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Posted: 12/23/2003 1:57:55 PM EDT
I am interested in adding to my firearms collection and I want to buy at least one rifle from each era of the modern US Military rifles (i.e. 1903, M1, etc).

How and what to get started with? Part of me says try a CMP M1...other parts of me say try a new Springfield M1 or M14/M1A. I have not spent a lot of time and research on this yet...and looking for others experiences and thoughts. Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 2:28:19 PM EDT
I'd look for a M1A Pre-Ban Standard. Easier to learn to shoot than the M1. Plus, for now, they aren't making any more.
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:26:01 PM EDT
The M1A has no combat record, but the M1 does. As does the M1917, M1903, and '03A4. Maybe a few '03A3 but they were REMF rifles.

A Springfield Armory (Inc) M1 reproduction has zip collectability or history. Order a CMP M1 to start with, clean it, learn it, and go from there. CMP also has the M1903, M1917, and '03A3.

I've got a pair of M14 clones, but neither have 1% of the history of my 1942 Springfield M1 Rifle.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/23/2003 3:27:37 PM EDT
I'd go in order starting with the earliest rifle you listed. CMP should still have 1903's available. I think it would be cool to collect them in order of introduction.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:10:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chuck:
The M1A has no combat record, but the M1 does. As does the M1917, M1903, and '03A4. Maybe a few '03A3 but they were REMF rifles.

A Springfield Armory (Inc) M1 reproduction has zip collectability or history. Order a CMP M1 to start with, clean it, learn it, and go from there. CMP also has the M1903, M1917, and '03A3.

I've got a pair of M14 clones, but neither have 1% of the history of my 1942 Springfield M1 Rifle.

-- Chuck



Thanks for the advice Chuck, this is what I was looking for. I'd like to collect them and shoot them also. Did you get your 1942 M1 from CMP? Do you know if the SA, Inc. reproduction is 100% accurate to the original?

What part of Southern OH are you in? I am in the Loveland area outside of Cincinnati.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:12:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By woodrow1976:
I'd go in order starting with the earliest rifle you listed. CMP should still have 1903's available. I think it would be cool to collect them in order of introduction.



Great advice! I was thinking the same, but the lure and history of the M1 kind of has me seduced. Both of my uncles fought in WW2 and I'd love to honor them while they are still alive. Maybe even get them to the range to shoot a few rounds and show the "kid" what they are all about.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 7:50:24 AM EDT
Nuke --

I'm in metro Cleveland.

My 1942 SA M1 Rifle did come from CMP years ago when they required stuff like fingerprints and you could buy one (1) rifle in your lifetime! Those requirements ended maybe 10 years ago.

Sometime in her lifetime she received a Winchester front sight and M14 rear sight as well as the typical replacement internal parts. Bolt, barrel, receiver, and stock were all 900,000 series 1942 SA production. I've replaced the sights, but shoot too much to try to find WW2 internal parts just for the sake of being "correct."

This rifle went ashore in North Africa with 2d Ranger Battalion. That's what she told me, anyway, and I'm sticking to her story. .

The Springfield Armory (Inc.) is a reproduction and, like the M1A, uses a cast receiver and parts of dubious parentage. There's no reason to get a reproduction of a rifle with more than 4.5 million produced and which is still commonly available.

CMP just announced they have a couple hundred (only) Collector Grade M1 Rifles available for sale starting 5 January 2004. None, however, are WW2 combat veterans and all are post WW2 production. They'll have the right sights, bolts, stocks, and barrels. Unless you have a US military ID card or DD214 it's doubtful you could qualify by then anyway unless a local club is holding a Garand clinic on one of the next two weekends.

Once you qualify for purchase (affilliated club, high power experience) a trip up I75 to Toledo and a right will take you to Camp Perry and the CMP store where you can pick out your own rifle from several dozen they have in the racks.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:03:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2003 8:06:52 AM EDT by NukeThemTillTheyGlow]
I must have confused you with someone else in OH.

Great info. I currently belong to a CMP affiliated club and want to get the required shooting experience as soon as possible. I have done some reading at the CMP web site, but didn't realize I could actually go to the store and pick out my own rifle. Wow, I will be scheduling a trip to CP asap once I qualify.

Any good books, web sites, etc that you recommend for a M1 beginner? Also, where do your get your ammo? pardon the ignorance, I assume there is a "standard" military ammo spec, like M193/m855 for the M-16/AR-15?

Also, I just looked at the CMP web site and all the info about the store. Awesome! I know there are many different grades of M1's from CMP as well as manufactures, etc. What do you recommend?
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 8:13:25 AM EDT
For pure shooting fun, I'd go with the M1, but for pure unadulterated history, the M1917.. If it was good enough for Alvin York, it'll be good enough for me ;)
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:19:45 AM EDT
When I went there a few weeks ago, the guys there were very helpful. The men in the 'back room', who were bringing out new rifles to restock the racks, were a great source of information for a first timer like myself.

I got to see alot of very nice rifles. I learned alot about the various parts and years of manufacture. Get the Duff books. I really want to get back and pick out a Winchester.

The fellows there told me that if current demand doesn't increase, the stock of surplus M1's will be depleted by 2007. I bet that estimation will fall short a year or two.

Save your nickles, and read about the rifle now, buy as many as you want when the time comes, they are super fun rifles.

Hoard ammo!
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:47:20 AM EDT
The Winchesters may have high collectability, but Winchester traditionally makes substandard military rifles. Their M1917 Rifles were rejected by AEF for several months until they got their act together, and the US Government almost had to sue Winchester over their M1 Rifles during WW2. Winchester made a 1939 spec M1 Rifle until 1945 when the threat of the USG asking for money back produced the WIN-13 rifles.

The very nicest M1 Rifles appear to be the "collector" HRA and IHC rifles -- all post Korea as I recall. Most other M1 Rifles have been thru the arsenals for Clean and Repair some time in their lives.

Remember, the perfect condition M1 Rifle was carried by a cook or clerk at best!

The Remington M1903 Rifles are essentially WW1 spec Rock Island rifles made circa 1940. The 03A3 is different.

The M1917 was the principal US rifle during WW1. Was my first military surplus rifle.

No hurry on the M1A (M14 copy), they're in production by several companies.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 10:53:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chuck:
The Winchesters may have high collectability, but Winchester traditionally makes substandard military rifles. Their M1917 Rifles were rejected by AEF for several months until they got their act together, and the US Government almost had to sue Winchester over their M1 Rifles during WW2. Winchester made a 1939 spec M1 Rifle until 1945 when the threat of the USG asking for money back produced the WIN-13 rifles.
...
-- Chuck



The Russians had a lot to say about Winchesters and Remingtons both if memory serves.. I believe it was those two companies that made Mosin Nagant rifles for them in WW1. Revolution intervened, the demand for the rifles evaporated, and rather than honor the contract the reds refused to buy the rifles claiming quality issues. US Gov't bought them and fielded them at Archangel, as well as issued to NG and such. Kinda neat to own a US marked and issued, russian designed and chambered rifle. From what I've seen, the US Mosins are some of the best available.
Link Posted: 12/24/2003 2:50:11 PM EDT
Nuke 'Em...as far as the M1A...I would skip the Springfield Armrory and have Fulton Armory, Smith Enterprise or other such reputable firms build you an M1A ( a rack grade is most affordable ) from good USGI parts on an LRB forged receiver. This is very, very close to an M14 and in a sense is superior in the fashion that the standard M14 in full auto is uncontrollable as all get out anyway so why bother with the complexity of those extra, useless parts.
Link Posted: 12/25/2003 6:03:23 AM EDT
Nothing wrong with the Springfield cast receivers. Not seen the LRB forged receivers, only photos. They finally got rid of the dot matrix markings. Finding USGI parts kits is getting expensive, I've seen them near $1000. Add a $500 or $600 receiver and $100 to have the barrel mountes and you have a nice $1100 rifle --- ummmmm, that doesn't add up!

-- Chuck
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