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If you must sportorize an M1 Garand.....

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    If you must sportorize an M1 Garand.....

    I have a friend who is 91. In addition to being a real gentleman, he had a long career in the military, including the end of WWI and all of Korea, then time in Vietnam. His health is good, he's sharp, intelligent and funny. After a full recovery from a stroke, he's going strong.

    He's told me about the Garand and Carbine under his bed for some time, he began to worry they were not being cared for properly. I could tell they mean a lot to him and offered to clean them up and get them ready for his son to carry on the legacy. He had mentioned some work done by an armorer Okinawa. I had no real idea what was done, now I have them both for a few days of checking and cleaning. They were both in quite nice shape, just needing a light cleaning and lube. I was not quite ready for what I saw when I took them out of their
    cases.

    First the Garand. This work was done in 1963. More photos of the op rod and gas system if anyone cares to see that. The work on the receiver, barrel and trigger guard shows well done hot-blueing. Sadly the stamping on the receiver was damaged, the serial number is clear but the rest is faint. 1.7 million range. It appears the hot-bluing was done over a fresh parkerized finish.
    Here are a few photos... I don't have a great scale but my Garands show up at right around 10lbs, this one weighs 8.5.









    While it's hard to see a Garand modified like this, at least it was done with care. It will likely stay in this family for generations, I hope they value it half as much as it's current owner does.
    I'll photograph the gas system and op rod modifications as well as it's nearly matching Carbine little brother if there is any interest.

    Best
    Bruce
    Bruce Herrmann
    "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
    Mark Twain

    #2
    Bruce,
    Thanks for posting this......I find it very interesting what vets did to their rifles (or other weapons) after their service, or at least to the same / similar weapons they may have carried during their service.
    Please post more of this, and thanks again!!
    --Brian
    Welcome to the Addiction!

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      #3
      To me many of them are actually works of art and very well done. Would be interested to see how the gas system is done on this one
      Thanks for posting

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        #4
        So here are a few more images, hopefully they show the gas system, obviously it took some work to get this done.. I would imagine it's quite functional. I don't expect to have a chance to
        shoot this M1 but I've got it in shooting condition in terms of cleaning and lube so if someone wanted to shoot it, hopefully all would be fine. I doubt the owner will ever shoot it again but I'm going to invite him to the range. If not, his son lives a few blocks from me and is a retired army Colonel now working with the U.N. and has an active interest in shooting so I may be able to get him to bring both this one and the Carbine out some day.
        Images in no particular order and I'll try to break this up into more than one post....




        Next post I'll show some photos of the op rod and compare it to the stock version, pretty impressive amount of work and design went into this thing...I'm glad I had a chance to spend some time with it. I'll post the Carbine version in the appropriate section on the forum later...
        Bruce Herrmann
        "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
        Mark Twain

        Comment


          #5
          I wanted to try to show the difference in the op rod and spring, my guess is this probably took the gunsmith more time than almost any other component of this job.




          I wanted to try and compare barrel lengths with the goal of detailing the changes and modifications necessary to pull this off. I'm going to try to get more information on this gunsmith/armorer
          (the owner always calls him an "armorer" so I got the feeling he had a military background... Okinawa based in 1963)
          Bruce Herrmann
          "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
          Mark Twain

          Comment


            #6
            A few last photos. I'd just say once again, while I would not choose this modification to my Garands, I have a lot of respect for the work done and in the context of history and value of
            these rifles, It's hard to critical here. This is a period piece, done in a different time where priorities were different and so were tastes. It's been a pleasure to have an inside look at a
            piece of history owned by a great American soldier and officer.



            Trying to show the parkerizing on the functional side of the trigger group with the bluing on the outside surface...



            The stock is quite well routed and prepared for the receiver with a tight lock-up



            Bruce Herrmann
            "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
            Mark Twain

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for posting, there is some real craftsmanship work there

              Comment


                #8
                The American Rifleman did a multi page article on converting an M1 to a sporter back in the early 1960s. It was done the same way except in the AR rifle the rear sights were milled off and a Lyman rear peep sight was mounted. If anyone is interested a have a barrel with gas cylinder for one of these sporter conversions

                Comment


                  #9
                  In case there is interest, I just posted a group of photos showing the owner's modified Carbine over in that section of the forum.
                  Bruce Herrmann
                  "Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
                  Mark Twain

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There's a ton of custom work right there.
                    m14brian

                    Comment


                      #11
                      That is actually beautiful work done by a genuine craftsman. Sporterized WWII and WWI rifles are a real part of their history and the ones done that well take nothing away. M1917 rifles are a perfect example. If it wasn't for some quality Gunsmiths that recognized the quality and strength of those receivers we wouldn't have some of the magnum cartriges we have today. Thousands, if not millions or 1903 and Mauser rifles were converted in the late 40's - 60's to hunting grade rifles when a typical sportsman couldn't afford a Winchester 70 but could afford a $15 1903 converted for $50 to a rifle just as s good and just as accurate. I have a Remington and an SA my Father and Grandfather had done in the 50's and I grew up watching those rifles take so many deer I lost count.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        They sure are... here a two that you mention... and these were not heavily embellished. However, to my chagrin they both appear to have been correct rifles prior to being sporterized. A 1.28M M1903 and a 1943(?) K98. The Garand shown is truly a very nice looking weapon that I'm sure would be desired by most Garand collectors. Thank you for sharing the details of that beauty.
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