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Garand Group (The)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Reloadron, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to buy a new old stock op-rod? Springfield late production preferred. Where might I find one?
  2. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    Problem is I want a Garand but don't know if I should go with something like the service grade which might be a mixmatch of parts that were naturally replaced as the rifle was rebuilt during it's service life, which might make it more historically genuine and adds character? Or go with a "service special" that appears to be later model productions with more correct parts. The idea of having something used in WWII or Korea is appealing but I want to shoot the snot out of it without having to put up with a fussy gun with a tired barrel. There is also the consideration of what will hold the most value in the future. I don't plan on selling but making a selection now that might pay dividends later is worth taking into account.

    Looks like I made an error. CMP has "service special" and "special" grade and I was confusing the two. The service special has new wood and "associated hardware", which, Welding Rod, sounds like it's just buttstock parts? I assume some people hunt down an old stock or other parts in attempts to bring it closer to period-correctness, but it sounds like the serials on the SA service specials are all late productions?

    By "safest buy", is there an inherent risk in purchasing a service grade with a mixmatch of parts? Or it's only risky in that you'll get more mixmatching if the primary goal was a correct rifle? I guess I'm also kind of stuck in the "HRA vs SA" because I can get either in a service or service special grade. I know the HRAs are postwar but it sounds like the service special SA's are postwar anyhow. I've heard anecdotal evidence that HRAs are "nicer" in fit and finish since there was no war-time rush to crank them out, but heard that the SA's are nice as well.

    In the end, I haven't made any progress towards a decision at all. :banghead: It's also late and my brain has stopped functioning. I hope this makes sense in the morning.
  3. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    Cesiumsponge, for a good shooter consider the service grade and depending on your budget a service grade in the $625 area where $650 gets a good shooter right to your door.

    When you start getting into real collectables like the WWII rifles made by SA and Winchester it becomes an expensive project to get one of these rifles back to original parts to be correct for the serial number.

    Anyway as to a shooter you will not go wrong with a basic service grade rifle. The Service Grade RM1HRASSP @ $950 + S&H gets you a pretty minty later rifle of H&R manufacture with great metal but for $625 I would opt for the service grade flavor for a good shooter. I guess some of it comes down to what your budget allows.

  4. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    usnmars, a great example of what can be done with time and patience to a chunk of lumber. Hell, you can use that stock as a mirror to shave with. :)

  5. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    Seems to me that the best bet on getting one you like is convincing the wife that the kids NEED to visit Red Stone Arsenal to view the rocket museum and oh by the way take a short side trip over to CMP South.

    Looks like if you have your paperwork all in order you can treat it like a trip to your local gun store and pick up and fondle to your hearts content until you find the one in your class of condition that has the least onerous flaws then buy it.

    Still that six didgit (june'42) Field grade from Danish service I got was and has been a lot better than the Blue Sky South Korean I got skined with in the 1980's and functions and is more accurate than the two rewelds I bought in years past.

    I don't see how going with Service grade can be anything but better.

    CMP does not take bribes or offer any favors on picking numbers yet I lucked out and got a number like I wanted. ( OK I originally wanted a specific H&R that once sat in slot number 112 of my high school armory and then had still fuzzy parkerization and sharpnumbers...but they laughed at that request)

    Still lots of parts out there. One local guy that does shows lets you rumage for the markings you want. Also there is new production wood as has been noted, often much better than 60 plus year ,240 season changes, old walnut, birch or Euro beaver tree, that has been dragged through the mud of a couple of contenients and cared for by GIs speaking a host of languages.

    They also serve as great display stands for your Garand bayonet collection......

  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Virtually all of the service grade rifles available from CMP will be "mixmasters". It is rare that one has not gone through at least one arsenal rebuild at some point of its life.

    One of the great features of the Garand is the interchangeability of parts. Unlike many firearms, parts do need to be fitted to the individual rifle. The bolt is the sole exception. The headspacing of the bolt needs to be checked when replacing a bolt or barrel, but frequently, no machining is necessary for a proper fit if just replacing the bolt.

    This is why you will not see parts on a Garand marked with the receiver's serial number.

    The service grades are great shooters.

    The service grade specials generally are new, or little used rifles with new production wood. They are only available from post Korean war production runs, both Springfield and HRA.

    They are also great shooters.

    The choice between a Springfield or Harrington and Richardson is a personal preference. Both were made to the same specifications. Some say the machining finish of the HRAs is better than the Springfields, but that has no effect on the function of the rifle. I cannot see any difference in my examples.

    A year and a half ago, there were lots of WWII serial number Springfields at the CMP South Store, I was on a search for particular serial number ranges. But, who knows now. Both of my CMP Specials (not Service Grade Specials) are WWII serial numbers. If you want a WWII serial number, order a Service Grade or a CMP Special and request a serial number less than 3.5 million. It will still be the luck of the draw and do not be disappointed if you do not get the serial number requested. Or go to one of the CMP stores and hand pick your own rifle.

    Agonizing over the choice of M1 is part of the fun.
  7. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    Back to the '70's

    FOund a couple of pics that are digitial photos of paper film photos from about 1979 or so.

    First is a comparison between one of my M-1 rewelds and a buddy's M-1A.

    I think it shows the difference in the gas system fairly well and shows how the trigger mechanism was modified to allow the use of a box magazine. Of course the M-1A did not have the auto disconector assembly of the M-14 or a place to put one. My buddy debated supergluing on a fake selector lock and auto disconector for looks but never got around to it. By the time this phot was taken I had replaced all my rewelds innards and still had feeding issues and was about to trade it for an 1903 that had some issues as well.

    The second photo is a comparison of another buddy's M-1 , HK91, and a Golden State Arms BM59 on a Springfield M-1 reciever. This is the BM59 I had the kaboom experience with shortly after this photo and which turned out to be a reweld, possibly of three seperate pieces.


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  8. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Well-Known Member

    "Safest" in that it is most likely to contain parts that work correctly and that aren't partially or mostly worn out already.
  9. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    Looks like I am leaning towards a service special HRA and gamble on a service SA with a request for a sub 3.5M serial. The trip is simply to far for me to do in person, WA state.
  10. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Well-Known Member

    I was lucky - I had a business trip out to Chicago and was able to manage a side trip to Camp Perry. It was great. I recommend a trip to CMP for any gun enthusiast if you swing it. You can really learn alot about the Garand there.
  11. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Well-Known Member

    Oiled stocks mentioned in a previous post

    I can't swear to this being the absolute truuff, but some Garands when they were 'turned in', supposedly had a gawd-awful bunch of oil poured down the bore. That just might lead to an oil soaked stock.

  12. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    Camp Perry is a few hours away from me if that. One of these days I should make the trip to the store.

    Years ago on a vacation trip we diverted in MA. to visit the part of the original Springfield Armory that is now a National Park. That was real enjoyable. Some serious history haunts those buildings.

  13. Warp

    Warp Well-Known Member

    So I have an Ultimak M12 mount sitting on my workbench, right next to a Leupold 2.5x28 IER 'scout scope'. Medium height rings on the way.

    I think I might want a cheek/pad riser. Suggestions please?
  14. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    I've decided that I'm going to pull the trigger and go for a service grade special HRA and keep an eye out for a minty HRA stock with metal to turn it into a correct/collector grade rifle and pigeonhole it away after test firing to verify function.

    Also I'm going to request a service grade SA in WWII SN and USGI stock and shoot the heck out of whatever they end up sending me and keep it the way it is because it's current configuration is based on the long journey it's made through various rebuilds.

    Ideally I should pick up a third one, a CMP special grade and just shoot that since it's essentially new and keep the other two...one for it's WWII history and one for it's minty condition. I can begin to see why folks call this Garanditis. Hopefully in a few month's time, I'll actually have something to contribute.
  15. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Well-Known Member

    That is not really accurate. I have owned 4 Specials. While they were overall nice guns and only one suffered a functional problem (a significant reciever problem that required a replacement rifle), they were not essentially new.

    I had an op rod full of large rust flakes, another that is currently blossoming rust out from under the park, a worn op-rod tab, a handguard sheet metal piece with tabs broken off and others cracked, a badly bent and seriously distored lower band that the pin would fall right out of, 2 or 3 worn out rear sight pinions / pinion springs, a windage knob that puked its inards, and a receiver ear with significant wear on the rear sight serrations.

    I am not complaining. These are old rebuilt guns and CMP makes this kind of stuff right if you bring it to their attention. My point is just that if you think a Special will be pristine (as I think the CMP catalogue clamis) that may not be the case. These guns are likely to contain parts that have already seen considerable service.

    If you want the best chance to get fresh parts that shouldn't have issues, buy a second Service Grade Special.
  16. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Well-Known Member

    CMP Aniston, AL Field Grade (hand select) Springfield

    mid-6,xxx,xxx Danish stock w/ disc indention in pistol grip butt, Springfield barrel.

    Looked almost unfired internally; excellent shooter.
    'Unorthodox' refinishing I guess; soaked in denatured alcohol, light sanding to take the finish but keep the character marks.

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  17. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    That is certainly surprising and thanks for the head's up. I was under the impression, based on their description and the asking price, that all the metal was refinished (and I'd assume inspected) so I'd have expected it to basically be a "new rifle" rather than "parts that may or may not function properly because of dimensional errors or rust, but look new"

    I'm guessing with my luck, by the time I recover the funds for a third Garand, the service grade specials will be gone. Better one than none though!
  18. RKirby

    RKirby Well-Known Member

    Great info in this thread!
    I'm also about ready to order a CMP Garand before they are all gone and had pretty much decided to go with the Special mainly due to it having a new Criterion barrel. I'm looking for a shooter that will be passed on to my son eventually, rather than a safe queen. But on the other hand, I don't want a gun built with substandard parts just to have a new barrel. I can re-barrel a service grade down the road if it becomes necessary.

    Do I need to reconsider my options?
  19. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    No, I don't think you need to reconsider your options. Overall here is my take / opinion.

    There are many ways to come by a M1 Garand. There are gun shops that occasionally have one, there are pawn shops, there are listings on Armslist, there is the guy with one in tow at the gun show and finally there is the CMP. For the very savvy Garand shopper several of the first options are quite doable, however, for the less than savvy shopper the CMP is the best option.

    So if I buy a M1 Garand through the CMP will it perform flawlessly the moment I shove an eight round EnBlock clip in it? The odds are very, very good that it will. However, to be fair about things take a good look at an M1 Garand's IPB (Illustrated Parts Breakdown) and note the number of moving critical parts for the rifle's normal operation. The M1 Garand is a fairly complex piece of machinery. The biggest thing the M1 buyer who buys a CMP rifle has going for them is they will likely get a good functioning rifle out of the box. With other sources the odds of getting a pig in a poke greatly increase, especially for the less than savvy buyer. Next and really important is if the rifle has a fault which though unlikely, the CMP is there for you backing up your rifle. The other options don't quite offer this. Support after the sale is very rare in the Garand market place. Not everyone selling Garands has the additional parts to support the rifles.

    The days of a $250 shooter Garand are long gone and buck for buck the CMP prices can't be beat. I constantly see Garands at gun shows selling for $900 to $1,000 that are not half the rifle as to form, fit and function a $650 CMP rifle is. Really sucks to pay $900 for a Garand at a show only to find later the muzzle and throat erosion is bad or the head space is bad. With a CMP rifle you know what you are getting.

    The only trick if we want to call it that is knowing what grade rifle we want from the CMP. One thing is for sure, regardless of the grade, you will get what you pay for and in the off chance you don't the CMP is right there for you. That counts quite a bit. Use this thread to ask questions to help you decide which grade is right for you.

    Just My Take...
  20. RKirby

    RKirby Well-Known Member


    That's the kind of information a "less than savvy" Garand buyer, like me, needs to read. This is the very reason I decided to get mine from the CMP rather than a private sale or gun show transaction. I just need to decide between the two "CMP Special" options. The new barrel may be the best option for me.

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