M1 Garand as Designated Marksman Rifle


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lefteyedom
November 19, 2012, 09:32 PM
In a conversation today at the LGS what would it take to build/convert a M1 Garand into a Designated Marksman Rifle that would be the equal of a M21.

So what would it take to do this?
Sure it would be easier to buy a M1A, but that is not the point.

Sound off folks...

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txgunsuscg
November 19, 2012, 09:45 PM
Garands were used as sniper rifles at one point, so in theory it's possible. I would start with a National Match job from Fulton Armory. Finding a scope mount would be the biggest issue due to the top-loading nature of the M1. That's my initial thought.

WNTFW
November 19, 2012, 09:58 PM
The scoped ones I shot had offset mounts. It would be easier to use a different starting point.

lefteyedom
November 19, 2012, 10:12 PM
Tim Shufflin the fellow that makes the Mini-G has a center scope conversion on YouTube. I have not seen one in the flesh.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmYRMM8K1VE&feature=autoplay&list=ULMZ1WtDghxbg&playnext=1

ApacheCoTodd
November 19, 2012, 10:58 PM
Equal? - unlikely given the scenario of taking optics out of the equation (problematic enough, that) just look to the unit armorers who tried to keep M-1s competitive with M-14s in match competition.

WNTFW
November 19, 2012, 11:33 PM
M1As cost more. Centering up the scope helps. Still not a big advantage over some other setups with detatchable mags, except for the whole cost thing. It would depend on what the mount cost and budget. The Garand could be hard to beat in the price range.
Regarding side mount Garand scopes I really didn't want to remove the rear sight. Too many caveats for me. The center mount would have to be easy to swap on/off for me.
I think AR10s would be another choice, assuming it would be standardized across the board. Many are heavy though so that would have to be addressed. It has some good points. I know a few guys that have bought & sold them.

lefteyedom
November 20, 2012, 01:25 AM
The idea is to build a Designated Marksman Rifle out of a M1 Garand. There are easier ways to have a DMR. This is a classic mental exercise in what could have been.

That said I am thinking of doing this with a CMP Garand, for sh*ts and giggles if not other reason.

What stock would be ideal?

Averageman
November 20, 2012, 08:19 AM
How much optic do you need?
An illuminated 4X Scout Scope could be easily mounted forward mounted to a Garand and give you the advantage of a low power scope that would make 300 to 500 yd shots rather easy.
300 to 500 for a Designated Marksman is a pretty far shot, I would imagine the real advantage isn't the rifle, it is the combination of a better trained rifleman and a better rifle.
What is cover for a 5.56 is only concealment for that 30.06, the guy on the receiving end of a clip of 30.06 APIT is going to know the difference pretty quickly when the window sill, car fender, door jam or wall they are hiding behind quickly begin changing shape. Essentially as a Designated Marksman, if I can't take out my target, if I can just keep his head behind cover while my squad closes distance I have done my job.
I would think a Garand would be ideal in this role, this way.

jim243
November 20, 2012, 10:51 AM
Gee a M-1 as a DMR. Glad it is only a mental exersise. With the small round count (8), rifle weight and having to carry around 200 rounds of 30-06, I can not understand the fasination with ancient weapons. There are much better tools out there today to do that job.

Jim

desidog
November 20, 2012, 11:10 AM
For the sake of argument, I'd start with an M1C or M1D, and get a BM-59 parts kit and upgrade the magazine situation....Of course, after doing all that, you'll basically have an overpriced, over-worked, over-troubleshot, ungainly M1A.

Reloadron
November 20, 2012, 12:25 PM
OK, with a focus on the M1 Garand and only the M1 Garand you have your work cut out for you. The following is my own opinion and we know what can be said about opinions. Now if I were you I would start at the very beginning even before worrying about getting a rifle. I would start here. (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/582340/the-us-30-caliber-gas-operated-service-rifles-a-shop-manual-volumes-1-and-2-book-by-jerry-kuhnhausen) This assumes of course you want to do this as a project yourself and have the bucks to get from point A to point B.

Set the scope aside for a moment. The basic M1 Garand is not quite scope friendly. Besides, there is much more to this than optics. The best optics on a suck rifle are just that, expensive glass on a suck rifle.

The M1 Garand shall we say out of the box is a great battle rifle, it is also about a 4 MOA rifle and that needs fixed. Starting with a basic rifle you are looking to make a silk purse from a sows ear.

The M1 Garand has no shortage of moving parts as can be seen from the shop manual I linked to. Each and every part is critical to the normal operation of the rifle. I suggest after reading the book you begin collecting parts and parts that well meet or exceed the parts shown in the book so geometric tolerance 101 comes into play. There is no shortage of parts dimensioning in the book and online.

The book also shows how to get a basic M1 Garand up to NM standards. Years ago it was relatively easy to find a NM quality full contour (non GI contour) barrel. Not sure how easy that is today but you want a high quality barrel. Brownells will be happy to sell you a barrel wrench (actually receiver wrench) and all the tools needed to rebarrel your receiver including correctly indexing the barrel to the receiver. Would be a nice touch if you can find a NM op rod, but not essential. :)

Next, you have to modify some parts. May as well begin with the gas tube and if possible find a new in wrap gas tube to compliment the Op Rod. This will involve reaming part of the gas tube and modifying the tang on the tube. I can post pictures if you would like. :) The idea being to get an M1 Garand as close to a free floated barrel as humanly possible. Pretty challenging stuff.

The trigger on an M1 Garand sucks by design. However, there is hope. This is where a dremmel tool and felt bob(s) with polishing compound come into play. This takes patience and when done right will yield a very nice 5 to 5.5 Lb trigger release that is crisp and sharp as well as repeatable every time.

Moving along there is more metal work to be done and I won't hit on all of it... :)

Now go buy a high end Boyds stock including all the lumber. The book will show you how to fully glass bed (I like Devcon) a M1 Garand stock. A key player in an M1 Garand's accuracy is the metal to wood and things must be tight and just right. Again, here Brownells is your new best friend as to the special tools needed to bed a stock for a M1 Garand.

There is much more to all of this than can be easily posted. I also have my wife's truck while she is at work and if I do not go get her my life will take a down hill turn. I can post pictures of a NM Garand if you would like. Since you said Garand this post focused on Garand and nothing else.

Ron

Fishbed77
November 20, 2012, 01:37 PM
Buy a Garand.
Buy and install an Ultimak or similar scout scope mount.
Buy and install a scout-type scope.
Done.
You will have a battlefield-accurate DMR.

Alternatively, buy an M1C or M1D from the CMP and install the appropriate mount/scope if you want to keep it old-school.

1KPerDay
November 20, 2012, 01:50 PM
Sage makes their EBR chassis for the Garand, if you're feeling really blasphemous. :D

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/sag_ebr_stock-tfb.jpg

I think it's cool, BTW.

henschman
November 20, 2012, 02:17 PM
I'd say get an Ultimak scout mount and a Leupold 1.5-5x33 illuminated scout scope: http://swfa.com/Leupold-15-5x33-VX-R-Scout-Scope-P51466.aspx

Throw a 1907 sling on it, and voila -- a serviceable DMR. While I would prefer to have something a little more modern and magazine fed, I wouldn't feel very outgunned at all if I had to take care of business with something like that.

If you feel you need more than the typical 2-3 MOA an M1 generally delivers with surplus ball (which I have found to get me repeatable hits out to 600 yards + with iron sights without any problems), you can buy a box of Acraglas and bed the stock, and hand load. Maybe get a Schuster gas plug too, so you can up the powder charge some.

Averageman
November 20, 2012, 04:09 PM
I often find it odd that folks now will complain about a load out weight on a Garand when the average Infantryman in WWII was on average shorter, lighter, much less well fed and resupplied and yet carried those same loads all the way accross Europe.
Put some scout optics on it and if you feel froggy go ahead and glass bed the stock, but more important shoot the heck out of it and know where it will hit and how to shoot it at distance.
It doesn't have or need to be match accurate, just shot well and have a trained shooter behind the trigger and it will get the job done.

mljdeckard
November 20, 2012, 04:15 PM
Those who would take the time and effort to learn a Garand properly probably already shoot to the expectations of a DMR without the need of a scope. But if you DO want to scope it, I would recommend one of the mounts in front of the action. If you mount it off to the side, you will have parallax issues. Using the mount in front of the action will probably mean you will need an optic with extended eye relief.

txgunsuscg
November 20, 2012, 07:19 PM
I personally am not a fan of the Sage stock, on an M-14 or otherwise, just my personal preference. If you are talking about doing the work yourself, post #11 is probably a good starting point. If you don't mind having the work done for you, then a National Match job from Fulton, as I mentioned earlier, can fix both the trigger and probably as many accuracy issues as you'll be able to fix. They can also install a scout mount for you, which they sell. I know it's possible to hit man-size targets to 1000 yards with a 1-4x, so 500 shouldn't be a stretch for a scout scope. Get some good ammo, and go get dope...

readyeddy
November 20, 2012, 07:33 PM
Why do you need a scope? If the gun is accurate, then 600 yards is doable with iron sights. Just carry binoculars for glassing.

HorseSoldier
November 21, 2012, 01:48 AM
If we're talking about a military DMR, then it needs to be capable of positively ID'ing targets and rapidly engaging them as necessary. Binos and irons are not ideal for those applications.

readyeddy
November 21, 2012, 03:11 AM
Then an offset mount is probably the way to go.

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 03:57 AM
As to the optics... Since you mention the DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle) is the M21 and the M21 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) is the semi-automatic sniper rifle adaptation of the M14 rifle. So the system spawned from the M14 rifle.

The United States Army wanted an accurate sniper rifle during the Vietnam War. The M14 was selected because of its accuracy, reliability, and the ability for a quick second shot. As a result, in 1969, the Rock Island Arsenal converted 1,435 National Match (target grade) M14s by adding a Leatherwood 3–9 Adjustable Ranging Telescope and providing National Match grade ammunition. It was designated the M21 in 1975. The M21 remained the Army's primary sniper rifle until 1988, when it was replaced by the M24 Sniper Weapon System; some M21s were later re-issued and used in the Iraq War. In standard military use, the M21 uses a 20 round box magazine as the other members of the M14 family and weighs 11 pounds (5.27 kg) without the scope. The U.S. military never officially authorized or purchased magazines in any other capacity, although 5- and 10-round magazines are available.

The above quote was taken from here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M21_Sniper_Weapon_System) However, any historical data on the M21 system would likely bear out the same information.

Now short of hacking the M1 Garand to make it like a BM59 the 8 round En Block loading is as good as it gets. The next problem is unlike the M14 the M1 feeds from the top of the receiver. This makes loading the rifle difficult when a scope is right where you want to load. So in keeping with top loading I would be thinking about as mljdeckard points out in his post:

But if you DO want to scope it, I would recommend one of the mounts in front of the action. If you mount it off to the side, you will have parallax issues. Using the mount in front of the action will probably mean you will need an optic with extended eye relief.

All of this purely keeping as close to inline with the M21 platform you mentioned. There are other ways to go about it. I am also assuming this is more a dream rifle and what could be done rather than something you actually plan to do.

Just My Take...

Ron

lefteyedom
November 21, 2012, 06:35 AM
I can not understand the fasination with ancient weapons. There are much better tools out there today to do that job.

Jim243,
My fascination with "ancient weapons" is the same as my love of old farm trucks, British sports cars and motorcycles with kick starters.

A 2012 Mazda Miata MX5 is a much better car than a 1974 MGB. Which one would I enjoy owning building more? (with 3.4 v6 and t5 out of a early 90s firebird shoe horned in)

When a Air Guard F-106 and F4 pilots bested F15 and F16 pilots in training dog fights something was always learned. Yes the F-16 and F15 where much better aircraft, and most of the time the newer jets did prevail. Not always... There is a reason that old school guns made their way back on to fighters,

Building the "best" DMR out of a M1 Garand is a worthy exercise even if only to fully appreciate current DMRs.

History is not stagnant, it is always revealing new ideas for those who are willing to study it.


Great ideas folks!

madcratebuilder
November 21, 2012, 07:04 AM
The offset scope mounting is the limiting factor on the Garand, plus you are limited to how large the scope body can be. Ammo capacity is not the greatest. Accuracy with a quality aftermarket barrel can be very good and the iron sights are allow minute of man at very long ranges.




The trigger on an M1 Garand sucks by design. However, there is hope. This is where a dremmel tool and felt bob(s) with polishing compound come into play. This takes patience and when done right will yield a very nice 5 to 5.5 Lb trigger release that is crisp and sharp as well as repeatable every time.


I disagree. The Garand trigger was carried over to the M14 (different housing) and the Garand trigger design is the basis for AR two stage triggers. The Garand trigger borrows from the Browning A-5 trigger design.

Sure the trigger as issued is heavy but it's a battle rifle, needs to be heavy. Very little work is needed to achieve a crisp 4.5lb glass like break.

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 07:33 AM
The offset scope mounting is the limiting factor on the Garand, plus you are limited to how large the scope body can be. Ammo capacity is not the greatest. Accuracy with a quality aftermarket barrel can be very good and the iron sights are allow minute of man at very long ranges.






I disagree. The Garand trigger was carried over to the M14 (different housing) and the Garand trigger design is the basis for AR two stage triggers. The Garand trigger borrows from the Browning A-5 trigger design.

Sure the trigger as issued is heavy but it's a battle rifle, needs to be heavy. Very little work is needed to achieve a crisp 4.5lb glass like break.
I agree, I could have went easier in the trigger especially because as you mention it is in fact a battle rifle. I guess my goal was to convey that with some work it can be very much improved. Saying it sucked was not a very good description. It does well out of the box what it was intended to do. Also, yes, if we look at a M14 trigger group is does in fact bear a strange uncanny resemblance to the M1 Garand trigger group. :)

Ron

HKGuns
November 21, 2012, 09:29 AM
Build and convert? You could very easily and effectively use mine dead bone stock. People haven't changed since WW2 it will put them down just like it did then.

Edit: reloadron, you should check yourself before posting nonsense. There are a lot of dead German and Japanese soldiers who would argue differently. Also, I don't know where you're getting the Garand is 4 MOA as both my rifles perform better, but even 4 MOA is a dead human, center of mass. Ancient? oh brother.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v1/p746547376-5.jpg

josiewales
November 21, 2012, 10:12 AM
With the small round count (8), rifle weight and having to carry around 200 rounds of 30-06, I can not understand the fasination with ancient weapons. There are much better tools out there today to do that job.

Ancient? Really? There may be tools that are better for the job but obviously he is not going to be using it in a combat situation.

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 01:00 PM
Build and convert? You could very easily and effectively use mine dead bone stock. People haven't changed since WW2 it will put them down just like it did then.

Edit: reloadron, you should check yourself before posting nonsense. There are a lot of dead German and Japanese soldiers who would argue differently. Also, I don't know where you're getting the Garand is 4 MOA as both my rifles perform better, but even 4 MOA is a dead human, center of mass. Ancient? oh brother.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v1/p746547376-5.jpg
HKGuns, my post were right on target. First spare me how many dead Japanese, Germans or anyone else were left dead on the battlefield as a result of the M1 Garand. I am well aware of those numbers. Since you have a Garand (nice looking one at that) you certainly should know what each elevation and windage clicks represents on the standard sights. Next, during development of the M1 Garand before it even was the M1 Garand the War Department requirement was the new rifle would be able to place 10 shots inside 4" at 100 yards. Are you familiar with the development of the rifle including the early .276 Pederson chamberings? That would seem to be 4 MOA as a requirement which is what I focused on. Specifications is what I posted, not what my rifles are capable of. Most M1 Garands will shoot better than the requirements but that is here nor there as it is not true of all rifles. The fact that your rifle exceeds specifications really comes as no surprise. So tell me if your rifle was to shoot 2" low and 2" Left at 100 yards what would you do with your sights to compensate?

Next, did you even read the original first post in this thread? Just to get a small handle on what the thread is about? If you read my post they were at least on target as to what the thread is about. However, thank you for taking the time to edit your post to tell me I am clueless. That stupid dead German and Japanese phrase has been tossed around forever.

So beyond slamming me and posting a lovely picture of your Garand do you have anything constructive to add to the thread?

Ron

ApacheCoTodd
November 21, 2012, 01:10 PM
Of course - one serious flaw in the concept/argument/discussion is, barring re-barreling or sweating in "Navy Sleeves" one is left with a 30-06 so rather than using M-21/M-24 .308 or delinking MG ammo you burden the supply chain with an otherwise obsolete round.

jim243
November 21, 2012, 01:17 PM
Nice photo of your antique rifle. Let's cut the pasture droppings and just tell the OP to rechamber it for 308, install a magazine kit for 20 rounds, loose the wood for a lighter stock, install better sights and put a NM chamber in it. OH, they have already done that, it's called a M-14 and at last look they were being reissued. But I think you will see more AR-10's being issured to replace the M-14's. Running around with what looks like a sniper rifle will shorten your life span in the field.

just my view on the issue.
Jim

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 02:28 PM
Apache & Jim,

Damn, that's right we need to toss in a match .308 barrel. While I like the M1A / M14 approach that is what the Designated Marksman Rifle in the original post actually is. Hell, not sure if we can even do the BM59 conversion.

Seriously, I agree 100% with what you guys have had to say and Jim despite them being antiques I still find myself drawn to old (ancient) pumper type fire trucks. I will also admit enjoying shooting my ancient trapdoor. Someday I really want a fire truck though.

While there are much better and certainly more accurate rifles to choose from today and the AR10 comes to mind as a .308 rifle, I do enjoy shooting many of the older rifles, including the Garand. Then too, I am not dragging one through a battlefield.

Ron

HKGuns
November 21, 2012, 02:29 PM
Nope.

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 02:32 PM
Of course - one serious flaw in the concept/argument/discussion is, barring re-barreling or sweating in "Navy Sleeves" one is left with a 30-06 so rather than using M-21/M-24 .308 or delinking MG ammo you burden the supply chain with an otherwise obsolete round.
Naw, I have a .308 barrel sitting here for an M1 Garand. Still new dated 04-97. Never got around to using it. :)

Ron

Reloadron
November 21, 2012, 02:33 PM
Nope.
What is the nonsense and what do you have to contribute to the thread? Still a nice looking rifle you have there.

Ron

C-grunt
November 21, 2012, 03:09 PM
I would say an accurate barrel, forward mounted scope and a detachable box magazine and you're good to go.

For DMR purposes you are going to want a minimum of 2 MOA with sub MOA being preferred. The DM role has him making shots out to 800 meters or so and also taking precise shots at closer range. A good barrel and at least a 4x scope are needed for this. I think a good 2-10 would be better but that's not really possible on the Garand with how it loads.

Next would be the box magazine. The standard 8 round clip fed mag is just to small. Another requirement of the DM is that they are still a rifleman for the squad. A DM is still expected to clear houses and do all the normal duties of a regular rifleman.

The Garand can do the job but definitely isn't the best or even a very good option. I don't like to carry less than 300 rounds on me and that is going to be bulky and weigh a lot if its 30-06.

lefteyedom
November 22, 2012, 12:04 AM
Gentlemen, civility please.

This was not a question of what weapon should be the current issued DMR for American combat troops.

This is an exercise in what is possible starting with a M1 Garand. There are other historical weapons that this question could be put to. What about a 1917 Enfield? would it have been better if the barrel had been cut back to 22" and a detachable magazine added? What could have made a BAR better?

My Grandfather swore that Mohammad Ali could not have lasted 2 rounds with Joe Louis. My Dad swore that George Foreman could have clean the floor with Mike Tyson. Every generation has it heroes. All where great in their time.

Reloadron
November 22, 2012, 08:43 AM
lefteyedom, yeah well, and I was in your grandfathers corner on that one. :)

Good suggestions posted as to the possible options.

Ron

eastbank
November 22, 2012, 10:51 AM
at a black hat shoot a man came with a remington 7400 in 308 with a 3x9 leupold scope and out to 500yds shot 7-9 inch groups with factory federal 150gr bullets. the only trouble he had was dialing in the elevation,but after that he was alright. if he had a scope with mildots or clicks he would have done fine. eastbank.

ApacheCoTodd
November 22, 2012, 01:20 PM
There was someone back 10 years or so selling a "scout" style scope mount for Garands. I don't seem to see them anymore.

That mount, .308 conversion (I've always been OK with "Navy Sleeves"), Ram Line synthetic stock and a muzzle brake. I have a Smith brake like this one on my "tanker" and a couple M-14s. Works well in firing and is a valuable semi permanent bore guide for cleaning as well.

Reloadron
November 22, 2012, 02:12 PM
There was someone back 10 years or so selling a "scout" style scope mount for Garands. I don't seem to see them anymore.

That mount, .308 conversion (I've always been OK with "Navy Sleeves"), Ram Line synthetic stock and a muzzle brake. I have a Smith brake like this one on my "tanker" and a couple M-14s. Works well in firing and is a valuable semi permanent bore guide for cleaning as well.
ApacheCoTodd, I have a question for you. I have never used the "Navy Sleeve" which to my way of thinking amounts to a chamber adapter. Actually, never used any chamber adapters. My thinking here is if I want a chamber cut in .308 I'll use a .308 barrel. If I place a 150 grain FMJ round beside a 150 grain 30-06 round and note the difference in height I figure that difference amounts to bullet jump. The distance a bullet travels before it engages the lands and groves of the barrel. That will impact the overall accuracy to my way of thinking. While how much bullet jump is acceptable I just see a chamber adapter for use in a match grade rifle as too much.

Since in this case we are looking at an M1 Garand I would likely run with a good match grade barrel like a Krieger that was short chambered. Then use a pull through finishing reamer to get the headspace perfect for the individual rifle with its bolt.

I am not knocking a chamber adapter but merely questioning its use in a match grade sniper rifle platform.

Ron

ApacheCoTodd
November 22, 2012, 03:34 PM
It's certainly not THE way to go, just A way to go. I've had two surplus (maybe adapted for line throwing?) Garands with the sleeves in them and they performed better than expected and I would have no doubt let them be but both the barrels were rather collectible in their original state so out came the sleeves and after a chamber buff-up everything was A-OK again.

For what it's worth - one of them was tuned up to the degree and quality of a military match armorer's work and shot accordingly but I completely get your take on the lack of initial commitment that the projectile received with the adaptor.

Ash
November 22, 2012, 04:32 PM
I'm not sure what exactly makes the Garand antique in the role. Would there be better? Sure. Would I accept a time-transported World War II Marine Raider rated high Expert with a Garand using one as a designated marksman today? Why not?

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