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Author Topic: Blank firing the M-1 Garand  (Read 15315 times)
Scott Wilke
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« on: December 16, 2007, 11:44:39 AM »


In my reenacting experience, the M-1 Garand is one of the best and easiest weapons to blank adapt. There are several ways to adapt the weapon. By simply putting an M-1 B.F.A. ( blank firing devise)  is by far the easiest. However many times this method doesn't work.

Before I go on please let me explain that blank firing any weapon, there's some "black magic" involved. By that I mean not every firearm will act the same and not every B.F.A. is the same. Also, blank ammo and B.F.A.'s varies from manufacture to manufacture.

Most G.I. blank adapters work well with G.I. blanks. The G.I. blanks are the old style "Red Tips" that you find every so often. This blank is a mixture of flash powder and gun powder. In my experience these blanks work real well in most every M-1 Garand. The problem with this is, they are no longer made and hard to find. Also, there are after market B.F.A.'s that aren't G.I. that have larger openings

There are many after market blank companies out there. Since I've worked on or given advise to people about blank firing M-1 this question is often asked to me. What do you use?Huh?  My response to there question is use what works in your weapon and don't change. Be consistent...
I use the old style red tips as much as I can. When those run out I use the Danish G.I. blanks. I feel the military stuff is some of the best stuff you can buy. The Danish work with the G.I. B.F.A. but are somewhat weaker than the red tips. You might get a short cycle every so often.

I have used after market blanks from time to time. I feel they are very inconstant . They are either not powerful enough to work the M-1's action or plain and simply to powerful. By that I mean they blow off the B.F.A or the B.F.A and the gas cylinder off the weapon. It's not a good idea to buy someones blanks and not test your weapon. B.F.A.'s flying down the field towards your fellow reenactors is not a good idea.

So, here's what need to happen. Buy several maunfactures of blanks. There are several that are good and some that aren't so good . The ones that aren't so good might work real well in your weapon. Here's where the black magic comes in.. Every weapon is different. Spring tension, wear and fit of each weapon varries. Test fire your weapon with these blanks and find the one that works the best and stay with that kind or brand. Fire several end block clips thru the weapon and go from there. In some cases some weapons just work better than others.

Another thing that effect the preformance is if your weapon is clean or not... CLEAN YOUR WEAPON AFTER EACH BATTLE.... Dirty weapons won't work.. This is the case with blank fired weapons and live weapons. When you blank fire a weapon, this dirty's up the whole gas system and weapon. Even if you only shoot the weapon once the whole weapon neeps to be broke down and cleaned. If you use G.I. blanks, they use corosive primimg and powers and start there corroding your metal almost immeatly. I've taken up to a week to clean my weapon if I've been in a heavy fire fights.

Other methods of blank adaping a weapon is the so called Hollywood blank adapter. I feel this is the best way to adapt your weapon. You can adjust the size of the B.F.A. and you can use almost anyones ammo after you test your weapon with the manufactures blanks you like.The problem with this is you thread the inside of the barrel of the M-1.

Now after saying all this some of you may ask "what is the best and most inexpensive way to run an blank adapted M-1".  My answer is this. Buy a .308 barrel and have it Hollywood blank adapted... Let's look at the cost. First, the blanks are around .08 to.10 each. That's about half to 3/4 the cost of an 30.06 blank. The .308 barrel is about $180.00 to $200.00. Then have this barrel put on your M-1 and have it Hollywood adapted. So, you have the cost of your M-1. The cost of the barrel and putting it on and Hollywood adapted. So where the savings. The answer is simple. 1000 rounds of 30.06 blanks cost anywhere from $250.00 t0 $350.00 depending on where you get them. I go thru about 1000 rounds per year when I used my M-1. So, do the math. after several years of reenacting you will have paid for getting this job done to your M-1. Then you have a weapon that will cost you .08 cents a round rather than .25 to .35 cents a round.

Scott Wilke

 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2007, 11:51:23 AM by Scott Wilke » Logged

Capt. Scott Wilke
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2007, 09:38:43 PM »

Thats a hell of a write up, Scott!
Thanks for sharing this info and contributing to the site.
Gilligan
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 08:25:39 AM »

Scott, sounds like a great idea, the .308 barrel and all. Problem is, my M-1 is an original 1944 Springfield production rifle, with excellent finish and rifling, so I couldn't dream of altering it. So I'm stuck with $0.35 per round.
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2008, 02:04:09 PM »

I'd also like to drop a bit of information that I learned from working with several problem rifles.

Guiette Mfg. makes the best BFA bar NONE.  I do not own one yet because I Hollywood-adapted my primary rifle, but that is the next major re-enacting purchase I plan to make.  The interchangable set screws allows you great flexibility in blanks and the design seals well on the gas system.  It also provides a good flat surface for your gas plug to tighten on totally eliminating the side forces and gaps common with the tubular devices.

Drawback?  They cost $100.

The second thing I have found is that the tubular adaptors you commonly get have the wrong size aperture for GI and equivalent blanks.  It's too small.  This causes the operating pressures to be way too high, causing battering of the weapon that will loosen your sights and stacking swivel.  It may also make your weapon behave as though it were short-cycling but it is actually not.  Simple tests can determine whether you are getting full operating rod travel.  The problem is that it is going too fast.  You will see your empty brass being thrown around inconsistently, it may fire 2, short cycle 3 or 4, then fire the rest.  This is the classic symptom... bang, bang, click (hand operate), bang, click (hand operate), bang click (hand operate), bang, bang, bang, bang.

As they come, the tubular devices have 0.175" apertures.  Open your aperture up to 0.19" to 0.2" diameter. and it will work fine with GI-power 30-06 blanks.  I have fixed MY rifle and Rick M.'s rifle this way.  All empties now go to the 2 O'Clock position (fwd and to the right) and we have had no further failures to fire due to an empty chamber (barring the occasional weak round).  I have used mine in 5 events since the mod and had only 1 F.T.F.

The guys at Fulton Armory gave me the idea.

http://www.fulton-armory.com/BFA-Config.htm

Nick.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 03:15:02 PM by Ranger_Nick » Logged
Scott Wilke
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2008, 05:51:01 PM »

Nick,


That's a great write-up. Could you please give the address of that place.. I haven't seen this style BFA and it sound like a great idea. Could you also tell what type of blanks you use and the type of results you get.

Scott Wilke
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 09:46:24 PM »

Scott and all:

The web address of their BFA catalog is:

http://www.guiettemfg.com/catalog.html

I have not personally used their device, but Kevin Owens does.  It has interchangeagle #3/8-24 setscrews.  Some are pre-drilled and they give you a couple that are not so you can customize them.  Or you can get more at Home Depot or Lowe's.

I use a 3/8-24 set screw tapped directly into my barrel with a 0.195" hole.  This is about the biggest you can use without drilling out the hex socket.  I use GI red-tips or purple tips or equivalent exclusively.  All my brass goes to 2 O'Clock and the weapon does not suffer from loose sights or dismounting op-rods.  The dismounting op-rod is another problem that can be made worse by improper blank adapting, but I'll leave that explaination to Gary Kuhnhausen.

N
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 10:09:06 AM »

I am just getting into this and never fired a blank before and I curious how the blank adaptors will effect a rifle when I want to shoot it normally.  I know it will be removed to before I fire a regular bullet.  I love shooting my garand and it is real accurate out to 200 yards, but I am afraid that the blanks or BFA might mess that it up.  Is this a real concern or just an imagined one?  I had thought about looking for a beat up garand to use for blanks, but I wanted to ask here before I spent that kind of money.
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 08:48:25 PM »

I own the guiette BFA and i love it. I have 2 garands i reenact with and one is barreleed in .308, and one for 30.06. The set screw is seperate for both and i keep each set crew with its respected weapon. However, the .308 is not consistant in cycling. Sometimes i can shoot a full clip with no problem, sometimes it hangs up, and sometimes it won't eject the clip. I use the green tip cheap .308 from sportsman's guide. I believe its Austrian. For 30.06 i have used 2 different types. I bought my blanks from a web site called WW2 blanks. They have been very good reliable blanks. I also bought some from Atlanticwallblanks.com These have also been a good lot of reliable well loaded 30.06. In both cases the factor in good cycling is keeping a clean weapon, and ponying up for some good quality blanks. they have had good muzzle flash and clean cycling.
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Scott Wilke
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »

Dindin,

The question you ask about blank firing the M-1 and then firing it live is a common question.. In most cases you should get the same accuracy. I have fired more blank rounds thru one of my M-1's than live and it hasn't affected the accuracy at all. However, it is very important that you completely clean the weapon. My advise to anyone is to soak the weapon in a good solvant before you start cleaning it. In other words let the solvants do the work for you.. There are many good solvants out there. I don't just use one. There are also many good lubricants. After you clean your weapon it is important to properly lubricate it.

In many cases when if you get into a hot fire fight and fire your weapon at a rapid rate, the inside of your barrel will become charred with power residue. This is very hard to remove. I use a brush and a jag to remove this residue. This is where soaking the weapon and not getting in a hurry to clean the weapon is important. I usually break the weapon down and then hose it and let it set over night. This does two things. It lets you relax and put other equipment away.

I would greatly advise you to buy a reenacting M-1... I can't understand why reenactors take there vintage M-1 into the field... With the price of WWII dated M-1's you have to be crazy to do that.. After one bad outing, or when you drop and ding it up the value goes down..  I know there are some of you that reenact with your WWII dated M-1 that may read this and say I can't afford an reenactor grade M-1 and cry they cost too much.. My answer to you is save you money and buy one... There will never be any more WWII vintage M-1's..


Scott Wilke
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Capt. Scott Wilke
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 08:52:53 PM »

Along with this discussion...I looked at the link that was posted for the BFA's..I currently have the longer style.  Back in Jan. at the Gap, I saw the "hollywood" style that only adds like 1/4 inch to the barrel length. They were around $30 and I am kicking myself everyday now that I didn't pick that up. The people in my unit that did are VERY happy with them and what a deal. Does anyone know where online or a # for a vendor that sells these? I can't find them ANYWHERE now!  Thanks everyone!

Brent
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Brent Reeves
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 01:26:30 PM »

No one knows anything about this? gonna make me wait till Bulge '09 and hope I find em there again huh? Wink ahh well.

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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2008, 04:57:41 PM »

Dear Brent:

      Grin Great news!!!!   You don't have to wait until the GAP to get one of my "Hollywood" blank adapters.  I am the guy who was selling them last year, and I sold out quickly.  The price is $39.95 each plus $5.00 P&H (No matter how many you order).  I sell these same adapters on eBay for $59.95, but I will honor the GAP price to anyone who orders from this posting.  About 10% of the M-1 Korean war barrels are slightly out of speck, and are thus longer.  I have slightly longer BFA's also available to address this problem.  The cost of these is $49.95.  If you don't know which you need, order the shorter one, and if you need to exchange it, I will pay the shipping on the second adapter.  I also sell what I think are the best 30-06 blanks on the market.  I individually seal the end of each blank - I got tired of buying other guys blanks and having a bunch of powder in the bottem of the bag.  Since my blanks are sealed, they are weather resistant, and have a LONG shelf life.  The cost of the blanks is $29.95/80.  If you would  like to order a blank adapter my address to send a money order is:

A & A Militaria
2100 Vinegar Hill Road
Bedford, IN  474721

I can also send you a PayPal invoice for an additional 3% processing fee.

Sincerely;
Tom Arter
ww2kkrad@hotmail.com
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