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 I have an unusual Garand rifle.
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neisman
Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2009 :  11:18:36 AM  Show Profile
I have an unusual Garand rifle. It never had a serial number on the receiver and the workings have been modified. I bought it at a gun show from a fellow whose father bought it from the H&R factory when he was an employee there. H&R used it in experiments contracted by the Navy to make the Garand cycle faster.
Does anybody know anything about this rifle?

fordsix
Advanced Member

5825 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2009 :  1:21:27 PM  Show Profile
sounds like a tool room gun that some one took home
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rufe-snow
Advanced Member

15847 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2009 :  2:19:32 PM  Show Profile
Please post quality close-up photos of the rifle and it's mechanism.

Instructions for posting photos to the forum.

http://forums.GunBroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=259294



Potentially if it could be substantiated that this was a legitimate, experimental, or toolroom model it could prove quite valuable. That said, their is so much BS and crookedness floating around gunshows that I would not be getting your hopes up to much. Thats why we need the pictures.


Edited by - rufe-snow on 10/02/2009 2:21:04 PM
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neisman
Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  1:31:16 PM  Show Profile
Sorry for the late reply, busy, busy.
I have no hopes, just curosity.
Pictures are available here http://www.topgunwon.com/odd_garand/index.html
Just cut and paste into your browser if it does not show as a hot link.
If you need any specific pics, let me know.

Edited by - neisman on 10/09/2009 1:51:12 PM
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mark christian
Administrator

Panama
19259 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  7:26:42 PM  Show Profile
Right off the bat it is obvious that someone has been grinding away on the hammer; you can clearly see a large radius of metal was removed and it was a sloppy job, not something done in a factory filled with highly skilled metal workers.


An unmodified M1 hammer looks like this one


For as long as there have been M1s there have been the tall tales of hammers heavily modified by (pick only one) the factory, military armours, and master guns smiths in order to improve lock time. The simple fact is that such modifications only make the gun trouble prone. I'd say Bubba got to that hammer, not someone at the H&R factory or the US Navy.
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neisman
Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  8:29:32 PM  Show Profile
Did you only see ths picture of the hammer?
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mark christian
Administrator

Panama
19259 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  8:52:09 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by neisman

Did you only see ths picture of the hammer?



There should be marking on the hammer. If this was done at the H&R factory they would look like this:


If this entire was supposed rifle to have come right out of the H&R factory I'd want to know why this special test piece has a trigger housing made by International Harvester and not Harrington and Richardson? There are lots of other things about this rifle; such as the butt stock not appearing to match H&R stock contours or the early production single slot gas cylinder lock screw (which was obsolete and discontinued long before H&R ever built their first M1) that make me wonder just where it came from, but I'm betting it did not come right out of the H&R factory.

This is an actual a HRA lock screw

This is an HRA trigger group/housing

This is an HRA rear sight windage knob

This is an HRA elevation pinion


A Harrington and Richardson M1 rifle coming right out of the factory is going to have 100% HRA parts.

Edited by - mark christian on 10/10/2009 10:23:15 AM
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Frisco75034
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2009 :  11:09:34 PM  Show Profile
If you have the paperwork/documentation or a method to verify it is a H&R Garand w/o S/N or nameing on the heel from H&R it can be worth a lot.
John
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burner208
Starting Member

10 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  06:20:31 AM  Show Profile
Looks like a parts gun to me, how much did you pay for that parts lot?

Id be real weary of any gun with out a serial number, especially a garand.
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neisman
Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  08:09:49 AM  Show Profile
Hello John,
Value, is, of course of interest, but it's history is more of interest to me right now. Unfortunately much, if not all of the H&R records were lost to us. That is why I put it out here for comments.
Yes, some of the parts are odd, most notably the lock screw. Also the IHC trigger housing containing H&R parts and of course the odd markings on the receiver.
None of this is unusual at all if it is a parts gun, which I suppose it could be. Perhaps I will strip it and use the parts for trade material and to better other rifles. The metal, with the exception of the hammer, is all in nice shape so it will make a pretty pile of parts.

Best regards, Karl
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nmyers
Advanced Member

12693 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  09:58:44 AM  Show Profile
It's an interesting rifle, but, you are right, the history may be even more interesting.

HRA originally contracted for the production of rifles with the Ordnance Department, not the Navy, in 1952. The only variations from specifications permitted by the integration committee were to speed up production, nothing else. It's certainly possible that an HRA employee took an incomplete receiver & scrounged enough parts later to assemble a complete rifle.

HRA DID have a contract with the Navy in 1964 to convert existing rifle to Mark 2 Mod 1 configuration (7.62 mm NATO). Since this was a cartridge change, they obviously would have had to test rifles to be sure that they functioned properly with 7.62 mm ammo, which has a different burn rate than .30-06. However, there is no documentation of any problem. Any rifle in the plant at that time was US Government property, so any receiver would have had standard markings. Had it been removed from HRA by an employee, the thief would probably have ground off all markings.

Your photos of the receiver are not close enough for me to be sure, but it appears to have a poor quality refinish. Good oblique lighting would help decide if the contour of the receiver is original or ground down.

I don't know if ATF still does it, but they used to accept guns like yours for analysis & use technology to raise the original markings. If they were to give you a letter stating that the receiver had never been marked, that would GREATLY increase it's value. On the down side, if they determine that the receiver has been scrubbed, they may allow you to renumber the rifle, or they might confiscate it. I would hope that they wouldn't arrest you for possession of a firearm with an altered/removed serial number, but that IS a possibility.

If you do nothing, you are still open to arrest on charges of possessing a firearm with an altered/removed serial number. Simply possession is a felony. I hate prison food.

Neal
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grandman
Junior Member

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  10:00:57 AM  Show Profile
Looks like a parts gun to me, but if it shoots good and functions good leave it alone and shoot it. If you are unsure of the functioning of it, have it checked out by a confident gunsmith and see what he thinks. What caliber id it?
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mark christian
Administrator

Panama
19259 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  10:34:38 AM  Show Profile
it is impossible to tell from photos, unless they are of extremely high quality with professional lighting, but HRA receivers have a very specific contour to them that none of the other three manufacturers M1s have. The problem is that I'd have to be holding the rifle in my hands in order to tell if this unmarked receiver is an HRA. If it came out of the HRA factory as a test piece no serial number would not be unusual, but there should be a drawing number 6528291, D-6528291 or D6582891-J (which were HRA codes assigned to them) on the front of the right receiver leg. There is no code at all on this receiver. Frankly the receiver looks like a Springfield to me, but that is just based on the photos I am looking at.

This is a typical HRA drawing number.


In case you are wondering, all of these photos are coming from M1s in my own very modest collection

Edited by - mark christian on 10/10/2009 10:38:57 AM
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neisman
Starting Member

12 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2009 :  10:35:23 AM  Show Profile
Hello Neal,

"If you do nothing, you are still open to arrest on charges of possessing a firearm with an altered/removed serial number. Simply possession is a felony. I hate prison food."
You are assuming that it was altered. I have no fear of that and it does have the number 133 stamped on the forwardmost part of the heel, under the parking. That was used as a serial number when the paperwork was done.
We digress here. Nobody implied that H&R deviated from specs on it's own.
Do you have access to H&R government contract records from the 50s? I would be very interested to have you share that with me.
I would doubt that the 64 navy contract would have involved this weapon as the dates are early 50s. However that does raise a good point. I had assumed that any history would have begun and ended in the 50s, because of the barrel date. I suppose the barrel could have been laying around for years or even decades before being assembled to a receiver.
I was not given dates of when the supposed experiment took place or when the rifle was purchased. You know what they say about assuming.
I will have to find out when H&R stopped making Garands?
I had assumed that it was 30.06, but will have to check. I will also have to find my copy of Scott Duffs book and thoroughly inspect each part.
I don't need to shoot it. I have shooters. This one is interesting because of it's uniqueness.
Much of what I have read in these responses makes sense and I am leaning toward a pretty story and a parts gun.

Best regards, Karl

Edited by - neisman on 10/10/2009 10:37:06 AM
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