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Old March 13, 2013, 09:51 PM   #1
Join Date: December 14, 2010
Posts: 79
CMP Service Grade OK for competition?

After the initial panic of Obama's threats to our Constitution and the long delays in CMP filling my M1 order, I've had some time to think things over.

I ordered a Service Grade M1, mainly because I just wanted one, but now I'm considering competing. The Iowa State Rifle and Pistol Association holds high power and service rifle matches at Van Meter, near Des Moines, the scene of many glorious IA Nat Gd matches for me. I've actually sucessfully competed against the people I see on the match bulletins in air gun venues.

I'd like to shoot in a venue that allows minimum special equipment. My ambitions are modest. I only plan to shoot in Iowa or adjacent states. Not planning on CP Perry.

I'm already a pretty good shot and have competed in military combat matches with the M16A1 and M16A2 to 300m. I think the match results I saw said they shot at 200m or yds.

Will the Service Grade be adequate or should I call CMP and spend another $375 for a Special Grade? The Special Grade has a Criterion barrel, new furniture and a CMP Special Grade cartouche, perhaps to say its not original GI. I believe the Service Grade is all GI.

Also, I note some M1's are avail in 7.62. Given match ammo for both, which is the best caliber for competition? Would a 7.62 Criterion barrel put my rifle in a class I don't want to be in? I would prefer to shoot GI.


Des Moines
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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different organizations have different rules and criteria, some require completely original, no new production parts, others allow new barrels...

most I'm willing to wager would not allow a caliber conversion, besides, 3006, is ballistically superior to 308/7.62x51
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old March 14, 2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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Since you said the shoot at 200 yards, I'm going to assume you're talking about the CMP GSM Vintage Rifle matches (which include Garand matches).

The target used in these matches is the the NRA 200 yard target. You'll find the X-10 ring on that target 7 inches in diameter. Thats 3.5 MOA.

Very few Garands out there that can't shoot 3 MOA. so I'd say the Service Grade is more then capable of cleaning the targets.

I got my Garand in the early 80s under the DCM. Then it was a once in a life time deal. You didn't get a choice, you got what they sent you.

Since then I've shot the crap out of my Garand. In matches, and when I use to run sniper schools for the NG using M1C/Ds. Checking my rifle with throat and muzzle gages, by all rights the barrel should be shot out......maybe it is, but it'll still shoot under 3.5 MOA.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get the Service Grade and spend the extra money ammo down range. Concentrate on Off Hand (standing). These matches are won and lost in the standing position. 1/3 of your score.

Regardless of which rifle you get, spend hours upon hours dry firing in the standing position.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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I agree with Kraig.

Besides many of the SG garands they are shipping are in great condition and will compete mid pack. Most garand matches are fun regardless.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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The service grade rifles are a crap shoot as far as what you get. The special grade gets you a good barrel for sure. Is it worth it? I think so, but I agree that even a rack grade with a 6 on the throat gauge should still hold 3.5 moa with good ammo.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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Like jimro posted what's inside the box could really be in any condition. But another thing to remember is that regardless of the rifles' condition it can be improved. A good armorer can get a poor shooting rifle up to speed without an unreasonable investment of more cash even if the rifle needs to be Garand Match legal. A little TLC from a right guy goes a long way.
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