Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The greatest single battle implement ever devised by man."

My new-to-me Garand. CMP Service Grade purchased by a nice fellow who didn't even get a chance to shoot it before he had to sell it. More than 50 years old and a longgun between private parties, so it was cash and carry (I love paperless rifles). When I got it home and started fondling it, the first thing that surprised me was the weight. I knew Garands were heavy, but it didn't feel heavy, it felt perfectly balanced. It snapped to my shoulder and cheek like it was returning home. The trigger was a crisp two stage, and much more than I had been expecting of a military rifle. As I disassembled it for detail cleaning I marveled at the brilliance of the complex-yet-simple action. The same action that refused to fail Americans from desert's scorching heat to the north's blistering cold. Truly, a machine worthy of General Patton's famous praise.

Clicky any image for full size

The rear handguard is darker and more beat up than the stock. The blemishes are captured well in the pictures, but the dark wood masks most of them under normal light.

Ditto for the front handguard.

The stock is beautiful walnut, with a few dings.

The internals after a thorough cleaning to remove some nasty blobs of cosmo.

Wanting to get to start practicing as soon as possible, I decided to make my own Garand dry firing adapter using a Dixon dry erase marker. I cut it at the vertical line of the "D." Remember to cut long so you can shorten it later. The point is to get the bolt to stop just after the hammer catches, so it's easy for you to reset the hammer by pulling the bolt handle back only a short amount.


Kelly Byrd said...

Nice! I want one.

aughtSix said...

Which manufacturer and what's the (approximate) serial number? And what year's the barrel from? Inquiring minds want to know.

I've got a late production (1953, I think) Springfield Garand. From the use that stock's seen, I'd guess it a bit more history than mine has.

Anonymous said...

Those aren't blemishes, those are beauty marks. ;-)

Mravinsky said...

Did you get a good price on yours?

Mike said...

Nice. A couple of things about Garands if you don't know them:

Grease that action! What you took out might not have been cosmoline, but lube.

How tight is that barrel? Did you check it with a bullet at the muzzle yet? A lot of Garand tubes are, unfortunately, soda straws. Barrels aren't too expensive, though.

Of course the trigger and balance are awesome! There's on old truism about battle rifles - the Germans gave their troops the best hunting rifle, the Brits gave their troops the best battle rifle and the Americans gave their troops the best target rifle.

As far as your observation on how simple and robust that rifle is, I can't wait until you get a chance to tear an AK rifle down and notice some things like how the trigger works (it'll look familiar now), and the long stroke gas piston that's part of the bolt carrier (op rod!) assembly with its two lug rotating bolt... that's going to look pretty familiar (though upside-down), too.

Huey said...

what did you pay for it? I bet that it was a field or service grade M1 sold by the CMP program that the "poor guy" made a few bucks on "flipping" it to a new buyer. No worries though, new barrels are about 150 and stock about 150 through teh CMP store. I just picked one up a few weeks ago and am in love with it as well....mine doesn't seem as pretty as yours but gauges a solid 2 on the muzzle and slightly more than a 2 on the throat.

congrats on your new acquisition

Fletch said...

It's a springer in the 5,440,000s, which puts its mfg date in 54 or 55. The barrel date says 11 54, so I'm assuming it's the original barrel. It's post-war, so I kind of wonder what it did to get its barrel so worn out. I haven't been able to put a gauge on it yet, but by my eye it has had a lot of experience...

It was around my birthday when I saw this Garand posted to Calguns, so I thought it would make a perfect gift to myself. The guy was asking $200 over CMP price for it, and he settled on $130 over ($630). I didn't have my CMP membership yet, so filing and shipping would cost $50, which meant I was paying $80 over just to get it paperless (plus 10 clips). It wasn't an awesome price, but it was one I was willing to pay for the best birthday present I've ever given myself. Only problem was, the price eliminated the cushion in my bank account, and I couldn't see getting my balance that low for something that was just an alright price, even if it was my birthday. Then, just as I was getting used to the fact that I was going to miss this chance, I got an unexpected $100 for my birthday, and just went for it.

It seems clear now that guy was just flipping the Garand, but he was selling for a price I was willing to pay, so more power to him. He got a little cash in his pocket, and I got the CMP Garand I wanted without filling out a lick of paperwork. If anything, it reassures me that it really is fresh from CMP. Besides, anyone who missed a chance to fire my Garand is still a "poor guy" in my book. :)

I didn't clean any grease from the spots the CMP manual says to grease, just cosmo jammed in the corners of the trigger group. I need to get some grease for it.

I shot it in the desert to celebrate April 19th, and it just might be my new favorite. I only put 40 rounds through it, and can't wait to get more. I look forward to getting it on some paper this weekend or next.