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Thread: M1 Garand

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Thumbs up M1 Garand

    Hey guys, I have a chance at an M1 Garand. I'm finding that I don't know a lot about them. Any info on what to look for, good and bad. ID #'s to look for, damage, weak spots, etc. also I have heard that full house factory ammo can damage them, is this true? What recomendations for ammo selection?
    Thanx, guys.
    2D

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    If you don't know anything about Garands you need to take it to someone that does - esp. if the price is over $400 or so.

    There are just too many variables and pitfalls in the Garand world- re-welded receivers, sleeved barrels, salvaged and/or worn out parts etc. You can take to one of the gun shows next month and get a good opinion but that is a little ways off. I can generally size up a shooter if you want to bring it down to Anchorage but there are others more into them than me.

    In general watch for matched parts- manufacturer and finish- and the condition on the inside of the barrel esp the muzzle. The barrel ideally should match the receiver but many of them were changed out. DCM / CMP papers are a BIG plus and add to the value. There are no bad numbers to avoid like 03 Springfields but the army built all their snipers on Springfield Armory receivers for what that is worth. Collectors tend to like the contract guns or the earlier Springfiled guns IF everything is orginal.

    Best ammo is the orginal M2 ball or handloaded equivalent - it creates the right pressure at the gas port. Anything else MAY damage the gun due to excessive pressures at the port.


    Quote Originally Posted by 2dawgs View Post
    Hey guys, I have a chance at an M1 Garand. I'm finding that I don't know a lot about them. Any info on what to look for, good and bad. ID #'s to look for, damage, weak spots, etc. also I have heard that full house factory ammo can damage them, is this true? What recomendations for ammo selection?
    Thanx, guys.
    2D
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Just jump through the hoops and get one from CMP. I just got a nice Winchester M-1 from them last week. Now I have all 4. Win, IHC, H&R, and a couple Springfields. Pay the extra 100 or so for a service grade. Rack grade is more of a crap shoot, but still not bad rifles.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dawgs View Post
    Hey guys, I have a chance at an M1 Garand. I'm finding that I don't know a lot about them. Any info on what to look for, good and bad. ID #'s to look for, damage, weak spots, etc. also I have heard that full house factory ammo can damage them, is this true? What recomendations for ammo selection?
    Thanx, guys.
    2D
    What are you looking at? Price? Post on the CMP website forums and you'll get all the information you want:

    http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7

    If you're paying anywhere north of $500.00, post pictures and questions on the CMP forum. They'll tell you if you're over paying. Also, look at what comparable guns are selling for on Gunbroker.com. A lot of guys want over $1,000.00 for guns no one is bidding on and would realistically be priced at $500-600.

    One thing, do not shoot regular factory hunting ammo in a Garand - you can end up damaging the operating rod. However, most factory ammo (American Eagle, UMC, etc) that is loaded in FMJ is safe for M1s. Handloading is straight forward. Load with IMR/Hodgdon 4895, 4064, Varget, and RE15 are all good powders.

    Here's a few questions.

    1. Price?
    2. Maker? Springfield Armory, Winchester, H&R, IHC?
    3. Does the barrel match the receiver in manufacturer and date?
    4. What is the condition is the stock? Any stamps just in front of the wrist on the left side and do they match the age of the receiver and the barrel?
    5. Condition of the muzzle and the throat (need gauges to test it).
    6. As the price goes up, the list of questions increases!!!

    Anything above $600 better be something special. Look at the prices on ODCMP.com. You can join the Garand Collectors Association as "evidence of marksmanship" and buy on from them.

    Post what you're looking at! Once you own one, you'll want another!

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    What are you after, shooter, collector, bit of both? These days if you see a matching number gun you better get it because they just arenít out there except for in collections. Last one I got from CMP had parts from about every supplier and from every era on it but itís a great shooter. M1 Garand is a very complex world but there is a world of info on the web for Garands and how to run down whatís what, crank up your Google.

    If you want to be able to shoot all kinds of wild ammo you can with an adjustable gas block. Iíve had no issues as long as I donít stray too far from the intended bullet weight but with op-rods well over $100 these days if you can find one so you sure donít want to beet one up. Have fun and watch your thumb!
    Andy
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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Thanx guys, this is what I was looking for. I haven't seen the rifle yet but talked to the owner on the phone and he dosen't know a great deal about them as well. His asking price is in the neighborhood of 900-1000, a little less than what he paid. It comes with 500 rnds of surplus in a sealed tin and around 50 stripper clips. The owner claims its in great shape and shoots well. Thanx again guys for the advice.

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    CMP will ship you sealed ammo for about $125/200 rounds - delivered!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    CMP will ship you sealed ammo for about $125/200 rounds - delivered!
    To AK????????

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    Buy it from CMP!! Or at least a rifle of known integrity. I have what CMP calls a correct grade, an H&R 1950 manuf. Later guns were used less. It has all parts manufactured as the were then of about the same time frame ( about 1950) Parts were made in mass and assembled later. The date stamp is just receivers and barrels I think. This "correct grade" rifle is about $1000 from CMP.

    As to ammo.....yes factory ammo can damage a Garand. Ammo loaded for higher performance, (higher than the M-2 ball load) will be loaded with slower burning powder. This slower powder will give a higher than normal pressure at the gas port causing undue stress and strain on the piston/operating rod and can bend the op rod. There is still some LC match ammo available from CMP and is made for the Garand. Also Federal and Fiocchi both make M-2 ball duplicating loads with 150 grain FMJ or spitzer soft point. These works great and is about $17.00 when purchased in quantity. Good hand loads can be made using the mid burning powders and bullets of 150 to 165 grain weight. I've shot thousands of roundS of hand loads through various Garand rifles using the Sierra 168 grain match king HP bullet. I won my Distinguished medal with this rifle and LC ammo back in 1972. Sierra and Accurate have loading data specifically for the M-1 Garand rifle for fun and match shooting. I am shooting mine in a John Garand match next month at a local club using hand made ammo. IMR 4895 was the powder used to load the millions of rounds of ball ammo for this rifle.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    The date stamp is just receivers and barrels I think.
    You can also date the bolt and stock by the numbers, likely most parte but I don't remember for sure. Op-rods can be dated using a combination of the number and the shape of the mill cuts right next to the numbers . . . square cuts are older WWII original while rounded like they let the mill cut too far is newer and stronger. You need number and milling because many older rods were re-milled when in service to eliminate the stress point of the sharp corner.

    You definitely get the best value with a CMP gun unless you know a lot, I know just enough to be wrong so I ether build or buy from CMP. They are easy to build, they must be headspaced and the op-rods are getting hard to come by but they are not hard to assemble and there are parts . . . even NOS of things like bolts. They are the most addicting rifle Iíve ever handled so beware!
    Andy
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    I'll add my name to the list that suggest buying from the CMP. Great organization. Just keep in mind it's "luck of the draw". You might get one that's outstanding or one that's less so. It will be usable and safe. I haven't checked their site lately, but I suggest you get a service grade rather than the rack grade; better barrel will be worth the $.

    The Garand does not use "stripper clips".

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    To AK????????
    Yes, sir.

    Here it is!

    http://www.thecmp.org/ammosales.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    The Garand does not use "stripper clips".
    I think they are called Zing clips!! Eight rounf enbloc clips.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Get Scott Duff's book. He has written several about the Garand. What ever you decide make **** sure it doesn't have Century, Lithgow or Federal Ordnance on the reciever. I have 4 in the safe and it is probably one of my all time favorite rifles.

    Make sure you check the Throat Erosion so you don't end up having to rebarrel it.

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    Default Throat and muzzle errosion

    I used the $40 borescope I recently got to check the throat errosion on a couple of M1 rifles and barrels I had laying around. I'll certainly use it on any rifle I buy in person in the future. Gages are nice but there is no substitute to getting an up close look at the actual throat. For $40 I think they are one of the best expeditures a shooter and investor can make.

    I've learned over the year that simply looking down the bore from either end can be very misleading unless things are really bad and sometimes barrels look worse than they actually are. For nicer M-1s and other military rifles I look for the circular reamer cuts on top of the lands at the muzzle. If these are still plainly visiable you may have a decent barrel with little wear or corrosion. Once you look at the reamer marks on a number of guns in varying conditions yo can get a better feel for using this indicator. (Of course for button rifled or hammer forged barrels there are no reamer marks.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Askari View Post
    Get Scott Duff's book. He has written several about the Garand. What ever you decide make **** sure it doesn't have Century, Lithgow or Federal Ordnance on the reciever. I have 4 in the safe and it is probably one of my all time favorite rifles.

    Make sure you check the Throat Erosion so you don't end up having to rebarrel it.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Thanks for the advise guys. I bought mine from CMP last year for around 550$, service grade. Nice stock and clean. Took a nice black bear in the Spring. Looking forward to doing it again.
    I need to practice cleaning it, lots of strong springs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    I'll add my name to the list that suggest buying from the CMP. Great organization. Just keep in mind it's "luck of the draw". You might get one that's outstanding or one that's less so. It will be usable and safe. I haven't checked their site lately, but I suggest you get a service grade rather than the rack grade; better barrel will be worth the $.

    The Garand does not use "stripper clips".
    Ya know it's funny.....the Garand does not use stripper clips but the rifle that replaced it does use them. The M-14 has an add on stripper clip notch to use the Springfield's stripper clips to stuff it's 20 round magazine from above. That's progress!!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Ya know it's funny.....the Garand does not use stripper clips but the rifle that replaced it does use them. The M-14 has an add on stripper clip notch to use the Springfield's stripper clips to stuff it's 20 round magazine from above. That's progress!!
    Yup, beats feeding them in one at a time . . . turns the rifle into its own magazine loader. Another tidbit on the subject, on the Jap copy of our Garand the best improvement they made was a 10 round mag loaded with 2 of their 5 round 7.7 stripper clips. So to me the evolution includes the Jap copy as a step between the M1 and M14 . . . M14 taking the next step to detachable high capacity mag.
    Andy
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    Default As we drift away from the original ?

    I have some stripper clips some where for my M14 style rifles, but never tried to use them while the mag. was in the rifle. Nor have I ever seen anyone use them on the firing line, may not be legal for competition, but seems like it should be faster than changing the mag.

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    I had said earlier in this thread if you want to shoot ammo other than ball from an M1 you need an adjustable gas plug. Well I just received an email flyer that they are on sale at Midway-USA so thought Iíd toss up a link. I have the WWII type and it works just fine, donít know about the other one but same maker so should also work.
    Ajustable Gas Plug Sale
    Andy
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