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Old September 9th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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1911sr 1911sr is offline
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Default A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

I thought you guys would like to see this. It's my Brother's M1 Garand. He said I could copy and paste his post from his own forum. It's a cool rifle and a pretty cool story about how it got here. I mean to us.

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This is a one of three Garands built by Don McCoy in this specific manner. The 190gr projectile is specified, and now I should be explaining what we found on our range today.
The rifle doubled. Twice. The barrel has been hBN sealed and we're shooting 175SMKs, impact coated. Chrono shows a nominal 2,475. There's no doubt that the gas port is set to acommodate the 190s without damaging the op-rod.
This is the rifle.



This was the original explanation.
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Noted Garand competition builder and accuracy specialist Don McCoy of Santee, CA, built this M1 for me in 2001. It is built on a selected Springfield receiver (1943 manufacture date), and has an Obermeyer 5R barrel with 1:10 twist. It is designed to shoot 190-grain bullets with exceptional accuracy out to 1000 yards.

This rifle has numerous custom accuracy features, including a lugged receiver, glass bedding with additional custom fabricated steel plate fittings that tie the receiver into the bedding with 3 bolts, -minute rear sight, reaming to ensure barrel & gas cylinder clearance as well as machining the end of the gas cylinder for stock clearance, and many more machined accuracy refinements. The forward hand grip is also glass bedded with attention taken to ensure complete clearance for the op-rod. The heavy stock is English walnut with a Fullerplast finish as only McCoy can do.

The 2-stage trigger is extraordinarily smooth and makes the rifle a joy to shoot. The rifle has approximately 40 rounds through it. It was function-fired by McCoy and later broken-in by myself using Tetra Gun followed by a dry patch every round for the first 10 rounds, every other for the next 10, and then 5 + 5 for the final 10 rounds. After the last 5 rounds it was immediately cleaned with Tetra Gun, dried, and a patch with Militec-1 lubricant was run down the bore while it was still hot. After returning from the range, the bore was cleaned with Sweets 7.62, followed by Tetra Gun. Lastly a patch of Militec-1 lubricant was run down the barrel. All cleaning & lubrication/protection was run from the breech to the muzzle.

From here on out, the rifle will clean up easily with either Tetra Gun or Kroil, followed by the Militec-1 for conditioning and as a protectant/preservative. An application of Sweets 7.62 every 200 rounds or so will help prevent copper build up. The purchaser will get the fired brass from the break-in session.

This rifle is one of only three like it that McCoy has built in his long career building match Garands. His clients include some of the top High Power competitors and collectors in the country. I have a McCoy M1 in .308 with an Obermeyer 5R 1:11 barrel, which I fired in many High Power matches with great success.

A fine, accurate, and unique rifle from one of the outstanding M1 accuracy specialists at the peak of his career.
I also have video of McCoy in his shop going over the features of this rifle which I'm sending with the rifle.
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By "one of three" I didn't know what he meant until the video on the rifle arrived. It was made by McCoy explaining the exact constrution of this rifle by serial number. Beside every aspect of the rifle being bedded, its triple pillar bedded. I'll post another picture of those pillars as soon as I get my sister in town to forward them our here.
So, should I be using 190's exclusively or can I simply boost the charge to obtain the right pressures?
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This was a question by a Garand competition shooter.
"The next question I have is how do you know the McCoy rifle you have was built to fire only 190 gr. bullets."
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Because McCoy made a point of it in the DVD he made for this rifle.
This is the bedding. Note the three welded pillars and the corresponding bedded receivers in the stock.









It seems that Mr. McCoy and I will be speaking today. He feels there may be a timing problem. He's very ill now and I won't be taking much of his time. With his advice I intend to solve it here. I posted this in case you gents thought of something I've missed. I was hoping to not have to bother him at all if it appeared to be something obvious to you. I suspect pressures too low may be involved, but I've never dealt with a M1 that was a custom build.

Thanks for any advice.

BTW........ Close examination of the trigger group shows a positive lock up and plenty of hammer/sear contact before release. The trigger seems to be a 4.5 pull.


Makers Medallion.


Stage one.


Stage two.


Any ideas at all? Dumb in the first place to try a 175 in lieu of a 190? Any ideas before we bother Mr. McCoy?
Latigo
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Latigo,

Mac adjusts his triggers to the absolute minimum sear engagement, with most of the weight in the first stage. I was sure that mine would double, but it doesn't. It has been very, very dependable. But mine is single lugged only at the back. (I went and dug my triple lugged rifle out of the safe a while back ... it was built be Clint Fowler, and the forward lugs are slightly different and located more forward).

These rifles are meant to be fired with the buttplate HARD into your shoulder, even in offhand where you can't use the sling. If you use a "soft" hold as in benchrest shooting, you are probably bump-firing it. The combination of the way the rifle recoils, and the trigger technique ("milking the trigger") will make it double, or even simulate full auto fire. I can do this on purpose, it gets folks attention with an M1A and ten rounds in the magazine. (if you are using your mechanical rest, you may get the same efect)

I would fire it in a good solid prone postition with a tight sling. If you want the security of a rest for ammo testing, put a sandbag under your gloved hand. If it still doubles, do the same with M72-equivalent 173 or 175 grain loads. If it still doubles, it needs some attention. The Easy Button would be a new hammer tuned for a bit more sear engagement. If all this doesn't work, then you need to talk the The Master himself. The "unkown" to me is how Mac's forward lug system may effect the way the rifle flexes under recoil forces, and how that may effect the minimum tolerable sear engagement.

Hope this helps ...

Resp'y,
Bob S.



USN Distinguished Marksman No. O-067

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I think it does help. I was prone with the rifle bagged fore and aft. My usual way to pull the trigger on any rifle is to pull with folllow through and hold the trigger to the rear before making a conscious release............................. but considering his trigger setup, now I'm not so sure.
After doubling, I extracted the next chambered round and we noticed the primer was dimpled. I also think I remember having pulled the trigger after doubling and there was no release, just as if the hammer had not reset at all. I cycled the bolt and it fired the next chambered round ok.

Ok, so the load was with a FLS case, TTL less than manual length, primer seated just below flush, 175gr SMK seated 10 thous off the lands, 45.5gr of 4895 and a MV of 2540. I had a guy tell me about the US Army Manual data book listing the 173gr with 50gr of 4895. It sounded way wrong so I googled it and found there had been an error in TM 43-0001-27 saying that 50gr of 4895 was a match load with the 173gr projectile. I'm thinking now that I should have been at 46.5gr of 4895 anyway to make things work with the right MV and pressures. With a gas port tuned specifically for a 190, can chamber pressures that are too low cause any of this?
And the soft hold sure could have happened. I was excited about the whole thing anyway.

Latigo

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Don (Mac) McCoy, now in his 90's and I just spoke to him and his protoge on the phone. Too much info to type right now, but I'll be back after we implement everything he asked us to do with the rifle with full explanations.



Latigo

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  #2  
Old September 9th, 2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand




(This is actually Part Two)

I was able to speak with Mr. McCoy last evening, probably for the last time. His protoge is taking over everything very soon now and I don't want to bother him again. At age 92 he doesn't need to be answering questions from someone into his first Garand. He was good enough to explain the exact nature of the rifle to me.

He said there is not a mechanical way for that rifle to double. It was all me. His exact words were, "Chamber each round with your fingers. Don't use one of those single round setups. Let the bolt close narurally. Breathe on that trigger, don't just pull it. Do all that and you'll be shooting right along with the best of them, but only if you're capable. The rifle already is. It was designed for 190s, so use 190s. The load we gave you is for military brass. Use it."

The gent taking over all of it is Mark Hendricks. He's been studying under Mr. McCoy for a long time and it now ready to keep the shop running with the same quality Garands. He's avaliable to me anytime I want to call, so I'm sure I'll have more questions later. We loaded 190 SMKs with Mr. McCoy's load data last night and we got load data from Mark for 175 SMKs as well.
I'll post targets after we take it all out to our range saturday or sunday. Its still pretty cold here so we'll be shooting from our ShootShed at the 100 yard mark. Its going to be a fun summer.

One thing I forgot. His load data is hot! A few of them with amounts over book maximums by a full grain, and one that's two grains over.

Latigo

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Correspondence about the rifle.

-----Original Message-----
From: Latigo St.Marie <swissproducts@centurytel.net>
To:Sent: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 10:10 pm
Subject: Re: Load for the Garand


Look at what Mr. Mazlow sent to Dad.
Hi Pierre,

Mark just called me and we talked about the trigger. He said he can do it one of two ways if you are interested. You can send him just the trigger group and he will make it into a semi-auto, or you can send him the rifle and he can make a new semi-auto trigger for it.

Mac also mentioned (which I had forgotten) that Joe Sopko won the Long Range Match at Camp Perry in 2007 in the Service Rifle class with one of the other two McCoy M1 Long Range rifles like yours. The Army promptly got the NRA to classify the AR10 as a service rifle and has shot them in the long range matches since.

Let me know if either of these two options interest you and we can go from there. Personally, I would not alter the original single shot trigger group as it is one of the things that really makes this rifle unique. I wish I had known about this before I put it up for sale, but as I told you on the phone, it never occurred to me and if Mac had mentioned it, to this day I cannot recall; and I'm usually pretty good in remembering details like that. If anything, I think it adds to the uniqueness and value of the rifle.

Regards,

Mike

Thank you so much for the information Mr.S. And according to Mr. McCoy, it was the brother of mine. I feel pretty fortunate to have this one. Needless to say I'm leaving it as it is.Thanks Again, and I'll email the results of this weekend's load data tests.
Latigo


Quoting

Lat,
54.0 grains 4350 with 190 grain SMK is what I used in the Winbledon Cup Match at Camp Perry in 1986. The Wimbledon is 1000 yards any rifle any sight: nearly everyone shoots a bolt gun with a scope. I shot my personal 03A3 with iron sights (Lyman 48) because our Navy 30-338 magnums were so badly shot out. My score was 186 with a handful of X's, 6 I think. Obviously I didn't place, but I was happy with my score considering it was shot with an obsolete rifle with obsolete iron sights. The Service Rifle division of the Wimbledon is the Farr trophy, the Service rifle Division of the Leech Cup Match (also 1000 yards, but iron sights required) is the Porter Trophy. I could have those mixed up, it's been a lot of years, but those are the matches that your rifle was built to win. My friend Joe Sopko won the Farr Trophy (or Porter...) a few years ago with a McCoy M1 .. could have been the brother of yours.

BR,
Bob




-----Original Message-----
From: Latigo St.Marie
To: Sent: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 5:12 pm
Subject: Re: Load for the Garand

Mr. S, this is what he gave me.

Marks email
Load Data:

190gr
48.5gr 4064
54.0gr 4350

168gr:
47.0gr 4895
50.0gr 4064

175gr:
Data to come.


Quoting Rls1998 :
Latigo,

The 50 grain charge of IMR 4895 for the M72 (173 grain FA or LC FMJBT) match cartridge is an error. The actual charge will vary by year depending on what lot number of powder was used. Remember that the military uses non-canister grades of powder. Their "4895" isn't the same stuff that you and I can purchase from IMR or Hodgden. I have seen from 46.5 to 47.r depending on the lot number of the powder. For the Match cartridges, one years prodcution could be loaded from the tha same lot of powder. Military facilities test each lot of powder for the required pressure and velocity specs. We don't have that luxury, we have to depend on loading data published by manufacturers using canister grade powders ... because presumably they have had pressure testing done by an independant lab, like H.P. White, or equal. If you wait until you "see pressure signs", you've already crossed the line into dangerous territory. One of the signs you could expect to see with the M1 is bent case rims, occurs when the case remains "stuck" in the chamber because the pressure has exceeded the elastic limit of the brass. In a bolt gun, you would feel the "hard extraction"; in an M1, the gas system has plenty of power to yank the case out even if it is stuck. In extreme instances, it can literally yank the rim off the case, and leave a case stuck in the chamber.
We (Navy Team) had a 190 grain load for our Mk2-1 rifles (M1 rifle with 7.62mm NATO barrel) that was somewhat outside the accepted commercial specs ... I think it was 44 grains of IMR 4320. It was hard on operating rods and I was told that it even cracked a few receivers, tho I never saw that first hand. I do recall seeing the bent case rims. But it was a hammer on target. there were a lot of clean scores at 600 and 1000 yards. I don't recall seing any "long range-only" Mk2-1's, but there may have been. Mac would know ... this was back in the days when he and Charlie Frazier were working as the armorers at SATU San Diego. I think we just fired it on out "OTC" (over-the-course) rifles.

What did Mac (or Mark) give you for a load for your rifle?

BR/Bob







191sr

Last edited by 1911sr; September 9th, 2011 at 08:02 PM.
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  #3  
Old September 9th, 2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand


(Last post in line)

Lat,

54.0 grains 4350 with 190 grain SMK is what I used in the Winbledon Cup Match at Camp Perry in 1986. The Wimbledon is 1000 yards any rifle any sight: nearly everyone shoots a bolt gun with a scope. I shot my personal 03A3 with iron sights (Lyman 48) because our Navy 30-338 magnums were so badly shot out. My score was 186 with a handful of X's, 6 I think. Obviously I didn't place, but I was happy with my score considering it was shot with an obsolete rifle with obsolete iron sights. The Service Rifle division of the Wimbledon is the Farr trophy, the Service rifle Division of the Leech Cup Match (also 1000 yards, but iron sights required) is the Porter Trophy. I could have those mixed up, it's been a lot of years, but those are the matches that your rifle was built to win. My friend Joe Sopko won the Farr Trophy (or Porter...) a few years ago with a McCoy M1 ... could have been the brother of yours.

BR,
Bob
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Old September 9th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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CAMPYBOB CAMPYBOB is offline
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

An absolutely outstanding read! Thank you!

And an outstanding rifle!

Oh, and the Lyman 48 is an old sight, but hardly obsolete! Heheh! I still have several old rifles so equipped and the old Lymans and Redfields are still better than the nut behind my trigger!

Regards,
CampyBob

Last edited by CAMPYBOB; September 19th, 2011 at 06:45 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

My pleasure CampyBob! I get to shoot it too next week.

me
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Old September 10th, 2011, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

I would like to second what Campy said. Beautiful match rifles are a joy to behold, only being beaten by the joy of actually shooting them. I envy your time with it.

I was lucky in being able to spend time with the National Guard match before Klinton moved the MTU unit to Camp Robinson Arkansas. Spent many hours with Gene Barnett and Jim Smith. Gene built my match M-1A right before the unit left and they both retired. Jim moved to SC and went to work building 'Bean Field' rifles and Gene is still here building barrels for the Marine match rifles.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

Look at the difference in the McCoy stock compared to one of our standard M1 Garands. It huge!





I guess you know that at 14 pounds I can't shoot it anything but prone, no?

1911sr
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Old September 13th, 2011, 12:12 AM
GOODOLDGUY GOODOLDGUY is offline
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Icon41 Re: A Don McCoy M1 High Masters Garand

What a beauty. Thanks so mich for posting the story, too. Must be a joy to fire, yahoo!!
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