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Cleaning or Rebuilding/ M1 Garand

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by eclancy, Dec 28, 2006.

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  1. eclancy

    eclancy Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    N. Catasauqua, Pa
    I have a question to ask you guys about your M1 Garand. Here we go. Whether you received it from the CMP or from a dealer, how many of you take the M1 Garand apart, clean it, apply grease, check parts, maybe change a stock or small parts, and then put the rifle back together and leave it as is? Or are you the type who would parkerize all the parts, boil the stock or run it through the dishwasher, or use oven cleaner on it, etc., and change major parts like a barrel or bolt to make it pretty/correct ? Do you think it has lost some of its historical value by basically re-building the gun?

    Thanks again

    NRA Life Endowment
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  2. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Essex Co, MA
    I have two. The first I bought several years ago. I brought it home and fired it without doing anything other than running a patch through the bore.
    I have since done a field strip and clean, but have never completely disassembled it.

    The second I bought several months ago. I field stripped it to examine and clean, but have not yet fired it. :eek:

    Both of mine are in good enough shape and clean enough to not consider reparking or anything crazy.
  3. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

    May 12, 2006
    I just recieved my Greek SG a few hours ago. Serial # is 5.8 mil, so I'm not too worried about collector's value. The stock looks fairly good to me, but I'm not a woodworker, and he has yet to inspect it to determine if the stock should be touched up or replaced. Finish is ~85% maybe, so I'm thinking very seriously of rebluing. Don't have gauges, but it showed about 1/4" of the jacket, using a LC M2 round, so we'll wait and see how it shoots before looking at a new barrel.
  4. S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    Garands have been rebuilt so many times since they were issued that anything you do will have little effect on it's value, in terms of swapping out parts. Parkerizing or anything else that is difficult to reverse will affect the value, but if you replace parts with WW2 parts I don't see the harm, and nobody will be able to tell the difference.
  5. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I always recommend a full strip and check-out for worn/broken/defective parts before firing.
    This isn't necessary, but it's nice to catch potential problems before they can cause other problems.
    Since in many cases, the lube grease has dried up or hasn't been applied, this is a good time to grease things properly.

    I DO NOT recommend changing bolts unless you're able to check or have checked head space.

    I also don't recommend using oven cleaner or dishwashers to clean up the wood.
    I know this is a popular method today, but it seems to be a "quickie" method for people in a hurry and who don't care if the wood is damaged or degraded by these methods.

    There are better, safer methods that don't harm the wood, but these take a little time and these days, people just want it fast.
  6. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Davidson, NC
    I agree with dfariswheel: always detail strip, clean and examine all the parts. Not only with the M1, but with any firearm I aquire.

    I'd say that refinishing depends on what sort of frame-of-mind I'm in. I have my CMP H&R service grade than I left as-is. But then again I have a CMP rack grade 5.9mil SA that I had repark'd, restocked and rebarreled. My latest CMP acquisition was a 5.8mil SA rack grade that was stripped for parts and is being converted into a .308 national match gun. I've got a 5-digit 1940 SA receiver that I'm not going to touch the finish on.
  7. Library Guy

    Library Guy Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Millersville, MD
    In September, I received an SA service grade from the CMP. 1943 receiver. 1964 barrel.

    I did a detailed cleaning and inspection before any rounds were put through it.

    The metal was good except for the butt plate. A friend offered me a used but newly parked replacement but it didn’t look right in comparison to the honest wear the rest of the metal exhibited so I kept the original.

    The wood had been abused. I stripped it clean, sanded and steamed it. Treated it with BLO. It looks much better now.

    Everything else I did was to improve its potential as a shooter. I peened the splines and relieved the handguards around the barrel ever so much.

    It’s a mix master but I won’t try to swap parts out to make it “correct.”

    I judge this rifle by the groups it fires. If I need to replace something to keep it running, I will, with a preference to genuine GI as opposed to after market parts.

    I hope this explains my attitude toward this fine old warrior.

    LG Roy
  8. kahr404life

    kahr404life Member

    Sep 21, 2005
    North Carolina
  9. trbon8r

    trbon8r Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    I disassemble to lube the rifle, and do general checkups. I might replace a small part if necessary.

    As far as replacing parts to make the rifle "correct" I never have understood that one. To me the rifle is only "correct" once, and that was when it left the factory.
  10. abearir

    abearir Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    I have "a few" Garands and I always fully disassemble and clean. If the stock is not in cosmoline, I rub them down with a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and mineral spirits to clean and preserve them. I will inspect and replace any part needing repair. Basically I make thems FULLY serviceable and keep them that way.
  11. offthepaper

    offthepaper Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    "I just recieved my Greek SG a few hours ago. Serial # is 5.8 mil"
    Congratulations on your new "baby".
    Nothing perks up the house like a Garand in the house. I recently recieved a Greek FG. Showed up a little rougher than I expected, but I treasure it just the same. Mine also was in the 5.8 range. The wood was pretty beat , but the barrel seems excellent. How about posting a pic?
  12. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    I didn't do much to mine beyond cleaning and adding grease. I did replace the op rod spring with a new stainless spring. None of my Garands were 100% reliable until I greased them and put in the new op rod spring.

    I am current working on buying extractors and extractor springs and what other parts I think I need. I haven't actually ordered yet. Maybe tomorrow.
  13. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Columbia, SC
    My 1 and only Garand (yes, I have not caught the Garanditis, yet....) I opened up, stripped it down, filed out all the nicks in the metal (was beat to hell and back) recrowned the barrel and had it reparked and added a new Wenig stock. She now looks new and is the pride of my gun safe.
  14. Mr White

    Mr White Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Central PA
    My Garand is a 5.8M Springfield. From the CMP, it came with a brand new H&R op rod, a milled trigger guard, and an H&R stock (big back porch) that is in pretty good shape. I wasn't too concerned about it being correct. I figure it was correct in how it might have come out of an arsenal rebuild.

    When I got it, I disassebled it completely and cleaned eash part. I cleaned the furniture stripped it, hit it with TSP, then a few rubdowns with a red mahogony stain because I like the reddish coloring I see in soem M1s and then gave it the BLO treatment. I didn't sand anything, only rubbed it down with 0000 steel wool so as to not damage the DA eagle and the P cartouche. Its a good looking gun and a great shooter and not a collector, and I don't plan on changing anything on it.

    The only mod I made was buying another sight aperture and drilling and threading it to accept smaller peeps. But I still have the original aperture if I ever do get rid of it.
  15. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Don't quite have a squad's worth but getting there--including all the mfrs. My first one from back around 1986 (remember "one per applicant, per lifetime"?) was gradually upgraded to 100% NM match level. Probably 50% or more of the parts to include the barrel were replaced and that's where it is today.

    My wife got a pretty straight WWII SA lockbar which we left alone, other than proper cleaning, lube, and tung oil. Same for most of the others which include a Winchester, IHC, and H&R which came in nice shape and pretty straight. Did luck across a few Winchester parts so it is fairly retro other than a 1947 non-Win barrel.

    The one I actually use most was a minus wood SA that I rebarrelled, overhauled, and NM'd to where it outshoots me. So it sort of depends on how my luck ran when CMP pulled it off the rack and where I expect to go with it. They all get shot, rezeroed, and new springs because they are first and foremost weapons. Just like kids, I love each one for itself.

    Would still like to build up a 7.62 Garand while I can. Have absolutely no need but the idea intrigues me.

    As to "original", I think that term could only be accurately applied to Garands that were grabbed off the line for presentation or collection guns. As Duff said, the point was to produce weapons, not placate collectors yet unborn.
  16. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    My racker is a 1.2 mil springer. Stock is beat but serviceable, barrel gauged 2 ME and 4 TE. Completely stripped, cleaned and greased; found 2 small pebbles inside the OP rod.:confused:
  17. DMK

    DMK Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Over the hills and far, far away
    When I got my service grade SA from CMP, I field stripped it, cleaned off the cosmo (I don't remember it actually being that bad) and took it to the range. However, I could never get it to group better than 6" at 100 yards and it tended to double now and then. Plus it was plain ugly with mismatched, gouged wood. After about six months of frustration, I sold off my remaining Danish M2, sent the M1 to Deans Gun restorations and had him rebuild it with new Wenig wood, new springs, a new .308 barrel, fresh park and a trigger job. I later added NM sights. Now it's a beauty queen, functions perfectly and shoots just as good as it looks.

    Perhaps it's resale value is less, maybe more. I don't care. This rifle will be with me as long as I can breath and own firearms. It's still a real M1 even if it does have a replacement barrel and new wood. The wear, dings and grime were never what made it great and I can't think of any rifle I'd rather own in it's place.
  18. garanddaddy

    garanddaddy Member

    Dec 27, 2006
    Got my Greek FG about 3 weeks ago. 3 mil SG receiver which dates 7-44 and a 12-45 barrel all parts are SG stock wel worn, hand guards were a lighter color used walnut stain now everything matches. Haven't had a chance to shoot it yet maybe tomorrow. My first Garand hope toget a nother but being my first am very happy.:) :)
  19. Beetle Bailey

    Beetle Bailey Member

    Sep 14, 2003
    My first M1 Garand was a SA Service Grade from the CMP. A friend helped me detail strip it, except we didn't disassemble the trigger group nor did we remove the barrel. Used a gentle degreaser to remove the cosmoline and rubbed BLO into the stock. I changed the op-rod spring and clip-latch spring to improve reliability but otherwise it is as it came from the CMP (sans cosmoline), a rebuilt mix-master that shoots well.

    My second Garand was a "Greek Return" SA Service Grade from the CMP. This time I did the disassembly myself and again left the trigger group alone save a good shot of "Gun Blast" cleaner. BLO on the stock and the springs are fine. It, too, is a rebuilt mix-master that shoots well, only it is actually in much nicer condition than the first one. I've actually gotten quite a few compliments for that one from some experienced gun owners. That's actually kinda weird, since I didn't actually build the gun; I just cleaned it up.

    As far as collectors go, I think they go for all original parts, so mine don't qualify. However, I always clean out my guns before I shoot them and I think there are many benefits to this.

    I was thinking of buying one more Garand from the CMP; probably a Rack Grade or a Rack Grade without stock. The "without stock" option makes more sense for my plans since I could take essentially an incomplete rifle and make it into a .308 Garand, maybe even a NM-type rifle. So many guns, so little time. . . :rolleyes:
  20. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    I have been cleaning and repairing M1 Garands for over ten years.
    On CMP rifles and foreign mass import rifles like the Blue Sky rifles I have absolutely no issues replacing faulty parts or barrels and unless the owner insists, I will make no effort to use "as correct" marked parts and this does cost extra if requested.

    As for really collectable M1 rifles I will replace parts to make a rifle more shootable but I also return the original parts with the rifle to maintain the guns collectability.
    The replaced faulty parts are individually bagged with tags that denote that the part is for display purposes only and not safe or intended for actual shooting use.

    I have handled and inspected a number of rifles that the owners have proudly proclaimed were "all original" that contained correct or semi correct parts that were also substandard or downright faulty.
    The majority of these owners did not shoot the rifles, they were/are strictly into Garand rifles as an "Investment opportunity" and will cheerfully sell a rifle to an unsuspecting buyer as "all original" at a hefty price and have not one concern that the rifle they are selling may also be fired at some point even though it could well be dangerous to do so.

    In my eyes, as a working gunsmith, a safe and well fitted M1 rifle with mismatched parts is worth many times more than a faulty but "all correct" collector rifle.

    The later post war parts are much better than the early parts.
    There is a reason the services continued to improve the product and unlike today, it wasn't always to reduce costs.
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