Monday, November 19, 2012

Reader question II- M1 Garand Sale


Hey Guys,

Long time reader and huge fan of the blog, it's literally been part of my daily read for several years now. I referenced this great blog since the very beginning of my personal preparedness journey. Quite a bit has changed for me as my life and preparedness goals and life skills have developed.  One of my earliest consultations I had with you guys was regarding my initial choice of a battle rifle in the M-1 garand, and your opinion on some accessories for the kit I would put together for it.


Since that time,  I graduated from College and my wife and I moved home to Texas where I became a Police Officer. My wife finished nursing school and now we live a comfortable life in the City's suburbs. Like yourselves my values over the years became less focused on gear and the pending  choose-your-own adventure apocalypse scenario, and more on financial security and adjusting my immediate family's paradigm towards preparedness.

My profession has given opportunities to me for more training and skill development  and real world experience(this being the most valuable) than I could have ever afforded on my own.  I have access to gear and weapons that are far more in line with practical real world preparedness. Having rifle vests and gas masks and city issued M4s round out my personal survival arsenal of .22s, Remington 870 police magnum which goes with me everywhere at work, baby glocks for my BUG and wife's concealed carry, P226 with TRL-1 light on my gun belt at all times.. the point is, I discovered that as I placed myself on a career path that helped focus myself on personal development of skills, physical fitness and financial independence all the great gear and gadgets and everything else fell into place on their own. As I continued to grow, I realized that all the gear and panic buying in the beginning was simply an attempt to fill my own insecurities with a cheap, rushed sense of peace of mind.

So all this time, I have this beautiful hardly-used M1 sitting in my gun locker. I have purchased a wonderfully made grab-and-go pouch, butt-stock pouches, and hundreds of dollars worth of surplus 30-06 rounds and enbloc clips. However since the '08 election and the great ammo dust-bowl that it brought, I have always been hesitant to bring it out to the range with me. As my combat training became more focused on pistol and CQB shotgun techniques, I focused my spending and ammo purchases towards my 9MM and 00buck, and now with the acquisition of my city issued M4,  .223 rounds.  It became obvious that the M1 because of its gas system is limited to the type of 30-06 rounds you can fire, which directly impacts the amount practice and range time with the weapon, which is the most important aspect.

I was inspired by Ryan's quest to simplify his collection and refocus it towards functionality and redundancy.  The historical allure and once rock solid devotion to the rifle slowly began to fade as I realized that its' cons outweighed its' pros. However, I'm not sure if I'm at the same point as Ryan was and wish to sell the rifle, accessories and ammo that took such a large investment of time and money outright and refocus the funds towards other endeavors. The other day a friend sent me this link.


I really like the idea of bringing the Garand into the world of the carbine in terms of handling and capabilities, which seemingly fixes many of its' current short-falls. Plus with the modification, the rifle's gas system will be able to shoot modern loads of 30-06. This process also opens up the weapon for more Texas focused hunting scenarios…boar/deer hunting.

So to get to the point of this super long email, I would very much like to hear your opinions on the modification process, whether you believe it's worth the $525 and change price tag. Or should I sell the weapon and kit and move the funds towards purchasing and building my own m4.

Also, one final element to my decision process, over the past year and a half I have interviewed, tested and accepted a conditional letter of appointment to joint a federal law enforcement agency. Which is why I was hesitant to purchase and carry my own personal m4 in the field like I do now with my 870. It is my understanding that during training I will become familiarized with a whole new set of weapons and training, which includes the M4 and MP5. So with my work providing the necessary tools of my trade, I can’t quite make up my mind on what to do with the Garand. Sell it, customize it, or leave it as is which is an occasional shooter/heirloom.

Well, thanks again for the patience it took to read this manuscript of an email. I do very much appreciate the blog and yalls' opinion on the matter.

Happy Thanksgiving from Texas-

 TOR here: Putting my money where my mouth is my Garand has been sold (actually sitting in my safe while the guy makes payments). I sold it because the rifle, while cool, didn't really have a purpose. It is not high on my list for defensive weapons, is relatively expensive to shoot so plinking is out, and is worth enough money that at this time I cannot justify it being a collectible safe queen.
 I would not go with that conversion for a host of reasons. We buy common guns from major manufacturers for very good reasons. I just envision an endless problem with the thing. If you want to own a semi auto .30 caliber then sell the Garand and use that money to start an FN-FAL or PTR-91 fund. FWIW I have heard of folks hunting with a Garand using those Hornady TAP rounds.  Heck the old school FMJ will probably work just fine.
 If I were you the Garand would get sold and the proceeds would go towards a more modern practical defensive rifle. Probably as you said building an M4. Along these lines you should check out the Project AR Upgrade series we did recently.  

7 comments:

Chris said...

I would also suggest against doing this... I come at it from the C&R historian's point of view. Bubba-izing or sporterizing a perfectly serviceable rifle with a lot of history behind it when trading it for a modern variant that does what you want it to do is inefficient and destroys a piece of history.

I'd sell the rifle and get an upper in an intermediate caliber (300 BLK, 6.5, or 6.8 seem pretty awesome for this) if you want to be able to go hunting with a semiauto and you have a lot of time invested in the M4gery.

Anonymous said...

Same perspective here. M-1s, despite a production run of 6 million+ in WWII, are relatively scarce when divided by 100M gun owners. Paying half its value to have it monkey-fornicated is silly IMHO. You could have a Ford van customized to run the Baja race, but you'd just have a highly customized van when you could have just gotten a dune buggy.

I bought an M-1 for <$200 as Korean surplus. Now it's worth >$1000, without even cleaning it up. After this election, who knows what it'd fetch. And ammo & clips last a looong time in an ammo can, 50+ years, so time isn't really a factor.

If you're tight on cash or space, then sell it and move on. Or keep it as a hand-me-down for your kids. But it's not only a fine battle rifle now, it will be still in another 20 years. And will doubtless hold its value better than stocks, bonds, or gold in any event. (Assuming it doesn't get "Bubba'ed").

I think it comes down to what you want, the rifle, or the money from the sale.
My $0.02.

Regards,
-Aesop

TEOTWAWKI Blog / Alexander Wolf said...

While that conversion IS pretty cool, if you're tight on cash I would sell it and pick up an M4 for your personal armory. Who knows what the status on a city-owned carbine down the road, but your career makes it certain that you will get lots of trigger time with that M4/AR weapons system.

If you want more oomph than 5.56mm, I'd look at .300 AAC Blackout.

If you're not tight on cash, there's nothing wrong with keeping around a Garand for fun and heirloom purposes. I would probably keep it in the original configuration, though a well-done custom Garand would be cool from an heirloom perspective.

Commander_Zero said...

Sell it. I had a buddy who thought that no gun on the market met his particular idea of what a good battle rifle should be so he wen't and bought a 1941 Johnson. It was 10-shot, could take down, and was powerful. He was quite proud of it. However, it was expensive(!), parts were impossible to get(!!) and it was still a 10-round gun. For the same money he could have bought the most tweaked out M1A on the planet. Or an AR-10. Or a PTR.

By the time you sink the money into the Garand to make it into what it isnt, you'll have spent enough money to buy a gun that is from-the-factory-and-out-of-the-box what you wanted.

Take your $525 and your Garand money and you should have enough to buy an awesome M4, PTR and a hundred mags, or even an M1a.

2heavyb said...

Keep it as a backup. The Money is probably not that big a deal. As said backup its something you could cache/stash out of the way with some ammo and not miss it. Maybe in the future it's value in a barter situation would be enormous. Its not costing you anything sitting there. At this stage I don't believe in the "off the wall" caliber uppers others might recommend either. Stocking up with standard calibers is hard enough with availability and cost being issues to consider also.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that Mel Tappan's influence is waning? What's next, putting that BM-59 up for bid on GunBroker?!?

Anonymous said...

Personally, that conversion only makes sense to me as a play-toy, starting with a bare receiver, or a way to rehabilitate a totally clapped-out Korean import where only the receiver and maybe the trigger housing group were salvable. Under no other circumstances would I recomend that conversion.

If a short 30-cal rifle is desired, better to sell the Garand and buy a brand new M1A SOCOM, PTR or AR-10 carbine. And prefereably the latter two if ammo pressure curves are likely to be suspect. You'd be money ahead. Magazines for the PTR are dirt cheap right now. Buy 'em cheap and stack 'em deep.

Your mileage may vary, but, I doubt it.

H

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