Tyler Kee is a little light on 5.56 ammunition these days. In fact, he has more .30-06 on hand at the moment than anything else. So when I invited him to join Robert and myself for a friendly carbine competition out at the Austin Rifle Club, he decided that his M1 Garand would be the weapon of choice and not his AR-15 rifle. While the 8-round clips probably slowed him down a little, there’s something to be said for watching someone literally blowing the targets off the stands with a rifle manufactured before the United States entered the Second World War.

82 Responses to Shooting an M1 Garand in a Carbine Competition

  1. I would love to do a shooting competition with my M1 Garand or M1 Carbine. The Garand is one of my favorite rifles to shoot. It somehow finds its way out to the range every time I go. Good thing there is still surplus around to keep costs down. The carbine, not so much.

  2. It looks like he’s only getting five rounds out of some of his clips (I wonder if the gun-banners ever mislabel them magazines for consistency).

  3. I think Tyler can increase his score by decreasing his time thusly:

    – hold the en-bloc clips on his person in a position where he can access them with his right hand. Bandolier or right-side carry somewhere.
    – load the Garand the way it was meant, with the right hand only, using the outer edge of the palm to hold the bolt back and the right thumb to push the clip down into the magazine well.
    – this would allow him to at least hasty-sling the rifle with his left arm for better, more stable off-hand shooting.

    • I agree, use the right hand to load so you don’t have to switch over. The dump bag is an ok En bloc holder. He seemed to struggle on every reload. One crazy reload I had is when I shoved an En bloc in and moved my hand away and it immediately popped out of the gun about 6-8 inches. I caught it and shoved it back down.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I have shot with enough guys that were trained on the Garand, and those guys could really load those rifles in a hurry!!

    • All true, but there’s not really much competitive point to spending the time to load the ol’ battleaxe much faster. There’s no Garand division to compete in to actually win a competition, this is kind of like racing vintage cars – if you wanted to be competitive, you wouldn’t be racing vintage cars…

      Kind of makes me want to take my FN49 out and launch a few rounds with it, now.

    • I noticed this too. I’m not sure he was really aware of how to load it properly, for he was pulling on the charging handle to get the first round into the chamber after pushing the En bloc in with his left hand, very awkwardly.

      But…..aside from all that…I thought it was great to see a person run the course with the Garand!

    • As I gaze over at the piano, and see the 8 x 10 of my late father holding a Garand on a god-forsaken Pacific island, I feel a sense that there’s room in the safe for just one more.

      What and where is the best place to buy a Garand (not a .308) in good condition?

      • The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) still sells them, in varying grades of wear. Most are refurbished with some new(er) parts. Expect to spend between $850 for the extreme low end and up to 2500+ if you get the sniper variant. It’s worth it though, those things only go up in value.

        Especially since our illustrious commander in chief has banned the reimportation of millions of Garands we sold to Korea. =(

        • Thumbs up on the Civilian Marksmanship Program as the place to guy one.

          Here is a direct link to what they currently have for sale:
          http://www.thecmp.org/Sales/m1garand.htm

          You’ll note that your “entry level” Garand will be around $650.

          It’s sad to see how low their “for sale” inventory is, a big change in only a few years since I went through my Garand phase.

          Best investment I’ve ever made. I was up to seven of them, several were super-high end quality and I sold each rifle for AT LEAST double what I paid, in several cases triple.

          Kaching!

        • I got my Garand from the DCM back when they were around $140. Mine is ugly as sin, with mismatched serial numbers and a badly stained birch stock, but it shoots VERY well. My 2nd cousin got one around the same time that was pristine and he decided that it was too nice to shoot.

        • True story. I got my .308 chambered M1 for fixing gutters on a lady’s house. Her husband had passed a couple of years before and I had worked with him. She called me about her gutters leaking so I went over to fix them. She insisted on paying even though she was having major money problems, I kept saying no, I ain’t taking money from you, she still insisted. Took me into the den and opened a cabinet and SHAZAM, full of guns. She said Leo would prefer I have at least one of them before they were sold, so I picked a piece work .308 conversion and then introduced her to 3 reputable gun dealers. She had planned on simply letting them go in an estate style auction(shudder). Needless to say once the 187 rifles, shotguns and pistols in the collection were sold her money problems were over.

          Matter of fact I got to get on her landscaping and planting for the spring pretty quick.

      • For the money and condition, I think the CMP is the source of the most honest Garands out there. You could find a better bargain in some places, but you can also get taken by unscrupulous people these days on Garands.

    • Too used to an AR? 😀

      You don’t run a Garand the same way. He’d have done a bit better if he did everything with his right hand and just held the rifle on the fore end with his left.

  4. Cool PING! I love it. I once did an entire Appleseed shoot with a 1941 Johnson, just to say I had. 250 rounds later I was one whipped puppy. The guys that shot these things every day in combat were tougher men than I will ever be.

    • That would have been something to see. I would love a 1941 Johnson, but sadly, the gun budget wouldn’t allow it right now. I have too many other guns to buy first.

      • I traded it away to a collector who will treat it right and I got a lot of neat stuff in that trade. You could see some of the design that made its way to the AR platform in that gun.

  5. Who is the IDIOT that asks at 0:50 “how many does it hold? SIX? ” That is what is wrong with America today. You have folks in the gun community who are so unfamiliar with a classic weapon. One that Patton called …. it doesn’t even matter cause they probably don’t even know who Patton is. A generation of iPhone people….ZERO sense of history. Zero knowledge of the past further back than 1999. The kind of folks that I laugh at on Cash Cab, but sadly realize that this is America 2014.

    • I heard that too… and actually I think that was RF…

      Also, I’m an iphone person. The first time I ever “shot” an M1 Garand was in a video game. Now I own a real one. Kids these days, huh?

      • My first time holding a Garand was when I was 12 at hunters safety course. It was the instructor’s gun and he had all of us kids (and parents) pick the gun up and look it over. I wanted one really bad. I waited a long time to get one but it is one gun I would never sell or trade. If he wouldn’t have taught us about the rifle, I would not have known how many rounds it held until years later.

        I think one of the medal of honor series was the first video game I played that had the Garand. The first level is in Africa and you go blasting germans with it. They made it work like the real rifle. 8 Rounds and a ping. No topping off.

        I was never as excited about getting a gun as when my wife sent me a text that a brown box arrived while I was at work. Luckily I was able to cut out early to get home and start handling it.

        • That was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and that was my first as well. My rifle shipped to me from the CMP about a month ago. Could not be happier to have such an awesome piece of history.

        • Heretical Politik

          Pssh…

          Medal of Honor for Playstation, 1998 😉

          Dropping into France with a Garand at the ready.

    • Personally, the round count of an M1 Garand isn’t real high on my list of things I wish people knew about from history. Just off the top of my head, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Stalin, Hirohito, Mugabe, Mao, Pinochet . . .

      • Remember, it’s all ancient history if it happened before I was born… at least that’s what my students tell me. And everything was in black-and-white. And dinosaurs.

    • No need for derogatory words. I love learning about historical firearms, and thankfully there are people kinder than yourself to help with that.

      The “idiots” I worry about are the ones who can recite the second amendment but don’t have a clue about the rest of the constitution.

    • And some of those clips he was firing had all of 5 rounds loaded in them. I am sure that threw the observer off.

    • whoa whoa whoa, easy on the haterade there man! No one starts out an expert. I called magazines “clips” because that’s what I grew up hearing – I understand the difference now, but jeez… that kind of attitude is a real turn off for new shooters.

    • Not everyone can know everything about everything. I wouldn’t expect you to know when Chevy made its first overhead valve V8 (Hint: it wasn’t 1955) I think I can forgive a man for not knowing how many rounds a rifle likely made before he was born can carry.

    • Love how everyone around him is going “pop, pop, pop” the Garand goes BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. It is one amazingly comfortable rifle to shoot and the sound it makes is just … awesome.

      Crank your sound up and play this video:

      • Yea, people always stop shooting when I start booming! Its as fun as breaking out the smelly and binging steel at 400 meters with iron sights, the glass crowd is always shocked by that.

  6. I can’t help but smile when the gas pressure off the round blows the target inside out about half way through the video.

  7. Something was missing in this video. Watched it twice more. Enjoying it each time but something was missing. Then it came to me !

    The redolent call to FIX BAYONETS !!!

    That would have added a heck of a stage in the match !

  8. Don’t mean a thing, if it don’t have that “ping”.

    Proud owner myself. Korean era, from CMP, but in true Kowalski fashion don’t ya know. A truly elegant rifle. It still brings the hot shot, red dot, quad rail, guys over to check it out at the range. In full disclosure, I have those whiz bang red dotty quaddy railed “carbines” also.

    Garands simply have a timeless style, class, and elegance. And they “thump” the targets really well.

  9. If you guys live in co the cabelas in lone tree has a couple of garlands and an m1 carbine in the gun library and attached to the guns are a placard of where they were used, pretty neat.

  10. I went through Basic at Ft. Dix with the Garand. Now I have my own glass-bedded National Match, a real sweetheart!

  11. I was the proud owner of all US GI 30 cal rifles until some slug decided they wanted them more, 43 years have passed and I’m still PO’d

    • barry will be gone soon enough. It’s our job to replace him with someone that will bring those m1’s back.

    • I’ve always been curious what the logic was in banning a firearm under the foriegn importation clause when it was–

      -Originally made in the USA
      -Has nearly 100% US made parts
      -Is still legal in most states, even those with draconian firearms laws

      It’s a rhetorical question that’s little more than a potlitcal talking point. I’m sure there’s a “You scratch my back…” bargaining chip component in there, too.

  12. Love my M1, and love my Carbine. I wish I could find more time to shoot the former, and more ammo to shoot the latter.
    I keep my SLR-106 kitted and ready for the inevitable SHTF stuff. 5.56 will be plentiful, even if it means taking it off of the unavoidable casualties one might encounter.
    But when ADVENTURE calls? The Carbine answers. 5lbs, short OAL, and recoil so sweet yer grandma can shoot it. When I head into the mountains, or on a long road trip, the carbine is the rifle I take with me. I’d take the Garand, but hey, he’s always with us in spirit.

  13. I recently told someone at a range to never shoot a Garand, unless they want to get hooked.

    I bought a Garand a few weeks ago and already lust after a refurbished one from CMP.

  14. Sad the carbines are “sold out” at the CMP, but yet almost a million reside in limbo in S. Korea. Some are shot out, but one leetle carbine has my name on it. The ones around here are going for over a grand. 🙁

  15. I’m a poor 18 year old student who only owns one gun, an AR, with no accessories but some magazines, a cheapo LED light, a sling for Appleseed shoots, and some ammo. Someday, somehow I am going to own an Garand, I just hope they’re still around by the time I finish school!

    Get a president elected that will import them from Korea, and the timing might match up perfectly…. Get out and help me out with your votes guys!

    “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that ping…” Man that would be a sweet Garand tee shirt. I want one.

  16. Tyler is officially a stud.
    Mine is a made in ’43 sweetheart. Simply beautiful and a joy to shoot.

  17. Dayum, Tyler, you da man!
    Reminds me of that old saying, never bring a poodle shooter to a Garand fight.

  18. What Nick doesn’t mention is that Tyler not competed with a Garand, but won the battle rifle division. Who’s got two thumbs and ran slower than a guy that had multiple reloads per stage? This guy!

  19. G-damnit, how many times to I have to tell you about the clip/magazine thing.Aa magazine is not a clip and a clip is not a magazine,
    Oh, you said M1… never mind.

  20. Getting a Garand before they run out is why I’m getting back into shooting. 🙂 Step 1 was to take my CHL, that’s processing now. Step 2 is to join a rifle club that counts towards the CMP, and Step 3 is to convince my wife to let me spend the $700 on the Garand (hard after I’ve spent about $1000 in the last month or so on gun-related things, including purchasing a Mosin). I plan on having a nice variety of history in terms of action – the Mosin and my old 22 for bolt action, my lever action 30-30, a pump action (shotgun), and then semi-auto action: Garand, a new Ruger 10/22 (still to purchase), and then maybe purchase a more “modern” weapon down the road, AK/AR etc.

  21. AND for a final advantage of using your Garand in this match: No problem identifying your brass when it’s over. There are not a whole lot of tactical carbines chambered for .30-06.

    • The other advantage is that when some wise-ass has calibrated the reactive targets such that you need to hit them “just right” with a .223 to make them go down, you can smack them flat with authority by hitting them just about anywhere with a ’06.

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