Fix your U.S. Vintage Military Rifle

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posted on April 4, 2016
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The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Custom Shop is taking orders again after a five-month hiatus to clear backlog and restructure the gunsmithing shop. Beginning this month, shooters and competitors can again take advantage of CMP’s gunsmithing services for vintage U.S. military rifles including the M1 Garand, Springfield, Krag-Jorgenson and M1917 (“Enfield”) rifles and the M1 Carbine.

In addition to troubleshooting and repair of routine problems, the Custom Shop will refinish, rebarrel, upgrade, accurize, and customize these milsurp rifles, as well as other training/competition rifles used by the U.S. military such as H&R Model 12, Mossberg 44 and Remington 40X .22 caliber rifles. Be aware, however, that some Custom Shop work will render the milsurp rifles ineligible for CMP “as-issued” Vintage Military Rifle, Springfield and M1 Garand competition. Consult the downloadable CMP Games rulebook for specific info.

When the Clinton Administration terminated the Army’s Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) in 1996 after more than 90 years of close cooperation with NRA Competitive Shooting programs, CMP picked up DCM’s torch under a government charter. CMP also took over sales of government milsurp ammunition and rifles, from which it derives much of its operational funding. CMP greatly expanded civilian marksmanship participation in creating “as-issued” games competitions for vintage military rifles, which are far less expensive than match grade rifles and for which little equipment is needed for shooting at 100 and 200 yards.

CMP established its Custom Shop in 2013 as a kind of replacement for government armories for working on the vintage U.S. rifles. At first there was some concern with objections from independent gunsmiths worried about CMP competing for work, but with literally many millions of U.S. milsurp rifles in civilian hands, that concern was unfounded.

Before sending your old warhorse to CMP for gunsmithing, call CMP in Anniston, AL at (256) 835-8455 ext. 513, 514 or 540. The shop will issue 15 Return Authorizations per week and will work on rifles in the order taken. Do not send your rifle to CMP without a Return Authorization. For specifics on CMP Custom Shop offerings, visit http://thecmp.org/cmp_sales/custom-gunsmithing/.

If you’re a DIY kind of guy but find the Garand’s innards a bit of a mystery, check out this article on M1 Garand service and maintenance.

You can also go to the original source of M1 Garand routine maintenance, the Department of the Army Field Manual FM 23-5, “U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1.” A free scanned copy of the maintenance section of the original is available for download as a PDF at https://archive.org/details/Fm23-5. You’ll find a digitally improved, much higher quality reprint for sale at http://www.nicolausassociates.com/M1_Garand.htm, as well as reprinted manuals for the Springfield and other rifles.

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