I mentioned in the disassembly post that I neglected to disassemble the clip latch mechanism…that was an oversight that I’ll rectify at some point and add the procedure to these posts. I also already mentioned that I didn’t disassemble the rear sight. I also didn’t disassemble the trigger group. I may decide to do that in a separate post at some point. The reason I’m reluctant is because my trigger is just THAT good. I don’t want to mess with it unnecessarily. The M1 Garand was blessed with arguably the best issue trigger ever to grace a military rifle. My particular specimen is particularly crisp and clean in my humble opinion and I simply don’t want to mess with perfection.
I will probably, at some point, take the risk and make the sacrifice of breaking mine down and building it back up just for the benefit of my much appreciated readership, but I just wasn’t up for it this time.
If you REALLY need to see how either the rear sight or the trigger group is disassembled and reassembled, leave me a comment. If there is enough interest, I’ll bite the bullet (so to speak) and do a post on the trigger group and/or rear sight.
As far as reassembling the rifle…here we go:
Stick the “t” shaped end of the follower arm through the slot in the bullet guide.
The grooves in the follower go all the way through so it will basically just fall apart if you don’t hold them together.
As soon as you get the follower started in the slots, put your fingers under the receiver. The slots in the receiver go all the way through so if you don’t use your fingers to stop it, the follower will just fall out the other side and the whole thing will come apart again.
The “arm” on the catch goes on the left side of the receiver (at the top in this photo). The bent part of the arm should be bent toward the top of the receiver.
The arm will slide under the corner of the bullet guide, and then the mounting “ears” of the catch will straddle the bullet guide and follower arm.
The pin holes should all be fairly well aligned at this point.
With the operating rod catch in place, be sure that the bent part of the arm is above (below in this picture because the receiver is upside down) the tab on the clip latch that sticks through the side of the receiver there.
You may have to jiggle things a little to get everything lined up for the pin to go through, but the pin doesn’t fit tightly so it shouldn’t be difficult.
Once the pin is in, the follower assembly will stay together so you can stop holding the follower.
There are as many opinions about the best grease to use on the M1 Garand as there are M1 Garands in the world, but I’ve had very good results with Tetra gun grease. It’s available from Fulton Armory, Midway USA, and probably any number of other outlets as well.
Basically, anywhere that metal moves against metal, you should grease. Before installing the bolt and operating rod, I usually grease the rails that the bolt lugs ride in, the rail that the operating rod rides in, and the inside top of the receiver where the bolt rubs when the rifle is in recoil.
It’s pretty easy to see where metal rubs metal because the finish will be worn away in an obvious pattern.
CAVEAT: Don’t put oil or grease on the gas piston part of the operating rod (the shiny part that goes into the gas cylinder). The gas system is designed to operate dry. If you’re storing a Garand, you can use grease or oil in the gas system as a preservative, but be sure you completely remove it from the gas cylinder and piston portion of the operating rod before firing.
It shouldn’t take any force to get the bolt in, but you do have to play around and find the right angle and orientation to get it to go in. Sometimes it’s like figuring out a puzzle, but you shouldn’t have to force it in any way.
There is a tab on the inside of the operating rod that rides in the rail on the receiver.Keeping the bolt lug in the well in the operating rod, place that tab against the rail at about the midpoint of the receiver; then slowly move the operating rod back toward the rear of the receiver, pressing it in toward the rail.
The front of the operating rod still isn’t secured at this point so hold it in place against the underside of the barrel for the time being to keep it from flopping around.
The operating rod will go into the U-shaped part under the front handguard.
As it is going into place, the front of the operating rod will seat into the gas cylinder.
align the splines of the cylinder assembly with the grooves in the barrel and firmly seat the assembly in place against the front of the front handguard.
I’ve never needed to do so, but if you have to tap the gas cylinder into place to seat it, I’d probably use a small piece of PVC pipe or a similar tube that the barrel will just fit inside. Slip the tube over the barrel and against the front of the gas cylinder assembly; then tap the end of the tube with a mallet to seat the assembly. That should enable you to seat it without putting any undue lateral forces on it or damaging the finish.
As I said in the disassembly post, mine doesn’t fit tightly so I can put it on by hand. If yours is tight, you can use the special tool (also available from Fulton Armory) to wrench it down.
The screw should be pretty snug. You don’t want to go all Hulk Hogan on it or anything, but if you don’t snug it down pretty tightly, you take a chance of it loosening up on you during firing…which is bad for proper operation of the gas system.
This is a good time to check for binding. Hold the rifle barrel up and the bolt and operating rod should fall completely open under its own weight. Tip the barrel forward and the bolt and operating rod should fall forward and the bolt should close and lock, again under its own weight.
If the bolt and operating rod don’t move freely under their own weight, something is binding and you need to find and fix the problem before continuing. Binding could be caused by something not being assembled correctly, the gas cylinder being dented or bent, the operating rod being bent, a burr or rough spot in the receiver rails that guide the operating rod or bolt…basically at any point where the moving components travel, there could be a problem causing binding.
It should fit tightly. If it is a loose fit, you’re putting the rod into the wrong end of the spring.
By the way: see that shiny spot on the bottom of the barrel in this picture? The operating rod rubs there under recoil. I grease that area any time I have the rifle apart.
With the bolt closed, put a finger underneath the follower to hold the follower arm up and forward.
Push the follower rod far enough into the operating rod to hook the “ears” on the follower rod onto the small pegs on either side of the follower arm.
Then gently release the follower and allow the operating rod spring tension to be taken up by the follower assembly.
Manually cycle the action a couple of times to make sure that everything is working correctly. The bolt should lock back when pulled all the way to the rear and you’ll have to push the follower down to release it.
Then push the rear of the stock down onto the receiver.
Push the trigger group straight down into the receiver and stock until it is fully seated.
It looks like I’m putting pressure on the rear sight to lock the trigger guard into place in this picture.
That is an optical delusion (yes, I meant to say delusion…attempted humor). If you look closely, you’ll see that I didn’t even have the trigger guard all the way closed yet. I really shouldn’t have had the sights on the bench at all and I’m not sure I actually did. It looks that way in the picture but I don’t believe I had any weight on it at all if it’s actually even touching.
Basically, the timer went off and the picture was snapped just as I was gripping the trigger guard, receiver and stock to press the trigger guard into place. When I do this, I grip the top of the receiver and the stock with my fingers, put my palm over the trigger guard, and then squeeze to lock the trigger guard into place.
Basically that was a long way of saying: if it looks like I’m putting pressure on the rear sight in this picture, I’m not. You should not do that…it’s bad for the sight.
I really like the versatility of this sling and it’s more practical than the leather M1907 sling on a rifle that isn’t a dedicated match gun.
I actually put mine on backward compared to most people, but I think it is the most comfortable when using it to stabilize a shooting position this way.
On the rear sling swivel, I hook the clip on from front to back.
Open the clasp, slide the tab through it, adjust the sling to the desired tightness, position the clasp to secure as much of the excess as possible, and close the clasp.
When I’m using the sling for stabilizing a shooting position, the opening part of the clasp and any excess sling is to the outside of the sling and my hand and arm are on the inside. This keeps the clasp from biting me and the excess sling hanging free and out of my way. Also, I can make minor adjustments to sling tension with my trigger hand without having to completely extricate myself from the sling.
I honestly don’t understand why most people put the sling on with the clasp and the excess sling to the inside. I started doing it this way before I knew the “right” way because it made the most sense to me. When I realized that, judging by how others were doing it, I was putting the sling on “wrong”, I just never changed. If my way works better for me, why should I worry about what anyone else is doing?
Anyway, that’s it. Another post series in the can. I hope someone finds it useful.