I have held John C. Garand’s Garand—serial number 1,000,000—but today I was able to hold another of the great arms designer’s guns. And odds are it is not what you think. While in Nashville at the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, I was able to get behind the scenes at “NRA Gun Gurus” presented by Henry Repeating Arms. NRA’s National Firearms Museum’s Phil Schreier and Jim Supica are filming for their next season, and they had some interesting guns come in for the show’s closing segment.
When I entered the “green” room (which was really gray and chocked full of interesting people and guns), I was greeted by my friend Dr. Walt Kuleck (who has written some great gun books, including a brand new one on the Ruger 10/22, and articles in American Rifleman) and his wife Kathy. He brought two guns, one of which was a .22 Smith & Wesson Third Model Perfected single-shot target pistol. Back in the glory days of Springfield Armory, Garand used to shoot indoor pistol matches one of his frequent companions was then Maj. Julian S. Hatcher. Hatcher, of course, went on to become a major general and was longtime technical editor of American Rifleman (Hatcher shot a Colt Camp Perry, which now resides in the National Firearms Museum).
Garand was very interested in accuracy, and he appreciated good sights and a good a trigger—both hallmarks of his service rifle. This gun possessed both. Walt joked it’s condition is “NRA Pitiful,” as it was poorly stored and there is much pitting on the metal. But condition is not where this gun’s value comes from—it is from the ironclad provenance to John C. Garand, backed up by a Smith & Wesson factory letter. To find out what this gun is worth, turn into “NRA Gun Gurus” when the new season begins the last week of December on the Outdoor Channel.