Shooting an M1 Garand in a Carbine Competition

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.


  1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    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.

    1. avatar Diesel Dan says:

      plenty of surplus M1 Garands? There would be, and M1 Carbines…except for this:

  2. avatar collver says:

    Pop pop ping. Music to my ears.

  3. avatar David says:


  4. avatar Evan B says:

    should be automatic down 0 on each target for badassness.

  5. avatar JasonM says:

    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).

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I want to own one so I can go around using the word ‘clip’ unironically and correctly…

      1. avatar joe l says:

        i do and i do ;-p

    2. avatar Rifleman762 says:

      There are 5-rd clips (and 2-rd) available for the Garand. He planned that stage well.

  6. avatar Heretical Politik says:


  7. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    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.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      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.

    2. avatar Gatehouse says:

      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!!

    3. avatar Defens says:

      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.

    4. 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!

    5. avatar ropingdown says:

      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?

      1. avatar Christian says:

        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. =(

        1. avatar ropingdown says:


        2. 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:

          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.


        3. avatar bontai Joe says:

          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.

        4. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          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.

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        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.

    6. avatar BLAMMO says:

      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.

  8. avatar Matt in TX says:

    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.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      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.

      1. avatar Matt in TX says:

        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.

  9. avatar Dev says:

    That was awesome to watch.

  10. avatar Eric says:

    That was awesome.

  11. avatar PeterK says:

    Gotta love the garand. Just gotta.

  12. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    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.

    1. avatar Heretical Politik says:

      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?

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        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.

        1. avatar Heretical Politik says:

          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.

        2. avatar Scott P says:

          Heretical Politik


          Medal of Honor for Playstation, 1998 😉

          Dropping into France with a Garand at the ready.

    2. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      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 . . .

      1. avatar JR says:

        George III (and associated Parliament), Marx, Engels, a few Caesars, Napoleon …

        This could be a fun list to continue.

      2. avatar Xavier Caceres says:

        Don’t forget Fidel Castro, the slyest of them all

    3. avatar JR says:

      “Zero knowledge of the past further back than 1999.”

      I think the word that fits here is solipsism.

      1. avatar Todd S says:

        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.

        1. avatar Deon says:

          I call them the Selfie generation.

    4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      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.

    5. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

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

    6. avatar Christian says:

      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.

    7. avatar Jim R says:

      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.

    8. Geesh, Tommy, settle down. Many people are unaware of the details of military surplus rifles.

    9. 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:

      1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        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.

  13. avatar Noishkel says:

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

  14. avatar Damon says:

    Reasons I love my Garand:
    1. Still legal in CA.
    2. This!

  15. avatar g says:

    Super cool.

  16. avatar John says:

    I think he might have been using 5-round modified En-bloc clips. They’re used for hunting.

    Like this:

    1. Nope, he was using standard eight round clips, just count the shots, like this.



  17. avatar Jack Brown says:

    The only rifle I own and I own three currently.

  18. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    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 !

  19. avatar Tom W. says:

    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.

  20. avatar Pahtun6 says:

    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.

  21. avatar PeterC says:

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

  22. avatar ensitue says:

    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

  23. avatar ensitue says:

    BTW there are 100,000 surplus M-1s in S Korea Obama will never let back in the USA

    1. avatar jwm says:

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

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        So probably not Hillary.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Better not. Hope not.

      2. avatar Jim R says:

        Good flapping luck. Our choices are going to be a gun-grabbing Democrat and a gun-grabbing RINO and you know it.

    2. avatar Panzercat says:

      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.

  24. avatar DisThunder says:

    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.

  25. avatar Blake says:

    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.

  26. avatar Tom W. says:

    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. 🙁

  27. avatar Noah says:

    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.

  28. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

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

  29. avatar rlc2 says:

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

  30. avatar JoeBaja says:

    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!

  31. avatar KCK says:

    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.

  32. avatar Jim R says:

    I REALLY want one of these, but I don’t have a spare thousand bucks lying around…

    1. avatar Deon says:

      Honestly, Its worth saving up for……they are that fine to shoot and own.

  33. avatar JW says:

    World War II Three Gun- M1 Garand, 1911, and Ithaca 37… Awesome

  34. avatar sacorey says:

    Youtube channel forgottenweapons does 3 gun with some really obscure guns

  35. avatar Casey says:

    That is bad ass! I take delivery of a H&R M1 on Monday from the CMP!!! All mine for $624.

  36. avatar John Phelps says:

    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.

  37. avatar IdahoPete says:

    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.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      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.

  38. avatar luvmym1 says:

    ENBLOC- Translated from the French origin means 8 ROUNDS OF AMERICAN WHOOPASS!

  39. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Tyler? You go, dawg! Reach out and touch someone, as the old crusty dudes would say.

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