View Full Version : Noobie M-1 Garand fore-end question...

February 9, 2011, 06:16 PM
My cousin just got his CMP Garand delivered (I'm waiting for mine still :D), and says that the fore-end stock is not rigid, but actually has some play in it.

Neither one of us are too familiar with Garands (only fired a few rounds at a rental range once) and so we don't know if this is normal or not, so I said I would ask you guys...


Tim R
February 9, 2011, 07:06 PM
Yeah, the front hand guard is going to have some play in it. So what did your cuz get?

February 9, 2011, 07:34 PM

We both ordered correct grade...he says it looks pretty nice, but neither of us are experienced enough to really know what such a grade is SUPPOSED to look like, other than by the description CMP website gives.

A lot of jumping in with both feet, big desires & little knowledge, but we've always heard you can't go wrong with CMP, so we took the plunge...:D

Any advice, by the way, will be very, very welcome, and we thank you guys ahead of time...

February 9, 2011, 08:23 PM
BOTH the handguards MUST have some slight movement.

If the guards are tight, when the rifle is fired and heats up, the expansion will cause the handguards to press on the barrel parts and gas cylinder and will degrade accuracy.
If the rear guard is tight, it can crack from expansion.

The rear hand guard needs about 1/8" fore and aft movement on the barrel, and the front guard needs about the same, but will often have more.

The National Match M1 front hand guard is "gutted" and bonded to the lower band so it doesn't have any movement, and should never be handled by the front guard.

February 9, 2011, 08:23 PM
Front handguard play is normal. Enjoy your Garand. It's a classic. Just be sure to keep the gas tube screw tight.

February 9, 2011, 08:55 PM
Thanks guys, always great info here!

February 10, 2011, 01:01 AM
I have three garands all from the CMP. One has a new stock installed by the CMP and the other two have their original stocks. None of the front hand-guards are loose or have any play in them. They all fire properly. The handguards are thin wood and half open so they will give naturally without the need to make them loose. There's nothing in the garand manual about keeping them loose. It probably won't hurt anything, but something is just not snugged up properly.

February 11, 2011, 08:44 AM
There's nothing in the garand manual about keeping them loose. It probably won't hurt anything, but something is just not snugged up properly.

I'm not sure which Garand manual you are referencing. "The M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide" does cover this on p. 85 -

Under no circumstances allow the front handguard to be "jammed" in between the rear ring of the gas cylinder and the front handguard's ferrule. As the barrel heats up while you are shooting, the pressure imparted by the jammed handguard will change, potentially changing the point of impact.

While I read this several years ago and thought I understood it, I believe the author misspoke. The front handguard can be jammed between the rear ring of the gas cylinder and the lower band. There should be a slight gap between the rear ring of the gas cylinder and the front handguard's ferrule, which is where they touch.

When Garands are set up with the NM modification described above, there is still a "gap" between the ferrule and the gas cylinder. The front handguard is fixed to the lower band so it maintains clearance with the op-rod, instead of moving around randomly.

There is one other reason for maintaining the front handguard "loose fit" and that is that the gas cylinder is supposed to be positioned so the barrel port is centered on the gas cylinder opening. If you just run it down until the parts touch, you may not have this port centered and that can affect accuracy.

moose fat
February 11, 2011, 09:52 PM
" The M1 Garand Owners's Guide" by Scott Duff is good.

http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#books, garand____-_1-2-4_8-16-32

T. O'Heir
February 11, 2011, 10:13 PM
A 'correct grade' is about the maker of the parts and the cartouches.
It's perfectly normal for 50 plus year old wood to shrink a bit. A loose handguard isn't going to hurt your rifle. One of the accurizing techniques is to tighten the front guard though.
The guys at the CMP forums can tell you more. http://www.thecmp.org/forums/
Go here for free .pdf TM and FM manuals. Note the need for the provided UN & PW. http://www.biggerhammer.net/manuals/

February 11, 2011, 10:29 PM
If the upper handguard is TIGHTLY held place in between the rear ring of the gas cylinder and the front handguard's ferrule it will cause problems. SERIOUS problems.

There should be ZERO pressure.

The lower handguard should be fitted the same way. There MUST be some movement.

If not there can be as much as 12 inches difference in zero at only 100 yards from the cold shot until the rifle gets hot.

Correctly fitted handguards will have some up and down movement. It does not have to be a lot. Just NO PRESSURE.

chris in va
February 12, 2011, 04:05 PM
Don't shoot ammo off the shelf. Use surplus or make your own with 47gr of IMR 4895 and a 150gr bullet.

EDIT: You can buy an aftermarket adjustable gas plug if you want to shoot hunting ammo.

February 12, 2011, 04:24 PM
I've had a couple of Garands where the front handguard was loose enough to be annoying to me. I just used a couple of pieces of folded paper towel as a shim, and used just enough to get rid of the "rattle". Worked fine, and never seemed to affect accuracy.