Building an M1 Garand?


October 5, 2006, 08:48 AM
I see that the CMP has "STRIPPED BARRELED RECEIVERS" for sale. If you were to buy one of these, how hard is it to find the remaining parts to put it together? How costly? It looks like just a receiver with a barrel, no gas system, bolt, trigger group etc. Are they only good if you want to cannibalize another rifle?

The CMP also lists rifles with out stocks. These are missing butt plates and rings... all the little metal parts used on the stock. Do you need any of these parts to install an aftermarket composite stock like the kind found at Midway? How easy would it be to assemble an operating rifle this way?

I'm looking for a way to Kit together a working Garand... not a collector or historic piece, but just a good shooter.

Thanks for your help,


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October 5, 2006, 09:15 AM
The two hardest parts to find are a bolt that headspaces correctly and a decent operating rod.

Bolts aren't a big issue if you just happen to have several on hand to trial fit until you obtain acceptable headspace.
If you don't, you need to find someone who does and who will allow you to sit and trial fit bolts until you get the right one.

Operating rods are becoming harder and harder to find.
I know several places offer them for sale but I have not seen a great amount of good servicable rods at any one place.
Many I have observed have structural issues, excessive wear and gas cylinder sealing buttons that are out of tolerance.

Everything else is still fairly easy to come across and the condition remains good to excellent.

Stock metal is still easy to find, however good servicable buttplates that are not all beat up are beginning to become impossible to find unless you wish to pay a big premium.
Foreign replacement buttplates have impressed checkering, what should be raised pyramids are impressed dimples on the foreign plates, easy to spot, don't pay a premium for one of these they aren't worth the extra money.

Rear sights are another issue, there are many sight assemblies out there but many are foreign replacements and the quality and repeatability of the sights can be pretty bad.
Observe carefully and caveat emptor.

Word of warning, if you are serious about assembling an excellent shooting rifle you will, in the end, spend quite a bit more money than just buying an assembled rifle from the CMP.
However, if done correctly, your assembled rifle will be every bit as good, if not better, than a rifle in as new from rebuild facility condition.

Smith Enterprise produce excellent, American made replacement sight assemblies.
They are expensive and better than the best USGI sight assemblies made.
Badger Ordinance produces a new made gas cylinder assembly that is held to higher, tighter tolerences, and of better material and with a better surface finish than the very best USGI Match gas cylinders.
Expensive and worth every penny if you are planning to do your project the right way.HTH

October 5, 2006, 10:04 PM

Thanks for the help. It sounds like the "stockless" rifles may be the way to go. If I understand correctly, they have everything but the stock hardware. Do the replacement composite stocks require any of the missing hardware to properly install them?

Thanks again for your help,


October 5, 2006, 10:34 PM
Yes, the replacement stocks do require a few pieces. Butt plate, caps and internal piece on forward handguard and maybe a few other small parts. Cannot remember the parts inventory right now .

October 6, 2006, 02:50 PM
Now this is just my observation, but in the MidwayUSA flyer they show a Ramline synthetic stock for the M1 Garand. This stock appears to have a shotgun style (more or less) buttplate already on it. They don't say what all else is required to make it work though.

October 7, 2006, 03:44 PM
I've 'built' two Garands, and it's not hard technically: Anyone with some basic mechanical skill can do it.

When I built the first one, it was from a centuryarms receiver on a complete parts kit through whatacountry, although I haven't seen any parts kits advertised lately. I ended up using a black Ramline stock on it. The ramline came with a soft rubber buttplate. I think I made a handguard clip from some 304 stainless and left the handguard clip on the wood handguard. I also bought sling rings for it at a gunshow.

The barrel that came with the kit was pretty worn - so after running a couple thousand rds through it, I managed to score a 308 barrel off eBay - sweet - and then after many many more, I scored a low TE gaged 30-06 barrel off eBay, which is what I'm using now. 90% of the time, eBay is more expensive than just buying the parts from Northridge, but if you are not in a hurry and watch daily, you can come out way ahead.

The second Garand was built off a USGI receiver purchased through CMP and then I collected the parts bit by bit off eBay... I built it for my father. He put a Boyds stock on it. The Boyds look really really good. I am impressed with their work.

October 7, 2006, 08:55 PM
The only metal the Ramline stocks require is the clip to hold the upper handguard on. They reduce the weight significantly, but recoild does increase somewhat. Still not bad, though. There is a pic in this thread:

October 7, 2006, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the input. I need to research places to pickup odd parts for the Garand.

Thanks again,


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