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I purchased my Garand in the mid 1990's in California. I recall fishing out ripped Hawaiian shirt from the stock that had been used for cleaning and have always thought it had seen action and wasn't post war. I am doing some research now and wanted to ask the experts if this is an authentic Garand and not a reassembled from de-milled scraps and what it may be worth today.

The Receiver S/N is 206211 indicating it is was made March 1941

The right side receiver drawing number stamp is: DD28291-3-SA

The Bolt S/N is D28287-2SA

The Trigger Assembly S/N is: D28290-5-SA

The Operating Rod S/N is D85882 9 SA

The rear site has a lock bar.

The stock is in great condition with few dings but there is no cartouche.

Any advice from the experts here is greatly appreciated.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just noticed looking at the Operating Rod photo that I see a S/N on the barrel and can make out some of it as ?.S.E.? SA3006. Hope this helps...
 

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The rifle dates to Feb-Mar 1941 and the part numbers seem to agree with that date. But the gun has been refinished at some point (the receiver and several of the parts have been sand blasted and Parkerized). M1 rifles made at that time have very smooth gray Parkerizing with a greenish tinge. The lock bar sight is a replacement, though it is probably a WWII installation. (Those were not installed at Springfield until early 1942, but the parts were sent out as an armorers' field upgrade.)

The stock and handguards are certainly replacements, not unusual in a rifle that has been around since 1941.

So, yes, your rifle appears to have been rusted and refinished, possibly an arsenal job, but more likely done by others, as arsenals rarely bothered to keep original parts together.

I don't see any evidence that the receiver was cut and parts welded together. There is some discoloration shown in the third picture, but the original milling lines appear intact. Better pictures of the top and both sides of the receiver would help to be sure.

Jim
 

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I am doing some research now and wanted to ask the experts if this is an authentic Garand and not a reassembled from de-milled scraps and what it may be worth today.
I think Jim K is right on the nose with his observations. The rifle has definitely been refinished, and is indeed cobbled together from various parts, with a fairly new stock.

The greenish tint on the original parkerizing is a well-known characteristic, and many people have tried to copy it over the years. Wherever this rifle was refinished, they did not attempt to replicate that colour. Which at least means it's not a later attempt to fake an original finish. As an example of the green tint for comparison, a photo from my own collection is below.

Is it a WWII Garand? Yes. Is it a rebuild? Also, yes. Judging by the cosmoline residue in some of the inner workings and hard-to-get-to places, it was likely an armory rebuild which was then put into storage before selling off.

 

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Here are some pics of a rifle not too far from yours.

Note the op rod, which is a -3 and is correct for early 1941. Sorry, I misread the number on yours, which on a better look I see is a -9.

The rifle pictured is one back from Britain and is absolutely original except for the stock, which was sanded. Note the back of the receiver; the greenish tinge is easily seen and the smooth finish is typical. The sight windage knob is also correct for that era and was never replaced by the bar sight.

Since those Lend-Lease rifles were for the most part never out of British depots and were never upgraded as almost all in U.S. service were, they are probably the bulk of original condiiton pre-Pearl Harbor M1 rifles in existence today.

Jim
 

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I really appreciate the input. The third photo has some grease buildup (not rust) to which I need to clean up. I took the photos at midnight with lamp light so I'd like to take some photos this weekend in the sunlight to get a better perspective and I'll take some shots of the entire receiver as requested and post them then.

The rear of the receiver looks gray/green to me but I may be mistaken. When you say the rifle is cobbled together with various parts, how can that be when the serial numbers are one digit off from the rest except for the operating rod?

Again, thanks for the expert advice,

Joe
 

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When you say the rifle is cobbled together with various parts, how can that be when the serial numbers are one digit off from the rest except for the operating rod?
Sorry, "cobbled together" was probably not the best choice of words, as it could be taken negatively. What I meant was that this rifle has several parts on it that are not original. As mentioned by others, this consists of at least the lock bar sight upgrade, an op rod from possibly several years later (more on this in a moment, as it is in doubt), and replacement furniture. That, along with the fact that it appears to have been refinished, indicate that it was a rebuild. I'm betting that's a replacement barrel too.

The numbers you're referring to which start with a D are not serial numbers, they are drawing numbers. Being one digit off (I assume you're referring to D28290- and D28291- numbers) isn't an indication of it being 'nearly matching' like it would with actual serial numbers on other types of rifles. These are just part numbers, and are intended to be a few digits off for inventory purposes.

The suffixes identify which revision of the drawings they were built to. Certain parts were revised through the years, not all at the same time. So the best one can do for parts that only have drawing numbers is to make sure they have the correct revision for the date or s/n range that one's rifle was manufactured in. And there can be conflicting information out there on where the cutoffs were, so it's not an exact science.

As mentioned previously, your receiver serial number of 206211 dates it to March 1941 manufacture.

The trigger housing is stamped D28290-5-SA, which is not consistent with your serial number. Yours would have been made with one from revision 2. Revision 5 was started on rifles starting with serial number 210000, beginning in April 1941. Of course, there's probably some slop in that s/n and date cutoff, so I suppose it's entirely possible that yours could have been one of the first ones with the -5 trigger housing, but most likely it is a replacement. Again, I see this from one source, and another source may say otherwise.

The bolt marked D28287-2SA is consistent with your serial number and date according to one source, but another says it's not. I would give it the benefit of the doubt.

I can't be sure on the op rod. Your initial post says the drawing number is D85882 9 SA, but clearly you have misread the numbers. The drawing number is D35382 for op rods. I know that these stamped numbers can be hard to make out sometimes. Can you check the revision number again in person? Your photo makes it look like it could be a 3 or a 9; I can't tell for sure. 3 would be correct for your s/n, but 9 would not, as that was from much later. If you really can't tell by simple inspection, you can try a white grease pencil to fill in the stamp and see if it makes it any more legible.

There are other drawing numbers and parts details/types that you should check as well, to see if they go with your serial number. Here are a couple of websites you can use for reference (just keep in mind that they don't all agree):

http://battlerifle0.tripod.com/id3.html
http://myplace.frontier.com/~aleccorapinski/id14.html
http://www.trfindley.com/pgsnstmpsm1.html (stock cartouches, just in case you find anything)

Or search around online and you'll find more. There are also books you can purchase that have more detailed info.
 

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Those numbers are indeed drawing numbers, numbers for the actual pieces of paper on which were the engineering drawings for the rifle parts. The initial letter, D, or C or whatever, indicates the size of the drawing (and thus the size of the cabinet drawer in which it was kept). The number following the dash is a revision number. Every time a part was changed, for whatever reason, a new drawing was prepared and given the next "dash number."

There are books giving all the drawing numbers and when each revision came into use. So, if "-3" came into use in August 1943, but shows up in a rifle made in 1941, the part is obviously not original. It might be a field replacement in a combat zone, or a recent part swap by a hobbyist.

By the late 1950's almost all M1 rifles in existence had been rebuilt, some several times, and arsenal rebuilds usually began with disassembling the rifle and throwing the parts into appropriate bins for inspection and reuse if serviceable. In other words, few rifles are actually original. But original rifles bring high prices, which is why dealers and hobbyists acquire (or even fake) the "right" parts or even fake the markings and "manufacture" rifles that appear to be original.

Jim
 
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