M1 Garand: Build your own?


March 22, 2003, 04:05 AM
Hi All!

I'm considering getting an M1 receiver and getting the parts seperate. I won't say why right now, but I've got a couple of questions:

1. Which reciever would you buy? SA? Winchester? International Harvester? Others?

2. Can good parts kits still be found? Anyone know where?

3. Is it possible to buy a barrel that's ready to be "Dropped in" by a gunsmith, or do they usually require significant work?

4. Barrel recommendations?

I was considering going the CMP route, but I think I'd rather set one up myself with a new .308 barrel and newer parts/stock. Plus I'm not qualified for CPM and I'm getting tired of looking for clubs/competitions around here.


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March 22, 2003, 06:06 AM
While it's POSSIBLE to to put one together yourself, I can't see where the average shooter can pull it off in a fashion worthy of this incredible weapon. Just tweaking out the timing on the cycle or the gas system should instill a sense of trepidation in someone trying this. I'll try to answer your questions just the same:

- I don't know if there's much difference in the M1 recievers you've mentioned, as they're all made to mil-spec. I'ld stay away from untried after-market manufacturers though. And if you're not well versed in gunsmithing, a barreled reciever might be an option.

- You can get most of the parts you're looking for from some of the gunsmith's like Fulton Armory / Clint McKee (http://www.fulton-armory.com) , Arrington Accuracy, or the supply houses like Midway (http://www.midwayusa.com) or Brownells (http://www.brownells.com).

- Finding an appropriate barrel isn't that hard, and after market bbls are pretty common. If you're looking for USGI, the above links can help. Krieger has a decent reputation with HP shooters for replacement bbls.

Doing this yourself will mean having all the right tools... Go-No Go guages, torque wrenches, vices, timing blocks, a good set of gunsmithing screwdrivers, grinding wheels, a couple of micrometers, a bunch of other widgets, and most importantly the specs. Then you'll need to get the headspacing correct, ensure the timing, align the sights... and it's still a good idea to have it inspected by a 'smith who knows the M1. And it's at this point where you'ld find out all your hard work wasn't up to speed and it'll cost you beaucoup to get the stick right. Of course, if you start with a barreled reciever, many of these issues won't need to be addressed.

All isn't lost, though... you can do the CMP route via some online "clubs" that have status, The Garand Collectors Association (http://www.fulton-armory.com/gca.htm) as an example. After that, an HP clinic should be all you need. Even if you don't go this route, do the clinic. Knowledge is power.

If this was an AR -> spacegun issue, it wouldn't appear to be quite so daunting. There's so much more to the M1 than just slapping parts together. If nothing else, get Scott Duff's book on the M1. It'll be a good intro to the issues you'll need to address when you get started.


March 22, 2003, 10:45 AM
Do you mean actually put it together yourself or have a smith do it? For a smith, I would highly recommend getting a reciever and sending it to Orion 7. I just bought one of their select grade guns and am in love with it. He will do either one of his builds for a reduced cost if you send him a receiver.


March 22, 2003, 09:57 PM
I'd get a SA or HRA complete rifle and start from there . Parts kits are no longer cheap .
Indexing a barrel is easy if you will pay attention to what you are doing .
If you aren't gonna build five rifles don't buy the tools to do the job , send it out and have it done up in 308 . Barnett is a good commercial barrel .
Military 3006 barrels choices , VAR , LMR or 60's vintage SA


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