Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Justin

    *sigh* When will people learn not to buy reloads from other people? If it isn’t factory loaded or loaded by yourself, then why? Why would you buy ammo from someone you’ve never met, someone who’s loading techniques are unknown to you, a person who’s measurements could be wrong when it comes to putting in powder? Why? I don’t trust random strangers with my life, so I damn well don’t trust them when it comes to my ammunition.

    • W

      because you are getting a bargain!!! LOL

      well, if you want to put your life in the hands of some reloads from a gunshow, then fire them through your undoubtedly expensive collector rifle/handgun, at the risk of destroying the firearm, then i hope those couple of bucks are accumulated enough to buy another rifle. Personally, I have never understood the logic of “saving a couple of bucks” at the increased risk of destroying a more expensive firearm.

    • Because it is all fun and games until someone gets hurt!!!

      • David

        Then it’s hilarious.

        Poor gun. Canadian designed, American used, blown up by some dumbass who uses crappy loads.

        FYI, John C. Garand WAS born in Canuckistan, then moved at a very young age, but still counts as a Canadian!!!!

      • W

        no, its anything but hilarious.

        Dont’ get me wrong, there are complete dumbasses out there doing ass shit stupid stuff with guns, though nobody, in my opinion, deserves to get hurt. Now what nature intends for them is an entirely different matter…i have no control over that.

        John C Garand was indeed born in canada, though designed his rifle in the United States as a American. The M1 is as american as apple pie; undoubtedly one of the finest death machines ever conceived.

      • David

        It’s a saying…….”it’s only funny until someone gets hurt, then it’s hilarious”………….

        If you look at any of my other comments you’ll find I am actually defending the kid from dumbasses who have said “shame HE didn’t get hurt” or something like that……….

        I know the gun is American, the guy was Canadian, I said that….

      • David

        W: One more thing, apple pie isn’t American, it was actually made in England first…..1381 is the earliest recipe I have found diuring a quick search.

        So basically what you said is the Garand isn’t American.

        FYI, I know “As American as Apple pie” is also a saying, which means “Typically American”..but the saying is wrong

      • W

        “Poor gun. Canadian designed, American used, blown up by some dumbass who uses crappy loads.
        FYI, John C. Garand WAS born in Canuckistan, then moved at a very young age, but still counts as a Canadian!!!!”

        You said it, not me. Since the Garand was designed by a Canadian-born person that became a naturalized American citizen, ipso facto, the Garand is American-designed.

        And the fact of the matter is that American pie never grew to signify england…it grew to signify America because of America’s vast colonial cultures from Europe.

        and you said, “some dumbass who uses crappy reloads”. I agree with you there. If somebody told me to use only M2 ball (which is stupid too since there is plenty of compatible 30-06 ammunition) out of a vintage gun, then it would behoove me to listen to him. I wouldn’t use gun show reloads if they were the last thing on earth.

      • David

        Sorry, I should have said “Poor gun, designed by a Canadian-born American, used by Yanks” and I meant Johnny still counts as a Canadian, not the M1.

        Irrelivant what it symbolizes, it was first made in Europe, not America, so it’s not American.

        But yes, use only what you know to be safe.

    • Jon

      From the shotgun side of things, where the guns are a little bit more tolerant, I’m not sure factory ammo is not much better. You get crimp failures, severely misformed cases, missing powder, quite frequently. I’ve accumulated half a box of shells with missing shot that I need to get rid of. 1% was my defect rate on a major name brand, and .25% on another.

      The benefit I see is you got somebody with big bucks to sue.

  • Netforce

    Wow, from the look of it, that kid is very fortunate that the rifle didn’t explode literally in his face.

  • agirlandhergun

    Wow, I have never seen anything like that before. Glad the kid is alright!!

  • Bryan S.

    I buy reloads all the time from a business who is to be a manufacturer, with good reputations.

    But I would not fire a modern load in an M1. Surprised the op-rod isnt bent like a boomerang, unless this was just a straight up double charge and all the gas just went every witch way but down the barrel.

  • rey

    glad the kid was ok… can i just buy the undamaged wood handguard near the muzzle? i need that part very badly…thanks


    man that’s bad. I’ve been shoting M1s for over 50 years and never saw one blow before. during my Marine days we fired hundreds of rounds thru ’em, and saw the barrels get white hot and the hand guards get chared, but no blow ups! you gotta really try to do that.

  • Looks more like he had a round out of battery and it went off. Last time I’d seen something like that the round before it was a squib. That made an AR15 disassemble.

    The M1 is tough gun and was designed to take a lot of abuse. The worst I’ve seen was a bent rod from high power load and standard gas port. there adjustable gas ports for that. However if the rod was bent or the rifle incorrectly assembled then it can be broken a lot easier.

    He needs a stock and receiver and a few bits to remake it. And maybe to clear a round from the barrel.


  • H.L. Fahnestock

    This is really scarey. Glad the guy wasn’t injured. I’ll bet he needed a clean pair of skivvies after that! I know I would!

  • armed_partisan


  • Peter in DC

    …..that’ll buff right out!

  • Charles222

    Man, that sucks. As for “M2 ball only”, that’s not really true in my experience; I’ve shot PMC 150-grain out of my M1 since I owned it, and Remington 150-grain for a few months now, and both work fine. The Remington stuff has a flatter tip than PMC and my M1 actually seems to prefer it, I’m guessing because there’s not a lot of room in the action and the Remington rounds are a shade shorter.

    • NikonMikon

      Just because it works doesnt make it right. You are overpressuring the op-rod SUBSTANTIALLY. I would not be surprised if you haven’t already permanently bent it out of shape and ruined it. They’re like 200 dollars to replace too…

      • charles222

        Well, figured it wouldn’t hurt to check and….

        …nope, no op-rod issues.

        Here’s pics. (didn’t strip it all the way, but you don’t need to to look at the operating rod.)

        Fired about 300-400 rounds so far, usually eighty or so at a time. FWIW, the PMC I use came with the weapon and was what the previous owner shot, too, over the twenty or so years he owned it before I did.

      • NikonMikon

        Yeah, those images literally show nothing. The oprod is a very complexly bent part and if you realize what that means, over pressure applied to the end of it will cause one of the radius’ to be out of spec. You can not tell with the naked eye unless you know what you’re looking for. You should be shooting m2 ball out of it or one of the m1 specific ammunitions. I’m surprised you don’t have cycling issues at all.

      • Adam Jensen

        Dude, just buy a gas regulator for the Garand that lets you shoot modern (full-powered) 30-06. Don’t risk damaging a piece of history.

    • Caseless

      FYI, Federal and Hornady make Garand-specific commercial .30-06 ammo.

      • NikonMikon

        Yes Hornady and Federal do but last time I checked he said “PMC 150-grain and Remington 150-grain”…

        Those are commercial hunting rounds and they use way slower powders.

      • charles222

        I didn’t know that; thanks for the tip.

  • I didn’t know vintage Garand stocks came in anything besides walnut.

    • bob r

      The Danes put Beech stocks on the rifles they borrowed. When they were returned to the U.S. they still had the Beech stock.

  • uzidoit

    wunder if he had inspected and cleand and lube the grand before he loaded y up n stated to shhot , i have founs some weird stuff in breeches and barrels over the years always disasemble inspect and clean before i use any gun new or not

    • John Nevard

      Thanks.. you’ve contributed one of the more useful comments on this thread. I suspect the negative responses are due to you not running a spelling check- Firefox or Google Chrome will let you do so with a right-click, as with Microsoft Word. Quite handy.

  • shoots2much

    David, you can’t afford an M1 can you?

    • David

      As in me? Well I don’t own one but I’ve seen ’em for sale for $900+, but I just spent $1000 on a Dlask 1911 .45, so I could have bought a Garand….

      Why do you ask?

      • JMD

        You can get an M1 for around $500 from the CMP. Go to an Appleseed and join RWVA. That’ll get the shooting event and shooting organization membership requirements out of the way for about $90, and you’ll learn a bunch in the process. Then you can buy things like $500 M1s from CMP.

        Just an FYI.

      • David

        JMD: I’m Canadian, CMP doesn’t help me much

  • shoots2much

    Something happened that we aren’t being told.
    I’d like to see some brass.

    • Tuulos

      According to the OP in the linked thread: “It was stuff made for use in the 3006 fn49 way to much pressure for a garand, I guess garbage was the wrong word to use.”

  • ToddK

    Hard to believe…
    That much damage took a awful lot of force.

    If someone walked away from that unhurt, I suggest finding the nearest lottery ticket, and purchasing it!!

  • Lance

    Man thats too sad to look at. Glad no one was hurt.

  • Donald

    There are many bullet and powder types that are acceptable for the M1. Excesive peak gas port pressure from the use of the wrong bullet and powder choice would lean itself for op rod damage but not this kind of damage. This was done by ammo that was more than likely not correctly resized and the bolt did not completely close on it. I’d bet the safety bridge is damaged and was before the cartirdge was fired. There’s a safety notch for the tail of the firing pin to pass through when the bolt is completely closed. When the bridge is in good working order the firing pin is blocked until the bolt completely closes. It’s not very common but I’ve seen damaged and broken safety bridges that no longer served thier purpose. If the cartidge was over charged then I expect to see the bolt lugs cracked or sheared away. As there are no pictures of this then I’m guessing they are OK.

    • David

      Guys on the forum linked to this speculated that it may have been reloaded with a pistol powder, could that have happened in this case?

      • Jim T

        As a reloader myself I wouldn’t think that pistol powder was used. The barrel and action held which would be very unlikely if pistol powder were used. Another reason you shouldn’t use reloads you don’t know anything about. Feel sorry for the kid though, it would suck to have a expensive firearm destroyed. Glad he didn’t get hurt though.

  • Fermi91

    To bad that kid was unharmed, You break a Garand through stupidity you deserve what you get.

    • David

      Hey come on now, he was inexperienced. Yes he was told to use M2 but that’s no reason to wish harm upon someone.

  • Chase

    I are disappoint

    • michael

      1) it seems like a new stock and receiver installed should fix it.
      2) although i feel sorry for the kid, next time he will learn to listen to the gun shop employes. gun shops don’t hire idiots. they know what they talk about.

      • Billy Oblivion

        Micheal, could you please tell me what gun shops you frequent? Because after spending lots of time in gun shops across half the US, and in one other country I’ve found that yeah, gun stores DO hire idiots.

        Thanks for your help.

      • Bob Z Moose

        Billy, thank you for saying what everyone was thinking. 🙂

  • charles222

    Yeah, well, no cycling issues. Ever. Feel free to remain surprised, though.

  • charles222

    More pictures, this time completely stripped:

    No noticeable damage. No cycling issues. FWIW, I was wrong about the Remingtons being 150-grain; they’re actually core-lokt 180. The PMC is 150-grain FMJ with no further distinguishing name; have never had issues feeding/cycling with either, and the PMC is what has been fed through the rifle since before I’ve owned it. Felt kinda stupid stripping my rifle when I know there isn’t a damn thing wrong with it, but whatev.

  • charles222

    And just to continue on:

    Here is a bunch of Garand owners describing use of a wide variety of ammunition types. The rifle is hardly restricted solely to M2 ball ammo.

  • charles222

    Plus..I have an adjustable gas plug. 😀

  • John Doe

    Factory loads or I reload it myself. The only exception is if I watch someone else reload it, and they have to be better than me at it.

    I wouldn’t trust anyone at a gun show to reload for me.

  • Cameron

    What an ass, no offence. He was TOLD what ammunition to use, and completely disregarded it. He saved up money for something like this and should have done research into what’s safe to use with it and what isn’t, and listened to advice beforehand, especially if he never had experience with firearms before.

    What it looks like to me is the only reason he bought reloads at a gun show was because he had already dropped a lot on the gun itself and was just too eager to shoot it. Obviously, next time he’ll listen and wait a bit.

    • David

      Live and learn I guess.

      Good thing he didn’t get hurt from this lesson

  • This was NOT damage by a hunting load. Hatcher fired test loads with compressed fast powders (tripple proof loads) and while it dammaged op rods no other real damage occurred.

    This looks like an out of battery issue, which should be impossible on a properly built and undammaged M-1.

    I’m in agreement with Donald, damaged safety bridge and out of battery ignition.

  • mosinman

    if i may quote darth vader….. NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • Gentlemen, As a Match weapons armorer for YEARS, having worked the
    trucks @ Camp Perry etc, I’ve seen many (and testified in suits) regarding
    the M1. The problem is soft primer cups/ high primers and the like. The safety bridge is supposed to prevent the floating firing pin from whacking the
    primer till the bolt rolls over in lock and the trigger is pulled. The gauge for
    this safety feature will NOT pass any Winchester M1 (FYI) Most of the blow
    ups on the line are due to NOT using Mil Spec Primers with the # 34 cup
    (thicker than the soft commercial cups) or leaving the primer “HIGH” in the
    pocket where the bolt hits it and fires the cartridge. Another frequent
    problem, when firing slow fire single shots, the shooter drops the round into
    the chamber and drops the bolt, this has caused many a out of battery
    firings. Usually the guns will fire as the extractor snaps over the rim and the
    bolt JUST starts to roll into lock. As far as reloads, stick to IMR 4895 IMR 4064 powder, this will give the proper port pressure to prevent op rod bending. If shooting 190 grain bullets look to the gas plugs with a vent hole
    to allow the excess pressure to blow into the air. Ole Miller

  • Trevor

    Man that kills my soulll. Machine of death. Destroyed.

  • Sam Suggs

    stop the Horor