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I've spent the last 2 weeks reading everything I could find on that question and have lost track of which post was where but I'm sure atleast a few were here so I apologize for reiterating it but I want to ask some questions I didn't see answered anywhere else.

While I've read tons of stories from people who bought a service grade and got an absolutely beautiful rifle that fired flawlessly, those stories are also from years ago and I'm afraid they might've become outdated. A lot of time has passed, these Garands won't last forever, and for the last 6ish months the CMP has only listed HRA's as available which accounted for less than 20% of total manufactured Garands. Basically I'm worried that Garands which were previously passed over for not being ideal are now really the only ones left so does anyone know anything about the roughly current quality of CMP service grade Garands?

This brings up the special HRA's. I noticed one person posted just a few threads down from this one just got an HRA Special and it looks like he's pretty happy with it, does anyone else have any experience with them and whether or not they're worth the extra $350? I'd prefer to spend that $350 on ammo, a bayonet and scabbard, and a sling but I care more about getting a reliable and durable Garand.

Going with durable how well does the wood stock of service grade garands usually hold up? Stocks of special grade Garands? I heard you can laminate them or put oil on or something to protect against the elements, how well does that work and what process do you guys recommend? If possible I don't want the stock to look glazed and shiny. In terms of overall durability I'd like to get a Garand which will last me a very long time (years and years) do I need to get a special grade to expect that lifespan or would a service grade do the trick? I'm pretty new to this and so I don't have much experience with DIY maintenance aside from how to take it apart and clean it so keep that in mind too.
 

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A service grade will more than likely be everything you will need. If you don't like the stock they send you- you can buy a new one or trade for whatever you do like. This rifle will outlast you with very basic care.
 

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I received my HRA 476 mil service grade back in January and it was i think better than expected and could have passed as a special. Looked to be as an action only, barely shot if ever shot fitted in a cmp stock. not sure if its worth spending the extra $$ on a special when the service grades are are top notch
 

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I think there is intirely too much hand wringing going on over these Garands. There is so much conflicting info on what is still in their warehouse that it will make your head spin. Don't forget that as soon as the current admin in DC hits the door, there are a lot of Korean M1s that will come in.
 

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I think you need to do more research before buying…

Some of your comments seem to worry about looks vs how it shoots. With an SG, what you get is what you get (unless you can hand pick)-sometimes the stocks are oil soaked and shiny (and useless), sometimes they a in good shape, sometimes your going to get in between that-servicable, but mismatched and showing wear. Whereas an CMPSpecial you will get a new stock that needs some minor fitting to get it to shoot perfectly.

People's subjective opinions of SG are just that. There are some that look and shoot well, what is shooting well-4" at 100 and your happy? Sometimes you get a toasted barrel.

The SGS are new wood on a correct rifle. The CMP specials are new wood on refinished parts with a new barrel. SG are serviceable rifles that exhibit use.

If your looking to get a collectable weapon, you need to have deep pockets and go on the secondary market or the CMP auction site.

If your looking for an older, used, patina weapon, and are not worried that parts/stock are not perfect and looking to save a few bucks-The SG will do.

If you looking for something to hit the occasional match with, tune up to shoot and not worry about using a more collectable rifle-with a barrel that you know the history/chamber/function…well, CMP Special (they come with a web sling)

FWIW, just show my newer CMP special yesterday in a JC match, shot pretty well with HXP. Whatever rifle you get I encourage you to get your rifle and go out and shoot some CMP games/matches. Great learning experience.

I have 5 M1s, one is collectable and will not get shot, one CMP special, two FG and one SG. The FGs will get new barrels this year. The CMP special I shot yesterday is below, I would look hard at this offering:



Welcome to the forum...
 

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First off, welcome to the forum.

Second, I congratulate you on your quest for a M1 Garand. Whatever you get, utter disappointment will more than likely not be your reaction upon receiving one.

Third, make sure you get the nomenclature of the CMP's grading system down. It can get confusing at times. neiltus did a good job at describing each of these. I only bring this up because in your post you mention "service grade specials" but these are not currently being offered by the CMP as they sold out of them a few months back. What they generally have now are either HRA Service Grades or HRA CMP Specials (in both 30-.06 and .308). The extra $325 you're paying for the CMP Special vis-a-vis the Service Grade is that in addition to a new Criterion barrel and new furniture, all parts are supposed to be in spec and reparked. Whereas with a Service Grade you will get a good rifle, its wear and condition will fall within certain parameters as described in their condition on the CMP page, none of which is "new." So, if you want to be absolutely certain the condition of the rifle you're buying and can not pick it out personally, the extra $325 may be worth it. However, other than the stock not being the greatest condition, I have yet to see anyone really, really upset with a Service Grade either.

And if you get some new wood, there are a few things you can do with it. Here is a thread I just posted of a HRA Service Grade Special I just completed finishing the stock (it looked just like the stock in neiltus' post above before I started working on it).

Good luck and good shootin.
 

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To the OP's comments: order your M1 Garand Service Grade now. It doesn't matter if its an HRA or SA; you are getting a great USGI-issued rifle for the money. CMP customers expectations are often far exceeded with the rifle that's delivered.

If there's a problem, CMP will correct it. I returned an op rod that wasn't properly curved and it hung up rubbing on the stock. I've seen Service Grades sent with a broken op rod spring. The respective owner called CMP and a new spring was immediately sent. But, in all the M1 Garand rifles I've seen delivered by the CMP, I've not seen a post war issued Service Grade with a shot-out barrel. The barrels usually gauge very well, sometimes nearly new.

FWIW, I shoot CMP Matches with a Field Grade M1 Garand. Yes, I changed a very few parts, such as pins and springs. (You can also use an NM marked op rod.) If I shoot my favorite recipe, it hits the x-ring with a good hold and good sight picture at 200 yds.

When you get the rifle, disassemble it, get rid of any grease inside the bolt and bore (if any). That firing pin has to be free floating. There are threads on properly lubing your rifle as well as how to tighten the internals and fit the barreled action into the stock.

Reassemble, get decent ammo for the range, and test it. HXP milsurp ammo is sometimes very accurate, but some rifles don't like it.

Then you can decide on whether you want to dress up the rifle in new wood, make it collector correct, put it into a laminate stock, or turn the rifle into a wall hanger.

IMHO, a CMP Special Grade is for the person who wants a great shooting rifle - new barrel, tight fitting stock that can be relieved, and newly refinished parts.

If you have the funds, you ought to order your rifle now.
 

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Not being a collector, I wanted an M1 Garand for shooting/use and felt that the CMP Special, 308 , would be a good one since rifle is in reality an arsenal rebuild w/ new barrel, refinished or new parts throughout, replacement stock, etc. Had spare NM rear sight and front sight components and sent off to Ronnie Morris for proper bedding, trigger tuning, etc. and for less than 1500.00 have a very fine general purpose shooter capable of match performance as well. Would not worry about the longevity of the Garand of whatever level for if anything they are durable for a long time. The term "battle proven design" is interchangeable with M1 Garand more so than any other U.S. Serv. rifle. JMO.
 

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I have an order in for an HRA Service Grade. Thought about a CMP Special, but I'll be sending it off to Shuff's for the Mini-G treatment, so chopping up a "new" rifle really didnt make sense.

My next CMP order will be a "Special".
GI2

If I were you, I'd get a CMP Special. You'll be happy you spent the extra money. The ammo just goes away anyway.
 

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If you want a rifle that looks brand new get the Special all reparked with new commercial stock and barrel for just under $1000
IMO the best deal going is the standard Service Grade, yes it will have signs of use but for $625 you cant beat it
 

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I believe I am the referenced guy in the OP GI1, but I have to say...no matter what you get, Service or Special, once that beautiful piece of steel and wood shows up to your door...I doubt you will have anything bad to say.

Even if you are not pleased---- fixing her up, getting her a new stock, or maybe finishing the stock yourself... can be and is half of the fun for most people. It gives you a pride in your weapon, that you helped make the way it is, and you will not get that with a completely finished weapon.

I know I am very excited to throw a few coats of oil on my stock and then see what she looks like...the CMP stocks on the Special Grade only come with a Stain on them, you get to pick and choose your finish, which appealed to me greatly.

Gus Fisher has a great thread on refinishing stocks if you are interested in that.

I'll poke around for it.
 

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2 things in neiltus's message hit it on the head. Subjectivity makes it impossible to decipher what someone else's read on their new CMP rifle would measure on your scale if that same stick was in your hands.

But most importantly, no way to predict, you get what you get. And I will take that a step further and say that applies to a special to some degree as well.

I think the SG is a better bet most of the time. You are more than likely able to have pleasant surprises. Where you may have to much expectation with a special. The new stock as nieltus pointed out may take some work. How much work really depends.

I have 2 Specials, and they ran on both ends of that scale. First one was about as pristine as a 60 year old rifle could be, and it fit beautifully in the new Boyd stock, cycled perfectly and shoots great. The second one was a Greek return, did not have all orig finish parts (bullet guide/follower/hammer all Greek black) and had cycling issues from op rod binding in the stock as well as rubbing the lower band and ferrule.

Fingers crossed for you, hopefully you get one that is good to go.
 

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All have posted excellent advice. Personally, I would not be afraid to purchase a Service Grade. Why? I own 2 field grades and they are flawless. Sure, there is definitely more wear on the receiver (it's shiny instead of the matte parkerized finish), the stock has dents, but it goes bang and hits where I am aiming. My brother bought a service grade SA. In my opinion, the overall finish/look, is excellent. Very little discoloring/wear on the receiver and it performs flawlessy too! Again, as previously posted it is subjective. I can hit where I am aiming but I've never sat down and measured my groups to provide an accurate MOA.

As I said, I wouldn't hesitate to get a service grade. If you're looking for a pretty rifle, with a new parts, get the special!

It's a tough decision, but I don't think you could go wrong with either.
 
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