M1 Garand Talk The M1 Garand - General Posting

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:11   #1
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Talking My new DGR M1 Garand 'Tanker' Rifle

Took approximately just over two months from the date of placing my order, but on Friday the rifle arrived at my FFL Dealer for pick-up.

She is a completely restored M1 Garand built on a Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. receiver, by Dean Dillabaugh of "Dean's Gun Restorations" located in Tennessee (many of you are familiar with Dean's work). I requested Dean to build one of his 'Tanker' Garands (although I like to refer to it as a M1 Garand T26) chambered in 7.62x51mm with a 18 1/4" Criterion barrel and with a Smith Enterprise Garand muzzle brake. I shipped out to him the Amega mini-scout picatinny rail to incorporate into the build.

Dean and Michelle of DGR were a pleasure to communicate with throughout my rifle's ordering and assembly process. Upon my request, Dean even went so far as to remove the rather ugly Amega Ranges large white lettering from the side of the mini-scout picatinny rail, and repaint it.

For all intents and purposes, she is a brand-spanking new M1 Garand. She's my 'Heavy Scout Rifle'.















Dean custom fits and finishes the semi-fancy walnut stocks to all his rifles' actions and his craftsmanship in that regard is truly superlative. When my wife looked the rifle over and shouldered it. . . she said, "Wow, this is the nicest rifle you own." Ummm. . . that's saying a lot considering I do own several rather exceptionally nice rifles and handguns.

My M1 is sporting a Thompson Center Recoil Proof Pistol Scope 2.5-7x28mm, and low Burris Xtreme Tactical Rings.

~Gary

Last edited by Garys4598; 02-19-2012 at 20:35.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:19   #2
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Excellent!!!

I have one of Dean's laminated wood stocks for my M-1, and if I could I would have him do this T-26 conversions to my M-1. I am going to try and have it done here in Germany, and hope that mine will come out like yours. Dean was extremely helpful in working out the shipment process; Boyd's wouldn't do it. I think Dean's oversize is better anyway. After I put on Dean's stock, I had some slight fitting issues and he worked with me to get it right. Afterwords and since, I can shoot sub-MOA on a good day with it, no special bedding or anything else.

I have been using a Burris 2-7 electo dot pistol scope for some time; it is even useful for hunting. However, I believe that Leupold has just come out with a 1.5-6x33 scout scope, VX-R series, which means it also has a red dot. I intend to have my M-1 "carbinized" and mount that Leupold on it. I also have a Smith's muzzle brake and will use it after the mods; there's not much use for it now as recoil is so tame with the full length barrel. I've used it before, and the recoil is almost as light as a .223.

Sure wish I could ship my Garand to Dean. Hoping mine will turn out as nice as yours!

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Old 03-03-2012, 22:02   #3
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Wow! Both of you have great looking rifles. But that "tanker" is just downright beautiful. I have an HRA in the 5616XXX range that looks good, but yours................ again wow!

Gary: did you have to go with an adjustible gas plug on that or will it use the stock GI type?

-AimHigh
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:53   #4
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aimhigh has asked the same question I'm curious about since I'm about to have the same modification done. I've been using a Mccann's adjustable plug for hunting ammunition. Sort of thinking that an adjustable might be needed no matter what since all dimensions are reduced and save undo stress on the operating rod/bolt/reciever.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:36   #5
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Originally Posted by aimhigh View Post
Gary: did you have to go with an adjustible gas plug on that or will it use the stock GI type?

-AimHigh
Originally Posted by M2MikeGolf View Post
aimhigh has asked the same question I'm curious about since I'm about to have the same modification done. I've been using a Mccann's adjustable plug for hunting ammunition.....
I inquired with Dean Dillabaugh on this very subject; I wanted his recommendation on whether I needed an adjustable gas system, and if so, which one he most preferred?

Turns out Dean either couldn't or wouldn't answer my question. He seemed. . . a bit ignorant with the topic of adjustable gas systems. So I made my own decision. . .

Upon receiving the DGR 'Tanker' Garand I immediately swapped out its USGI gas plug for a Mccann adjustable system (at the time of taking the photos of my rifle I had the USGI plug still installed). Turns out the plug/screw with the second largest exhaust hole works perfectly for cycling my 7.62mm ammunition.

So. . . I can't say for sure whether I absolutely had to install an adjustable gas plug. . . I'm sure the USGI plug would have worked just fine, but perhaps in the long run the rifle's op rod might have sustained damage, and perhaps other receiver parts would have been unduly stressed. . . . but I can say I am very happy with my decision to go with the adjustable plug!

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Old 03-04-2012, 13:35   #6
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If Col. Cooper were still among us, even HE would have to admit your version of a Tanker makes one heck of nice scout rifle! That thing looks great!

Originally Posted by Garys4598 View Post


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Old 03-04-2012, 21:02   #7
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Gary: Thanks. A few years ago I followed the CMP forums pretty close and ther was a lot of postings about this subject. I seem to remember that the size and position of the hole was crucial for a GI plug to cycle reliably.

-AimHigh
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:37   #8
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Originally Posted by aimhigh View Post
Gary: Thanks. A few years ago I followed the CMP forums pretty close and ther was a lot of postings about this subject. I seem to remember that the size and position of the hole was crucial for a GI plug to cycle reliably.

-AimHigh
Well, during my initial shooting session with my Garand and the McCann adjustable gas plug (I ended up firing 96 rounds through her that day), I ultimately settled on the gas jet screw that had the second largest exhaust hole.

Naturally, I started-off with the screw that had the largest hole. . . and surprising to me, the rifle cycled great 95% of the time; approximately every third enbloc clip loaded, I'd experience a failure to feed with one of the rounds hanging-up slightly diagonally when the bolt stripped it and moved it forward toward the barrel's chamber.

After screwing in the second largest gas jet screw, the feed problem never occurred again throughout the remainder of my shooting session.

I can't help but to wonder just how much stress my tanker's op rod would undergo during firing had I kept the standard USGI gas nut/plug in place?



On a different subject, I've replaced the Thompson Center optic with a Burris 2-7x32 handgun optic that has the Burris ballistic reticle and posi-lock system. I haven't taken the Garand back out for another firing session yet (I plan to paint the new optic and the scope rings this weekend with parker colored DuraCoat), but by simply shouldering the rifle and looking through the optic I can report the new scope's eye relief is a heck of a lot better than what I experienced with the TC optic.

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Old 03-10-2012, 06:33   #9
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On a different subject, I've replaced the Thompson Center optic with a Burris 2-7x32 handgun optic that has the Burris ballistic reticle and posi-lock system. I haven't taken the Garand back out for another firing session yet (I plan to paint the new optic and the scope rings this weekend with parker colored DuraCoat), but by simply shouldering the rifle and looking through the optic I can report the new scope's eye relief is a heck of a lot better than what I experienced with the TC optic.
Not sure you can tell in the photo, but I've been using that Burris 2-7x32 (with the electro-dot, which apparently Burris doesn't make anymore) for some years and with great success. However, recently Leupold has released a 1-5x33 VX-R (which means it has red dot reticle) scout scope, which I had been hoping they would make. It's strange though, I cannot find it on Leupold's website, but I have ordered it from SWFA. You should be happy with that Burris, I think. Will give a review when I get the Leupold if anyone is interested.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:24   #10
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Finally got around to installing the vertical gun rack on my den's wall to display my M1 Garand (item purchased from Gun-Racks.com, listed as their "Single Magnetic Vertical Gun Rack"). I slightly modified the vertical rack by installing two additional magnets into the top barrel rest portion, because the single magnet did not rest right up against either my M1's barrel or gas tube. . . and I wanted to be sure in the event of a mild earthquake the rifle would not fall out of the rack. I also applied minwax PolyShade in natural cherry satin to the already dark walnut stain, to get the wood finish more in tune with the other furniture I have in my den. I am very pleased with how it all came out.






Oh, and I've had a new Burris 2-7x32 Handgun Scope mounted on her and I find it a huge improvement over the Thompson Center optic. I also modified a Triple-K 3/4" cheek riser and laced it up on my rifle's rear stock. The 3/4" height just wasn't enough for me to obtain an appropriate sight alignment, so I added foam padding underneath (pictured below) the leather cheek piece, and also reshaped the front portion of the leather piece to more appropriately match the contours of the rifle stock (in my opinion anyway). I'm very pleased with how that came out as well.










The only thing I've got left to do is paint the scope and rings in parker color. I've had the DuraCoat "Shake 'N Spray" Finishing Kit for weeks. . . but I simply haven't made the time to "get'r done".

~Gary
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