The M-1 Garand As A Plan B Rifle

m1_garand_rifle_-_usa_-_30-06_-_armc3a9museumThe attack on “assault rifles” has begun anew. Regardless of the hoopla in the media, the odds of any significant restrictive legislation being passed at the federal level is slim until the results of the next presidential election at least. However certain local People’s Republics continue to assail the Constitutional rights of American citizens in regards to the types of firearms they can own. Primarily, they are directed against those evil, pistol griped, detachable high-capacity magazine holding, bayonet hanging black plastic THINGS. If you live in one of these occupied areas, move. If you are forced to live in, work in, or navigate through one of these regions, and need a dependable combat rifle, take heart. You have options. I described the Lever Action Rifle for Preppers. These rifles have evaded the restrictions placed on AR and AK platforms in some areas. But I think there is another viable option. The venerable M-1Infantryman_in_1942_with_M1_Garand,_Fort_Knox,_KY Garand. I am only going to discuss the suitability characteristics  of the Garand in regards to restrictive firearms areas, but for a good general history of the rifle as well as some useful links check out the Wikipedia article on it.

So what would be some of the advantages of the Garand in an “assault rifle” hostile jurisdiction? It has no pistol grip, no detachable magazine, the stock is made of wood, and if necessary the bayonet lug could be easily ground off.

GarandpartsThe M-1 is a rugged rifle. It is chambered for the cal.30 cartridge known to civilians as the .30-06. This is an extremely powerful cartridge compared to 5.56mm or 7.62×39. It is capable of long-range engagement of hostile targets out to 600 yards easily with iron sights if you do your stuff, and even longer if you are a seriously accomplished marksman. 1274In 30-06, Federal even makes a 150gr FMJ bullet load specifically for the M-1. This load duplicates the ballistics of the M-2 Ball round issued with the M-1. The rifle will typically digest a large range of sporting loads, however you  to test any you plan to use, as individual rifle can be finicky with soft nosed ammo. In hunting loads, it will take down all big game inM-1 owners guide bookpng North America. Many have been rechambered for 7.62mm NATO and you can have a specialty gunsmith do that if you want, but it will add on to the overall cost of the rifle.

The rifle has an excellent adjustable peep sight that can be adjusted for both elevation and windage. There are commercial scope mounts available if you want to mount glass on it and make it your long-range rifle.  It is a bit on the heavy side and will average about 11+ lbs. fully loaded with sling and cleaning kit in the butt stock, depending on the density of the stock. But then again, I have clients with tricked out M-4s that weigh that much. Spare parts are readily available from a number of sources and there are gunsmiths that specialize in accurizing and repairing them. The M-1 Garand has one potential weakness for the M-1 clipsurvivalist/prepper though. It uses an 8rd en bloc clip that the cartridges are fed into the magazine with and which gets ejected when the last cartridge is fired. This means you have only an 8 rd. capacity. That isn’t  really all that bad. But the problem is that without these clips, the rifle is effectively a single loader. Luckily, spare clips are readily available and you should consider stocking up on these for future use. They are cheap, light, easily transported and easily loaded.

The M-1 is a rugged, dependably, battle tested rifle. I have a mint International Harvester  that is my plan B rifle.

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21 thoughts on “The M-1 Garand As A Plan B Rifle

    • I’m not sure what “cop worshipping” (whatever that means) has to do with an article on the viability of the M-1 Garand as a prepper/survivalist rifle. Unless a firearm was an illegal entry (Nam era AKs) or held in a family since the 1930’s, just about any firearm in the United States is on “the books”. Anyone who thinks BATF is following the law and destroying 4473’s after seven years also beleives in the tooth fairy.

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      • Yes, the government has records on most guns, and who the last official purchaser was. There are many which have been sold or traded privately. These firearms are not on “books” which matter….

        Then there are the ones built up as “kits” with self-made frames, which are on “no” books (except for credit card purchase records)

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        • They can always start with the last official purchaser and work forward. If it ever came to that, they won’t take ” I forget who I sold it to” for an answer. It isn’t going to come to that.

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          • What could they do? I bought a gun 40 years ago and I don’t have it today. I remember why I don’t have it (kept biting the web of my hand), but have literally no idea about whether I sold it or traded it, where or to whom.

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            • Your absolutely right, and that is one of the reasons why it isn’t going to happen. They know it too. I was being theoretical. They can’t keep track of 15 million illegal immigrants or even the people who over stay their visas, much less 300 million guns. They could try to intimidate people to turn them in with outrageous penalties and other threats, but that isn’t going to work here either. The ammount of civil disobedience would be beyond their ability to cope with and control. And if they DID try to control it, it would spark armed resistance by at least a sizable number of people. Lets do some simple math. 80 (low end est) million gun owners. Lets say 75% conform and turn them in right off the bat. That leaves 20 million. Of those if only 10% are trained veterans who refuse to submit, that is still two million armed, trained people. And if it ever comes to that, the attempted forcefull disarming of the American public, gun rights will not be the only rights outrageously being violated. The government simply does not have the ability to disarm the American public. These people are idealogues. This is a long term plan (hope) on their part to gradulally decrease Constituional 2nd Ammendment rights. But there is already a sizeable ammount of civil disobedience happening. States are threatening federal agent with jail time for trying to enforce laws deemed unconstitutional. After Obama’s speech, they are getting ready to pass that type of legislation here in Arizona. Are federal agents worried? Probably not a lot. But they damned sure do not want to get into a confrontation with local law enforcement, some of whom would undoubtedly confront them. Local Sheriffs around the country are openly refusing to enforce current gun laws. The more the federal government pushes, the more people in a lot of areas push back. And it is not a group of rag tag militiamen doing the pushing. It is organized governments at the state and local level. Obama’s “executive action” is pretty much bullshit that will be tied up in the courts on some accounts untill he is replaced. This was simply his despersate attempt to satisy his followers that he is” doing something.” and a desperate attempt to solve a “problem” that he knows he and his cannot “solve” The private ownership of firearms in America.
              OK. I’m off the bandwagon.

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            • During the NAZI Germany gun confiscation, they came to your house with a list and then they asked for your gun. If you did not have it…BANG…they shot you right then. We the USSA would work differently. Red list, same immediate result. Blue list, they would torture you until they found your friends that had guns, and more until you expired.

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              • I think that would turn out to be problematical. I’ll bet there are a more than a few people who have lost track of a gun “registered” to them. And if that means death or torture, then at least some of those will fight back.

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  1. M1’s are a bit on the heavy side,but getting rid of the wooden stock and putting a lighter synthetic stock on it gets rid of some of the weight.
    Get rid of to much weight and you have a recoil problem. I’ve had lightweight “mountain rifles” chambered in ’06 ,300 Win Mag,and .338. None were pleasant to shoot,but all were effective hunting rifles that were not a problem to carry in the Rockies in Montana and Colorado.
    The reason the M-1 is a heavy rifle is to cut down on recoil,shooting the M-1 as it is does not have excessive recoil.
    The M-1 definitely makes a good “plan B” rifle if for whatever reason you can not get an A-R platform rifle.
    Anyone who plans on using the M-1 needs to hike a few miles with it while carrying at least 100 rounds of ammo,preferably 200rounds, loaded into the clips that the rifle ejects on the last shot fired.
    You have to be in good shape to carry an 11 pound rifle and 200 rounds of ammo along with the rest of your gear,so hike with you pack fully loaded,so hit the gym,jog or and either get in shape or stay in shape.

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    • I have clients with tricked out AR’s and AK’s whose weapons weigh in a 11 pounds or higher. The real problem I see with the M-1 or even the M-1A is ammunition weight. Althoug the M-1A (M-14) weighs in slightly less than an M-1, that advantage is lost with the extra weight of the steel magazines. 30-06 and 7.62 Nato (in magazines) weigh a lot more per 100 rounds than 7.62×39 or 5.56mm in their respective mags. I carried the M-14 in basic and it was definatly “fun” on 12 mile marches and marching to the rifle range. But then again, my LBE with six loaded 30 rd 7.62×39 AK mags (steel) is pretty darned heavy too. My chest rig with 5 5.45×39 mm mags (East German plastic) is a lot less.

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      • I don’t have the military experience you have-got busted up in a car accident just after I turned 18,which killed my plan of going into either USMC or Navy.
        Back then we took the ASVAB in high school-the whole school took it,and I had high enough scores that I had recruiters bugging the shit out of me.
        All my rifle carrying was during hunting trips,and you really don’t want to carry a 11 or 12 pound rifle around the upper elevations of the Rockies. The recoil from a .338 that weighed around 7 1/2-8# including scope was not pleasant,no way you could shoot it all day in a combat situation.

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        • I share your point of view. I grew up in Colorado and hunted in the Rockies with my stepfather. He was a big man and usually used his .338 Magnum built on a Springfield action. I don’t know now what it weighed but it was heavy compared to my Remington 700 in .30-06. He carrried it though.

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          • When I had my .338 made into a lightweight mountain rifle,I had a bruised shoulder from sighting it in,no laser boresighters back then,just eyballed it by looking through the barrel at a fixed object,then adjusting the scope so the crosshairs were centered on the object-never failed to get me on paper at 25 yds,dial it for that,then adjust for longer range,usually set up about 3″ high at 100 yds as a starting point.
            Never had an elk go far after it was hit with the .338 though. The only critter that kept going were wild boars on an island off the coast near the NC- Va border. The boars were descended from hogs the Spanish dropped off on the island back in the 1600’s. Took a few years before we got permits,but the hunt was well worth the wait.

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