New M1 Garand owner- ??'s about stock markings


August 12, 2009, 03:28 AM
As of yesterday, I am the proud (make that ecstatic) owner of a Springfield M-1 Garand, courtesy of the CMP- believe me it was worth the 3 1/2 month wait. I checked the serial number and found it was made post-war, in 1954, and the original barrel, dated November of 1954, is still intact. My question- the stock has absolutely no markings except for the "P" proof-firing mark. No cartouches or anything. I haven't looked under the handguards, but according to the resources I've checked, it *should* be marked on the side with a cartouche, shouldn't it? The stock is old, and appears original to the gun. Does anyone know if this lack of markings has any significance? Also, the wood on the stock is quite rough from wear. Since I bought it mainly as a shooter, not a musuem piece, would it be especially detrimental to it's value to sand the stock down and put a nice finish on it? The wood is a very deep, chocolate-brown color and I think sanded and finished it would look really nice. Thanks in advance for any advice

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August 12, 2009, 03:35 AM
Congrats on the M1! And welcome to the club! I have a 1943 Springfield that's a gas to shoot. It also has a naked stock, doesn't even have a P on it. No tellin' what it's history is. Join up on the forum at the CMP website, there's a ton of guys there that live and breathe every detail of these rifles.

As far as the stock, it's your rifle, do with it as you wish. I plan to refinish mine, it's in good shape but needs to be freshened up. Just do some research into the various types of "correct" finishes. You don't want to just sand it smooth and slap some polyurethane on it, that would be a sin.

How about some photos? Here's mine.....

August 12, 2009, 03:47 AM
Thanks, Ron! I'll get some photos up when I get a chance!! :)

August 12, 2009, 05:42 PM
Here's some photos of my new "baby"






August 12, 2009, 06:36 PM
You had one too many "http//"s in your links... here they are fixed FYI

You might take a very close look at the LEFT side of the stock near the receiver... you might find a very faint cartouche if it hasn't been sanded. But that stock is pretty rough. Field grade?
Congrats on the M1! :cool: Nothing like the feeling of your first (and I emphasize first) garand.

I'd personally dishwasher the stock/handguards, then sand/refinish OR strip/sand/refinish them. There are tons of threads on it, steaming out dents, etc. Probably come out great. DON'T sand along the top of the stock where the receiver touches, nor anywhere in the trigger group cutout. Go easy along any edges.

August 12, 2009, 06:41 PM
"...lack of markings has any significance?..." Likely a replacement stock put on during one of the arsenal rebuilds.
"...and finished..." Use BLO if you want a flat finish. Tung oil(not Tung Oil Finish), applied properly, if you want a hard, waterproof, finish that has some shine. Use the same products and techniques used on fine furniture.

August 12, 2009, 07:18 PM
Post war stocks normally have a "DAS" (Defense Acceptance Stamp) consisting of 3 stars over an eagle in a box about 3/8" square under the elevation knob on the left side of the stock along with the "P" proof stamp on the pistol grip. It is not unheard of for a GI stock to be missing either one or both, especially on a replacement stock. Yours may and had one at one time and some GI sanded or "boned" it off.
I would not sand your stock. It looks like the buttplate overhangs the stock wood all ready.I don't know about your marital status and this suggestion could affect yours, if you have a spouse, but I recommend you remove the all the metal you can from the stock and handguard and stick the wood in your dishwasher for a cycle to clean it up and swell out the dents. A more effective action is to clean it with OvenOff and hose it off with water after a few minutes. Repeat as necessary. This is a controversial procedure but I have done it numerous times on GI stocks without mishap and no one that objects to the procedure seems to be able to produce photographic proof of any damage done using this method (I would not leave the OvenOff on for more than a few minutes, for instance but it can be repeated numerous times). While the stock is wet or after it dries, you can steam out additional dents with a hot iron over wet terrycloth to bring the water in the wood to a boil under the tip of the iron. As long as the rag is steaming, you can't burn the wood.
The wood will look ashen after being soaked and dried, but try a little BLO somewhere to see what the final color will be before you decide to add stain. 0000 steel wool or Scotchbrite pads will take down the raised grain before you add a final finish. Linseed oil is traditional. Boiled linseed oil or Tung oil is easier to use and looks like a GI finish.

August 13, 2009, 07:41 AM
Wow, thanks for all the help! When I have a bit more time this weekend I'm going to try and take a much closer look at it and get it cleaned up. Yes, it's field grade, that's all I could afford, but I am very, very happy with it! Thanks again, you guys rock!

August 14, 2009, 06:41 PM
Probably a Birch replacement Stock, will have nothing but the Proof "P"

August 15, 2009, 11:15 AM
I worked as a volunteer at CMP South, shot with people who were paid workers, and bunked with guys who spent months as a free volunteer.

When Clinton was crushing Garands the CMP was able to sell a lot of like new Garand stocks. Some were extremely collectable. I was too stupid and only bought stocks based on least dings. Wish I had purchased a boatload of those lightly dinged WWII, IHC, HRA stocks that I saw.

(I am an idiot)

But that was a very long time ago. For at least 15 years good Garand stocks are rare. This is due to the uncaring handling these rifles have received by lazy uncaring American and Foreign depot workers. * The CMP has been building Collector Grade, or Correct Grade rifles for years using nice stocks removed from not so nice rifles. If a mix master came in, but with a rare or wonderful condition stock, that stock was put aside.

I attended Camp Perry 2009 in July and went to the CMP North store. There were lots of excellent metal condition late 50’s SA Garands in new commercial wood. I saw racks of these in beat up wood Jan 09 CMP South. There were only a few all correct, essentially new, late 50’s SA Garands on the shelf. I purchased one of these for $1000, and as best I could tell, it had not been fired since it was cleaned and put in storage. There were only a few stock dings.

If you have a nice condition original military stock, be happy. Its rare.

* A military Officer friend of mine visited Anniston Army Depot. Might have been in the 80’s. He personally saw rebuilt Garands coming back from the function firing range. These rifles were being transferred from the rack to a storage container by a Depot worker. The lazy depot worker tossed these rifles through the air, at least 20 feet, into a six by six by four feet cardboard storage container. My friend saw wood splinters flying out of the container when thrown Garands impacted on the rifles in the box. My friend, who understands what damage to small arms can mean to the user, and he respects firearms, is still disgusted by what he saw.

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