View Full Version : M1 Garand History

January 12, 2010, 05:31 AM
I am hoping someone could point me in the right direction to find some history on an M1 Garad that was gifted to me. Or if you know stuff right off the top of your head -- awesome! Not the Wikipedia stuff, I've got that already. Here's what I see on it...

On the receiver
CAL. .30 M1
5 6 0 8 8 9 9

On the bolt
6528287 HRA

On the barrel (viewable with the operating rod pulled back)
0 HRA 6535448 3-55 RS46 M *

On the grip, about 2" back from the trigger guard is a P with a circle around it.

The rear handguard is definitely a different wood, it's more red while the front handguard and stock are chocolate. If there are any other markings, they are obstructed in a way that is not viewable without disassembly (which I am not inclined to do at this time).

I know this was purchased by my grandfather-in-law in 1997 through a local shooting club. That's all I could get.

Thanks in advance!

January 12, 2010, 06:56 AM
Go check out the forums at the CMP. There are a bunch of Garand fans who can answer your questions, although there will be folks here that can tell you plenty. It sounds like you have a CMP H&R (Harrison and Richardson) Garand which is pretty cool. Someone can give you a year of manufacture but my guess is early 50's.


January 12, 2010, 08:13 AM
load it up with some standard lake city fmj ammo and go out and shoot 8 rounds through it...

then think about having to shoot 100s of rounds while folks are coming at you trying to kill you and everybody else around you.. and realize that the guys who did this in WWII and Korea were somemore tough SOB's.

January 12, 2010, 08:35 AM

Yes, they were tough. . .and we owe them a lot.

Tim R
January 12, 2010, 12:35 PM
Sounds like you have a mid 50's H&R. The barrel was made in March 55. If the trigger group is a H&R, you would have all the major parts made by H&R.

Your H&R S/N is about, in as almost 4,000 rifles built after my correct grade H&R whose LMT barrel is marked Feb 55.

January 12, 2010, 09:04 PM
+1 on the possibility of a HRA Correct Grade.

Check this site for a little "Born On Date";

Best site (forum) for the Garand.

January 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
I am far from a Garand expert, but here's a bit.

The circle P is a common stamp and is passed, or proofed or something of that nature. Somebody will know for sure.

A 55 era HR will be a "high hump" and desirable as a shooter, it should have the later, cut op rod too.

Get the throat and muzzle gauged. Mixed wood is not uncommon, as are mixed parts, but yours is on its way to being matching

January 13, 2010, 02:56 AM
The circle P is a common stamp and is passed, or proofed or something of that nature.Found it!

DOD Acceptance 3/8" eagle stamp, boxed.

S/N 4,661,000 - 5,609,000 Internation harvester
Department of Defense Acceptance Stamp, 3/8" by 3/8" on left side of stock. The other stamp used was the circle 'P' proof mark, without serifs.

January 13, 2010, 01:24 PM
Be aware that most .30-'06 ammo is not really suitable for your 50 or 60 year old battle rifle and could possibly damage it.

Your Garand was developed to fire M2 Ball ammo, the powder in which has a faster burn rate than than commonly used powders in modern .30-'06.

The result is modern ammo will produce a higher pressure curve at the gas port than the rifle was designed to handle.

The rifle will NOT explode, it is NOT likely that the receiver will crack, and it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that the operator would be hurt in any way.

What is likely to happen is the operating rod will be bent due to the more violent action modern ammo will put it thru.

This might happen after 10 rounds, or 100 rounds or the FIRST round.

To use modern .30-'06 safely in your rifle you can easily install an adjustable gas plug which is easily found and costs about $35. The two common ones are Schuster (adjustable with an allen wrench) and McCann ( Uses interchangeable fittings ).

Another option is to deal with the Civilian Marksmanship Program. The CMP has recently acquired MILLIONS of rounds of surplus HXP (Greek) M2 Ball and expects to be able to begin shipping within weeks. It should be significantly less expensive than commercial ammo which is another benefit for those of us who like to excercise these old warriors. They are TREMENDOUSLY fun to fire ( I was trained by a former Marine more than a half century ago that you shoot your target, you fire your rifle).

As suggested earlier in this thread I also heartily encourage you to visit ODCMP.org and check out some of the conversations in the forums. Some of the guys there have been using these rifles since they were new and some guys have acquired over time (and still have) more than 50 of them. Any question you may have concerning these old USGI warriors can be answered there.

Best Regards and enjoy your example of "The greatest battle implement ever devised" (GSP) -- Al

January 13, 2010, 04:37 PM
Azimuth - THANK YOU for that very important information! I'll definitely keep all of that in mind.

I've been excited and apprehensive about firing it. I eventually want to, but am patient enough to make sure I'm doing everything as correctly and safely as possible with preservation of the rifle in mind.

Although this rifle was a gift to me and my wife from her grandfather, who purchased it only 13 years ago, it holds additional sentiment for us. My grandfather, who I never had the opportunity to know, fought in Korea and I sort of feel a connection to him through it (sappy, I know). For my wife it's special because not only does she remember the day it arrived (she was ROTC at the time), but more importantly she led a USAF Honor Guard team, laying many of our nation's heroes to rest.

We intend to treat this rifle with the utmost respect.

January 13, 2010, 06:20 PM
Congratulations on your M1

When you remove your operating rod and look at it for the first time and realize, in shock, that it is already bent...it's supposed to be bent. It needs specific bends to work correctly. If it were straight, it wouldn't work right

When somebody says "you'll bend your op rod" as a possible consequence of shooting 'commercial' ammunition (without modifying the gas system), they don't mean "your op rod is supposed to be straight", they mean "your op rod needs to be bent only so much as it was originally when originally made, for proper function, and using the improper ammo can cause bends that are not supposed to be there"

January 13, 2010, 09:45 PM
Chris B,

Thanks for making that clear about the op-rod being designed with a bend.

I didn't even think to mention that and very insightful for you to bring that up.

I've heard of guys new to the Garand attempting to straighten what may appear as a defect only to really screw up the action.

Regards - Al

January 13, 2010, 10:49 PM

When I took my SA M1 apart for the first time, I looked at the operating rod and I thought...my God. It's bent. I need another one, I'll never be able to straighten that. And my Father said, "what's wrong with you? You think that needs to be straight or something?" It really seemed counter-intuitive to me...until I tried to put it back together!

January 14, 2010, 03:49 PM
Another important detail any newcomer to the Garand needs to be warned about is M1 thumb.

Especially how to avoid it!

Right hand extended with palm against rifle and little finger side of hand against op-rod.

Right thumb pushes clip into magazine and removes itself from in front of the bolt before palm of right hand changes position.

Hope this helps.

Regards - Al

January 14, 2010, 07:03 PM
At what point does that bolt begin to close? Is it as soon as you have pushed the clip in all the way, or upon your release of pressure? I mean, could you push in and hold your thumb down on the clip for a while and then quickly get your thumb out of the way or would you need to push in and get it out in one motion?

January 15, 2010, 08:00 PM
Hi Motofabio,

Don't play "chicken" with an M1 bolt. Sooner or later it's gonna win.

When it does win it will hurt you. Your thumb will bleed and you will recite expletives you don't want your mother, wife or children to hear.

For the next couple of days your thumb will be painful. Then for the next week or so it will just be quite tender while your thumbnail turns black. Then your thumbnail is likely to fall off.

All in all a memorably unpleasant experience that could last a month or two.

The truth is the bolt is SUPPOSED to lock back till you get your thumb outa there. Another truth is that it's a mechanical device and mechanical devices don't always do what they're supposed to.

Play it safe and extend your hand along side the rifle in a fashion that it will stop the op-rod from forward motion should it release while you're seating the clip with your thumb.

Intelligence is the ability to learn from one's own mistakes. Wisdom is the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.

Best Regards - Al

January 15, 2010, 11:55 PM
Intelligence and wisdom... that's a funny reply, but didn't actually answer my question. The truth is the bolt is SUPPOSED to lock back till you get your thumb outa there.And unless there's an eye in the receiver (which obviously there isn't) the bolt isn't gonna stay locked until you get your thumb outa there. If it did, "M1 thumb" wouldn't be an issue, right? LOL :rolleyes: :D

I thought I read somewhere that the bolt stays in place until downward pressure on the clip is released. This means I only have to be fast on the exit.

But I watched someone do it and they pushed it in and got their thumb out in one motion like they were cracking a bullwhip. Which suggests you need to be fast on the insertion AND exit. Big difference.

I'm not playing chicken; I'd like to know exactly how it's going to operate so that I know what to expect and can do it correctly.

January 16, 2010, 01:38 AM
Told ya twice Moto.

As you're seating the clip into the rifle with your right thumb, extend the fingers of your right hand at the right side of the rifle in such a position that it will stop the op-rod from moving forward should the bolt release.

That was number three.

Loading a clip into your M1 in this fashion will eliminate the possibility of the bolt slamming closed on your thumb.

I hope I have been able to explain this in an understandable manner. If not I hope someone else can because I truly see no humor in a fellow getting bitten by a Garand bolt.

In any case, It seldom happens more than once.

Regards Moto and good luck - Al