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JayWilling

Thinking of Ordering a CMP Garand and Need some Input

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I'm thinking about ordering a Garand from CMP. I have slowed down buying stuff but I've always wanted one so I'm thinking of doing it. I would probably just take it out and shoot a few-to-several times a year, show it to family and friends, maybe  do a couple of casual competitions at my range...nothing too ambitious. I just love the platform though,  and I want one.

Having said that I'm confused about whether to get a service grade in 30.06 or a rebuilt in .308. As they are described, the service grade is 30.06 and wears all GI parts but maybe (probably) not original. Also they don't do well with today's 30.06 and need lighter rounds or a gas block mod. 30.06 is basically a buck a shot.
(If I read it right) The .308 has an original receiver but is re-barreled, new stocks, etc. They say it is basically a new gun. The .308 is much more plentiful and cheaper, and from what I've read so far people who have both variations say they are more accurate with the .308.

So I can't decide whether I want the cheaper-to-shoot newer gun or the more historic, duty worn piece that costs more to shoot. I just can't come up with which way to go on that. I'll probably start loading the caliber I get so that's not a huge issue.  Also at CMP website pricing, the .308 is about $300 more at $1030 than the service grade 30.06.

Any philosophical opinions?

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GET SOMETHING!  IMHO the original will be worth more in the years to come.  As time moves forward they will stand out.  The 308 rebuilds, not as much.  Parts will be around for quite a while yet, cost? who knows.  If your going to reload then ammo cost is not a real factor in the process.  As far as gas systems issues, yes firing new ammo may turn your op rod into a pretzel, if your reloading no problems otherwise just get Garand Gear Ported Plug and shoot away, or a Schuster plug.  Schuster does require adjustments between different ammo.

FYI, great '06 load for 100 yards in a M1 is a Hornady 155 BTHP Match COL 3.21 or ELD Match COL 3.24 loaded with Varget or H4895 to 44.0 grains, plus or minus a few tenths gets you 2500 FPS, YMMV prudent loading and such.

Good Luck, but please get one,you'll love it.  Wouldn't trade mine for anything.

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If you're looking for a shooter that will last I'd get the 308 Special grade.  You need to shoot 7.62 NATO spec in that or use a gas plug.  7.62 NATO is also cheaper than garand safe 30-06.  You will realize the savings in ammo cost over time.  BTW I tried several different 7.62 NATO in my Savage Scout.  US, German, Australian, Lithuanian, Austrian, Portuguese, Wolf, and others.  They are all about the same when it comes to accuracy.

I have a few SG and a FG Garand from CMP.  While they show some wear they are all fine shooters (the FG with the VAR barrel the best!). 

The Special Grade is basically a new rifle.  From what I've seen you can't get GI wood anymore.  The only mods required to convert to 7.62 NATO are new barrel and different size gas port.  They put a block in the magazine that serves no function other than prevent someone from trying to load a clip of 3006.

You cannot upgrade the appearance of a SG to a Special for $300 IMO.  

I'd get a 308 Special for a shooter.  They may not appreciate as fast as a SG but you're not going to lose money on it.

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1 hour ago, WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot said:

Garand in .308 = M1A

I disagree.  Performance is about the same with both cartridges unless you go to heavy bullets.  Shot Garands for some time. Trained and carried M14s in serious social situations.

JMO

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I'm so fortunate to get serious responses from such an august group, I trust all of your opinions.
The line of thinking that.308 is plentiful, cheaper, and a newer gun will last longer is what has caused me to puzzle over this so hard. I was thinking that way all along and also had been thinking of picking something else up in .308.  But...

I think what has emerged in my little mind is that my interest is not so much in the platform as the Garand itself. A friend has a Socom in .308, it's very shootable and it's cool, but it's not a Garand. So it looks like history is more important to me. I'm also not looking to win competitions with it necessarily. I enjoy reloading, and I enjoy gun projects almost as much as shooting, so the more mature, service grade rifle in 30.06 will give me more to tinker with I think. I'm leaning that way.

Thank you all for your sage and hopefully not so sober advice.

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There were some military Garands converted to .308... but when I was considering a Garand, I opted for .30-06. What it used for majority of its service life. I’m also one that prefers not going with an adjustable gas block, so I just shoot M2 ball or it’s equivalent out of my Garand.

 

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I got a NM M1A for my .308 itch. Prefer keeping .308 in magazines and .30-06 in enblocs.

 

My Garand was a Century build, with a Lithgow receiver, Danish VAR barrel (like new), and SA/PB parts. Sent to Shuff’s and had him refinish and add new wood (also check the receiver, which is good to go). The Specials CMP does are very similar, and they will look similar... but you also don’t tend to see big issues with Service Grade rifles. Is it going to look brand new? Likely not, but likely has a lot of life left over (used to be better chances when they had a large amount of rifles). Sight unseen, I’d prefer to get a Special, as it was redone with a new barrel... you know what is coming. But prefer to look over a Garand before buying... like I did with mine. It was priced right for the parts, so walked away happy.

 

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All the garands i got from the cmp were in 30-06. Keep in mind you need to use M1 loadings and not comercial hunting 30-06 or you risk bending the oprod.

In my mind m1s are 3006, so ill lean you to that, but 308 would make some sence as a shooter especially if thats already in your stable. I dont have anything in 308, sp that would be another caliber to stock for me.

Cmp still has ammo at good prices, so as long as thay holds you cant go wrong with the original caliber

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I am pretty sure (but not certain) that you have to have the 30-06 for the CMP as issued matches.  I don’t think you can use the gas plugs for some matches. Probably should take a look at rule book if you want to do matches at some point. 

 

I have the 30-06.  I’ve bought the Greek HXP as well as new commercial Privi and Sellier and Bellot. You have to plan a little more vs. getting the 308 which is easier to get. Right now it is easy enough to mail order ammo to your door but who knows in 2018. My brother in NY has to have ammo delivered to an FFL.  

Whatever you do, just get a Garand or even more than one.!One of the most fun rifles I own - great to shoot and a lot of nostalgia. Every time I hear that ping it makes me smile.

Good Luck!!  Let us know what you decided.

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I think you can't use a gas plug for service rifle or a Garand match but you can shoot high power.  I do believe you can use the 308 for service rifle as the Navy used 308 Garands as late as 1968 to my personal observation.

Anything you can use in service rifle you can use in high power.

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So,

I had a Service Grade M1 on order and they called me and said the service grade would be back ordered for 6 months. I thought about it and accepted a Field Grade piece.

What I got was a mostly Springfield 1943, 44 barrel and ops rod, with an H&R trigger housing from the 50's. The stock is beat up but intact, and the innards are in great shape. Barrel is 3 and 3...not sure about exactly what the measurements indicate. But all in all I'm happy with it. I broke it all down and inspected the parts, measured some things, and was happy to see it was clean and greased.

I'm going to try a few shots today.

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I took it out and put 30 rounds through  it yesterday with no hiccups and some nice groups. It shoots well and is a lot of fun too.

As far as the stock goes...I subscribe to the same philosophy as tony357. I didn't want a show piece, I'm after a story...the stock has history all over it, and that's fine by me. The fact that it's a good shooter is a bonus I think. 

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Only going to shoot it a few times a year and you reload? No brainer, go for historical and authentic!  I would hang it on a wall.  Maybe make a display case for a 1911 to keep it company.  Throw a historical K-bar knife up there as well.  Maybe some pics of some B52s or some Mustangs!

Good luck.

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