M1 Garand National Match Rifles

M1 Garand National Match Rifles

Originally published 7/98

M1 GARAND NATIONAL MATCH RIFLES came in these groups; Type I, Type I-Modified and Type II

Type I Service rifles with only “NM” struck on the barrel. These were built in 1953, 1954 1955, 1956 and 1957.

Type I-Mod. Transitional rifles. As above with either or both of the new “NM” modified gas cylinder and sights. There appeared, respectively, in 1958 and 1959.

Type II All of the above plus glass bedding. Type II rifles were ALL rebuilt guns.

Type I and Type I-Modified rifles were usually new-manufactured guns.

Type II – Manufacture of these began in 1960.

There were no N.M. rifles sold through the D.C.M. Program until the successes of 1956 at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Serial number 4,29X,XXX – probably the highest serial number for a 1953 (first year) N.M. rifle.

M1 NATIONAL MATCH BARRELS ARE MARKED IN THREE WAYS:

1. Very Early:

  • 1953 – 1956 SA F6535448 and various marks
  • 1953 – 1954 only small, hand-stamped NM struck on right side of barrel, close to the drawing markings.

2. After 1956

  • F7791034 Bored .2945″ + .0020″ Grooved .3075″ + .0020″
  • F7791035 Bored .3000″ + .0010″ Grooved .3075″ + .0020″

From 1953 to 1956 NQ barrels were manufactured as N.M. All have the same drawing number as a standard service barrel. By Spring of 1954, left side of the muzzle is marked “N.M.” In the earliest examples ( 3/4 1954 ) the hand­ stamped NM on the breech may still be found.

Armory criteria apparently changed in late 1955. This is recorded by a hand-stamped to the already NM marked breech end of the barrel. At some point in 1956, the star was moved to the left side of the muzzle, to the rear of the “NM” already marked in this area.

All barrel manufacture ended in October, 1956, and was not resurrected until 1963 – 1964. Now the “NM” barrels were manufactured as such.

CHRONOLOGY OF NATIONAL MATCH RIFLE CHANGES

  • 1953-1957
    • Standard service rifle. Only “NM” marked on the barrel.
  • 1956-1957
    • Wooden inserts placed into the magazine well of stock to permit tight bedding.
  • 1958
    • First special “NM” part added – the gas cylinder.
  • 1958-1959
    • Special “NM” front and rear sights. Optional, 1957 and 1958.
  • 1960
    • Special “NM” front and rear sights. Optional, 1957 and 1958.  Assembled on rifles commencing in 1959. Armory glass bedding.
  • 1961
    • “NM” marked operating rods, manufactured by Springfield Armory and Remington.
  • 1962
    • 1/2 minute adjustable hooded peep  and special rear sight sight base marked “NMZ”.
  • 1963
    • Rear sight base further modified and marked “NMZ/A”.

Many thanks to SM for his contribution to Hawaii Historic Arms Association’s store of knowledge of martIal arms. Mahalo to RS  and Al Mongeon for reproducing and transcribing this compendium from Steve’s original handwritten notes of March, 1997

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