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Info needed on Friends mystery M-1

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  • Info needed on Friends mystery M-1

    A friend of mine at work told about an M-1 rifle that his dad had left to him. He did not know anything about it other than it was an M-1. He is a good guy, just not a gun guy, but he is learning. I told him to bring it to me and I would check it out for him. He agreed and I got the rifle home.

    First thing I noticed on the rear of the receiver where the mfg. s/n etc. would be it is baby butt smooth. That got me a little excited (not a good excited) because I did not know what I had. I thought maybe I had an after market receiver and S/N was someplace else. Just Guessing. When I looked at it the first time I only had a minute due to my schedule. I did however get some time later on and did an in depth strip and took it all apart. All the part numbers / drawing numbers are good on the assorted parts. But still no typical mfg. S/N. I was really perplexed and as I was looking more closely wearing magnifying glasses and a bright flashlight by chance at the right angle I DID see the Mfg. and S/N right were it should be. It was all there:

    Springfield Armory

    But it was like it was covered over with something but it was still there, no abrasion marks like a grinder or anything like that. Sorry no pics,had to send my camera into the shop (that's another story). So I breathed a sigh of relief and continued on. I cleaned it all up as it had been shot. All the parts are in great order. In the stock in had the take down tool and the oilier tube both in place. The stock seemed strange to me as it was very nice, all there and the wood to metal fit was very good. The stock was almost too nice. It was like a stock off of a sporting rifle, glossy and nicely grained. With my experience form CMP rifles I just have not seen one like that. I am guessing it was after market. Where this rifle originally came from I have no idea. Just trying to get some info for my friend. Anybody have any ideas about mfg date from the S/N series or anything please let me know.

  • #2
    Re: Info needed on Friends mystery M-1

    The stock should be inspected closely for a "P" or circled "P" on the underside of the wrist and for inspector's cartouches on the left side near the receiver area.

    Don't be surprised if a previous owner sanded them off and applied varnish or Casey's to the wood. Refinishing military boiled Linseed oil/Tung oil finishes was common in the 1960's and 1970's. Many military surplus Garands from the DCM and later the CMP displayed what was considered 'unsightly' rack numbers, S/Ns on the stock, arsenal rebuild stamps, inspector cartouches and various maufacturers' in-process sub-inspector stamps.

    Don't let the 'nicely grained' walnut fool you into thinking the stock is aftermarket. Back in the day, the military bought beautiful black walnut heartwood for pennies. Today, some of the old Springfield 1903 and Garand wood might be sold as 'Fancy' or Extra Fancy' on modern products. Those old trees yielded beautiful stocks and the workmanship on the stock duplicators was extraordinary...even during wartime! The attention to detail paid by Springfield Arsenal and later by International Harvester and HRA was so good as to be still revered by firearm experts today.

    I own a CMP M1917 returned from a veteran's organization (VFW, most likely) and it features a very'd gloss job on the Eddystone wood. I figure the guy that fired funeral detail salutes with it kept that rifle looking like a glamour queen for his deceased friends in arms. I'll leave it just as I received it.

    Personally, I view the non-mil spec alterations as part of the history of the rifle.

    The 3 million serial number range puts the rifle in the October/November 1944 build area:

    Odds are, this particular rifle was thru arsenal inspection/rebuild at least once and possibly two or three trips thru the system.

    Check the right side of the barrel for the barrrel's build date. It should match the receiver build range or precede it by a few months if it is original to the receiver. Barrel production was usually ahead of receiver production. The original pipe should also be marked "SA" (Springfield Armory).

    A later barrel date (say...August 1953) would indicate a rebuild/replacement. Garands were actively updated after WW2 and fitted with a series of upgraded and revised pieces parts thru the Korean war and thru the following years.

    By comparing the drawing numbers and types of part configurations found on a specific rifle, the approximate period of rework can be calculated. A local 'Garand guy' (perhap the guy selling a few on his table at a gunshow) or the folks on Culver's board/Garand forum can tell you more details about the rifle, but be prepared to furnish all drawing numbers found on the various pieces parts and perhap a picture or two of the internal parts.
    Last edited by CAMPYBOB; January 4, 2010, 19:15.


    • #3
      Re: Info needed on Friends mystery M-1

      Campy Bob, thanks for the info. I did look on the stock where you specified and there is nothing there. I do appreciate your insight. Happy new year!