Gentlemen, Approximately one week ago, I was days away from buying my first firearm - a handgun. My research had been exhaustive. I had been to a myriad of LGSs, handling every possible candidate. I had decided on a model, size, and caliber after weeks of reading reviews, making pros & cons lists, and personal budgeting. Yes, I was ready. I was excited. I was utterly unprepared for what happened next. Struggling to stay awake during the late night hours on a staff duty shift, I found myself thumbing through an old issue of American Rifleman. An ad caught my eye. It was for something called the Civilian Marksmanship Program, and pictured front and center was a gorgeous looking M1 Garand. So here I am, one week of frenzied research later and ready to inexplicably pull the trigger on a CMP SA Service Grade. The handgun and rational thought forgotten. Were it any other firearm, I wouldn't be doing this. The opportunity to own the same rifle that both of my grandfathers carried through the Pacific is far too strong of an influence. Having said this, I'd like to fire off a few questions for you Garand owners before I blunder ahead. The intent is for this rifle to be a shooter. I don't care about collector-grade quality, all period-correct parts, or WW2 vintage. I want it to function well, reliably, and be able to maintain combat accuracy out to 300m. Yes, I'd prefer that it look nice, but it doesn't have to look immaculate or brand new. With that in mind, will a standard Service Grade suffice, or is the Service Grade Special really worth the extra three hundred-odd dollars? I've read that when you place an order for one of these rifles, you can "sticky-note" in a request for certain things (within reason). If I wanted to communicate that I had a strong preference for the aforementioned "shooter" characteristics, what could I ask for without overly-inconveniencing the guys at the CMP? Unfortunately, a trip to the South Store is not going to be possible for me. I realize that the rifle is probably going to arrive Han Solo-style in a solid block of cosmoline. What cleaning products do you all recommend for the wooden furniture and metal components? Any preference on oil/grease for after the cleaning is done Ammunition. I understand that this thing eats only M2 Ball, without the use of some sort of modified gas plug for modern cartridges. The only reliable source that I can find is from the CMP at $110+ per order. I'm not very familiar with pricing for .30-06, so is that a decent deal? I'm a little worried about keeping it fed in the long-term. Slamfires. I had no idea about this issue prior to looking into Garands. While I gather that they're fairly rare when using the right kind of ammunition, the thought of it occurring is somewhat unnerving for a new gun owner. I suppose this just comes with the territory of mil-surp semi-autos? None of this will necessarily prevent me from buying the rifle, of course, but given that it'll be my first, I'd like to find out as much as I can. Thanks for taking the time to read through this, everyone. I look forward to your replies.