America owns the Korean M1 Garands

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Daniel Gallington, of the Potomac Institute, has published an article in the Cypress Times on the ownership of the controversial Korean M1 Garands and M1 Carbines that Korea is trying to sell back to US collectors. From the article

So, I started looking around for some historical “proof” of what I knew was probably the case with these rifles – it didn’t take me long to find an official US Army historical report that confirms how these rifles probably got to Korea in the first place, and under what circumstances. Here is the “smoking gun” – no pun intended:

“Due to increased North Korean aggression and infiltration, the supply of Army materiel for the prior and current year Korean military assistance program has been expedited, including a shipment of large numbers of individual weapons to arm the Republic of Korea Homeland Defense Reserve Forces.”

Source: “Department of the Army Historical Summary, FY 1969”. Page 4 of Chapter XI., “Military Assistance and Foreign Liaison”.

So, most likely, the “large numbers” of these rifles (described as “individual weapons”) were transferred to the ROK to use for their defense during the 60’s; and, because they most likely were and still are MAP property, the rifles remain the property of the US – unless they were subsequently sold or otherwise transferred to the ROK.

What should happen? Simple, because these rifles remain US property, they should be returned to the US Army, then sent on to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) organization in Anniston, Alabama, for safety inspection, grading and carefully controlled sale to authorized collectors and American shooting clubs.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 13 comments
  • Mr Oni Mr Oni on Dec 26, 2010

    This is ridiculous they should be sold to collectible importers not the goverment if it costs too much for the us goverment to take them back just sell them to us the tax payers. I am not a fan of the Cmp. it overcharges for the rifles it was given for free. These things should easily sell for 200 or less. And that's who will buy them gun collectors and history nuts. No one is going to hold up a 7 11 with an M1 garnand. While the m1 as could hold bigger clips the garands are limited to 8 shots. I wonder if the retards in our goverment would try to label these assault weapons.

  • VCN34 VCN34 on Jan 04, 2013

    The Garands have been auctioned, $309.29 per rifle.

    "In an e-mail exchange with Lee Tae-hoon right after the Tester piece came out the journalist noted that the bid ended with the winner offering 30,821,850,000 won, or $26,109,148.67 for 84,417 M1 rifles and their parts- which comes out to $309.29 per rifle/parts. ("

    There are lots of lend-lease and MAP firearms in latin american stocks, Paraguay repatriated theirs a few years back. Wonder if these will ever come back.