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M1 Garand. Shooting Lefty in Rapid String--Rapid Reload

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    M1 Garand. Shooting Lefty in Rapid String--Rapid Reload

    I shoot from the "wrong" shoulder. I shoot XTC and JCG/GSM matches so rapid reloading from the prone position is a necessity. On more than one or two occasions I have run across the question from a lefty about rapid reloading from the wrong shoulder in the rapid-fire stages of the match. Seems they usually say it's complicated, they have to come completely out of the sling, have to load right-handed, then work every thing back in to place. Well, here's how I do it and it works. I've done it this way for 30+ years and have never had a problem with it, had "saved rounds" or had to rush to finish the string (80 seconds is a l-o-n-g time to fire 10 rounds). Here's how I do it:
    First of all, during your prep period, place the loaded 8-round clip on your left-side about where your shoulders are, outside of the rifle, pointy end of the bullets facing at the target. You'll have to experiment to find YOUR exact spot, but you'll find it in short order.
    After the first two shots have been fired and the clip has ejected, WITHOUT loosening your right-hand grip or sling or right elbow position, lower the butt from your shoulder and keeping the rifle straight up and down, rest the toe of the stock on your shooting mat (you DO use a shooting mat, don't you??) and SLIGHTLY roll to the right to keep your balance. Reach over your rifle, pick up the waiting clip with your left hand, and with your left thumb pointing towards the target and your left elbow high in the air, push the loaded clip straight down into the rifle just as a rightey would, only it's mirror-image to him. If the bolt does not close, or you have one of those M1's that needs a nudge to close, tilt the rifle to the left about 45* and hit the op rod handle with the heel of your left hand. Now that it's reloaded and everything is in battery, reshoulder the rifle and carry on. With practice, you won't be any slower than your right-handed competitor friends, and you won't have any saved rounds or have to hurry your remaining shots off.
    Try it, you'll like it. Trust me, it works.
    And, just for the record, I load my clips with the top round on the right.
    Jon
    Last edited by TJT; 02-22-2016, 12:59 AM.

    #2
    Great info, Jon. Thanks for sharing!
    Welcome to the Addiction!

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      #3
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        #4
        For what it's worth, greasing the op=rod catch surfaces makes an otherwise well-greased Garand FAR easier to reload. Often the bolt unlocks and slides into battery under my thumb.
        The thief may possess something he stole, but he does not own it.
        The owner has a right to take his property back from the thief.

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          #5
          First…thanks for posting. Question, are you saying that if the bolt starts to close while your thumb is still pushing down on the clip, the bolt will push you thumb up and out of the way? If true, why do right hand guys get the M1 thumb. From what I’ve seen, they usually don’t have their thumb nail facing they bolt face, but rather the side of their thumb. But then it could be the angle of the thumb joint. Just wondering.

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            #6
            It is a physical impossibility to get M1 thumb when loading a FULL-- notice the emphasis on FULL--clip of 8 rounds into the M1 rifle. Had it been a "problem", don't you think the Army and Mr. Garand would've addressed it? Hmmmmm?
            Yes, the bolt will move your thumb up, out of the way. One gets M1 thumb when loading a less-than-full clip and/ or handling the rifle with the bolt caught behind the follower instead of being fully locked back, or by doing something really stupid like pressing down on the follower with the bolt locked back.
            The "secret" is in learning how to PROPERLY operate the machinery.
            Jon

            Try this if you don't believe me: TRY to ride the bolt over the top round of a FULL clip without chambering the round. It can't be done. The bolt is gonna' chamber the round, NOT your thumb. It's simple laws of physics: 2 or more objects can not occupy the same space in time.
            Last edited by TJT; 08-09-2021, 01:55 PM.

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