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M1 Garand in .308 Win?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BoySetsTheFire, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. BoySetsTheFire

    BoySetsTheFire Well-Known Member

    I know that Springfield Armory currently produces an M1 Garand rebuild in .308. I also believe the military switched from 30.06 to .308 at some point. But were M1 Garands ever produced in .308 Win? And can they be found? Or are they only available in special rebuilds like the Springfield Armory rifle.

    Also, I am considering buying the M1 Garand in .308 from Springfield. Anybody have any comments on this rifle? Any reason to stick with the 30.06?
  2. ocabj

    ocabj Well-Known Member

    No USGI M1 Garands saw service in 7.62 NATO, officially. The US Navy did produce special Secretary of the Navy Trophy Rifles in 7.62 that were awarded to their top shooters.

    Garands in 7.62 NATO are a good option for those who don't want to buy M2 ball from the CMP and think Garand safe .30-06 is too much of a hassle to acquire.

    Personally, I'd rather get a CMP rifle and have it rebarreled to 7.62 NATO or .308 Winchester rather than buying a commercially manufactured M1 from Springfield Armory, Inc. I actually have a few M1 receivers I bought from the CMP and I plan on using one for a .308 Garand project.
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    To clarify, Springfield Inc. does not produce a rebuilt M1 Garand.
    They produce a replica of the original that is built using mainly new production investment cast parts.
    There are a few parts that are USGI but this does not qualify the rifle as a rebuild or as USGI Military Specification.
    That said, the rifles are fairly decent but I would still advise buying an original rack grade M1 Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Organization or finding a decent USGI rifle with a shot out barrel and use one of these as the basis of your .308/7.62X51 M1 rifle.
    Wilson, and Douglas produce excellent .308 caliber barrels and there are several gunsmiths in the US who are more than capable of rebarrelling a receiver for you at moderate cost.

    I own and shoot M1 rifles in both calibers and am contemplating building a rifle in .270 Winchester caliber and possibly .243 Winchester caliber just to see how well these two calibers really will shoot in the M1.
    Both of these calibers have been used in M1 rifles, I just haven't had the opportunity of trying them, yet.
    To me the .270 and .243 may be more practivcal in the M1 of today than the .30/06 and .308 of the M1s of old.

    .308 M1 Garands are just as satisfying as .30/06 caliber rifles and can be just as accurate and allow slightly cheaper shooting if you are not a reloader.
    Personally as a reloader I prefer the .30/06 rifles because the dimensions of .30/06 cartridges remain the same in commercial and military loadings.
    .308 and 7.62X51 are dimensionally different enough that one needs to know exact chamber dimensions of the rifle they are shooting and never get in the habit of mixing brass between that rifle and any other.
    The choice of caliber for the M1, in my eyes anyway, mainly boils down to whether you want to reload or just shoot factory ammunition. HTH
  4. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Well-Known Member

    I believe there were a small number of 7.62x51 Garands built (or converted) for the U.S. Navy. They are rare and expensive. The U.S. Army, to my knowledge, never used Garands in anything but .30-06 (it was originally designed for the .276 Pedersen, if I remember correctly, but that's a whole 'nother story).

    It is, however, very easy to convert any .30-06 Garand to 7.62x51. It's a simple matter of rebarreling and installation of a spacer block in the magazine. It's a fairly common conversion when an original M1 is being rebarreled.
  5. 7mm?

    How about a 7mm Garand? 280 Remington is an interesting cartridge... :)

    Or how about a 7mm-08 Garand? :what:
  6. Rufus Pisanus

    Rufus Pisanus Well-Known Member

    Garands in 308

    Within the European NATO members many Garands were converted to 7.62 NATO and Beretta made, under license, a significant number of Garands in 7.62 NATO. These are the only military Garands "born" in 7.62 that I know of...

    edited to add: The converted Garands were not rebarrelled but had a barrel modification to accomodate the different cartridge.
  7. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

    Although they are not GI, there are 243 Win. Garands, 25-06 Garands, 270 Garands even a few 338WinMag Garands out there.

    If you want it bad enough you can get one rebarreled and rigged to fire almost anything.

  8. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Chambering the Garand in .308 (or any other cartridge) is sacrilege. It would be tantamount to putting a smogged small block in a '69 Charger R/T.
  9. ocabj

    ocabj Well-Known Member

    While I used to think Garands should remain USGI 30 cal (civilian .30-06), I think for a service rifle competition gun, a .308 conversion is appropriate. Obviously, I wouldn't convert a true collectable Garand example to .308, I would have no problem doing it to a mixmaster or on a bare receiver build. It's not like you're doing a irreversible conversion anyway.

    BTW: The small block in a '69 Charger R/T analogy is totally offbase. The .308 is basically an improved .30-06. Shorter case but almost the same ballistics. It's not like the .308 has a disadvantage to the .30-06. If anything, the .308 would be better due to the more efficient use of case capacity with respects to powder charge weight and pressures.
  10. enichols

    enichols Well-Known Member

    Tell the Navy that... ;)

    FWIW, I have a Garand that I had converted with a Fulton Armory .308 barrel and spacer block. The rifle is very accurate and is a blast to shoot.
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...almost the same ballistics..." Almost, it ain't. They have exactly the same ballistics. That was the whole point of creating the .308. A shorter case using the then newly developed powders with the same ballistics as the .30-06.
    "...a barrel modification..." It was a chamber insert that had a nasty habit of coming out with an extracted case. It didn't work, so the Boat People dropped it and rebarreled their M-1's.
    While it is entirely possible to build an M-1 in any .30-06/.308 based case, the problem is finding a barrel for an M-1 in said chambering. Seems to me that when SA Inc first made their copy, it did come in .270 and another larger than .30-06 chambering. Both long since dropped. To re-barrel to anything but .308 requires a custom barrel. Long dollars.
    The M1A did come in .243 and .358 Win(might have been .356 Win. I forget) but they too were dropped. The shop I worked in long ago, sold a Supermatch in .243 to a guy with more money than brains. He was nearly trampled several years later when he walked into a Montreal area gun show with it over his shoulder. Apparently, M1A's of any kind were rare in Quebec.
  12. P-32

    P-32 Well-Known Member

    The unhappy smilely was a mistake so don't get upset with it.....Thanks

    The Navy did not build 308 M-1's to award to it's shooters, although it's sorta how it ended up.

    When the M-14 became issue to everyone else, the Navy had their M-1's converted to 7.62 Nato. First they tried the spacer in the chamber and found it didn't work real well. These are Navy Mk 1's. Springfield (the real one) made M-1 barrels in 7.62 Nato and these became Navy Mk-2's. The 7.62 barrel was not a match barrel but it seemed to shoot 168 SMK's pretty good.

    Then everybody switched to the M-16 and the Navy took on M-14's which by the way is the Navy's service rifle today. The 308 M-1's are dooled out at Pac FLT, Alt FLT, All Navy and Perry. Might even be a few handed out at Interservice. '06 M-1's are also handed out.

    There are a few Mk 1's and 2's you could bid on at the CMP last time I looked which was a few years back. I never did understand the need for the plastic spacer in the clip well. I don't see a guy having much luck loading '06 in a 308 rifle. My own 308 M-1 dosen't have the plastic spacer and I have not found the desire to load '06 in it. My 308 M-1 by the way was built as a match service rifle and is not a Navy Mk 1/2. I have been on the firing line with Mk 2's however. Almost won one once. :banghead:

    The Navy also had Remington 720's. There were only about 1200 of these rifles built before they became 721's. The Navy bought about 1100 of the 720's at the start of WW2 because there was a shortage of rifles. The 720's were packed in cardboard Remington boxes just like today. The last 720 handed out was about 10 years ago or there abouts.
  13. Dr. Dickie

    Dr. Dickie Well-Known Member

    While I have not tried to load a .30-06 into my .308 Garand (I have the metal spacer), my understanding is you almost can:what:
    Getting it out, well that is a whole other story.
  14. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    It would interesting if someone pulled out the original .276 caliber design before it was beefed up for 30.06. Does anyone know exactly how much was changed to use 30.06?
  15. Rufus Pisanus

    Rufus Pisanus Well-Known Member

    "It was a chamber insert that had a nasty habit of coming out with an extracted case. It didn't work, so the Boat People dropped it and rebarreled their M-1's."

    well it worked for me and many others. I never saw a spacer "extracted' with a case out of many hundreds (thousands?) of rounds. Still it can happen and a new barrel is certainly a cleaner solution.
  16. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    Interesting article on the Navy and the 7.62 Garand


    And to the orginal question, I have an SA Garand that I bought from the CMP as a Service Grade. I couldn't get it to shoot better than 6" groups at 100 yards and it also tended to double occasionally so sent off to Deans Gun Restorations for a rebuild. Dean replaced all the springs, tuned the trigger, put a new Wenig stock on it, installed a 7.62x51 Barnett barrel on it and refinished all the metal in the most beautiful gray parkerizing I've ever seen. I later added NM sights myself. It shoots beautifully now. I love not having to pay through the nose for ammo anymore. I have no reservations at all about what I did. I turned this gun from a mismatched, ugly, terrible shooter into a beautiful service rifle that is the pride of my collection. I would definately do the same thing again, except I would have bought a field grade Garand instead.
  17. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill Well-Known Member

    You've got the right idea-

    It would be good to use a non-historical M1 to shoot the .308.
    I have an M1 rebarreled to .308 (for the purists, the rifle was a complete wreck when I saved it from the parts bin.) dressed in a laminated Bishop stock. I dearly love this rifle- it is accurate and beautiful. Kudos to DGR for a great job on the rebarreling, etc.
    AND the other M1s don't have any problem with it when I put them side by side in the safe.....:rolleyes:
  18. Thin Black Line

    Thin Black Line Well-Known Member

    308 garand --shoots well, less kick.
  19. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    I bought an Arlington Ordnance-rebuilt Garand in 7.62x51 several years ago, before the CMP resumed selling surplus M1s to civilians. I'd wanted an M1 for a long time, but had been concerned that the growing scarcity of surplus .30-06 would keep me from shooting it as much as I'd like. Since 7.62 NATO was, and is still, plentiful and relatively cheap, it seemed like a reasonable compromise.

    Mine had been rebuilt with a new commercial barrel and GI parts in VG-to-excellent condition, nicely re-Parkerized with decent GI walnut stock and handguards. For $459, I really couldn't pass it up.

    I've been very pleased with it. Functioning has been perfect, accuracy in the 2-3" range with good surplus ball at 100 yds from a bench has been the norm since I replaced the GI wood with a laminated set from Midway ($98 back when Reinhart-Fajen was going under), and it does seem to me to have a bit "softer" recoil than an unaltered Garand when fired side-by-side. Since I bought it to be a shooter rather than as an historical artifact, all my personal bases are nicely covered.

    IMO, if you want a Garand to shoot to your heart's content and historical "correctness" isn't a priority, this is a good way to go.
  20. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    I'd have no qualms about converting a "shooter grade" Garand to .308 . . . in fact, I'm considering converting my latest "Field Grade" CMP rifle to a .308 "Tanker" M1. (Reputedly .308s are more reliable than .30/06 when done up in "Tanker" guise.)

    Springfield Armory, Inc., reputedly uses refinished GI parts and their own cast receiver to build their own Garands, although they supposedly used a few USGI receivers early on. Rightly or wrongly, some accuse SA Inc. of using worn-out, out-of-spec parts that are made to look nice by reparkerizing.

    If you really want an unusual M1, and the .30/06 doesn't light your fire, try one of these:

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