Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My personal stimulus package, and contribution to the

re-arming of America going on.

When all the fun started back around last October, I started thinking about a EBR. Question was, what? I'm just not that fond of the AR15, they're expensive and were rapidly becoming more so, and ammo... jeez, have you looked at .223 lately? Plus son is not that fond of it*; he recommended that if I did, get a piston upper in 7.62x39; can you say 'even more pricey'?

I've always liked the idea of a M1A, but they're more expensive than most AR15s I've seen. Then I had a thought(shut up, Og, it happens). I checked the site and they still showed them, so I put the paperwork together and mailed it off. '30 to 60 days' turned to 90, to 120, and then I got an e-mail: 'processing your order'! Which was a real surprise, as I'd been afraid they'd run out. Then a couple of days ago the White Truck of Happiness brought the box from CMP:
M1 Garand in the grand old .30-06 cartridge, this one made by Harrington & Richardson. After disassembly and a thorough cleaning, it's in quite good condition; the bore looks very nice indeed, the muzzle shows little wear, the action's tight and the trigger not bad at all; I'm guessing about 5 pound with no creep or drag. The stock has a lot of little 'carried around a lot' dings, and appears to be original to the rifle.

I've got a bunch of -06 brass, and you can use any 150- to 170-grain bullet to feed it, so ammo won't be a big problem. May see about ordering some more of the HXP ammo CMP has; I've fired it before, it's good stuff. And I think the cast bullets will work out to make very nice practice loads.

True, it doesn't have the pistol grip or detachable magazine that causes such pants-wetting among the Brady Group To Ban Guns and their associates; and the handguard is wood instead of being a horrifying 'thing that folds up' barrel shroud. But it does have a bayonet lug(got a sticker for it), and you can stick a grenade launcher on it, and it is on the list those GFW dirtbags drew up as 'Evil Assault Weapons That Make Us Foul Our Diapers That Peasants Should Not Own' , so it'll do for that part. Helmke, that arms expert who said that guns capable of shooting more than 100 yards should not be allowed for hunting, should go into PSH at the thought of a 150-grain bullet at almost 2900fps("Why, it'll go MUCH more than 100 yards!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!") And, though no detachable mag, those 8-round clips go in pretty quickly, so I guess that counts for it, also.

The stimulus part? I used my tax refund to pay for it, and it'll stimulate interest at the range, pleasure for me in further cleaning and use, and "Crap, where'd you get it?" questions at the range.

Clips. More clips... And wheelweights.

*He told me that he's never seen one, properly maintained(i.e. 'scrubbed within an inch of its life daily') fail to function in combat; he does say they can be a pain in the ass to thoroughly clean after much use, and he's not fond of the cartridge for fighting.


Thud said...

What a beautiful weapon....history in your hands.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted an M-1 but still can't afford it. SWMBO did allow me to get a Springfield 03-A3 and an M1 Carbine, so I cant' really complain. The M1 Carbine does have eeeevil magazines that hold 30 rounds, I have several, as well as 15 rounders, so I can frighten GFW's. As I now have some pretty nasty arthritis in my hands and wrists the kittenweight recoil of the carbine is a blessing. I have several tens of thousands of cartridgey bits for all my centerfires, including molds and reloading dies so ammo shouldn't be a real problem for about ten years at current consumption rates. I also have a #4MkI*, a M1917 Eddystone, a M48 Yugo Mauser and for funsies a Spanish Destroyer in 9mm Largo. .38 Super fits and fires as if it grew there and I can hit reliably to just beyond 150 yds with cast loads, a bit further with jacketed. My modified Yugo SKS has enough rounds to last years, I also have reloading supplies and tools for all my rifles and pistols should it become more than fun. I could go on for an hour, but I'm pretty sure you get the drift.

Yup, the democr.........rat bastard commies have my attention.

Gerry N.

the pistolero said...

Helmke, that arms expert who said that guns capable of shooting more than 100 yards should not be allowed for hunting
Actually, that was internationally-active gun prohibitionist Rebecca Peters of the International Action Network on Small Arms. I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that Paul Helmke agrees with her, though.
I wanted something in .308/7.62 NATO. Was thinking an M1A would fit the bill but for one I didn't quite have the coin, and for two I couldn't find one ANYWHERE. So I leaned back to the PTR-91, a clone of the HK91, with five 20-round mags...and a sling to boot. ;-)

Firehand said...

That was another thing that attracted me, a piece that's been part of the US military in the past.

One reason I started doing cast loads for .30-06 was that I love shooting my 03A3, but the recoil of ball ammo in that stock & buttplate beats my shoulder up pretty bad; injured it about ten-twelve years ago, and it gets sensitive at times. The cast loads have low recoil, quite accurate at the ranges I can normally shoot at, and a LOT less expensive than factory ammo; same reasons I want to make cast loads for the M1 with decent accuracy.

I've heard of the Destroyer; a light carbine shooting .38 Super... that's not a bad thing at all.

Pistolero, you may well be right, he may have been agreeing with her rather than making the statement himself. I'll have to see if can find it. And yeah, M1A variants are few and far between.

Rustmeister said...


Modern 30.06 loads are hotter than what the Garand was designed for and can damage your baby.

Either use the mil surp ammo from CMP or get an adjustable gas plug.

I got mine from Midway. They aren't expensive, and definitely worth it.

Firehand said...

I plan to be quite careful of what I feed it; either M2 ball-spec or something lighter.

Interestingly, I used some 172-grain boattail match bullets to put some loads together; I got the best accuracy with a load several grains lighter than the one everyone said would be just wonderful. So fine accuracy with less pressure. The best result with cast bullets so far is with a 180-grain bullet, but thanks to the lesser friction with gas-checked cast as opposed to jacketed, at almost ten grains less powder than M2.

But I may get one of the plugs, anyway, just to be on the safe side.

Windy Wilson said...

"Helmke, that arms expert who said that guns capable of shooting more than 100 yards should not be allowed for hunting
Actually, that was internationally-active gun prohibitionist Rebecca Peters of the International Action Network on Small Arms."

Eh, once at a highpower competition the rangemaster was talking to a couple of the distinguished marksmen about someone he knew who had shot the 200 yard version of the match with a .22lr rifle. He said the rear sight was cranked way up and the bullets were keyholing on the paper, but he was hitting the target.
This 100 yard theory is like the family services people who came up with the rule that any gun in the house had to take 10 minutes to get to. Another technique for backdoor disarmament.
Interestingly the secret word for verifying my comment is "disses", which is somehow apropos.