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January 3rd, 2021

Sunday GunDay: The M1 Garand That Came for Christmas

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle
We think everyone should have a Garand in their gun collection…

In our AccurateShooter Forum, you’ll find a popular thread: “Anybody Get Gun Stuff for Christmas?”. One notable post featured a very special Christmas-week arrival — an M1 Garand barreled action. A Forum member received this CMP-sourced barreled action from a friend and then transformed it with a stunning wood stock and other components. We’d say this is a very successful and handsome holiday project. And get this — the skilled owner, who works as a volunteer armorer, assembled his new M1 Garand in record time: “Well, it took three weeks in-transit for my [Christmas] gift to myself to arrive, but I picked her up at 1400 hours yesterday. Had her built into a complete rifle by 1530….”

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

CMP Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand Christmas Rifle

If you would like to put together a handsome M1 Garand like the Christmas rifle shown above, you’ll need to start with a barreled action. You can order these, as well as complete M1 Garand rifles, from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Below we explain how to order an M1 Garand from the CMP, and how to select the right grade for your needs and budget.

If you have questions about assembling a Garand, contact us and we will put you in touch with the builder of the Christmas M1 Garand rifle. He is a CMP-trained armorer who works to maintain ceremonial rifles for VFW, American Legion, and Disabled Veterans Posts throughout Kentucky.

Ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP — Qualifications

Garand Turkish Turkey Philippines

How to Order an M1 Garand from the CMP
To purchase an M1 Garand through the CMP, you must be an adult U.S. Citizen, and a member of an affiliated organization who has participated in a “Marksmanship Activity”. This basically means you need to join a gun club and participate in a clinic or match. Proof of club membership and citizenship is mandatory for all ages. However, the marksmanship requirement is waived for those over 60 years of age. M1 Garands must be ordered by mail or through official CMP Auctions.

CLICK HERE for Garand Ordering Information | CLICK HERE for Eligibility Requirements

CLICK HERE for Garand Grading Information

Here are two videos that explain the procedure for ordering an M1 Garand from the CMP. Along with mail-order sales, the CMP has two stores where M1 Garands can be ordered over the counter and then transferred via your FFL (in compliance with state law). The three CMP stores are located in Anniston, Alabama, Talladega, Alabama, and Port Clinton (Camp Perry), Ohio.

Ordering a Barrel — If you already have an M1 Garand, but the barrel has seen better days, you can order a pre-chambered Criterion barrel in .30-06 Springfield. Criterion tell us: “This is a direct replacement barrel for the M1 Garand rifle, manufactured to mil-spec print #6535448. It has the original G.I. contour and Parkerized finish. Receiver threads are timed, all milling cuts are made, and all M1 Garand barrels are hand-lapped.” NOTE: Each barrel is .010 short-chambered and should be properly headspaced by a qualified gunsmith. These Criterion .30-06 replacement barrels, priced at $259.95, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.

m1 Garand Rifle Barrels CMP Criterion

If you want to re-chamber your M1 Garand to .308 Winchester, the CMP eStore sells brand new Criterion-made barrels in .308 Win for $199.95. These authentic-profile barrels are chambered and headspaced within .010″ of finished size, with final fitting to be done by a competent gunsmith. The barrels are also externally Parkerized to match your vintage M1 Garand.

New Criterion M1 Garand (.308 Win) RIFLE Barrel, 4140 Chrome Moly Steel
Item: 065CRI/308 | Price $199.95

How to Maintain the M1 Garand

Once you have an M1 Garand in your collection, you’ll want to keep it in tip-top condition so it works flawlessly for vintage military matches and fun shoooting. Below we’ve linked two good SSUSA articles on M1 Garand maintenance. Following that you’ll find two excellent videos covering M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication. Finally there are links to recommended print manuals for the M1 Garand.

M1 Service and Maintenance
Shooting Sports USA (SSUSA) published an excellent article on Service and Maintenance of M1 Garand Rifles. This offers some smart tricks, such as using smoke from burning masking tape to darken the front sight post. There is also an older SSUSA article that covers basic cleaning and servicing and also explains how to upgrade the performance of your Garands. READ Article HERE.

M1 Garand maintenance procedures

M1 Garand Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication

Recommended M1 Garand Service Manuals

Among the many M1 Garand manuals available, we recommend the CMP’s U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1: ‘Read This First’ Manual. This booklet covers take-down, reassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and operation. The manual comes with CMP rifles or can be purchased for $3.25 from the CMP eStore. The author of Garand Tips & Tricks says: “It’s one of the best firearms manuals I’ve seen and I highly recommend it.” The CMP also offers many other M1 Garand print resources including:

M1 Garand Owner’s Guide (125 pages, Scott Duff)
M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guide (155 pages, Walt Kuleck & Scott McKee)
Complete Guide to M1 Garand and M1 Carbine (296 pages, Bruce Canfield)

M1 Garand match instruction video War Department

Jim thompson m1 garand essential practical historical guide book

Do you own an M1 Garand, or have you always wanted to acquire one of these legendary semi-auto battle rifles? Well then here is a valuable new resource: The Essential M1 Garand: A Practical and Historical Guide for Shooters and Collectors. This new book by Jim Thompson covers the history of the M1 Garand, and offers practical advice for Garand owners, along with complete parts lists. The book includes annotated military and National Match manuals, a troubleshooting chart, and a section on hand-loading for the Garand. The final Section addresses common questions about the rifle and offers detailed instructions for maintaining this wartime classic. First published in February, 2020, The Essential M1 Garand is available in Print Paperback and Kindle eBook versions. View Table of Contents.

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May 10th, 2020

If You Could One Just One Long Gun — What Would You Choose?

Sierra Bullets Gun list .30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester
Custom hunting rifle photo courtesy Kilimanjaro Rifles.

The folks at Sierra Bullets asked a few staff bulletsmiths a classic question about guns: “If you could own only one firearm which one would you choose?” There were many interesting answers including a “cheater” response — the drilling — which is really two guns in one. The most-often mentioned chambering was the venerable .30-06. Respondents cited its versatility, hunting prowess, and ready availability of ammo. The popular .308 Winchester, as expected, got mentions as did its cousins the .243 Win and 7mm-08. There were quite a few votes for classic lever guns, as well as 12-gauge shotguns. Two bulletsmiths cited the .22 LR, and we can certainly see the logic in that answer. The little rimfire cartridge is versatile, quiet, and inexpensive.

We ask our readers the same question — if you could only have one long gun, what type of firearm would it be? List the gun type and chambering in the comments section.

If You Could Have Just One Long-Gun — ANSWERS:

Media Relations Manager Carroll Pilant answered: “I would NEVER own only one gun. If I HAD to pick one, it would be a drilling in 12 gauge over .30-06.”

Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz answered: “The early tang safety Ruger M77s pretty much have all you could want in a bolt gun, but I do like the Winchester lever guns and the combination guns, particularly the drillings. Since I have the first two, I’m going for a Doug Turnbull 1886 or a side by side 20 gauge over .223 drilling.”

Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “More than likely it would have to be a bolt action .30-06. The reliability is legendary on a wide range of game animals and factory ammunition has still been available at my local stores even in these tough times.”

.30-06 Springfield cartridge diagram

Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “If I had to boil it all down to one gun, it would probably be a .30-06. I have a Remington 700C (custom shop gun) that has worked very well for anything and everything I have ever wanted to do with it.”

Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “A .22 Rimfire.”

Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “Remington 700 in .308 Winchester.”

Sierra Bullets Gun list .30-06 Springfield .308 Winchester

VP – Sales & Marketing Matt Reams answered: “A light weight Kimber in 25-06.”

Production Toolsetter Brad Vansell answered: “Savage weather warrior 7mm-08 is my rifle of choice.”

Production Toolsetter Dan Mahnken answered: “The .308 Winchester rifle — [based on the] wide range of bullets made and the wide range of things that one can hunt with it.”

Process Engineer David Palm answered: “Savage action 243 Winchester.”

Ballistic Technician Gary Prisendorf answered: “Probably a .22 LR. It may not be the best choice, but you could use it for about anything if you really had to.”

Production Manager Chris Hatfield answered: “Beretta A300 Outlander 12 gauge.”

Machine Shop Manager Craig Westermier answered: “12 gauge shotgun.”

This article original appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

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