My Best Range Experience


August 25, 2007, 03:47 PM
My very first post!

A friend just introduced me to this forum. I thought I'd say hello and share the story of my Winchester M1 and the very first time I took it to the range.

Until just a few years ago I had no interest in target shooting with any weapon other than a handgun. Being a very slight person, I thought I couldn't handle anything larger than a mid-size pistol. I was very happy with my little Colt and spent neither any time nor effort on learning about long arms.

One day I was searching the local yard sales and visited one a few minutes from where I lived at the time. It was late in the day and I figured that anything good had already been sold. Regardless, something compelled me to stop and at least have a look. As it turned out, that was a pretty good decision! Inside the garage, beside a workbench and covered in dust, was a pretty respectable looking (if totally filthy) M1 rifle. I'd only ever seen them in movies and thought they were very interesting weapons with a fascinating history to them. I asked the owner if it was for sale and how much he wanted for it - imagine my suprise when he said $200.00! I didn't know anything about M1s at the time, so I examined it as best I could to make sure it wasn't a total wreck. The bore looked very good, the stock was complete, and the weapon cycled. I threw caution to the wind and bought it on the spot.

When I got it home I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I dug out a rifle cleaning kit that was gifted to me in error that past Christmas and then found a website that offered instructions on how to take it apart. I managed to clean it up enough to suit me and I took it over to a friend who owns several. He promptly started salivating over it and ran to get his books.

"You bought a Winchester! From 1943! With an original trigger group, a 1944 SA barrel, an uncut SA operating rod, lock-bar sights, and best of all, a WRA stock! Where did you get this thing??"

After I told the story and revived him from his faint, he helped me clean it up even further and replaced a worn spring for me. He promised to take me out to the county range the following weekend and show me how to operate it correctly.

When the following weekend rolled around, I found myself out at the county range and having the time of my life. It was so much fun making that rifle roar after who knows how long it sat in silence. And what a kick! After I got used to it and my need to flinch settled down, I actually shot well enough to impress my friend. I couldn't come close to out shooting him, but I certainly didn't embarrass myself.

The best part of the day came when an older gentleman wandered over to us and watched us shoot for awhile. After awhile he approached us and said he carried a M1 during the Second World War and wondered if we would allow him to borrow one and take a few shots. I thought it would be amazing to know that my rifle found its way back into the hands of a soldier, so I gladly offered mine. I'm glad I did because it put a big smile on his face. He told us of some of his experiences in the Army and thanked me for the use of the rifle before leaving. In my mind, everything that happened at the range after that moment was anticlimactic. We continued shooting for awhile and then called it a day.

I've had good times at ranges since then and I've shot the M1 even more, but no shooting session since has ever provided me with more pleasure.

If you enjoyed reading about "My Best Range Experience" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 25, 2007, 03:51 PM
Welcome to the forums!

awesome story too.

August 25, 2007, 04:19 PM
lucretia, Good to hear from you. Post as often as it suits you. I'm an M1 owner too; my Granddaddy carried and used one in WW2 also and he always told me what a great rifle it is. He's why I got mine.

Tell you what's funny... when you're shooting the Garand at the range and bystanders, not being Garand owners, see the clip eject and say "something just flew off'a his rifle".:D Several of us have had that happen.

August 25, 2007, 04:58 PM
Welcome to THR!

August 25, 2007, 05:12 PM
Very cool story. Welcome to THR!

August 26, 2007, 12:36 AM
Great first post!!! Welcome to the High Road!!!

August 26, 2007, 01:56 AM
Great find! It took me about 25 years of shooting to finally get an M1. Love it!

I take it out of the safe most weekends and lean it up in the corner just to admire it.

Watched a little Saving Pvt Ryan earlier, which features many Garands. I think I will go finish watching it.

Enjoy your fine rifle!

August 31, 2007, 09:44 PM
hey you...awesome story...first I'm hearing it. glad you joined and are posting...I would love some range time with you and the M1...should be fun.:D:D:D

Tom Servo
August 31, 2007, 10:50 PM
$200 for an M1? How come I never find yard-sales like THAT?!? :what:

Welcome to the forums, Lucretia. Look forward to seeing more of you.

August 31, 2007, 11:24 PM
Just curious, what do you suppose that is actually worth?

If you enjoyed reading about "My Best Range Experience" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!