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Old June 11, 2018, 08:02 PM   #1
ADClope
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M1 Garand WW2 Usage

I've been wanting to purchase an M1 Garand for quite a while now. I've been reading and trying to understand what I'm looking at as it is fairly confusing at first.

I am wanting to buy one primarily as a historical piece and would very much prefer it to have had a solid chance at participating in WW2, and secondarily as a shooter. However, I likely wouldn't get out to shoot it more than a handful of times a year.

I understand that based off of serial numbers alone you cannot trace any history with the M1. That all you can get is a manufacture date. I also understand that nearly all of them that saw any service during the war came back and went through the re-armoring process and that most stocks and some barrels were replaced.

It seems that the likelihood of finding one that was probably used in the war and has its original stock/barrel is quite slim, and if you do, will be priced accordingly, which is out of my price range (wanting to stay under $2000). Does this sound about right?

So I guess my other questions are what month/year should be my cutoff if I'm wanting to find one that had a chance to be involved in the war? I saw an article that there was an M1 found on Okinawa in a grave that was dated 10-44... So, since Okinawa was towards the tail end, I would assume you wouldn't want to go any later than that date?

It seems that my best bet would be to find a receiver dated before fall/44 and deal with a possible re-barrel and new stock.

Just wanted to bounce these questions off of some of you more knowledgeable folks.

Thanks!
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Old June 11, 2018, 10:27 PM   #2
Don Dayacetah
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For the kind of money you are talking about, you could have a competition shooter, or
a NIB tanker.

Garands in VGC, with overseas documentation are insanely priced. You can find M1s with
manufacture dates during the war, but the original barrels are usually sewer pipes, by now.

Pretty much any Garand manufactured midway thru 1944 saw action, they weren't
holding anything back. But you may want to consider either re-barreling, or getting one
with a new barrel, if you're going to shoot it.
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Old June 11, 2018, 11:37 PM   #3
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Also, may I suggest you read up a bit on Bannerman Garands (re-welds). Some of them are quite convincing to a new collector. I fell into that trap quite a few years ago. Yes, I was naïve to think I had a real special 2-groove M1.
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Old June 11, 2018, 11:48 PM   #4
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Garands were used for years after the war through lending to allies, the Korean War and some even went to Vietnam. They have been through multiple part changes.
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Old June 12, 2018, 04:37 AM   #5
Orlando
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You can find a WWII era Garand that has been corrected in very good condition for under your buget
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Old June 12, 2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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I may be wrong but....i was once told by a bunch of Garand collectors, that current standard .30-06 ammo was too hot for Garands and some manufacturers make a Garand-specific round. If is true...just want to mention that to new collectors and buyers.
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Old June 12, 2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Any milsurp ammo will fire in a Garand just fine.
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Old June 12, 2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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Any milsurp ammo will fire in a Garand just fine.
Mil-surp...yes.
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Old June 12, 2018, 12:59 PM   #9
Jim Watson
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The worry is port pressure.
Federal, Hornady, and S&B list Garand safe M2 type ammo.
I am sure a handloader with a can of 4895 and some 173 or 150gr bullets could duplicate M1 or M2 ammo. Even use 165s to approximate M2 AP.
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Old June 12, 2018, 01:29 PM   #10
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"...a solid chance at participating in WW2..." That'd be very few and far between that any M1 Rifle currently available saw any combat.
Very much doubt you'll find a whole documented W.W. II vintage rifle in decent condition for 2 grand either. Lots of rebuilt rifles on war time receivers on Gunbroker though. Just remember to buy the rifle, not the story. As in any rifle they seller claims is a "bring back" is not. The troopies were not allowed to keep their issue weapons after any war.
Suggest you buy through the CMP. That pretty much guarantees the rifle is safe to shoot.
"...Pretty much any Garand manufactured midway thru 1944 saw action..." Nope. The troopies had one rifle issued and turned in at every stop along the way during training. Including a new rifle issued before getting on the boat to those far away places. By far most rifles stayed Stateside, during the war. Most, if not all, of those have been rebuilt more than once too.
"...found on Okinawa in a grave..." No weapons were buried with the user of said weapon.
"...Garands were used for years after the war..." Still in use in some Third World countries.
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Old June 12, 2018, 01:45 PM   #11
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I've got a FedOrd rebuild Garand, made in May of 1942. Did it see overseas service? Don't know, don't care. What I do know is it's a fine rifle, if not necessarily the best example (research FedOrd rebuilds, you will see what I mean) and is a blast to shoot.

Unless you are a collector, or have some reason to insist on validated 'overseas' service, I would just buy a shooter from the CMP or other reliable source, shoot it and have fun.
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Old June 12, 2018, 05:01 PM   #12
Fishbed77
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Quote:
would very much prefer it to have had a solid chance at participating in WW2
What do you mean by "participating in WW2"?

It's pretty easy to determine if a Garand was manufactured during WW2. It will be a Springfield rifle manufactured during a certain serial range or any Winchester rifle.

Even then, these rifles may have gone through multiple arsenal processes until the only part that you can identify with any veracity is the serialed receiver. It's possible to have a "correct" rifle - one with a serialed receiver and all the parts exhibiting the drawing numbers or characteristics that would have been included on a rifle in that particular serial range, but guaranteeing 100% originality is next to impossible. That's just part of the history of these rifles.

Determining whether a rifle manufactured during WW2 was issued to a GI or used in combat is essentially impossible to determine, except for a very few cases.
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Old June 12, 2018, 07:12 PM   #13
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Forget it having WW II history. Just get a nice shooter for under $1000 and have fun. You can tell everyone it was in the war. Mine is a new build, using all Springfield parts, with a 1955 barrel. The modern laminated wood stock is kind of a give a way that it's not a war veteran, but many have complimented it at military high power matches.
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Old June 12, 2018, 07:50 PM   #14
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I think a CMP rifle would be your best compromise. No way to be sure of what action (if any) the rifle has seen no matter who or where you get it from. A CMP rifle will have all the proper parts and function properly. My 1942 Springfield M1 has a sub 400k serial number. It has a new CMP stock and was rebarrelled with 1950something barrel. It looks and works like a brand new rifle, but still has that historical quality and presence.
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Old June 12, 2018, 08:56 PM   #15
Don Dayacetah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44caliberkid View Post
Forget it having WW II history. Just get a nice shooter for under $1000 and have fun. You can tell everyone it was in the war. Mine is a new build, using all Springfield parts, with a 1955 barrel. The modern laminated wood stock is kind of a give a way that it's not a war veteran, but many have complimented it at military high power matches.
This is what I'd do. Anything with documentation is going to be too high-priced to shoot.
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Old June 13, 2018, 02:12 PM   #16
ADClope
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Thanks everyone for your insight. It helped a lot.

So, if I went through the CMP, my understanding is it's luck of the draw for which one you're sent. However, you can drive to either the north or south stores and hand pick the one you want?

If that's the case, how likely do you think it would be to find one that had a receiver that would have been serial numbered/dated prior to 45? That way there's at least a chance it was used during the war? Or are all of the service grade CMP rifles going to be post war?

Thanks!
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Old June 13, 2018, 02:27 PM   #17
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There is a distinction between "factory correct", "period correct" and "post-war rebuild."
The troopies weren't "supposed to" bring back US issue weapons.
"A grave on Okinawa dated to 10-44" ? Okinawa was invaded on April 1, 1945.
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Old June 13, 2018, 03:12 PM   #18
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The M1 is a good stopper. Obsolete today but make good recro guns.
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Old June 13, 2018, 05:21 PM   #19
MTT TL
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Quote:
"...Garands were used for years after the war..." Still in use in some Third World countries.
Doubt he will be able to get a hold of one that is still being used, since it is still being used and all.

Quote:
"A grave on Okinawa dated to 10-44" ? Okinawa was invaded on April 1, 1945.
Poor parsing of quotes and reading comprehension. What he wrote was:

Quote:
I saw an article that there was an M1 found on Okinawa in a grave that was dated 10-44
True that weapons were not buried with US soldiers as a general rule. But that isn't what he wrote either.
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Old June 13, 2018, 06:45 PM   #20
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The CMP sent me a nice service grade with Springfield Armory SN dating to Nov 1943 this year.

I suggest that you visit the CMP web site, especially the forum section, for more information.

Good luck with your Garand,
Rick
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Old June 13, 2018, 07:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44caliberkid View Post
Forget it having WW II history. Just get a nice shooter for under $1000 and have fun. You can tell everyone it was in the war. Mine is a new build, using all Springfield parts, with a 1955 barrel. The modern laminated wood stock is kind of a give a way that it's not a war veteran, but many have complimented it at military high power matches.
Now if only I could find one under $1K. Just looked at a rack grade International Harvester for $1,200.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:38 PM   #22
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Start watching bids by the dozen on Gunbroker. There’s a lot of ridiculous sellers, but if you’re patient you can get a decent gun for a decent price. I was able to find a ‘43 Springfield with practically an unused ‘51 barrel, most likely because it was in a less desirable birch stock. A gorgeous Dupage stock is a hundred bucks, which is a lot cheaper than spending an extra $300 on Gunbroker for the same gun with one on it.


But yes, only run .30-06 rated for the Garand in it, or reload for it. The ammunition is readily available on the internet.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:55 PM   #23
Fishbed77
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Quote:
If that's the case, how likely do you think it would be to find one that had a receiver that would have been serial numbered/dated prior to 45? That way there's at least a chance it was used during the war? Or are all of the service grade CMP rifles going to be post war?
You are asking questions no one can answer, since CMP orders are luck of the draw. You can go to one of the stores, but there is no guarantee that you will find a Service Grade in the racks with a WW2 serial. As I understand it depends on what's available at any given time. Perhaps those with more familiarity with the stores can elaborate.

I own a CMP Service Grade Springfield (purchased in 2012) than was manufactured around December 1944, making it a WW2 rifle, but the likelihood that it made its way to a combat zone before the end of the war is very slim. When ordering that rifle, I included a post-it note requesting a WW2 serial, and got one, but the rifles were much more plentiful then. That particular Garand was arsenaled at some point, and received a 1954 barrel that is still pristine. It's just part of the history of these rifles.

Honestly, Garands have so much history regardless of date of manufacture, and are such fantastic rifles to own and shoot, that everyone should try to own one. It's cool to have a WW2 rifle, but it's also equally cool to have a Korean War-era Garand, and in many subtle ways, those later rifles are the best of the bunch.
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Old June 14, 2018, 07:50 AM   #24
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Back in 2007 I made the trip to Anniston CMP shop and they had a gentleman there who would look your rifle over and he pretty much knew the ones that were WWII era. Mostly the Springfields in that particular batch that had been loaned to Denmark after the war.

You also might try this book, Complete Guide to the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine by Bruce Canefield, it has some good information on build dates. Note that most all have been rebuilt at this point and time. I ended up picking up two field grade Springfields on my 2007 trip to CMP. Later on I did order a nice Korean war era H&R service grade and was well pleased with all.
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Old June 14, 2018, 01:55 PM   #25
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I have 2, 6 digit serial numbers, one made in September, 1941, the other in May, 1942.
Both have been rebuilt of course.
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