Buying an M1 Garand from the CMP

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If you’ve been shooting any sort of competition in the United States, then you are probably familiar with the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and their infamous NRA High Power and Service Rifle competitions held in Camp Perry, Ohio. These competitions are probably the most significant and longest running high caliber competitions in the United States. Because they are based around the US Military’s service rifles, shooters use civilian legal M1 Garands, M14s, and M16s. These are fine rifles in their own right and entire industries have been set up to equip shooters and make them ready for a Service Rifle match. But venturing out in the firearms world and building a match grade M1 Garand or M14 can be costly. This is where the CMP makes a huge difference.

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The CMP was created in 1906 to help civilians become active in the shooting sports and has been running a program where they take surplus rifles that the Armed Forces have discontinued, and sell them back to the public for excellent prices. Because the M14 was mostly made with a selector switch, and service M16s are either all automatic or burst, the CMP cannot sell these surplus rifles to the public. As of now there is no full auto to semi automatic conversion program in place. Note that the rifle sales are “surplus” firearms, not just M1 Garands. This includes M1 Carbines, M1903A1/A3 rifles, M1917 Enfields, .22 rifles used by the military for training and drill rifles (both demilitarized M1 Garands and Daisy M1903 Springfield’s). Ironically, when the author visited the store there were far more drill rifles on sale than functioning rifles. These drill Garands costed just about as much as the functioning ones! Stores also stock extra firearms equipment such as ammunition, stocks, parts, receivers, barrels, books, and competition gear (jackets, slings, gloves, etc…)

 Now before readers become excited about buying a legitimate .30-06 M1 Garand for a great price (Service Grade $525 in person or $625 mail order), the CMP has certain requirements that must be reached before a civilian can purchase one. A purchaser must be a member of a CMP affiliated club (local gun clubs, some Boy Scouts of America chapters count), must show proof of U.S. citizenship and age, proof of marksmanship activity (past competitions, instructor status, CCW etc…) and be eligible to purchase a firearm (no criminal record, honorable discharge). To be eligible, one does not have to be a resident from the state that the CMP store is located in. This is an interesting feature about the CMP because they are a chartered organization by Congress and thus FFL exempt. Typical FFL purchase checks are not used in the purchase process and the rifle can be shipped directly to your home. Not to an FFL where you have to sign for it but overnight shipping to your place of residence.

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If readers are disheartened by all these requirements there are two caveats that took some researching for the author to figure out. The first is that the easiest way to satisfy the club requirement is to purchase a year long membership in the Garand Collectors Association (GCA, $25). Or to simply be active duty military, this bypass’s all the civilian requirements with a military CAC card. The author is of yet not sure about reservists, National Guard or service academies/ROTC but all it takes is a phone call to the CMP. Service members take note!

 So what’s the catch here? Apart from the eligibility requirements, the catch is that the CMP sells only what they have in stock. If they don’t have it, then they obviously cannot put it up for purchase. For example sales of carbines, Enfields, and Springfields have already been exhausted and are almost impossible to find nowadays at either store or through mail order. And with the Garands, they have limited quantities. The author called the store the week before he visited and they had 12 on hand, the day of his visit they were down to 10 and currently they are at 9 or lower because of my purchase. If they don’t have any in stock, then you simply have to be patient until they do get some. Also readers must note that although these are legitimate M1 Garands and not modern day Fulton Armory/ Springfield Armory reproductions, they are usually not in the complete state they were when they left the wartime Massachusetts Springfield Armory or Winchester plants. They are surplus and thus were used extensively throughout their service period. What the CMP excels at is they take these rifles, break them down, replace any part that shows wear, function checks and test fires them with proof rounds by competent armors. For example, the rifle I chose rolled off the production lines in 1948 with a Springfield receiver but has a Winchester stock. And if any reliability issues should surface, the CMP will take it back, fix it, and send it right back to the shooter.

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Usually when people think of the CMP and the surplus rifle program, they think of the mail order process (which can take months!) or the CMP North Store at Camp Perry, Ohio. This is all very well if you live anywhere near Ohio, but what if you live in the south? The CMP has a southern location in Anniston, Alabama called the CMP South Store. Sorry West Coast, maybe if your side of the country wasn’t colored blue every election you might have had a chance but in the time being you have to mail order. The Anniston Store isn’t as outfitted and large as the North Store but it is very well maintained and does have a decent selection of Garands. I was on a weekend trip to Atlanta with some friends and would have been damned had I not gone not even an hour out of my way to take advantage of this opportunity.

The store is a controlled firearms facility, it has separate entrance and exit doors and different offices to control the administrative side of the house. The main room is a small warehouse, filled with it’s inventory. As I walked through I took everything in, examining all the rifles and various other sorts of equipment. I made my way to the rifles that I came for, which were the “Service Grade” M1 Garands (CMP has Field, Service, Collectors, Rack, CMP Special, and even M1D Sniper grades, all for different prices). Luckily for me, there was another customer there who was an avid competition shooter and Garand collector. He told me about the various conditions the rifles were in, and had a throat erosion gauge on hand. This was especially useful because you can’t measure throat erosion by simply looking at the muzzle. So he inserted the gauge in each rifle and we found one that had a measure of 2 which is perfect for the Garand. On one of the rifles, the gauge slipped almost all the way in, this is very bad if the rifle is intended for any accurate shooting. Collecting is a completely different matter because that is more dependent on the rifle’s condition, manufacture date and intactness. Although the history buff in me wanted one for historical value, a rifle’s purpose is to put rounds downrange accurately and consistently, so I went with the rifle that had the measure of 2 and thus was a shooter.

After a short and brisk purchase process, throughout which the CMP staff were absolutely wonderful and friendly, helping me at every step of the way, the rifle was officially mine and I was a happy camper to say the very least. I opted to get it shipped back to North Carolina as I didn’t want to deal with the headache of keeping a high power rifle in my car trunk throughout the rest of my stay in inner city Atlanta. I also bought an original M14 stock (although CMP doesn’t sell M14s, they do stock their component parts minus selector switches), 200 rounds of .30-06, and 20 “en bloc” clips for $25.

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Shooting

The rifle arrived in a cardboard box with the case enclosed inside. Although the CMP can deliver right to your doorstep, it is still a functioning firearm and thus postal rules are strict as they need to be. An adult needs to sign for the package and it’s shipped overnight through FedEx from whichever CMP store you bought it from. If no adult is present, the currier will take it back to the FedEx facility and return another day. The case is a standard foam padded firearms case of a green color and “CMP” em-blazed on the front. Inside is the M1 with a CMP yellow chamber flag preventing the bolt from closing. Also enclosed is a plastic bag with a manual, an en bloc clip, and a certificate of authenticity with your name/serial number and date of purchase. It doesn’t come with a sling but you can buy one at the CMP store. I didn’t purchase one because I already had a green parade sling at the time and the store didn’t have M1917 leather loop slings while I was there.

The night before I had loaded up all of the 25 en bloc clips I had and shot around 7 clips through the M1. I first loaded a single round to test it and fired it, then loaded a clip and it performed flawlessly. The range I was at didn’t extend past 75 meters so I shot a clip for accuracy at 30 meters and it produced a nice 3 inch group from a prone position. The ground I was shooting from was very rocky and it was more of a confirmation group than a true test of its accuracy. No doubt I’ll take it to a larger range in the future and see how well it does further downrange. Inserting the clip takes some getting used to and there is the ever present fear of “M1 thumb” which means your thumb gets caught in the action from the bolt slamming forward. So just be careful at first until you get the hang of it.

I’ve shot M1 Garands before and they have always been a blast to be able to fire a rifle that was truly revolutionary when it was produced and used. But to actually finally own one and shoot something that is truly yours is quite the thrill. From a shooter’s perspective the rifle is extremely rugged and is capable of competition shooting out to 600 meters.  But from a historical perspective it is also amazing. To actually hold in your own hands and fire a weapon that helped win the Second World War is unmatched. It is reminiscent of a time when rifles were made of steel and wood. Quite unlike the aluminum and polymer contraptions of today. And as Patton once put it, the M1 Garand “is the greatest battle rifle ever devised”.




Miles Vining

Prior Infantry Marine and currently studying at Indiana University. Avid shooter and hunter, you’ll find me most at home picking apart an interesting rifle or pistol. When not receiving horrible results at Steel Challenge competitions I’m busy learning Pashtu, cycling long distance, and getting outdrunk by the English. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]


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  • USMC03Vet

    I’m sure they’d have more if Obama didn’t block importation of those Korean surplus garands.

    Good job on picking up a fine rifle instead of wasting your money out in Jacksonville. Congrats on your new older rifle.

    • BulkFuelSpecialist

      I didn’t waste any money at the driftwood. I provided those young women with some hope to one day afford tuition to Coastal Community College.

      • Vince

        Fucking Driftwood. What a cesspool.

    • Ken

      The Korean ones were not going to go to the CMP. The CMP doesn’t import anything. They get returns from abroad (which are US Army property), that the US Army turns over to them. The South Koreans insist that they bought (not borrowed) the ones they currently have. As such, they’re trying to sell them off. Under the 1968 GCA, the US Dept of State has final say in the importation of any ex-US Property defense articles, on top of normal importation red tape.

      • The Brigadier

        The Koreans have a lot more M1Cs than M1s and Hillary stopped the re-importation of both when she was a senator, the witch.

    • claymore

      So you do know a real M-1 when you see it LOL.

  • M

    CMP’s supply is drying up. I wonder what they’ll do in the future

    • Zachary marrs

      Probably just match conversions, that and gunsmithing classes

    • comatus

      Air rifles. ISYN. There’s your future.

  • Bill

    One of the best things the CMP could do would be detailed classes on the care and maintenance of the Garand, straight from the experts.

    • bobthenest

      Bill, they had a webinar on that not too long ago. I thought it was well done. Might want to ask them if another is planned. Had the opportunity to buy download rights to it afterward, too.

      • Bill

        Thanks, I’ll be on the lookout.

    • Ken

      M1’s come with an instruction manual on where to clean and where specifically to grease.

      But yeah, there are some tricks to tuning them such as fitting the front handguard to be loose and clearing wood from certain other places. There is an advanced armorers class where you build your own Special Grade equivalent from a stripped receiver. Otherwise, the CMP Forum is a good resource to see how others tune their M1’s.

  • Geoffry K

    I have a C&R FFL 03, but not the money to buy one. I would love to have one.

    • Ken

      FFL03 is not necessary to buy from the CMP (though they do accept it as proof of firearms activity). The CMP is not even an FFL (only organization allowed by Congress to sell guns without one). They overnight the M1 right to you via Fedex.

      • Geoffry K

        Not necessarily buy from CMP. Prices on Armslist exceed $1000 for the few offered for sale, other than non-firing ones.

        • Ken

          You need to be careful of worn out ones that have been refinished or dressed up in nice wood though, as well as rewelds. A lot of the Korean imports from the 80’s and 90’s were completely trashed, so the importer refinished them. Rewelds were popular in the 60’s, before M1’s were surplussed in numbers. People and businesses would buy demilled M1 receivers and surplus parts and try to weld them back together. More often than not, they were not welded to spec, and are capable of firing out of battery. Also, even if a reweld is shootable, the resale value is nonexistent.

          • Bob Grimes

            I have a 60’s reweld. I have been shooting it in high power ever since. never had one problem. you could never tell it is a reweld

      • Geoffry K

        So I went over to the CMP website. I can’t afford those prices either, AND 6 months delivery. I would do better from Armslist if I had $1000 as I could get it immediately.

        • Ken

          Definitely worth setting aside the money for CMP though. I own three SA’s, all wartime production that I got from them. My first was a mail order Service Grade, and it’s untouched since it was rebuilt in 1965 at Letterkenny Army Depot. My second was a Service Grade hand pick that someone did for me from the CMP North Store, which is my current match rifle. My third is actually a Field Grade I got two weeks ago myself at the North Store when I was at Camp Perry for the National Matches. It’s a Field Grade that’s actually in nicer condition than my other Service Grades, once I steamed the dents out of the wood.

          Go to the CMP Forums to see what other people are getting via mail order and their wait times. I believe people who mailed their orders in early April got their rifles in late July, so the wait is not that bad.

          I’d highly suggest going with a “buyer’s agent” for a hand pick . That’s someone who you give your paperwork to who goes to one of the CMP Stores and selects the rifle you will receive and hands it to the counter with your paperwork. Then, the CMP sells it to you and overnights it to you as normal, but without the wait. The agent can select a rifle based on your criteria. My hand pick was in the fall of 2012. I mailed the paperwork on Monday, the agent received it on Wednesday, he picked my rifle on Friday, and I had it in my hands the following Monday.

  • Sam Schifo

    Actually I believe what Patton said was, “The greatest battle implement ever devised.”

    • Burst

      Patton and Hyperbole were on friendly terms.

      They may have even been shacking up.

      • Ryan

        Have you ever fired an M1? It’s more than capable in 2014…during WWII, it was by far the greatest battle implement going.

        Slightly blasphemous maybe, but Shuff’s magazine fed conversions would let the M1 hang with just about anything today when it comes to practical accuracy and ballistic horsepower while keeping to a manageable weight.

        • Cymond

          I guess that also depends on your definition of “battle implement”. The Garand is lovely, but it’s no match for an aircraft carrier.

          • Arch Stanton

            I think the entrenching tool was pretty darn important!!!

  • ArmasDeFuego

    Funny. The govt will still sell you one they have, but they won’t allow them to be imported anymore for others to sell…

    • SP mclaughlin

      I’d be surprised if most politicians, including the President, knew the CMP existed.

    • Ihateobungo

      Wrong, the goverment won’t even allow us imported US made M1’s.
      They explained to us peasants that importing these 70+ year old rifles risks the possibility of “falling into the wrong hands”. It’s for our safety, after all you wouldn’t want to be gunned down in a Garand drive-by by De’Andre and Jamarius, would you?

      • Doom

        “you wouldn’t want to be gunned down in a Garand drive-by by De’Andre and Jamarius, would you?” LOL, while id rather not be enriched by a melanin enhanced fellow, at least it would be with a nice gun, better than death by Jennings or hi point

    • asoro

      then they should bring them back from Korea and sell them them self’s lots of money for them to make too, plus they are only 8 rd’s

  • AGG

    A 3″ group at 30m?? Why not just say “the bullets went forward-ish?” That’s handgun accuracy– far from what should be expected of a rifle.

    • Stephen

      “the bullets went forward-ish?”

      LOL – I needed a good laugh today and you brought a smile to my face.

      Now I rarely take the role of grammar police but when the author says “Garands COSTED just about as much as the functioning ones!” I can’t resist pointing that out.

      “forward-ish”

      Gotta love it!

      • 11b

        Hey, the guy’s infantry- I don’t expect the queen’s English ;)

      • who cares?

        It’s been my experience that the Garand can be quite accurate. The M1 carbine, however, is better utilized as a club than a firearm.

  • VeriAeq

    You’ll be waiting 60-90+ days for online orders so back of the queue. BTY, active, reserves, retired military also qualifies. Also note; fresh parts, stock, & new bbl (30-06 or .308) go for 999.** (only M1 ball or equivalent ‘nothing hotter’ for the 30-06).

  • Nimrod

    The CMP is no longer a gov’t; entity and I hardly would use the word “infamous” to describe Camp Perry

    in·fa·mous
    ˈinfəməs/
    adjective
    adjective: infamous
    well known for some bad quality or deed.
    “an infamous war criminal”
    synonyms:notorious, disreputable; More
    legendary, fabled, famed
    “an infamous train robber”
    antonyms:reputable
    wicked; abominable.synonyms:abominable, outrageous, shocking, shameful, disgraceful, dishonorable, discreditable, contemptible, unworthy

    • Vince

      Your name, as it is currently interpreted, is quit appropriate, when considering your statement.

      • Seth Hill

        Actually Nimrod may be correct, though kind of vague it appears that it is no longer tied to the government per CMP site:

        “From 1916 until 1996 the CMP was administered by the U.S. Army. Title XVI of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (Public Law 104-106, 10 February 1996) created the Corporation for the Promotion of Rifle Practice & Firearms Safety (CPRPFS) to take over administration and promotion of the CMP.[2] The CPRPFS is a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3)corporation chartered by the U.S. Congress, but is not an agency of the U.S. government (Title 36, United States Code, Section 40701 et seq.). Apart from a donation of surplus .22 and .30 caliber rifles in the Army’s inventory to the CMP, the CMP receives no federal funding.”

        • Vince

          Here’s your sign

  • dan citizen

    Nice article, thank you.

  • Secundius

    Any M1E5 or E6 variants.

  • Ken

    Here’s my ten shot group at 100 yards, unsupported prone with a sling with an as-received Service Grade (I did repair two cracks in the stock though), and my handloads.

    It’s definitely worth getting an M1 from the CMP. I’ve bought four from them, and hope to max out my limit of 12 a year at the end of the year as a graduation present to myself.

    http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee382/klan792/P1010001_zpsf4e66640.jpg

    • Secundius

      I acquired my first M1E6 Garand Sniper Rifle through a friend that past away several years ago. The wood stock was in pristine condition, just like it came out of the factory machine shop. Not one blemish on it that I could find, and I wanted to keep it that way. So, after several years of trying, I was finally rewarded by a manufacturer that made synthetic stocks for the M1 Garand. I purchased one, and replaced it for the original. And keep the original in a safe, humidity, temperature and ambient light controlled Fish Tank. If I could find a way to embed it in Liquid Plastic Polymer or Liquid Amber, I would. Or maybe I’ll just Clear Coat-It in a Clear Coat Varnish and/or Paint.

    • Ryan

      Nice shooting? What happened to the one that went high?

      • Jake from State Farm

        It obviously went high due to lack of interpersonal social skills.

        ;)

      • Ken

        I don’t know, haha. A friend was spotting for me and he kept calling tens at 6 oclock and X’s, and then I heard a 9 at 11 oclock probably around shot six or seven and couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. I shoot with a 6 oclock hold, which probably explains the vertical stringing. I usually try to time my trigger break to when the sliver of white between the black and my front sight disappears.

        • The Brigadier

          Here’s a fact that ammo manufacturers don’t like to discuss. Every 100 rounds of service grade ammo will have 3 rounds that are so unbalanced they become flyaways. This has to do with sectional densities in the lead with little dense balls of heavy lead/antimony that throws the tight spin off. Think of balancing a tire that lost a weight. You have just as much a chance of it missing the target altogether as it hitting a couple of inches high or low. Its okay for semi-serious practice, but if you are going to keep some boxes aside for possible combat, make sure its match grade. Your life is worth the extra cost. I personally have several thousands rounds of match grade for each of my rifle and handgun calibers. Then if one goes high its all on you.

          • Ken

            Those were my handloads with Nosler Custom Comps. The quality control is pretty damn good on those. But yeah, I get lots of flyers with ball ammo.

          • Secundius

            @ The Brigadier.

            If the Ammunition Manufacturers did that, they NEVER sell any ammunition.

  • wishbone

    “…and their infamous NRA High Power and Service Rifle competitions held in Camp Perry, Ohio.”
    Sorry, but I am not sure if you know what the word “infamous” means.

  • Indrid_Cold

    Not trying to be that guy, but…

    “If no adult is present, the currier will take it back to the FedEx facility…”

    Courier, not currier.

  • jonspencer

    The CMP / NRA are not the same. Different governing bodies. Different days. Somewhat different rules. Just because they shoot at the same place does not mean they are the same.
    The “and their infamous” is a poorly written statement. Even if it is the writers opinion.

  • LongRangeBob

    National Guard and Reserve are compliant to order CMP rifles, they must be “actively” serving and possess a CAC card.

  • Secundius

    The M1 Garand, is a “Surgical” Weapon, while the AK-47 is a “Firehose” Weapon.
    If you can’t shoot better then 3-inch groupings at 30-meters, get yourself a AK-47. Because even at 30-meters YOU WLL hit something, beyond 250-meters (???) I’m not the best shot in the world, but at least can group 3-inch shots, at 100-meters using iron sights only with a M1E5 “Tanker/Garand” Rifle.

    • Tom W.

      Is your Tanker original or something more recent?

      • Secundius

        @ Tom W.

        It’s not WW2 original. But Korean War era, original, I don’t think it saw any combat action, because the stock was in pristine condition and there was still greese in the barrel. I, inherited the Rifle and other Firearms. From a friend that died back in 2003. He collected guns, but never fired them (an odd hobby). What I suspect happen, after having lengthy talk with him. He, received these firearm through friends he knew, that worked in the Automotive Industries and NASCAR Races. Most of these of those weapons were Commemorative Weapons for Jobs Well Done, Winning Auto Races, Engraved with either Inlaid Silver and/or Gold. And the Wood Stocks had Extremely Fine Carvings. Some of the Pieces, were just Show Pieces. Because the Barrels were plugged and the metals used in making the rifle, would never withstand a “Proofing Round or Load” firing.

        • GeoInSD

          The Garand Collectors Association says this about Tanker Garands: “A deceptive term for a shortened commercial version of the M1. Near the end of WW II a cut down M1 was tested and rejected. Gun dealers later began to manufacture this type to sell many of the welded receivers they had made (see REWELD), and coined the term “Tanker” to suggest use by tank crews.”

          • Secundius

            @ GeolnSD.

            I know, it was also used by Airborne Paratrooper and Glider Assault Troop. I use the Tanker model because I’m a Wheelchair Driver. And the M1E5 Tanker/Garand Rifle because it is easier for me to handle, then the longer M1E6 Sniper/Garand Rifle.

          • The Brigadier

            Most Airborne used M1Cs exclusively because too many paratroopers were getting their necks broken by the longer barrels of the Garand when they landed.

          • Secundius

            @ The Brigadier.

            The M1C was a Sniper variant. The T26 variant which also had a 18-inch barrel, replaced the M1E5 model. The T26 was used by both Airborne Troopers and Tank Crews, after 1945.

        • Tom W.

          Very interesting history, thanks for sharing!

  • GunTotingLib

    Have my CMP Garand and love it. Just be sure not to fire current manufacture 30.06 ammo without installing a adjustable gas plug or you will bend your op rod. Several companies manufacture M1 specific ammo at a premium but the vintage ammo from CMP is a great buy. All I needed were a notarized copy of my passport, gun club card and CWP .

    • Arch Stanton

      Just one? I have purchased over 15 of them…all hand picked, over the last several years. Just can’t beat the price. Very nice Service grades plus 2 SG Specials. Oh…..ammo MUCH ammo!

      • GunTotingLib

        Have to buy mine mail order so can’t hand pick, also I work for a living so I buy one gun a year and there were many others that I want to own. I didn’t think I needed more than one Garand ,…But recently I have rethunk it. Planning a road trip next year and my wife is wondering why we are passing through Port Clinton, Ohio on the way to visit some friends

        • GeoInSD

          You can’t hand pick but you can describe preferences in the special instructions section of the notes. I am sure it will take longer to fill the order but there is some leeway.

          • GunTotingLib

            I just took the luck of the draw on mine and I love it, Very happy with it.

        • Secundius

          @ GunTotingLib.

          I have two plus one. (1) M1E6 Sniper/Garand, in .30.06Springfield (7.62x63mm) when I was still walking. (1) M1E5 Tanker/Airborne/Garand, in .30.06Springfield (7.62x63mm) now that I’m a wheelchair jockey. And, (1) 98k Mauser 8-mil (7.92x57mm) .

  • Unlucky Eddy

    I’ve talked to the CMP and being the Guard or Reserves you are eligible

  • Chris Barnabei

    Look at all those rifles just sitting there. So why am I getting told they’re on back order when I placed my order 5 months ago.

  • WOLF HUNTER

    GREAT STORY

  • EthanP

    FYI: I have shipped 3 rifles via UPS over the years for repairs. In all 3 cases, on return the box with the rifle was dumped at my front door with nobody home. I can’t speak for FedEx. At the time I was informed they didn’t ship firearms.

  • EthanP

    It took the US Army from 1944-1957 to come up with the M-14 from the M-1. The original selling point was it would use mostly M-1 parts. Except for the rear sight and some of the trigger group none of the parts interchange. All this expense to get a 20 rnd mag. It’s even 1″ longer. The Italian firm of Beretta took 2 years and were even able to use the M-1 receiver group. Many M-1’s were cheaply converted.

  • Neorebel

    Nice article.
    For maintenance of the M-1 there are plenty of youtube video’s that show how to maintain them. They are easy to breakdown and wonderful to shoot.
    I have a nice HRA 1953. Out of the box she shot a good 1 1/2 inch group at 100 yards.
    I can imagine shooting prone on a rocky surface and just shooting for it to test her out is not a reflection of the true accuracy of the weapon.
    I would tell anyone who wants one NOW is the time to get one!
    If you’re an LEO you don’t need to join a Club. Just call them and they will set you up.

  • Zebra Dun

    I had the chance to buy an M-1 Garand that had no markings besides a serial number and a Christian cross on the receiver.
    At $300.00 each there were two one rattled like a baby toy when shook the other was tight but had running sights.
    Both in 30.06 with wood stocks. Each came with one empty Garand clip.
    The finish of the steel was brown like an old rabbit hunting shotgun that had hung in the window of a pick up for years and never saw a drop of oil.
    I offered $200 but couldn’t make a deal.
    I was interested and did search for the Cross marking on the receiver but never found out any data or info.
    The barrels of both rifles were clean and shiny with distinct grooves.
    I had the impression both had been built up from a collection of spare parts.
    I wonder if they shot.

    • Secundius

      @ Zebra Dun.

      Most likely its either a Proofing Mark or a Proof Stamp too indentify who made it. A personal Identification Stamp or a Certification Stamp. A “Tattoo” of sorts,. You can buy or do a web search on the “mark”, but there no guarantee that your find the person who made the rifle and/or certified the rifle, because a lot of these “stamps” were never published.

      • Zebra Dun

        The seller was located at a salvage store fully FFL legal as were the rifles he implied that he believed the two rifles came from Lebanon.
        He has some interesting firearms go through there at times.
        There was a P-14 Enfield Rifle there once that was in perfect condition except the chamber was welded shut so no round could be fired or chambered and the barrel was also ruined by the weld. He said it was used by a VFW color guard and regulations made the rifle have to be in DeWaT status, the other rifle had been purchased by someone who wanted a wall hanger, it came with a bayonet made for the rifle.
        Sad I was, We both wished it had been a shooter. He wanted about $45.00 for the rifle.

        The action on the tight Garand was slick and smooth, when field stripped it was found to be clean and not very worn at all but far from brand new.
        I’ve often kicked myself for not buying just to have an M-1 in the rack.

  • Zebra Dun

    Long ago as a callow youth I was fam fired on some US Navy M-1 Garands, they were in 7.62 x 51 mm NATO Gunny said they had been modified for the Navy to shoot this standard ammo instead of 30.06 They were accurate and compared to the 30.06 had only a slightly less amount of recoil.
    I always thought, “Why?” why change from the .06 caliber to 7.62 x 51 just to be using the same ammo as an M-14 or M-60.

    • Secundius

      @ Zebra Dun.

      The .308Winchester (7.62x51mm Nato) cartridge and .30.06Springfield (7.62x63mm) cartridge.

    • Secundius

      @ Zebra Dun.

      The .30.06Springfield (7.62x63mm) is a “over kill” round, good for ranges beyond 1,200 to 1,800-meters or more, in open areas. The .308Winchester (7.62x51mm Nato) is a “just enough” round, good for long-rage shots in wooded/jungle area of around 500 to 1,200-meters. Then there also the length/weight of the round. the smaller the round, the more you can carry.

      • GeoInSD

        The military .30-06 round is only about 100 ft/sec faster than the equivalent 7.62×51 round. It seems to me that the issue was more of portability/space. Ballistically, not much was given up.

        • The Brigadier

          You are absolutely right Geoln. That was the factor that helped make the decision in ’58. My father helped with the testing at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia on the outskirts of DC.

        • Bob Grimes

          the 308 works better in an automatic weapon

    • The Brigadier

      They are lighter and therefore you can carry more rounds for the same weight, and they fly flatter due to the Nosler tip and the boat tail that makes them an extremely accurate round. The .308 won every Camp Perry competition up to the early ’90s when the .223 was allowed in competition and then the .223 has the entire string of victories ever since. The .308 NATO now is a separate competition. I qualified as a marksman with an M16 A1, but used an M14 in battle because its round hits with three times the shock power of the mouse round.

  • The Brigadier

    Unfortunately Patton died before the advent of the M14/M1A. The M14 fixed every systemic problem with the Garand. The Garand is a good rifle, but not a perfect one. The M14 was a major improvement, but the idiots in the DoD Weapons Procurement Office made a major blunder. They didn’t want squad BARs anymore because each squad had to have two very strong guys to hump that 23 pound machine gun rifle and that made staffing very hard, so they made the M14 a select fire rifle.

    At 11 pounds, the M14 is entirely too light fire on full automatic. The first shot is on target and then the barrel rolls up and to the right due to the rifling twist. If the enemy is riding ducks then this would be okay, but I know of know army riding ducks other than Disney’s.

    So we had a fully automatic rifle no one could shoot unless it was fixed to a forward barrel rest and spiked to the ground to keep it from rising. The answer then to both the Garand’s systemic problems and the M14s ridiculous full auto capability, is Springfield’s M1A, which is the M1/M14 perfected. It is also manufactured by Fulton Armory as the L1A1. It avoids the problems with the Garand, has detachable 20 round box magazines, shoots .308 NATO that flies flatter than the .30.06 Win and is nearly as accurate as the Mouse rifle with a lot more hitting power. If Patton lived into a greater old age he would have declared the M1A the greatest battle rifle ever devised.

  • LKandel

    If you are a current member of either the American Legion or VFW that counts towards the purchase requirements as well. The CMP website has all the acceptable clubs or groups needed to order.

  • walter12

    I have dealt with the CMP for many years. They will be going out of business soon, due to there running out of products. No more M1s, no more 30-06 surplus ammo soon.

  • who cares?

    What Patton actually said was “greatest battle implement ever devised”.

  • bfmusashi

    Thanks for the article, I have a soft spot for the Garand completely at odds with my lack of desire to buy guns. It’s nice to know how one can make the acquisition.

    • Secundius

      @ bfmusashi.

      Some people tend to think of the M1 Garand as a thing of the past. And the AK-47 blazing path way too the future. In actuality the AK-47 is like the Tambourine, any fool can play the Tambourine. While the M1 Garand is like the Singer’s Microphone, and the Microphone is an extension of the Singers Voice. While everyone can sing, not everyone can sing well. That’s what the M1 Garand gives your, a Beautiful Sing Voice. Other Vintage Rifles worth mentioning are the Mauser 98k or k98 (7.92x57mm), the Springfield M1903 (7.62x63mm) and Springfield M14 (7.62x51mm Nato). There are a lot of vintage rifles out their, choose the RIGHT ONE for YOU.

  • Seth Hill

    Hey Miles, just because the throat reading was a 2 doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more accurate than the others. Take a gander at Fulton Armory’s FAQ on Throat Erosion Gauge (http://www.fulton-armory.com/%5Cfaqs%5CM14-FAQs%5CTEGauge.htm).