I have a NM M1, I do not think it has ever been fired. At least 5 places on gun are stamped NM. Will it hurt the value if I shoot it the gun, is in new condition currently. serial #5****** , NM on top and side of rear sight, front sight, top of barel, slide and on bottom of front swivel forged on bottom rod. Stock is marked P with circle around it underneath by trigger on grip, has some sort of eagle with stars above it on left side above trigger. As for the rod I don't know how to check unless it is the one on the bottom of front swivel.
Couple of things you need to check.
First is the ser.#,, First made was in 1953 and only the barrel was stamped.
is it a Type 1 or Type 2
NM op rods were added in 1961
Hooded aperture with 1/2 min. elve. was added in 1962
Many standard grades where rebuilt to NM standards over the years. This will be the type 2 as they ran out of recivers in 1959 and went to type 2.
Recivers are only Springfield.
Ser. # will be in the 5 - 6 million range on type 1, many type 1's have been rebuilt to type 2, Type 2 can be any ser. #.
Wife has a 1953 NM built in Mar of that year from the first run of 800. (Ser # was recorded at Springfield)
Hope this will get you started, as for shooting it thats up to you, Wife's rifle still see's a match or two, thats what it was made for (Not plunking).
I left out a few year mods for you to find.