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Went to the local gun show this weekend. A guy there had a Garand that had been refinished, but was all numbers matching. He pulled out a garand book showing me the number series, then disassembled the gun and showed me all the WWII era numbers. Gun was beautiful. the original walnut stock had been sanded and refinished with an oil finish, very smooth, all parts were reparked. He's asking $700 for it. Since I know nothing about the Garand, except that it is one of the mose asthetically appealing rifles ever made, I though I'd make a post here. I'm seriously thinking about calling the guy up to buy it. opinions please??
BTW, it is a Springfield.
 

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Well, as I recall, you can get a new Springfield M1 for $500 plus shipping and transfer fees (and maybe tax, depending on where you live). But that isn't a WWII-era M1. I've seen M1 examples for as much as $1500, so the price he quoted you is certainly within the normal range for these rifles. And you make it sound nice.


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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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just buy it. you'll probably kick yourself later if you don't. sounds like the real deal. ask him if you can go test fire it. good luck with your decision.

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Maybe he`s referring to the CMP rifles? $500 for a U.S Garand and $400 for the Danish. From what I`ve heard, either is a good deal.

I just picked up an International Harvester rebarreled to .308 for $700. If I bought any Garand I`d rebarrel it so the price will be high.

Matching parts guns aren`t real common as they`ve all been back to the armorers at one time or another. After all, they`re at least 50 years old. Parts can be duped too. If you think the gun`s worth it and you can spare the money, I`d say buy it. They won`t be getting cheaper anytime soon. Springfield is supposed to be coming out with a new limited edition in either 30.06 or .308 with a list of $995. The old guns are like old Harleys, they have a story to tell if you`ll just listen.
 

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Caveat Emptor ... let the buyer beware! While it is true that Garands are beautiful rifles, there is a very wide variety of classes, grades and models out there on the market. The prices vary just as widely, and most folks have no idea what they are looking at. Do you know how to recognize proof stamps? Are you familiar with who manufactured rifles during what time frames? Know how to read the codes on an op rod, bolt, trigger group or poppet valve? You get my drift.

If you were looking at an unrestored, matching WWII vintage rifle it would easily be worth twice the asking price you quoted. Unfortunately, however, those rifles are few and far between.

If, on the other hand, it was built up using original USGI parts on a new receiver, it's worth much, much less. The receiver is the key to knowing what you've got, and the new ones are to be avoided -- no matter how tempting the price.

It sounds to me like you found someone's DCM/CMP rifle, suitably restored, and offered for a reasonable price. Contrary to what you were told, however, I can say with some certainty that is was NOT a completely matched gun. By this I mean is probably was what we call a "mixmaster:" rifles that have legitimate military pedigrees, but assembled using USGI parts from various eras and various manufacturers. There is certainly nothing wrong with this, however, and these can be great shooters -- assuming the barrel and throat erosion are checked. Most "real" Garands fall into this category, as military armorers and maintenance personnel through the years didn't care much about putting a new Springfield trigger group on a old Winchester. They used whatever was on hand and serviceable.

My advice? Jump through a few hoops, save up your $500, fill out the paperwork, and treat yourself to geniune, been-there-done-that U.S. Army M1 from CMP. You'll get a completely serviceable rifle which can be made absolutely gorgeous for right at $300 or so additional, and you won't have to worry about where it came from or who screwed around with it before you got it.

Need more information? Try out www.jouster.com and/or www.odcmp.com for starters, and remember: every true 1911 fan should have at least one Garand.


Chuck
 

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...and remember: every true 1911 fan should have at least one Garand.
Amen to that!
 

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ScotsGt:
U.S. Martial Arms do not have matching serial numbers. The drawing and revision numbers on parts such as the trigger housing and hammer and various other parts i.e.bolts and so on are used by collectors along with the serial number the corectness of a rifle. I own several M1 rifles and have been at it over 10 years I can tell you now that reparkerizing and refinishing a stock can actually reduce the value of an original rifle. Also did that M1 have the inspectors cartouches on the left side of the stock near the heel of the reciever or any rebulid stamps on the left cheek of the stock. cartouches can be just as important as the drawing and serial numbers in determining the pedigree of a rifle. yes a nice shooter will bring around 500 to 700 but a nice clean original will bring much more. but Original untouched originals are very hard to find. Best wishes
 

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ScottsGT,

As usual, Sharpshooter's point is well taken. The M1, being a military arm, is replete with marked parts, but these markings have little or nothing to do with the individual identity of the rifle. Rather, they tell a different story which has more to do with acceptance dates, lot numbers and general parts identification than anything else.

My Springfield's barrel is marked T S SA F6535448 1 64 A209B, the trigger housing is D28290-12-SA, and the bolt drawing number is 6528287-SA. The point is that unless you have a handy reference available and/or know what you are looking for, these numbers don't really tell you anything about the gun. They simply confirm that you are probably looking at a MILSPEC part. If you check the old TMs for these rifles, you'll probably see a lot of the same numbers for reordering parts from the supply system.

The same goes for stocks ... if you find a DAS (eagle) cartouche on a 1943 vintage Springfield, you know you aren't looking at the original wood. Not that this matters, really, but it's all part of the assessment process.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with putting $700 into a good shooting Garand (assuming it's not a newly manufactured receiver), but don't let anyone tell you it's a matched, untouched original that some vet brought back after D-Day. Those are few and far between, and the collector's market keeps them largely out of the public view. Further, if you were looking at such a rifle, you would be talking thousands -- not hundreds -- in terms of price.

Here's the bottom line ...
Check the receiver on the gun in question. If it is a genuine military receiver, look at the barrel. If it looks decent, and you are happy with the overall condition of the piece, buy it without giving the matter a second thought. You won't regret it, and there's nothing quite like the sound of an empty en bloc clip clearing the breech.


Chuck
 

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Any collector value derived from matching serial number parts is ruined by refinishing. Matching parts are irrelevant in a shooter.

The DCM Garands are fine shooters, though with some bore wear, and are available for $500. I got mine last year when they were $300, but they are still a good buy.

I personally prefer the look of a real fifty-year-old rifle to a refinished rifle anyway. If the rifle could only talk!


[This message has been edited by KLN (edited 11-14-2001).]
 

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Being the seller was at a gun show and had mfg data manuals are indicators (not absolute) subject knows something about collectable firearms.

If so, I would be highly suspect that refinish was to make nice what may have been junk and repro parts…even to hide a re-weld (re-welds are easy to detect with mag glass.)

In defense of seller, the so-called "matching" numbers may have actually been the numbers showing that period of mfg of parts coincided with the receiver.

I would check tolerances of piece, keeping in mind that intentional heavy Parkerizing or bluing will hide some tolerance discrepancies.

If all seems well, and you are not a collector, I suggest grabbing the piece and run and shoot. As things are going, $700 does not seem outrageous for a nicely and well-done refinished piece.

I would definately make sure receiver has not been cut and re-welded. Lot of rw's out there.


[This message has been edited by sgtmike (edited 12-06-2001).]
 

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Well, being new to this board and not wanting to stir up the soup.

This is just an oppinion.

I have been to shows where all the numbers matched and the price tag matched as well, $1200 Plus.

We are talking USGI stuff over 60 years old...Do you not think a part or two has been replaced. Maybe a trigger group wore out, maybe a bolt was shot up.....The big deal to me would be having all USGI parts.

I just bought an SA made in 1944 for $400.00 and the barrel is crap. Blue Sky re-import hammered by the Koreans...It will cost me another $600.00 to have it rebuilt using USGI parts and a new barrel...

You are talking $700.00 and unless you are a collector.....I would say it is a good deal.

Karsten
 

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Collecting USGI M1 Garands and Carbines is NOT like collecting 1911s. Only maybe 1 in 25,000 M1's remain in truly original condition. Virtually nobody was able to sneak a perfect specimen home in their duffle bag! The overwhelming majority out there was released as surplus by the government AFTER the rebuild programs had begun for all the rifles in military inventory. As a result mixmasters are the rule, not the exception.

With this in mind, don't shy away from a nice M1 that is mismatched AS LONG as all the parts are original GI. Just don't buy a reweld or one with mostly commercial parts, as they are worth very little. BTW it is a good idea to get an affirmation of the throat/muzzle erosion readings. The lower the number, the better. One with a high number on each end may still be safe to shoot, but it'll be as inaccurate as hell.

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[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 12-07-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input guys. But instead, I went with a Loaded M1a from Springfield. Cost more, but I was really wanting something mag fed. Maybe oneday I'll put everyones great advise to use and buy a Garand for the gun safe.
 
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