M1 Garand Expert NE Wisconsin? To much Head Space?

Sparty_76Sparty_76 Member Posts: 854 ✭✭✭✭
edited August 2019 in Ask the Experts
Hi All,
I may or may not have a problem with my M-1 Garand. It is an H&R Kit that I bought 9-10 years ago from a guy who said he was a Tool and Die Maker and built it. He also said he needed to sell it for the money (divorce). I have long since lost his contact info. as it was in another city. Since I have shot many hundreds of rounds through it! It has a flash suppressor and a gas valve system different then a regular military M-1. A couple weeks ago I shot a clip through it and hit a 10" steel plate 7/8 times at 100 yards at our range. I put another clip in it, but had a misfire on the first round. The action jammed and I could not free it. It never happened before in all the rounds I have shot through it. I took it to my regular gunsmith who is an "03" expert but has only worked on a couple M-1s.

He got it opened up and discovered that there was what he called to much "head space." He said his "no-go" gauge for a 30-06 actually goes (fits), which means there is to much head space. He says the barrel has been altered and is to short for the bolt. His exact words on the receipt are "bolt closed on no-go gauge. Barrel and bolt need to close". He does not feel comfortable working in it. He told me to carefully examine a shell shot through it to see if the cartridge case is al all bulged or cracked by the primer. Today I shot several rounds through it as a single shot. I checked the cases and saw nothing that looked real odd. I did measure the OD of the bottom of the cartridge and found it was about .010" larger than the OD up the cartridge near where the bullet would be. It looked like a little bulge but not enough to feel (that is I why I measured it) down at the bottom near the cartridge groove near the primer. I am not a machinist but sure managed enough of them (in 40 years) so can sure handle calipers and a micrometer.

My gunsmth told me I should not shoot it much unitl I get it checked out by an expert on M-1 Garands. Anyone know a good M-1 guy close to Green Bay, WI? This is one of my favorite guns to take to the range! Thanks!



  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    So you never had the head space check before? Not a good idea IMHO to shoot anything that chambers a no-go gauge unless you load for it.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member Posts: 9,297 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    well 1st off there are 3 headspace gages

    the only time you use the 1st 2 is when you put a 'new' barrel on the rifle (sure you can 'check' latter)
    especialy on military rifles the 'field' gage is most important, the rifle should never close on this. if it does it's time to rechamber or rebarrel.

    just because your rifle closes on a 'no-go' gage doesn't make it unsafe to shoot, it may be a little hard on brass tho. your measurements don't mean anything as all cartridges have some taper, there should be a slight 'swelling' just ahead of the extractor grove (this should be < .010" and is normal for clearance.
  • Sparty_76Sparty_76 Member Posts: 854 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you guys very much! I do not reload my ammo and throw the spent shells away.

  • GeriGeri Member Posts: 1,736 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Go to no go, .006". Go to field, .015". Have it cked with a field gage.
  • Sparty_76Sparty_76 Member Posts: 854 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I went to my gunsmith and he checked all three gauges and they all go in including the field gauge. We also checked several rounds fired in it and found no separation.

    After doing some research I think I figured out what I have on my hands. I have the back of a M-1 H&R that was built in Aug of 1954. I have the barrel of a M-14 or M1A on it. Does that make a difference in all the above? It could even be a 308 M-1 although I have been shooting 30-06 in it. It could not shoot both could it? No way could it shoot 30-06 and 308, right?

    I am going to send it in to Fulton Armory and have them go over it. I may have to decide to make it an M-1 / M-1 instead of a M-1/M-14 hybrid.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member Posts: 9,297 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    while it is possible to 'screw' a m-14 barrel onto a m-1 receiver the gas system would have to be drasticly changed as well as a rechamber to .30/06. without pixs ???
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