M1 Garand Question


August 2, 2009, 03:38 AM
I just picked up a M1 Garand on Friday from a gun store. They had a dozen of them in excellent condition from a collector who died whose family apparently didn't appreciate his collection of Garands and Mausers. The previous owner even varnished the stock and it looks really pretty. The guy at the store said the previous owner hadn't fired them, just put them on display.

I took it to the range today to zero it and after learning how to load clips and load the rifle, I found out the rifle has an issue. It's basically acting like a bolt action. When you pull the trigger the round fires just fine, the rifle just doesn't cycle. You have to pull the charging handle to eject the spent casing and chamber the next round. I only fired about 12 rounds before I decided it was probably due to an issue I need to Google and not due to me improperly loading the clips.

My uneducated guess is that the gas from the fired round isn't getting into the gas tube to drive the operating rod rearward. My M1A has a screw on it that when it's vertical it's semi, but if you turn it horizontal it functions like the M1 Garand is doing now, if I'm not badly mistaken. I've been looking all over the M1 trying to find a similar screw. I've got more Googling to do, FM 23-5 says it could be due to the gas cylinder lock screw being loose. Hopefully it's that simple and I just need to get the tool for that thing.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! All I know about the rifle so far is what I read in FM 23-5 and what I've dug up on Google so far.

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August 2, 2009, 04:32 AM
Your M1 will not have a gas spindle valve like the M1A. If stock your M1 will just have a gas cylinder lock screw. Here is a great site that shows the disassemble and reassembly of the rifle.


I would say your problem is defiantly centered around the gas cylinder tube ,lock screw, or operating rod. It might have a adjustable gas cylinder lock screw in it too and those can be set to vent off all of the gas turning one into a single shot. Here is what one of those looks like. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=855569
I hope you are able to get her running once more, they sure are a joy to shoot.

August 2, 2009, 05:51 AM
Ok, lets start with the simple stuff. If one of these tips fixes it, good, if not we can move onto the more complicated stuff.

1. Make sure the rifle is lubricated *corectly*. The Garand needs to be lubricated with grease, not oil, for proper functioning. You can either use the WWII era lubriplate that the rifle was designed for, or use a modern synthetic grease. Make sure to hit the bolt locking lugs, the op-rod channel, and anyplace else where metal rubs against metal. (Don't grease the hammer hooks though).

2. If the rifle still won't run after it's properly lubricated make sure the gas cylinder lock screw is tight. (Actually, just make sure it's tight first, no matter what).

3. The third thing to do is to replace the op-rod spring with a new commercial standard weight op-rod spring. I've seen this fix short stroking problems in a couple Garands and it's an easy and cheap fix.

So, make sure the gas cylinder screw is tight, lube it properly with grease, and replace the op-rod spring. If that doesn't work, report back and someone with more knowledge then me can suggest the next steps. I bet though that if you do all three things, the rifle will work.

August 2, 2009, 06:40 AM
First thing first. Make sure you have the correct gas nut. If you have a schuster adjustable valve or and adjustable gas nut... then that is most likely your problem. Second, see if you are short stroking, or if your bolt isn't moving at all. If you are short stroking.. clean out your gas system and make sure you are lubed correctly. Also, check your op rod spring to make sure that is standard weight.

Do you feel a lot of resistance when you cock it?

August 2, 2009, 07:03 AM
The M1 rifle's gas cylinder lock screw, if it's the later type, has a poppet valve that when a grenade launcher is installed will vent gases forward, out of the lock screw. This is deliberate, making the Garand a manually operated rifle. If the poppet valve isn't seated properly, due to grit or part breakage, the gases will vent forward, without a grenade launcher installed. Examine your gas cylinder lock screw. It may be causing your problem.

August 2, 2009, 07:56 AM
It's not common, but the gas port might be plugged, or if the rifle was incorrectly assembled that port can be covered by the gas cylinder.

If the lock was not screwed on far enough allowing the tightening of the plug to pull the cylinder forward and out of alignment of the two holes - barrel port to cylinder port.

The oprod can break, but you ought to have some clatter if that's happened.

I've heard that some civilian match shooters used to disable their gas system by drilling the plug before adjustable ones became available.

Tim the student
August 2, 2009, 09:59 AM
Did you clean the rifle before you took it to the range?

What kind of ammo are you shooting?

(Um, you know that modern ammo is verboten in Garands without an adjustible gas plug?)

August 2, 2009, 12:48 PM
I'm using American Eagle 30-06 that says on the box it's made for the M1 Garand. The guy at the gun store warned me about using hunting 30-06. I need to get the tool for the gas cylinder locking screw, or just find a really big phillips head screw driver. I hadn't cleaned it, just took it apart, looked it over, and thought it looked pretty clean already.

Thanks for all the tips! I'll start on the three steps Trebor mentioned and let you know how it works. Oh, and thanks for the tip on the lube. I'll have to buy some for the M1, all I have on hand is CLP.

August 2, 2009, 01:31 PM
For the locking screw, you can use a 1/4" ratchet wrench with a short extender to clear the muzzle. It should fit in the middle of the X perferctly.


August 2, 2009, 10:55 PM
I notice there are two models of adjustable gas plugs for the Garand. One has 2 ports, the other has 4. Is there any practical difference between them?

August 2, 2009, 11:26 PM
Mine will not cycle with off the shelf modern ammo, but works just fine with surplus ammo.

August 6, 2009, 10:41 AM
Alright, got the locking screw tightened down, checked the spring, and lubed with Wilson. I should be able to get it back out to the range tomorrow and give it a try :) Thanks for all the help!

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