The CMP recently made a number of Service grade Garands for sale and as Winchester remained a gaping hole in my M1 collection this seemed like the ideal opportunity to remedy the situation. Technically they weren’t a grand but $930 seems close enough to take liberty with the title. I’m by no means a hardcore Garand collector, the wretched scrambling for their precious parts by those pathetic Gollum saddens me. I have long maintained however that a CMP Garand is one of the most consistently solid purchases a firearms enthusiast can make and try to buy at least a few every year. Prices have creeped up recently even as the supply of rifles have dwindled which has led to grumbling on the CMP Forum and various other discussion groups that they aren’t worth buying any longer. I call bullshit on that as you simply can’t touch a similar Garand anywhere else for sub $1k.
When the CMP listed these Winchester Service grade rifles I nearly missed it as I was busy hanging out on a beach on a Caribbean island and it took a fair bit of effort to figure out where to get an order form printed out. By the time I got the form mailed I figured all the hardcore Garand people had FedExed their order forms overnight and snagged them all. You can read the lengths they go to on the CMP forum along with their special instructions about how they would like their rifles hand picked with only rare parts blah blah blah. Much to my surprise I received an email last week that the CMP was processing my order…. And now my order has arrived and I’m opening the first rifle.
Initial impression is that it is an “as advertised” Service grade rifle. If you read the comments on the CMP forum you would think they are trying to scam people by reselling Blue Sky imports but I have yet to receive a bad rifle. Stock is new CMP wood and the majority of parts are SA with a Beretta op rod thrown in for variety. Only thing that appears original are the lock bar sights which I will have to figure out how to adjust. Muzzle is +1 and throat is +2 with the bore looking sharp and clean. Apart from the stock it all compares quite favorably with the first Garand I bought from the CMP years back. It’s probably not a desirable rifle for the Garand parts picker mafia however for an average shooter and casual collector like myself it’s a great looking rifle at a great price.
After recieving some feedback I will add that the receiver appears, to me, to be free of pitting or really any issues. It has a bit of wear various places which seems in line with a rifle produced in July 1944 but it’s really in remarkably nice shape.
In conclusion the CMP is hands down the best deal going for shooters interested in an M1 Garand. Don’t be dissuaded by the talk that aren’t worth buying buy the crusty old parts pervs and flippers at gun shows. Get your paperwork in to the CMP and watch for the next batch to become available.