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M1 Garand Cross-road
December 4, 2017
3:02 pm
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About 20 years ago I was offered an M1 Garand and I took it for two reasons, (1) it was cheap – (2) it had a Winchester receiver. The reason it was cheap was due to a Blue Sky barrel stamp and the stock had the finish sanded off of it.

I have decided to make this M1 a winter project and I am trying to decide which way to take this gun.

Do I try to find a proper stock and make it appear more original?

Do I sporterize it?

Do I just refinish the stock and keep it as is.

According to this article https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/5/23/the-winchester-garand/ – Winchester produce 513,000 Garands and most of them went back to the armory for rebuilding/repair. This by no means is a rare rifle unless one can be found fitted with all Winchester parts and non-parkerized. The Blue Sky stamps were used on M1’s being imported from South Korea in the ’80 & 90’s which makes these even more undesirable.

Please help me with what is best for this M1 which will help me with my cross-road decision.

 

JC

December 4, 2017
5:43 pm
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Odds are the rifle has been refinished and really not worthy of a restoration. A correct stock with proper cartouches, if you could find one, would probably cost more than what the rifle cost. An unaltered Winchester, or Springfield, for that matter, is a rare find these days. All are very expensive some bringing over $3,000++ and that’s a plane Jane rifle. Even a correct sling may set you back over $200.

No sense in spending $$$ on this rifle. Just make it look good, and shoot it.  Big Larry

December 4, 2017
5:58 pm
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Hi JC,

Even though your rifle may not be collectable, I feel any of these old battle vets are worthy of a little extra attention and TLC, they certainly earned it serving our country. 

Just so we are clear, all of the M1 Garands were phosphate coated (parkerized) when produced.  If you find a “blued” M1 Garand receiver it has been refinished.  So, your rifle may, or may not have the “original” phosphate finish.  There are some ways to tell if you are curious. 

Also, ALL of the Winchester M1 Garands were produced during WWII and most probably saw U.S. service before they were loaned or sold to other countries.    After WWII Garands were shipped to countries all over the world such as Italy and Greece as part of the U.S. Military Assistance Program (MAP).  The M1 Garands that ended up in South Korea were shipped there well after WWII so that does not detract from the old gal’s service history at all.

It sounds like the only downside to your Garand is the import marked barrel and refinished stock.  Is your barrel the original Winchester barrel?  Look for the barrel marking near the op-rod slot in the upper handguard by retracting the op-rod to the rear.  It should also be dated with a month and year which is visible without disassembly.  If the barrel is original with a decent bore, throat and muzzle measurement I would keep it as-is.  If not, Criterion makes a very good mil-spec replacement barrel that will improve the accuracy.

Depending upon how much the stock has been sanded and the profile altered dictates what you should do with it.  If it is just a standard arsenal overhaul light sanding then I would keep it and just add more finish.  I use Fairtrimmer’s Military oX oil as it duplicates the original dipped linseed finish and is super easy to apply.  You can also replace the stock with a Dupage WWII profile stock set or one of the fat Boyd’s stocks if you prefer to give it a fresh look.

Here is the last M1 Garand I “spruced up” with a new (SA barrel) and Dupage stock.  Looks period, shoots great and pays homage to the original Winchester.  It is not a collectable rifle by any means but never fails to impress the kids with their black rifles at the range, especially when it rings the 500 yd gong with all 8 rounds.

Best Regards,

1.jpgImage Enlarger6.jpgImage Enlarger28.jpgImage Enlarger29.jpgImage Enlarger8.jpgImage Enlarger

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December 6, 2017
6:50 pm
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JWA

It appears that Fairtrimmer’s is not selling the produce due to an illness, do you know where I can source the millitary 0x oil?

 

JC

December 6, 2017
9:50 pm
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Wow, you are right!  I did not know he had been in the hospital, glad it looks like he will be ok.

Brownell’s used to sell it for him but he took the sales back in-house awhile ago.  I don’t think anyone else sells it at the moment.

Forgive me but I also forgot to mention that I follow-up the coats of Fairtrimmer’s with Tom’s 1/3 Mix (natural) to give the Garand a warm “glow”.  It contains some beeswax to help make the finish a bit more water resistant.  Tom’s Mix is basically “GunnyPaste” which contains about 1/3 beeswax, 1/3 Linseed oil and 1/3 drier (like acetone).  It merges/blends perfectly with the Fairtrimmer’s.  You can make your own (and I have) but REALLY prefer Tom’s nice clean creamy product instead of heating acetone over my gas stove in the kitchen to make my own…….

It looks like the Military oX will be back shipping in April but that does not help your current project.  I may be able to give you some but don’t know how much is left in my can until I get home this weekend.  Will keep you posted.

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December 6, 2017
11:51 pm
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JWA said
The M1 Garands that ended up in South Korea were shipped there well after WWII so that does not detract from the old gal’s service history at all…  

Century Arms, you probably know, had negotiated a deal to import SK’s remaining M1s (80,000 purportedly, and many more carbines), but the required State Dept. import license was denied by a certain gun-hating blonde b____.  No legislative action is necessary to authorize this or any other import deal, merely a presidential directive to the State Dept.  After the NRA’s tireless support of Trump, it’s mighty disappointing this situation has not been reversed. One of these would be the only M1 I can afford to buy. 

December 7, 2017
7:50 am
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CMP rifle. 100% WIN-13.   Big LarryDSCF1575.JPGImage Enlarger

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December 7, 2017
2:51 pm
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I am ordering a gas cylinder plug wrench and a M10 multi tool before I start. Here are a couple of low grade photos of its current condition.DSC00946.JPGImage EnlargerDSC00947.JPGImage Enlarger

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December 7, 2017
3:46 pm
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JCByers said
I am ordering a gas cylinder plug wrench and a M10 multi tool before I start. Here are a couple of low grade photos of its current condition.DSC00946.JPGImage EnlargerDSC00947.JPGImage Enlarger  

Looks pretty good. Looks like a birch stock. Good luck with it.  Big Larry

December 22, 2017
5:43 pm
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I agree with Big Larry.  It is still Parkerized and that’s good.  If that is birch, then it’s going to be tough making it look like walnut.  Clean the wood with acetone or lacquer thinner or mineral spirits and just apply a few coats of BLO and maybe a little bees wax to finish it off.  Then take it out and shoot the heck out of it.  Oh, you really don’t need that plug wrench or multi-tool as long as you have a big screwdriver.  Most everything else is held in place by pins and can be dismantled with the aid of a 30-06 bullet tip.  Gee, just don’t tap on a cartridge with hot primer!

 

022.JPGImage Enlarger  Sigh, if only I had a Winchester like Larry’s…if only I had a Winchester!

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December 23, 2017
2:20 am
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Bruce Koligian said
I agree with Big Larry.  It is still Parkerized and that’s good.  If that is birch, then it’s going to be tough making it look like walnut.  Clean the wood with acetone or lacquer thinner or mineral spirits and just apply a few coats of BLO and maybe a little bees wax to finish it off.  Then take it out and shoot the heck out of it.  Oh, you really don’t need that plug wrench or multi-tool as long as you have a big screwdriver.  Most everything else is held in place by pins and can be dismantled with the aid of a 30-06 bullet tip.  Gee, just don’t tap on a cartridge with hot primer!

 

022.JPGImage Enlarger  Sigh, if only I had a Winchester like Larry’s…if only I had a Winchester!  

Bruce, that rifle was a gift to me by my friend, a Police Chief, in a small town outside Birmingham. He has been known to send me many guns in the 30 years I have known him. Get this though, I have never met this gentleman, but we have kept in touch by phone, emails, and even the USPS.   Big LarrySurprisedSurprisedSurprised

December 24, 2017
6:23 am
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Wink…hard to tell the little guy’s winking!  I have a safe full of M1s and have only shot a couple of them in the last year.  I must be getting really old because I wonder what I’d do with another, even a Winchester.  WinkWinkWink

December 24, 2017
11:09 pm
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I had many too before I sold off my US Military collection. They included papered M1C, M1D, and a non papered USMC MC-1 Kollmorgen. Nothing too early as to require a SPG cartouche. Had those on my M1903’s. GHD, and GHS types and a Korean rifle and I don’t remember the cartouche. I had some with DOD stamps as well. I kept the Winchester as it was a gift from a friend. Got into Winchesters and sold the other stuff off and gave my wife some traveling money. I live a ways out, so I also bought some 4 wheelers.

The rifle is papered to my buddys Dad from the CMP. It was hand picked for my friend, and that is all I can tell you. I know the rest of the story.

Here’s a pic of the rifle. I have never fired it with the exception of firing it with blanks at a American Legion Vets Day service. I have been a member for over 20 years.     Big Larry, Former Marine Reserve.    Have a Merry Christmas.

Copy-of-WIN-13-001-1.jpgImage EnlargerCopy-of-WIN-13-004.jpgImage Enlarger

January 5, 2018
2:24 pm
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This M1F (Frankenstein) has been stripped and cleaned removing old oil but very little carbon from usage. I did a search on the serial number and it was demilitarized in 1995. The trigger assembly, bolt and other misc part have Springfield markings. The barrel has a 8-53 marking which I assume is August of 1953. The stock is also a Birch Springfield cut that needs some wood grafting under the mag-well and trigger release tang to insure a tight fit. It’s a cool old gun in very nice condition disregarding the stock issues. Hopefully the wood grafting and staining go well.

JC

January 5, 2018
3:34 pm
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JCByers said
This M1F (Frankenstein) has been stripped and cleaned removing old oil but very little carbon from usage. I did a search on the serial number and it was demilitarized in 1995. The trigger assembly, bolt and other misc part have Springfield markings. The barrel has a 8-53 marking which I assume is August of 1953. The stock is also a Birch Springfield cut that needs some wood grafting under the mag-well and trigger release tang to insure a tight fit. It’s a cool old gun in very nice condition disregarding the stock issues. Hopefully the wood grafting and staining go well.

JC  

Good luck with the project and don’t forget to post some before and after photos.

Where did you find the serial number information?

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January 5, 2018
5:25 pm
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Here is the site I used to search the serial number

 

http://usriflecal30m1.com/Parts/PartsMFG.aspx?mfg=WRA

January 5, 2018
7:37 pm
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JCByers said
Here is the site I used to search the serial number

 

http://usriflecal30m1.com/Parts/PartsMFG.aspx?mfg=WRA  

That is a cool resource, I was unaware of the serial number search feature – Thanks!

Unfortunately none of mine are listed in the database.

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January 10, 2018
1:02 am
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I have a Blue Sky Garand that I replaced the barrel with a “Criterion” barrel. If I had to do it again I would purchase a replacement GI Garand barrel. The Criterion is a quality barrel but I like the more authentic approach. All WWII & Korean era M1 Garands are special rifles.

Sounds like your on the right track, good luck and enjoy the project. 

Health & Happiness

January 11, 2018
3:24 pm
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DSC00947-2.JPGImage EnlargerResized_20180110_234726.jpegImage EnlargerResized_20180110_234736.jpegImage Enlarger

I’ve been working on the Grande project and now have a very nice fitting stock to the receiver and the first coat of finish on it. Prior to starting the receiver rocked up and down when the trigger assembly was installed. This required some wood grafting to close up the gaps between the trigger floor plate and the stock and to shim up the trigger assembly tang. In the close up photo you can see the gap between the plate and stock and see how deep the trigger is recessed into the stock. Regarding the finish, my opinion is that it needs to be darker – what’s your opinion?

JC

January 13, 2018
5:05 pm
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I agree, a little darker wouldn’t hurt.  

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