Help in choosing a M1 Garand


March 20, 2005, 12:31 AM
I've been looking at shows for an M1. I had one a while back but sold it and have regretted it since. There are generally quite a few at the PGCA Show. One guy has probably 12-18. Other than outward condition and bore what do I look for? I realize that most are going to be mutts, having been refurbed by Uncle Sam in the past. What is a good way to check for muzzle wear? How much throat erosion is too much?

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Steve in PA
March 20, 2005, 12:42 AM
Don't buy one from a gun show, they'll be way over priced. Get one from the CMP. They aren't "mutts".

I bought a Service Grade Springfield Armory M1 Garand from the CMP a little over two years ago, best thing I ever did. Service Grades go for about $500.00 +$20.00 s&h. Stocks, muzzles and throat erosion are pretty good.

Or you can get a Greek Rack Grade for $295.00. Stock will have a little more "character", plus the throat and muzzle usually are a little more worn.

Why spend $800.00 (usually the going price at gun shows) for an M1 that you can get from the CMP. Heck, you can get a SG and RG for that price.

March 20, 2005, 12:47 AM
Buy from CMP. You won't pay as much, and there is very little chance of you getting screwed. Plus, if you don't go to the store (although you appear close enough, it's in Pt. Clinton Onio) you get the joy of getting a rifle in the mail. Anywhere from $295 for the well used, but still enjoyable, Greeks, all the way to $1400 for the all original, all matching.

Best way there to check MW is to use the MW gauge they provide you with. Same for TE. Any other place, drop a bullet in the muzzle, it should not sit on the brass at all. A good gap between the brass and the muzzle is good.

March 20, 2005, 03:11 AM
The last two posters speak the truth. You can't go wrong. You might not get as nice of stock but you will be holding a piece of history.

March 20, 2005, 07:06 AM
I was thinking about going to the CMP store. If nothing else it would be an interesting day trip.

March 20, 2005, 08:41 AM
CMP is the only way to go with a M1. I have two. Stock and hand guards are mismatched but they both came with low TE and MW because of that. Barrels were BLACK inside but a good cleaning and they shoot great.

Captain Emo
March 20, 2005, 11:34 AM
Just do it. You are close enough to go to CMP. Hit 80 west until 53. You will have several hundred to pick from. Call ahead and make sure you qualify. Let them know you will be driving three hours to get there. The nasty Ohio weather is almost over. Hit the road.

kayak bum
March 20, 2005, 11:52 AM
CMP all the way.

George S.
March 20, 2005, 12:00 PM
Right now the only USGI Service Grade M1's available from the CMP are the Springfield Armory versions at $500 each. There are Rack Grade Greeks available but from what I have read on other forums, they can be a crap shoot in terms of the condition of the wood and barrel wear. But there are also gems among them

If you can go to the North Store, there are folks there that can help you select a rifle and if you ask really nice, they usually will go into one of the back rooms and bring out a few more to look at. They provide gauges so you don't have to bring one.

Make sure you have your paperwork with you, especially proof of citizenship and something for proof of membership in an affiliated club and shooting experience. All of the info and the purchase forms are on the CMP website. They are supposed to have a Notary on site so you can get that done there.

Go here: to get all the information you need for a CMP rifle.

Take extra money for a case of ammo. They have a great deal on Lake City ammo, which is US made misurp. And try not to look at the 1903's or 1903A3's. One may wind up following you home along with a Garand!! :D

March 20, 2005, 04:49 PM
go with a CMP rifle-whatever grade.

March 20, 2005, 08:49 PM
There are Rack Grade Greeks available but from what I have read on other forums, they can be a crap shoot in terms of the condition of the wood and barrel wear.

Yep. But they are there, you just need to pick and choose through them. Both of mine are racks

March 20, 2005, 09:10 PM
OK, excuse my ignorance. what is the difference between the Greek, Danish, and plain US rifles? They're all US mfg. Are they marked differently? When you go to the store are the rifles tagged as to TE and ME?

Steve in PA
March 21, 2005, 12:08 AM
The USGI ones will have all their parts USGI. What that means is all the parts in your Springfield Armory, Winchester or H&R rifle will be USGI. You more than likely will end up with some of each in your rifle, or if your lucky get all the same manufacturer.

My SA M1 Garand has everything marked SA, except the trigger safety which is marked HR.

The other rifles I believe "may" have non-USGI issue parts.

March 21, 2005, 03:29 AM
The Danish and Greek rifles were USGI guns sent to those countries as "lend Lease" aid. They were returned to the U.S. by their govertment and the U.S. Army turned them over to the CMP. They may have non-U.S. replacement parts, especially stocks, but are otherwise USGI guns.

March 21, 2005, 01:24 PM
Throat erosion is a measure of how much life the barrel has and is a function of # of rounds fired. New barrels run from 0-3. Military reject is 10. CMP reject I believe is 8 (their criteria is stated somewhere on their website). Service grade is 5 or lower.

Muzzle wear is essentially a measure of how much abuse has been inflicted on the muzzle by the GI steel segmented cleaning rod.

A barrel can have a very high TE measurement and still shoot excellent if the muzzle is in decent condition. Dings at the crown can sometimes be repaired by recrowning, but the cleaning rod tends to abrade the rifling in the last 4-5" of the tube (which can be repaired by throwing away the barrel).


March 21, 2005, 01:57 PM
Definitely get one from the CMP. I got lucky a few years ago when I ordered a service grade Winchester. What I got was an almost completely correct WIN-13 variant. I'd estimate it's worth $1500-1800. But whatever you get from the CMP, you can be sure that it's a real rifle with real history, one that has truly been-there-done-that-bought-the-tee-shirt. They are truly wonderful rifles. Blam, Blam, Blam, Blam, Blam, Blam, Blam, Blam---PING! Can't beat it.


March 21, 2005, 02:33 PM
I bought a service grade SA rifle last summer. It's in very good shape, bore looks pristine to the eye, and the stock has just enough "dings" to add character. Lots of HRA parts in it - no surprises there. Best of all, functioning so far has been perfect, and it shoots as well as can be expected in my hands, putting 8 rounds of LC72 USGI milsurp ball into a typical 2" x 3" cluster.

A well-spent $500 . . . I've seen far worse condition examples for hundreds more at the gun show.

March 21, 2005, 03:01 PM
Danish rifles may or may not contain Beretta and other contractor parts, and Danish made barrels., and stocks They told me that the only thing that the Greeks did to the rifles was to make new stocks for them. The USGI ones never left America (outside the obvious reason of war), so they contain all American parts.

About a third to half are marked on the tags, but it pays to simply take the gauge down the row gauging them yourself. They have the gauge there for you to borrow.

March 21, 2005, 08:14 PM
There have been US Service Grade Rifles from the CMP received with Italian parts. It's rare, but it does happen. The reason would be that some Italian parts entered the system during the rebuild program after WWII for rifles that were then in Eurpope. Once those parts were in the system, they stayed in the system as there was no reason to cull out the odd Berretta made hammer or whatever.

Like I said, it's pretty rare to find a US Service Grade with non-U.S. parts, but it's not impossible.

March 21, 2005, 09:47 PM
Which manufacturer is "better ". The one I had before was a Springfield, my buddy had a Winchester. H&Rs seem to be in demand. Is one inherently better than another. I myself would prefer a nice Sprinfield just because of the history.

March 21, 2005, 10:06 PM
CMP no longer has Winchester or IH. I'd go with the Springfield, because of the history, but nothing more.

March 21, 2005, 10:42 PM
What parts are marked to show the manufacturer? Are the marks visible without tearing it down?

March 22, 2005, 08:37 AM
Which manufacturer is "better ". The one I had before was a Springfield, my buddy had a Winchester. H&Rs seem to be in demand. Springfields with high serial numbers are regarded by some as being the "best" . . . supposedly, workmanship kept getting better and better as production continued, with the "best" ones having serial numbers in the high 5-million range.

Winchesters are regarded as having less than stellar workmanship - 100% functional, true, but generally not up to what one would expect from a commercial manufacturer of Winchester's stature in the areas of fit and finish. Also not all upgrades were incorporated in Winchesters; being a commercial manufacturer and not a government arsenal, upgrades were regarded as changes to the contract, and cost the government money, so they were either incorporated late or not at all.

H&Rs seem to be in demand mostly because they're less common.

March 22, 2005, 11:00 AM

Check that out for the parts with drawing numbers on them. Some aren't marked, but are made different by different manufacturers, so you can tell the difference. The trigger comes to mind for that.

Some will be visible, obviously the reciever will be marked, and the barrel will be marked. Pretty much everything else will be inside the gun, so it will need to be taken apart. They can do it for you, and show you how, if they are not busy.

March 22, 2005, 03:04 PM
If you can swing it, I hear the store visit is the way to go.

The one advantage to picking up an M1 at a show is that you get to see it all cleaned up. But in my experience, the packing monkeys don't gum up the M1's nearly as much as the 03A3's.

Here's a pick of my H&R service grade (ordered from CMP from last year).

If I had to do it over again, I'd get the same thing.


March 22, 2005, 07:46 PM
Very nice rifle, I may have to anger the treasurer in a month or so. :)

George S.
March 22, 2005, 08:06 PM
What parts are marked to show the manufacturer? Are the marks visible without tearing it down?
The manufacture's name is located on the rear of the receiver just above the serial number. All M1's are stamped in this fashion:

U.S. Rifle
Cal. .30 M1
-- serial number--
manfuacture name

A lot of the M1's that come from the CMP do not alwyas have components made by the original manufacturer of the rifle. Major components have "drawing numbers" and initials that show who made the individual component.

Because the rifles were made to military specs, the different manufacturers like Springfield Armory, Winchester, and H&R built the components to those specs and all the parts will interchange between the brand names. The Danish and Greek returns probably had lots of replacement pieces and the chances are remote that any one rifle has components that match manufacturer much less a year they were made.

My Garand is one of the last Danish Service Grade rifles from the CMP and it has a 1960's-era VAR Barrel. A lot of the Danish rifles got new barrels and the company (VAR) that built these barrels made some excellent barrels and are very accurate.

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