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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Finally broke down a bought a CMP M1 Garand (actually two).

 The M1 does my talking! Are you careful what you say or write - Library

I have intended to buy an M1 Garand since the early 90's and for whatever reason I did not. About four years ago, I traded for one at a local gun show. It was a H&R that was pretty nice. I bought a few enbloc clips and took those and the rifle home. I cleaned the Garand that Saturday afternoon. I took it back to the show on Sunday and traded it.  In the last couple of years, two of my friend have bought Garands through the Civilian Marksmanships Store (South) in Anniston, Alabama. They had been encouraging me to "take the plunge". I had researched "what was required" to purchase through CMP and gathered together my documentation. Buying from CMP was much easier than I had imagined. The process of entering the store and selecting a rifle was a little different due to COVID, but everything flowed smoothly . The store opened at eight. I arrived at 6:15 AM. There were two guys from California, one from Texas, and one from Florida that I spoke with while waiting. I was number seven in line and it was first come, first serve. The CMP folks would allow six shoppers in the store for thirty minutes. Once one came out, another shopper could go inside to browse and buy. I had printed off and filled out the forms I would need from the CMP website. The CMP staff had a table set up outside of the door with the same forms. There were also masks and gloves on the table which shoppers had to wear while inside the store. The CMP staff was very helpful and eager to work with potential buyers.  Once inside there were varying grades of M1 Garands, some real nice 1903 Springfields, P-17 Winchesters, ball caps, coffee mugs, ammo, enbloc clips, bandoleros, cleaning kits, and other accessories. I also saw one Springfield 1892-99 Krag Jorgensen rifle for sale. The long story short is I bought a nice "Service Grade" 1945 Springfield M1 Garand. The muzzle gauged "0" and the throat was a "1". In my opinion the rifle is in very good condition. There were only a few small dings in the wood stock and the finish on the metal was nice. Being a late 1945 production and judging from the condition, I would say the rifle never made it out of a rack during WW2. Here are a couple of pictures. 

CMP allows a person to buy eight rifles a year (they will even mail them, but the process isn't a quick as walking in a picking out a rifle). After eating some breakfast and giving the matter some thought, I decided to go back and buy a second rifle. That rifle was "field grade". Like all CMP rifles, it had been thoroughly inspected, test fired, graded, and priced accordingly. It was 1942 Springfield receiver that had been re-barreled in 1952. The metal showed wear and the GI stock had some dings, but the rifle was solid (muzzle gauged "1" and the the throat "2").  Both rifles came with a certificate of authenticity, one enbloc clip, a hard case, instructional manual, and a credit for two hours of range time at the CMP state of the art firing range. I also bought 200 rounds of .30-.06 150 gr. ammo. Here is a photo of the field grade rifle.

I am a novice when it comes to Garands. I did watch several videos pertaining to zeroing a Garand, etc. (yes there is a giant Garand "rabbit hole" on the interweb). I took the rifle out and the first shot was in the black. By the fourth shot, I was cutting dead center. This was at 25 yards. Because of time constraints I only fired ten rounds through the rifle, but it was a tack driver. I am looking forward to trying longer distances when weather and life permits. Here are a few links that might prove helpful to prospective Garand buyers:

Five Reasons to Buy a Garand:


Garand Collector's Assoc.:


Civilian Marksmanship Program Eligibility Requirements with links to other CMP services:     


                                            UPDATE regarding ammunition for the M1 Garand. 




  1. http://www.garandgear.com/m1-garand-grease
    how to grease the M1. also, Garand Gear sells a modern gas plug that allows more leeway in the ammo you shoot without bending the op rod.

    1. I read somewhere a few years ago that modern, i.e. post 1970ish ammo can do damage to a WWII era Garand due to significantly increased pressure generated from modern powders in the '06 ammo produced these days.

      Not ever having owned or shot one I can't attest to whether that's true or not.

      Nice purchase!


    2. Watch the video that Jeff posted. It clears up the modern ammo myth.

  2. https://youtu.be/kgHhnPhv2bU

    I don't want to own an M1, but would love to shoot it !!!

  3. Nice! You need all three! A Krag, an 03 Springfield and the M1!

    Eeeeerrrrrrmmmm... after that, an M14, and AR15...😊👍

  4. Jealous. It is a great store. You have some nice ones!
    Paul J

  5. also, you got some really good barrels there. those are low erosion numbers!

  6. 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 8 8

    M1/M1A Mechanical Zero Based on 150 gn M2 ball

    Run rear sight down until it stops

    Go up nine(9) clicks, you are now zeroed at 100 yd. You may go a maximum of eleven clicks to achieve this.

    For 200 yd three additional clicks up.

    For 300 yd 3 more clicks

    400 yd 4 more clicks

    500 yd 4 more clicks

    600 yd 5 more clicks

    700 yd 5 more clicks

    800 yd 6 more clicks

    900 yd 8 more clicks

    1000 yd 8 more clicks


    1. Thanks Greenman. That is EXACTLY how I began my zero. I had to go up one more click to be where I needed to be for elevation. Of course, I could have miscounted. I had to go two clicks left on the windage to put me in the bullseye. It took less than twenty minutes!

  7. Out of curriosity what kind of price range do N1's go for?

    Up here in Canada an original one can be up above $700 or $400 for a chinese clone.
    You can occassionally find and SMLE for $250 to $300 but even those are getting pricey.


    1. As recent as two years ago, M1s at gun shows started around $750. It is like the prices went in cycles of
      $600-900 until recently. A friend of mine in Knoxville told me finding even a shooter for less than a grand is rare. The "field grade" I bought was $650 plus tax. The "service grade" had a tag of $850 I believe. My buddy who is Garand guru said I was very lucky to have found a rifle in that condition for such a low price. He said that rifle being all matching, 1945, with that cartouche on the stock, and gauging as it did, the rifle would bring $2,500 easily. He said he been going to CMP for 15 years and never found on in a rack that nice. I honestly do not know. There is a grade called "special" at CMP that has new stocks, new barrels, and have been re-parkerized for $650.00. I looked at them and they were very nice, but I wanted G.I. issue.

  8. Addnl.

    Remember to count back down for targets closer in.

    Some front sights will not zero at 11 clicks. These are out of spec., too short.


  9. Hey Jeffrey;

    I bought a "Winchester" Garand there in 2018, and am pleased as punch after my misadventures with my first one, go read my blog about my adventures, LOL. When you go buy ammo, make sure that it is 150 grain, nothing "hotter" for it will damage the "Oprod" which cycles the Garand action. Have fun shooting it :)

  10. you should buy more ammo. regular hunting 30-06 ammo won't work.

    and it's a hell of a deal anyway (esp if you can still get the kind already in clips)

    1. I paid $202 and some change for the 200 rounds I bought at CMP. It was modern, non-corrosive, 150 grain, designed specifically for the M1 Garand. It was loose in the box and did not include any clips. There were clips at the store and were less than a dollar apiece for 25. A dollar a round is not terrible, but a little pricey. Before the "scamdemic", Priv-Partizin was selling 150 grain for the M1 Garand for .57 cents per round. That is not bad at all. I don't know when the U.S. stopped using corrosive ammo, but the "spam" cans on stripper clips are "crazy high" right now anyway. Like all ammo, 150 grain .30-.06 is either the price of Gold or non-existent. If push comes to shove, I think I can reload it for .25-.30 per round using my brass which isn't bad either.

  11. Thanks MrGarabaldi and all for the information and congratulations. As I said earlier, I am a total novice when it comes to Garands. However, I look forward to learning. I can already tell that I like shooting the 9.5 lb piece of historical Americana! Regarding the "modern" rounds, one of the guys at CMP cautioned me about high pressure damaging the operating rod or even the rear of the receiver. My Garand "go to guy" who currently owns 13 told me to "shoot whatever in them". "They are beefy guns and can take it". That is not to say that modern ammo has not broken or bent an operating rod before, but he says there was probably a pre-existing condition which coupled with "hotter" ammo caused the problem to surface (I guess like COVID LOL!). I am posting an UPDATE which will show a very informative video of how the M1 Garand was not designed around the 150 grain cartridge, but quite contrary. The narrator conducts his own tests with various loads vs. some of the WW2 ammo (which was surplus from years prior and is every bit as "hot" as the M2 ball 150 grain). It is about 16 minutes long, but well worth the watch if Garands interest a person. More later.

    1. the Garand Gear has their new gas plug with a hollowed out backside which slows down the pressure curve enough to make modern hunting ammo (150 gr.) safe to shoot. I bought one for all of my Garands. I still only shoot ball ammo, but I have some Dutch ammo that seems to be hotter than LC ball.

    2. Thanks Ichota. I have seen those, Brownell's and another one I cannot recall the name (Schuster???). I don't plan to hammer away with 220 grain Core-Lokt or Speer Hot Core. I'll probably play it safe if I decide to shoot more than a handful of rounds and stick with the 150 grain. One advantage I see to buying the adjustable gas plug is a fellar could shoot "whatever" he can get my hands on with peace of mind. Some of the videos I have watched with people using these aftermarket plugs, they will admit that the rifle's gas system/operating rod can be slowed by nearly two thirds using M2 150 grain ball and the gun still functions correctly. I do currently have 150 grain JSP in my shooter propped up beside my front door just in case 'Ol Bucky decides to start chasing one of the eight does that have been hanging out in my front yard. LOL.

  12. Do Not fire regular hunting 30-06 ammo in it. You will bend the op-rod and risk cracking the reciever. Fire only ammo that is marked M1 rifle safe. Look up the specs for M1 and M2 ball ammo. Powder like IMR 4895 is the prefered and original powder used for these rifles.

  13. It is on my bucket list. Along With a 03 Springfield and a P-17 then an M-1A I already have a M-=1 Carbine and an AR-15

  14. You will never regret your purchase. Just watch your thumb.

  15. Congrats, sir. Well done.

    So here's my "old guy back in the day" story. Still have my M1 and paperwork from (back then) DCM. Bought it in 1983 for $121.96. IIRC, you could only buy one a year then. Lived in what used to be Northern California, and shot NRA Highpower at area DCM clubs. These clubs had M1's from DCM on permanent load status, and were allowed to draw ammo for matches each year from Sharpe Army Depot. If you were shooting a rifle in 30-06, you could draw ammo for the match, but they didn't require you to actually shoot that ammo in the match. I shot my handloads.

    When DCM was forced to become CMP, we had to purchase the ammo, but it was still stupid cheap. Over a couple of decades of competition, I acquired a fair stash of LC 69 ball in the clip, in the bandoleers, in the ammo cans.

    Here's a WWII training film, using professional actors. Enjoy--


  16. they make a small lens that goes in the rear sight...for us old guys with eyes that don't cooperate as much as they used to. highly recommended, and match legal in everything but the John Garand matches.


    if you're not using it for matches and plan a more "social" use, a scout scope is a good idea.

    as far as bending op rods...most of that is from people using hunting loads...seems a combination of "my brother sisters cousin bent an op rod" and poor maintenance.


  17. Articles like this get me all misty eyed. I went through basic training in 1979 with an M1 Garand, and have wanted one ever since. Time to get off my butt and buy one.

    1. Good luck Swede. I hope you find yourself a "goodun".

  18. Very nice! My Dad gave me his CMP Springfield Garand he bought maybe 15 years ago. It looks like it spent some time in Korea. The stock is all dinged up, but the rest of the rifle is in very good condition. Free is hard to complain about.

  19. FYI: Second round of 1911 lottery starts Jan 4, 2021. I you were able to purchase a 1911 in the first round you are not eligible for the second round.

    I am planning a trip to Anniston soon to see what is available. If I can't find anything I will get on the waiting list.

  20. More M-1 stuff--


    More M-1's for Vets--



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