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It is said that General George S. Patton called the M1 Garand rifle “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” That may very well be true. If it is, then M1 Garand rifle serial number 1,000,000 should be considered “THE greatest battle implement ever devised.”

Why the emphasis? Simple: that gun belonged to the inventor himself – John Garand. (Incidentally, all of us may or may not have been pronouncing his name incorrectly for decades. The article below is from 1943. However, Garand’s son noted a different – more common – pronunciation in 1999. You decide!)

When Garand retired on April 30, 1953, he received one heck of a retirement present. No gold watch here – no, sir! Instead, he received the most important landmark example of his life’s work, of which 5,468,722 were made over a 20-year span.

Made in November 1942, the serial number on what would become Garand’s retirement gift was just the beginning of what made this rifle so special.

The stock is the most remarkable piece of fiddleback walnut wood I’ve ever seen on a Garand. 

Housed in a custom-engraved, felt-lined wooden case, the gun was presented with a silver-plated en bloc clip containing gold-plated dummy cartridges.

Garand passed away in 1974. His family began searching for a buyer in 1999. Enter NRA Past President Allan Cors.

After reviewing multiple personal resumes from potential buyers, the Garand family arranged for a sit-down interview with Cors before agreeing to sell the rifle to him in November 1999.

Last fall, I had the rare opportunity to handle the gun myself. Given its incredible history and provenance, it was a privilege to hold such an important piece of American history.

This impressive rifle will be sold at public auction by Rock Island Auction Company during their September 2018 Premiere Firearms Auction, which runs from Friday, September 7 to Sunday, September 9. The estimated price is $225,000 – 375,000. Someone with far deeper pockets than me will take it home, where it will begin a new chapter in its storied history.

Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.

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  1. This would be great to have in a museum, but I’m a shooter not a collector. If you gave this rifle to me I’d sell it and buy some firearms that could be used.

    • Me too. (Or is that #MeToo?) Not that I don’t appreciate the rifle or its significance, but I’d be doing justice to neither by just sticking it in my gun safe and leaving it there.

  2. Never understood the appeal of SN collecting. But people need an excuse to speed a bunch of money, so…..

    Also , wonder what happened to the original stock.

    • Its not about the serial number. The rifle was presented to John Garand as retirement gift by the national armory (Springfield) during the height of WW2. The family knew the historical significance of the firearm and interviewed prospective buyers to make sure they were properly respectful of that history…. Now any Saudi prince or Bloomberg can buy it at public auction. As was said above: I hope a millionaire/billionaire buys it and donates it to a proper firearms museum.

      P.S. — that is the original stock. Zoom in on the picture of John Garand holding the rifle in 1942. The wood grain patern is the same as the modern pictures.

      • “Now any Saudi prince or Bloomberg can buy it at public auction.”

        Imagine Money Mike buying it and ceremoniously destroying it for “muh gunsense”.

        • “Imagine Money Mike buying it and ceremoniously destroying it for “muh gunsense”.”

          Well, then the Garand family gets Bloomie’s money.

          May he bid 100 billion dollars…

        • If this article tells the story correctly, then it’s Allan Cors who will receive the proceeds. The Garand family sold it to him 19 years ago.

          I’m sure Bloomie Bucks would love to give a chunk of cash to the former President of the NRA.

      • April 30, 1953, date of picture and retirement. Likely Springfield pulled the gun to go into the armory’s collection. I truly doubt if the stock was original, I think someone just thought is would be a cool present for his retirement. The JFK gun however, now that has real history behind it.

        • Oops…. thanks for the date correction.

          “Don’t I feel like the f***ing a$$hole.” – Gandhi c.1956

  3. I’m not into really pretty guns that aren’t expected to ever be fired. What’s the point? Hang it up and look at it? If you put it in the NRA Museum, is there a point? Pretty guns are exactly that and nothing more. I would be much more interested in a gun that some GI carried through the war. At least you know that did exactly what it was designed to do.

    • Jeez…. that’s like failing to see the historical significance of Orville Wright’s airplane, John Browning’s personal 1911, Sam Colt’s personal SAA revolver, Oliver Winchester’s personal lever gun, Ferdinand Porche’s personal Volks Wagon, Teddy Roosevelt’s teddy bear, etc.

      • This is NOT a personal gun, it is a retirement gift. Now if it was his personal gun, one that he used and even better yet modified, now THAT would be significant.

      • “Jeez…. that’s like failing to see the historical significance of Orville Wright’s airplane,…”

        Please, just *stop*.

        There were no powered heavier-than-air machines before the Wright bros. ‘Flyer’.

        Semi-autos existed before that rifle.

        Significant, hell yes! But it ain’t no 1903 ‘Flyer’…

        • And Orville Wright’s plane hanging in the Smithsonian isn’t the 1903 flyer either. By the time the Smithsonian plane was put together and given to the museum there were pleanty of other heavier than air craft around. But it’s HIS plane, and is significant for that reason.

  4. The colonel in the foreground of the black and white photo is George A. Woody. If you collect Garands, his initials are the “GAW” you see engraved on the stock of war time production Springfiled M1’s.

  5. Sargent Major General Disaster says:”Wow!!! , So these are going to be issued to the troops?Them Krauts and Eyetalians are going to be sooooo jealous,

  6. Caption – “Thank you for coming, Gentlemen. Now observe as I demonstrate the proper method for dispatching a tuxedo-wearing pencil neck!”

    • “and when you push this button it plays a slide whistle…”

      i think somebody misses their caption contests.

        • I never got my prize the last time I won. Got a couple of nice holsters and a muzzle brake before that. Don’t even remember what that last prize was supposed to be. Couldn’t have been much.

          And I got a calendar with some sexy guns on it.

    • The raffle winner would be some inbred hick who would injure his thumb trying to load it with full pressure .30-06 hunting loads, shoot at some recently emptied beer cans and decide it’s not accurate enough, throw it into the back of his pickup on top of the used rolls of barbed wire, and haul it down to the pawn shop where he unloads it for $100.

      $75 profit in an afternoon!

  7. It’s the finest firearm ever developed by a French-Canadian.

    Then again, there’s very little competition.

  8. Hail Garand, full of grace, John Browning is with you
    Blessed are you among gun makers,
    Hail Garand, father of M 1
    Pray for us shooters, now, and at the hour of bending our op rods

  9. I’m just gonna go have a drink because the only way I can afford that (and believe me, I want it) is to sell my house. I don’t think I can fit my bed and all my other junk in an M1 so I’m gonna need to keep the house.

  10. The pronunciation has always been as explained by the man himself to rhyme with “errand”, NOT Guh-Rand’.

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