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This Or That, On A Budget

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    This Or That, On A Budget

    Hey all, new here. Not new to M1's, but with age comes wisdom, and slightly higher income I'd never be able to afford before.

    I want to get my first non service or field grade M1. I have a $2000 budget, and for that I can pick up a last 10,000 SA Garands made with slightly higher wear numbers, or a correct grade HRA that looks prestine with barely fired numbers.

    I won't shoot it much, it' more for its 'I have it value' to my buddies.

    Being new to this grade of gun, which would you say is better for a wow factor.. I'm torn, any suggestions are much appreciated!!

    I realize value is in the eye of the individual.
    Last edited by Krmiller01; 11-15-2017, 11:13 PM.

    #2
    You should be able to pick up a really nice M1 for between $1000.00 and $1500.00. Post war HRAs are nice M1s and shoot well.

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      #3
      SA is more desirable, but I like better condition myself and would pick the HRA that's more like new.
      It will all be different to everyone, some guys personally like one brand over another and would take one in slightly more worn condition, some like the well worn look more than anything. Some like pre-war or post-war. Don't even ask about gas traps lol.
      m14brian

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        #4
        Winchesters are preferred by some people too, and those that like one manufacturer might not get one from another. Or, if you get bitten by the bug you need one of each kind.
        m14brian
        Last edited by m14brian; 11-16-2017, 12:47 AM.

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          #5
          Buy the correct grade HRA. It has far more value than a worn SA that's probably a mixmaster anyway.

          Comment


            #6
            Tough call.

            As to desirability, I can tell you that back when the CMP had racks full of both of these for roughly the same money (50 bucks apart?), I looked thru them all. The SA's were all excellent but somewhat used while the HRA's were just about flat new and almost perfect. I found an SA that had an actual hole in the stock where an oprod had gone thru into the clip-well opposite the cartouche. It was hard to miss but they didn't really seem to flinch. Talking to the fellas at the counter, they said that even though the HRA's were all pretty much pristine, they would sell every one of the SA's including the one with the hole in the stock, before they would sell more than one or two of the beautiful HRA's. I smiled and said these are the good old days that we are going to be talking about in years to come when they aren't available any more.

            Late SA production is among the very best Garands that SA made. Part of the lower valuation problem with HRA's is that collectors find them almost boring because they did such a great job making the Garand that there are fewer variations with which collectors can concern themselves. That being said, the HRA's are uniformly excellent all the way across production and all of them just perform exceptionally well. Remember it was HRA that helped IHC solve their production/testing problems.

            If you want a great shooter then either will fill your needs, but for that money you should be able to dig around until you find a nice original HRA with an LMR barrel - the LMR's are legendary for a reason, and the 'wow' will really come out when you do take it to the range.
            Last edited by Bodyman; 11-16-2017, 08:21 AM.

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              #7
              Thanks all, I appreciate the insight!

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                #8
                Some people looked down on HRAs because of H&R on the commercial side made inexpensive firearms. But on the government side it was a different story. HRA was the only manufacturer commercial or government to manufacturer M1 Garands, T48s (FAL inch prototypes), M14s and M16s. I think that speaks volumes as to HRA ability to manufacture quality military arms.
                Last edited by RDS; 11-16-2017, 12:57 PM.

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                  #9
                  I have 4 M1 rifles. 2 SA, 1 HRA and a "Tractor" (IHC) rifle. The SA's are both WWII-1 early (Sept '42) and 1 late (May '45). I like the SA's because-well-they're SA- the "Original" and my father carried an SA M1 in the SWPA in WWII. I like the IHC for the novelty of it, but the HRA is hands-down the most accurate of the 4 and shows the most attention to fit and finish. For range time it's the SA's or tractor gun. For match shooting MY HRA is my go-to rifle. Just food for thought.
                  Jon
                  Last edited by TJT; 11-17-2017, 02:41 PM.

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                    #10
                    An HRA may have either an HRA or LMR barrel. Either will be an excellent shooter. The LMR's are known for their excellent workmanship but remember, HRA had over 100 years of gun making experience, and their barrels are every bit as good as the LMR's. I wouldn't let the make of barrel sway my decision one way or t'other. A VERY early HRA COULD have an SA barrel as well.
                    Jon

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                      #11
                      Don't get me wrong, I am not snubbing HRA barrels which are excellent, but he wanted a 'wow' factor too and the LMR's are pretty snazzy. And there are enough of them out there to actually have a good chance of finding one for yourself.

                      As I understand, the secret to the LMR barrels was that they were so consistent internally that shooters loved them and there are stories of fellas in the Marine Corps still searching for any of the last leftovers in the system into the early 70's!

                      SA barreled HRA's? I have only seen one, and it was cool.

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                        #12
                        About 25% of HRA's will have LMR barrels. They're not rare as once thought. It was match shooters in general looking for LMR barrels--not just the Corps.
                        Jon

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