Q. In an August 2006 American Rifleman article regarding post-World War II Garand rifles, it was stated that the highest serial number was 6,090,905. However, the October 2006 issue mentioned two higher serial numbers, “6,098,XXX” and “7,008,XXX,” that have been observed. Can you elaborate on these higher serial numbers?
A. The serial number cited in the article “Post-World War II M1 Garands” (August 2006, p. 48) you referenced was simply the highest number reported in government documents available at the time and not necessarily the highest serial number utilized by the Springfield Armory. A number of M1 rifles with higher serial numbers have subsequently been reported, including serial number 6,100,499, which is generally acknowledged as the highest number in existence.
The 7,008,000 serial number rifle you mentioned is a commercial-production M1 receiver that was manufactured circa the 1980s by a civilian firm that copyrighted the name “Springfield Armory” years after the National Armory in Springfield, Mass., closed. These commercial-production rifles were not made for the U.S. government and were serially numbered beginning in the 7,000,000 range, presumably to distinguish them from military production Garand rifles. These rifles were not mentioned as the article only pertained to “G.I.” M1s manufactured for the government.
-Bruce N. Canfield
Originally published December, 2006