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  #1  
Old 12-31-2020, 12:27 PM
joeysportster joeysportster is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 10
Default First Garand... Now what?

I am eagerly waiting for my first M1 Garand (RM1SERVICE), which will hopefully arrive in the next few weeks (order received by CMP on 10/20/2020). I have read numerous internet articles and posts about what to do next, but the advice varies from take it to the range immediately (this scares me) to take it to a qualified armorer for a detailed safety inspection (would significantly increase the wait to my first shot).

While I am eager to shoot my first M1 Garand as soon as I can and plan to use it as a regular shooter, I do not necessarily want to risk unnecessary damage to the rifle. I definitely view this as a piece of history in my hands. I am comfortable about regular maintenance and detailed disassembly as needed, but not sure what I need to do to get the rifle up and running safely. I want to properly care for the gun, but don't want to end up being overly protective of it. I have read about others' rifles still having some cosmoline, needing replacement springs, and/or having slightly off-spec parts (op rods, etc.) that needed replacing.

It appears that the CMP, GCA, etc., recommends having you rifle properly inspected by a qualified armorer, but is this typically necessary based on the work the CMP does before they ship the rifle? Should I expect to replace a certain parts on the rifle immediately? How much cosmoline cleanup should I anticipate? I am trying to keep my questions simple, but I have so many.

I would appreciate any "First Steps" from those that have been through this process and might be able to put some of my questions at ease.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2020, 01:14 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is online now
 
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You should examine, inspect for safety and function, learn the operation of, and remove protective lubricants and prepare to fire by proper cleaning and lubrication any new-to-you firearm, even factory new.
Firearms are rarely shipped in "ready to fire" condition, CMP firearms most certainly are not. Preservative oil is not the same as "proper lubrication", and either way, it's a tool with a large amount of potential energy.
Take it apart, inspect and lubricate it.
Pilots preflight aircraft, OSHA suggests (requires) inspections of industrial equipment, don't pull the trigger on a firearm you have not ensured is safe.

There is no telling how much cosmoline will be on the rifle, each is different but I would not expect it to have any. It will probably be dirty and greasy and need to be cleaned. Most confuse that for the mythical cosmoline. Either way it doesn't matter, take it apart and clean it. Oil and grease as specifically required for the Garand, CMP will include an instruction book and there are 4711 web links/videos on Garand specific oil and grease application.

If you do not feel comfortable inspecting the Garand for safety (nothing wrong with that, every Garand owner/shooter had never inspected one until they did) then find someone familiar to assist. A gunsmith, fellow collector, watch videos while inspecting yours, whatever it takes for you to understand the operation, function and safety details.
CMP's reputation for excellence and service is clear, but they employ humans, focus on the minimum labor expended per firearm (just like any operation) and have no illusions of 0.00% errors. So become familiar enough with the rifle to make the decision to pull the trigger.
Every soldier, sailor, airman, marine, police officer, whatever is assumed to know nothing and thus stepped through that process so they too can make that decision to pull the trigger. Books, forums, youtubes can do that for you.

JH
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2020, 01:41 PM
jkv45 jkv45 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: WI
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I've never received even a brand new gun that was ready to fire.

One recent new rifle purchase was caked with heavy rusty-looking grease, another new pistol was completely dry with no lubrication at all. The rifle had part of a Clear Barrel Indicator (CBI) stuck halfway down the barrel as well.

I'm surprised at the amount of gun owners that take a gun right out of the box and to the range without inspecting or lubricating it. Most of the used guns I've purchased have been completely free of lube also.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:04 PM
USMA-1982 USMA-1982 is online now
 
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Besides disassembly, cleaning and lubricating the action, the stock will need 23 coats of BLO or tung oil before you take it to the range (once per day for a week, once per week for a month and once per month for a year)!!!

Seriously, it may be history in your hands, but it's a battle rifle not Ming china. Zvenoman nailed it - "inspect for safety and function, learn the operation of, and remove protective lubricants and prepare to fire by proper cleaning and lubrication any new-to-you firearm, even factory new." No need to overthink it.

Enjoy!
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2020, 02:06 PM
MTC29 MTC29 is offline
 
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The first step is to read the CMP provided instruction manual. You'd be amazed at how many new buyers skip this simple, but vital step. Once you've familiarized yourself with operating the rifle, disassemble it, inspect it, and then clean and lubricate it as outlined in the manual. Once you've done these basic tasks you are ready to head for the range.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2020, 02:20 PM
joeysportster joeysportster is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma
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Oh, I absolutely agree with your points about proper cleaning and lubrication of any firearm. I am not new to firearms, just to M1s. I bought a new shotgun a couple of years ago and spent 2-hrs trying to get the barrel clean. My dad bought a new pistol last year that looked like it had been rolled in the sand and dirt before the manufacturer boxed it.

My meaning was to make the point that there is a lot of information out there from a lot of sources, some less reputable than others. Mostly I am trying to establish my base for the world of the M1 Garand.

I guess my concern was more along the lines of what condition the rifle be in terms of grease, grime, dirt, etc. and damaged parts? I think I could handle an inspection for cracks, significant wear, but I wouldn't be able to measure proper angles of certain parts. As far a damaged parts go, I have read about people getting rifles with bent op-rods, shortened, elongated, or broken springs, very worn trigger group locking lugs, etc.

I have read about the amazing rifles that are shipped from the CMP and am sure the folks at the CMP do a great job, but wasn't sure if the great rifles usually posted to these forums are the norm, or if they are just what people boast about. I plan on buying a spare spring kit, but not sure if I should replace regardless before I get it shooting ready.

Like I said, just trying to establish my base in the world of M1 rifles and make sure I don't get too far off course with bad information or futile efforts. Thanks again. Keep the info coming.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2020, 02:22 PM
joeysportster joeysportster is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMA-1982 View Post
Besides disassembly, cleaning and lubricating the action, the stock will need 23 coats of BLO or tung oil before you take it to the range (once per day for a week, once per week for a month and once per month for a year)!!!

Seriously, it may be history in your hands, but it's a battle rifle not Ming china. Zvenoman nailed it - "inspect for safety and function, learn the operation of, and remove protective lubricants and prepare to fire by proper cleaning and lubrication any new-to-you firearm, even factory new." No need to overthink it.

Enjoy!
Probably right. I do often over complicate things. Difficult to help it as I wait for my rifle.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2020, 02:25 PM
Normanclature Normanclature is offline
 
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Location: Illinois
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Welcome to the forum joey,
Zvenoman is spot on with his recommendations.
Here is my experience:
I was in ROTC in the 60s and active duty US Army after that. Was issued M1 and M14 rifles. Learned the basic functioning of the weapons, inspection, disassembly, cleaning, reassembly, function testing w/o live ammo and then to the range for live fire. Have had 9 M1s from DCM and CMP. All my service grades were in good shape but I still did all of the above procedures.
A few field/rack grades needed replacement of minor parts, such as op rod springs, sight knobs, sight covers, handguards. They probably were safe to fire without that, but I am a perfectionist when it comes to serviceable parts.
I strongly suggest you read the instruction manual the CMP sends with your M1. Do that several times and make sure you understand the rifle's controls, how it functions, etc.
I never took any of my M1s to a gunsmith as I felt I had the experience and competency to evaluate it.
Suggest you read the recent forum post of "hartinarmz" concerning the 4X M1 Service Grades he received recently. his experience is typical of conditions found on most SGs.

Last edited by Normanclature; 12-31-2020 at 02:38 PM. Reason: new info
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2020, 02:53 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is online now
 
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Normanclature makes a good point. "Gunsmith" is often used to describe the 19 YO working in the corner gun saloon, and if it is not what he just read in the latest "Guns N Girls" mag then it's not tacticool.... Most (many?) have never detail stripped a Garand.

On a serious note, youtube and this (and other) forums will get you comfortable with the Garand. Not ming china; I will keep that one on file.
It's a service rifle, meant to be abused and meant to be maintained by those same 19 year olds with some training.

FYI, my last Rack grade Garand from CMP had a small chip in the stock (why it was a rack grade). When I detail stripped it I discovered the trap door in the buttplate was broken (clearly no issue in shooting) and the lower band was buggered such that the pin fell out. Would it have been safe to fire? Probably for a thousand rounds or so, but I suspect accuracy would suffer. I understand the CMP inspection process and understand that 0.00% errors is not possible. Had I called CMP I am sure they would have swapped whatever, sent whatever needed (or given them over the counter, I live 90 minutes from the south store where I bought it). But I had the parts so I didn't bother. Also since I selected it at the SS I should have noticed those items so I didn't want anyone to know. So don't tell.
Broken mainsprings are not unheard of. As are good mainsprings with a part of an old one still in the tube.
What you see posted here are generally "better" examples of each grade, but the consensus is CMP does not overgrade rifles, and the few QC issues that slip through are handled better than 99.99% of other companies (in any field).
So expect the rifle to meet the service grade criteria, be dirty and be an excellent rifle. If it has cosmoline instead of grease I would be surprised, but it won't be any harder to clean (unless dipped in it). Obvious parts probably won't be broken, but as they only test fire a few rounds, and do not generally detail strip, you may find some minor imperfection. Contact them off this forum and remember it's not personal and they will make you a happy customer.

Don't overthink it? Well, it's new years, it's 2020, it's your first Garand, and you are in the time between ordering and receiving it. So good luck with the overthinking. Go to the CMP1911 forum, no overthinking there.

JH
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2020, 03:10 PM
NoDakMan NoDakMan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Kansas
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Joey,
Your first step should be to print off an order form for your 2nd Garand. You may as well do this now to save time later on when you're focused on cleaning your first one.
Also, GREASE should be on your radar.
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