Favorite Firearms: Garand Memories of World War II

by
posted on June 18, 2024
M1 Garand right-side view shown on white with purple heart medal

I have always been fascinated with U.S. military rifles. Long ago, at a gun show, I purchased an M1 Garand for the mere price of $410. Research with the nice folks at the Garand Collectors Ass’n told me that my 1942 receiver was at one time re-welded—but it has always functioned flawlessly for me. Being an amateur gunsmith, I brought that rifle up to CMP Special Grade by installing a new Criterion barrel and a Boyds stock set.

I was showing this rifle to my Uncle Ray, who fought in World War II, and he held it and stroked it like a baby. You could just see the memories flash across his eyes when he told his wife, “Look, Bette, this is what I carried all through Europe!”

He then told me about his first Purple Heart. He had his M1 Garand stripped down for cleaning on the table of a bombed-out farmhouse. A mortar round exploded outside, collapsing the remaining brick wall onto the table and my uncle. He was more concerned about finding the pieces of his rifle than his own personal condition.

My aunt and uncle have since passed away, but I will never forget the family story of this rifle.

—Roy Seifert

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