Korean perspective on the M1 Garand sale

The Koreans have been trying to sell back M1 Garand’s that were lent to them around the time of the Korean war but the US Government has blocked the importation. For more detailed information check out SayUncle who has blogged about it.

The Korean news website The Chosun llbo has an article about the sale

A Korean government official said, “It’s difficult to understand why the U.S. opposes the deal now, when we already shipped tens of thousands of these firearms to the U.S. in the early 1990s. We are trying to grasp the real underlying cause of this reversal through diplomatic channels.” He added that because these firearms were originally made in the U.S., selling them back needs approval from Washington.

[ Many thanks to 54Bravo and for emailing me the links. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • MrMaigo

    …and yet you can buy crates full of SKSs…
    Why prevent Americans from owning guns that would mean something to us? Or is it because they might remind us of a time when we didn’t screw up wars?

    I want my own little crate of M1C’s. I will name them George, and I will hug them and pet them and oil them.

  • 54Bravo

    1. This news source: “The Chosun Ilbo (lit. Korea Daily News) is one of the major newspapers in South Korea. With a daily circulation of over 2,200,000…” (from Wikipedia)

    2. At that story link, is the picture of the “M1 Carbine” actually a GI Joe toy or something? (also, it looks to be a M2 Carbine…lol)

    3. (from the article) “A U.S. State Department spokesman told Fox News on Wednesday, “The transfer of such a large number of weapons… could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes.”

    You have GOT to be kidding me?!? I find it hard to believe that anyone but the truly clueless (to the point of being mentally challenged) could seriously believe that 50+ year old M1 Garands and M1 Carbines would be on the top of terrorists’ shopping lists!*

    * (Not that the M1s aren’t great historical firearms, but with the world awash in readily available and more current design assault rifles, machine guns, etc. I would say: W-T-F State Dep’t?!?)

    • 54Bravo, thanks for the info. heh, I did not bother quoting the govt official because of course it is a load of BS. A **lot** of guns are imported into the US every year.

  • SpudGun

    My BS Meter has just hit overload – the US Government is worried that these antiquated rifles will fall into the hands of terrorists – yeah, okay, whatever.

    This is obviously about economics, I just wish the Government was honest and said ‘Sorry, we don’t want to buy a load of rusty old rifles and then pay to have them shipped / stored / destroyed / re-distributed.’

    According to the article, these rifles were ‘lent’ to the Koreans, why are they trying to sell them back to Uncle Sam? If I lent my lawn mower to a neighbour, I wouldn’t expect him to try and sell it back to me.

  • Jim

    Our guns laws really are schizophrenic sometimes.

  • 54Bravo

    I hope this absurd nonsense gets taken care of and these great historical firearms can get shipped over here-I would love to pick up a nice M1 Carbine with some history on it.

    The caliber is lacking (and $$$) but the guns are great shooters. I like their size, low recoil, and the sights. I also had the opportunity to fire an M2 Carbine (full auto!) once years ago and it seemed to have a lot of muzzle flip for such a relatively light cartridge. Not really recoil, just that the muzzle wanted to jump into the air really good but they DO fire at something like 900rpm! (and wow, did it ever tear up that ’65 Olds in the junkyard/shooting range)

  • They should just sell them to Canadian civilians. The important should be (very) easy, and they’re desirable up here as they’re allowed to retain their full 8 shot capacity rather than the usual 5 shot capacity for center fire semi-automatic non-restricted firearms. They could probably quite a bit more money for them as well.

  • Lance

    Funny I can buy a semi auto Romanian or Polish AK-47s. But when some old M-1 carbines and M-1 Grands come Obama say NO!!!!!. I think hes trying to win his anti-gun base back after his failure to stick another AWB on us. He thinks this will get his Brady bunch voters to reelect the democratic majority back to congress this November. Well think again.

    It really sucks this could but M-1 carbines in a affordable price in recent years carbines are sooooo stupidly high priced IE $750-$1300 for a dumb carbine worth in value $300 at most. This sucks!

    Or maybe Obama wants us to buy commie guns instead! A comrade with a SKS and AK for everybody. NO imperialist evil Grands! LOL!!!

  • Martin

    Bring ’em home! And leave none behind!

  • El Duderino

    Are we really surprised anymore when bureaucrats in the federal government take an anti-gun stance? Seriously?

    I keep my ear to the ground, and I don’t hear of a whole lot of armed crime committed using centerfire rifles, period. It’s almost always shotguns and handguns. And the SKS and AKs out there are a lot cheaper to feed than Garands and M1 Carbines!

  • jeff from CA

    perhaps this is one of those times you should write your representatives.

    No one wants to be seen as being against veterans and the history of the Korean War.

  • jeff from CA

    actually, who should we be writing to? Is this something that Congress can pass quickly and easily to demand these things to be imported?

    I imagine that democrats are probably on enough shaky ground that they’d be willing to support a bill that makes them look pro-gun and won’t bother their own base.

    I wish our government was simpler and dealing with it didn’t require game theory.

  • Jim

    “Funny I can buy a semi auto Romanian or Polish AK-47s. But when some old M-1 carbines and M-1 Grands come Obama say NO!!!!!. I think hes trying to win his anti-gun base back after his failure to stick another AWB on us. He thinks this will get his Brady bunch voters to reelect the democratic majority back to congress this November. Well think again.”

    The Garand ban predates Obama.

  • Meltron

    Remember, guns not politics.

  • Derfel Cadarn

    The mistake being made here is that you assume that a logical and coherent thought function is capable by government officials.They are so scared of you and your guns they are pissing in their pants.To get beat back with their own guns is abhorrent to them.Stand up for your rights Now! To those of you in the military and police forces remember you swore an oath.

  • ssolid71

    Would you rather be shot in the arm with an ar-15 or a m1 fucking garand?….BOOOM!

  • KevinTucky

    It’s unfortunate. And honestly I think the primary reason these gun imports are being refused has to do with the companies in the US that still make these models.
    These rifles sell for $700-$3000. Putting 850K M1 Garands on the market would tank the price and bring the average down to around 400-600.
    The manufacturers would undoubtedly slow production, and lower their staffing. Materials suppliers would be hit, shipping and storage companies would be hit.
    Overall taking in 850K of Garands and 700K Carbines would hurt the gun market. I would be a real boon for all shooting enthusiasts and history buffs, but as things are right now I’m betting that the lobbyists didn’t have to persuade very much to get these shipments refused.

    850,000 M1 Garands is about one fifth the normal rate for all guns across the range of manufacturers and importers for a year in the US.
    When you take imports and manufacture of all firearms in the US you get about 5.2 million guns a year.

    So this shipment of guns could be taken in, that’s 1.5 million in one shipment when the average annual import for all firearms is around 1.2 million. That would be a pretty big hit to the gun market.
    The ammo market would love it of course, but not gun manufacturers.

    But that’s just my opinion.

  • M.G. Halvorsen

    Let me see if I have this straight: The South Korean Government (our “Ally”) wants to SELL us back the M1 Garands and M1 carbines that we LOANED them? What kind of happy horses**t deal is THIS??? Tell our erstwile allies, the ROK, to fix bayonets on these lovely old rifles and shove them up their collective asses…then pull out the 37,000 troops we have there, and tell ’em,”You’re on your own…and keep your Hyundais, Samsungs, etc…oh, by the way, thanks for screwing your friends, the Americans.” I don’t need a Garand THAT bad.


    I am in accordance completely..

  • John Jackson

    The Gun Control Act signed by President Johnson on October 22, 1968 [18 U.S.C. 925(d)] was an omnibus measure reflecting a variety of congressional purposes. This Act ended the importation of ALL surplus military firearms and all other guns unless certified by the Secretary of the Treasury as “particularly suitable for … sporting purposes” [Cong. Rec 22, 779-80 (1968)]. This is what temporarily stopped the return of any U.S. M1 carbines to the U.S.

  • This definitely makes great sense..

  • Kibilz

    Hey you know if you yanks won’t have them I would love to own a bit of our Allies history. Hopefully we can get a few of these shipped to the great white north. Its the only semi-auto we can own that can carry more than 5 rounds in a clip. 30-06 mmmmmmmm

  • panama pete

    im a shooter . i fire an average of 300 rounds per week . i have an ak , i want a garand and i dont want to spend 1000 or more of my favorite dollars to acquire one . cmp sells them for around $800 . thats not the lowest grade they offer but i plan on puttig thousands of rounds through this gun so im looking at second or third from the bottom .

    if these guns from korea will lower the price i have to pay i say stop gagging the lollies and get it done . i heard that carter had a bunch of m14s destroyed . that should be a crime , i would rather have had one of those .

    i would like to have a list of any government officials that can make a difference in this no brainer so i can write them all . how safe can you be if youre unarmed ?


  • PLEASE!! find me just one article where a felon held up a bank or even commited a crime with an M1 Garand! Try concealling an M1 in your pants or on your body! come on! Our federal officials must think we are stupid. NO ONE in their right mind would use a 9.5 lb 4 foot long 70 year old rifle for those purposes. especially since a decent one costs 600 to 1500 dollars ! and when you can buy a new AK47 with two 30 rd mags and a thousand rounds of ammo for around 400 bucks! as John Stossel says GIVE ME A BREAK!

  • jerseydave

    Well, our administration promised in that 2008 campaign that they could get the world to love us and get us even closer to our allies. I guess they’re having about the same success here that they are anywhere else I. “What, me worry?” – Alfred E. Newman