You can get a USGI M1 from CMP for as little as $400. Most of these were produced in the 40s-50s. Note that these are not like-new rifles - they have been used, some of them used hard. There will be finish wear and the stocks are usually a bit beat up. However, they are good shooters. If you like, you can have it refinished for a few hundred bucks more.
You can also get a rebuilt M1 from places like Orion7 or Fulton Armory if you want a like-new rifle built on a USGI receiver. This will cost you more, about the same as a new production Springfield M1.
#I think the CMP is something I might like to play at, but really, all this for a Garand? What other weapons do you have the choice of here?
With respect, I think what you might be missing is how many of us FEEL about the M1 Garand. I'm just a pup compared to the M1 Garand (I'm 36, and a veteran, but I carried the M16A1), but many of us consider that the M1 Garand was "the rifle that won the war." That may or may not be entirely true, but I don't think it can be disputed that there is a lot of history and a lot of emotion tied up in this old, reliable, workhorse of the US military.
There is also the issue that this Garand is somehow DIFFERENT from the M1 Garands available in gun shops. This is not a "lend-lease" Garand that is now coming back home, after serving in who knows how many governments and passing through who knows how many hands. This is an M1 Garand that might have been carried by a US Soldier or Marine in Europe or the South Pacific, that might have spoken freedom with a crack of powder and a hail of lead. This Garand might have seen Mt. Suribachi, and it might have saved the life or lives of American troops in battle.
This M1 Garand might have been cleaned lovingly in Parris Island or San Diego, by Marine recruits who learned to sleep with it, love it, be one with it. It might have been held at the position of "Rifle Salute" while passing through ticker tape parades at the end of the war, or it might have been held at "Present Arms" and saluted the Commander in Chief when "Johnny came marching home again."
This M1 Garand may have been held proudly, lovingly, when the National Ensign was retired for the evening, when "Taps" was sounded mournfully for a fallen brother-in-arms, when "Reveille" sounded in a forward camp in France, Italy, Iwo Jima, or Guadalcanal.
This M1 Garand may have been presented for inspection to Chesty Puller, Douglas MacArther, or Admiral Nimitz. It may have been field-stripped and cleaned by John Basilone, Lou Diamond, or any number of WWII heroes and veterans, some of whose names are not recorded by posterity, but who fought with courage, determination, and pride. In other words, heroes. My heroes.
Probably, it didn't do any of those things. Probably, it is just another rifle, eclipsed in ability and accuracy and rate of fire by the fine battle rifles that came afterwards. But, since it comes directly out of our US arsenals and warehouses, where it was lovingly stored away more than 50 years ago, in the hopes that we would never again be called upon to defend liberty on foreign shores, it MEANS something special to us.
This M1 Garand is a rifle. It is an accurate, hard-hitting rifle, which can make a fine target rifle, game-getter, home-defense weapon, or just a wall-hanger. That doesn't matter.
This M1 Garand is us. It is our determination, our sweat and blood, our father's and grandfather's lives in battle, the price of liberty paid for us!
This M1 Garand rifle represents who we are, who we were, and who we will be in the future.
The United States of America is a special place. We know that others have fought and died for liberty, but we are Americans. The bended knee has never been one of our traditions. We bow to no man, we genuflect to no Prince or Potentate, we have no nobles among us. We have risen up as one against tyranny and oppression since before our nation began. We were born in bloody revolution and have never hesitated to step into the breech when called upon to do so. We have willingly laid down our lives, the lives of our sons and daughters, for an idea, a concept, a theory; that all men should be free, that no man is better than another.
In the uncertainty of WWII, when the very concept of Democracy was in the balance, when two enemies of liberty engaged us at the same time on two different fronts, this M1 Garand gave us a decided edge in battle, and completed by the American Fighting Man and his marksmanship skills, we carried the day for liberty, democracy, and the rights of man.
This M1 Garand is tied to us, and we to it. It is our heritage, and one that should never be denied. It very much represents the terrible price of freedom.
I am an American Fighting Man. I am a Marine, a Soldier, an Airman, a Sailor. I go in harm's way to carry out the Will of the People, and go armed with my skills, my ability, my courage, and my rifle. This M1 Garand represents that rifle to me.
I want my M1 Garand, I want it very much. I don't care what it's limitations are, or what else I could have purchased with the money that I spent to acquire it. I am a Marine Rifleman, and I want what belongs to me, my legacy of freedom, bequeathed to me by my father, grandfather, uncles and grand-uncles, and cousins. They paid the price so that I could claim this M1 Garand and enjoy the full measure of freedom to be found in this country and no other. And I shall.
For those who are interested, all citizens of the United States who are otherwise permitted to own firearms may purchase one M1 Garand per year from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (formerly the Division of Civilian Marksmanship).
Until 1996, the Division of Civilian Marksmanship was administered by the US Army, and charged with distributing former US military weapons into the hands of law-abiding citizens of the USA. They have been doing so since 1916.
There is now a movement afoot by the gun-grabbers to take our heritage away from us, as they feel that law-abiding citizens can't be trusted to not shoot ourselves or each other with these weapons. We may not win this battle for our heritage; therefore, I would urge anyone who feels as I do to get involved, fight for our rights in this area, and above all, get your M1 Garand as soon as you can, and never, ever, give it up.
former Sgt, USMC (1979-1985)
PS - This little script below says far better than I ever could how I feel about the M1 Garand. It is not very "politically correct," and it may cause consternation in those of you who feel we'd all be safer if we ate lettuce and sat around thinking pure thoughts, but such is the cost of freedom. Some of you may recognize it:
United States Marine Corps
MGEN W.H. Rupertus, USMC
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life.
My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will....
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but Peace!