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Old November 30, 2012, 12:04 PM   #1
Kimio
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M1 Garand, to restore or not...

A friend of mine recently inherited an old beaten up M1 Garand from his dad who unfortunately is almost completely blind due to old age.

He wanted to know if he should restore the rifle, it's been taken care of and shoots fine, but the stock and the finish is worn to hell and back according to him, not much blueing left and the furniture is dinged up and chipped all over the place.

Would it be worth restoring, he's considering restoring it and presenting it as a gift to his father who's a retired Army colonel who served in the Korean war commanding tank battallions.

I don't know much about the rifle other than how poor it's visual condition is. He never gave me any information about the markings or who made the reciever and what have you. From a collectors stand point, would "restoring" the rifle ruin its value?
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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From a collectors stand point, would "restoring" the rifle ruin its value?
Yes.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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M1

You don't have enough info to make any real determination. It could be an original gun in bad shape the so called diamond in the rough and valuable . It could be a blue sky gun and never going to be worth much. You need to determine what parts are original to the gun and which aren't. It could be a parts gun ,possible re weld.
The price of parts today it is becoming economically unwise to restore a gun. Rule of thumb. An original will always be worth more than a resto unless you plan to pass it off as original.
If you just want a shooter there is nothing wrong with a wood set or new barrel.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:48 PM   #4
Kimio
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It's more of a sentimental value for his dad, and I think it would just end up being a wall decoration for the most part.

He wanted to do something nice for him since he can't shoot anymore and though him seeing his old rifle all slicked up and pretty again would be something he'd enjoy.

on the same token, there is a charm to that old worn out look IMO. I'll ask him to take photos and look for markings/numbers to see if they match.

Thanks for the advice ya'll
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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There are very, very few 'original' M1's left. Most of them were arsenal refurbished multiple times, before most of us here were born. In fact, I'd be extremely wary of an 'all matching' M1, with out a fully documented provenance. Its too easy to gather together all Springfield, Win, or IH parts and put them with the right receiver. The right barrels are a little scarcer, but they're out there. As for stocks Military Gunstock Restoration they can be made to look exactly correct.

You'd be better off getting it redone, if its in real rough shape. Its probably been redone by US and Korean military armorers several times already anyway.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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Two contradicting thoughts:

1. There were 6 million +/- Garands made. They aren't rare and restoring one that is as beat up as you say might not do it any damage. Both of my Garands are mix-masters, having been through the arsenal refurbishment at least once. They got new finishes on their stocks but I left the "character" marks in the wood.

2. If this rifle is all original, has a few early features on it like gas trap etc, then refinishing it might harm the value. If the father was a Colonel in the army in Korea he most likely did not carry a Garand but an M1 Carbine. The chance of this being his original Garand is slim, but ...
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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To me the history of an M1 (or any other surplus rifle) is in the dings, dents, gouges,etc.

I set and hold the rifle thinking of what the soldier was doing when those blimishes appeared, what was he doing.

I'm setting here looking at my new 1898 Krag. It got dings on the stock, almost look like knotcehs, since they are evenly spaced. I can't imagine how they got there, my imaganation's been going wild.

(probabley for a baracks rifle rack but I still wonder).

So I guess you can figure how I feel about restoring old military rifles.
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Old November 30, 2012, 10:58 PM   #8
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the main thing he has to ask himself is does he want it to be a show piece or not? it's that simple. a collector does not want a gun that has been refinished however your friend is not a collector. he want's to be able to hang it on the mantle and when people come over he can boast that it was his daddy's gun. in that condition what is more striking? a gun that has been beat to hell or a gun that looks like it came straight from the factory? either way it makes a good conversation piece and on one hand he is obliged to explain the refurbished condition but on the other he can explain what a pain in the rear it is to have to clean it every 2 months regardless of being fired or not because all the bluing is gone and it is prone so surface rust.

that's just my .02 either choice is his business, not mine.
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Old November 30, 2012, 11:07 PM   #9
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If you want it to look great, restore it.

If you want to keep it in, old beat up edition, don't.

M1 Garand / Mil Surp collectors are "special" people.

Do what you want.

I had a Garand restored by Dean's Gun Restorations, could not be happier with there results. Video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJTHwvJtAf0
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Old December 1, 2012, 12:13 AM   #10
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I would just take it down, oil it up. and give the stock a good dose of linseed oil and wax. Before you do anything rash, check the stock for markings and get to know a little about the Garand. If it all original, it could be worth quite a bit.
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Old December 1, 2012, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronl
I would just take it down, oil it up. and give the stock a good dose of linseed oil and wax. Before you do anything rash, check the stock for markings and get to know a little about the Garand. If it all original, it could be worth quite a bit.
Great advise. I would check all the drawing #'s and determine if you have a correct grade or not. Restored or original Garands are great.

After owning and shooting a pair of surplus Garands I decided to do a full rearsenal on one. Kreiger barrel, nm op-rod and sights, heavy stock. It's shoots like a dream, but has no stories to tell.

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Old December 1, 2012, 03:00 PM   #12
Baba Louie
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...his father who's a retired Army colonel who served in the Korean war commanding tank battallions.
I would have friend ask his Dad the story behind the rifle in question first. How did he come by it, etc? It might be a DCM post war or it might be one a friend of his actually carried in the conflict with stories of it's own as Kraig suggested.

Depending on the tale, proceed. One course of action might be... Keep the original stock, with an alternate to buy a new stock set. Make the rifle perfect mechanically, but keep the character of the metal as is. Insert rifle action in new stock or if old stock was carried by friend, bring it up to current but worn condition.

I'd like to know the tale that rifle could tell (as it were), if any, before I proceeded on a total refurb.

WEB Griffin stories not-with-standing, few if any Tankers carried Garands (but a Unit Commander might have his own prerogative)... and while there might be a slight chance of one or two who did and if it saved their butt... ya know? A long stretch for sure, but strange things happen in wartime, or so I'm told.
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Old December 1, 2012, 05:08 PM   #13
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If the Garand is all original to its date of production I would not do anything other than clean and oil.

If the Garand is an arsenal rebuild, a Blue Sky thingy, reparkerization, a new barrel, steam the dents out of the stock and tung oiling will make it look better and shoot better.

If you take the second option it is likely you will put more money into the rifle than it is worth, but it will be a great rifle.
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Old December 1, 2012, 05:27 PM   #14
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Kimio;
You can go here: http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7
to find folks that have all the answers you need. Please have serial #s and any numbers you can find on the rifle. The good folks on that forum are true M1 Garand experts and can fill you in on whatever information / history / provenance that you wish to learn.
Not only that but you can also buy another Garand from these same good folks.
CMP is good people Kimio, they have the information and the guns.

Roger
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Old December 1, 2012, 10:53 PM   #15
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If you decide to restore it.....

http://www.dgrguns.com/

Mine was a Blue Sky Import from Korea I paid less than $100 bucks for. What better tribute to an old war horse than restoring it to prime fighting condition yet keeping it legal to use in the Garand Matches.
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:10 PM   #16
couillon
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Another option considering your purpose for it would be to find some real attractive new wood for it, but save the original stock. It would be enough for what your wanting from it, and much cheaper than a full restoration to as new issued condition.
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Old December 4, 2012, 12:06 AM   #17
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^This. That way a simple stock changeout won't affect value but it'll look nice. I'm looking at a new stock for my '45 actually.
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Old December 4, 2012, 05:48 PM   #18
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I have an M1 serial #22XXX. Yes it is a first run. It was shipped to the Philippines and wandered back to Buddy gun shop in Camden AR.

Like Craigway, I set and wounder were it traveled and how it returned to me.
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Old December 4, 2012, 06:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
If you decide to restore it.....

http://www.dgrguns.com/

Mine was a Blue Sky Import from Korea I paid less than $100 bucks for. What better tribute to an old war horse than restoring it to prime fighting condition yet keeping it legal to use in the Garand Matches.
I bought a stock from Dean - absolutely worth it. I recommend him!
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Old December 8, 2012, 02:00 AM   #20
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Its ALWAYS worth restoring a garand...
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Old December 10, 2012, 03:35 PM   #21
Amsdorf
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Not necessarily.

Depends on the original condition of the rifle.

You can actually destroy the value of an original Garand by "restoring" it.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:06 AM   #22
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If my kid ever restores my 1st Gen SAA Colt 45 and presents it to me on my 85th birthday, it will immediately be hers because I'll croak right then and there!
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:51 AM   #23
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My Garand is for shooting not collecting.....
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Old December 15, 2012, 01:39 AM   #24
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Restore can be interpreted many ways. Use a generous amount of Formby's Furniture Cleaner or Lemon Oil furniture cleaner and get the goo off the surface of the wood - make it feel "clean" to the touch.

Keep the metal original, just degrease it and make it clean to the touch - us AK folks go to great lengths to create the "battlefield pickup" look of the typical Garands I own.
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Old December 15, 2012, 10:00 PM   #25
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It all depends on the rifle. This group really needs a bunch more details before making a definitive recommendation.

The more original the rifle, the less chance a restore would be a good idea unless you are just talking about buying a new stock and keeping the old one with the rifle.

Post some pictures and a Garand data sheet if you have one.
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