M1 Shoulder and a great day at the range


November 24, 2004, 05:31 PM
Ugh. My shoulder hurts.

I finally got to shoot my M1 Garand, got to put 50 rounds through my M1 Carbine, and 50 more rounds through my AR15 today, and I started to break in my new Springer G.I. .45. By far the most enjoyment (and the most pain) was derived from the M1.

48 rounds through this gem of Korean surplus, 8 rounds of UMC and 8 rounds of Lake City delinked surplus. 3 FTFs with the Korean, good primer strikes, but no bang- I just threw them away.

This is my first experience with the M1 except for 1 clip through one at a gun range in the Pocono Mountains in the late 60's and a boy. I forgot how great they shoot. The highlights of the day include when a fellow older shooter ran a clip through and got that M1 grin, reminiscent of the days he fired them in the service, me hitting a golf ball at 30 yards and watching it fly all the way back to the 100-yard berm, and teaching my 19 year-old Ukrainian tennis student to shoot pistols, starting with .22, then to a Glock 17, and finally moving her up to the G.I. Her X-Ring hits at 7 yards brought the biggest grin to her face, and she was so excited, I was having trouble keeping up with her Russian.

At the end of the day, knowing that the Korean "K" stamped ammo was corrosive, I poured water through the barrel before putting the M1 away in my trunk.

The Underwood Carbine gave me some issues. No shooting failures of any kind, but the receiver/barrel came loose in the stock, the WWII flip sight would flip on every shot, and the front sight came loose and started to slide forward on its key. I dropped it off at the dealer and he's going to fix everything for me. I love the sound of the action cycling on it and the M1.

The AR is the AR: It fires, it hits what it's aimed at, and I've yet to zero the friggin' Red Dot. It's me, not the sight: I'm too anxious to shoot it to have the patience to really zero it properly.

Except for 50 rounds through the AR 3 weeks ago, I haven't fired any rifles in decades. I forgot how tender the shoulder can be until one gets used to .30-06 again. That many rounds in one day will make sure that I'm reminded for the rest of tonight and the holiday tomorrow.

A great day at the range, and I plan to go again Friday. Alas, if the shoulder is still sore, it's going to be a pistol-only day. I will miss the M1. It is so much fun to shoot.


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Tom C.
November 24, 2004, 05:40 PM
The steel butt plate of the M-1 Garand is an issue for most people. Fortunately, there are solutions. Pachmayr makes a slip on pad, and someone makes a pad generally available from catalogs, that extend the stock enough for most of us with longer arms, and permits shooting in shirt sleeves in comfort. I did the same thing on my M-1 carbine, not for recoil, but because it is so short.

George S.
November 24, 2004, 05:43 PM
Sounds like a fun day especially when you got to introduce a new shooter to the fun and to give a vet a chance to shoot a rifle he probably hadn't held in 50-60 years.

I like to shoot my M1 a lot so I picked up a shoulder pad from Midway to help keep the pain down. I got a Winchester pad that works fine and I've heard that a PAST recoil shooting pad is the best. A pad also helps when I take my Mosin 91/30 out for a day. That rifle has much more of a kick than the M1 does.

November 24, 2004, 05:48 PM
I've had the same experience with Korean ammo, though I think my misfires may have been due to a damaged firing pin.

In the words of Swampy,

Garands forever!

November 24, 2004, 06:08 PM
Thanks, gents. Though this may sound a little masochistic, I don't want to put anything on my M1, even a slip-on pad. I want to keep it all-original, even when shooting it. I'm an anachronistic old bastard! If our antecedents had to fire it without a shoulder pad, then I want to also.

Someday, perhaps I'll learn wisdom... :-)


November 24, 2004, 06:14 PM
I didn't find my M1 Garand's recoil so bad, I thought it was kind of soft shooting, though it does give a good push. My 8mm Mauser and Mosin-Nagants I use a PAST recoil pad for shooting off the bench and prone though.

Make sure you clean the gas system on the Garand as well, not just the barrel, because of the corrosive ammo.

November 24, 2004, 09:47 PM
Make sure that you get the butt of the weapon tight into your shoulder and lean a little forward,don't give it a chance to accelerate :what: :D Sounds like you had fun tho

November 24, 2004, 10:37 PM
Though we 'commoners' in Australia are now severely restricted when it comes to semi-auto rifles, I recently re-acquainted myself with a lovely 1954 International Harvester Garand on our visit to New Zealand. :D

The thumb remembered what not to do, while the heel of my right hand kept up. ;)

The "ping" of the ejecting clips, and the unexpectedly tight groups on the target, even the comforting shove on the shoulder...

What a fine invention the Garand is.

It is an old-fashioned BATTLE rifle...

That steel buttplate is not merely to protect the stock.

"horizontal buttstroke"

"vertical buttstroke"


Anyone else recall their military weapons training in the days before hollow plastic stocked infantry rifles? :rolleyes:

November 26, 2004, 11:39 AM
M1 shoulder beats M1 thumb.

First you get this :what:

Then you do this :cuss:

And your shooting buddy does this :neener:

November 26, 2004, 11:56 AM
Hi all,
Sometimes guys use an old trick of mine. Go to a KMart and buy a soft round real sponge. Keep it in your range bag or ammo can. Then at the range slip it under your shirt or coat at the shoulder and then pull in the butt plate. After you can slip it out and your in great shape. I hope this helps.
Thanks again

November 26, 2004, 02:05 PM
painful shooting an M1 garand ?...objectionable recoil ?...you fellers wouldn't want to shoot my 45-70 hunting loads

Steve in PA
November 26, 2004, 02:22 PM
A shoulder pad for shooting an M1???? Come on, you guys are joking right? :D

The M1 is one of the softest recoiling rifles there is.

I routinely go out and shoot 100 rds through the M1, then about the same amount in my '03A3.

I just picked up a Russian 91/30 and a German WWII Mauser from AIM, I can't wait to get out and shoot them. No local dealers had the RCBS 8mm dies, so I had to order them and 100rds of 8mm brass from Midway. They are supposed to be here on Tuesday.

But........since Monday is the first day of rifle deer season here in PA, its gonna be awhile before I get to the range.

Badger Arms
November 26, 2004, 02:56 PM
The recoil of a 22lr can cause excruciating pain if you use a needle as the butt-pad! The issue is not with the recoil, it's with the butt plate. That stee tends to cut into my shoulder when I'm not wearing a coat. It's like a meat tenderizer. The pad I use, I got from Brownells. It's made by Masen. Screwed right on. It was a little oversize, so I scribed and ground so it's fairly close, but not perfect so when I switch between rifles, it doesn't look weird. Really, I've kept it on the same rifle since. With the Smith Muzzle brake, shooting my Garand is as pleasant as shooting my AR-15.


November 26, 2004, 05:52 PM
Well, 60 more rounds today and my shoulder feels no worse than it did Wednesday night. Like I stated originally, I think it was because it's been so long since I shot a rifle, the muscles weren't used to the abuse.

Now, if only this Korean MilSurp ammo weren't so damn dirty! Knowing it's corrosive, I shot some water through the barrel at the range, and when I got home I ran a Boresnake through it that was soaked with CLP. That takes about a minute. Another hour is spent cleaning the trigger group, the Operating Rod end, the gas system, and the receiver.

I'm glad that was the last of the corrosive. The other 400 rounds I have of MilSurp is "P" stamped, and that isn't. Hopefully it'll shoot a little cleaner.

Still love that "PING!" though...


Badger Arms
November 26, 2004, 08:25 PM

Make sure you clean the bore tomorrow, too. Then one week later again.

November 26, 2004, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the tip. Do I need to clean the gas system too?


cracked butt
November 26, 2004, 10:38 PM
Huh. After shooting an '03 springfield or a Mosin Nagant, the Garand is pure bliss for the shoulder. :cool:

Steve in PA
November 26, 2004, 11:34 PM
For clean up after firing corrosive ammo, I've read in a lot of places to use something ammonia based, such as Windex with ammonia at the range or when you get home. Plain water and regular solvents aren't supposed to work.

November 27, 2004, 12:59 AM
M1 thumb, ah....that brings back memories, not really good memories, but memories none the less, it takes a while for the thumb to heal up afterall... :eek:

Badger Arms
November 27, 2004, 12:50 PM
With Corrosive ammo, I clean the gas system once, bore three times. The gas cylinder is a stainless type alloy and resists corrosion well. The bore is the important part. I clean it once when I get back from the range, then once the next day and the put another cleaning on my calendar for a week later. Nothing more than locking the bolt back and running a few wet and dry patches down the bore to mop up any remaining residue.

November 28, 2004, 09:01 AM
I don't like the feel of getting beat to death with recoil. That said, I usually have no problem going thru 100 rds or so with my garand with only a t-shirt on. I tried shooting my new Swiss K-31 earlier this year wearing only a t-shirt and was crying uncle after only about 20 rds. After that I decided to get one of those strap on shoulder pads for warm weather shooting.

November 28, 2004, 08:46 PM
The M1 Garand doesn't develop much recoil if your position is right. I suspect you were working off the bench, perhaps with the rifle lightly held into your shoulder.

Suggest you work from offhand, sitting, or prone (with sling) as the M1 was intended to be shot. In offhand it will just rise and push you a bit. If you get the sling adjusted properly in sitting and prone the sling and left arm dampen the recoil greatly. Compared to the old Springfield (or even my Model 70) the Garand is a pussycat.

Not sure what the Korean surplus stuff is doing, though. Watched some fired from M1s in a match some months ago and the muzzle blast was ferocious--scary, even.

BTW each competitor went through about 150 rounds in the combat match. If they had let us we would have done it all over again.

If you can find a CMP clinic consider taking your M1 to it. Best course for high power you will even get for the least money.

November 28, 2004, 09:24 PM
Try a steel-buttplated Czech 8mm Mauser, shooting Turk 8mm from 1943. I guarantee a Garand will seem like a pussycat after shooting something that spits 154gr FMJ's @ 3000fps. :what:

November 28, 2004, 09:38 PM
To clean up after corrosive ammo, I mixed up a bottle 1:1, amonia and water. I only shoot corrosive in my Mausers, not in my Garand. They're easier to clean, IMO.

I've also noticed the difference offhand vs off the bench makes in a Garand's recoil. Shooting it from standing with the sling really dampens what little there is.

Try a steel-buttplated Czech 8mm Mauser, shooting Turk 8mm from 1943.

Hmmm. I have a VZ24 and a K98k both. I don't notice the recoil so much from the VZ24 so much as the K98k. I've shot Turkish 1935 and Romanian 1977 both through the VZ24. Just Turkish through the K98k. I figure it's a difference in stock fit, although I like the sights, aesthetics, and assembly/disassembly of the K98k better. That said, I'm still through shooting 8mm after about 3-5 clips. The Garand feels like I could shoot on a while if I fealt like burning through so much ammo.

cracked butt
November 28, 2004, 09:47 PM
have a VZ24 and a K98k both. I don't notice the recoil so much from the VZ24 so much as the K98k

I once shot 2 bandoliers worth of turk ammo through my k98 offhand. I wore a trapshooting vest with a recoil pad. The recoil on the K98's seems to be pretty stiff to me also. after 130 rounds- I didn't shoot the second full bandolier as it was really starting to get painful, upper lip felt a bit numb. The constand pounding of recoil gave me a fat lip- I didn't notice this because of the fun I was having, and the next day my right eye swelled up a bit and blackened for a couple of days. :D

November 29, 2004, 12:16 AM
Great day at the range!! And remember, M-1 shoulder beats the heck out of M-1 thumb anyday!

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