View Full Version : Which Garand?

June 29, 2012, 08:11 AM
I have been thinking about finally purchasing a CMP Garand before they all dry up and was wondering everyone's opinion.

First of all, I am most interested in the service grades. CMP notes that the Winchesters are all out of stock. Therefore, that leaves the Springfield and Harrington/Richardsons. From what I've read, basically when you specify a manufacturer, you are more than likely promised only the receiver of that manufacturer, but the barrel and other parts may be different. Basically, it would seem that all service grades have been rearsenaled at one time or another. Thats not really a problem, as I am looking for a nice solid shooter in good/very good condition. From what I've read in other forums/websites if you specify the H&R's, you're basically promised an almost like new/post-war rifle. But considering the Springfields and the history through WWII and Korea, I am sorta torn there as well.

June 29, 2012, 01:27 PM
HRA were only made post war ,they may be a mixture of WWII and post war parts
SA were made both WWII and post war.
No matter what manufacture you get they will both fall within the Service Grade description and be good solid shooters. Its really a flip of the coin, neither manufacture was better than the other.
All Service Grades have been rebuilt atleast once
Good luck on your Garand

June 30, 2012, 05:19 PM
If you order a service grade rifle, expect to get a mix of parts. You may get one that's mostly or near all a single manufacturer's parts, but don't expect it. What you can expect, though, is a good rifle with excellent support from the CMP if you have any trouble with it.

I got a Springfield at the end of March and it was a mix of every single manufacturer. The receiver was a 1943 Springfield, the barrel was 1949 Springfield, the bold was H&R, trigger group mostly Winchester, International gas parts, postwar GI stock - you get the picture. It's an outstanding shooter. I love it.

If you're looking for an all-one-manufacturer rifle, you're going to have to order a correct grade. My feeling in that regard is this: if the rifle was used, there's just no practical way that it could be correct after all these years. The only rifle that should be correct is an unissued rifle.

June 30, 2012, 06:22 PM
Why cant a rifle be Correct? . The CG rifles were used very little to not at all. Doesnt really matter as the Correct Grades have been sold out for some time. Get a Service Grade, you wont be dissapointed

June 30, 2012, 06:36 PM
Hardcase, I think the issue is 'correct' vs 'all original'

All original is always correct

However, the correct parts don't have to be original parts.

Example: I have factory made rear quarters set aside for my 1970 convertible. Demonstrably, they are not original to the car as the original quarters (or at least some of them!) are still on the car. But still, these are correct, factory made parts not new made ones or later model parts modified to fit- they are correct. In this case, the non-original parts are still correct parts

June 30, 2012, 11:20 PM
For service grade rifles, a high numbered SA would potentially be the "best" in terms of workmanship, but wouldn't have the history that a WWII rifle would. A note with your order requesting a high numbered SA (say, 5,9xx,xxx) might get you such a rifle.

It's a bit of a crapshoot, but ultimately you will get a rifle that, at a minimum, meets the service grade criteria. And if you're lucky, you'll get one that surpasses the minimums.

If I were only looking to buy one rifle for use as a shooter, I'd seriously consider a Special Grade rather than a service grade.

July 1, 2012, 04:42 AM
Absolutly no difference in a WWII manufactured Garand and a Post War Garand as far as quality. One will not shoot or function better than the other

James K
July 2, 2012, 10:28 AM
In general, if you see an "all original" M1 rifle, you are looking at one that was assembled from selected parts, usually after its service life. Very few M1 rifles in U.S. service have not been rebuilt and upgraded, sometimes more than once.

An exception must be made for the "British" M1's that were sent to England before U.S. involvement in the war and, because of ammo differences, were never issued and spent the war in British depots. Those came back in the 1950's and, unless modified since, have all the original parts and original cartouche and ordnance markings.


July 2, 2012, 11:02 AM
You have to determine if you want a Garand you can shoot and enjoy, or if you are going put it on a wall and admire it as a museum piece.

Each approach has its advantages.

I've got four beautiful "Collector Grade" CMP rifles. One I shoot occasionally, the rest are safe queens at this point.

I've got two other Garands:

a WWII Receiver/Barrel from 1944, which came with a horrible stock. Had it reconditioned and worked on DGR, which does GREAT work.

a beautiful Service Grade HRA which is main shooter.

A Collector Grade is all correct, to the guy who speculated otherwise. Most were simply shipped to Greece and never used, kept in storage.

Don't get sucked into the school of thought that you have to have a certain kind of Garand to be a 'real collector' or some other such nonsense.

My advice is to start out with a service grade, learn all you can about Garands, shoot it a lot and from there you will be ready to decide if you want to dive into the really deep end explore the incurable disease called Garanditis.


July 2, 2012, 11:15 AM
I probably wasn't clear in my post about "correct" rifles. Or, more likely, I was just wrong.

I know what the CMP's definition of "correct" is. The only thing that I was getting at is that a correct rifle is almost certainly one that has been purposely assembled out of parts of the era, not that the parts are original to the rifle.

I guess that it's a fine point, but coming from a different area of firearms collecting, it's one that has particular meaning to me (a Winchester 1892 built in 1902 with a "correct" barrel from another gun isn't "correct".) On the other hand, given that virtually every issued M1 has been through the depot at least once, I guess that you can only take "correctness" so far.

I guess that my only point is that the only difference (to me) is that a correct rifle is one that was rebuilt from matching parts, versus one that was rebuilt from parts on hand.

July 2, 2012, 12:27 PM
"a correct rifle is almost certainly one that has been purposely assembled out of parts of the era"

In Garand-land we would refer to that as an "all correct" Garand, but a Collector's Grade Garand is, in fact, the original rifle as it came from the factory.

Of course, those who wish to insist it is not can not be argued with, so it's no point in trying.

I think the OP however would do well simply to get himself a nice service grade, learn about Garands, have fun and then he can get himself into all the finer nuances and eternal arguments about which Garand is more correct/original/unissued/minty fresh than the other.

Every Garand has a story to tell. The chances are that a Garand that was sent to the armory and received a combination of parts has a much more interesting story.

July 2, 2012, 02:23 PM
The Director of operations at CMP has stated they not assemble "Correct Grade" Garands.
He has said that if they would come across a Garand that has a small part that isnt right they may or may not change it to be Correct.
More than not the Correct Grades are Original rifles

July 2, 2012, 03:59 PM
I thank everyone for their experience and insight. I am leaning toward the school of thought that some of you mentioned to start out with a good solid shooter in a respectable grade. A Springfield Garand, to me, seems to have quite a bit of nostalgia out of the various arms makers and a strong tie to WWII and Korea...so I am thinking I would select a Springfield service. Perhaps I would request that the receiver have a higher serial and see what CMP comes up with. Being a mixture of various parts and manufacturers, there's a chance that at least a portion of a particular rifle has been a part of combat/active duty. But if not, it still has its own niche in the war production and security of our nation. All of my C&R purchases have been shooters thus far. No safe queens or wall hangers yet. Later on, I may decide to delve a little deeper into collector grades but for now I am content with the shooters.

July 2, 2012, 04:00 PM
By the way, Orlando, impressive collection there. :cool:

July 3, 2012, 04:20 PM
I encourage you to order the Springfield service grade. You can be confident you will receive an excellent rifle at a price that that can't be beat ($625 + $24 s&h).

While you're spending money the HXP M2 ball (200 rnds loose in a .30 cal. can) for $98 + $11.95 might be worth ordering a can or two.

The rifle will come with 1 enbloc clip so you may want to consider the commercial mil spec enblocs CMP has available (25 pack for $20).

Your rifle will come with a pamphlet "U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1". It also says on the cover "READ THIS FIRST". It will behoove you to do so. While it contains much requisite safety info that I'm sure is part of us all, it also contains sufficient information to help you field strip and totally dismantle and reassemble your rifle. Additional detailed info and pictures are on the CMP website.

Most (and I am one) will advise you to detail strip, clean, and appropriately lube your rifle before heading to the range. It may consume some time but it is really not very difficult at all. Just remember - if it slides grease it, if it spins oil it, and grease your operating rod spring fairly generously.

While you have your rifle apart you may want to fill out a data sheet. That would come in handy when you acquire more Garands and start shuffling parts around to give rebirth to that "correct Garand".

Some guys replace the springs in their rifles. That was not necessary in any of the rifles I received from CMP. "Orion" is a source with a good reputation if you would like spares on hand.

You may want to pic up a can of "boiled linseed oil" at Home Depot or Lowes. Your wood will probably be dry but several applications of "blo" should make it look real attractive.

Turner Saddlery is a good source for a quality leather sling. Their "seconds" at about $40 is an excellent deal. If you wish to occupy that bayonet lug with a finishing touch CMP has a bayonet for you too.

Every rifle and carbine I received from CMP has been a service grade with a WWII serial number. Every one was cleaned, lubed and rubbed with blo. Every one functions flawlessly and is more accurate than I am.

AND--Every time I look through the site, take aim, and squeeze off a round I'm laying my eyeball on top of a hero's.

Appologies if the post was too long but Garands are a hunger that must be fed.

Regards -- Al


July 5, 2012, 06:26 AM
I very first thing I do on any Garand , even bought from CMP is do a complete tear down , clean and then properly grease. I also replace the Op Rod spring.
The bolt hits the receiver heel every time it is fired and the Op Rod spring cushions this.
CMP doe not check the Op Rod spring, they check headspace and test fire. Its not unusual to find them broke in several pieces, even if in one piece they can be weak
Replacing the spring is just cheap insurnace
I agree Orion 7 is the place to buy springs
Wolff brand are extra power and can cause short stroking

July 7, 2012, 08:32 AM
+1 for Orlando's advice.

July 7, 2012, 08:52 AM
For what its worth, I just got my first cmp m1 garand.... it took aboutb1 month. I ordered a service grade Springfield, with no notes (didn't know I could make requests). What I got was a six digit serial number 430###, almost all Springer parts, rebuilt in the 60s at Rock River Army Depot.... she's a beauty with a few bumps and scrapes, but I couldn't be happier

Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2

July 7, 2012, 03:15 PM
That's what they call service grade? Wow!

Just a couple of comments. First, I've never laid hands on an M1 since ROTC class in college in 1964 but I've seen a lot. Every one had the nicest looking wood for an issue army rifle, compared to army rifles from any other countries, save for some very late production Lee-Enfields with that blond wood. Even the styling of the stock looks better than most. Mind you, I've seen some that looked like they fell of the back of a truck (a 2 1/2 ton, of course) and run over by another (a Jeep, of course) but generally speaking, the wood is always impressive by military standards.

Is there such a thing as a fake M1?

July 7, 2012, 04:00 PM
when i handle my m-1 garand or my m-1 carbine i,m taken back in history to a blurred picture of a unknown GI in the water behind a tank barrier on the normandy beach head or a picture of a GI in the illands slinging hand gernades into a cave with a carbine hanging upside down on his back. it gets very personal for me as some of my relitives fought at thoese places and i think thoses rifles helped to bring them home. eastbank.

July 7, 2012, 04:49 PM
Wow, that is a beautiful rifle.

To those considering buying a Garand.

Please do NOT listen to the "experts" who will, on various gun forums, try to make you feel badly when you get a service grade. They are people who, apparently, have so little of a life that they will try to run down anyone who buys a service grade, or otherwise.

Enjoy your Garand.

They are sturdy weapons and there is no point in treating them like they are museum pieces.

If you want to buy a Garand worthy of display in a museum, then God bless you. There are already plenty of those around.

Buy one. Take care of it. Shoot it. Enjoy it.

Ignition Override
July 10, 2012, 11:47 PM
Those who knock Service Grades are probably sorry that they paid too much for a gun which is either "too purdy to take to the range", or shoots no better than a Service Grade.

The bore in my S. Grade is so bright that it appears to be chrome-lined.
Let the 'maladjusted problem children' (or the level-headed adults) pay the extra money for higher grades...that equates to less demand for S. Grades.:)

July 11, 2012, 05:28 AM
I am a member of many gun forums and I havent ever heard anyone knock a Service Grade yet

July 11, 2012, 02:42 PM
I bought my Father a Springfield Service Grade Garand for his birthday 2 years ago. It was in terrific condition and needless to say he was overwhelmed with it since he carried one in the Marines in 1959. Buy it, you won't regret it. By the way, I have seen CMP Service grade Garands sell privately for more than listed on their website.

July 30, 2012, 04:06 PM
I see guys at the range a lot with service grades, rack grades and field grades, and have never seen anybody disapointed at all about anything. All those guys, myself included, "love garands" the only problems seen, can usually be taken care of quickly, and cheap to fix. Parts are everywhere and easy even for the novice to put in on most cases.
Plus if you live near enough to visit one of the CMP stores, you would really get to see a lot. There's a lot packed into the store, and worth a visit for sure.

July 31, 2012, 07:19 AM
An exception must be made for the "British" M1's that were sent to England before U.S. involvement in the war and, because of ammo differences, were never issued and spent the war in British depots. Those came back in the 1950's and, unless modified since, have all the original parts and original cartouche and ordnance markings.

I'm working a trade deal on one of those Brit M1 Garands. The Suncorite is perfect with exceptional wood.

August 9, 2012, 06:30 AM
I've owned four service grade garands, two SA and two H&R. I liked the H&R's the best. I like garands alot they are just so expensive to feed.