Help me decide on a new build - M1 only!


February 9, 2008, 01:29 PM
Ok folks, trying to decide on what to build next. My last project was a 1911 officer's and it came out looking like a brand new Wilson Combat, but now the itch has started and I need to build something else.

I've owned an SKS, and a Yugo Mauser, but I've never owned one of the grand ol' US Service Rifles. So I'm looking to build either an M1 Carbine or a Garand.

This won't be an untouched surplus piece of perfection, I'll be putting this together from parts, getting a new production barrel probably, and I can get either a new repro stock or a surplus stock from a local place. The rifle may be refinished, I'll have to decide that when I'm finished with the build. Blueing is easy, I have a blaster and my smith friend has a glass bead setup with tanks for hot blue, BUT I may just refinish to a park'd or get a robar-type of grey, depending.

I'm in NY so keep that in mind for keeping any rifle legal, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on which rifle to build and to make into a shooter.

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February 9, 2008, 02:12 PM
If you are in NY cant you only use a 10rd mag in the carbine or is the 15 legal? Either gun you build, you can't go wrong. I love both of mine.:D If the 15 rd is legal I would do it now before they are banned, a 8rd garand clip will be legal for some time.

February 9, 2008, 02:19 PM
New magazines over 10 rounds are illegal here in NY, but as for my AR-15 as long as I have pre-ban magazines they can be more than 10 round. So I think for the Carbine I could use original (or just preban) 15rnd magazines. At least, I think so.

February 9, 2008, 04:58 PM
What distances are you hoping to shoot and what type of accuracy are you looking for?

For my money I'd build a Garand to use in Service Rifle matches . .that way you get double the fun. A nice gun and some place to use it!!

If you do decide to build the Garand then I'd recommend spending a couple hundred bucks to pick up a case of the Greek Ball ammo as it's about the cheapest reloadable ammo you can find right now. (and it shoots well asis)


February 9, 2008, 09:44 PM
Rest assured, you can spend some money building an M1 garand! How much you spend will depend on the level of accuracy that you want. A full-tilt national match M1 can cost upwards of $2,000.

One route would be to pick up a CMP rack/field grade rifle and then start rebuilding from there. I think it would be probably the most cost effective route. All you'd really need is a new barrel and possibly a new stock set.

Given the choice between the garand & the carbine, I'd choose the Garand. I own both of them but find that I shoot my Garands more. As a matter of fact, my carbine usually only sees the light of day starting the week before the M1 Carbine match at Camp Perry!

February 10, 2008, 10:25 AM
Blueing an M1 Garand...... UGH !!!!

I saw a blued M1 once a few years back... Once. And that was enough to give me nightmares for months. Talk about one fugly POS.

One word... well, two.

PLEASE don't.

If you must re-finish an M1, have it parkerized like it was when it left the factory. You will be much happier in the end.


Garands forever

February 10, 2008, 11:19 AM
Garand. You can lawfully drive into Canada with one if you ever have need to. It is legal throughout the US. The Carbine is on shakier legal ground these days. But none of the above should really be the deciding factor.
The CMP route would be great for a 'build' but be advised--parts for the M-1 are getting $$$$; you might do well to buy the most complete one that you can as a starting point.

February 11, 2008, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the input folks, I was leaning towards the Garand anyways but that just re-affirms my thoughts. It is a big beasty but looks like a better shooter than the Carbine in most respects.

As for the build, I've seen a few of the lower end cast receivers such as ones from ADI Lithgow ( and some post WWI Barrels ( that are not to expensive.... plus I live near-by those folks so I can see what i'm buying before making a purchase...

....and just FYI I really strongly doubt I'd re-blue the rifle. More than likely it would be park'd or one of the grey robar-esque finishes.

February 11, 2008, 11:00 AM
In my day I built many M-1s and M-I4s for competition shooting. They shot well as I used then to earn/win my distinguished rifleman badge. That being said, I would build the Garand by installing a 7.62 barrel. (Ammo is readily available and has a thin edge for accuraccy over the 30 Cal.) Reloads take less powder for essincially the same result.

I would use a medium to heavy weight barrel with 1-10 twist. This will handle all bullet weights very well. When you have finished your work of glass bedding etc the result will be a GOOD shooting and valuable rifle.

PM me if you wish, I have many parts and bedding tools equipment you may want to use also old school information and tips on building M-1 Rifles for match shooting.


February 11, 2008, 11:02 AM
You could purchase a real receiver from CMP and not worry about getting something that is out-of-spec. If you're going to refinish it anyway, get a Grade B or you could take a chance on a Grade C.

February 11, 2008, 11:19 AM
Original receiver is a must have; no one is making a stronger one and I don't think anyone ever will. The M-1 was made at an almost unique junction of design, inudstrial metalurgy, and labor-intensive craftsmanship. This isn't just sentimental notion--it's flat fact. Lots of guns are made better today than yesterday, the Garand is not one of them.

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