I'm about to pull the trigger on a CMP Service Grade Garand, and I can't make my mind up between the Springfield Armory or Harrington & Richardson Arms rifle. I like the fact that the Springfield is a Springfield (just like the idea of seeing that on the receiver for some reason - guess it's more of a connection to WWII, even if it will likely be a post-war rifle), but the HRA rifles tend to be newer, and many folks report that some look almost never-fired.
This will be my first Garand and almost certainly be my only one for a long, long time, since I know CMP supplies are finite (as are my funds), and there are a lot of other firearms on my wish list before I get around to another Garand.
Anyway, does anyone have any guidance or experience with both options?
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April 29, 2012, 11:43 PM
What do you like, something really clean and pretty or something less nice that's got history and maybe even combat behind it? If I were you, I'd base it on that. Also if I were you, I'd get the Springfield.
April 30, 2012, 02:16 AM
I think if you get a Springfield you may be a little more likely to get a better built gun. But the HRA will probably have more collector value later.
April 30, 2012, 02:20 AM
Well, here's what a Springfield Service Grade Special looks like (RM1SASSP):
I really don't know how you can go wrong with this choice, it looks brand spanking new.
April 30, 2012, 02:34 AM
OP, you will not go wrong with either choice. I have 7 (one of each maker and 3 more WWII SA's) and love every one of them for what it is. If you want an SA that is WWII vintage, place a sticky note on your order form for one that is a serial less than 3,8xx,xxx. That was the cutoff.
All HRA's are post WWII and you are correct about alot of them looking almost unfired. The last time I was at the SS in Alabama, I found several that were totally correct in the SG and FG racks. Not sure how they slipped by the armorers but they did. Don't count on that being the norm tho.
Good luck with whichever one you choose.
April 30, 2012, 03:31 AM
I have the full set (like the old gas station dinnerware sets). I think the HRAs are the best made but I like them all. My eyes don't handle irons so well now, but I wish I had built one up in 7.62. Now the CMP sells refurbs in that caliber. I'm still tempted.
Great old rifles!
April 30, 2012, 07:28 AM
The first M1 I ordered from CMP turned out to be a very nice Springfield Armory rifle with a 6 digit receiver from 1942. When I ordered mine, all 4 manufacturers (SA, WRA, IHC, HRA) were available for order. I chose SA over the others due to the rich history of the Springfield Armory. Either maker available today should be a fine rifle, but the only way to ensure that you receive a WW2 (or earlier) era rifle is to drive over and hand pick your rifle or order a Winchester field grade. Winchester did not make any M1's after the war.
April 30, 2012, 07:58 AM
It's most likely that any Service Grade you get today will be a post-WWII rifle.
That being said, you can't go wrong with either...or both.
Personally, I prefer the HRA, but that's not for any objective reason.
April 30, 2012, 08:01 AM
In my opinion Springfield=history.
April 30, 2012, 10:30 AM
here's the one you ought to get:
April 30, 2012, 11:01 AM
here's the one you ought to get:
I think I'll pass on that one... :) I bet there's a beautiful rifle under all that cosmoline, though!
I just want a good-looking shooter with a bit of history. I'm aware that there is almost no chance of getting a WWII serial these days and I can live with that. My little yellow sticky note will probably ask for some nice USGI walnut instead of a WWII serial anyway. I don't want to push my luck too much! :)
April 30, 2012, 11:25 AM
When I ordered mine, we didn't get a choice of manufactures (early 90s). I wanted a Springfield Armoury, and luckily that's what I got in fantastic condition. However, either H&R or SA M1 will be nice and you will be happy with it. There is no way you can lose.
April 30, 2012, 11:31 AM
I saw 4 Springfield service grades with WWII receivers at the south store a few weeks ago. So there is a decent chance of getting one. I saw some on all 4 trips that I made this year.
They made far fewer HRA's so they will most likely be more valuable in the future. I also saw several HRA service grades at the store that looked a little rough. Going to the store to hand pick is the only way to go for me.
When you do get your first one you will be unable to resist getting another one.
April 30, 2012, 11:39 AM
Is the gun a collector or a shooter?
Shooter (and you are visiting the store) pick for best bore condition, trigger, sights not loose, etc.
April 30, 2012, 11:45 AM
some food for thought:
CMP is fine here are some others that look good to go to me:
mshootnit, thanks for posting those links. Those look good to you for the price? That really makes me appreciate the CMP. Those gunbroker prices way too high. You can get the same quality rifles from the CMP for $625. The guys on gunbroker are asking around $1000 or more.
April 30, 2012, 01:52 PM
a correct grade rifle is now a 1100-1300 dollar rifle in the open market. Rate the others accordingly. I look for nice bores in good condition, matching good condition wood, and metal. I don't know if you will get as good a rifle for 625 through cmp. Take a look at some of the gauge readings for those rifles and keep in mind that for your 625 you might get much worse unless you hand pick. I know that for over 900 you will get a service special which is about the same as those above. You are doing well if you get a good solid shooter for less than 900. I am not talking about something with worn lugs, loose handguards, loose cylinder, with a bent op rod. I am talking about a good condition rifle. They are getting more expensive these days.
April 30, 2012, 02:13 PM
If you want a garand that LOOKS nice and new, get a service grade of either make and ask them for one with new wood.
As for quality, it's sixes IMO. Ordering via mail you takes yer chances either way. But they will be at least as good as the grade descriptions. My orders have always been quite a bit better than the grade descriptions.
April 30, 2012, 03:27 PM
I will definitely be ordering though the mail, as I'll have no opportunity to make it to the CMP South Store anytime in the foreseeable future (6 hour drive each way for me here in SC). Most Garands I see at gunshows around here are overpriced junkers, and I feel more confident about ordering from CMP than I do any other internet vendors.
April 30, 2012, 04:11 PM
mshootnit, That one gunbroker link says "correct rifle" and not "correct grade" with CMP certificate. That is probably a rifle that someone found correct parts for. All CMP service grades are excellent shooters. Those gunbroker rifles are way over priced.
Fishbed77, I had a tough time deciding on SA or HRA too. You will probably end up with both. I think a 6 hour drive is not too far. Especially if you are going to buy more than one rifle. The experience is worth it.
April 30, 2012, 04:53 PM
If you want a real nice shooter any Service Grade rifle is the best bang for your buck. Much better deal than any of the ones shown on Gunbroker
With the money saved order ammo, alot of ammo
April 30, 2012, 04:59 PM
I feel more confident about ordering from CMP than I do any other internet vendors.
You're not alone. I feel the same way. You'll be pleased with your service grade, IMO.
If you want to be SURE you'll get a nice, new-looking M1, you might want to spring for the "special." But I've bought 2 HRA service grades, one with new birch CMP wood, and one with GI walnut, and have been very pleased with both. I also have a Special grade, but I actually like my service grades better. YMMV, of course.
Some videos of the HRAs
April 30, 2012, 05:36 PM
Pitter Patter...Cmp runeth low. I wouldn't spend too much time thinkin. They are out of correct grades, and carbines, and 1903's and Garands aren't far behind...JMHO If you want a plain shooter you don't have to do too much to a Service Grade Special or Special grade are great choices. The SG lately have been a bit hit and miss unless you hand pick or get someone to pick for you...
April 30, 2012, 07:06 PM
the rifles in the link I posted are priced according to the market. The CMP prices are artificially low. I like to know what I am getting instead of risking getting something in the mail with a worn throat and muzzle. So I look for numbers like 1.5-2 te I also like looking at pictures of what I am getting so I can look for little things like how the ferule meats the wood (slung a bunch), and whether the lugs are flattened (lock-up). To be assured of the same quality through CMP you have to hand pick or order a 950 dollar rifle anyway. Would I order a 625 dollar rifle from CMP? sure if it was for parts or a second or third rifle or a starter rifle. If it was my one and only I am either going there in person, forking out extra dough for a special grade or looking elsewhere.
Another good option is to peruse the classifieds on the CMP forum. You've just got to know what you are looking for. The days of the nice 600-800 dollar Garand are over unless you know a guy. Heck even a new production Savage rifle is over 600. A dollar doesn't go as far as it used to. Well ok you might be able to find something decent in the 800 range.
April 30, 2012, 07:42 PM
the rifles in the link I posted are priced according to the market. The CMP prices are artificially low. I like to know what I am getting instead of risking getting something in the mail with a worn throat and muzzle. the TE and MW ranges per grade the CMP publishes are accurate. IF they sent you one that was more worn than the grade indicated (doubtful) they'd take it back and pay shipping both ways. *shrugs*
April 30, 2012, 08:08 PM
Service Grades hit and miss??? I havent seen any bad ones in fact this last batch are the best CMP has had in years. These SG Garands are the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned
If you would happen to get a Rifle that doesnt meet grade description CMP will either refund your money or send you another rifle plus pay for return shipping
April 30, 2012, 08:26 PM
The determining factor for grading is the muzzle and throat readings and then the overall condition.
I ordered a Field Grade. What I got was a P.O.S. with 2+ readings, all three pieces of wood were split, carved initials in the stock and about 30% finish. The stock looked like someone used it as a hammer. I returned it and upgraded to a Special Grade. 1+ for the muzzle and throat and 95%+ finish.
April 30, 2012, 08:31 PM
My HRA Service Grade Special arrived last week. I was at a gun show this weekend and my CMP rifle is basically a brand new gun. You can't go wrong with either, the HRAs are a little bit less common than the Springfields. My gun was made in '54-'55. I am ordering a regular Service Grade later this year, I too have heard that they are mostly excellent, they are all Greek returns.
Now is the time to order a CMP Garand, they will all be gone soon.