What happens when you shoot commercial ammunition through an M1 rifle? No, what really happens? Take a look at InRange TV’s video on the subject, embedded below. Ian and Karl go one step further than the average “let’s find out” video, and shoot the M1 against a measure with their high speed camera, so take a look:
The pair also tests the M1 with the 220 grain ammunition and a vented gas plug, designed to release gas from the cylinder earlier than the standard M1 would. This reduces pressure and operating rod velocity, and allows the M1 to cycle those hefty loads just fine, without risking damage to the rifle (the action of the M1 itself is plenty strong for these loads, and is in fact one of the strongest service rifle actions in existence). In a previous article on the M1, I showed you where to buy a good M1 Garand gas plug wrench, and how to disassemble the rifle for maintenance and modification. If you want to install a new gas plug in your rifle, check the link here.
The M1 is a rifle steeped in history, but it’s also an extremely idiosyncratic weapon with a lot of unique and strange qualities, even among its peers of the day. Anyone who is a student of small arms theory and history should absolutely study the M1 closely.