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Old 04-05-2018, 12:25 PM
s11033 s11033 is offline
 
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Default 6.5 Garand Conversion Interest?

Hey guys,

I'm working for an 07 FFL as a gunsmith and am in the process of getting my own FFL to pursue some projects of my own. I'm currently in the process of building a batch of a couple dozen Ljungman clones using Hakim receivers, all NOS Ljungman parts, beautiful new stocks made from figured wood, and reproduction magazines. Once that's done, I'll be building a few dozen BM59s and BM59Es. I've already built a few and really like the way they've turned out.

https://imgur.com/a/ox919

Once these Ljungman clones are done, I plan to offer a 6.5 Swede conversion service for Hakims, which share most components with the Ljungman. I posted about this on the Gunboards forum, and was surprised that A LOT of people seemed to want a 6.5 conversion offered for their Garands instead. I'm thinking that the barrel condition of some of the FGs coming in recently would reinforce that interest.

I wanted to post up here and see what level of interest there might be for a Garand conversion service to 6.5 Swede or 260 Rem, or even just barrel sales.

A 260 Rem conversion would be extremely easy, requiring only a barrel and an adjustable gas plug. Brass can be formed cheaply and easily just by running .308 cases through a full-length sizing die. It does 90% of what the 6.5x55 can do. I personally think this would be the chambering of choice for most people that would want a 6.5 conversion.

However, people surprisingly seemed to really want 6.5 Swede conversions instead because they like the classic cartridge. That conversion to 6.5x55 is a little more challenging because not all manufacturers of ammunition make their cases to the same specs. The original Swedish military cases (which is all I have on hand) use a .480" base and rim. I've been told that some European manufacturers still use these dimensions. I've also been told that most American manufacturers use the standard .473 dimension. If I made these, I think I'd have to chamber them for the larger dimension or risk people having their bolt slam shut on a case that won't fully chamber. That would also expose me to the liability of an out-of-battery slam-fire. I'm not willing to accept that risk, neither for potential customers nor for myself, especially considering that they'd technically be using correct ammunition for the chambering.

This morning I tested 5 original Swedish military empty cases (with the larger base and rim) in 4 Garand and BM59 actions that I have here at home. All cases chambered, extracted and ejected as long as the action was manipulated positively, as it would under recoil. That suggests that there's enough tolerance built into the bolt face that it can handle the larger diameter cases. On two of the rifles, if I operated the bolt gently, the case would not fully seat onto the bolt, and the ejector would not catch the rim correctly. But as long as I let the bolt slam home under spring tension they operated correctly. Similarly, on these two rifles if the bolt was pulled back gently, the cases ejected but then stayed attached to the bolt because the rims were just slightly wedged against the sides of the bolt face. However, when pulling the bolt back under slight force (much less than would be present under recoil), the cases ejected just fine, albeit to the rear.

The clips were another story. When I tried stuffing 8 of these original Swede cases into a clip, the would not line up correctly and the rims would catch on each other. Even worse, the loaded clips were too wide to fit into the receiver. However, I went ahead and took one case out, leaving the clip with just 7 rounds. The cases lined up nicely, did not bind, and appeared to be held securely enough to keep the rounds in place under recoil. I'm fairly confident that this would work, but only live-fire testing would tell. I suspect that when using 6.5x55 ammo made using the standard .473 rim, 8 rounds would fit just fine in a clip, but I can't know for sure since I don't have any on hand.

I'm not planning to pursue suggestions to chamber for 6.5 Creedmoor, because I don't think people would be willing to subject their nice expensive brass to the hardship of being run through a Garand action. Also, there's already an M1A being offered in that caliber.

If there's enough interest, I'm thinking the best course of action might be to order a bunch of 260 Rem barrels and offer those as both a conversion service and for sale. For 6.5 Swede, I think I'd only offer a conversion service. I would ream the 260 Rem chambers to 6.5x55 and then test fire the rifle to make sure that it feeds and ejects properly.

Anyway, sorry for the long post! Any input would be appreciated.

Best,

Steve

Last edited by s11033; 04-05-2018 at 12:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-05-2018, 01:20 PM
Mike in NC Mike in NC is online now
 
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I would certainly be interested. It would give me another reason to keep my two Swedish Mausers (one M96 and a M38). Also give me a reason to stockpile some 6.5 Swedish ammo. I don't own a 260, but that is a great idea as well. I, like many on this forum almost always have a spare receiver or two lying around and enough parts to do an interesting project like this.

Hard to tell if the 260 will stay around in the shadow of the 6.5 Creedmoor.

I wouldn't rule out the popularity of a 6.5 Creedmoor Garand, simply because of the M1As being offered in that caliber. The higher expense of an M1A receiver and other parts to build up a custom M1A makes that a much more expensive route than a custom caliber M1 Garand. It would seem like the rim dimension and thickness of the 6.5 Creedmoor would make it a natural to work with a standard 30.06 Garand bolt and extractor. I also have the impression that the taper of that cartridge is more compatible with a semi-auto operation. Just a thought.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:22 PM
gf113 gf113 is offline
 
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That BM59E looks snazzy.
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:27 PM
s11033 s11033 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by gf113 View Post
That BM59E looks snazzy.
Thank you! It shoots great too. To me it's the perfect balance between the features of the Garand and the M14.

Once I finish the batch I'm assembling for sale, I might make wooden boxes to ship them in if it's not too much more expensive than a half-decent plastic case.

Steve
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2018, 01:30 PM
gf113 gf113 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s11033 View Post
Thank you! It shoots great too. To me it's the perfect balance between the features of the Garand and the M14.

Once I finish the batch I'm assembling for sale, I might make wooden boxes to ship them in if it's not too much more expensive than a half-decent plastic case.

Steve
Are they all spoken for?
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2018, 01:31 PM
s11033 s11033 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in NC View Post
I would certainly be interested. It would give me another reason to keep my two Swedish Mausers (one M96 and a M38). Also give me a reason to stockpile some 6.5 Swedish ammo. I don't own a 260, but that is a great idea as well. I, like many on this forum almost always have a spare receiver or two lying around and enough parts to do an interesting project like this.

Hard to tell if the 260 will stay around in the shadow of the 6.5 Creedmoor.

I wouldn't rule out the popularity of a 6.5 Creedmoor Garand, simply because of the M1As being offered in that caliber. The higher expense of an M1A receiver and other parts to build up a custom M1A makes that a much more expensive route than a custom caliber M1 Garand. It would seem like the rim dimension and thickness of the 6.5 Creedmoor would make it a natural to work with a standard 30.06 Garand bolt and extractor. I also have the impression that the taper of that cartridge is more compatible with a semi-auto operation. Just a thought.
Yeah, I actually got into the Ljungman project because I felt the impulse to buy one of those batches of 4800 wooden blanks that J&G is selling for like 2 cents a pop, but didn't have a rifle to shoot them in. So I converted a Hakim using Ljungman parts and then happened upon two dozen receivers and thought it might be a cool opportunity. With the Swede blanks I pull the wooden bullets, dump the fast blank powder as shown on the Iraqveteran8888 YouTube channel and use them as primed brass for cheaper than a primer alone would cost!

I'll definitely look into offering the Creedmoor. The last couple Shot Shows have been a testament to it's huge rise in popularity. I guess I'd just have to have several different barrel chamberings on hand. I don't think it would be too much of an issue as long as there's enough demand, just some more cost up front.

The beauty of the 260 Rem is that you can form brass cheaply and easily from .308. I think the reason people don't like 260 Rem is that it's not the best option for long-range precision shooters with bolt actions, who can get a slight edge due to the better quality brass for the 6.5 Creedmoor. I'm not sure that the brass quality would matter when shot from a Garand, but there's only one way to find out! I'll probably build a couple prototypes over the next few months if there appears to be some interest.

Steve

Last edited by s11033; 04-05-2018 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Edited because I didn't address the whole post!
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:36 PM
s11033 s11033 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by gf113 View Post
Are they all spoken for?
I'm actually doing a batch of Ljungman clones first. I can let you know when I get started on the BM59Es. I'm trying to knock these out in the next couple months because I'm in the Guard and will be deploying at the end of this year. So it will probably be a little bit before I start on the 59s, but things should happen quickly once I've finished up the Ljungmans.

I don't know what the forum's rules are with regards to someone that intends to sell something, so I would appreciate some guidance as to how I should approach that. I'll be creating a website and Facebook page in the next few weeks. Just filed my LLC and got my domain name- Battle Cry Arms.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:11 PM
Ausserdog Ausserdog is offline
 
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Oh my...
I had tried to get Shuff to build me a 6.5x55 Mini-G. Alas, no interest at all from that corner. I sure would be interested in one of your 6.5 barrels though!
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:31 PM
howardhuge howardhuge is offline
 
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First my hats off to your business venture...the BM 59 rifles look great. If I am any measure of many CMP folks I shoot the Garand first and foremost the M14/m1a second. Re-barreling into a non std ctg is not in the big Picture for me...BUT....BUT...service work on Garands and the M1a IS very much in the picture for many folks here. Are you using USGI receivers for the BM 59??????. Manufacturing parts for the Garand/M14..... there is a demand with few parts around today. Best of luck.
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Old 04-05-2018, 03:46 PM
s11033 s11033 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ausserdog View Post
Oh my...
I had tried to get Shuff to build me a 6.5x55 Mini-G. Alas, no interest at all from that corner. I sure would be interested in one of your 6.5 barrels though!
Cool! Iíll let you know once Iíve set up my website and/or Facebook page!

Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by howardhuge View Post
First my hats off to your business venture...the BM 59 rifles look great. If I am any measure of many CMP folks I shoot the Garand first and foremost the M14/m1a second. Re-barreling into a non std ctg is not in the big Picture for me...BUT....BUT...service work on Garands and the M1a IS very much in the picture for many folks here. Are you using USGI receivers for the BM 59??????. Manufacturing parts for the Garand/M14..... there is a demand with few parts around today. Best of luck.
Thank you for the encouragement! Iíd be interested in doing some service work, but I really donít want to step on Shuffís toes. I think heís an excellent gunsmith and a good man. In addition, Iím currently a mechanical engineering masters student and donít intend to do gunsmithing full time (now or when I finish my degree), so I think I want to stick to more specialty work if that makes sense. Plus I think caliber conversion projects are really cool!

The BM59s Iíve built so far have been on ADI castings that were milled and heat treated by a trusted machinist. Iím going to check with some of the big guys to see if theyíd produce forged receivers for me, as it seems like some people have a strong preference for them. Iím also working closely on the Ljungman project with a skilled CNC machinist, so there are several routes we can take.

I personally donít have the heart to mess with a USGI receiver. This may sound weird but, as a soldier, I feel too much of a connection to them to perform modifications that canít be reverted. Call me crazy.

Steve

Last edited by Big_Red; 04-10-2018 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Merge consecutive posts
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260 rem, 6.5 swede, 6.5x55, conversion, garand

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