Winchester has scheduled November for the limited release of its commemorative WWII Victory Series .30-06 ammunition. The ammo replicates WWII-era USGI M2 Ball with a 150-grain FMJ bullet at a muzzle velocity of 2740 fps and producing only 50,000 to 52,000 psi, suitable and safe for the M1 Garand’s semi-automatic gas system.
While the loading is ideal for sending downrange in your milsurp Garand—think, Civilian Marksmanship Program John C. Garand Matches—the commemorative packaging is definitely a keeper. The outer wooden box, reminiscent of a period ammo crate, is well made, with strong dovetail joints at the corners and a sliding wooden lid. Artwork decorates the lid and four sides, with the backside featuring an image of the Garand and the cartridges’ headstamp. The front side reminds us that Winchester made M1 Garand rifles, as well as the ammunition to feed it. Inside, a brown cardboard box holding 20 rounds is again reminiscent of the WWII era, stamped with, “.30 CALIBER BALL M2” and “LOT # 1941-1945” added to indicate the commemorative status.
Winchester’s Product Management Specialist Jimmy Wilson would not comment definitively on whether Winchester intends to continue production of its “new vintage” M2 Ball ammunition after the commemorative run. While it seems the market among M1 Garand shooters, especially given the popularity of competition with the rifles, would support it, for now only the WWII Victory Series is available. But not for long, so, as Wilson said earlier this year, “When you see it out there, you need to go get it.”
Wilson said the company may also release in November or December a 00 Buckshot 12-gauge shotshell in the WWII Victory Series. During the war, because tropical humidity and rain caused waxed paper shot shell hulls to swell and become difficult or impossible to chamber, the government issued 12-gauge combat ammo in full brass hulls. Winchester’s WWII throwback offering in 12-gauge will also features these brass hulls.