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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is kind of an open question but how feasible is it to convert an M1 to 7.62x51? Has anyone done it? I know the Navy did it for a while but is there much of a civilian market for doing this? Seems that if it wasn't cost prohibitive to do it there might be some merit it to it as the round is more common these days and has arguably better ballistics.
 

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I don't think the 7.62mm has better ballistics as the .30-06, but in the M1 I would say they are equivalent due to the limits on bullet weights and acceptable powders commonly used.

There are '.308' M1 conversions out there, when I bought my FedOrd Garand I had a choice of .30-06 or .308 right there off the shelf, and I think it is a pretty common find.

If someone doesn't come along more familiar with this conversion, I would probably try to find a Garand-specific website, certainly you would find some information there!

For what it's worth, I bought the .30-06, I thought I would stick with tradition. I reload as well so I'm not always trying to find cheap surplus, which, in .30-06, is drying up.
 

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I don't like the idea, if you're simply going for a rechamber and add in the conversion block in the action. The M1 was designed as a long-action autoloader. You start putting a short action cartridge through it, and you give it some free running space for the bolt to accelerate the cartridge that it was never designed for. My main concern is slamfires...some people say that M1 Garands converted to 7.62X51 are the most slamfire-prone rifles ever. If you don't think the M1 Garand's bolt has much potential for acceleration when it is not facing the resistance of a round being chambered from the en bloc clip, just hold the bolt back, stick your thumb in from the chamber, release the bolt, and try to get your thumb out of the way in time... No, don't try that, but it's likely you've already done it and know what I'm talking about...a guy only needs do this one time and only one time in their life to never forget the experience such that you won't ever do it again, and if you get to keep your thumb after having it happen, count yourself lucky ;D

I've never had one of these conversions (I don't like the idea, otherwise I might), so I don't know for sure, though. If it were me I'd go for a M1A or FAL, first, though. For the cost of a decent M1 plus the rebarrel and rechamber, you should be able to get a FAL for the same price, I'd think, if not a good used M1A. The M1 might run you $600, then the barrel a couple hundred, then the install a hundred or so, then the conversion block a little, etc... Before you know it, you could've gotten a pretty decent FAL, which actually was adapted well to the .308 (it was not originally designed for the .308, either, but it was redesigned around that round in the end...the M1 itself was not originally designed with the .30-06 in mind, either, but it was in its final form tweaked and tailored and perfected by John Garand himself for it).

Long story short if John C. Garand had any say in the matter, and had been designing the M1 around the (at the time not yet developed) .308, he would have designed the action to be shorter, to match the cartridge.

You know me, though. I'm a little obsessive when it comes to certain things with firearms and safety. I'll admit the idea at least on the surface has some merit. I've been told by some folks that I'm a little whacky for this opinion on .308 M1 Garands, before, that they used to be common for competition, etc. In the end we all have to decide what kind of rifle action and ammo combo we're individually comfortable putting our pretty faces next to and trusting not to blow up when we fire it.
 

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El Kabong
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lostapiarist said:
the round is more common these days and has arguably better ballistics.
As of 2010 the most common round sold in America is the 30-06 (30-30 being second)
The ballistics are the same out to 800 yards, where there after the 30-06 has an advantage due to a larger case for more powder.

So you argument really isnt.

If you insist on a caliber change, contact McCann Industries in Tacoma WA, All they do is M1 & M1a mods.

On a side note, the 308 has better ballistics only with the 150gr bullet. Anything bigger is hands down 30-06. Again due to the larger case capacity.
 

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I think if I wanted a MBR in .308/7.62, I would just go ahead and get one designed /chambered for the round. By the time the conversion was completed there's a good chance the price would be neglegible. Just IMO. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the response'

Pard- I was talking mil-surp 30-06 ammo, which is drying up.

After a little more research I have come across some anecdotal evidence to support Ryan (spacer blocks coming loose etc) and some to not (years of great service).

Being a re-loader (just 30-30 at this point) and a traditionalist I am leaning to that route.

I really only became interested in this option after hearing that the Navy did this for a while and seeing the price on some of the 30-06 mil-surp.

thanks again.
 

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lostapiarist said:
Being a re-loader (just 30-30 at this point) and a traditionalist I am leaning to that route.
If you reload, and you don't mind bottleneck cases, the .30-06 is probably my favorite rifle round to load for.... kind of like the .45 ACP. Lots of room, nice big bullets, lots of powder... ;D
 

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I just bought a .308 "Tanker" from a fellow, don't know who did the work, but it's first rate. The "block" is well machined, held in place right under the bullet guide in machined slots, it can't come out. A good smith who knows what he is doing can get them up and running fine. Does one need one, of course not, and if this one doesn't suit me, I'll jett it. I see no benefit of simply adding a block and a chamber insert in a 30.06 to get there, IMO. A Springfield M1A is for sure a better option if you want to shoot alot, but for just playing with, some hunting, home defense,etc, a shorty Garand in .308 sure did appeal to "me". I just need the time off to get to the range in between snow storms,ha! ::)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
M1A would be nice, but at this point it is a little cost prohibitive and like I said I am a bit of a sucker for history and nostalgia which the M1 fulfills in spades.

Let us know how the "tanker" shoots :)
 

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The FAL has tons of history and shouldn't set you back any more than what a decent converted M1 would. "The right arm of the free world," it saw service all over the world. One of my favorite renditions from a historical standpoint is the Rhodesian or South African variety that was used during the Rhodesian bush war, which was one of the most straightforward struggles of the forces of freedom against the forces of communism/marxism ever. The Aussies and Canadians carried them in Vietnam. Was used by both sides in the Falklands war between the British and Argentina. I think you said your dad was issued one, too, shot it in competition? It came very close to adoption by the US instead of the M14. In fact it was deemed acceptable for US service after extensive field, accuracy, and reliability tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I really should look into the FAL a little more. I have always appreciated its aesthetic and you are correct my father did go to the Nationals with the Canadian cadets and was a hair away from winning the whole shebang.
 

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I have a friend who fought Commies in Angola with the South African Army...he swore by their "R1" FAL. I have seen some Century Arms "cobbled together" FALS, but never a real, put together right FAL. It sure looks like a robust battle rifle for sure.
 

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During my 32 years in the service I was able to do lots of armorer's work. I delt alot with the M1s and did a lot of rebarrels to the 7.62. It is very simple to do, just change the barrel. Maybe, just maybe a shorter recoil spring might be required. The spacer added inside of the receiver is not really needed and is now rarely seen. They work great and shoot great. In some military matches I shot in where there were many M1s, only a few were still .30-06. If you want to do it I say go for it. I still have 3 in 7.62 and I have a 4 digit 06 with a Marlin barrel. Gun Parts, Nurmric? Midway and Brownell's have the barrels.
 

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Ditto to what FredT said. I've rebarrled several M1s. I did one in .308 just to see what was entailed. I did not use the block as it was unecessary. IIRC I opened the gas port up a bit, but that was essentially the only thing different in the rebarreling process. .308 rounds are a bit larger in diameter so loading eight in the enbloc clip is tight, but they will strip out and feed just fine. I shot the rifle some then sold it off. I think I had 8 or 10 M1s at the time and just did'nt need another.
 

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All it takes is a barrel. I have one in 06 and one in 308 and the only difference is the barrel, no spacer block. Check out some of the threads here: Surplusrifle Forum • View forum - U.S. Rifle, Cal. .30, M1 and I think you will get some idea on the cost. My 308 is a match rifle with a Krieger barrel and a lot of other tuned parts, but no spacer block is necessary. It cycles 308 without any issues.
 

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Over the decades I have had 8 m-1's. 2 were 7.62 (308). Sold all but 1 and it is one of the 7.62's. it has a "standard" stock with the standard taper barrel. All I shoot in mine is Lake City M-852 or the hand load equivalent . Very accurate, soft shooting with never a problem. And I don't use the silly spacer behind the enbloc clip. Well worth it!
 

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I've owned 2 7.62 Garands and still have one of them. It's a neat weapon and mil surp 7.62 while not cheap anymore is much easier to find than 30 cal.
 

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If you intend to hunt w/ your Garand or shoot in CMP JC Garand matches stick w/ 30/06. Greek surplus M2 ball is still available from CMP while surplus 7.62 NATO is getting harder to find for several reasons. If your intent is shooting HE MAN class in 3 gun, plinking or turning it into a NM rifle go w/ the 7.62 conversion. If you do change cqlibers replace the barrel w/ one in 7.62 DO NOT use the "Navy " chamber insert. For info the Navy converted it's Garands to 7.62 in 2 different manners, one unsuccesful and quickly stopped, and one one successful. The first conversion, the M1 Mk1 Mod O, used chamber spacer inserts in 30.06 barrels, There were many problems with this conversion and it was quickly stopped. The second, the M1 Mk1 Mod 1, used new manufactured Springfield Armory barrels and white plastic receiver inserts. Many of these became Navy match trophy rifles after the M14 became the Navy service rifle. The conversion is simple and only requires a barrel change. The receiver filler is a feel good part that only serves to prevent the easy insertion of a clip of 30.06 ammo in the magazine. If you have to have the filler go w/ the plastic one not the metal version which does adversly affect rifle function. You will have to mill two areas in the stock to clear the retainer clips for the plastic filler or you will break them off the first time you put the reciever in the stock.
 

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It's just my feeling but I would never change a historic military rifle from it's origenal configeration, unless you can put it back to origenal. I put a scout scope on my musin that the mount took the place of the rear sight, I still have the rear sight and it's just a matter of taking off the mount and putting the sight back on. Not a fan of cutting barrels down or cutting down stocks and things like that. Now if you can put back to origenal with the origenal parts and the converson is safe I say go for it.
 
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