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Old March 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #1
moach57
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1903 Springfield vs M1 Garand

These two guns are very nice guns and both had great service records. If you were to buy one now which would it be?
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Old March 12, 2013, 07:51 PM   #2
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I'd say pick up the M1 Garand. Based on today's political climate, it might be wiser to get the semi-auto first. Bottom line: the 1903 is a bolt action target rifle and is less likely to come under scrutiny.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:58 PM   #3
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I had a Remington 1903A3. I have an M1 Garand. I liked the '03 and it was incredibly accurate, but when I go to the range, the Garand is what everyone wants to see and shoot. My '03 rarely left the gun cabinet.
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:13 AM   #4
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I have both, an H&R and a Smith-Corona. I will keep both but the M1 is much more fun to shoot, has better sights and is much less punishing regarding recoil. Ammo use is much higher with the M1 though. Much higher with the fun factor too.
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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I enjoy shooting my 03's but the M1 Garand is more enjoyable. You can sure blast through more ammo with it.
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:24 AM   #6
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The M1 Garand gets my vote. I own a Garand, I do not own a 1903.

Not that I think they are a bad rifle by any means but if I want to have a surplus military bolt action rifle I'll keep to my Mosin Nagant 91/30, $700 cheaper and ammuntion is about 75% cheaper than .30-06
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Old March 13, 2013, 09:42 AM   #7
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Assuming neither has been "bubba-ed" and are still in "as-issued-unmodified" condition, I'd say grab the 1903 first.

Reason being, now days there is less of them and they are getting costly.

Where as the Garand still can be found in numbers at the CMP.

Grab the 1903 before it gets cost prohibitive and set money asside for the Garand.

But you really need both.
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Old March 13, 2013, 06:15 PM   #8
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Garands were very rare and hard to get up till the CMP started selling US surplus Garands. You could buy a National Match Garand but you had to go to Camp Perry to buy one. The Gun Club president told me he got his first Garand in 1977, five years after he got his first M1a. Up till then civilians used M1903A3’s.

In 1989 Blue Sky Garands became available, but they were beat to heck. I was able to build a NM Garand around the receiver of one. The DCM still had its “one per lifetime Garand” in 1989 because that is when I got mine. In the early to middle 90’s the log jam broke with the creation of the CMP. Good Garands became available.

The fifth anniversary of WW2 with the subsequent movie coverage really boosted Garand sales out the roof. Everyone wanted a Garand, to shoot a Garand, because they saw it in a movie.

The 100th anniversary of WW1 is coming up, there are probably going to be some good movies, and I believe they will cause M1903 prices up. Unless it is a British movie, then it will be SMLE’s.

It took me a very darn long time to find an all military M1903. I had to build up rifles around receivers. Back then, you looked in print ads, such as ShotGun News, because the internet did not exist.

For numbers produced, there were about 1,500,000 M1903’s built at SA, about 400,000 RIA. Of those about 1,000,000 are single heat treat receivers and are suspect structurally. That leaves about 800,000 M1903’s (not counting Rem 03’s) and there are very few of them left. The US gave lots of 03’s out as foreign aid, you see pictures of Haitian troops with them, etc. There were 6 million Garands made, don’t know how many Clinton destroyed at Anniston, but the parts filled box cars, whole trains left Anniston full of demilled Garand parts, according to a bud of mine who worked there.

Anyway I think it is a tough call because both the Garand and M1903 are going to be more desirable as time goes on, and harder to find. I would get both while I could.
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Old March 13, 2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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*Tink*

nuff said.
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Old March 13, 2013, 07:33 PM   #10
SHE3PDOG
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I bought the 1903 first, but I must say that I was quite torn between which one to get. My LGS had a couple of both when I was looking around for them. I really like the rich history that both rifles have, but the bolt action 1903 just really called to me.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:56 AM   #11
Mezzanine
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Quote:
Not that I think they are a bad rifle by any means but if I want to have a surplus military bolt action rifle I'll keep to my Mosin Nagant 91/30, $700 cheaper and ammuntion is about 75% cheaper than .30-06
And your groupings between a Mosin and a '03 will reflect these differences.
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Old March 15, 2013, 11:40 AM   #12
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I know what my decision would be: BOTH!! Then again, I like old guns
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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For me that’s a tough question, but a good one.
the Garand is what everyone wants to see and shoot.
I totally agree with ChrisTX on that one. I like shooting the M1 better for that reason and the fact of its history. My dad carried one for over 3 years and really liked shooting mine.
But if I’m going to kill paper, the M1 never leaves the safe. My 03 will out shoot the grand at 200 yards with the grand at 100. Granted it’s probably me more than the gun.
What I feel is the biggest problem is getting a nice 03. Grand’s for now are available in great condition at CMP where as 03 are not.
With that said, go for the M1 from CMP and get the highest grade you can afford. You won’t be disappointed or ever regret it.
Your biggest problem with both is ammo. Not much available right now. Luckily that’s not my problem.
The attached are mine.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg M1 VS 03.jpg (210.7 KB, 43 views)
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Old March 15, 2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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I forgot to mention this. If you have the money this is your 03.
http://www.gibbsrifle.com/1903-a4_sniper_rifle_.html
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Old March 15, 2013, 04:04 PM   #15
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I own both a SA M1 Garand and a Remington 1903A3. I bought the M1 Garand first because I got a great deal from a relative. I think the 1903 should be your first buy though. Just because, as a lot of other members mentioned, the 1903 are getting rarer and rarer. Unless you find a great deal that is!
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:09 PM   #16
TomL
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1903 springfield vs M1

I owned a nice Garand once, issue class too, not a re man/import or pieced together from old parts. It would shoot 5" groups all day everyday and was fun up to a point(s), those being chasing the en block clips, recharging them was a pain, not to mention the guts of the rifle that forced the rounds up looked like it wanted to fly out of the rifle when it ejected the en block clip. And I'd go so far as saying if you never had your thumb busted at least once you have not shot one..very much! But Patton sure thought highly of it as I suppose did many a WWII GI/Marine.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:30 PM   #17
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theres a lot of things to take into account.

1. are you talking about just plain jane 1903 or are 1903A3s in the frey?
2. if not then the M1 gets the nod for better sights, if not then it's a bit of a wash.
3. excluding low number serials, the springfield can handle heavy loads, doesn't matter what burn rate of powder you use.
4. add the ability of hot loads with bolt action over semi velocity gains and the springfield gets the nod for better range.
5. M1s harder to get, more collectable in original condition.
6. well I can't think of a 6th bullet point but yeah that spells springfield for me...
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:07 PM   #18
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For what it is worth when I went to work for the Army Small Cal Lab in 70s I had access to most of the Army weapons engineers in the gov't so I conducted a informal survey in the lab.

The questions was: "If you were going to be put in someplace bad and you had your choice of one weapon to take what would it be?"

Every last guy said a 1903 or 03A3 Springfield. Why? they were the original Energizer Bunny and just kept on going and going and going.

03 actions were used on accuracy acceptance fixtures to test ammunition and they routinely saw 15,000 to 17,000 rounds on a barrel before it was "shot out". It would go into the shop and come out with a new Mann barrel on it and back to work.

In a long term survival situation the rifle least likely to fail will be the Springfield bolt gun. The Garand will inevitably go down when the cam on the bullet guide gets worn down and the clip will tend to jump ship about the sixth round. As well they tend to go out of time. The gas cyclinder will wear from the carbon which becomes an abrasive when it gets hardened after cooling down.
The acceptance accuracy on the Springfield was 3" at 100 yards, the Garand was five inches.

If you load the wrong propellant in the ammo for a Garand you will wreck the gas system by exceeding the port pressure. As well if you use the wrong propellant there will not be enough port pressure to drive the gas system.

There are not that many Garand mechanics left still working that really understand the system but the Springfield can be worked on by about any gunsmith that can run a lathe.

When a Garand barrel is gone you are down. If you choose your replacement Springfield barrel configuration properly you can cut off a barrel maybe four times and still keep on shooting. The purpose of cutting off the threads and rechambering is to keep good rifling at the chamber mouth which cannot be done with the Garand or M1A.

The Garand sights are in fact better than 03A3 sights but a properly reworked Springfield action can have outstanding iron sights, a good scope sight or both.

The Springfield will take a much wider range of loads and operate just fine where the Garand will not.

Last year the CMP got in a large number of Garand barrels and to order them you had to wait on line for like three hours. I ordered five of them as I figured there would in all liklihood never be another large batch of new Garand barrels to surface. Two went to a buddy and I kept three and had one built on a "issue" gun to shoot the Garand matches.

To my knowledge there are only about two shops capable of turning a Garand barrel that has the tooling to time the thread with the gas port. There are thousands of gunsmiths that can rebarrel a Springfield action.

Cleaning a Garand requires extreme care not to drag the cleaning rod on the muzzle which will destroy what little accuracy it has. Cleaning a Springfield from the action end is a much more user friendly situation both for the rifle and the owner.

As well the Springfield can be rebarreled for a number of calibers where the Garand cannot.



For a long term survival rifle the Springfield is the way to go. A gas operated rifle just won't hold up.
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:56 AM   #19
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I really like the way the Garand feels and shoots. Puts a smile on my face every time I shoot one.

I don't think Garands will be banned anytime soon unless maybe you live in NY. Federally I don't think there's a chance in hell for an "assault" weapons ban.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:15 PM   #20
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I have a 1903 US Remington (as issued) & a 1943 US Springfield Garand. In nice weather, when I open the safe, they're both yelling 'take me!'
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Old March 16, 2013, 05:43 PM   #21
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if my uncle was alive today he would tell you that in the battle for the phillpines no one carried a springfield 03 or 03A3 in his squad or platoon in front line combat and often said the m-1 saved his life and those of his friends. my thoughts after remembering what he said about the battle for the phillipnes was if he had to carry a 03-03A3 he would not have been alive to shoot 15000-17000 rounds. he said his squad shot 15-20 japanese soldiers that tried to rush them several times in the streets of manila, he came home they didn,t. i own both rifles and i would take the m-1 garand every time over the 03,s. but thats just me. eastbank.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:07 PM   #22
moach57
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Wow thank yall for yalls opinions! I am split right now, I might have to wait for more opinions.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:37 PM   #23
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I would get a garand and find a German k98. The k98 is the basis for the 03 action. The 03s are a little more refined, but they are both about equal. If I didn't have a k98, I wouldn't have sold my 03. K98s are a little cheaper than 03s at the moment.
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:31 AM   #24
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I would get a garand and find a German k98. The k98 is the basis for the 03 action. The 03s are a little more refined, but they are both about equal. If I didn't have a k98, I wouldn't have sold my 03. K98s are a little cheaper than 03s at the moment.
not entirely the case, there are just as many features in common with the 1898 krag as there are with the 1898 mauser.
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Old March 20, 2013, 04:06 PM   #25
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I have thought about the k98, but it uses foreign ammo that is not manufactured anymore.
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