why I -(we?)- love the Garand

why I -(we?)- love the Garand

This is a discussion on why I -(we?)- love the Garand within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Yes, yes, i am doing it again. though i am NOT trying to take sides this time. but i want to try, one last time, ...

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    why I -(we?)- love the Garand

    Yes, yes, i am doing it again. though i am NOT trying to take sides this time. but i want to try, one last time, to explain what i think a few of us have tried to, about Garand-type weapons.

    If you look at a Garand it's kind of like this: if you take a bolt-action rifle, and tried to make it cock itself, you'd basically have a Garand. a Mini is just that, a miniaturized, and slightly simpler, Garand.

    a Stoner; is something else.

    stoner and mini's both came out roughly within a decade of each other. call em post WWII era guns. we've established most of AR's problems were early, a lot of that even just ammo issues.
    it's my UNSUPPORTED(with NO evidence) belief, that a mini-14 would shoot the same, dirty ammo that made first gen M16's puke. simply because the gas vents into the fore-arm, and any extra fouling coming out of the breach into the action, a mini- isn't going to care a whole lot about.

    debris: a Garand has an "open top". i was surprised some consider this a weakness. i think of it like jungle boots. you know you can't keep the water out. an AR has a closed action, tight tolerances, close, tight spacings and gaps, and a DUST COVER. all good ideas to keep debris and "stuff" out of the action. but like a jungle boot, we KNOW stuff will get in there, it can't be helped. so it make more sense from a design standpoint to spend your energy designing "escape routes" rather that trying to "seal" something that can't be sealed.

    i have heard on here that the current design of the as-issued M4 is classified. i didn't know that. but why? because over the years, the engineers at Colt, KAC, and countless others have been working with the Pentagon, and operators/end users to find ways to improve the old designs. and it's been a step here, a change there, and it's evolved. so what's classified? well, we know that the tolerances of the carrier inside the "tunnel" in the reciever it rides in are tight. BUT if we know which points of contact the carrier rides on, its "rails" if you will, we can actually remove some material from the carrier or receiver where it isn't necessary, to give fouling and debris a place to go, an "escape route". we can ever-so-slightly change angles and relationships between the locking lugs to improve lock/unlock times. these are wild guesses of course, but as a machinist, and a gun guy, i bet i'm not too far off the mark. and these are just two possible upgrades.
    the stoner family has enjoyed more of this type of R&D than any other weapon in history, hands down.

    so the Garand. pretty much stopped evolving after the M14. until today with some of the new stocks. the mini has run just fine as released for about 50 years now.

    Ruger uses, and pioneered a process called "investment casting" , yes? and the old wives tails i heard as a teenager said that investment casting occasionlly turned out bad guns. don't know how true that is, especially today. i would like to know what "went wrong" and how they fixed it, or if they have. thin barrels and an action that tends to be "jumpy" in the stock hurts its accuracy. controlling one in FA, with the old style stock? of course that's a fail.

    all guns can get dirty and jam. but in a garand type, the dirt debris has more places to "escape".

    if the same continuous R&D had been applied to Garands/mini's over those years, they too would've discovered that a subtle change here, a tweak there, would also improve how it runs. but they didn't have to. Garands all but disappeared except surplus weapons for a long time. they are now making a resurgance. Mini's have never changed. they've always been "good enough".

    if yopu compare a first model 1974 mini-14 to a comparable 1974 M16, i think the mini-, in that instance, will be less stoppage prone. the stoner hadn't evolved much by that point, the ammo thing helped a lot, but as i already said, i think ammo for ammo, climate for climate, scenario for scenario, the 1974 stoner would jam more than the 1974 mini-14. but this is also speculation, i totally admit it.

    if you compare a modern, $600-$800 mini-14, to a modern $600-$800 AR rifle, the mini will still be less stoppage prone, because let's face it, even an $800 AR is going to be pretty bottom-of-the barrel, yes?

    but a mini-14 can't really hold a candle to a fully modern and high quality AR like an M4 or Fulton Armory, because the advancement in materials, processes, tooling, computer modelling and design, none of that exists for the mini. it's still the same it was, basically, in 1974. a modern, high quality stoner is NOT like it was in 1974.

    in 1974 the garand types were more reliable than the stoner types. less accurate, laughable in FA. less ergonomic.

    in 2014 comparing a garand to a modern Stoner is not a apples-to-apples comparison.

    so what does this mean? does it mean that IF the garand types had advanced as much as stoners over the years they'd be better? well, we will most likely never know. would be a case of trading this for that? probably. most things in life are.

    the reason *I* like Garand is they are stupid simple, and they've been chugging along just fine for their entire existence, with little change or upgrade. and work just fine. a little accurizing and a new stock, even if they won't "win" a side by side comparison with a modern top shelf AR, they can at least be in the competition. for a lot less money too. (magazines aside, stupid $40 ruger mags...)

    so through all these arguments and threads we've had about this, i've always known that a modern AR is pretty much the pinnacle of modern weapon design. and i can absolutely see why those subtle changes and the blueprinted numbers of the M4 are classified. people died and it cost BILLIONS to discover those little tweaks that let it run so great today.

    but a garand runs just fine without those little tweaks, and would be quite awesome if somebody DID invest those billions into it. would it be "better"? in some respects, i'm sure it would, it others, probably not. as i said, it's always a trade off.

    i hope this makes sense, i hope people realize i am not trying to poo-poo the AR platform, and i am not trying to pick a fight. i just thought it was worth the effort to try to articulate something that has been bugging me about these conversations.
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  2. #2
    Member Array Spalt's Avatar
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    ARs, minis, and Garands in the same thread? And you thought your last one got complicated!

    My father has been gone 10 years now, but he liked the Garand and used it in competition. I seemed to recall some "sporterized" guns floating around years ago, but I may be mistaken.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    The single biggest improvement remaining to the mini-14 IMO would be if it used AR magazines.

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    The single biggest improvement remaining to the mini-14 IMO would be if it used AR magazines.
    now THAT's an idea...!!!

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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    The single biggest improvement remaining to the mini-14 IMO would be if it used AR magazines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kavalander View Post
    now THAT's an idea...!!!
    I have an old mag that will work in either gun. It's a cheapo, no-name brand (don't recall the name at the moment), about 30 years old. Works OK in the AR, but not so well in the Mini. But I've never seen an aftermarket mag that works well in a Mini-14, anyway.

    Really seems like a good idea! I wish a quality manufacturer would tweak the design and build it with good materials so it would work reliably with either gun. I'd buy a pile of 'em!
    Regards,
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    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    Here we go.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    The Garand had the same terrible failure rate initially as the M-16 did. It also took a great deal of "tweaking", which is a phenomenon you inexplicably think applies to ARs only. By 1974 the M16A1 was in service, with heavy buffers, chromed barrels, and actual cleaning kits. The subsequent improvements had more to do with better magazines and twist rates to accommodate newer ammunition than making the actual rifle function more reliably. I love my M1 Garands, I love my M1A, and one of these days I'll pick up a Mini-14 rifle because they're neat. The M-4 build info is hardly classified, it's proprietary. Since you can just look at an off the shelf 6920 and see how they're built as long as you pretend its barrel is 1.5" shorter and the FCG has a burst option, it's not like it's a huge secret. This has all been explained to you many times over, with links provided as evidence no less....including to a thread about why the open top bolt is a weakness. You've made it abundantly clear that the Garand/Mini action is just where its at in your mind. Continuing to spout off nonsense like the above suggests insecurity about your weapon choices. I suggest you settle down and enjoy your rifles...clearly they've been working fine for you, and I'm sure they will continue to work.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    I have an old mag that will work in either gun. It's a cheapo, no-name brand (don't recall the name at the moment), about 30 years old. Works OK in the AR, but not so well in the Mini. But I've never seen an aftermarket mag that works well in a Mini-14, anyway.

    Really seems like a good idea! I wish a quality manufacturer would tweak the design and build it with good materials so it would work reliably with either gun. I'd buy a pile of 'em!
    just purchased two "Pro-Mags" for my Mini. they are the same $40 bucks a Rguer mag is, but they're more "find"-able. ...AND they have a steel follower, whichi think is a huge plus. i've only shot them a few times, but so far, no hiccups.

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    Member Array glocknjeep's Avatar
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    AR-15 Reliability Demonstration - YouTube
    And, before you say it, there's no way your mini trigger would stand up to the amount of dirt dropped into it either. An AK might because the trigger components are so big and simple.

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    Member Array glocknjeep's Avatar
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    Further, the mini 30 is a glorious failure of a rifle...it won't shoot any of the comblock cheap ammo with out possibly breaking a firing pin. If the firing pin breaks it has to go back to ruger. I was a brief owner of a mini 30 before I understood this and quickly dumped it after I did.

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peckman28 View Post
    The Garand had the same terrible failure rate initially as the M-16 did. It also took a great deal of "tweaking", which is a phenomenon you inexplicably think applies to ARs only. By 1974 the M16A1 was in service, with heavy buffers, chromed barrels, and actual cleaning kits. The subsequent improvements had more to do with better magazines and twist rates to accommodate newer ammunition than making the actual rifle function more reliably. I love my M1 Garands, I love my M1A, and one of these days I'll pick up a Mini-14 rifle because they're neat. The M-4 build info is hardly classified, it's proprietary. Since you can just look at an off the shelf 6920 and see how they're built as long as you pretend its barrel is 1.5" shorter and the FCG has a burst option, it's not like it's a huge secret. This has all been explained to you many times over, with links provided as evidence no less....including to a thread about why the open top bolt is a weakness. You've made it abundantly clear that the Garand/Mini action is just where its at in your mind. Continuing to spout off nonsense like the above suggests insecurity about your weapon choices. I suggest you settle down and enjoy your rifles...clearly they've been working fine for you, and I'm sure they will continue to work.
    wow. really? if you had bothered to follow what i said, i never said the Garand didn't get tweaked. i am aware of this. i said a Stoner has been tweaked more than most. i also said that by 1974 the MAJOR weaknesses of the stoner had been sorted. (ammo, cleaning)
    i also said the classified thing was something i heard on here, on one of these threads, i *think* from Jon-Consiglo, who seems to be a very respected poster on here. if it wasn't him, fine, but somebody said it, and in that spirit, i doubt the gov't would be too happy if somebody reverse-engineered a M4 and blueprinted the thing. i am not talking about "gas tube here, bolt carrier there", i am talking about "removing 3 thousandths of an inch from this part" it may not be illegal, but i bet you'd eventually have a Mr. BATFE person wondering why you were blueprinting military weapons. "looking" at a "6920" won't tell you didly, stripping one COMPLETELY down, and going it through with a micrometer, and then doing the same to a vietnam era weapon will show you how different they are. they both will have the same basic parts/function, but one works better than the other. those differences will only come out with blueprinting. but i guess actually talking about engineering and parts specification is "spouting nonsense" to you.

    ..and for the record, did't i specifically say "a modern Mini-14 can't hold a candle to a modern, top shelf AR" ....?

    so what's your problem?

    a thread about open top weakness doesn't impress me. we have threads all over this forum, doesn't make any of it hard fact. in that spirit, is a bolt action rifle "unreliable" because it is open topped?

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    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    I trained in the Army on the M14 rifle and consider it to be one of the best for the purpose. Basically, the M14 was an adaptation of the M1 Garand incorporating detachable 20-rd. box magazine with shortened barrel/gas system, and selective fire capability. The selectors were removed from most M14's in use because it was nearly impossible for the typical rifleman to control the weapon in full auto mode (hence the modified M14-E2 with heavy barrel, pistol grip stock, and built-in bipod, basically a squad automatic weapon for infantry troops).

    I own several M1 rifles, all acquired through CMP, and have used them quite a bit in competition. I consider the M1 to be an excellent (although dated) design. With a moderate amount of training and experience most riflemen would be able to deliver excellent results.

    If you stick with ammo loaded to M2 Ball specifications and learn to properly care for your Garand it will seldom, if ever, fail on you.
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    Talk about beating a dead horse...
    Kilowatt3, OD*, Sticks and 1 others like this.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glocknjeep View Post
    AR-15 Reliability Demonstration - YouTube
    And, before you say it, there's no way your mini trigger would stand up to the amount of dirt dropped into it either. An AK might because the trigger components are so big and simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by glocknjeep View Post
    Further, the mini 30 is a glorious failure of a rifle...it won't shoot any of the comblock cheap ammo with out possibly breaking a firing pin. If the firing pin breaks it has to go back to ruger. I was a brief owner of a mini 30 before I understood this and quickly dumped it after I did.
    ...guess it's true. i am an illiterate failure, a poor gun owner, and a complete moron for believing a garand type weapon is anything other than a boat anchor. the fact my mini has gobbled up every bullet i've put in it must mean it's a fluke. no broken firing pin must mean i got lucky. i must be abundantly lucky to have shot the only 4 mini-14's EVER MADE that have functioned. what are the odds? since every other one ever made was such a piece of trash.
    now who's pointlessly insulting?
    i tried very hard to make it clear that the modern Stoner represents the "pinnacle of modern weapon design". (exact quote BTW)
    i'm starting to wonder who really is "insecure" about their weapon choice here.
    i own both, and plan on getting more of both. each have their place, why is that so hard to understand?

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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I qualified on an M1 Garand in Navy boot camp in 1963. I carried an M1 Carbine in Viet Nam as a backup for the M2 50 BMG starting in 1965. Later, they replaced the M1 Carbine with an M14 in 1966. I qualified with an M16 in 1969 at Camp Pendleton Marine Advanced Infantry Training. I carried an M16 as an advisor in Viet Nam in 1970/1971. I never had an issue with any of them because I cleaned them frequently. I currently own a Colt LE6920 with a carry handle and iron sights and an Armalite AR-10 with a Burris 3-12X50 XTR scope. They are all good rifles if you feed them quality ammo and maintain them.
    Kavalander and Hoganbeg like this.
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