Skip to comments.Up to 87,000 South Korean M1 Garands Coming Home
Posted on 06/07/2012 5:33:05 AM PDT by marktwain
Just in time for the 68th anniversary of D-Day.
The importation of as many as 87,000 M1 Garands gathering dust in South Korean storage may soon get the green light for importation to the US. Special thanks is due to Montana Senator John Tester and Representative Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming who introduced legislation to prevent the US government from interfering with the importation of US-made guns that were previously exported to other countries. In the face of this pressure, the State Department will no longer prohibit the exportation of these M1 Garands back to the US.
"From World War II to Korea and Vietnam, M1 Garand rifles played a crucial role in history," Tester said. "These American-made firearms will always be valued as collector's items, and law-abiding Americans have the right to keep them under our Constitution's Second Amendment. I'm glad the State Department listened to my concerns and those of America's gun collectors."
These rifles, which are completely legal in the US, and are even considered to be Curios & Relics because of their explicit value as collectible firearms, had been previously blocked for reasons ranging from wanting to protect US firearms manufacturing interests to ostensibly keeping guns off the streets, billing the M1 Garands as high-power, high-capacity semi-automatic rifles too dangerous for Americans.
With the State Department reversing their position, the US and South Korean governments will be working to find an importer to bring these Garands home. They will be distributed through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), the government-chartered organization that promotes riflery and firearms safety.
The condition of these M1 Garands has not been established, but in the past, the CMP has rebuilt Garands into like new condition with new Walnut stocks and new Criterion barrels, both in their original chambering, .30-06 Springfield and also in .308 Winchester.
We really like M1 Garands in .308, as they can still use en-block clips in addition to being chambered in a more modern, more versatile, and importantly, more available cartridge.
This is good news for all the fans of the M1 Garand, both as an elegant, reliable, and attractive rifle as well as a firearm that is truly part of American history. The bad news is that waiting will be hard. Still, the CMP has more than a few M1 Garands on-hand. You can see what rifles they have for sale right here.
the weapons you describe are not really AL-47 etc... but weapons based on them, at no time did the semi-auto’s ever have full auto fire control groups and often have been made to be unable to accept full auto groups (having just the FC group and a weapon for them has been in the past prosecuted as having a Machine Gun
I remember when we were going to get to buy our 45s when they replaced them with the 9mms. I was going to buy mine for sentimental reasons. I believe Bill Clinton had them all melted down.
Some idiot will put a 30-06 round in it, blow it up and sue. That’s why they are converting them
Won’t blow up.
May bend the op rod though.
A lot of people shoot modern factory ammo through their Garands. It is suggested that bullet weights are limited to 150gr.
quote from Hatcher’s notebook. “In trying to determine the ultimate strength of the gun, Mr. Garand built up progressively higher proof loads in increments of 5,000 lbs. pressure, from the regular proof load of 70,000 lbs. to the extreme figure of 120,000 lbs. per square inch. At this later figure, cracked left lugs on the bolt began to be encountered. A gun in which the bolt had the left lug cracked by one of these excessive high pressure overloads was then fired an endurance test of 5,000 rounds of service ammunition, using the cracked bolt, which showed no further deterioration.
There were M-14s scrapped in the 90s, yes, but far more were given away or sold to the three Baltic nations. I believe that when the Iraq and Afghan wars flared up (and the value of 7.62 NATO on a wide-open battlefield was again demonstrated), we ended up re-acquiring a lot of them.
Most of the scrapped M-14s were actually scrapped in the 1980s. And yes, the problem with the M-14 is that it was designed and made as a machine gun, even though most of them never had the selector switch installed. There’s only one or two “legal” M-14s on the civilian market, and the owners had to go to court to prove that they were not assembled for the military, had never been assembled with the selector switch or shaft, and so had never been “machine guns”. (As I recall one was assembled from an H&R receiver that had spent its life sitting on an executive’s desk.)
Because the individual items never were machineguns - unlike the M14s, which were.
ATF sees a vast difference between “once was but now isn’t” vs. “never was”.
“So let me get this straight. We gave these to the South Koreans so they could protect themselves, and now they are selling these back to the US Veterans that sacrificed so much for them.”
Here’s the problem—they did get a lot of these rifles as Lend-Lease/MAP, yes...but they also BOUGHT a lot of them outright. And no records were kept (by us or them) on which ones were which.
There were some major questions surrounding the M1 Garands and carbines imported from Korea in the 1980s, as to whether they were not-paid-for Lend-Lease/MAP arms. Now, the Koreans are claiming that the worn-out rifles from the 1980s were the Lend-Lease rifles...and that these are the ones they bought and own outright.
I’ve heard reports (and seen a few pictures) of unopened “cans” of rifles in SK depots, but given the abuse these rifles are documented to have seen in South Korean hands (remember that many of these saw service in Vietnam as well as Korea), I won’t get my hopes up.
“My understanding is they cannot shoot todays .30-06 ammo. Its a liability issue.”
There’s plenty of current-production ammo that’s safe for a properly maintained Garand. It was designed around a 150 grain bullet and IMR 4850 (I think) powder...anything meeting the same range of standards should be fine.
From reading people’s reports, my impression is people run into problems when they use a bullet heavier than 150 grains (heavier weight = slower propulsion = higher gas pressure) or powder with different burn rates. (Years ago I read of one poor fool who had multiple “incidents” with his M1...turned out he was using Kynoch ammo loaded with cordite.)
I doubt the CMP would want to even be involved in this scam. They are claiming the worn out junk rifles are ours and the good condition ones are theirs?
We're being played for fools.
Because the civilian versions of those were manufactured as semi-auto only. Original USGI M-14s were manufactured with a selector switch which was later removed and the location for them welded shut.
That doesnt matter to the ATF. “Once a machine gun, always a machine gun” even if there’s no way practical way to convert it back to fully automatic.
I understand the CMP did look at them...they’re dependent on the Army to get back Lend-Lease/MAP arms for them, and the Army’s response was “we don’t pay to bring back obsolete junk”.
The Korean Garand debacle led directly to the end of further importations of US-made surplus arms in the late 1980s.
Expect more of this kind of thing...these countries are well aware that their old war-reserve arms—especially anything with a strong emotional attachment like Garands—are worth serious money on the American market.
There are some for sale.http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct905.aspx
Some M14 makers (especially receiver makers) have been better than others...the one I can wholeheartedly recommend is Fulton:
What is the current going rate for a good one?
When I got my Garand from the DCM (CMP) in the early 80s, I came home from work one day to find it leaning against the mailbox out by the county road.
I emailed the ODCMP about these rifles. interesting response:
Thank you for the inquiry.
The CMP is not a firearms importer and we would not have any involvement of any kind in anything that may happen with these Korean rifles and carbines if they were “sold” to an importer.
The only way any rifle from any country can find its way to the CMP is if
the country returns “loaned” rifles back to the US Army - at no cost to the US. When that happens, the CMP “may” possibly receive some of those rifles. Korea does not plan on returning (repatriating) any rifles to the US Army, but plans to “sell” these rifles to an importer. According to the recent news and rumors, the U.S. State Dept has agreed to allow Korea to sell the rifles, even though the U.S. Army claimed the rifles and carbines should be returned to the US Army at no cost. CMP will not have any involvement in this.
However, there is no need to wait for the Korean Garands to make a purchase. CMP has plenty of M1 Garands for sale now. The M1 Garands that GIs used in Korea came back to the USA. The M1 Garands that Korea now has were loaned by the USA to Korea in 1970.
Please see the sales links from www.thecmp.org.
Thank you for the inquiry.
“When I got my Garand from the DCM (CMP) in the early 80s, I came home from work one day to find it leaning against the mailbox out by the county road.”
That was back when you had to WORK for a DCM rifle!
The process involved fingerprinting, proof of three long range rifle matches, membership in an approved competitive rifle club, and a background check through the FBI (in those pre-instant-check days). The process took months, you could only get one Garand in your lifetime, and there was no guarantee of what you’d get...could be a beat-up training rifle, could be an all-original 1950s rifle, could be a mid-60s Red River rebuild.
AAAAAARRRRGGH!!! Those things sell from $1000 to 4 or $5000.
I had thought they had changed since 1906, but you were right.
In 1925 they changed to a hotter, heavier loading. A 172 grain M1 bullet with a 9-degree boattail and a gilding-metal jacket. This round had an extreme range of 5900 yards, a gain of 2500 yards over its predecessor.
But in 1940 they changed back to the 1906 loading, when all of the surplus 1906 ammo was all shot up.
So yes, the 1906 load is still Today’s standard.
Most current commercial loadings utilize slower burning powder so that at the point in time the projectile passes the hole in an M-1’s barrel that feeds the gas cylinder, the pressures are higher than they would have been with faster burning powders found in M-2 ball. As a result, the pressure in the gas cylinder is higher than it should be and the M-1 operating rod conveys more energy to the operate the action than it was designed for. Bottom line, what is needed is either a faster burn profile or an adjustable gas cylinder plug.
I’ve bought the adj plug from Brownells for mine, but I’ve not yet installed it. My supply of CMP ammo is about gone though. My kids run through it pretty fast.
Just got this in my e-mail:
30.06 SURPLUS AMMO FROM KOREA
150 GRAIN FMJ BOAT TAIL AMMO
FULL METAL JACKET
PACKED LOOSE IN AMMO CANS
BOXER PRIMED AND NON MAGNETIC
FULL COPPER JACKET AND BRASS CASE
1970’s PRODUCTION BUT PARTICULAR YEAR AND HEADSTAMPS MAY VARY.
This is Korean surplus 30-06 ammo, standard M2 ball, with a 150gr FMJ bullet and a brass case with boxer primer for ease of reloading.
1970’s production. Packed loose in a 30cal steel ammo can of 270 rounds. This ammo has been tested and the samples tested were non-corrosive.
Copper jacketed, 150-gr., M2 ball bullet
approximate muzzle velocity: 2,740 F.P.S.
Muzzle energy: 2,500 ft. lbs.
Brass cased - Boxer primed
Reloadable & Non-corrosive.
Made in Korea. 1970’s production.
$169-CAN OF 270 ROUNDS DELIVERED
$289-(2 CANS) TOTAL (540) ROUNDS DELIVERED
I am not sure they will be going to the CMP. Orest Michaels (head honcho at the CMP) has said in the past that the CMP will not have anything to do with them.
Come to Papa!
Bawney Fwank, pwease weport to the tattoo parwer.
[sidebar I]: I can't remember if it was an Army or Marine guy who told me this. The Chinese used bugles instead of radios in some of their attacks. In one particularly hairy "human sea" charge they were about to be overrun when one of the guys, an ex-musician, took out a captured Chinese bugle and played "Retreat!". The Chinese started to mill around in a WTF moment, which allowed the Yanks to call in the artillery and break up the attack.
[sidebar II]: Apropos the above, one of our ordnance guys asked a captured German why they had machine guns with such high cyclic rates compared to ours. The German said "You've never faced a Russian "human wave" attack, have you?"
Somehow, he managed to survive and crawl back to American lines, and later became a senior NCO and MP. But seeing all his buddies slaughtered by the ChiComs during their counterattack deeply affected him for the rest of his life.
And he too thought that the ChiCom soldiers were hopped up on some drug, since they just did not want go down.
Thanks for pointing me to that book. It absolutely confirms what my uncle told me before he died.
Cmp have em for sale ?
Didn’t Eaker buy a grenade shaped like a garand once ?
Stay safe ya’ll....:o)
I re-read BREAKOUT every two or three years, it is that good.
Back in the Clin-toon admin there was a machine there called “Captain Crunch” in which thousands of Garands were destroyed. That is when the Congress stood firm and formed the CMP to sell these rifles to the public.
After all, they are PUBLIC PROPERTY! Even the guns of Lewis and Clark were later sold at public auction to the PUBLIC.
“Captain Crunch” is still alive and crunching. There’s plenty of legitimate reasons to scrap military firearms (burned in a fire, dangerously out of spec, machine guns, etc.).
M1 Garands weren’t all that was destroyed in that appalling binge of destruction in the early-mid 1990s...some time ago I read that the Clinton admin also destroyed the war-reserve stockpiles of Vietnam-era M16A1s.
M1 Ball was developed more for machine guns than rifles. The original tables-of-fire for the M1906 loading had been calculated rather than field-tested, and during World War I US machine gunners laying down long-range barrages discovered that their fire was falling short of the target by as much as 30%.
The M1 loading was developed in the 1920s, but not widely deployed until the mid-late 30s, on account of having to burn up all of the leftover M1906 ammo first. When it was finally issued, two problems came to light: the flat, long-shooting trajectory of the round was too great for many established firing ranges, and the hard bullet jackets (necessary to prevent the bullet’s “tipping” off center in the bore because of its short bearing surface) noticeably increased barrel wear. A new version of the old M1906 cartridge, using the old projectile design with the troublesome cupro-nickel jacket replaced, was standardized as M2 Ball.
The M1 Ball loading, or a descendant of it, lasted into the 1970s as M72 Match .30-06. I think the last of it was loaded around 1974-75, with the absolute last arsenal run of .30-06 being a batch of match-grade cases produced in 1978.
As to the Korean ammunition, be careful. Certain lots of Korean ammo have corrosive primers, while others have apparently had issues with case failures.
Actually, the French Battalion was basically an ad hoc unit consisting of three companies. One company was made up of recruits from the Metropolitan France (France proper) Army units, another consisted of members from the Colonial Army units (made up of both Colons and natives), and the third had troops from the Foreign Legion, and the paratroop units of all three branches.
That's what I'm hoping. Haven't been able to find out, though.
Wonder if the carbines are full auto...maybe that’s why they are not returning??
Standard issue semi...
It was shaped like a used grenade, after Eaker was done with it.
I have / own a korean war era serial numbered garand I got from cmp about 20 years ago. Awesome shooter, a racked arsenal rifle with a hand painted number on the stock some armorer did with white enamel looooong ago.
My Uncle Bob was in Korean war as a 57mm recoiless gunner, 3rd Infantry.... Hope to snag one that was for sure “in country” for him.
Stay safe Joe.
Probably because the ability of the M1 Carbine to take an EEEE-VIL high-capacity magazine (15 or—GASP—30 rounds) classifies it in the eyes of current law as an “assault weapon”. < rolleyes >
No reason to do anything half way!
Note to all manufacturing companies ..... we freepers will not buy any product that is NOT Eaker proof !
Stay safe Eeek !
My uncle was on occupation duty in Japan when the war started. He said they had them report with their gear on a Saturday and by Monday were in country. When he disembarked in korea his unit was handed 10 rounds and told to try and not waste them. Talk about a what the hell! moment for him.
He talked about the north korean tanks and how the first early WWII era bazookas would just bounce off the sides of the T34’s. His unit would form a line get hit, fight until they couldn’t hold, call in artillery or an airstrike if they could get it, which wasn’t much in the early days. Then bug out and try and find another defensible position.
Him and a buddy separated from their unit during one of the pull backs and was MIA for 3 days. They ran up one mountain and down another with the enemy right on their tails. They would hit a mountain peak, look down and there was the north koreans at the bottom. They finally ran into a South Korean army unit and made it back to US lines.
They finally of course held at Pusan. And then when we went on offense his unit fought all the way to the Yalu and he was around the CO of the unit when his officers asked do you want to form a defensive perimeter in the town below the cliff area they were on overlooking the river? He said the CO thought for a second and said no, we stay up here and set up. Later that night around 2:00am all hell broke loose then the Chinese entered the war. It was then one long retreat and then the counter offensive.
He was in the town that Gen. Dean was in when he was captured, his unit was one of the last to get out of the town. He said he went through the north korean capital Pyongyang and saw a north korean tank with a 90mm shell that had hit in the end of the barrel and it made him laugh because it looked just like a cartoon and had pealed the barrel back like a banana. He also said when they got through with Pyongyang and red square it didn’t look all nice and pretty like they show on tv.
He endured handed to hand fighting and nearly went crazy with PTSD after the war. It took him nearly a dozen years to calm down and control the PTSD. When I was a young kid in the 70’s he finally started talking about the war. He earned two bronze stars while in the service.
He preferred the full auto M1 carbine when dealing with the human wave attacks the chinese would throw at their lines. Two 30 round mags taped together and bandoliers full of more magazines and ammo. He on one occasion picked up a russian burp gun and carried it around for a while along with his M1 but said it was so damned heavy he ditched it and just carried the carbine.
That’s funny - I got the EXACT same letter in reply to my inquiry. I decided to take them up on buying from the CMP. My application in being mailed today.