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M1 Garand Project Complete (Pic Heavy)


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I have been working on this rifle project since late Fall and finally finished today.

This M1 Garand was made by Winchester in January of 1944, 6 months prior to D-Day. It has very little pitting (possibly indicating use in Europe rather than the tropics) but has consider "pistol rash" on the left side of the receiver from rubbing against the butt of a holstered handgun when slung on the shoulder. It was rebarreled at Springfield Armory in October 1963. I purchased it at The CMP Marksmanship Park where it was the lone Service Grade Winchester when I visited.


It took 6 months to track down a rare mostly-carved Garand stock in Flame figured Maple that I could final fit and finish with the same traditional methods used when building flintlock blackpowder longrifles.

The only handguards I could find had already had some stain attempts applied, and since I used historical iron nitrate reagent to color and accentuate the curl/flame (chatoyance is the technical term) it was a challenge to make them match the stock.


But it took very little wood removal to get the stock to fit, though it is very tight. The operating rod was rubbing a bit and I had to fit the rear trigger guard so it could fully seat and lock the receiver into place. The maple carved easily so I reckon it is likely Red Maple rather than Sugar Maple. 


I sanded the stock from 80 up to 600 grit, with whiskering at the end, then treated it with a tannic acid solution. After drying, I treated it with Iron Nitrate which reacts with the tannins and turns very dark. When it is exposed to high heat it then blushed to a warm brown color. Because of the structure of the curly maple the color is more permenant in the open celled curl than in the closed cell wood next to it. So when it is rubbed back the chatoyance really pops.


I generally use traditional oil finishes but choose to try Permalyn, a polymerized oil, for this one. I did not like it. But after lots of extra rubbing and some required "antiquing" in spots, it came out very fine.










Edited by Blockader
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Thanks y'all, I'm glad to be done. I think I'll build another AR next lol.


I'm planning to shoot this in a Vintage 3-GUN match this summer and I hope to get some video. I don't have a pre-1945 shotgun other than a side by side, so I'll be droppin' deuces in the pipes from my shell caddy! 

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