Soldier Holding an M1 Garand MemorablePlaces Proudly Presents: The M1-Garand Rifle
An American Companion in Three Wars
Our Experiences With The CMP
M1 Garand Surplus Rifles
(Civilian Marksmanship Program)
in 1999 and 2000

Page 9

A Better Day At The Range

I could not wait to see what the folks at The Civilian Marksmanship Program had accomplished with my M1 Garand so I cancelled my Friday plans and drove out to the rifle range. I set up my shooting bench as I always do and waited for a cease fire so I could go post a target at 50 yards and then see if the old M1 Garand rifle would finally cycle.

One of the guys that had been up at the rifle range before (watching me swap out parts) was a guy from Mil Tech who was busy test firing their M1 Garand rifles. He joked with me asking if I thought it would work this time. I was polite... no really... I was.

After posting my target I walked back to the bench and my wife set up the spotting scope. I got out my notebook so I could record any new problems and laid out several clips of ball ammo. I then laid the rifle up on the sandbags and with some trepidation began my test.

The Moment Of Truth...

I loaded a clip of ball ammo into them old Springfield Armory M1 Garand rifle and directed my attention to the black part of the target. A breath in... a little exhale.... squeeeeeze.... 'POP' the muffled sound of a shot... and then... 'pingkityping'! It had ejected the spent casing!

Well that was a start. In prior tests my M1 Garand rifle had failed to eject more times than it failed to feed. I pulled the bolt back about 1/2 inch and noted that a new cartridge had fed. Woohoo! This might just be working! I tried again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! Again...
squeeeze.. POP... pinkityping! --- Ka-Lang!
The empty clip ejected and bounced off of my head!

Hot damn! The thing actually works! After having spent over 100 rounds of ammo testing and swapping parts and trying again and never having it cycle before, what would normally be passť to most people WAS indeed a big deal.

Jerry's Magic had worked! The Garand rifle finally functioned like a champ.

The Broad Side Of A Barn

I now directed my attention to the target. I certainly had not expected the sights to be set correctly, but I could not see one single hit! Bah! 50 yards and not a single black mark on the tan paper. Well at least the rifle was cycling. I'd have to figure out the sight problem. I'd wait for the next cease fire and move the target in to 25. I looked at my shooting partner who was smiling and pointing to the spotting scope. I dutifully obeyed and peered into it.

Oh my! It turned out that I had not missed the target at all... In fact somehow I had actually gotten all 8 shots in the black! And what's more the group was damn tight! I wouldn't have to move my target IN for the next round, I'd have to move it BACK! (Gotta have some challenge afterall.) On the next cease fire I did just that... I moved the target back as far as the range would allow (only 100 yards) and loaded up 3 clips of CMP's match ammo.

Twenty-four slowfire shots later I looked through the scope again to find that twenty-four bullets had punctured a 3 - 7/8 inch group out of my target and all but nine of them were in a ragged 1- 7/8 inch hole! To say I was pleased with my M1 Garand rifle and surprised at the change would be an understatement.

First target with match ammo at 100 yards shooter not trained for peep sights.
24 Rounds slow Fire Benchrest with M1 Garand at 100 yards with CMP match ammo.

I took the old M1 Garand apart, this time detail stripping it completely except for the sights and then I reassembled it. I fired again and had no stoppages and no problems.

I was very pleased and I remain so today...

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