1LT Waverly Wray and His M1 Rifle: There Can Be Only One M1

The M1 rifle was used in all theaters of combat during World War II. 1LT Waverly Wray, the airborne officer referenced at the beginning of this article, could be counted among the greatest warriors these United States could produce.

1LT Waverly Wray was born in 1919 and raised in the wooded hills around Batesville, Mississippi, perhaps a forty-five minute drive from where I sit typing these words. An expert woodsman steeped in fieldcraft from his youth, Wray was described by his commander, LTC Ben Vandervoort, thusly, “As experienced and skilled as an Infantry soldier can get and still be alive.” At 250 pounds Wray was an intimidating specimen, yet he was also a committed Christian man of character. He fastidiously eschewed profanity and sent half of his Army paycheck home each month to help build a church in his hometown.

Immediately after jumping into Normandy with the 82d Airborne, 1LT Wray set out on a one-man reconnaissance at the behest of his Battalion Commander. Wray’s mission was to assess the state of German forces planning a counterattack against the weakly held American positions outside Ste.-Mere-Eglise. Wray struck out armed with his M1 rifle, a Colt 1911A1 .45, half a dozen grenades, and a silver-plated .38 revolver tucked into his jump boot. Hearing German voices on the other side of a French hedgerow, Wray burst through the brush and shouted, “Hande Hoch!” Confronting him were eight German officers huddled around a radio.

For a pregnant moment, nobody moved. Then seven pairs of hands went up. The eighth German officer reached for his sidearm. 1LT Wray shot the man between the eyes with his M1.

A pair of German soldiers about 100 meters away opened up on Wray with MP40 submachine guns. 9mm bullets cut through his combat jacket and shot away one of his earlobes. All the while Wray methodically engaged each of the seven remaining Germans as they struggled to escape, reloading his M1 when it ran dry. Once he had killed all eight German officers he dropped into a nearby ditch, took careful aim, and killed the two distant Wehrmacht soldiers with the MP40’s.

Wray fought his way back to his company area to report what he had found, blood soaking his ventilated jump jacket. His first question was to ask where he could replenish his supply of grenades. When American forces eventually took the field where Wray had waged his one-man war against the leadership of the 1st Battalion, 158th Grenadier Regiment, they found all ten German soldiers dead with a single round each to the head. Wray had completely decapitated the enemy battalion’s leadership singlehandedly. Wray stopped what he was doing and saw to it that all ten German soldiers were properly buried. He had killed these men, and he felt a responsibility to bury them properly.

Waverly Wray survived the savage fighting in Normandy only to give his life for his country at Nijmegen, Holland, during Operation Market Garden later in the year. He has a granite marker in Shiloh Cemetery in Batesville, Mississippi, near the church he helped build. 1LT Wray was, by all accounts, an exceptionally good man who died six days before his twenty-fifth birthday. Wray died to ensure the blessings of liberty for further generations of Americans.

John Garand’s Rifle

Those who lived it have told me that there was only one M1 rifle and that it wasn’t called the Garand. The .30-06 rifle we call the Garand was the M1, the M1 Carbine was the Carbine, and the M1A1 Thompson was the Thompson. There was always only one M1.

John Cantius Garand was a Canadian-born gun designer who developed the M1 rifle in the early 1930’s. Those who knew him say that old John Cantius pronounced his name differently from the way we do. In his Canadian dialect, Garand rhymed with “Errand.”

Early versions of the M1 were gas trap designs based upon the flawed presumption that ported barrels would wear appreciably faster than the non-ported sort. This same misconception is what drove the Germans to attempt the ill-fated G41 gas trap rifle before settling on the much more reliable piston-driven G43 design. In short order, the M1 was standardized with the familiar gas piston action.

The M1 rifle soldiered on everywhere during World War II from European plains to fetid South Pacific jungles.

5.4 million of the rifles ultimately rolled out of four wartime factories. The M1 served with distinction in all services and in all theaters throughout World War II as well as the war in Korea. The weapon saw fairly widespread issue among ARVN forces early during the conflict in Vietnam as well. An M1 rifle cost the government about $85 during the Second World War. This equates out to around $1,200 today.

If properly maintained the M1 rifle offered a quantum advance in firepower over the bolt-action designs of the day.

Morphology

For all its justifiable accolades, the M1 was a flawed design. The thing weighs about ten pounds and remains exceptionally bulky, even by the standards of the day. The eight-round en-bloc clip is extremely difficult to fill by hand, and the gun is nearly 44 inches long. Ammunition typically came issued in these disposable spring steel clips. However, early in the war troops frequently had to fill their clips manually from ammo that was packed on single stack five-round Springfield clips, something that was all but impossible to do under pressure.

Despite its few warts, the M1 represented a quantum advance in firepower when compared to the bolt-action repeaters in common service at the time. Interestingly, there are anecdotal accounts of some old school soldiers trading their M1s for bolt-action 1903 Springfields early in the war in the Philippines out of distrust of the autoloading action. However, it did not take long for troops on both sides of the line to come to respect the prodigious firepower of the M1.

Practical Tactical

The M1 rifle was a big, heavy, bulky beast, but it was also reliable, accurate, and rugged. Generations of GIs came to adore the gun.

The M1 sports a unique manual of arms. The safety is a pivoting tab in the front of the trigger guard that soldiers on in modern Springfield Armory M1A rifles today. This design is comparably accessible with either hand. The rigid charging handle reciprocates with the bolt and can be manhandled or even kicked if the action gets gummy.

To put the gun into action you retract the bolt until it locks to the rear automatically. Place a loaded 8-round clip in place in the action and press it down with the thumb until it locks. The bolt will then snap shut of its own accord. One must be fairly quick to snatch the thumb out of the way lest it gets badly pinched. Troops of the day described the resulting painful injury as “M1 Thumb.”

The M1 rifle fed from an 8-round en bloc clip. This means the clip becomes part of the action when loaded into the rifle.

The M1 will fire eight rounds as fast as the trigger can be cycled. On the last round fired the action locks open and the empty clip ejects out the top making a distinctive metallic springing sound in the process. Much hay has been made that this sound might signal to the enemy that the weapon is dry. The World War II combat veterans with whom I have visited discounted this concern. They said this sound was typically lost in the bedlam of battle.

The safety on the M1 is a pivoting tab located in the front of the trigger guard. It is comparably accessible with either hand. The rigid charging handle reciprocates with the bolt.

Denouement

When I was a young buck you could get beautiful M1 rifles through the mail for $165 from the DCM delivered straight to your door. Alas, I didn’t have $165, and the paperwork requirements seemed unduly onerous. I did ultimately land a high-mileage DCM M1 some years later for a good bit more than that. My M1 sports a meticulously repaired crack to the upper handguard and the stigmata of hard use. I love the gun and would not trade it for a specimen that was new in the box. Like Waverly Wray and the other hard men who wielded these old guns to defeat tyranny around the globe, my M1 rifle has character.

A friend who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, summed up an Infantryman’s relationship to his primary weapon better than I ever could. He once told me that for nearly a year some part of his anatomy was touching that rifle. Whether he was patrolling, sleeping, shaving, or crapping, he kept that M1 rifle close at hand no matter what.

The M1 is an innately accurate and imminently reliable battle arm. It is not unstoppable, nor does it shoot divinely straight. However, the design certainly earned the respect and legendary status it has gained over the decades. Big, fat, heavy, and mean, the M1 was a gun that quite literally saved the world.

Special thanks to www.worldwarsupply.com for the replica gear used to outfit our period paratrooper.

Technical Specifications

M-1 Garand Rifle

Caliber                            7.62 x 63 mm/.30-06 in

Weight                           9.5 lbs

System of Operation       Gas—Semiautomatic

Length                            43.6 in

Barrel Length                  24 in

Feed                               8 round en bloc steel clips

Sights                             Protected Front Blade and Adjustable Rear Aperture

 

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next historic gun***

About the author: Will Dabbs was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, having been immersed in hunting and the outdoors since his earliest recollections. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mississippi and is the product of a traditional American nuclear family. Where most normal American kids get drunk to celebrate their 21st birthday, Will bought his first two machineguns. Will served eight years as an Army Aviator and accumulated more than 1,100 flight hours piloting CH47D, UH1H, OH58A/C, and AH1S helicopters. He is scuba qualified, has parachuted out of perfectly good airplanes at 3 o’clock in the morning, and has summited Mt. McKinley, Alaska–the highest point in North America–six times (at the controls of a helicopter, which is the only way sensible folk climb mountains). For reasons that seemed sagacious at the time he ultimately left the Army as a Major to pursue medical school. Dr. Dabbs has for the last dozen years owned the Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford, Mississippi. He also serves as the plant physician for the sprawling Winchester ammunition plant in that same delightful little Southern town. Will is a founding partner of Advanced Tactical Ordnance LLC, a licensed 07/02 firearms manufacturer and has written for the gun press for a quarter century. He writes solely to support a shooting habit that is as insensate as it is insatiable. Will has been married to his high school sweetheart for more than thirty years and has taught his Young Married Sunday School class for more than a decade. He and his wife currently have three adult children and a most thoroughly worthless farm dog named Dog.

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • 2WarAbnVet October 4, 2018, 7:32 pm

    I cut my teeth on the Garand, and loved it. I was never particularly fond of the M-14, although I probably was more proficient with it since, as Battalion Range Officer, my AIs and I had access to large quantities of ammunition that we needed to get rid of at close of each day.
    I went to RVN with the M-16, but never experienced the horror stories you’ve no doubt heard. Since then I’ve owned, and fired, Mausers, MNs (Russian and Finnish), ’03s, ’03A1s, and ’03A3s as well as anything else shootable I could get my hands on; but looking back over the nearly 60 years since I first fired the Garand, it’s still my favorite combat rifle.
    I’ll bet there are folks who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who would have wished they had something that could reach out and touch the enemy like the old M-1.

  • MEG October 3, 2018, 8:22 pm

    Where are such men as 1LT Waverly Wray? men capable and willing to sacrifice? This country I fear is lost. Khrushchev was right, they are destroying us from within. Let us who are true believers weep. We have become no longer a country that operators on the Rule of Law. Anarchy has become the future of this republic. Take heed and prepare, vet alliances, for no man is an island. God speed , make ready. I pray that – He – who is – will show mercy to thee and that which ye hold precious.

  • singleshotcajun October 2, 2018, 3:41 am

    In 1984 I qualified at Magnolia Rifle club in Byram, MS to purchase my DCM M-1. I’ve had more than a few M-1’s since then . Now, I’m down to two, one Winchester prepared NM style and a WWII Springfield re-barrelled with a Criterion barrel manufactured in September 2011 so the date stamp is 9-11, both have a home for life.

  • Gary A. Hurd October 2, 2018, 1:37 am

    Still, today: “Greatest Battle Instrument Ever Devised”. With service in 2 wars, Airborne & Horse Cavalry, Lead Restoration Founder, US 26th Cavalry Philippine Scouts, Horse, (M-1’s & .45’s), Horse Officer,- .45 & M-1, (when appropriate) –plus– a Horse Cavalry Renactor ’42, and a educated, accomplished, Military Historian, I must know something. When they took away our M-1’s, and later M-14’s, know something was terribly wrong. You only have to ask, or -read- stats by front-line medics & doctors, on what weapons really ‘work’. When/if the armed, college flakes, Marxists, and Antifa’s, flaunting their Black, ISIS Flags invade our county, guess who dies for their cause? And BTW, .22’s have velocity, but it’s Range, & –ENERGY–,….that counts! El Paladin

  • Ronnie Darby October 1, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Waverly Wray was my cousin. I appreciate the article however Wray never weighed 250 lbs. That was some of Ambrose’s nonsense. He also claimed that Wray was a Baptist. He was a Methodist. Vandervoort nominated Wray for the Medal Of Honor. It was downgraded to the DSC. He was also awarded the Silver Star.

  • IDAN GREENBERG October 1, 2018, 5:34 pm

    Another enjoyable article from Dr. Dabbs. In my collection is an M1 made in 1942, that I bought from a collectors gun shop in Phoenix in 1973 for $350, which I felt fair, due to it’s near new condition. Unlike most M1s encountered in the field, it has not been restocked, nor arsenal refinished. I have owned and fired many other M1’s as well, with many different types of ammunition. So I have much experience shooting and shouldering an M1. Mine has the milled trigger guard and locking bar rear sight typical of most WWII production M1s. When I bought it, it’s overall condition was near new, so I assume it was a DCM rifle, that somehow sat out WWII and Korea. With some types of GI ammo, particularly well stored Denver Ordnance Plant 43 & 44, it will shoot a 1.5″ moa. 5 shot group, from a padded rest. Most new production 30-06 fmj is not true M2 ball, which uses a 152 grain grain gilding metal jacket. Most of the new stuff, uses the 7.62 Nato 147grain bullet. It works but is somewhat shorter in overall length. PMC is a brand, that last time I bought some,uses the original proper bullet and it shot well. What should be avoided is shooting 30-06 factory sporting ammunition where the powder burning rate characteristics may not be loaded to original 30-06 specs. This has caused serious accidents with M1’s which do NOT have a self adjusting gas mechanism. I am aware of a serious accident involving Winchester 165 grain, pointed soft point 30-06, in about 2011, or 2012 where, the gas pressure was way too high at the gas port, causing the whole gas piston, and bolt assembly to strike the rear of the receiver at such a high velocity, over what it was designed for, that the rear of the Winchester WWII mfg.’s receiver let go and the poor shooter got the whole moving mass of steel in the right side of his head. I was part of a forensic team that examined the rifle and was astounded at the level of damage to the receiver. The shooter lost his right eye and required massive facial reconstructive surgery. It is amazing to me that he survived. At first we suspected an out of battery firing, but the M1’s firing pin system uses an L shaped firing pin, that engages an angled surface in the receiver, that prevents out of battery firings. The firing pin is not capable of moving forward of the bolt face, until the locking lugs are in their mortises. I have seen M1’s discharge when the bolt is slammed shut on a round already chambered, especially if this has been done repeatedly with a particular cartridge of recent mfg. This, as the firing pin just floats in it’s raceway and is not retracted automatically by a spring. I have seen M16’s, M1 Carbines, M14s and Mini 14s do the same thing. Anyway, the ultimate cause of the accident, was not the rifle, but Olin’s loading of that cartridge, giving a different pressure peak, than what the rifle was designed for. The M1 was designed for a high pressure peak at the breech, much lower at the gas port. The incident cartridge gave lower pressure at the breech, but too high at the gas port, which was dangerous in the M1 design. After we concluded our investigation, Olin settled the case out of court. I do not know which ammo today is safe in an M1, other than what is factory loaded with FMJ bullets, though years ago, I fired the Remington 150 grain bronze point, which has fmj characteristics, with no feeding, or other problems. I never had problems with the en bloc clips, except that all the rounds had to be pushed back to the base of the clip, with none of the bullets protruding beyond the others. One avoids M1 thumb by using the side of the hand, blocking the op rod/ bolt retracting handle from moving forward until the thumb pushes the clip all the way down into the action and that clip CLICKS into place. The bolt being released to chamber the round, well after the thumb is out of the way. I would also suggest avoiding steel case 30-06 whether lacquered, or copper washed in an M1. Bad for the extractor. I am sorry to hear that Lt. Wray did not survive the war. Too many good men sacrificed to make up for what bad men do. As for how to pronounce Mr. Garand’s name, General Julian Hatcher, who was commandant of Frankford Arsenal in WWII, had been assigned to Spingfield Armory in Mass. for many decades and knew Garand well, states in HATCHERS NOTEBOOK, that it was pronounced like “parent”. And he knew Mr. Garand since 1920 and had contact with him on a regular basis. I knew a number of WWII vets including a combat vet from the 82nd Airborne who were issued the M1 carbine, but after shooting enemy soldiers with it, went over to the M1 Garand and never looked back. I think everyone who cares about U.S. Military history should own an M1. Just be careful what you shoot in it.

    • John Bibb October 3, 2018, 4:38 pm

      ***
      HI IG–thank you for your informative comment and history. Privi Partizan sells an inexpensive .30-06 150 grain FMJ round loaded to the proper specs for the M1 Rifle. Works out to about 2700 fps. Around 60 cents a round.
      ***
      John Bibb
      ***

  • BRASS October 1, 2018, 3:59 pm

    Heavy it is as issued but when compared to the ‘as issued’ AR-10s of today with laser sights, Trigicon optics, etc., it is not. Equip your SBR or even 16″ AR-15 with all the stuff used today and 10 lb is not out of line even a little.

    What does an SR-25 – as equipped — weigh? I don’t have one to put on the scales but I’d bet a nice steak dinner and a bottle of good bourbon it isn’t under 10 lbs.

    The deciding factor is ammunition capacity and to a lessor extent time to reload. I can insert a new already loaded en bloc clip of 8 .30-06 rounds in about the same time as I can insert a standard capacity magazine of 20 rounds of .308/7.62 NATO in an AR-10 or SR-25.

    The M1 Garand, at least mine, is a soft shooting rifle, even in .30-06. I say even in .30-06 as the Italian BM-59 is an M1 Garand converted to use metal magazines and .308 versions of the M1 Garand are available today in both clip and magazine fed otherwise stock M1s. Practical accuracy of the M1 Garand is good and I can place accurate fire on man sized targets out to 300 easily in any good sitting or kneeling position with open sights, and 500 yards with a good prone position.

    Used as intended with 147-150 grain ammunition and given a quick cleaning/oiling daily, it was and is reliable, accurate and tough as nails. The only trouble I ever had was self induced when experimenting with different types of ammo where I bent an operating rod by using 220 grain projectiles. I straightened it and it went back to flawless cycling of the issue weight ammo.

    Yes, todays AR and bolt style rifles in .308 and .300 WinMag are superior, but the differences in terminal effectiveness and rates of normal fire are not as great as some would have us believe. I would not be worried about my ability to defend my home using my own M1 and preloaded en bloc clips of 8 rounds as issued in bandoleers for most of WWII. Would I want to take one to war? Not as long as more modern options were available but for the average infantryman who is not tasked with firing typically longer than 250-300 yards in most combat situations, and whom still has open sight skills not reliant on optics, it’s still a lethal combination while being a disadvantage in terms of rate of sustained fire and mobility in urban areas.

  • John Bibb October 1, 2018, 1:26 pm

    ***
    Another excellent article from Dr. Dabbs. I recently bought one of the CMP high grade original M1’s. A few dings. An excellent shooter! With a proper Unimak Picatinny Rail mount replacing the middle hand guard, and a long eye relief Scout style 3 to 9 power variable Mildot scope. Old eyes need help! As the article states–HEAVY! With a good rest–still a very effective rifle. Privi Partizan M-1 pressure 150 grain FMJ .30-06 ammo is reasonably priced and works very well.
    ***
    Git ’em while the gittin is still good!
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  • Steven L. Ashe October 1, 2018, 1:26 pm

    I enlisted right out of high school in Feb. 1961. My first M1 was a much beat up one, used over and over for succeeding cycles of new recruits at Ft. Jackson, SC. Marching to the rifle range in the rain, one recruit dropped his M1 into a muddy low spot in the road. As he pulled it out, the Sgt. grabbed it and took the troop’s canteen, pouring out all the water to wash mud out of the action and bore. The troop fired his still somewhat muddy rifle that day and hit the target as he always did.
    After my second 8 at Ft. Sill, OK in cannon cocker school, I was assigned to the 2nd Armored Divsion, in Ft. Hood, Texas. The 2AD had been a basic training division and was just being put back into the TO&E as a heavy armored division, getting ready to go to war. In the fall of 1962 we were alerted to go to Corpus Christie, Texas to board transports bound for Cuba! Only when Pres. Kennedy agreed to pull our missiles out of Turkey, in exchange for the Soviets pulling their missiles out of Cuba, were we told to stand down. That was as close as I got to war.
    In the Fall of 1963 the entire 2AD was flown from Texas to W. Germany on Operation Big Lift to demonstrate to the Soviets how rapidly we could reinforce our garrison in W. Germany, where an entire compliment of armor was maintained for 2AD by an advanced party. Only one month before getting on C118 transports to Germany, did the Army take away our M1s and hand us M14s. I always knew that the M1 was the best of all as a natural pointing rifle and I had confidence in hitting at what I aimed.

  • RICARDO DELFIN October 1, 2018, 1:18 pm

    HOW CAN I GET AN M1 GARAND?

    • Sgt. Pop October 1, 2018, 2:51 pm

      you’ve got be kidding, just type in CMP……

  • SARose October 1, 2018, 12:37 pm

    Adding to Trooper’s excellent evaluation of the reenactment actor’s costume, he is also wearing a 3 magazine pouch for the Thompson SMG while he is carrying an M1. Even this grandmother knows those cartridges won’t work for his rifle.

  • Peter Brown October 1, 2018, 12:20 pm

    In the early 80’s I qualified for and received an M1 Garand. If memory serves, it cost about $165 and shipped without charge.
    It’s was rebuilt at arsenal or so I’m told. It’s beautiful. Wood has been replaced so it’s two-tone, not a perfect specimen.
    Imperfect, rebuilt or no, I love it. You bet I’ve carefully saved every piece of related paperwork. The shipping box was unfortunately tossed. It was shipped without packing of any kind. It’s tough enough to survive a trip.
    It was an exciting day when I picked it up at the post office. After I die this historical beauty will hopefully be owned by another guy who appreciates it as much. Now, it’s my Garand and me.
    This was a very good article.
    Thank you.

  • Tom October 1, 2018, 11:41 am

    “The 8 round en bloc clip is exceptionally difficult to load by hand”?!?

    C’mon, Will, I’ve spoken with many M1 wartime users over the years, in depth, and that has never, not once, been brought up as an issue. Weight is the #1 complaint from these men.

  • Paul Plominski October 1, 2018, 11:37 am

    I concur, this is a great article. The photo of the soldier holding the Nazi flag and a M1 (Garand) is wearing a Thompson sub- machine gun magazine pouch, and not a M1 ammo belt or ammo bandolier.

    • DaveP326 October 1, 2018, 2:54 pm

      Why is this man wearing BLACK combat boots in WW2? Back then the boots were brown.

  • Richard eric bloomfield October 1, 2018, 11:22 am

    YUP

  • Don Page October 1, 2018, 11:12 am

    Great Article on the M1 Garand:
    I was RA ( Regular Army) 1960 – 1967 and trained at Ft Rucker Ala. In Helicopter / Light Fixed Aircraft maint. Assigned to a small Aviation unit in Sembach Germany and then trained in Sandhoffen Germany on the HU-1B ( Huey’s) as a flying crew chief then sent the Vietnam on one of those missions the never happened..We were in the field almost the entire time and basically delivering ( and retrieving) our guys into ( and from) places they should not be…. to do things that needed to be done. I drew a pilot that was battle field commissioned in Korea and this guy always managed to keep the fuselage at some steep angle since we had no guns or Kevlar protection. Army policy at that time to keep the mechanics honest was to keep them flying with the Aircraft. We had no GPS in those days Only colored flairs and we knew which color was the correct pick up point. I qualified as “Sharp Shooter” with the M1 Rifle in Basic Training ( Ft. Knox K.Y. ) and later qualified as “Expert” with the M1a rifle…I suppose it was because I had carried the game bag for my dad @ 5 years old and then hunted with dad and my older brother. My brother was drafted right after high school into WWII into the Army Air Corps ( stationed in the Philippines and later in Occupied Japan after the bomb was dropped) I went to college on the VA bill and spent the last 24 years of my career working on the Hydro-Mechanical-Systems and Flight Control Design on the AH 64 Apache Helicopter. Basically working with the Vendors and the Army.Today I’m retired and living in the Arizona High Country and have a reasonable Gun Collection containing both the M1 and M1a Rifles…I’m an N.R.A. and American Legion member. I took the training and serve as a “Range Safety Officer” I was trained in Gun Safety as far back as I can remember. My daughter shoots Trap and Skeet and was also trained from a young are in gun safety. To my way of thinking every child should have that training..
    Thank’s for the article…Did you know the M1’s were subject to Slam Firing ???? Should never hand load a single round and release the bolt…We were told to do that (Lock an Load one round) in Basic Training. We lost one of our guys in basic because to bolt didn’t lock-up before the firing pin fired the round.. The bolt came back and seriously injured him. There is a video on line of a young girl at a range where the same thing happened. The firing pin the free floating so when the bolt goes against the round the firing pin keeps moving. When the rounds are in the clip the chambering process is slowed just enough so the bolt will lock-up and the firing is energized by the hammer….

  • john October 1, 2018, 10:16 am

    I bought a M1 thru CMP a few years ago and think it is one hell of a fine rifle.You can order different grades thru CMP but it is still kinda luck of the draw as to what you get.Mine was in good shape with dings and dents from honest use which I really like.You can see wear on the left side of the stock where it rubbed on the web belt when slung over the shoulder.Wish it could talk!. They say it weighs 9.5 pounds and after carrying it a few miles the decimal point disappears. .I would highly recommend getting one from CMP while you can.

    • D.J. October 1, 2018, 12:41 pm

      Here , here John !!
      Got mine from C.M.P. as well . One hell of a good deal , if one were
      to ask me . They look over and rework when necessary, any parts that
      may require it . The price is more than fair , and my weapon , is a
      ” shooter ” . One would be a fool not to purchase from C.M.P.

  • otto jr anderson October 1, 2018, 10:10 am

    ha ha i got my m 1 rifle and i carried one in the marines for years . i home now and i got my m1.

  • Chuck Matson October 1, 2018, 10:01 am

    Good article.

  • Trooper October 1, 2018, 9:57 am

    Good article, but… The first photo of Ike and the 101st would be taken as an insult by any 82nd trooper when used to illustrate a story about a real hero of the 82nd. There are plenty of photos extant of the 82nd and it was editorially lazy not to use one. Secondly, while the reenactment trooper may be wearing nearly period correct uniform items, there are several glaring errors. To begin with, that “trooper” is way too clean – he belongs on a parade field and not a battlefield. His black jump boots should be brown, and are missing the trademark trench or boot knife . Troopers usually discarded their gas masks and used the bags as musette bags for extra ammo and rations. The jumpsuit worn by the 82nd troopers had several extra pockets, especially in the “baggy pants”. These pockets were added by the troopers themselves or by helpful seamstresses and adoptive families in the UK. The suits were stiff and uncomfortable when clean, and much rumpled and slick in places when sweaty and dirty because they were impregnated with a malodorous chemical to protect against poison gas attacks. A couple final notes: Wray’s excursion actually constituted a personal counterattack and not a recon. He reported to his CO that his unit was likely to be overrun soon, and was told that no reinforcements were available, and a counterattack (typical 82nd tactics) was their best option. He took it upon himself to mount this attack and leave his platoon in place in their dug-in positions. Finally, when Wray returned, LTC Ben Vandervoort took one look at him and remarked “They are getting a little close aren’t they, Waverly?” To which Wray, responded in his southern drawl, “Yessah, but Ah reckon Ah am gettin’ a whole lot closer to them than they are to me…”

  • Mad Mac October 1, 2018, 9:54 am

    M1 Garands may be purchased from the CMP, the Civilian Marksmanship Program, the successor to the DCM, the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. Here are the requirements. http://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/rifle_sales/eligibility-requirements/

  • PD Rhodes October 1, 2018, 8:11 am

    First class article.
    M1.
    WW2.
    A fantastic person. Lt Wray.
    The author is also to be complimented.
    A flyer.
    The Nam.
    A right hand salute at attention: these two.

    PD Rhodes
    AO3 VA-196 Skyraiders
    Bon Homme Richard 64 and 65 Nam cruises.

  • Keith D Hadsel October 1, 2018, 8:02 am

    Where could a M1 be purchased?

    • Patrick October 1, 2018, 8:49 am

      You can purchase M1 Garand’s from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). This is the civilian version of the DCM.

  • Pete Farris October 1, 2018, 6:12 am

    There is an article in the current issue of the GCA (Garand Collectors Association) Journal by one Richard Mattson, son of a man who grew up next to the John Garand family in Massachusetts. He dispelled the rumor about the pronunciation of the name by assuring that the Garand family pronounced the name “guh-rand.”

  • Tim October 1, 2018, 5:45 am

    I grew up dairy farming and used a DCM Garand and surplus ball to thin out the woodchucks in the hay fields and with better bullets for big game. After high school I packed up my Garand, and headed off to live in Alaska. For the first three years in Alaska I hunted every thing from moose and bear to sheep. I still have that old rifle.

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