Q: I have an M1 Garand rifle that has “SA/EMcF” on the left side of the stock. Is the marking from the inspection process, and is it possible to know who approved my rifle?
A: The marking on the stock is the “Final Inspection Stamp,” often colloquially called a “cartouche,” which signifies that the rifle passed all requisite Ordnance inspections and was accepted by the government.
The “SA” indicates manufacture at Springfield Armory, and “EMcF” represents Col. (later Brig. Gen.) Earl McFarland, the commanding officer of Springfield Armory from June 11, 1942, through July 31, 1943. M1 rifles manufactured at Springfield from circa 1941 through circa 1952 were so stamped, although Ordnance personnel operating under the CO’s authority performed the actual inspections.
Those rifles manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. during World War II were stamped “WRA” along with the initials of the Head of the Hartford Ordnance District. After 1952, this practice ceased and was superseded by the “Defense Acceptance Stamp,” a “spread eagle” under three stars.