questions about a Century M1 Garand


November 26, 2008, 03:34 PM
I just got it from another dude here off of THR. I've read most of the comments about them on here (mainly negative), but I've also read a lot of posts stating that if you get a good one, then they still make good shooters although they won't last as long due to having a cast reciever instead of forged.

The guy I got it from said it shot good. I haven't shot it yet due to not having a clip for it and just getting LASIK done on my eyes. I took it into the gun shop today because I still wanted to have it checked out before I shoot it anyway, and he told me he didn't even have a headspace guage (which seems to be the most important thing to check prior to shooting them for the first time from what I've read), but he told me that Century M1s have a problem with the bolt jamming up and breaking because of it. Is this true? He told me it should be just fine to shoot, but that eventually the bolt will break and that I'd be better off selling or trading it instead of investing the money to stock up on ammo for it.

Instead of relying on the opinion of one gunsmith, I'd rather get advice from numerous people off of THR.

I'm hoping to get a chance to shoot it today. I've been wanting an M1 as a permanent part of my very small gun collection, but I don't want one that's going to be unreliable or unsafe to shoot over the long run. Matching numbers don't matter to me as much as reliability. This one also has mismatched furniture on it, so that'd be another $50-$105 for either synthetic or wood furniture to make it look better if I did end up keeping it. So, assuming the gun shoots decent, would I be better off keeping or selling/trading this M1 to try and get a CMP Garand later on?

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November 26, 2008, 04:01 PM
I would keep it for a little while and see how it shoots and functions.

I've had a Century M1 for four years and about 800 down the pipe. It's had maybe five FTF's (feed), that's about it.

Accuracy is good...about typical for an M1. I've dropped a couple deer with it as well.

I dont plan on getting rid of it, but I have since added a true (being a 1943 Springfield) M1 to the collection.

November 26, 2008, 08:35 PM
If your smith doesn't have a set of 30-06 gages, I'd question his qualifications for answering anything about the M1 rifles.

If it shoots reasonably well (3-4" from a rest with ball ammo) and cycles OK, then I'd be happy with it. It's not a bad idea to have the HS checked.

Feed it ammo appropriate for the M1. 150grFJM

CAI receiver or CAI import stamp?

November 26, 2008, 08:41 PM
It says "made in the USA by CAI", so I would assume it's a century receiver

November 26, 2008, 08:59 PM
If your smith says that the only thing bad about it is that the bolt will break then just buy a new bolt. Problem solved.

wayne in boca
November 27, 2008, 05:46 AM
A smith that doesn't have a set of headspace gauges for a .30-06 is like a mechanic that doesn't have a 9/16 socket.Ignore everything he ever says.Accept the rifle for what it is,a copy of an M1.Shoot it and see how it does.If it shoots,great.If it doesn't,sell it to somebody far away,while wearing a false mustache,and speaking with a foreign accent.Make sure he doesn't write down your license plate number.

November 27, 2008, 12:59 PM
I suspect the "gunsmith" is a parts changer.I believe the reciever is the only none gi the bolt breaking??sounds phoney.

November 27, 2008, 01:27 PM
The bolts are GI, so breakage would not be a Century problem...

also, any smith that does not have a .30-06 headspace guage isn't a gunsmith.

A smith that doesn't have a set of headspace gauges for a .30-06 is like a mechanic that doesn't have a 9/16 socket. Ignore everything he ever says.


November 27, 2008, 01:30 PM
I have to agree with Teddy. I think Century had the receivers made for them but the other parts were USGI. I never heard of a USGI Garand bolt 'breaking'. Hey, I have 30-06 go and 'no go' gauges. Maybe I am a Gunsmith and never realized it.

November 27, 2008, 01:47 PM
I never heard of a USGI Garand bolt 'breaking'.

For clarity, they can and do break; but it's not a function of weather or not it's in a GI or cast receiver. The lugs can shear off for a few different reasons.

Perhaps Swampy will put down the turkey leg and come by to give us the full skinny. :)

November 29, 2008, 07:21 AM
I also have never heard of an M1 bolt breaking or shearing a lug in normal operation.

The closest I've ever heard of is the test that was done at SA back during the war. JCG and cronies fired a MASSIVELY over pressure round (WAaaay above even proof round levels.) through an M1 rifle to see if it would break. Remember.... they were TRYING to break the rifle.... just to see if it was possible.

When this super-over-charged round was fired one of the bolt lugs CRACKED at the juncture of lug and bolt body. They then proceeded to fire something like 5000 rounds of normal ball ammo through the rifle to see if the crack would widen or if the lug would come all the way off. It did not.

This goes to show the strength built into the M1 action design.

OTOH... Re Century M1 receiver: I'd not worry about the strength of the receiver.... but whether all the dimensions are to spec. Specifically, the geometry for the receiver bridge / safety notch. This is critical to preventing Out of Battery fires in the M1 rifle.

An out of battery fire can DEFINITELY ruin not only your day, but the rifle, and maybe the rest of your life too....

Given that so many of the CAI M1's have had problems, this is one reason I'd never take a chance of owning one. I might get a good one... I might not.... and the only way I might ever find out is by pulling what's left of the bolt and receiver heel out of the side of my face.... or at least maybe the coroner would do it for me at the post mortem.

Just my 2 bits.

Best regards,

Garands forever

November 29, 2008, 02:26 PM
Thanks Swampy.

I thought I had seen a picture of a bolt missing the inboard lug, but a search turns up nothing?


March 26, 2009, 05:25 PM
I have a CAI M1 rifle that has some nice parts on it. I have not shot it yet but i have check the headspace my self. It check good.

March 26, 2009, 07:37 PM
coosbaycreep, I'm sure you know not to shoot factory 30-06 ammo through it. Only milsurp pressure ammo will allow it to function properly.
150 gr bullet with IMR4895 at 2750fps duplicates the M2 ball load. I believe 48gr will take it over 2700fps. The pressure curve is important to avoid bending the operating rod.


March 30, 2009, 02:47 PM

What do you think about the adjustable gas cyclinder lock screw for the M1 rifle?

March 30, 2009, 08:32 PM
There's a lot of discussion about adjustable gas cylinder lock's one link -

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