CMP Warns Against the Use of Certain .30-06 Ammunition

Luke C.
by Luke C.
CMP Warns Against the Use of Certain .30-06 Ammunition

The Civilian Marksmanship Program offers vintage military rifles and pistols for sale from time to time for a purchase to the general public. In their latest site update, CMP warns against the use of certain types of .30-06 Springfield ammunition inside specific rifles that are at least 70 years or older. The warning is being issued as an addition to the manual that is included in each of their rifle shipments.

CMP Warns Against the Use of Certain .30-06 Ammunition

Dear CMP Family,

The CMP advises to not use .30/06 ammunition in M1 Garands, 1903s, and 1903A3s that is loaded beyond 50,000 CUP and has a bullet weight more than 172-174gr. These rifles are at least 70 years old and were not designed for max loads and super heavy bullets. Always wear hearing and eye protection when firing an M1 Garand, 1903 and/or 1903A3 rifle.

This warning is an update/addition to the Ammunition section in the Read This First manual enclosed with each rifle shipment (M1 Garand manual-page 6 and M1903 manual-page 10).

Civilian Marksmanship Program

CMP Warns Against the Use of Certain .30-06 Ammunition

CMP rifles that are this old have been known to suffer damage when subjected to modern cartridge loadings. On the low end, damage to the op rod can easily happen when firing anything other than M2 Ball ammo which is widely regarded as the “correct” ammunition for the rifle. There are other commercially available options out there that have characteristics similar to the M2 Ball, however, I don’t think you’ll be having any luck finding this ammo in the current shortage situation.

CMP Warns Against the Use of Certain .30-06 Ammunition

From what I understand, the CMP pamphlet that is issued along with each shipped rifle expressly states that bullet weights below 180 grains are acceptable to shoot from the M1 Garand, and even goes as far as to provide several pages of reloading data for the cartridge. Hopefully, this warning will be heeded by all owners of M1 Garand, 1903 and 1903A3 rifles, and damage to the rifles and the people can be avoided.

Luke C.
Luke C.

Reloader SCSA Competitor Certified Pilot Currently able to pass himself off as the second cousin twice removed of Joe Flanigan. Instagram:

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  • Quis Custodiet Quis Custodiet on May 01, 2021

    We need to talk about appropriate powders, too. From "Reloading for the M1 Rifle" by John R. Clarke in the March 1986 American Rifleman: Use only stick to powders with a burn rate between IMR 3031 (fastest) and IMR 4320 (slowest). What you're looking for is port pressure of 6000 +/- 2000 psi. Too slow a powder has too much port pressure, which will bend the operating rod and cause the rifle to cycle too fast. A powder faster than IMR 3031 will not develop useful velocities with safe chamber pressure. (offered for informational purposes only, no legal liability, yada yada yada)

  • Jsl55 Jsl55 on May 15, 2021

    The article talks about M1 Garands and 1903s. What about 1917s? Anything to worry about there?
    My Garand is a CMP Special in .308. I've only shot a couple hundred rounds through it using some Turkish NATO ammo they used to sell at Walmart & didn't have any problems with it.