Let’s face it. The vast majority of guns are rather boring. Not from a “yee-haw!” perspective, but from the perspective of mechanical ingenuity and history. The modern AR-15 is the best example — repackaged 50 year old technology that’s so plastic and cold that it has no soul. But in the world of firearms the M1 Garand is the exact opposite, and in a world of expensive special purpose firearms, it still holds its own in terms of usability and effectiveness for almost every purpose. And it’s still relatively cheap to buy . . .

What initially drew me to the M1 Garand was the history. The first rifle I ever bought was a rearsenaled 1928 production dragoon pattern Mosin Nagant model 1891, a beautiful rifle with a rich history. I enjoyed pouring over every inch of her, wondering about the men and women who may have carried her and what they must have gone through during the war. Little hints, like the area under the receiver where the finish had been worn off from being carried or the evenly spaced gouges in the stock that could only come from barbed wire scratching against it, gave me glimpses into the history of a silent witness whose story will probably never be known.

But there is a difference between the two firearms. The Mosin Nagant was a rifle produced in peacetime by a people hopeful about the future — Stalin had only recently come to power, and the effects of collectivization had yet to be understood. The effect of this lack of urgency is evident in everything including the elaborate (and painted!) crest and serial number on the receiver — wartime production stress saw all of this including the arsenal mark changing to be easier to mass produce and quicker to make.

My M1 Garand was produced under much different circumstances. According to the serial number it was produced in January of 1944 — Hitler was the master of Europe, the Japanese were still a major threat in the Pacific, and victory was far from certain. The invasion of Western Europe by the allies was inevitable, but at this point they still needed more weapons and materials to support the effort.

This is what differentiates this rifle from the others that I own. The people who made my M1 Garand, from the person parkerizing the receiver to the final inspector hammering the DoD acceptance stamp into the barrel at the end of the line, made this rifle with the thought in their mind that it would go to one of our boys in the armed forces in the defense of the United States and her allies. Every other rifle I own was manufactured for the civilian market and as a result they somehow feel cold and soulless to me, but not this one. This one had a purpose.

The historical aspect to this rifle goes well beyond the role it played in world events: The M1 Garand and its mechanisms formed the basis for almost every battle rifle to be adopted by the U.S. armed forces to this day. The connection to the M14 is obvious, but the little things (like the extractor / ejector mechanism on the bolt) persist in modified versions that are being used in the M16 variants in use today.

Comparing the M1 to the other “standard issue” infantry weapons of the day the importance of the M1 Garand can be more fully understood, so please excuse me while I indulge in a little historical blathering.

By the 1930s the modern world was beginning to understand the lessons taught by the Great War, and individual firepower became the watchword of the day. Submachine guns were coming into wide adoption, but they only provided a benefit at close range. Everyone wanted a firearm that provided similar firepower to a machine gun but was as accurate over great distances like a bolt action rifle, and while various “chocolate in my peanut butter” solutions were coming to light none of them provided the same elegant solution to the problem that John Garand came up with.

Like the Vickers machine gun, Garand decided to try to trap the gasses venting out the front of the rifle by using a bolt-on muzzle device. These first rifles (dubbed “gas trap Garands”) had the rifling in the barrel stop at the beginning of the gas port, with the last section of barrel simply a smoothbore extension of the gas system. Later models would rifle this section of barrel, but the gas trap design would inspire the Nazi G41(m)’s muzzle device half a decade later.

But getting the gun to cycle was one thing — keeping it loaded was a completely different beast. Anyone who does 3-gun competitions will tell you that the trick to shotgun shooting isn’t so much firing it quickly as keeping it loaded, especially when you need to do it one round at a time. External magazines in the 1930s were still rare on anything except an SMG, and stripper clips were painfully slow and difficult to use. The solution was an “en bloc” clip that was loaded into the gun with the ammunition, but so far only single stack clips were in use (like in the Carcano) and getting them out of the gun was an issue.

Enter the double stacked en bloc clip. This clip allowed more rounds to be loaded (8 rounds compared to 5 in the K98 Mauser or Springfield 1903), and a spring loaded mechanism flung the clip free after the last round allowing fresh ammunition to be introduced. In this way the M1 Garand beat out every single infantry weapon of the day by a wide margin for most rounds on target in a single minute.

Quick to fire, rapid to reload and accurate downrange, the M1 Garand was truly the finest battle implement ever devised. And for many uses it still is the cat’s pajamas. Uses like hog hunting, where you need a powerful round to take the hog down and rapid firing for getting as many as you can before they run away.

What really seals the deal for the M1 Garand is that any American can have one of these shipped straight to their door, no FFL or transfer required. The Civilian Marksmanship Program (or CMP) will box up and ship one of these beauties to any American that meets the easy to achieve requirements and has $700 to their name.

Despite being nearly 70 years old, this M1 Garand still shoots like it’s fresh off the assembly line. Its two stage trigger is crisp and clean, the action functions flawlessly, and I still get sub-MoA 3 round groups. Its an accurate shooter and, as Tyler found out, often too much for steel plates to handle.

The M1 Garand is a masterpiece of engineering, the perfect blend of wood and steel. It’s an amazing piece of history, both for its engineering achievement and the role it played in history. It’s a gun with a soul and a purpose, and my favorite rifle of all time.

US Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 (M1 Garand)

Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Barrel: 24″
Size: 43.5″ overall length
Weight: 9.5 lbs.
Operation: Gas Operated Semi-Auto
Finish: Parkerized
Capacity: 8 rounds in en bloc clip
Cheapest CMP Price: $595

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)
Remember: ratings are based on the merits of the firearm compared to other similarly priced and marketed firearms. So five stars here is nowhere near five stars on an Accuracy International.

Accuracy: * * * * *
For a full power rifle cartridge out of a 68 year old gun I was delightfully surprised. Again, refer to my one shot kill on a steel plate from 50 yards.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
Personally, I find the M1 Garand to have the perfect proportions for my body. Everything just fits right.

Ergonomics Firing: * * * * *

Reliability: * * * * *
68 years of rusting away in the back of a supply depot and it still runs like a champ.

Customization: *
There’s nothing to do. And even if there were anything to do it would be blasphemy to attempt to do anything except put on a new stock.

Overall Rating: * * * * *
Every American should have one of these in their collection, and at that price you have no excuses.


  1. I’ve been looking at getting one of these, maybe actually driving up to Anniston to pick it up. Would you mind telling me what grade you bought?

  2. “The M1 Garand is a masterpiece of engineering, the perfect blend of wood and steel. Its an amazing piece of history, both for its engineering achievement and the role it played in history. Its a gun with a soul and a purpose, and my favorite rifle of all time.”

    Hammer-forge that in blued gun steel, and hang it over your front door or relaoading bench. Best damn rifle on the face of the earth. Buy one, and do NOT think of keeping it in your safe as an “investment”. Take it to the range and shoot that masterpiece, and infuse a priceless bit of American history into your soul.

  3. Beautiful rifles! Shot one for my first time last weekend. Dang, she kicks! Slow steady breathing, deep breath…exhale…relaxed pull on the trigger…BLAM! The dang rifle jumped off the sand bags and gave me quite a kick and a smack in the head. Impressed with the post sights accuracy at 100 yards…and I’m even more impressed with the reports of long range markmanship (with iron sights) with these beauties back in WWII. I’ll never own one though as I don’t personally go back in history past the M1A in my safe (nor do I have room for another rifle).

    • @Motojb. I’m very happy that you have had the experience of shooting the venerable M1 Garand, although you do need to make the perceived recoil comparison between the Garand and any other bolt-action 30-06 rifle. The extra weight of the Garand and the semi-automatic action tend to soak up about a third of the perceived recoil as compared to the Remington model 700 or the Winchester model 70 bolt-action rifles, making the Garand much more comfortable to shoot. In my humble opinion, the M1 Garand has to be the “funnest” big-bore rifle you’ll ever shoot.

      • dont forget the m1 .30 cal fires a light 150gr bullet where a bolt gun might shoot a hot and heavy 220gr partition bullet

  4. General Patton made some comment about the M1 that went along the lines of calling it the greatest battlefield weapon ever made. The M1 Garand is a 20th Century American combat icon right up there with the Colt 1911 and Ka-Bar knife. If every freedom loving, decent, and honorable American man owned all three icons this country would be a better place.

  5. Not to quibble too much, but the SMLE Mk4 had a magazine of 10 rounds, and effective rates of fire off trained troops would rival or exceed that of a Garand. The one downside of the en bloc clip system is that you can’t “top off” the magazine.

      • Well, perhaps.

        All aesthetic issues are relative, however. When you’re in my business, you get to see a lot of guns you wouldn’t soil your hands to handle otherwise… and you often have to keep your yap shut in front of the owner when what you really want to say is “What an ugly POS!”

        That said, the Enfield looks positively lovely when you’ve seen an Arisaka or a Mosin. I’ll also hasten to remind you (before you make note of it) that the 1917 Enfield is the basis for many very attractive dangerous game rifles and the SMLE can be sporterized relatively successfully.

        For the Arisaka and Mosin, there is no hope. They’re just too butt-ugly. No amount of filing, polishing, heating/welding, bending and fitting will ever make those rifles nice to look at. They need an exorcism, not a make-over, to get the ugly out of them.

        We Americans are spoiled in the weapons aesthetics department. Our military has never fielded any ugly rifles. Silly or stupid rifles, yes (the Trapdoor comes to mind), but outright ugly guns? Never. In that area, the Garand is without peer. Based on a criteria of clean lines, function and form fitting together, etc – the Garand has to be one of the most eye-pleasing weapons ever made for war: there are no “ugly bits” hanging off it, the magazine being contained yields a very nice foreend line to the barrel, etc. I’ve seen Garands re-stocked in high-figure walnut and they are a joy to behold.

        • What, me? No way. That’s one very attractive rifle. Don’t change a thing about that rifle.

          Some SMLE’s I’ve seen have seen better days, but they certainly didn’t start life as unattractive rifles… as your picture demonstrates.

    • exceed or rival a garand? that is hard to believe. Dont get me wrong, the SMLE can be fired very quickly and its 10 round magazine is awesome, though a well trained soldier with a M1 garand can reload very quickly and fire as fast as he pulls the trigger.

      • Yes, I’m saying that a well trained rifleman with a SMLE can match the rate of *effective* fire for a rifleman with Garand. If you’re just sending rounds downrange rather than putting them into the target… that’s not ‘effective’. Anyone can spray lead downrange. Look at the third world mobs with their AK’s, for example.

        There was a test of the Springfield ’03 vs. Garand in aimed fire tests in Hatcher’s “The Book of the Garand,” if I recall (I’m too lazy to dig up my copy just now). The gist, as I recall, was that while the Garand clearly exceeded the effective rate of fire of the 03 at close range (200 yards), when the ranges started to extend to 300+ yards, the *effective* (ie, rounds on target) of the Garand dropped to barely exceed that of the 03. Where the Garand did shine was in the extended firing over six minutes (as I recall) – putting rounds downrange minute after minute after minute, there was less fatigue on the rifleman to sustain ‘n’ hits per minute.

        You can make noise faster with the Garand (to the tune of probably 60 RPM – I’ve done 40 RPM of spray-n-pray easily), but when we start talking about actually putting the bullets into a target… suddenly the semi-auto vs. bolt issue isn’t such a slam-dunk.

        BTW, the record for aimed fire with a bolt gun, on target (12″ circle at 300 yards) was set in 1914 by Sgt. Instructor Snoxall, of the British Army. 38 rounds in one minute, prone, SMLE MkI, 5 round strippers, no sling, iron sights. I remember this because “Snoxall” is such a great sounding name.

        • Im still skeptical, though that is good information. Infantry combat is typically under 200 meters, which makes the M1 garand a no brainer. You dont need “effective” (meaning accurate i assume) fires up to 300 meters when you need to fire as fast as you can pull the trigger at targets within 100 or 50. That is modern war. The SMLE was conceived in a era of battle formations before trench warfare. The M1, being still overpowered (it was supposed to be in the more mild but nonetheless effective Pedersen cartridge), was more ideal for modern warfare.

          It sure made bolt actions as a battle rifle obsolete.

        • I posted a URL to modern Norwegian target competitions with H&K G3’s up against modern bolt guns which are also cock-on-close. RF’s blog seems to delight in confounding any of my attempts to post substantial technical information. Here’s a link to AccurateShooter’s article on the success of bolt guns over semi-autos:


          Too many people assume bolt guns are slow when they simply don’t want to practice and perfect technique.

          Another example of a rapid firing bolt gun is the Swiss K31. Toggle bolts are incredibly fast, as any biathlon shooter can attest.

        • I tried some rapid fire with my Lee-Enfiield No4 Mk II. I can shoot 100 feet from my door into a 400 foot high hill, no neighbors close enough, and am near sighted enough that it takes a scope to get groups under 5″ at that distance. I set up a 50 yard pistol target (? I think) at 100 feet, 10 in the magazine, 2 stripper clips, and a shot timer. Took 66 seconds to unload all 20 rounds (I suck at loading stripper clips) and 16 were on the target paper. The shot timer showed quite a few shots just over a second apart, like 1.02 seconds. If you extrapolate that to 200 yards and a human silhouette, which I understand was the standard infantryman test, my paper was the same height but twice as wide, so it’s not terrible shooting with only a couple hundred rounds of practice. I could qualify as a cook (15 rounds on target in one minute) with just a little more practice!

          People who have never fired a Lee-Enfield don’t understand the advantage of cock-on-close and the positioning of the trigger so you never have to take your hand off the bolt. No other bolt action that I know of even comes close.

        • I’m still not seeing how a bolt gun with an extra two rounds in the mag can result in “effective rates of fire” rivaling or exceeding a semiautomatic with an eight-round magazine.

          If your point is that it “could” happen with shots over 300 yards if the shooting doesnt exceed one or two minutes – I say, “who cares.”

          Seriously… If you want to argue “cock-on-close” beats “cock-on-open” – you have to admit that “pull trigger” beats them both.

      • Here’s a link to a video of a Norwegian shooting competition.

        The bolt guns are winning over modern military semi-autos, in what appears to be competition for accuracy and time. To spot the guys with bolt guns, look for the civilian clothing. The military folks are shooting what appears to be a H&K military rifle in semi-auto mode. The bolt guns are (I think) a Sauer bolt gun. I’ve heard of them, never seen them.


        The Norwegians are using both technology and technique of the SMLE: If that is the Sauer I think it is, it is a cock-on-close action, and the shootists are using their middle finger to trip the trigger.

  6. I recently received [my first] M1 Garand from the CMP. A Special Grade. Although, some of the parts may have been made surplus more than half a century ago, except fo the re-Parkerized receiver, it is essentially a new rifle. Price, $995 (plus incidentals). If SA or H&R were to make this gun from scratch today, it would be twice the price. A Garand for a cool grand is a bargain.

    If you were to choose a “go-to” gun today, you probably wouldn’t choose a Garand. Neither would I. It’s big, long, heavy and probably more gun than you would need. But what if you needed a gun and it was all you had at the moment? If you were “stuck” with it, you could do a lot worse and you probably couldn’t do much better. I now appreciate what an overwhelming advantage this must have been for GIs. Everybody else had bolt-actions. Damn-good bolt actions, but bolt actions just the same.

    Get one (at least). If you do, you’ll be glad you did. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had.


    • My Garand is my SHTF gun. If I had an M1A1 or FN-AR, that would probably take its place, but I don’t.
      I just can’t put my trust in 5.56’s. When I need to shoot a person, I really want them to be well and truly shot.

  7. As far as customization goes, you can get a scope mount for these. It is offset mounted and requires a build up of the cheek area of the stock, usually done with a leather laced on pad. You can also add the bayonette and fill the little storage area under the but plate with the prober cleaning gear.

  8. it is indeed a beautiful weapon, and an important piece of american history. makes me want to go home and watch that scene from “band of brothers” where Winters leads his men in a charge and just plugs away at those SS troops….”TING!”

    • Exactly what it makes me think of, where he pops over the hill and empties his gun before the others show up.

      • Yup, that’s the one, where the first lone stormtrooper in the foxhole gives him this “oh s—, you got me” look just before he buys the farm…

  9. I picked out my service grade M1 at the Anniston CMP Depot about two weeks ago, and couldn’t be happier with the rifle. It’s a Harrington & Richardson model, manufactured in 1953.

    If you plan on using the Anniston Depot, I recommend you get there early on a Wednesday morning (they’re open Wed. to Sat.). You will find a dedicated bunch of collectors there at that time, looking over the new arrivals for good deals. Don’t wait till Saturday if you can avoid it.

    By the way, you will spend some time getting that preservative out of the wood, but it will be quality time. 🙂

  10. The three most innovative infantry weapons of the Twentieth Century are the Mauser ’98,, the M1 Garand and the AK-47. Everything else is just an imitation.

    • I’m not normally one to nitpick, but the AK is actually a variation of the German Sturmgewehr 44….but you can’t argue with it’s reputation.

      • Perhaps in shape, general ergonomics, purpose, etc. But internally, the simularities are superficial at best.

      • The SG 44 was introduced too late in war to have a significant impact. If you want to get technical even US introduced an assault rifle before the AK-47. The M-2 Carbine fits the definition of an assault rifle since the assault rifle is actually a carbine. The AK was the first mass produced select fire standard infantry weapon and it changed infantry tactics. The NATO select fire battle rifles were just a response to the Soviet weapon. The M-16 was an accident of history when M-14 proved to be the finest WWII battle rifle. The only reason the Army went with the M-16 was that it was already available through an Air Force contract. Both the FN and G-3 were better automatic weapons than M-14 and the M-16.

        • I’m assuming that was a typo when you referred to the M-14 as the finest WWII battle rifle?

        • No typo. I said it was the finest WII battle rifle not the finest battle rifle of WII. The M-14 really should have been designated the M-1-A1. It was an incremental upgrade to the M-1. John Garand’s original designed featured a detachable box magazine but the Army rejected it. If the Army accepted the original concept I could them coming up with a select fire version during the war like they did with the M-1 carbine.

      • the AK was arguably inspired by the STG44, just like it was inspired by the M1 garand (rotating bolt), though it had nothing to do, operating system wise, with the german assault rifle. The AK is long stroke rotating bolt. The STG 44 had a tilting lock system.

        If you want to get technical, the Federov was the first “assault rifle” niche weapon, which fired a lighter 6.5mm japanese cartridge (the 7.62X54R was too powerful).

  11. my favorite weapons are the milsurp rifles. i’ve owned at least 1 of each and shot all for fun and games. i only own 1 now a not to bad 91/30 that shoots decent. my favorites were a tie between the m1 carbine and the lee enfield. my son has my sks now, so i still get to shoot it, i just don’t have to clean it now.

    • Didn’t want to mention it in this forum, but the Lee Enfield runs a close 2nd right behind the Garand as my favorite battle rifle. Now I have to go on You Tube and find one of those old British Army training films of them performing the “Mad Minute” drill….thanks!

  12. Nick I would have to add. I wouldn’t even change the stock! Sure you could get a pretty custom jobby on it, but, like you mentioned there is history imbedded into those grains of wood.
    I could only wonder if you could find, if still alive the soldier who carried it. The stories would be so priceless.
    Going through the CMP for an M1 we all have a chance to buy a piece of history. In and of itself it is a national treasure, sure it isn’t big or made of granite or something along those lines. Look at it this way. The M1 helped win the war. It was ahead of the Germans and Japanese in regard to their rifles. Each one has a history, and it amazes me that they are still fine firearms even today.
    If you are good with Iron sites dare I say it would make a fine hunting rifle as well.
    One of these days I hope to own a piece of history too.

  13. I’d LOVE to have an M1. Thank you Mr. Leghorn, I’m having sudden urges to buy Garands, Mausers, Lee-Enfields, Steel Pot helmets and C-Rations.

    Great, I want a willys jeep now also…

    • Don’t forget your M4A3 Sherman tank, or the half-track with the quad-.50s. (Offer not available in some locations.)

  14. I only own four “modern” firearms, a Marlin Model 60 to plink and shoot squirrels and rabbits, a Remington 870 with a slug barrel and a 26″ barrel for deer and birds, a Yugo SKS (that I got for free when I bought a case of surplus 7.62×39 at Jim’s Pawn and Gun Robbery in Fayetteville NC a long time ago), and S&W M&P 15, because when I retire I won’t be able to shoot M4’s at Uncle Sam’s expense.

    The rest of my safe is full of military rifles. I love the history behind those old rifles, I love their functionality, and yes, some of them are beautiful. My absolute favorite though (out of…well a lot) is the Garand. It combines beauty, power and simplicity. It shoulders perfectly, has effective sights, and I have never had a malfunction with it. Think about that. Mine is a 1944 issue Springfield. I have never had a malfunction with it.

    I’ve just put in an order for another, an H&R Service Grade this time. I’ll keep them both till I die and leave one to each kid.

  15. Hump a Garand around at high port with a few hundred rounds of ammo on your belt for a just few minutes and you will quickly come to the conclusion that our fathers/grandfathers were supermen.

    Still, it was a great rifle. Powerful, fast, accurate enough for battle, built like a tank and capable of biting off one’s thumb as easily as an angry gator.

    • Indeed.

      Crawl through a B-17 or B-24, and you’ll also realize they were shorter than we are (on average) now. The pull on a Garand (and 1903) is too short for me, so it drives home the fact that these men who humped all this stuff probably were 3 to 4″ shorter and 50 lbs lighter than I am.

      • The “average” WW2 inductee was 25 years old, 5’8″ tall, 145 pounds and could carry more gear than a mule. Audie Murphy was 5’5″ and 110 lbs of heart. BTW, the average WW2 Japanese soldier was 5’3″. I think that the average Japanese man today measures in at 5’9″.

      • A restored/flying B-17 visited our local airport a few years back. Their info sheet said the average size of a crew member was 145 pounds, 5’7″ tall. Ball turret and tail gunners were usually shorter and thinner. And the 8th Air Force bomber crews had a casualty rate of 50%, I believe. “Uncommon valor was common”. Thanks, vets.

      • D.P., You must be huge. I’m 6’4″, 190lbs., and my Garand fits me fine. It may be the rest of the ergonomics but, I bring it to my shoulder while looking at my target, and my feet, body, the rifle,….. everything just line up. It’s one of the most natural feeling rifles I’ve ever handled. Of course, I did get my 1st one when I was 14 yrs old, and they were still in the arsenal when I was in the service. I signed one out at the range whenever I got the chance. That was the hell of those days. You’re off pay day weekend you’re broke. So, you go the range, and Uncle Sam supplied you with a variety of weapons, and ammo, and let you practice til your shoulder couldn’t take any more. Damn, that was rough.

  16. dyspeptic, go back a little further and you find that in the days of the trapdoor springfield and colt saa the army had a weight limit for calvarymen of 140 pounds,tops.they didn’t want to overburden the mounts with riders and equipment.

  17. Damn you Nick! I hope this your last M1 Garand article, if not I am going to end up parting with money that I don’t have, to buy one. Last week you had me checking the mileage to the CMP place in Ohio from the Detroit airport (re: a future business trip).

    By the way, I had a plastic toy M1 Garand when I was a kid in the 1960’s, and when I saw Clint Eastwood with one in “Gran Torino”, I was mesmerized. I guess maybe it’s soul was talking to my soul. Damn you again Nick!

    • Don’t think of it as an expense, Jay – think of it as a lifetime investment. I will guarantee it will be worth more in 10 years than you paid for it, and you will be able to get far more enjoyment out of it than any other $1000 entertainment item you buy.

      • Pete & Nick,
        To update the record, my 1943 Winchester M1 Garand will ship tomorrow from Camp Perry. Got to stop in today while on a business trip and made the “investment”. It also has a Winchester trigger group and a Springfield stock with the WWII cartouche stamps on it, which the clerk told me I was quite lucky to find together.

        Now got to get some ammo and go shoot it with my son.

        Thanks Guys!

  18. Technical question: I’ve seen discussions about modern .30-’06 commercial ammunition bending the operating rod. I also saw products designed to lower the gas pressure to keep that from happening. What do all of you know about this?

  19. Im on a night of OT ….and tomorrow night also….specifically designated ($$$s) to the CMP for a CMP Special (and 2 boxs of Greek 06). Ive posted this story in a forum, but as a kid (8-9) I remember my Dad and my cousin taking his M1 to the range…and my cousin walking around in front of the bench and unloading a clip. I have wanted one since that day. I can still hear the ‘ping’!!

    I’ll be 56 next month…the time is finally here!!!

  20. My late father Willard A. Farmer (1920-1985) entered the U.S. Army in 1940-41
    during World War II (1939-1945). He competed basic training while still in the
    California or Nevada National Guard prior to being inducted into the regular
    Army following Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. His basic rifle then was the
    .30 caliber bolt action Model 1903 Springfield. Later while in the U.S. Army 18th
    Infantry Engineers in Alaska building the Alcan Highway (1942) he had been re-
    issued the newer Garand M-1 rifle. He kept his service rifle aboard his bulldozer
    (Cat) while working 12 hour shifts; his issue Garand M-1 rifle was kept readily
    accessible while wrapped inside a shelter half. A year later while on Attu (May 1943) during the Aleutian Campaign he had same rifle, though he didn’t engage
    in combat against the esconsed Japanese who had occupied this frozen sub-Arctic
    hell between the Alaskan Mainland and Siberia. Many of our troops on Attu suffered
    from frostbite, exposure, trench foot, exhaustion, fatique, and depression. He made
    it home though after discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945. Five years later when
    the Korean War (1950-1953) broke out he fortunately wasn’t recalled for military
    service, despite the fact some World War II vets were. He already had a child, my
    older brother born in January 1947. Whatever happened to his issue Garand M-1
    rifle is a mystery of course. It was probably refurbished and re-issued for Korea.
    I was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon in November 1956 and the Garand M-1 rifle,
    while still U.S. Army and Marine Corp. standard issue, was relegated to be replaced
    (officially) in the U.S. Army by the newer M-14 rifle in May 1957. The M-14 would
    in turn be gradually replaced during the Vietnam War (1961-1975) by the newer
    M-16 rifle by 1966-67 by demand of then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. But that is another story.

    • My father was a pre-war Regular. He first qualified on the ’03 Springfield. While at Fort Riley Kansas in 1941 he and his buddy had the “honor” of assembling the company M-1s over a weekend. The reward was that on Monday morning he and his buddy could fieldstrip and reassemble an M-1 blindfolded.

      In early 1942 he volunteered for something called the paratroops. After completing his training he had the new honor of being selected for airborne cadre and spent the rest of the war at Fort Benning.

      I suspect I am writing this post because he never made it overseas.

  21. I Aquired my Springfield Armory M1 Garand from CMP.org, last year. I am VERY PLEASED. I bought the “Special” in 30-06). I got Lucky, I think. My serial# dates it Jan 1942, right after Pearl Harbor, and about the time both my Grandfathers enlisted in the Army. My rifle is New in every respect, including the barrel, except the receiver, although all refinished, matching parkerizing. Bran New walnut stocks, with dark swirling grain, you would expect on a Weatherby, yet oil finished. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! It is very tight, like bran new, and built like a Tank!!! Ive shot it about 300 times with various surplus ammo (Greek,Korean,Iran, USA) I aquired over internet. The first 100 or so rounds, I consider a break-in, as occasionally, the round would not go fully home, a quick foreward rap on the op-rod, would remedy that. The last 200 rds. no problems! I LOVE this RIFLE, Ive ALWAYS wanted one. My “Special” was $995.00, plus $25.00 shipping. It came in a Nice CMP emblazioned hard case, in shipping container. I received in a week, after I shipped my paperwork and check off, even though they say, expect 2 months process. It was waiting on my porch, when I returned home from work. NO Dealer Involvement, all paperwerk is already processed, when you apply. It Is Worth Every Penny I Paid!!!! Check out cmp.org, look at the different “grades”, and have the required papers sent to you, and you can get started. Prices range from $600- 1700. I recommend the “Special” at $995.00. You cant go wrong, and should be as pleased as I.

    • In 2004 I got a rack grade Spfld. M1 Garand dated 1943 for 295 bucks……It was beat to hell…..covered in cosmoline and grease, crappy ratty sling, cracked handguards and stock, no finish on the weapon and a smashed butt plate……but it is all correct grade as issued……It truly went to war…..I dissembled it and removed all the crud and put it back together…..it occupies a place of honor in my safe next to the other Garands…..I’ll shoot it this coming Veterans Day using issue LC ammo…..

  22. Top off is not an issue. Press the clip eject button and the partial clip is ejected and a full clip can be put in. No need to fumble around with single rounds or for that matter carry single rounds.

  23. i have just acquired .30 BA springfield..The inscription on the ‘Receiver’ reads —— US. RIFLE
    CAL.30 M1

    I have not been given any documents other than the sale papers. please let me know whether i can use the openly available 30-06 cartridges in this weapon…also what cartridges in addition can be used? Thanks. It may sound a stupid querry –but i got a little confused as i could not locate any .30 rounds. An early reply / guidance would be appreciated! Also what scope would you recommend? obviously with a little modification!!

    • When John Garand developed the prototype it was in a different caliber, so the story goes. Legend has it that Gen. Douglas MacArthur objected to the new caliber since there was so much .30-06 already in the supply chain so Springfield changed it to .30 cal. The “-06” refers to the year of adoption, I believe. You might want to contact the Garand Collectors Association for more and better information.

      • MG Julian S. Hatcher’s book “The Book of The Garand” 1948 ed., reprint 2012, ISBN 978-1-934044-26-1 at Amazon.com is a complete read on the History and development leading up to and on the M1 Garand……Also including operation, maintenance and manufacturing data at the Springfield Armory concerning the M1……well worth the bucks…..

    • There is really only one way to scope the Garand. If you really need to scope it you are going need to find a good quality reproduction of the mount that designed by Springfield for the rifle. Before you do though try the irons on the Garand. For some reason the aperture, front sight on the Garand work well for me. My optometrist told me looking through that small hole helps to focus your sight. Unless you’re hopelessly near, or far sighted it might just work for you.

      • Regardless of what the other “experts” on here say…..No you can’t because off the shelf store “30-06” ammo is too hot or the powder is slow burning and you could damage your operating rod…….2 ways to get around the problem is to handload or use a gas valve which screws into the gas cylinder via removing the gas plug ( at Brownells) and inserting it…..cost around 40 bucks and does not require any modification to the weapon…….30-06 is not 30 Govt…..they are the same case but bullet weight and powder weight and burning charastics are different….a call to CMP will confirm my notes…..Handloading I use 148 to 155 gr FMJ bullet and 46gr of H4895 powder……again 46gr of H4895 powder……..how do I know….I shoot round 3 to 400 rounds down range a month with my M1……you could get on the CMP forum and inquire….

  24. Which category of Garand did this guy review? The CMP sells Garands in 4 or 5 conditions ranging from worn out guns for a rebuild, to near perfect. Which was used in this review?

      • Would you care to point out where? Because, I asked the same question (I’m the very first comment) and I saw it nowhere.

        I just searched for the word “special” in the post, and it only occurs once, and that’s in the first paragraph, in the phrase “…in a world of expensive special purpose firearms…”

        There are a few commenters who mentioned that they bought a Special grade, but I don’t see anywhere where Nick stated what his rifle is.

  25. The M-1 is a “Rifle” not a “gun”. Your gun is that other little thing.. Your “rifle” is your best friend.You are expected to hit 10 out of 10 at 500 yards, standard sight, no scope, prone position, slow fire, ball ammo. To hit the five V at 1000 yards sight in dead center at the top of the target and watch where Maggie’s Drawers marks your round. At 1500 yards compensate for drop using the open sight by aiming one full target height above the enemy. If your enemy drops to the ground you missed so compensate for your error. Visually check the wind midpoint to the enemy.and for any evidence at your target, Use Kentucky windage for drift only if necessary and always use slow steady pressure on the trigger. Absolutely, do not fire at sounds after dark, you reveal your position. Wrap your spare web belt around your hand holding your bayonet and come up slashing..

    • There’s a link on the CMP website, and I believe Fulton Armory that will take you to sight where you can look up production dates by serial number. You have to realize though that a great many of them were re-arsenaled at various locations and times. Some (a lot) are mish-mashes various years and producers. Also, company maintenance personnel would use parts from other rifles to get them back into service when they were damaged or broken. It’s not uncommon for them to have been assembled with mixed up manufacturers all through the unit.

  26. I bought my first Garand when I was 14 years old. Believe it or not at a Sears & Roebuck store in ew Orleans, Louisiana. It cost me $85.00 and came with a sling, butt stock cleaning kit, cartridge belt, and bayonet. For $35.00 more I got a 30cal ammo can with loaded enbloc clips. My “new” Garand is a sad story with a happy ending. I originally traded for it outside a gun show in the mid ’90s. A case of 7.62×39 surplus in the wooden box for an ugly “Tankerized” Springfield in 308/7.62×51. When I got it home and stripped it I found a bent op rod and looking in the chamber, what looked like one of the inserts the Navy used to convert them. I took it to my local gunsmith and it didn’t gage real well, but I decided to try it anyway. Surprisingly it functioned just fine even with the bent op rod. Since the gunsmith said it looked like the previous owner had been using high powered ammo in it, it became a wall hanger. Then a few years ago I picked up a Shotgun News and in the Sarco ad was a parts kit of Italian Garand parts in 308. Since I have a deep affection for the 308 round I ordered the kit. Some of the parts were worn somewhat. I picked out the best stuff along with what I had in the rifle already. I stripped the action and took it to a gunsmith who had the proper tools to pull and replace the barrel with the new barrel made by Breda in Italy. After all that I now have a perfectly functioning Garand in 308./7.62×51. The receiver was manufactured in 1954 going by the numbers. I’ve shot several Garands through the years, and I’ve always felt they have the best ergonomics of any military rifle I’ve shot, including the vaunted Lee Enfield, and K-98,and 1903A3. They feel right and do what they do better than any combination I’ve tried. You see your target, bring the rifle to your shoulder and it’s right there. It’s like the Garand aligns my body for point of aim with no other thought from me. I love this stuff.

  27. I own two of them, one in 30’06 and the other in 7.62 modified by the Navy, Both are for use in the counter-revolution or to hand down to my children or grand children.

  28. By January 1944, after Stalingrad and Kursk, WWII was effectively over, and Germans were just fighting to obtain the best possible surrender conditions. Unfortunatley for them, the Potsdam declaration required unconditional surrender.

    • Unfortunately? I’m not sure what you mean by that. The Nazis had attacked their neighbors ruthlessly, had committed genocide, and while many of their soldiers fought with valor and honor they’d caused the destruction of huge swathes of Europe. They allied themselves with other countries who caused more damage in Africa, The Middle East, and Asia. Unconditional surrender was necessary because their leaders had to be brought to justice for what they’d brought about. Negotiating with Hitler was not an option.

  29. Can’t get one from CMP anymore except for occasional auction piece. What is the market value of a CMP Service Grade Garand nowadays? Can’t afford correct grade but don’t want to get ripped off for service grade on the used market. And with the import ban who knows what the value will be in the future . . .

    • Service grade can be good. It will depend on what you have to pay for it. I bought one from an individual at a gun show here in Texas for $500 cash. The rifle wasn’t pretty. The stock is old, dinged, and dented. The chamber gauged good, but the muzzle showed considerable wear. One of the venders there had the gauges to check the bore. The trigger group is good, op-rod is straight, and not cracked, op-spring in good shape, and all the bits and pieces in the receiver are good. The rifle functions properly with ammunition correct for Garand rifles, and after counter boring the muzzle it even has good accuracy.

      This is the second Garand I have purchased this way. The first was junk, but I was able to fix it with a parts-kit. I guess what I’m saying is you can do well in buying a service grade Garand. But, you need to be aware of what you’re buying. Don’t be afraid to buy one even if it has minor problems. Parts are available to repair anything that’s wrong with it, as long as you get a good receiver.

      If it’s not pretty….., don’t worry that’s called character, and they’re not making any more of them. So, get it while you can.

  30. I have a Arlington Ordanace M1 Garand. SA receiver made June of 1942. I bought the rifle for 385.00 in 1994, I think. All parts using drawing #s were SA 42,43,ad 45 exept the barrel. The barrel is a SA barrel dated 4-66. The rifle with handloads will group about 1 1/4 inches at 100 yds. using 150 gr Speer or Hornady bullets seated 3.33 and H4895 powder, 46.0 gr. with standard cci 200 primers. Rifle is a great, stock was well ” used” but it was carefully refinished. Both my grand fathers and my great uncle served in ww2, one in the Navy ( tin can sailor) was at Iwo Jima, Phillipines, Attu, Marianas. The great uncle was 82nd 505th P.I.R. I Company, KIA 1-3-45 at the Bulge, Other was 797th Military Police, 3rd Service Command. Every time I fire my Garand I wonder if it was their rifle, and though they are gone, I see them in my minds eye every time I take the gun to the range and wonder what they would say if they could.

  31. Love the discussion of the Enfield No 4 vs the Garand M1. I’ve got both and have to say that the Enfield has advantages some of you might overlook.

    Loading: The M1 en bloc clip is a bit harder to load than the Enfield which (in my 2017 after/after/after market) has multiple off-the-shelf magazines available. So, in 2017 the Enfield has the advantage. I have never tried to do stripper clips into the Enfield as I didn’t think to acquire any. Advantage: Enfield

    Rate of fire: Given the magazine change out ability on the Enfield I have to give this advantage to the Enfield. Unlike a Mauser you don’t have to take your eyes off the sights as you work the bolt, the bolt is amazingly smooth, you can work the bolt and fire with long enough fingers. For a single firefight in which I was busting down a door advantage Garand. For an extended shoot out at range: advantage Enfield.

    Recoil: The Garand bullet is a thumper but I don’t think the recoil is that bad. Didn’t seem like a problem. The Enfield recoil likewise seemed no big deal. 30-06 is cheaper than .303 British but only by a hair. Advantage: Garand

    Accuracy: The accuracy of both rifles is par from what i’ve seen.

    Looks: The definite advantage here is for the Garand because that Enfield English walnut is usually really gnarly, with lots of divets. While, the better looking Enfields can be very attractive, like the ones that were produced in Canada or for the Irish constabulary. Advantage: Garand

    History: You’d have to say par again. Enfields draw their lineage to the Boer War and Enfields are still banging away in the corners of the former British Empire (to paraphrase George Macdonald Fraser, author of the Flashman novels). The Garand was the rifle that liberated Europe and took back the Pacific wielded by a draftee army of our grandpas and great uncles.

  32. I received my M1 Garand from the CMP. I ordered the service grade for $730. The rifle is a late prodection, ser.#5900202 with a muzzle reading of 1 and a throat reading of 2. It has a walnut stock dark with no noticeable marks or dings. The metal finish, well let me just say that it looks like it was unissued. Thanks CMP.

  33. In 1961, my father was temporarily assigned to USCG rifle team at Cape May, NJ.

    I seem to remember competition stories about the match-grade M1 Garand at 1000 yards with iron sights.

    I was young and impressionable at the time; could that have really happened?

    Is there an archive for competitions at that time?

    There is little detail in his OMPF from National Personnel Records Center.

    What does qualify Expert in Navy ‘B’ Rifle at Parris Island in 1962 mean?


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