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I'm new to the forum,and would like to say after looking around, at all the post's that you guy's are alway's right on the money ! That's why I'm coming to you gentleman with a question . I fire a WW2 Garand and often have wondered about slam fires and are they common? I shoot original ammo,not reload's and thankfully, have not had this to happen. I did have the second round, leaving the enbolc to fail to fully chamber, often. The cause was due to the gas chamber screw being loose, of all thing's. I would like some to hear from other Garand shooter's on these matter's and in closeing say, this is the best forum around !:D
 

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I have fired a good number of rounds through three Garands, chambered for both 7.62 and .30-06 cartridges, and have never experienced a slam-fire. 90% of what I shoot are my handloads.

The only feed problem I have ever had occured when the tail end of an unfired 7.62 cartridge somehow got pushed up a bit as the bolt went forward, and the round, with the bullet end already in the breech, was bent by the closing force of the bolt.

Whelen
 

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I love Garands and have a few.
I'm pretty much done shooting highpower now due to a bad back, but I started shooting HP when the Garand was still pretty common. I've shot a few club matches for "vintage rifles" and they were pretty common there too.
So while I may not have a truckload of rounds through them myself, I have a bunch, and may have at least been present when a truckload has been fired!
I've never seen a slam fire.
I have heard of one that happened to an area shooter, who later wrote it up in an American Rifleman article.

They happen, but it sure isn't common.

Like anything from an airplane crash to a dam break, it often takes multiple events connected together to cause such an event. Many of us think that slam fires are probably caused by a number of suspected causes that happen at once.
Suspected causes of slam firing are:

-Single loading directly into the chamber. If you load a single round directly into the chamber and let the bolt fly closed, it is closing more violently than if it was slowed by stripping the round from the clip and feeding it into the chamber. Use a single-loading clip.

-Incompletely sized case. An incompletely sized, partially sized, or maybe neck-sized case might give too much resistence to the bolt's closing. If it gives sudden resistence, the firing pin could travel by inertia into the primer.

-Long seated bullets. Again, the case stops early, and suddenly, this time from a long-seated bullet contacting the rifling early. Probably not very common in GI barrels with much throat erosion. Almost a certainty that it should only happen with reloaded ammunition.

-Sensitive primer. A good example of something that shouldn't cause it by itself, but might be the last piece of a slam-fire puzzle.

-7.62/.308-chambered Garand. This theory holds that the shorter case gives less resistence to slow the bolt's closing speed. This sounds like a reach to me, BUT...supposedly, a large percentage of slam-fires happened in .308 Garands.

Some of these could be/should be prevented by a designed-in feature to prevent out-of-battery firings: The firing pin has a "tail" that has to clear a notch in the receiver in order to reach the primer. The bolt has to be closed for the tail to clear this notch.
However...These rifles are 50+ years old and these notches are often hogged out to the point they would do little to prevent the firing pin from moving.
If it did prevent it, the condition that caused it to begin with is still there.

Anyway, I think that unless it's a really bad example of it, it takes multiples of these supected events to cause a slam-fire. For example, loading directly into the chamber and letting the bolt fly on a case with a sensitive primer.

BTW, the best Garand place I now of is the M1/M1A/M14 section of Culver's Shooting Pages. www.jouster.com
 

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Slam Fires

If you do your own reloading use CCI #41 or #45 primers, not sure of the numbers but check CCI website, they make primers for 5.56 and 30cal that are harder then regular primers to help stop slam fires. Never had one yet but every little bit of precaution helps!!
 

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The previous post is correct in that CCI primers are generally made of harder metal and more resistant to slam fires. I have witnessed slam fires with the M1 Garand, the M14, the M1A and AR-15.

In the cases involving the M1 and M1A the slam fires were caused by "high primers". The primers were not properly seated in hand loaded match ammo and as the bolt closed the firing pins moved forward with enough power to indent and ignite the primers. There was, fortunately no damages to either firearm however the shooter with the M1A suffered a sever cut to his left hand from a portion of the case that seperated on firing and blew "back and up" on ejection. It required stitches to close. He is left handed and was closing the bolt by press back on the op rod with his let hand when the slam fire occurred. I was scoring for the shooter next to him.

The shooter on the M14 was using a practice implemented by many, if not all of the military teams, when they shot at 600yd slow fire. They would disengauge the magazine, load the round into the chamber, relatch the magazine and close the bolt. The only trouble was that this shooter failed to relatch the magazine before releasing the bolt. The bolt slammed forward, not slowed by the magazine and impacted the almost fully chambered round. The firing pin struck the primer with enough force to ignite the primer and cause the round to fire when the bolt was not in full battery/locked position. It caused the bolt roller to the sheared off of the bolt. No other damage was done to the rifle and the shooter suffered no injury. The bolt was replaced and the match was completed.

The practice of unlatching the magazine was subsequently stopped or deemed to be a hazerdous condition not allowed on most ranges.

The AR-15 "slam fire" I personally experienced during an all AR-15 match. I was shooting slow fire/off hand. I had fired approximately 6 rounds and had inserted the 7th into the chamber, as is the standard procedure with this rifle, and pressed the bolt release. When the bolt slammed home the round fired into the dirt about 20 yards in front of the firing line. No one was injured the only damage to the rifle was to the firing pin retaining pin. It was bent slightly.

After straighting the retaining pin, the bolt and rifle were reassembled and the match completed. The recovered brass indicated that the primer was not fully seated.

The primers that ignited in all situations, with the exception of the M14 were commercial Winchester or Federal primers. The primer in the M14 was military match ammo loaded with the 175gr. Sierra BTHP.

There is, as one post indicated, an excellent article on a slam fire with an M1 in the American Rifleman. I believe this article appeared in the late 80's or early 90's and is entilted "The Mysterious Slam Fire". I have a copy in my archives and as I recall, commercial primers were the problem. However, the author also recommended checking all bolts and firing pins with a firing pin protrusion gauge. The only gauge of that type that I have ever seen was the picture of the one in that article.

I have, since my last slam fire with a semi auto rifle, changed my reloading habits to include the use of a tool to clean the primer pockets of ALL brass that I reload. I use either an RCBS priming tool or the priming tool on my Dillion 550. I typically load all short range rounds (200 & 300 yard) on the Dillion. Long range loads are primed with the RCBS tool, powder charges hand weighed and bullets seated with an RCBS bench rest seating die. However, I have never had any slam fires with my Model 70 match rifles.:)

This is probably way more than you wanted to know and I apologize for the lengthy response.:rolleyes:
 

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i've seen 2 slam fires in my 30 yrs of shooting the garand. both were caused by high primers. as the rest of the shooters loads had a few high primer in the ammo they were shooting out of. i've been shooting with federal match primers for almost 30 years in garand rifles i am very anal about primers being seated to full depth. i have never had a slam fire myself. i like to think that the extra attention i pay to the primers is well worth the trouble.
 

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Slam fires.

I shoot 2 different Garands in Garand matches and started shooting an AR (Bushmaster) in High Power matches. I have never had a slam fire. I've reloaded for the Garands and AR for years. I use Winchester,CCI,Remington
commercial primers and make sure they are seated properly and have never h
had a problem.

[email protected]
 

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In reloading for any surplus military rifle that has a floating firing pin we should be using the CCI #34 nato primer. It has a thicker wall so the floating firing pin can set it off when its loading it into the chamber.:rock:

This was a big problem when the US made 7,62x39 ammo was first offered here too. They used the thinner wall primers. Another problem was the cleaning of the bolts on the sks's. You have to disassemble the bolt and firing pin to clean out the cosmoline. Then i wipe it dry and install it with very.very little oil film on it. I kind of wipe the oil off leaving oil in the pores of the firing pin its almost dry. :scratch:

The FN49's and the French 49/56 commando rifles have floating firing pins too.

I use CCI#34 primers in all my military reloads and even in my bolt actions too so the ammo can also be used in the semi auto's with no chance of a slamfire just to besafe so things don't get mixed up. :rock:

There's another warning about military semi auto's with the adjusting the gas system but thats another post. Its a matter of knowing everything about the weapon before shooting it.
 

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I've never seen one. I shoot reloads through an M1A (about 12000rds to date). I shoot mostly WLR primers. I take steps to ensure that my primers are seated below flush, and I always feed from a magazine.

Ty
 

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Never had one in fifty plus years of Garands. Only two ways of
possiblities. Only one known being a reloaded one that had a
high primer that was above the rim of the case. Anything else
would need to be firing pin related and I can't recall ever a Garand
I was firing would do so out of battery with a faulty pin or one that
would be dirty to where it did not retract into the bolt. It is not
a common occurance and I have not heard proof of soft primers
being causitive. The above years were mostly reloads with every
day brand of large rifle primers. A lot of fun DCM matches in the
early 60s to the 80s with three different service grade rifles were used
I believe that any rifle can fire without being in battery with high
primers and I feel each GI case should be checked with a primer
pocket guage and to make sure of carbon not allowing the correct
seating of the primers. Make priming a separate process and check
each is fully seated. I use swagging rather than cutting the military
crimp to ensure uniformity. Also a little brass ring from the crimp may
need lifting out of the pocket. CHECK TO SEE NOTHING IS IN THE POCKET
THAT DOES NOT BELONG THERE!
 
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