It’s Here!

I am now happy to finally own my very own M1 Garand. I’ve wanted one of these for a while, but since I joined a CMP affiliated club, I decided it was time.

This one was likely produced in 1955. Not a WW II model, but I wanted a good shooter. The history isn’t quite as important to me. The receiver looks to be in good shape. The blueing parkerizing is still very much in tact.

The manual can be rather amusing. Here’s a caution about “M1 Thumb”:


The bolt of the M1 rifle can slam shut unexpectedly if the shooter has not strictly followed these instructions. If your thumb or finger is in its path, a painful condition called “M1 Thumb” is a strong possibility. In a half-century of military service with the United States and its foreign allies, the M1 has bitten thousands of recruits in this manner. No one ever died from it, but it did lead to a deplorable expansion of vocabulary in many languages…

… If one day you get careless and acquire an M1 Thumb, think of it not as a digit but a diploma. It shows that you’ve learned not to do it again.

Heh. Now I just need to get some .30-06 and get to the range.

25 thoughts on “It’s Here!”

  1. Congrats from another new Garand owner. (Or maybe I should say “new owner of a Garand”.) Four months ago I got my May ’45 Garand. Made too late to see action but it doesn’t appear to have been “armoried” either, because all of the parts have contemporaneous markings, according to Scott Duff’s book. Get out to the range so you can experience the “ping!” after the eighth round!
    Ahhh! Pinnnng!

  2. Congrats. My M1 Garand is by far my favorite rifle, as well as being my most accurate.

    And I too, love that distinctive “Ping!”

    Maybe I’ll run into you at a Garand match sometime.

  3. Not a WW II model, but I wanted a good shooter. The history isn’t quite as important to me. The receiver looks to be in good shape. The bluing is still very much in tact.

    That is why I purchased the CMP armoried version. The gun is pristine. Pretty much a new gun.

    By the way, sorry to pick a nit, but I have to….isn’t that Parkerizing not bluing?

  4. Make sure you get correct .30-06 ammo, not just anything will do. Get some from the CMP, and you can be sure it is the correct stuff. It is not an issue of chamber pressure, but gas port pressure. Most (if not all) commercial ammo uses powder that is too slow for the gas system.

  5. Yeah, parkerizing… sorry

    So basically I really want to fire M2 out of this guy? What about reloading? I guess just use a slow burning powder?

  6. You may want to consider getting an aftermarket operating rod for it. Though not a common problem, it is the most common failure of M1’s in civilian hands. After market op rods are made stronger to alleviate this problem.

    The M1 has a false catch that will hold the bolt open when it is still slightly forward of the locked open position. It is such a tenuous hold that just tilting the piece can cause the bolt to slam shut. When you open the bolt manually make sure you open it hard. Shove it all the way to the rear and you won’t have a problem. If you don’t, you will most certainly get M1 thumb when you try to put in the first clip.

    When fired empty the bolt returns far enough to hold open that this in not a problem.

    The best way to open the bolt is to hold the weapon in the present arms position, r/h on the stock just where it would be in the firing position and about navel height, the l/h on the forearm about shoulder high with the weapon going across your body about 4″ inches off. Take your l/h, release your hold on the forearm reach to the r/h side of the weapon and slam the bolt back, the weapon will support itself on your arm until you can regrasp it with your left hand. This is the easiest way to generate enough power and speed to make it really easy. It is also the way the military taught it, as close as I can remember.

    Try it you’ll like it and your thumb will appreciate it.

  7. I have 2 Garands from CMP and I’m a reloader. When I researched reloading for the M1 I discovered that you should use powder within a certain range of burn rate. Powder that is too fast burning or too slow burning will, over time, damage the operating rod. The new Hornady reloading manual has load data for the M1 Garand. First manual to do that, as far as I know.

    If you don’t reload and you buy factory ammo you have no control over the burn rate of the powder. Most factory ammo is designed for modern bolt action hunting rifles. The burn rate of the powder is going to be a mystery so you just take your chances. If you don’t load your own you are probably better off with military ammo. A few years ago you could get surplus M2 ball ammo by the crate. I don’t think it is as plentiful now.

  8. Haven’t seen military surplus ammo at gun shows in quite a while. Gun shows used to be a great source for cheap military ammo for the Garand. No more.

  9. Sebastian:

    Congratulations! Those correct grades are really sweet. I own one as well…it is a 5.7 million Springfield. Essentially was unissued/unfired…the few dings in the wood kept it from being graded “collector.”

    For ammo, I highly recommend the Greek HXP from CMP. It’s the best ammo around, and very reasonably priced. IMHO, it’s better than the Lake City that CMP is now out of.

    Yes, given the M1s gas system, oprod, etc., you should exercise caution shooting commercial ammo. The factors are powder burn rate and bullet weight. The issue is how much gas comes through the barrel gas port before the bullet exits the muzzle…with too much gas, too much pressure will be placed against the oprod possibly causing damage or injury. On the other hand, too little gas simply won’t operate the action. So for reloading, you want bullets generally in the 150-170 grain range and a medium-burning powder…IMR or AA 4064 is my favorite, but there are several other very good powders for Garand loads. One of my favorites for targets is Sierra’s 168 HPBT match bullet in front of about 47-48 grains of 4064.

    Again, congratulations. History might not be that important to you…but it’s difficult (and dare I say naive) not to consider the history behind the rifle you hold in your hands. I think a consideration of that history will give you a much deeper appreciation for the firearm.

  10. Congrats!
    Still waiting on my Service Grade Springfield Garand. Ordered mine at the end of Nov. and it went open Dec. 10th. Seeing as it looks like they are currently shipping orders that went open in Oct, looks like I still got a wait.

  11. See, I’d take “Rack Grade” just fine. I’m a shooter, not a collector, so dings and scratches don’t bother me so long as the rifle shoots well.

    But alas, this year doesn’t look good for new firearms. *Sigh*

  12. All I’ve ever used is surplus (or issued) military ammo. However, there is an adjustable gas plug that you can get from various and sundry places (Fulton Armory, Brownell’s, etc…Midway has one listed but shows it as “discontinued by manufacturer” so I don’t know if they can still get them or not). The idea is to adjust the gas system to the minimum force required to successfully cycle the action to prevent damage and long term wear.

    It would take some experimenting to find out what setting/jet works with each type of ammo you use but it seems to me that it should be effective.

  13. My take on all this oprod and ammo advice….

    That postwar oprod is completely good to go; there is really no reason to buy yet another one. Get a case or two of the Greek ammo from CMP and go shoot that rifle! You will love it.

    You might by the ammo that comes on enblocs until you get a stash of them, then you can buy the boxed stuff and load up your own clips.

  14. Grats!

    Still waiting on mine as well, getting a Service grade here.

    I did, however, get a spam can of greek ammo, with clips.

    Might pick up some more, loose this time. I think 24 clips should do me.

  15. The CMP is about the cheapest price there is. I didn’t bother to factor in shipping (CMP is very reasonable) but just on the ammo w/clips J&G was 31 cents a round and CMP is 26 cents.

  16. As stated in several comments, the M1 is sensitive to powder burning rate. IMR-4895 is *the* powder for the M1. IMR-4064 is also in the right range, and works pretty well. My load for my garand is a 147grain FMJ bullet over 46 (I think, might have been 45, or 47 grains… I loaded a big batch a while back and would have to check my notes) grains of IMR-4895. And, as Carl said, don’t use heavy .30 cal bullets.

    You do NOT want to use a much slower powder. The slower powder has a flatter pressure curve. Load it up to standard pressures, and you get more area under the curve (more energy goes into pushing the bullet) but it also means that there’s more pressure in the barrel when the bullet’s at the end of it. That is, when the bullet is past the gas port. Too much pressure at the gas port’ll bend your op rod. (The AR15, for example, is much, much less sensitive to burn rates. And, other than accuracy, bolt guns don’t really care much at all)

  17. My 1955 vintage Garand is a 5890000 serial so we aren’t that far apart. You’ve heard some about the pressure curves of modern 30-06 and how they can damage the gas system. I’ve never actually heard of an aftermarket op rod. Look into getting either the Schuster or McCann adjustable gas valves if you plan to shoot commercial ammo, they will allow you to tune the gas system to just about anything you want to shoot. Brownells has them both.

    I shot a little of the Remington Express with a 150 gr bullet before getting the Schuster with no ill effects but feel much safer now that it is tuned to that ammo.

  18. One of my most favoritist rifles. And handloading works quite well. But remember, the heaviest bullet to use is 175 grains; anything heavier is a bad idea. Standard ball is 150 grain. As mentioned above, the two main powders for this beast seem to be IMR4895 and IMR4064. I’ve used 48.0 of 4895 with a 150-grain bullet, seems to duplicate the military ball load.

    And you get extra points when shooting for two things:
    1. Clip flies out, someone comes over and says “Dude, part of your rifle just came out!”
    2. Clip lands on the brim of your hat. Also sometimes connected with 1.

  19. Congratulations!

    Now get over to the M-14 forum and start reading:

    The old timers there were a big help when I started out, back when it was the Battlerifles forum.


  20. Nice pickup! I’m sure you’ll love the rifle. Post war Springfield is the one model I don’t have. This post reminds me, I have to get my order in for the M1 Carbines they’re releasing for sale!

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