Gun Review: M1 Grand will serve owners well

It was a warm night, and the sun was beginning to set. I opened the olive drab hardcase that housed my M1 Garand. I pulled an eight round enbloc clip out of a pocket in the bandoleer of ammunition that I brought with. I placed the clip into position on top of the follower, applied a decent amount of pressure to the follower and slammed the bolt forward, effectively chambering a 150-grain bullet.

Slowly, I pulled the rifle up to my shoulder and looked through the peep sight and placed the middle prong on a cardboard box setup 100 yards away. I placed pressure on the trigger, slowly squeezing it until I felt a jolt shoot through my shoulder. The bullet impacted a few inches to the right of the circle I had drawn on it.

Ever since I first saw the movie Saving Private Ryan when I was 10 years old, I had wanted an M1 Garand, the standard U.S. military service rifle from 1936-1959. The legendary “ping” sound drew to me to the rifle, and the history behind it. General George S. Patton, the infamous World War II commander, called the M1: “The greatest battle implement ever devised.”

The M1 utilizes an eight-round enbloc clip and fires a hefty .30-06 cartridge. It is for sure one of the most accurate rifles the U.S. military ever used in service. It weighs in at around 10 pounds, making it not ideal to lug around all day, but it isn’t too terrible.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program, also referred to as the CMP, reassembles M1s and sells them to the general public.

There are different grades and price ranges depending mainly on how the rifle looks. The field grade, the one that I ordered, is the cheapest, and has the most wear. The stock has gouges and scratches, but to me that is only more history to it. This cost about $630.

The next one above that is the service grade. The stock has fewer scratches and gouges and appears newer. This grade cost about $730. The next one after that is the one of the nicest of all of them, the special grade. It has a brand new stock, barrel and everything else except the receiver. It is the nicest looking of all of them but comes in at a hefty $1,000 price tag.

I placed my order to the CMP on Jan. 28 of this year, and I received my rifle on May 11. It took quite awhile as they have to essentially put together a new rifle and test fired it to make sure it works.

I waited quite a long time to get an M1 Garand, and when I did, I was certainly not disappointed. The rifle is an American icon and was used to preserve freedom for the entire world. It’s an awesome rifle for anyone’s firearm collection. I would highly recommend picking up an M1.

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