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Old 10-22-2016, 10:15 PM
Greg Ficklin Greg Ficklin is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 594

No sticky thread about equipment would be complete without mentioning the rifles themselves. Most shooters start with an M1 from the CMP from one of the the grades available. I recommend a service grade, or CMP Specials for the matches, but the field and rack grade rifles can also perform very well if the stock is tight. Before the games matches were started by the CMP, it was common for most M1's, used in any competition, to be "glass bedded". Glass bedding is really a bit of hold over terminology from the days when fiberglass resin was used to return a stock back to proper fitment, but today two part epoxies are better. As stocks compress, and trunion bosses wear, armorers would stretch the service life of GI stocks by means of bedding, or adding shims. National Match team rifles were always glass bedded to improve longevity, and consistency over a whole season or more without replacing the stock. The truth is, glass bedding really just restores a rifle to the performance level expected from a well fitted new stock. I used to think of glass bedding as an accuracy enhancement, but it really isn't. The CMP rules do not allow it because of the perception of all rifles not being equal. The good news is your rack or service grade with a brand new stock will perform as well as any glass bedded rifle at 200 yards. The as issued scores of 290+ fired at Perry prove it. In the game of as issued JCG matches, the only thing that matters is that the rifle shoots as well as it can within the rules. That means that no part is sacred, or exempt from replacement for the sake of originality, or collector value. Very few people into this have only one Garand. I have limited myself to three. One is a WWII Winchester from the old DCM that remains a safe queen. One is my post war H&R Service Special for the JCG matches, and last is my .308 three lug Unlimited WWII Springfield built by Clint Fowler. They all have a specific job. You need at least one Garand that has the job of shooting matches, and winning. You can't be squeemish about replacing a barrel every 4000 rounds, or replacing the wood or any other part as needed to perform "as new". There is no recognition, or special consideration for using a rifle that is not as good as it can be for the sake of sentimental attachment to all "correct" parts. There is a legitimate place for this in collecting rifles, and many will use their 4 or 5 digit collector grade guns in the matches, but just like there is no crying in baseball, there is no crying at the range. You run the risk of not having a gun that performs as well as it could, or damaging it from rain and heavy use. keep a safe queen for taking pictures, and hunting parts if that interests you, but for the matches, have an M1 that gets you where you want to go with your shooting too.
Distinguished Rifleman #2198
NRA HP XTC High Master (service rifle)
NRA Patron Life member
PCGC Junior Team coach
CMP GSM Master Inst.
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