Help me buy a Garand

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by rglbegl, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. rglbegl

    rglbegl Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Dana point CA
    My next rifle will be a Garand. So I figured I would get some advice from the pros here on where to look.

    I figure about $600-750 should buy a decent Garand.
    It will be shot, but I dont expect it to be a tack driver.
    I do want it to operate properly, but looks are not too important.

    So where should I go to find a good working Garand?

    Is CMP worth the extra effort?
    Is a gun auction site good?
    Is there a place in Socal to go in person?
    What should I look for?


  2. SigP250

    SigP250 New Member

    Apr 3, 2010
    My Family went the CMP route in 1994 we got 3 all with a Bisonite bedding job &
    a crisp 2 stage 4.5 lb trigger pull got us into our M1As. We made it to Experts with the
    M1s & High Masters with the M1As. We still take the M1s out & enjoy a WWII shoot
    now and again.
    We have seen reweld Recieviers & Op rods on some Gun Show M1s so I would always
    Go CMP for a good safe piece. I believe you can even buy M1s & M2 Ball in EnBloc
    clips without having to shoot a Garrand Clinic or NMC Match. The US ARMY does a
    super job of going through the M1s & some take very little to 1/2 their norm of 4"
    at 100 yards 2" at 100 yards not bad for a Battle Rifle.
    Have fun & stock up on M2 Ball it's a Fun Gun to shoot. As a Military trained builder
    We had 1/2" minute M1As to compete with however today building an M1A with
    Military NM parts less Reciever & Barrel is very cost prohibitive.
    Congrats on your choice, to many chose the little black plastic 22 carbine & may
    someday regret the choice. Patton said the M1 was the finest Battle Rifle ever


  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Since you live relatively close to Costa Mesa, I suggest you go to the gun show there and hunt out a good example. There are literally tables full of Garands at every show. Most are collector grade but every collector ends up with a shooter or two in their many trades. I would search the show, talk with the guys and gals there with Garands on their tables and search out a good example of a shooter. You should be able to get a shooter for $600 to $750 but it might be a bit rough finish wise.

    I have two Garands:
    1). A Springfield made in the last month of WWII that was re-imported back to the USA from Korea in 1990. I bedded it, re-barrel it, refinished the stock, replaced a few of the internals, and scoped it. It is a shooter grade gun.

    2). A USA made receiver with Beretta parts bought a couple of years ago from Big Five Sporting Good store. I put a new laminated stock on it but all else is as delivered by Big Five. It outshoots the Springfield even though it has iron sights.

    Garands are great guns. But if you are worried that you may get a lemon or a money pit then buy a new Springfield Armory M1A. The entry level M1A's are very accurate rifles, shoot 308 rather than more costly 30-06 ammo, and are magazine fed rather than 8 shot clip fed (magazine fed rifles are much easier to use at the range). The M1A (the true military full auto version is the M14) is the Garand with a shortened receiver for the 308 ammo, and designed for a magazine rather than a clip. The M1A's from Springfield Armory usually easily outshoot a 30-06 Garand. And they are all new parts that will last a lifetime, not a re-condition well used gun that no one really knows where it has been or what it has been subjected to. The pricing is of course higher but in the long run I think worth it, if you are that worried about getting a lemon or a money pit.

    Hope this helped.

  4. Dr342

    Dr342 New Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    CMP would be my first choice, I have several from them and they are first class rifles. I only buy my Garands from the CMP. A quality service grade is $595 and Field Grades are $495. Ive been to the South Store and seen them first hand. Field Grades are a great choice but most will need new wood. Service grades are mail order only but the quality is stunning. Have a look at thier forum, some members have posted some amazing pics.

    For So Cal, I recommend the Delmar Gunshow. By far one of the best in the state, I found prices to be fair and some great people as well.
  5. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    CMP is extra effort?:eek:

    Goin to the range to shoot isn't an effort to me.;)
  6. wpage

    wpage Active Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    Since the CMP is a source. It should be your 1st choice.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    The problem with a CMP purchase is you have to be in a club that sponsors CMP, shoot a crtain number of High Power matches and jump through a few more CMP hoops. If you add in the coast of the competition and the club membership then the CMP guns may not be such a good deal. As an aside, if you are of retirement age you don't have to shoot the matches but you must be in the correct gun club.

    I have attended the Del Mar gun show several years ago and it was not nearly as big as the current Costa Mesa Gun Show. The same company puts on both shows. But I know for sure the Garands are all over the Costa Mesa Gun Show. The show fills up four building plus the area between two of the buildings at the Orange County Fair grounds. Except for the old Great Western Gun Show at the LA County Fair grounds years ago (the LA County Supervisors banned it and it moved to Texas) I have not been to a bigger gun show than Costa Mesa. Gun show size is your friend when searching out a particular gun.

  8. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

    May 27, 2010
    DeBary, Florida
    I've been pretty lucky with Garands. I've actually scored some WWII Receivers that still had their original barrels in your price range... and they weren't shot out. (TE around 3-4). You just have to look around A LOT and kinda' know what you're looking at. They've ALL been rebuilt at one time or another so in your price range the parts will almost certainly be mis-matched but that's not generally a problem. What you want to stay away from are the ones with an import stamp on the barrel from "Blue Sky" or "Arlington". Sometimes the stamps are close to the Gas Cylinder and not very deep or centered. They can look like a series of dings all in a row. Many of those have headspace issues and can actually be unsafe to shoot. Apparently they were just thrown together without regard to headspace or throat erosion. The other thing to check is if the receiver was cut in half and re-welded. I've seen some that were impossible to tell from the outside but close inspection of the inside (Where the enbloc clip goes) revealed the weld because the rails and such are hard to line up, weld, and then clean up.

    If I were someone looking for just a decent Garand "shooter" in the $700 price range I'd be looking at the H&R's in the 5,000,000 serial number range because they were built in the 50's and many are still mostly original. Hope that helps.
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Unlike European military guns, Garand parts are not serialized, only the receivers. The numbers on the internal parts are the generic part number of the part (drawing numbers of the control drawing used to make the parts). Garands were designed to use totally interchangeable parts and NO fitting was ever done or is needed to put a Garand together out of randomly selected parts, as long as all the parts are within their specifications.

    Garands were serviced in depots where they were disassembled and all the parts from several guns were thrown together for cleaning. Parts were randomly picked to build the guns back up after an inspection for wear and tear. Collectors know what variations of parts are correct for the receiver manufacture date (receiver serial numbers define that date) but for a shooter who cares if the parts are "correct". As long as the Garand shoots reliably and accurately the gun is just fine.

    By far the easiest ones to find are WWII Springfields and they will be at the lowest price level. If you talk with a few collectors at shows most will help you find a shooter. Most have several that will be priced correctly and the honest collectors will never sell you a re-weld job. But do inspect any Garand you may be considering for the re-weld, just to be safe.

    My 1945 Springfield Garand is a Blue Sky but I re-barreled it. As I said earlier my Big Five Garand with the new receiver and Beretta parts shoots very well indeed!

    There are lots of pitfalls with buying a Garand and most can be avoided but if you want to avoid them all then buy a new M1A from Springfield Armory.

  10. SigP250

    SigP250 New Member

    Apr 3, 2010
    You asked: My next rifle will be a Garand. So I figured I would get some advice from the pros here on where to look.
    In the past you had to join a club or your state Firearms Ass. Then shoot in a M1
    Clinic however Google the CMPs Web site for the real requirements. One thing you
    can be sure of is your M1 will be rebuilt by US ARMY Armorers & have real GI parts
    made to Military Specs. With millions of surplus parts being cobbled together by
    untrained shops, you put your life on the line every time you shoot your cobbled M1.
    I have run many M1 Clinics with hundreds of shooters, not 1 M1 nor the M2 Ball
    provided by the CMP ever malfuntioned. You will not find LC 7.62 NATO for the
    same good price as the well stored M2 Ball the CMP will sell you.
    Ammo you find in a Gun Shows is stored in Hot condition that can make the Ammo
    dangerious. The CMP stores their Ammo in controled conditions untill it is sent to
    you. Don't take chances on a Firearm you may well pass down to your Childrens

  11. Dr342

    Dr342 New Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Nothing beats the CMP for the Garand and for several other reasons. They sell all kinds of surplus items and 22-30cal rifles. M1 Bayonets & ammo belts are in the near future. .22 Cal Military Training Rifles appear periodically. M1 Carbines are just about gone, they have Rack Grade, but these are best reserved for the collector/restorer since they will need work. They will be great shooters but will need new wood and possibly re-finishing.

    Best part is ammo, surplus M2 Ball (Correct Garand Ammo) is 50 cent per round in reloadable Greek brass. Best deal around.

    Membership is easy and I've been a member of the DCM/CMP since 1990. Their requirements are simple considering the payoff and the fact you get a documented (With Certificate) genuine M1 Garand from the US Army.
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Dr342 said:

    "Membership is easy and I've been a member of the DCM/CMP since 1990. Their requirements are simple..."

    Well, not so simple, actually. You have to be a member of an affiliated gun club. I don't know about the gun clubs in your area but the initiation fee for my local club (the only game in town) is $350. Then there's the marksmanship requirement:

    "3. Marksmanship or other Firearms Related
    You must provide proof of participation
    in a marksmanship related activity or otherwise show
    familiarity with the safe handling of firearms and
    range procedures. Your marksmanship related activity
    does not have to be with highpower rifles; it can be
    with smallbore rifles, pistols, air guns or shotguns.
    Proof of marksmanship participation can be provided
    by documenting any of the following
    • Current or past military or law enforcement service.
    • Participation in a rifle, pistol, air gun or shotgun
    competition (provide copy of results bulletin).
    • Completion of a marksmanship clinic that included
    live fire training (provide a copy of the certificate of
    completion or a statement from the instructor).
    • Distinguished, Instructor, or Coach status.
    • Concealed Carry License.
    • Firearms Owner Identification Card that includes
    live fire training.
    • FFL or C&R license.
    • Completion of a Hunter Safety Course that included
    live fire training.
    • Certification from range or club official or law
    enforcement officer witnessing shooting activity. A
    form for use in completing and certifying your
    range firing can be downloaded from the CMP
    web site at http://www.odcmp.ccm/forms/marksmanship.
    • No proof of marksmanship required if over age 60.
    Proof of club membership and citizenship required
    for all ages.
    NOTE: Proof of marksmanship activity is only
    required for purchase of rifles."

    The cost of competition and club initiation fees has to be added to the cost of any CMP Garand to be fair, if you don't already meet those requirements.

    While you may be able to get a good Garand from CMP you can still get a good one from an honest private party or an honest dealer. The Garand is a robust, strong, well made, durable gun. It takes a lot to hurt them and most any Garand that looks good probably is a good shooter. With the help of an honest seller I think you can easily get a good shooter Garand that is not worn out. But if by chance you got one with a few worn out parts all Garand parts are totally interchangeable, readily available, and modestly priced. Any Garand whether it be CMP or other source will not have an of the parts in it that it left the factory with. The first inspection and cleaning by the military armory would have swapped parts around between guns with no bad impact on accuracy or reliability. That is the nature of totally interchangeable parts as the Garand used. But since the Garand spent a large part of its life shooting corrosive ammo, the barrel needs close inspection. A good dealer can also use a chamber measuring device on the chamber to determine the extent of the chamber erosion, too.

    I have bought a CMP Kimber and ammo from them so I am not anti-CMP but there are other ways to get a good shooter Garand and I believe for less money if you have to join a club and compete to meet the marksmanship requirements of CMP.

  13. rglbegl

    rglbegl Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Dana point CA
    I am already a member of the Garand Collectors Association.
    And I am a member of a local range that would qualify me for the marksmanship part.
    Plus the CMP ships to your door, so no transfer fees. (that saves me $65) :)

    The CMP looks like a great way to get a very decent gun at a very fair price.
    I am still looking around, and I am never in a hurry to buy a new gun. I will have one soon, but I want to take my time and get a good gun.
  14. oneshot onekill

    oneshot onekill New Member

    May 27, 2010
    DeBary, Florida
    Well hell's bells!... Why are you asking us then?
  15. wpage

    wpage Active Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    The CMP is THE source for the best gun.
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