Help choosing an M1 Garand


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crawdaddy
August 31, 2009, 10:36 AM
I'll be taking a trip to the CMP store soon to buy my first Garand. What do I need to be looking for? I've heard about muzzle wear, but where can I find a muzzle gauge and are there any other gauges or tools that would help?

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skidooman603
August 31, 2009, 10:47 AM
They will have gauges at the CMP store. They will also be most helpful in choosing one. Tell them ur a first timer. A Field or Service grade is a good way to start. Sure it will be ur first of many

Storm
August 31, 2009, 11:23 AM
Yup, they will help you out in choosing one. Note that the both stores are currently closed and will not open until 9/9. Be sure to pay very close attention to the requirements for buying and make sure that you bring all proper documentation.

The field grade guns can offer a great value if you pay attention to the wear. Many of those stocks clean up very nicely, much better than you'd think. Considering you can acquire a CMP stock I'd pay more attention to the metal. I've now acquired a CMP stock and have restored two orignal stocks, which is why I'm looking at acquiring my third (woodless) and fourth Garand when the store opens.

Also, take a look at the rack grades. There are some diamonds in the rough. Look beyond the stock. I ended up with a wonderful rack grade with muzzle wear of 1 which is as good as some new barrels. It now sits in a CMP stock and is a great gun. I ended up restoring its horrible rack grade stock and it ended up quite nice and will soon be filled. Many of the stocks can be restored and cleaned up wonderfully still showing the evidence of their use while allowing for the beauty of the grain to be evident. There's a balance.

Unless you are looking for cartouches and collectability, look past the stock and key in on the metal. Of course, good metal and a nice stock is always the A Plan :)

Tim the student
August 31, 2009, 12:07 PM
I'll be taking a trip to the CMP store soon to buy my first Garand.

Awesome, its a great experience. You will really enjoy it.

What do I need to be looking for?

What do you want the gun for? A collector's piece that will hang on your wall, something fun to shoot, an original WWII gun?

I myself wanted a good shooting Garand. So, I walked around with a muzzle guage, and guaged them till I got one less than one. I got the benefit of a SA/GAW stock, and some good metal - in places. I have no dreams of competing with my rifle, but I didn't want a gun that would shoot 12" groups either.

If you want a WWII receiver, look for that. If you want good metal, look for that. If you want a "brand new" gun, look at the Specials. As Storm said, look behind the stock. Mine is beat to snot, but I kind of like it like that - I still can't decide if I should even clean it or not. For me, I like the mystery of the history behind it - the stock could have jumped into Ste. Mere with my old unit for all I know, or been carried by my Grandfather's buddy (he was a mortarman, and carried a carbine) across the Pacific. Or maybe it was carried by a guy on a Navy ship - I don't know, but I know whatever it did, it was special.

Ask the other customers in there, and the staff. Every single person I talked with was polite and helpful. I didn't see any of the usual gun store bravado in there. Everyone was quick to help and to give pointers.

When I found one I liked, I brought it to the counter, and a really helpful gentleman who has probably forgotten more about Garands than I will ever learn helped me out. He gave me some tips and info on the certain rifle I brought to him, and checked the throat erosion.

I've heard about muzzle wear, but where can I find a muzzle gauge and are there any other gauges or tools that would help?

If you give them (at the counter) an ID, they will give you a muzzle guage. You just drop it in the muzzle and read where it stops. I am not aware of any other tools that might be that useful to you.

Welcome to the addiction - you only get to buy a first Garand once. Trust us, it is your first.

crawdaddy
August 31, 2009, 12:56 PM
sorry I left out my intentions... I want a decent shooting piece of history. I'm hoping for a WWII receiver with a decent barrel...not looking for a Collector's piece, just a good rifle. Not too worried about the stock.
One more question...from what i can find post WWII serial numbers are in the 4,000,000's and over regardless of manufacturer, is that correct? In other words, if i find one in the 3,000,000's or under it could have been carried in WWII right?

PCGS65
August 31, 2009, 01:32 PM
Crawdaddy go with a field grade. I hear there's not any service grades on the racks anyway. The other customers at the store will most likely have gauges you can use and you can borrow one from the CMP.

Here's the list for springfield armory serial numbers/dates.
http://www.fulton-armory.com/tea/m1serial.htm

Storm
August 31, 2009, 02:36 PM
Tim the Student is right. No matter which one you pick take it to the counter and ask them to also check it out for you and ask their opinion. They aren't salesmen and are more like consultants.

As to a WWII gun, I have a 1944 that may have seen action, and a 1942 that most certainly did, but what kind of action and where is pretty much up to your imagination. That's part of the fun of it. I read somewhere that the Korean War era Garands that were made during that era barely made it into action in Korea. It's really hard to say for certain what went where and when, but you can get a pretty good idea with some rifles. I'd love to see an estimate from some authority like Duff which guns made it into which wars based on serial numbers, but I really don't think those records are available. Still, I'd love a good educated guess of the cutoffs.

gondorian
August 31, 2009, 03:43 PM
Will you be going to the south store or the north store? I hear that the south store has a better selection, but my north store trip also turned out well. They were out of ammo when I went to the north store, which was the day before they closed so they might have some when they open. Also keep in mind that the tax rate in alabama is higher (9% vs. 6.5%) if both are just as close to you.

Storm
August 31, 2009, 11:16 PM
I'm heading to the South store. I live northeast of Atlanta so it's just a nice two hour drive, if I avoid rush hour. The selection was fine when I was there the day before they closed, but the service grade might have been a bit sparse. Also, they only had M2 in the 240 round cans. When I go back, hopefully on 9/9 when they re-open, I plan to add another Garand, either rack or field grade, a woodless SA rack grade to fill a stock, and a carbine. That 9% tax did bug me at first (it's usually 6% or 7% around here) and kinda raised my eyebrows, but now I just figure it into the purchase and live with it. You save on tax if you ship as shipping is only something like $22, but I truly enjoy the ride home with a rifle propped up against my passenger seat ;)

skidooman603
September 1, 2009, 04:49 AM
Its actually cheaper (at north store) to have a gun shipped than pay the tax. Plus you get the really great $10 box to start selling your other guns to buy more Garands. It is a slippery slope.

Nugilum
September 1, 2009, 08:03 AM
For WWII, Springfield serial numbers that end at 3,875,601* and Winchesters serial numbers that end at 1,640,000*.

*Scott Duff Publications

Storm
September 1, 2009, 11:49 AM
For WWII, Springfield serial numbers that end at 3,875,601* and Winchesters serial numbers that end at 1,640,000*.

*Scott Duff Publications

Excellent, thanks! I hadn't got to that in my reading of Duff. Which of his books discuss that? That would be WWII production, but does that tell us which range actually went into service?

rondog
September 1, 2009, 03:38 PM
My Springfield M1 is #1430729. Anything special about that? I understand that's early 1943?

Storm
September 1, 2009, 09:45 PM
My Springfield M1 is #1430729. Anything special about that? I understand that's early 1943?

According to Duff that would be March, 1943.

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