April 21st, 2021

CMP Warns Against High-Pressure Loads in Garands and 1903s

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) has issued an ammunition safety advisory to all users of M1 Garands, M1903s, and M1903A3 rifles. Ammunition that is loaded beyond 50,000 Copper Units of Pressure (CUP) and using bullets weighing more than 172 grains should be limited to modern rifles, and NOT USED in old military rifles aged 70+ years.

CMP .30-06 ammo ammunition safety warning M1 Garand m1903 1903a3 50000 CUP high pressure

After this warning was issued by the CMP, the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) provided further safety recommendations for owners or older firearms:

CRPA Ammunition and Older Firearms Guidelines
Many of us have either purchased or inherited firearms in excess of 25 years of age. The issue … noted as an example by the Civilian Marksmanship Program in regards to certain ammunition leads as they apply to the M1 Garand is not isolated to that particular firearm. The CRPA… has seen similar issues exposed with other [older] firearms when using modern loads. We strongly advise you to check with the manufacturer for recommended load limitations before purchasing modern ammunition for an older firearm.

CRPA also recommends these safety procedures:

Have a gunsmith check your older firearm for safety prior to using it.

Take a reloading class to help develop a safe load for your older firearm.

Inspect older ammunition for defects such as a green patina or rust build up on the cases or crystallization on the projectiles. If defects are observed, the CRPA suggests disassembling the ammo into components for proper recycling and disposal.

Storage of Ammo for Older Rifles
The CRPA also cautioned that you should be cautious about older ammo that may be decades old, including old milsurp ammunition. The CRPA advises:

1. Store ammunition in a cool, dry, location where little temperature fluctuation occurs.
2. If storing ammunition in an air/watertight ammo can, utilize water absorbent silica packs and place packs in the can with the ammunition.
3. Conduct periodic checks every 12-24 months and replace the silica packs as needed.

CRPA Notification provided by EdLongrange

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