M1 Garand Thumb !

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Thread: M1 Garand Thumb !

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    Senior Member Array TomEgun's Avatar
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    M1 Garand Thumb !

    Hi All
    I am new to the m1 Garand and was having trouble loading my Springfield it was loading stiff or not at all so I was getting use to getting my thumb in there with no repercussions , well I changed out parts with new ones I had ordered from Fultons and it was getting better . Today I tore it down again cleaned and used an industrial silicone spray on it that I have and greased her up and its as smooth as butter now , so I was practicing my loading procedure and it happened I got to comfortable with it and it bite me My fault but I guess I'm in the club now!
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    "If you want peace, prepare for war." Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Long, long time ago, when I was in Explorers, our club was hosted by a local NRA chapter, so we had the opportunity to handle, strip and re-assemble (multiple times) and do lots of shooting with old surplus M1 Garands....I distinctly remember, even thru the layers of foggy memory, the infamous M1 thumb........
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

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    Member Array mook012's Avatar
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    As an old Garand user for too many years ago the M1 thumb is a right of passage. Back in the day, troops tried everything to avoid the M1 thumb but as one Drill Instructor said - " nothin' is going to fix that boy, except you learnin' how to load that sweetheart. If you don't do it right - she'll hurt you." We learned - and the thumbs eventually healed. Now decades later I can still load an M1 in pitch black night - like riding a bike.
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    I'm feeling for you. I hope it wasn't badly mangled. I've heard and read of horror stories of really badly damaged thumbs chomped by the M1's bolt. Hope you don't have a throbbing, sore thumb.

    I'm embarrassed to say that I've contracted "M1 Thumb" twice in my career with the rifle. One would think a person could be smart enough to learn his lesson after the first episode but, no, I had to do it twice. The first time was early in my association with the M1 and was a result of the ongoing learning experience.

    The second time, however, occurred many years later, after I'd been shooting the rifle in competition for over a decade. I was shooting a prone rapid-fire stage during a high-power match and out of nowhere, stuck my silly thumb in the magazine well while closing the bolt. Not really sure how or why I did that but the infraction was made immediately apparent. Wasn't even the worst case of "M1 Thumb" I've heard of but smarted dreadfully and bled all over the action and pistol grip portion of the stock while I attempted to concentrate on finishing up the string.

    Have you looked up the procedure for loading the clip in the rifle on the internet? I'm to busy at present to linger over the computer but am sure there ought to be something found through a search. You are using only your right hand to load while retaining the bolt with the right hand's heel, aren't you?
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Fortunately, it's a self-correcting exercise you only do once.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Senior Member Array TomEgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Fortunately, it's a self-correcting exercise you only do once.
    Yes Sir ! you are correct and I have read the field manual and watched the Army training films, I just got to relaxed with it and that wont happen again !
    It could have been worse It drew blood and its black and blue but I will live just a little sore . But I was just happy to see it function correctly even though it did bite me...lol
    "If you want peace, prepare for war." Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    Old Paratroopers never die , we just regroup!!
    82nd ABN DIV.. GOD Bless our Troops!!
    Foward Observer 3/505thPIR - A/319thAFAR
    87-91 "Just Cause - Desert Sheild/Storm"

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    Sorta makes the thumb look like a ripe plum don’t it.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Distinguished Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    Got mine in 1970. Last time cleaning in ROTC, grabbed the action as it slid off the school desk, bolt caught the chair and released. There I was with the whole action hanging from my left thumb-OUCH! When the hot paper clip pierced the nail, the blood hit the ceiling in the ER. That nail still shows the result of that episode.
    The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".

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    Senior Member Array TomEgun's Avatar
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    Well the good news is the throbbing has stopped !! .lol
    "If you want peace, prepare for war." Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    Old Paratroopers never die , we just regroup!!
    82nd ABN DIV.. GOD Bless our Troops!!
    Foward Observer 3/505thPIR - A/319thAFAR
    87-91 "Just Cause - Desert Sheild/Storm"

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    Member Array foxytwo's Avatar
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    I was in the Marines back in the late 50's and I never had that problem.

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    Senior Member Array TomEgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxytwo View Post
    I was in the Marines back in the late 50's and I never had that problem.
    LOL Foxy I can field strip a 16 with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back but the Garand was a little before my time and I didn't have the excellent instruction of a drill instructor beating it into my head just old videos ! but Ive learned .
    "If you want peace, prepare for war." Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    Old Paratroopers never die , we just regroup!!
    82nd ABN DIV.. GOD Bless our Troops!!
    Foward Observer 3/505thPIR - A/319thAFAR
    87-91 "Just Cause - Desert Sheild/Storm"

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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Back when I was carrying a Garand in the Army, I learned enough from the "M1-thumbs" happening next to me in boot camp that I was always extra careful and managed to avoid the traditional "right of passage" myself.

    In the military, the procedure was quickly learned with an empty weapon after the "inspection arms" command when the following "order arms" command was given in two stages. You quickly learned to apply enough pressure on control the lip of the operating rod with the side of your hand to move it just a bit to the rear of the latch point and hold it there with your fingers tightly grasping the stock to keep it in position; when the first part of the command "order" was given, you pushed down the follower (same as with a loaded clip) while gently letting the operating rod move forward just far enough to pass the normal stop-point to keep the follower down (or clip from coming back out again), THEN removed your thumb completly out of the hole; when the last part of the command "arms" was barked, you quickly "thumbed your nose" and let everything fly home with your thumb already safely out of the way.

    And, no, they didn't give Purple Hearts for an M1 thumb - only applause

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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Yep! Welcome to the club!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomEgun View Post
    Hi All I am new to the m1 Garand and was having trouble loading my Springfield it was loading stiff or not at all so I was getting use to getting my thumb in there with no repercussions , well I changed out parts with new ones I had ordered from Fultons and it was getting better . Today I tore it down again cleaned and used an industrial silicone spray on it that I have and greased her up and its as smooth as butter now , so I was practicing my loading procedure and it happened I got to comfortable with it and it bite me My fault but I guess I'm in the club now!
    Welcome to the club. I have a full set of M1 Garand thumb scars too.

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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    To tell you the truth, I would love to have an M1 Garand so I could "get" M1 thumb. They are sweet rifles. General Patton declared them to be the greatest battle impliment ever devised.

    Sadly however, I don't own one so I can't share any "thumb" stories.
    "A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"

    The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green

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