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Depends. Just looking for a shooter to learn on or a collector piece? I have only two, one is a DCM gun that is a late 5.7 mil H&R receiver with myriad parts, barrel is SA. Excellent rifle. Other is a CMP rifle that came to me via an auction site. SA receiver with new Criterion barrel and mix of parts and new stock.
Had to let Ted Brown work some magic on it to make it function but it does now and is a fun shooter too.
The only neg I have heard on the makers was avoid the International Harvester if possible. My brothers DCM rifle was such and even with some magic pixie dust sprinkled over it, it never really ran right. Others MMV on that one, no doubt.
I think most any old M1 with a decent barrel is worth having. Parts can be swapped out as needed, stocks too. Bedding helps them shoot tighter but for a plinker who cares?
Have fun in the search.
I have an IHC from CMP in 06 and it runs like a sewing machine.
 

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I got really lucky on my first CMP purchase. A service grade SA M1 Garand made in Dec. 1944. Showed up at my house with the original barrel. I heard that was kind of rare. Also has a beautiful stock on it. I don't remember if there are any marks on the stock, but the wood is really, really nice and the stock and handguard actually seem to match as if coming from the same area of the same tree. Grain and color match.

The next time I went to the CMP North Store. Nothing we bought had the original barrels on them. All were WW2 SA rifles. One with a VAR barrel, one was a rack grade Greek return (I chose that one as it had a like new LMR barrel on it from the early 50's). We bought for barrel condition, not wood condition or metal surface condition. We bought them to shoot.

The next couple were also picked out during a trip to the North Store. They are H&Rs I bought as barreled receivers.

One thing I will mention, with the talk of original/matching rifles, is that some of the early rifles from H&R and IHC contained parts from SA as the two commercial factories had some start up issues making/sourcing some parts. In order to get rifles out the door, on schedule, the were allowed to receive/install known good parts from SA (or the sources used by SA and sitting in a military armory/warehouse.
 

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I just re-read the OP, and maybe my first post was a little off the mark. If I were going to buy a Garand, here are the things I would check.

1. Field strip the rifle and perform the tilt test.
2. While the rifle is disassembled, check all metal for corrosion or pitting. Note that many got pitted in the field and were arsenal repaired, and are good-to-go functionally. But it does affect value.
3. Gently attempt to wiggle the gas cylinder side to side. If it moves much, it affects accuracy, and the splines will need to be peened.
4. Inspect the bore and inside of the gas cylinder.
5. Reassemble the rifle. When installing the trigger group, check the tension on closing the trigger guard. A loose lockup equals a stock that will have to be bedded or replaced.
6. Test the sight adjustment knobs. If they malfunction, check that the screws are tight and try again. If they are tight and it still malfunctions, you have a problem to correct.
7. Turn the rifle upside down and look at the op rod inside the upper handguard. Manually cycle the action and check to see if the op rod is rubbing on either side of the handguard. If it makes contact, you may need to relieve the handguard, or you may have a bent op rod.
8. Inspect the stock and handguards for cracks.
9. If you can get a full clip of snap caps, insert the clip of dummy ammunition and check that the bolt releases. You may have to bump the charging handle to get it to go forward. If it doesn't release, the rifle has a timing issue.

A lot of guys at gun shows won't want you disassembling their rifle, and it is a big request. It's also a reasonable request given the age and wear of these rifles. Walk away if they won't allow a thorough inspection.

The CMP did allow me to disassemble the rifle when I bought mine in 2011. I don't know if they still do. However, they warranty their rifles, so it is much less of a concern.

Hope this helps.
 

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Don't get hung up on a nice rebuild. In particular, the LEAD (Letterkenny Army Depot) rebuilds have shot up on the collector board. Not only collectible but also really good shooters with low number TE and ME.
 

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The only neg I have heard on the makers was avoid the International Harvester if possible..
I have been messing with garands for over 20 years and have never heard this before. I have owned a couple IHCs and they functioned just as well as any other maker
No not the first time I've heard this and it goes back many, many years, IHC had the most issues getting up and running so there QC at first wasn't so good for the first time rifle maker.

As a result, or weather there was any truth too the above many of those IHC rifles were loaned/sold too the Shaw's Iran.
 

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No not the first time I've heard this and it goes back many, many years, IHC had the most issues getting up and running so there QC at first wasn't so good for the first time rifle maker.

As a result, or weather there was any truth too the above many of those IHC rifles were loaned/sold too the Shaw's Iran.
I was told Springfield sent acceptance testing equipment with the wrong springs to IHC and H&R. H&R found the problem and assisted IHC in fixing the test equipment.
 

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I was told Springfield sent acceptance testing equipment with the wrong springs to IHC and H&R. H&R found the problem and assisted IHC in fixing the test equipment.
I've heard many rumors over the years about early IHC and for me it started in the early 90's. I've heard of suspect heat treatment to wrong machining that couldn't be corrected. I also heard that too get IHC up and rolling both SA and H&R passed them unfinished receivers just too get them up too speed. How much of it, if any of it is true, I don't know.....
 

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OK , now I know what you are speaking of. Those so called problem rifles were never issued. These early rifles did not pass Ordanace testings so were sent back for repairs. There were some problems with heat treatment, gas cylinders ,lock screws,etc. also machining problems
Again, these rifles were never issued so no one can say IHC rifles are problematic. IHC used receivers manufactured by SA and then HRA at very end. Had LMR subcontract barrels which were known for being some of the best most accurate barrels made.
Yes IHC had growing pains but they turned out quality rifles
 

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I just re-read the OP, and maybe my first post was a little off the mark. If I were going to buy a Garand, here are the things I would check ....

* * * A lot of guys at gun shows won't want you disassembling their rifle, and it is a big request. It's also a reasonable request given the age and wear of these rifles. Walk away if they won't allow a thorough inspection.
If by 'a lot of guys' you're talking about gun-show dealers, they are presumptively thieves when it comes to Garands. Their M1 stuff - rifles and parts - is virtually guaranteed to be over-priced, shot-to-snot, out-of-spec junk.

Simple rule: don't be an M1 from a gun-show dealer.

The CMP did allow me to disassemble the rifle when I bought mine in 2011. I don't know if they still do. However, they warranty their rifles, so it is much less of a concern.
Buying an M1 from the CMP is never a wrong decision. And although it's rather remote given how many Garands they sell, if a functioning problem does occur, CMP's armorers will fix it so it runs right.
 

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I have been messing with garands for over 20 years and have never heard this before. I have owned a couple IHCs and they functioned just as well as any other maker
I got one (IHC) from the CMP that was almost new in appearance. It looked like it had been assembled from leftover parts in the 60's. Barrel looked like it had never had more than a couple rounds down it. Parkerizing on parts didn't even have wear marks. Shot it (and often won ) in CMP matches. Great shooter
 

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While CMP is a great option, if you limit yourself to them only you will be missing out on some really great rifles.
I have bought more rifles on the secondary market than from CMP over the last 8 years. They are better than what CMP has been selling in that timeframe. Did I pay more? Yes, Did I get something I couldn't have got from CMP? Yes
 

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I totally recommend CMP for service grade Garands.

I bought 6 in the last year.
One had a 6 digit receiver and one was a Marine Corps rebuild.
The others were easily worth the $750.

I suggest that if you have good credit , to buy the maximum number allowed during the year all at once.
Pick the best two and trade or sell the others.

The 6 digit and the USMC rebuild repaid half my investment.
No complaints about the CMP.
 

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Years ago I paid more than I should have for a D model with the scope and all components still in the wrappers. I could have saved it as an investment, but after about 5 minutes of thinking, I put the thing together and took it to the range. If this is your first M1, buy something you'll shoot thousands of rounds through and enjoy that ping every 8 rounds. Later if you want a safe queen, then shop around for that perfect one.
 

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If by 'a lot of guys' you're talking about gun-show dealers, they are presumptively thieves when it comes to Garands. Their M1 stuff - rifles and parts - is virtually guaranteed to be over-priced, shot-to-snot, out-of-spec junk.

Simple rule: don't be an M1 from a gun-show dealer.



Buying an M1 from the CMP is never a wrong decision. And although it's rather remote given how many Garands they sell, if a functioning problem does occur, CMP's armorers will fix it so it runs right.
While I mostly agree, I have seen good M1's at gun shows and gun shops. For all the reasons you point out, it is definitely a buyer beware situation. I don't think people should completely rule out sources other than the CMP though. Not everyone wants to jump through the hoops to qualify for a CMP purchase, even if you and I think it's worth it.

The biggest issue with purchasing outside the CMP is that most sellers are charging more for the same rifle. Some guys are flipping CMP rifles at a profit. (I am stating this for the benefit of those not familiar with the M1 market.)

Unquestionably the CMP is the best deal you can get on an M1.
 

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While I mostly agree, I have seen good M1's at gun shows and gun shops. For all the reasons you point out, it is definitely a buyer beware situation. I don't think people should completely rule out sources other than the CMP though. Not everyone wants to jump through the hoops to qualify for a CMP purchase, even if you and I think it's worth it.

The biggest issue with purchasing outside the CMP is that most sellers are charging more for the same rifle. Some guys are flipping CMP rifles at a profit. (I am stating this for the benefit of those not familiar with the M1 market.)

Unquestionably the CMP is the best deal you can get on an M1.
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I don't understand what "jump through the hoops" means about the CMP.

It's an easy purchase.

All you need to do is download the form, add your information, get it notarized and mail it.
Took all of 60 minutes.

All my Garands came within 6 weeks.

Once that you have your buyer number all you need to do is send in the order. No notary or anything.

But , by all means, if you want to spend $300-$400 more for a Garand then you can go to a show or dealer.
 

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+ 1 for CMP. They absolutely stand behind what they sell. I had an issue with one of mine and they sent me a new oprod and gas cylinder after working with a tech on the phone while I checked some specs.FWIW I always put a post-t-note on my orders asking kindly for GI wood if possible and other than a un-issued H&R, they have come through.
 

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While CMP is a great option, if you limit yourself to them only you will be missing out on some really great rifles.
I have bought more rifles on the secondary market than from CMP over the last 8 years. They are better than what CMP has been selling in that timeframe. Did I pay more? Yes, Did I get something I couldn't have got from CMP? Yes
Originally Posted by DetroitMan View Post
While I mostly agree, I have seen good M1's at gun shows and gun shops. For all the reasons you point out, it is definitely a buyer beware situation. I don't think people should completely rule out sources other than the CMP though. Not everyone wants to jump through the hoops to qualify for a CMP purchase, even if you and I think it's worth it.
The biggest issue with purchasing outside the CMP is that most sellers are charging more for the same rifle. Some guys are flipping CMP rifles at a profit. (I am stating this for the benefit of those not familiar with the M1 market.)
Unquestionably the CMP is the best deal you can get on an M1.

Actually I should've been more clear ...

To Orlando's point, I too have acquired some nice M1s from non-CMP sources, one being a professional acquaintance who wanted to sell his father's 'old Garand.' ... $600 later, that one turned out to be a DCM Winchester-rebuild that his Dad had purchased in the late '70s/early '80s and had only 'test-fired' with a few clips. It would rate on the higher end of 'Service Grade,' such as what you used to see at the CMP stores back in the early 2000s.

The other source is a LGS near me whose owner and gunsmith I know. They'll call me whenever a Garand comes in on consignment.

Some of these have been, literally, 'estate sale' M1s where a widow walks in and says she's got 'X number of my late husband's rifles in the trunk of my car out there, and I want to get rid of them!'

You never know what Hubby might've been keeping in his safe all these years or where he sourced them from, especially if he was ex-military.

Out of, say, ten such phone calls over the years, I've passed on at least four or five of these 'gun store' M1s due to condition, asking price, or simply because I saw nothing in them that was more interesting or useful than the many M1s I already own - both as 'shooters' and 'collectors.' The rejects were basically low-grade mixmasters, and I've become more picky when eyeballing Garands as far as what I'll buy.

On the other hand, two years ago in the same LGS, I literally stole an all-correct, presumptively all-original M1 built in Nov. 1942 and wearing a WW1-era leather sling. Again this one, along with about 5 or 6 other unwanted guns, were walked in by a family member of a long dead ex-Mil officer. Not a lot of detail was given, but my contact said he thought the guy's Gramps had served in WW2.

Long story short: yeah, you can still score decent-condition and even unusual specimens of the breed from non-CMP sources. But my opinion is, that'll never be your average gun show.

One exception there might be when a private owner brings an M1 he wants to sell to the show. He's not a table dealer. So that one might well be worth scrutinizing, and asking where he got it and does he have any related CMP/DCM paperwork?

Even then, when the haggling begins, the condition, legitimacy of the various parts (no repo crap), and obviously asking price, are all critical.

Just my opinion ...
 

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I don't understand what "jump through the hoops" means about the CMP.

It's an easy purchase.

All you need to do is download the form, add your information, get it notarized and mail it.
Took all of 60 minutes.

All my Garands came within 6 weeks.

Once that you have your buyer number all you need to do is send in the order. No notary or anything.

But , by all means, if you want to spend $300-$400 more for a Garand then you can go to a show or dealer.
When I purchased mine in 2011, you had to show proof of some firearms safety training and belong to a CMP affiliated club. Maybe they dropped those requirements; I haven't looked in a while. For some people those are barriers.

I am very much for the CMP and I advise everyone who doesn't know about the M1 to get their first one from them. But not everyone wants to go that way, and I am trying to provide information for them too.
 
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