and thats a great picture of the receiver bridge which is in the Garand and the M14. However I can say that slam fires do happen because I personally experienced it. I was shooting a 1942 receiver Springfield that Don McCoy had built for me off of a CMP receiver. It was during the rapid fire sitting stage of an NRA Highpower match where I loaded two rounds followed by a full 8 round clip for the 10 shot stage. On first shot the rifle loaded the second round which fired without me pulling the trigger. I looked at the rifle quickly then loaded the 8 shot clip and finished the stage. Afterwards I inspected the rifle and found the damaged brass case. The case was blown with a blown primer, the rear of the receiver was cracked along the sides, and when I disassembled the rifle, the bolt locking lugs had chips of metal taken off of them indicating that the bolt was only partially locked when the slam fire happened.

I took the rifle to Don McCoy who concurred that the rifle was trashed and he used a receiver gauge to measure the notch in the receiver bridge. He said the receiver bridge was worn to the point where the notch was not keeping the firing pin from going forward when the bolt was partially out of battery. I bought a CMP receiver and Don rebuilt the rifle for me but after that, I switched to CCI 34 primers to reduce the chance of another slam fire happening. Don also gauged all of my other Garands and their receiver bridges were in spec.

I think I got lucky with this mishap. If the rifle had fired with the bolt completely out of battery, I think the rifle would have come apart and I could have gotten injured. Fortunately the bolt was partially locked. Also because it was during a 60 second rapid fire stage and I didn't notice the damage until afterwards, the receiver strong enough to hold together and fire normally for the 8 shots I did after the slam fire. The lesson I learned is that if something way out of ordinary happens, stop immediately and figure out what happens.
 
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