a piece of history arrived

This is a discussion on a piece of history arrived within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm not the type to post "yay for me, I've got a new gun" messages, but this once, I am so moved. My father-in-law in ...

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Thread: a piece of history arrived

  1. #1
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    a piece of history arrived

    I'm not the type to post "yay for me, I've got a new gun" messages, but this once, I am so moved.

    My father-in-law in South Dakota just moved into assisted living at age 86, and had to clear out his house. He had a few long guns in his cabinet which I was aware of, but the one I had my eyes on was a clean M1 Garand. I made him an offer some months ago, but he always dodged giving me a direct answer. Last week he asked how to send it to me, and I gave him the particulars of the FFL I use for transfers. It arrived yesterday.

    Briefly, dad-in-law's story is the type Tom Brokaw wrote about in The Greatest Generation. He enlisted in the Army, served in the 96th Infantry Division (the "Deadeyes"), and survived the invasions of Leyte and Okinawa. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for the latter action. After the war he went back to the business of raising a family and starting two businesses over the years, and served as mayor of Watertown and subsequently as a representative in the South Dakota State Legislature. At 86 he still remains active in his real estate business.

    While the M1 he sent me wasn't his actual service rifle, the fact that this veteran and public servant owned it attaches a huge amount of sentiment to the gun for me. Today he called and said "there will be no monetary exchange between us." I was floored, and honored.

    So now a U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30 M1, Springfield Armory is part of Smitty's armory. It will be well-cared for, but it won't be a safe queen. My first goal after checking it out is to make Rifleman with it at an Appleseed event - maybe even with fixed bayonet!
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    Thanks for sharing that. These stories and firearms are by far the most valuable.

    Someday (that I'm not looking forward to), I'll be the recipient of a Colt 1911 with a lot of family history.
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    Wow. What a wonderful gift, and a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Nice piece of history. It's also very nice when you have great In-Laws!
    Hiram25
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    Simply awesome.
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    ...the best things in life are free

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Very nice..More pics please.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    If I could have one and one only rifle, that would be it.
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    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Beautiful weapon. I'm a history buff, I still need a Garand to add to my WW2 rifle collection. Glad that it, and the history that goes with it, can stay in your family.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  11. #10
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    Stick the word "history" into a title and I'm in.

    Great post Smitty and a cool M1 with a solid World War II era serial number. Can we see more photos of it soon?
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Happy to oblige! Wish I had a more photogenic location, but I used what I had available.

    I spent a happy couple of hours doing a field strip to learn more about the gun and investigate its overall condition. Mind you, I'm not Garand-savvy but I have a fair sense of what's new, what's worn, and what's worn out. First off, the stock must be a replacement, as it lacks any arsenal markings and the finish doesn't have the oily/waxy content of the upper handguards. Opening the gun up, the trigger assembly looks almost completely free of wear, although there is petrified lube on a lot of parts. Part numbers are all Springfield, which makes me think these are not replacement parts, but the jury is out until I research it all thoroughly. Then there's the bore... which I approached with some apprehension. A few patches, some Hoppe's No. 9, a little brushing... well, see for yourself. Be still, my heart. I'm a lucky, lucky guy.

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    Nothing more special than something like that.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.


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    That is really something to be exited about and post. Thanks for sharing.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Whoo hoo! That is fine! It still has the original WWII lock bar rear sight and a proper forged trigger guard. The gas plug and the stock look like replacements. Hard to tell in the photo but the stock looks like birch. No matter, it's glorious! I'm not Garand-savvy either. I have some books on the shelf but can't memorize all that detail.

    Did you happen to note the barrel date?
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Whoo hoo! That is fine! It still has the original WWII lock bar rear sight and a proper forged trigger guard. The gas plug and the stock look like replacements. Hard to tell in the photo but the stock looks like birch. No matter, it's glorious! I'm not Garand-savvy either. I have some books on the shelf but can't memorize all that detail.

    Did you happen to note the barrel date?
    The stock is for sure a replacement, and I think birch seems about right by hardness and grain. I wasn't smart enough to note the barrel markings when I had the gun apart. Where is it marked?
    Smitty
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