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ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009





I got a box.



What's in the box?


It appears to be some long wood.


Much to nobodies surprise, I got another Garand!


Some are not amused.


But this is a special one. Special how? Well see this:


SA-52 was an oddball program that only lasted for 1 year where Springfield built "new" garands out of leftover parts for the Korean War. Approximately 6,000 garands went through this program.


So that's it then? Not quite.


Nice. But what's it mean? This rifle went through a rebuild at Tooele Army Depot in June, 1969. What was Tooele doing to Garands in the late 60s? Lets look at what else is in the box.



Alright, a full cleaning kit. Always a good perk.


But what's this then?




The rifle also has this weird block on it.


THIS HOLE WAS MADE FOR ME



This is a M1D sniper rifle. One of around 28,000 made over the course of the Garands service life. In brief, around 1944 the US Ordinance department began studying adding a scope to the Garand. Due to the top loading en-bloc clips, the scopes had to be offset. This was one of two accepted designs. The other one, the M1C, used a bracket and dovetail mount with two scope rings. This required drilling and tapping the receiver, and Springfield Armory hated *hated* the design. The M1D was originally the substandard replacement, although it was designed by John Garand himself. It used a sleeve with a block mount on the barrel, allowing any rifle to be converted between the sniper model and a regular service model. The M1C was originally built starting in late 1945 and it likely never saw action in WWII. After WWII ended, the program was rapidly wound down and only ~7,000 were ever made. Once the Korean War broke out, the M1D became the preferred model due to speed and ease of production. One special thing about M1Ds is they all use specific barrels made for the program. From 1951-1953 Springfield made an absolute ton of these barrels anticipating rebuilds down the road.

While the M1C still saw use in the Korean War, the M1D became more prevalent in Vietnam (along with the WWII precursors of the 1903 with 8x Unertl scope and 1903A4). There was 1 other garand sniper model - the USMC 1952, but these were built in small numbers and I'm not getting into here.

In the late 1960s, Tooele Depot was selected to build several thousand new M1Ds. While this doesn't have documentation to 100% confirm this was a M1D rebuild and not a regular service rifle that was bubba'd to a M1D, I'm fairly certain it was Tooele that put this into M1D configuration. I currently have a FOIA submitted to the Army and an information request to the CMP about this rifle.

Lets look at the accessories. All the garand accessories are a giant minefield of fakes and reproductions. These show the proper signs and wear of being original.

Since the scope was offset, a cheekpad was generally used with these rifles. This one was made three months before the rifle was built it looks like. MRT stands for Mold Resistance Treatment.


Additionally, the sniper models used one of two broad flash hider types. This is the earlier 'cone' style, instead of the 'prong' type.

Now, why did I bother to buy this specific one? Tooele M1Ds are known for their overall quality, and this is one of only 2 SA-52 marked M1Ds I've ever heard of. Since M1Ds were converted from regular service rifles, any could theoretically be turned into one. Figured something like this was enough to finally make me buy one, and cry over my sad, broken wallet.

ZarathustraFollower fucked around with this message at 21:12 on Jun 17, 2021

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ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009





Cyrano4747 posted:

Oh goddamn that is something else.

Do you have any plans to shoot it? I'm always curious how period sniper rifles perform.

I had no idea that the M1D was still being produced (for certain values of "produced" - not like they were forging new receivers) into the late 60s.

I'll probably send a few rounds through it, but not often. I need to find an outdoor range that goes long enough to do a good comparison. I'm not sure why they decided to make more M1Ds at the time, but I'd guess because they had the parts and still saw a use for more snipers as the M1 was otherwise phased out.

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009





Cyrano4747 posted:

FYI there's a really good article in the latest edition of the GCA magazine about repro/fake M82 scopes and how to spot them, complete with some really good side-by-side comparison shots of a real and a repro. They're calling a specific type out in particular because they're not marked as repros, which is shady.

Hm, well that'll be a fun read once it arrives! M82 or M84s? I've only seen the reproduction M82s Hi-lux sells, while M84s have the later Taiwanese copies as well.

Also, happy day:

It is indeed a DCM M1D! A letter worth its weight in gold.


ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009





Now I really can't wait for that article. drat, the whole sniper scene is a shitshow of fakes. That's why I wanted an M1C from the CMP directly (even Ian in forgotten weapons mistakes a bubba'd M1C for a USMC one...)

The A4s are nice with the unique serial stamping but I still haven't found an original mount for mine. To make matters worse, there's 2 versions that are mainly distinguished by the slope on the rear of the mount.

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