Five Reasons You Should Buy That M1 Garand You’ve Been Eying

Iconic, legendary, battle-tested. Whatever word you use to describe the M1 Garand, there’s no denying the famous American service rifle makes an excellent—no, essential—addition to anyone’s firearms collection. So, if you don’t have that beautiful walnut and steel in your safe, let me be that little voice in your head, that angel on your shoulder, sweetly whispering, “Do it. You deserve this.”

1. It’s a piece of history.

You can tell when a Garand was manufactured based on the serial number. This one was made in 1943.

General George S. Patton famously dubbed the M1 Garand “the greatest battle implement ever devised.” John Garand’s semi-auto was the standard U.S. service rifle during World War II and the Korean War, and also saw service during the Vietnam War. Holding an M1 Garand, you can’t help but wonder, “Where did this rifle see action? Did it save a soldier’s life or help win a skirmish? What was it like to lug this thing across Europe?”

You might also spontaneously start a “USA! USA!” chant or belt out a rousing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Anything is possible while holding such a powerful piece of history, and you don’t want to wait until these rifles are out of reach.

If you’re looking to own a piece of history, look no further than this listing. No rebuild markings, everything is totally original, and it comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

2. It’s a great investment.

The value of M1 Garands has only risen in recent years, and that trend isn’t likely to reverse.

The problem with historical military rifles is that supply is limited. As rifles break or rust or get lost, that number shrinks, and the existing rifles become more expensive.

The good news is that the value increases we’ve seen over the last ten years also act as a built-in buying excuse. That’s how I convinced my wife to let me buy my M1 Garand, and this time I wasn’t pitching total BS. If you can find a deal on an M1 Garand in good condition, that rifle will almost certainly be worth more in ten years than it is today.

I’m not a firearms investor, but I do have eyes and an internet connection. The value of M1 Garands has risen dramatically in the last ten to fifteen years, and Rock Island Auction has the data to prove it. According to their analysis, M1 Garands saw a 66% price increase between 2010-2017, and “if gun collecting as a whole is indicative of anything, they will not be going back down.”

That trend line may level out, but your excuse still holds: M1 Garands should be a healthy portion of your retirement portfolio.

This listing describes the rifle as “collector’s grade” with all matching serial numbers. Worth a look it you’re for an investment piece.

3. It’s a pleasure to shoot.

I always have a blast when I take my Garand to the range.

I haven’t had my M1 for very long, but I already love it. It’s built like a tank, never malfunctions, and is surprisingly accurate for a 75-year-old gun. The peep sight feels more modern than it is and includes adjustments for windage and elevation.

The venerable old 30-06 isn’t always comfortable to shoot, but the M1s weight (9.5lbs!) helps compensate for the stiff recoil. I’m also partial to the trigger. It breaks cleanly (definitely better than my mashed-potatoes-mushy Mosin Nagant) and only weighs about 6 pounds. It’s no modern trigger, but I was pleasantly surprised.

One thing to note on functionality: the U.S. military designed the M1 to shoot a specific 30-06 cartridge, and modern cartridges can cause unsafe pressure levels. Operating rods have been known to break shooting high-velocity or heavy-bullet ammunition. You’ll likely be OK shooting 150g loads, but if this is an investment, you want to stay on the safe side.

You have two options. You can either purchase ammunition specifically designed for the M1 (like this stuff from Federal) or you can install an adjustable aftermarket gas plug like this one. Installing the plug doesn’t require any mods to the rifle, and you can tune the gas system for whichever load you want to use.

If you’re not looking for a WWII-era rifle exclusively, this could be a good option and will no doubt be fun to shoot.

4. It’s good for competition and hunting, too.

Most Garands are accurate enough to use for hunting and mil-surp rifle competitions.

M1 Garands are great for weekend range trips, and if you take your M1 out of the safe just to look at it, I’m not judging. But you can do more!

The Civilian Marksmanship Program offers competitions specifically designed to be shot with as-issued M1 Garands. According to the CMP website, “The Garand Match allows shooters to reenact military and marksmanship history and features camaraderie and a relaxed, fun-filled, yet challenging experience.”

The John C. Garand Match is the oldest competition in the CMP’s classic military rifle division and is intended for both experienced and novice competitors. Shooters fire at targets from 200 yards from a variety of positions and speeds. Check out the video below for a taste of what a match looks like.

Also, if the M1 Garand is good for taking down Nazi’s, it’s good for taking down deer as well. The 30-06 has been used by hunters for generations, and most M1s are accurate enough to get the job done at normal hunting distances. You’ll need to practice with the iron sights to make sure you’re locked in, but if you’re willing to carry the M1 through the woods, it’ll do its job if you do yours.

For hunting or competition, this might be a good option.

5. It’s not a decision you’re going to regret.

Unlike last night’s fifth drink or that “Ron Paul for President” tattoo, purchasing an M1 Garand isn’t a decision you’re going to regret. Whether your M1 becomes a safe queen or a competition-winner, you’ll value that rifle for years, maybe decades, to come.

There aren’t many sure-fire decisions in life. This is one of them. The only real question is, What are you waiting for?

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Ejharb June 13, 2019, 3:22 am

    The opposite was the case with my dad.he hauled artillery ammo with a half track and was issued a m3 that he hated.he loved the garand and when he picked up a abandoned m1 with no gas plug he was able to restore it to operating condition and carried it until he came home.
    That gun is likely one of the guns obama kept from coming home.

  • schurmann June 4, 2019, 1:26 pm

    Prospective buyers are urged to go very carefully.

    Rifles from CMP are gauged before being released for sale. Used guns rarely have no such reassuring documentation.

    I worked for 13 years in gun repair for a small family dealership. Most M1s brought to us for repair exhibited excessive headspace. Other parts wear also, especially the operating rod. If the retaining tabs at the extreme upper rear wear out of spec, the rod can dismount spontaneously on firing. Very serious safety problem. New rods have not been made for decades. Finding a good used one is a time-consuming and costly task.

    Look out for cut & rewelded receivers. These never gauge out within MIL SPEC. And they can wear in a hurry, stretch, or fracture suddenly: the steel alloys used in M1 receivers cannot be re-tempered after cutting and rewelding. Some surplus operators were really good at grinding and refinishing a reweld, and close inspection is needed to detect the changes.

    Rebarreling to 7.62 NATO won’t solve the problems. 308 Winchester and 7.62 NATO do have the same nominal dimensions, but manufacturing tolerances are different so it’s possible to get a dangerously oversize 308 live round chambered in a MIL SPEC chamber. You may get an out-of-battery ignition, which usually wrecks the rifle and can kill the shooter. Most 308 is loaded to higher velocities, which means higher pressures, and accelerated wear when it doesn’t damage the rifle outright.

    Loading 308 to identical velocities with the same weight bullet isn’t a remedy. Military ammunition is loaded to produce a specific port pressure; if you substitute different powder, primers, cases, or bullets the relationship is altered and the new load may be unsafe.

  • richard shepas June 1, 2019, 3:14 am

    has anyone heard anything about all of the GI carbine and Garand rifles sitting in Korea that obama refused to allow back to the States?

  • DLT June 1, 2019, 12:10 am

    Nice article, I have two myself. One is real nice shoots great. The other needs a bit of work but the price was right. Got both of them at Rockislandauction.com

    Hate to sound greedy, but I would like to have another one! Mine are both H & R.

    • ML Studer June 1, 2019, 10:39 am

      The CMP refurb facility in Anniston, Alabama (80 miles South of me) generally has many on the floor, in rack grade quality for sale. Last time I purchased one at $695.00, refurb’d, there were 30 to 40 on the floor.
      If you DO NOT order for a mail delivery, as this can take months.You can pick one up the same day you tour the showroom floor.

      There is a limit on how many an individual can purchase in a 12 month period. I believe it is 5 per year.
      I own 2. One has been refur’d and has the 101st Cartouche stamped on the new stock. Not for sale!

      I would buy for all those folks out there wanting one as it is a nice drive down, but I can’t buy any that way anymore!

      One of their requirements is a copy of your DD-214. Another is an affiliation with one of their ‘recognized’
      organizations (ex. Garand Collectors Association). So, there is a process. If you decide to drive to pick one up, be sure and login online before hand and have all your documentation with you or sent already to them.

      I haven’t bought my limit this year, so 5 are on my bucket list. Oh and I believe I can’t re-sell an M1 for at least a year after purchase.

      Best of luck and holler back if you think I can fill in some blanks…

      ML Studer aka ‘Ransom Bufford Hawk! Sharps poor, I own 4!!!!

  • John Bibb May 31, 2019, 9:07 pm

    ***
    I bought one of the excellent condition CMP M1’s last year. I added the Unimak rail–it replaces the upper handguard perfectly without any drilling or other mods to the rifle. Added a Scout type scope with Mildot reticule. This provides adequate eye relief and allows easily loading the 8 round en block clip into the rifle.
    ***
    An excellent accurate reliable shooting rifle. It is a tad heavy–around 11 pounds. Lots of support needed. Best used from a prone or sandbag / other supporting item position. Old school joy shooting it. Privi Partisan 150 grain rounds loaded for the M1 work very well in the rifle.
    ***
    Rocketman
    ***

    • Ooh Rah June 1, 2019, 8:48 am

      Me too, the first was DCM and I also put the forward mount rail. Understand that some matches allow ! to 4 power scopes for use of us old blind guys. Heavier, but no longer can see rear and front sights with tri focals.

  • Thomas Walsh May 31, 2019, 8:25 pm

    bought my M1 Garand three months after joining the vets memorial unit and shooting blanks for most of a year I had to have one and Im glad I bought it, bought it from a gunsmith who has a few , my numbers match but is not the most beautiful gun I have but it is now my favorite in my safe. thanks for your article Tom

  • Larry Clipp May 31, 2019, 4:49 pm

    My father in law and I each bought rifles from CMP several years ago. His an H&R Garand mine a Remington made bolt action 3006. I ended up with my father in laws Garand due to his failing health(he gave it to me on my birthday that yr) and it has been the center of attention every time I get it out when there’s a gathering of shooters at my homestead. The year Indiana opened high power rifles legal to deer hunt with I harvested a nice 8pointer opening morning with the Garand. It is a great memory of mine

  • AK May 31, 2019, 1:24 pm

    The “install a gas plug” is one of the best pieces of advice for anyone who wants to shoot their M1. I fitted a Schuster from Midway to my 1942 Winchester and with a little read-the-instructions tweaking, it shoots anything and softly enough for a 65 YO shoulder. Including crappy Wolf steel-case. Just clean it after, including the gas piston.

  • Peter Brown May 31, 2019, 11:41 am

    Mine is a DCM rifle that I picked up at the post office in about 1981. It’s arsenal rebuilt. Furniture doesn’t match and though I’d like to say that sand poured out of it, I can’t. It was shipped clean, without packing in a cardboard box. Its cost? I think it was about $160.00. Like many guys, I fired it, cleaned it and it has been a safe queen. There ought to be statues of Mr. Garrand in major (free) cities.

  • J. Patrick Doyle May 31, 2019, 10:45 am

    I found mine in a local shop for about $185.00. A Springfield made in 1954. It was an import from Century Arms, but in sorry shape, the stock would’ve better served as a fence post. It had several different manufacturer’s parts. I joined the GCA (Garand Collectors Association) and through those great guys
    I was able to trade and obtain original Springfield parts such as the correct trigger group.

    I sent the whole thing to Fulton Armory for a complete makeover. Reparkerizing, beautiful walnut stock. It looks like it was just issued. I took it a local Garand expert who conducts M1 classes at the gun club–he says I was lucky because the barrel and bore are in excellent shape for what it probably went through. I had it appraised–now worth about $1600 or so. It’ll just go up in value. I’ll hang on to it as long as i can.

  • Fred Davison May 31, 2019, 10:30 am

    I bought a CMP service grade M-1 a few years ago. Mine was used by the Greek Air Force and is in excellent condition. I don’t shoot it very often due to arthritis but, when I do, it is a joy. Also, buying from the CMP is a good thing because the money goes to teach youth how to shoot. During a very sad time in our country’s history, several thousand Garands were destroyed by the Clinton government. Taxpayers even paid a few dollars each to have them run through a huge chipper.

  • erich a hooper May 31, 2019, 10:22 am

    I currently & everlastingly own a M1 Garand rifle. It is in fine operating condition but I want
    it restored to near issue status.Is there anywhere I can have that done.Thank you
    Erich

    • Ooh Rah June 1, 2019, 9:18 am

      Several place do this work including CMP, Springfield, James, some small Gun Smiths.. Contact different ones with requests of what you want done. CMP has all the parts you may need. In fact if you wish to keep yours as is, they sell a completely restored rifle they have to as new including wood for $1000.

  • Hal Shepherd May 31, 2019, 10:06 am

    I have three Springfields, one Winchester, one H&R and one International Harvester. They all shoot well and I only use 150 grain ammunition.

  • Alan L Robinson May 31, 2019, 9:56 am

    Got mine in 1985 the way it was supposed to be done, $249.00 and delivered by the U.S.P.S.
    A complete Springfield, 1952, and in great shape.
    It drives tacks with my handloads.
    I modified it with the N.M. aperture, and adjustable gas port.
    It will never be sold.
    Funny thing is, my Father, a Korean War vet, saw it and demanded to know WHY I bought that P.O.S.!
    He hated them, and apparently carried both a Thompson, and later an M-3, and always a 1911.

    • Jake May 31, 2019, 11:48 am

      Your Dad probably had one or saw some that froze in the subzero Korean winters. I know of many such incidents in the early part of that war. That is where that white grease Lubriplate came from. My Dad seemed to have that stuff in every glove box and tool box. It fixed the problems the same way Magpul followers solved 99% of supposed flaws in the Armalite pattern rifles.
      It is just my opinion but I feel the best Garands of all were those made in the 50’s by Harrington Richardson. IH did a fine job too but they did more of an assembly job opposed to complete manufacturing. IH definitely did have a fine barrel with the Marlins they used. The fit and finish of the H&R’s is excellent.

  • Eddie B May 31, 2019, 9:33 am

    An M1 Garand is the last rifle I would ever take hunting. The thing weighs around 9 lbs , who wants to lug that around in the woods all day? Plus, many, if not all, states have 5 round limits for centerfire rifles for big game hunting, so you would have to use modified en bloc clips. It is an infantry weapon with admittedly a famous heritage. I recall an uncle of mine who served in WW2 saying that, yeah, it was a great weapon for the front line soldier, but he was very happy when he had to turn it in when the war ended, and didn’t have to lug that around anymore.

  • Kevin Baxter May 31, 2019, 9:08 am

    M1s are a disease! I\’ve got 8 on the wall, and yet I\’m on my way to the CMP in Aniston for their Advanced maintenance Class where a friend and I will each build an M1 from refurbished and new parts. Not cheap, but an experience that can not be easily duplicated, plus I bring home my new M1.
    Regarding ammo for M1s, the surplus M2 or duplicates works great, but for competition, I have used Hornady 165 grain A-Max bullets with 44 grains of Varget. It shoots softly, cycles the action, and works out to 600 yards.

  • Frank Duffy May 31, 2019, 9:06 am

    I HAVE A M-1 GARAND THAT I PURCHASED ABOUT 50 YRS. AGO, WEAPON IS IN MINT CONDITION. IT WILL NEVER BE SOLD, MY SON WILL GET IT.

  • Kevin Baxter May 31, 2019, 9:04 am

    M1s are a disease! I’ve got 8 on the wall, and yet I’m on my way to the CMP in Aniston for their Advanced maintenance Class where a friend and I will each build an M1 from refurbished and new parts. Not cheap, but an experience that can not be easily duplicated, plus I bring home my new M1.
    Regarding ammo for M1s, the surplus M2 or duplicates works great, but for competition, I have used Hornady 165 grain A-Max bullets with 44 grains of Varget. It shoots softly, cycles the action, and works out to 600 yards.

  • G.O.A. Patriot May 31, 2019, 8:50 am

    My M1 was built in 1955 at the Springfield Armory and never issued, just put in the armory and eventually sold as surplus. When I paid 750.00 bucks for it I thought I may have paid to much for it but when I field stripped it at a gunsmithing class I was taking the instructor, a forty year gunsmith looked at it and said “that thing is brand new” and promptly offered me 2,000.00 bucks for it! A member of the local D.A.V. said it would bring 3000.00 if I put it up for auction! When my deceased father, a decorated combat veteran of the Korean War held it he told me “a rifle like this is the only reason you are here now!” I’ve fired several hundred rounds through it at NRA High Power competitions so it isn’t new anymore but I love it, it’s highly accurate using the aperture sights. I can put a round right between the eyes on a silhouette target from a hundred yards with it and NO, it is not for sale!!!

  • Rangemaster11B May 31, 2019, 8:04 am

    Everyone should have a “Get off my lawn” gun.

    • Martin L Monaco May 31, 2019, 10:14 am

      Totally agree. A short time ago when walking the dogs was almost run down by a person riding a bike and allowing his large dog to run free. When I objected to his action he just grunted and rode off. This happened
      a second time with the same result a week or so later. The other night we returned home to find him, his dog running loose and his bicycle on the lawn. When I requested that he, his dog and bicycle get off the lawn, his response was “Mind your own F—–g Business”. Rather than argue I with him I went in the house got my pistol and returned asking him to leave for trespassing or tell me if should shoot him or the dog first.
      He left and I haven’t seen him, the dog or the bike since.

  • jack May 31, 2019, 7:17 am

    Bought a Garand back in the mid 80’s from a surplus arms store that was in terrible shape stock-wise but had good metal and barrel, the first time I fired it the bottom metal fell off and the barreled action almost fell out of the stock so I stuck it in the safe for a few years till I ran across a guy at a gun show who reconditioned M1’s so I traded him a gun he wanted that I was selling for a complete re-due of my M1. When it came back it was beautiful and would shoot 1 1/4″ groups all day long. I take it out and shoot it every few years and a couple years ago I put an adjustable gas system on it so I can tune it for any ammo I want. On a good day I can put five 190g Match Kings into 1″ @ 100. it also carry’s a Leoupold compact 1.75 to 6x scope on a side mount which helps my tired eyes get these kind of groups, I don’t ever plan to sell it, It’ll go to my grand kids after I’m gone and I hope they pass it down to theirs.

    • Jake May 31, 2019, 12:02 pm

      A few years back I got a Scout Rail from Fulton Armory. I will be trying the new Leupold Freedom RDS 1 moa red dot on it shortly.

  • Steve Warren May 31, 2019, 6:44 am

    Wow! You went to the range and no one showed you how to put that sling on? What a mess!

  • Joe May 31, 2019, 4:17 am

    I will NOT be held hostage by the CMP. Iv’e moved on in life. And iv’e started a new love affair with my PA 10 in .308 . And when my nephew returns to civilian life from the Marines I will be proud to pass that carbine on to him which is his choice, and his older brother has eyes for my Bushmaster AR in 5.56.

    • Ooh Rah June 1, 2019, 9:54 am

      In June of 1958 we were issued brand new Garands in Boot Camp. Well cleaned of any cosmolene and any any dirt, because they were new, they were sparely had the lubriplate a whiteish or cream colored grease in certain areas. Mostly where metal contacted metal. Actually once broken in you really didn’t need any but M-14 bolts had a roller that got it but it also got fired full auto at times. Korea or cold freezing, none at all, or dry graphite should used. Anything with oils and greases brought from warm inside to cold outside cold freeze, usually firing pins. Left outside under guard also prevented any freeze malfunctions. Deer hunting in Minnesota in cold winters the same was used, rifles were left outside and not brought inside and out. Temperature change will cause the metal to sweat and freeze.

  • Rat Bastard May 29, 2019, 5:36 pm

    You should learn how to use the sling. Get your cheek on that stock and push your head foreword ! Grab that stock with your left hand and hug that baby . I’ll bet you will be surprised how much better you shoot and how much better it feels .

  • jmenzo May 29, 2019, 4:49 pm

    I’d love to have a Garand, but I’ve heard that you have to use a specific type of .30-06 ammo. Any advice on that?

    • jack May 31, 2019, 10:57 am

      There’s after market adjustable gas systems for these, search on the internet for M1 Garand parts, their easy to install and work great.

    • jason May 31, 2019, 11:01 am

      Several manufacturers, Like Seller & Beloit and Federal, make ammo specific for the M1 Garand and it is notated on the boxes. The M1s gas system is the reason for this. Using higher pressure hunting ammo could damage the operating rod or even, in severe cases, drive the bolt too hard against the heel (On the rear/ inside of the rifle) and possibly crack it. Some will say that the M1 was designed around M1 Ball Ammo specs……others will say to use M2 Ball spec ammo. The Greek surplus ammo, that the CMP sold, seems to be drying up. Plenty of ammo is available and 30-06 for the M1 is not difficult to hand load. If you like the M1 Garand but don;t want to fuss with 30-06, you could get one with a .308/7.62×51 Nato barrel.

  • Barry Stamper May 29, 2019, 1:04 pm

    I’ve wanted an M1 since I was a kid. An opportunity came about and I couldn’t wait to jump at the chance. Best purchase I ever made.

  • Brian May 29, 2019, 7:34 am

    I’ll never regret my “Ron Paul for President” tattoo…never! It’s a badge of honor!

    • Dr Motown May 31, 2019, 7:16 am

      You must be his best freeze dryer customer now! LOL

    • Michael A Keim May 31, 2019, 11:44 am

      If everyone had voted for Ron we wouldn’t have the shit show we’ve had for the last 11 years

    • Cody May 31, 2019, 2:57 pm

      I don’t get tattoos. But if I did, it would definitely say “Ron Paul for President!.”

  • Will Drider May 28, 2019, 6:58 pm

    86K M1 Garands repatriated to the U.S. from the Phillipines in 2018. A portion of them are in bad shape but the majority will undergo referbishment as needed and sold by CMP. Won’t be a “shortage” but like the 1911s a metered release, intended to keep prices up over the long haul in order to keep CMP well funded for decades.

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