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Old December 24, 2012, 12:46 AM   #1
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M1 Garand - Modification - Practical Hunter

I am looking for information on modifiying an M1 Garand (nothing collectable, I believe I have a line on a beat up parts gun with a good receiver)

I am interested in keeping the 8 round en block clip, but changing the caliber to 260 remington, mounting a scope, and getting a trigger as close to what I am used to as possible (what I am used to being single stage, perfect crisp break and 2.75 to 3lb pull...on my current bolt guns)

Ideally I would also lighten it somewhat by going with a more modern "hunter/tactical" style stock as well. And a 22.75" barrel that would finish at 24" once the muzzle break of my choice was installed.

I believe that I have seen videos of more radically modified Garands (except possibly the trigger) but I'm not sure where to start looking at actually getting this kind of work done.

Would anyone care to share an opinion?
And can someone point me in the right direction?

Some of you are going to ask WHY . . . here is the answer.
Up here, in the great white north, we are restricted in what we can legally possesss, and even more restricted in what we can legally hunt with. A properly build AR10 platform would probably be cheaper and better for my purpose but is impossible to legally use, any other semi auto is also limited to 5 rounds max...except the Garand
My use is partly an interesting range gun, but because of the caliber it won't see a lot of that; to save on barrel life.
Mostly it will see some deer hunting and a lot of predator hunting. Our coyotes are large, and packs can be large as well, a fast firing rifle with an authoritative cartridge (such as a 260 rem firing a thin jacketed 120gr 6.5mm) should be tremendously effective for range, speed shooting, and impact effect
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Old December 24, 2012, 01:00 AM   #2
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The Garand was designed to operate within the pressures generated by the milspec M-2 cartridge. Please check with your prospective cartridge to see if its close.

Regarding the shortening of the barrel, pressure will drop faster than in the regular barrel. This may be compensated for by changing the port size. However, timing is critical. If it opens too fast, it punish the receiver on recoil.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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Old December 24, 2012, 09:08 AM   #3
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I am sure that this is doable, but going to cost you some serious money. You can mount just about any .30-06 or .308 based caliber barrel to your rifle, but it may take some experimenting to get it to function. Get one of the Schuster Gas Plugs, and it would make the project easier.

I do not believe that you can safely get the trigger into the range that you are looking for. But that should not be a problem. A little trigger work makes the M-1 trigger significantly better, but it will never be a 3 pound single stage trigger.

Mounting a scope, this is the fun part. I think it was B-Square that used to make a no gunsmithing mount, but I am not sure anymore. It was less than great, but did work. Griffin and Howe will still do the old style M-1C mounts and rings, and now you can get them in one inch, but this work is not cheap! You can get the information on their website.

Finding a lighter stock may be interesting. I think that Choate may make one but am not sure.

Also, if you are willing to leave it the original length barrel, it would probably make it easier to make happen. If you change the barrel length, you will have to change the op rod length, and for the uninitiated, that can become almost black magic to get done right.

I have thought about doing something similar, but with a more standard caliber, barrel length, and stock, but basically dropped the idea because it would be way to expensive a rifle for what I would be getting.
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Old December 24, 2012, 09:48 AM   #4
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In addition to the above issues, recognize that you will be restricted in the bullet weights and powders you can use. Even in the standard 30-06 you can't use heavy bullets or slow-burning powders as the pressure generated at the gas port can cause the op rod to break. Going to an unconventional caliber, I would get some truly expert advice on what you would be able to use. Remember it's not the chamber pressure of a load commonly published that is important; it's the pressure at the gas port.
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Old December 24, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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There are a couple of companies making railed scout lower hand guard covers for scope mounting. Here is one:
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Old December 24, 2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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Here is an interesting video that I just found of a modified Garand with a quick detach scope mounting system firing 300 WSM in both 150gr match ammo and full power 180gr Winchester brand soft points.

It doesn't look quite perfect with that low mounted scope however. Watch as he fires 2 rounds unscoped, then 3 with the scope on. The 1st & 3rd eject flawlessly, but #2 looks like it takes a hard impact with the windage knob...though it still clears and the rifle continues to fire uninterupted.

Too bad most of the guy's site is in German, my browser translates about half of it into english for me, but not the rest
Garands in 8 calibers from 270win to 300WSM to 9.3x72

And the videos
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