George Patton famously quipped that the M1 Garand was the “best battle implement ever devised.” You can agree with him, or you can take great issue (he was, after all, a highly divisive character) but the fact of the matter is that, best or not, the M1 Garand rifle was one of the most influential designs ever carried.
It saw widespread service throughout World War II and beyond, inspiring American servicemen with reverence and enemy combatants with dread. Since its official retirement from service, it’s legendary reputation has carried it into widespread civilian ownership, and now many around the country call themselves the proud owners of the M1 Garand. Some civilian shoots are even strictly limited to participation with an M1 Garand.
Because it is so popular, finding M1 Garand parts is not particularly difficult, compared to finding parts for some other service rifles. However, if you aren’t willing to invest in a parts kit, here are some of the M1 Garand parts you should keep on hand for when things fail to work.
1.Operating rod and springs
The M1 Garand’s operating rod (Op Rod) is a critical component of the action, and failures to cycle often have something to do with it. Not only does the op rod enable a shooter to cock the bolt manually, it is also the part that moves rearward in accordance with the gas operation of the rifle, enabling the rifle to cycle. A broken or deformed op rod, or missing springs, will cripple the action of an M1 Garand.
2.Bolt group parts (or a whole bolt carrier)
Any gun’s bolt carrier group is a complex machine, and though modern sporting rifles may sport sleek, advanced BCGs with fancy nitride coatings and permanent dry lubrication, they still perform the same function. Without a fully-operable bolt, an M1 Garand will neither fire nor cycle. Keep some parts, or a whole new bolt, on hand.
3.Extractor and extractor springs
Sure, you can operate your M1 without a functional extractor or a weakened spring. Just get used to using the tip of a knife to pry out the .30-06 shells. At least they’re pretty big, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Of course, you could just replace the extractor or springs if you don’t feel like turning your M1 Garand into a sloppy break-action, single-shot rifle.
4.Ejector and ejector springs
While a failed extractor or springs is usually a bigger deal for most firearms than a failed ejector (many guns don’t even have ejectors) on a semi automatic platform like the M1 Garand, a failed ejector will prevent it from operating. In essence, a failed ejector is as big of an issue as a failed extractor.
Therefore, you should keep not only spare extractors and springs on hand but also spare ejectors and springs, since without them, the rifle won’t operate as intended. Luckily, both of these parts are affordable, typically in fair supply, and relatively easy to replace.
It’s just a fact of life that firing pins fail after a while. You might think that broken firing pins are really nothing more than the result of abusive treatment and misfiring, but after a few thousand rounds, or tens of thousands of rounds, a firing pin is likely to break from stress. Other problems could be associated with the pin not striking the primer.
Either way, it’s a very basic part and a vital one to keep in reserve. Without an operable firing pin, the rifle will be little more than a replica with complex, moving parts.
Triggers can get sloppy over time or with poor care or maintenance, and the same could be observed of the trigger group that has come with an M1 Garand. This is all the more true if your current trigger group was installed in the rifle 70 or more years ago, which may very well be the case. That said, triggers themselves and trigger groups can also usually be found pretty easily.
While these are some of the most mission critical M1 Garand parts that you should keep on hand, other parts you should also keep around are hardware like sling mounts, front and rear sights (sometimes guns are missing these) stocks and barrels. The latter you may want to keep on hand, especially if you use your rifle in competition, as barrels will wear down over time.
Your Source for M1 Garand Parts
Sarco Inc., is a leading provider of firearms and parts, especially for historically significant firearms like the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine (and variants) M1903, M1911, M16 and countless others. Check here first when you need parts for your rifle, but don’t be shy about reaching out to us.
Get in touch with us at 610-250-3960 if you have any questions at all about repairs or replacement and we’ll help you out with the parts and information that you need. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can stay current with news and developments.