Preflight Checks for CMP Rifles


April 4, 2003, 11:59 AM
The manuals that come with CMP rifles all states:
"Do not use this rifle until it has been disassembled and throroughly cleaned, and carefully examined by a competent gunsmith who is familiar with its internal mechanism and the design of its safety features."
I'm just curious as to what most people do. Do you clean it up and go shooting as long as it functions appropriately (ie. action is smooth, safety works, dry-firing, etc...) or do you follow the instructions and have a gunsmith check it out first?

If you have a gunsmith check it out first, do you do this with all used firearms?

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April 4, 2003, 01:24 PM
If you have a gunsmith check it out first, do you do this with all used firearms?
Absolutely. I am not going to let loose a 35,000+ PSI monster a few inches from my face without having someone more knowledgeable than me have a peek at it first.

(Unless, of course, I have the guages and everything else I need to check it myself....which I don't)

AZ Jeff
April 4, 2003, 02:22 PM
CMP rifles are all test fired prior to shipping to the customer. None the less, that does not make a 50+ year old rifle totally free of problems.

Typically, those in the know on M1's will usually totally disassemble, clean, reassemble and lubricate the arm prior to using it.

For those who are unsure just what to look for in terms of potential problems on the M1, the services of a gunsmith who is familiar with the M1 is probably not a bad course of action.

I would not be afraid to fire a rifle as delivered from the CMP, but for optimal performance/reliability, I would give it a detailed examination, or have someone who is experienced do so for me.

Steve Smith
April 4, 2003, 02:30 PM
One of my Service Grade Danishes was not timed correctly from the CMP and the other was full of bad parts and had to be returned for replacement. I'm glad I took both to a M1 Garand specialist for a going-over.

Having an M1 knowledgeable friend with an original timing block is nice!

AZ Jeff
April 4, 2003, 03:11 PM
Yes, there can be some bad stuff in a few. My Danish had a bad sight cover that allowed the aperture to wander all over the place, and the furniture had a crack thru the wrist.

I bought a new sight cover, and new furniture, plus put in a new op rod spring.

I guess because I have worked on enough M1's that I have confidence in my ability to find the problems in them myself.

That said, it certainly would NOT hurt to have someone in the know check it out for you, especially if you are new to the Garand. My first Garand years ago I sent to a 'smith for exactly that reason!

April 4, 2003, 03:21 PM
Personally, I plan to have the guns looked at prior to firing. Both the M-1 and the 1903A3 cleaned up quite nicely, and seem to be in good working order. However, lacking the appropriate gauges, I am left only with visual inspection and routine function checks.

I don't believe that all rifles coming from the CMP have been test-fired, at least recently. The 1903A3 I received had an action totally encased in cosmoline, and the barrel was pretty full as well. Unless they clean them, fire them and repack with cosmoline prior to shipping, it would have been impossible to shoot.

Now, I'm just waiting for some warm, sunny days to help cook the gunk out of the stocks. Of course, right now there's about an inch of ice covering everything outside and if the wind picks up any, I've got a couple trees that are likely to lose some branches.

April 5, 2003, 03:33 PM
As a follow-up question, do you use local smiths, or do you send the guns off to one of the big-name companies, like Orion 7?

Steve Smith
April 5, 2003, 05:36 PM
If you have a local smith that knows Garands, by all means use him. If not, ship it.

April 5, 2003, 05:41 PM
I would definitely send it to someone who specializes in those guns. In my opinion, Clint McKee at Fulton Armory ( is as good as they come. He charges $75 for a clean, lube, and tech inspection on an M1.

April 5, 2003, 06:08 PM
If you live in Northern California - or elsewhere - you may wish to check out MilTech Arms ( in Los Altos, CA.

April 5, 2003, 06:59 PM
I took my two to the Armory of Orange in CA. One of their Garand RKIs took them apart, checked timing, headspace, barrel throat erosion, etc while I watched (fascinated). Both turned out to be fine.

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