August 6th, 2015

JFK’s Garand to Be Sold at Auction in September

M1 Garand CMP Rifle JFK John F. Kennedy President

A very special M1 Garand is going up for auction this September. President John F. Kennedy’s M1 Garand rifle, obtained from the CMP in 1959, will be auctioned by the Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) as part of RIAC’s September Premiere Auction. RIAC believes JFK’s Garand will fetch from $50,000 to $100,000 at auction.

President Kennedy obtained the M1 Garand in 1959 while he was serving as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. “Since this rifle was issued to Senator Kennedy in 1959, well before he was elected to the Office of the President of the United States, this rifle could very well have accompanied him directly into the White House,” RIAC stated.

The auction house included a thank-you letter from JFK himself: “Colonel John K. Lee, Jr. has told me of the time and care which you took to accuratize [sic] and test fire the National Match M1 rifle, which I recently purchased. I do want to express my appreciation for your interest and attention in this matter and I am looking forward with pleasure to having an opportunity to use the rifle.”

The rifle is in like-new condition: “Excellent overall with 99% of the original hand polished and blued finish still remaining with just some minor wear on the right side receiver rail, from the limited test firing it has seen. The stock and handguard set are all in mint condition with 99% of the original hand rubbed finish/sealer with no handling marks or dings, with just visible cartouches.”

Writing for OutdoorHub.com, Daniel Xu says this rifle had a special history: “At the time the DCM, the predecessor of today’s Civilian Marksmanship Program, issued rifles based on a lottery system, selling a few hundred to a few thousand firearms annually. According to the RIAC, Kennedy’s rifle came from the Erie Ordnance Depot in Port Clinton and was actually a rifle made late in the M1 Garand’s production lifetime. The Type 1 National Match M1 Garand then received a VIP treatment from a gunsmith attached to an Army marksmanship unit, Master Sergeant Raymond E. Parkinson. Parkison adjusted the trigger, added a glass-bedding compound to the recoil shoulders of the stock, and blued many of the metal parts.”

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August 6th, 2015

Long and Strong — The New McMillan Super 50 BR Stock

super 50 BR stock McMillan

McMillan Stocks has released an updated version of its .50-Cal benchrest stock. The new Super 50 BR features an extended-length “wheelbase” with machined aluminum lower surfaces for stiffness and improved tracking. In the video below, Kelly McMillan reviews the features of the new Super 50 BR:

The notable features of the new Super 50 benchrest stock are machined aluminum shoes on the bottom of the forearm and buttstock. These are machined true to each other for perfect alignment in the bags. The removable forearm shoe is available in either a 3.5” or 5” width. This is significant. Kelly McMillan explains: “You’ll be able to shoot this same stock in different classes just by changing the forearm shoe, and that’s something you can do in a match if you want.”

McMillan Super 50 Benchrest stock

Engineered to be Super-Strong with Minimal Flex
With the interlocking design of the foreand (with 90° blocks that interlock with the aluminum shoe), this is a very rigid stock. In fact, Kelly says: “We’ve molded several 90° angles [into the fiberglass section] that actually increases the stiffness in addition to the stiffness that the aluminum offers. We think this is probably the stiffest fore-end on any stock that we’ve ever made.”

This Super 50 BR stock is approximately 44” long and has a forearm about 20.75” long from the front of the action. And if that’s not long enough, the forward “shoe” can be machined up to 6″ longer to extend the “wheelbase” even further. This stock has a minimum weight of about 9 pounds in Light Gun configuration and a max weight of about 18 pounds (for the stock itself) as a Heavy Gun stock. The Super 50 BR is an ambidextrous design that may be inletted and used both right and left-handed.

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August 6th, 2015

Old Guys Rule! 60-y/o Betzold Wins Garand and Carbine Matches

Camp Perry CMP Trophy  Games M1 Garand Carbine 3-Gun Aggregate National Matches

Victor Betzold had a Camp Perry experience for the ages. At the 2015 CMP Games, Betzold won the Garand Match, won the M1 Carbine Match (setting a new Record), and took the 3-Gun Aggregate for the second year in a row. Now that’s an impressive performance. Betzhold is no stranger to shooting – beginning in junior high and firing well into college, then taking his love for guns into the Army. After the years went on and work and family became higher priorities, he fell away from the sport he loved. But now that he’s retired at age 60, he’s had time to practice again – practice that has certainly paid off.

During his remarkable showing at the National Games Matches, Betzold won the Carbine Match with a score of 375-6X, setting a new National Record in the process. In the National Garand Match, Betzold fired a score of 290-7X to become the overall winner of a field of 1213 competitors.

“It feels great,” he said. “I’ve been working at this for a long time.” The 60-year-old Betzold was also the top senior for both the Garand Match and the Carbine Match.

With his outstanding performances in the Garand and Springfield Matches, as well as an exceptional seventh-place finish in the Vintage Military Match, Betzold claimed the 3-Gun Aggregate title for the second year in a row — with a combined score of 865-19X.

Lady Competitor at the Garand Match (file photo).
Camp Perry CMP Trophy  Games M1 Garand Carbine 3-Gun Aggregate National Matches

To review complete results for all CMP National Match events at Camp Perry, visit the CMP 2015 Trophy Matches and SAFS Results Page.

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