View Full Version : Took the Garand out first time, have questions

09-08-2009, 9:00 AM
Man, do I love this rifle! I'd never even handled one of these before and didn't have any dummy rounds to practice with at home, so it was definitely a learning experience at the range. No M1 thumb so far, but I did manage to launch a full clip forward of the firing line while attempting to load :pinch:

I do have a couple of quick questions. Firstly, on your rifles, when you insert a fresh clip and pull your thumb out, does the bolt go forward on its own? Mine seems to always require a light smack of the op-rod handle. Is it designed to stay latched, is it designed to go forward on its own, or does it just depend on the rifle and its mood that day?

Secondly, what are my options as far as sights go? The peep aperature is much too big for my preference, for target work. I would rather have something more like the small aperature on AR15 sights, that's what I'm used to. Should I spring for some National Match sights? It's a refinished CMP "special" so I'm not going to fret about historical accuracy, but I'm also not going to do anything that's not easily reversible.

And finally, can anyone point me to a local club or Garand match? I'd like to compete casually, to keep my skills up and have some fun.

Thanks in advance!

Francis Marion
09-08-2009, 9:14 AM
Some go forward automatically, others are balky, but at all times it's prudent to control the forward impulse of op rod handle with the knife edge of your loading hand. Seat the clip to its design depth, then shove the op rod handle forward if need be.

There are NRA HP shoots all over SD county, and you'd be welcome here:
Might google Garand national match sights and see what you find.

09-08-2009, 9:20 AM
Mine closes when you insert the clip.

There is also these guys for (somewhat) local matches:

09-08-2009, 9:30 AM
I just took my HRA Correct Grade M1 to Chabot yesterday to shoot for the first time...these things are a frickin blast (literally) to shoot.

My Garand's bolt required a gentle shove from the charging handle to strip the first round from a clip.

It also helpfully ejected the empty clip (*PING*) onto my hat every time, where it would sit until I looked around for it on the ground and it fell off. I think I heard a snicker from my rangemates once or twice :)

They are amazing rifles.


09-08-2009, 10:02 AM
As for historic accuracy: 3" group (I forgot how many shots) at 100yrd, factory-new rifle on a machine-rest. This is from one of Clancy's document (dated 1943 I believe?).

09-08-2009, 4:38 PM
Taking apart the rear sight is easy and putting it back together is also.

You can find National Match apertures in Shotgun News (Sarco and one other I can't think of)

Go to surplus rifle.com for info on rear sight installation. http://www.surplusrifle.com/garand/rsdisassembly/index.asp

I've read that some hand fitting may be required.

Fulton Amory - A place to start - go to grand parts scroll down about half way - http://www.fulton-armory.com/

good Luck

09-08-2009, 4:43 PM
+1 on the knife hand. The bolt is designed to go forward on its own, hence the whole M1 thumb effect. I also knife-hand the charging handle to keep it from shooting forward prematurely, and then give it a good whack to send the bolt forward.

That reminds me...I still need to head to chabot sometime and get my Garand re-zeroed...

09-08-2009, 6:14 PM
Most M1 Rifles I've owned or shot needed a bump on the oprod handle to start the bolt forward. Sometimes they will go on their own but not that often.

09-08-2009, 6:20 PM
The National Match rear sight will require fitting. I've heard mixed opinions of the Fulton Armory NM rear sight.

I think you might want to consult with Don Gussler regarding a NM rear sight. He might actually have them in his shop and will install it for you.

09-08-2009, 6:23 PM
depends on the en-blocs also. some are tighter pinching the cartridges together thus requiring a bump to the op rod. well used ones lose a bit of tension and the bolt is able to close on it's own.

09-08-2009, 6:25 PM
Mine was a bit stubborn with inserting the clip and the bolt not crashing forward until I smacked the op rod, and then all of a sudden I pushed in a fresh clip about half-way through a shooting day and OUCH! Poor thumb, but that was the last time that happened, I learned real quick to hold the op rod when inserting a clip. I have noticed that sometimes it wants to go forward when you seat the clip and sometimes it wouldn't.

Yeah a slightly bloody and very bruised thumb but I kept shootin'

09-08-2009, 6:25 PM
I think the best sights you can get for the Garand is a globe front like this:

.... combined with a rear sight that, instead of the standard peep, has a threaded aperture in which you can mount a Lyman peep sight. That's what I did and the sight picture is perfect for accurate target shooting. If you can't find one that is threaded, you can buy a regular one from Numrich:

I have a fairly fine aperture on mine. Once you put the peep disc on the aperture, it will not dial down all the way to the bottom. This should not be a problem since the higher front sight will reaquire the rear to be up a few clicks. If you want to get it lower, dress down the front, inside bottom of the peep disc and you should able to get the disc within about 3 clicks of the bottom.

If you don't want to go this route there ia a NM hooded aperture available that's a straight switch out. You may want to give that a try, but I don't think it's as fine as the peep/globe setup.

09-08-2009, 6:37 PM
I would rather have something more like the small aperature on AR15 sights, that's what I'm used to. Should I spring for some National Match sights?

you guys must have young eyes still. i can't see sh$t through the aperture anymore.:cool2:

09-09-2009, 10:27 AM
You can install a NM hooded aperture (it will need to be fitted) to a regular GI base but there will not be enough clearance in the curved relief for the hood.. what you can do is find the early non hood NM aperture (.595 peep) which does cost a tad more... you can fit a NM hooded aperture to a GI base but you'll need to use a 1/2" ball end mill and mill out the clearance.
In the pic you can see the difference.. GI base on the left and NM base on the right

09-09-2009, 12:43 PM
Read the manual for your M1 rifle carefully, and you'll find that, if it is set up correctly, and the en-bloc clip is in good condition, the bolt will close as you latch the clip fully down.

If you use the correct technique, your thumb will be harmlessly swept out of the way as the bolt closes, and the reload is accomplished very quickly. I can tell you this from first-hand experience, having fired a rather large number of rounds with the M1 at local matches.

I confess to being only 'mediocre', at best, with the M1 rifle, myself, but I've observed some very good M1 rifle handling by highly skilled shooters. The reload appears to take less than a second from the time the en-bloc clip of rounds approaches the rifle, til the bolt is closed on the first round of the clip.

That said, yes, one commonly sees M1's a bit out of timing, or 'sticky' en-bloc clips, so that the clip appears to latch down alright, but the operating rod handle has to be struck or pushed to get the bolt started forward. Reading the manual will explain how this may happen, and how to correct it.

The technique involved in latching down the clip of rounds correctly without risking injury to your thumb is easily learned, but does require a good amount of practice, best done at home with dummy rounds.

Added on edit: You can shoot as well as the rifle will, with the original issue aperture. This, again, is a matter of learning the technique involved, and practice, practice, practice. Its true enough that highly skilled and experienced match shooters, who are determined to win matches, will invest large amounts of money in upgrading the M1 for match use, but that is no substitute for developing the relevant skill and experience with an original issue rifle, in good condition. Having a match grade rifle, or doing upgrades to your rifle, won't make a match grade shooter of you, you have to do that for yourself.



Eat Dirt
09-09-2009, 10:17 PM
Most M1 Rifles I've owned or shot needed a bump on the oprod handle to start the bolt forward. Sometimes they will go on their own but not that often.

Mine needs a little bump to the bolt foward / But .I like it that way