The 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-1 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.
The 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. In 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 in 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 survivalist/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.