December 24th, 2023
Sunday GunDay — Getting a Garand for Christmas
We think everyone should have a Garand in their gun collection…
Tomorrow is Christmas. 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….”
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
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.
It’s not that difficult to order 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 Springfield replacement barrels, priced at $295.00, are legal for use in Service Rifle and John C. Garand matches.
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 shooting. 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. If you need spare parts for your M1 Garand, we recommend visiting Garand Gear which carries many key items.
M1 Garand 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 Disassembly, Cleaning, and Lubrication
This Brownells video shows how to disassemble your M1 Garand.
This TekMat video explains how to clean and lubricate your M1 Garand.
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:
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.