.30-06 Salutory Blanks


#1

My friend and neighbor died about a week ago, and was a West Point, two-tour VN veteran - a Major. I was just shown the cartridge cases from an 18-round salute (6 men firing three volleys) given at graveside by a firing order from the VFW. They were .30-06 and a mini-cartridge collection, with rounds from St. Louis Arsenal, Frankford Arsenal, and Lake City Arsenal, with dates as early as 1943. One caught my eye and was the highest date I have ever seen on a U.S. Military .30-06 blank, L C 04. Unlike the others, which were either original blanks with the normal roll-crimp over a wad, and a cannelure on the neck, the LC 04 round was rosebud-crimped, although still the basic length of a 30-06 fired case, not an extended neck blank.

I assume that these blanks were made that way at LC. If not, this would be a commercial reload. I would think, though, that Lake City probably made this to fill some of the shortages for salutory blanks for those firing parties, like VFW, that still use the Garand M1 rifle for firing grave-side salutes.

thought the date was interesting enough to report here. Maybe it is very common. I don’t collect this caliber, so don’t know.

John Moss


#2

John,

The LC 04 rose-crimped .30-06 blanks are in fact newly-manufactured at LC for saluting. They are designated M1909, ever though they have a pointed rose crimp. They are designed to be used with a neat little M1 Garand blank-firing attachment that replaces the gas cylinder ring and protrudes a little bit beyound the rifle’s muzzle. The attachment has a small hole in the front, and the precise diameter of the hole determines how well the rifle functions semiautomatically with the blanks.

You can probably see a picture if you Google “M1 blank firing attachment.”

I had never heard of this until a friend got a couple of boxes of the blanks and an attachment and asked me about them. I did a little research and found the info. The attachments sell for about $15.

Mel


#3

I have “L C 0 2” and “L C 0 4” M-1909 blanks with rosette crimps that were fired at my Grandfather and Father-in-Law’s funerals. Anectdotal evidence suggests that Veteran’s organizations are having trouble getting enough blanks for all of the funerals they are providing honor guards for. Some folks are donating whatever M-1909 they have or can scrounge up. When my Grandfather (a WWII vet) passed away a few years ago, the folks at the Veteran’s cemetary said that they were conducting on the order of 100 funerals a week, and this was just one location. The WWII Vets are getting fewer and fewer, and the Korean War Vets are the next in line for funerals, then the Vietnam Vets, etc… The demand will continue. The most recent “American Rifleman” magazine mentioned M-1909 blanks coming in from Brazil (presumable on Govt. contract), but not being to spec. for use in the M-1 rifle.

AKMS


#4

Wonder which would be more difficult, getting an ammo manufacturer to ramp up a Cal. .30(just for you Ray) blank production run, or getting the Army/Gov’t to ship out new(er) rifles, in a modern caliber, to the Veterans organizations that offer the service?

The PR bennies for an ammo manufacturer would be enormous.


#5

Army policy is to only issue blanks to vets groups that have rifles on loan from the army- and subject to a lot of mickey mouse restrictions on storage, who can touch them, etc, etc. Some groups decided it was too much hassle and either got out of the funeral honors business or got their own rifles (in whatever caliber or type they like) and round up their own ammo. Most vet groups are primarily in the age brackets that are dying off, with few younger vets joining to take over the honors jobs.

I have been scrounging blanks to donate to vets groups which cannot get them from the army, and ship several thousand a year (at my expense, no cost tot he group for anything). Still have a reasonable number on hand, in large part thanks to IAA members’ contributions.

Some of the vet groups have old timers who remember the rose crimp being for grenade launching blanks and incorrectly assume that the new style M1909s are grenade blanks and don’t like to use them. I think this is a matter of confusion rather than actual performance issues. There does seem to be an ongoing need for help cleaning and making minor repairs to the rifles the vets use, and the CMP program and the Garand Collectors Association seem to have stepped up to help with those issues.


#6

Good points. The problem with upgrading to more modern rifles (assuming they are provided by the Govt.) is that the modern rifles are M-14’s and M-16’s, which are classified as “class III” or “machineguns”, so not likely to be doled out to civilians…

Our Marine Corps League detachment operates out of the local American Legion post. Our detachment provides technical support for the honor guard’s M-1 rifles. Often these men perform at several funerals per day and spend their time between funerals at the Legion hall. Needless to say, these men drink for free courtesy of gratefull families… thank God they only have blanks in the rifles!!!

AKMS


#7

Lake City terminated .30/06 Manufacture sometime in the late 1980s, and that meant .30/06 Blanks as well (the original M1909 Wadded open case.) The last few years of LC Blanks were a mixture of new made cases with 70s dates, and refilled Recycled earlier cases ( a 1960s delivery to Jordan used cases as early as 1937NM cases, and a lot of Pulldown WW II and Korea cases))
In the late 1990s, a procurement of .30/06 Military Blanks was made from Denmark (AMA) and repacked by Lake City to meet Army Transport and storage requirements for dispersal to Legion Posts etc. The AMA Blanks were “rose crimp” style and worked well. ( Australia bought some 50 million rounds of .30 Blank from AMA for its Brownings (Cavalry) in the 1990s. Denmark has also terminated .30/06 Manufacture,by the end of the 90s, so rather than find another .30 cal. Maker to supply Blanks,
the US decided to use their current 7,62Nato Long Blank Drawing Line to make 30/06 blanks ( Both basic drawws are the same ( 63-65mm long), only their body shape and extractor groove is different.). Australia insted ordered(2000) a big batch from IK (Bosnia)…excellent blanks.

Thus the LC 04 etc Blanks…they probably only do a run every couple of years, as the quantity required, in Military terms, is miniscule…and since the older machinery (“Plate Loading”) has all been sold off or converted to 5,56 etc, or replaced by SCAMP type machines, they used the 7,62Blank production line and crimping technique ( 7,62 has been Rose crimped since the mid 90s…vibration in Armored and other vehicles would shake out the lacquered card wads, dumping the powder everywhere, and rendering the blanks useless for training…I have several thousand .30 blanks of US origin from my early days in the Mounted Infantry( m113A1 carriers) where the wads simply “walked out” from the vehicular vibration.)

Regards,
DocAV
AV Ballistics.


#8

Do the original M1909 .30-06 blanks (with the card wad) function in the M1 rifle without requiring any type of attachment?


#9

Would an extractor groove cut to 7.62 Nato specifications cause any problem in an M1 Garand rifle?


#10

Guy; No. Something has to plug the barrel until some of the high-pressue gas enters the gas cylinder to move the op rod back.

Falcon; No. Lots of M1 Garands were converted by the U.S. Navy to fire 7.62 NATO ammunition with no problem, mainly by replacing the barrel with one chambered for the shorter NATO round.

Mel


#11

Well, there is that chamber insert and mag plug for the Garand. For the .30-06 -.308 conversion. One would think it would suffice for blank firing.


#12

Thanks, I thought it would be the case that there would be no problem.


#13

Here is a blank firing attachment for the M1 Rifle.


#14

BFA attached to rifle