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Garand Barrel, To Replace Or Not...

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#1 brian923

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:21 PM

Hi all. I am a proud owner of a springfield garand. I have been wanting to replace the barrel on it scince its pitted and smokey. I was looking through the midwayusa book and saw that there are two major brands offered through them. One is criterion, or krieger generic, and douglas.

Fisrt off, I am able to achieve 4-5" groups at 80-100 yards. Will replacing the barel significantly increase my accuracy? And if so, which barrel would be better to go with. The criterion is 220 and the the douglas is !out 350 if I remember right. I have heard of peoe complain that new criterion barrels have measured .5 to 1.25 on wear gauges and they were brand new!! I don't know if this is the norm, or if it was a freak lot of barrels.

Thanks for the advice guys, brian.

#2 Doble Troble

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 11:12 AM

It should do better than 5" at 80, but 4" at 100 is about what you can expect with a service grade mix-master, but most do better than this.

A lot happens in these rifles when you shoot them. Each step can influence accuracy. The barrel is only a fraction of what contributes to accuracy in a Garand.

Muzzle wear caused by cleaning from the muzzle (the only conventional way to clean a Garand) can cause problems and is usually easy to fix with a counter bore. Some people say you can't counter bore a Garand because of the gas port. The half dozen or so that I've done say they're wrong. I wouldn't bore more than you need to to get back to good rifling.

A second common problem is the upper handguard fit. If its flopping around you're probably losing 2" of accuracy at 100 yards. Note: you can't tighten the handguard by tightening the gas cylinder - trust me. If you're not shooting in a Garand match you can shim between the wood and the rear ferrule with a piece of cardboard. An M2 Ball cartridge box is usually about the right thickness. If you want it match legal you can dimple the front ferrule where the barrel fits until it makes contact with the barrel.

Another common problem is the op-rod hitting things that it shouldn't be. This one can be a tough problem. You can relieve wood, but not barrel steel. These things are real works of art and are bent in 3-D. It takes an expert to adjust them.

A final common problem is not lubing the gun properly or well enough. I use a lot of lithium grease on these. I use a paint brush to apply it to contact points. I figure it provides a type of bearing surface by getting in between worn parts. Most of these rifles have seen a lot of action. Some people think I go over-board with the grease. Just keep it out of the chamber and gas port is my motto.

Usually the stock triggers aren't too bad, but they're easy to make smooth, but setting them less than 4 lb makes them double prone in my experience. I shoot for a 5 lb trigger on these. Light enough for accuracy, heavy enough for safety. It's really embarrasing to have your Garand go auto in a match. You have 'splaining to do.

If you don't have a copy of the manual that the CMP includes with these rifles I think you can download it on their website somewhere (although I can't find it right now of course). If you're within range of a Garand Clinic its a very helpful thing to do. There will be experts there who can help you check-out your gun and recommend what to tune up.

#3 brian923

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:14 PM

Okay guys, here's another question. A new douglas barrels gonna run about 300 with tax. I found a smith to install it for 150. So, about 450$ for a new barrel. My rifle is not a matching numbers rifle, as if it were, I wouldn't be touching it! But, all the drawing numbers are all springfield numbers. Imn just wondering if the guns worth it, or should I part with it and get a different one, with a new barrel? I got 750$ total in it as of now. Thanks guys, brian.

#4 Limpid Lizard

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:08 AM

Check the CMP site for barrels. I believe they are considerably cheaper than the price you mentioned. Also, they have a forum. It is possible that someone on that forum knows a reputable Garand 'smith that would be able to save you a couple more bucks. LL

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