After that we pick out the rest of the parts from bins of them. Again the Armorers told us what to look for when selecting parts and kept a close eye on us as we selected used refinished parts for our rifles.
Next, the trigger group. Here it is assembled:
The toughest part of the assembly in my opinion. That spring is strong! NO GREASE or lube of any kind in certain areas. In fact, the Garand was designed to be fired "dry" and was in Korea due to the cold temperatures turning grease into muck.
Then we learned all about the rear and front sights. We actually installed an early WWII "lockbar" rear sight on our rifles "just in case we ran across one."
Then we moved to the later version of the rear sight AFTER we totally disassembled and cleaned it. You really need special tools for that and they had them. Here is my rear sight.
Then we move on to assembling the remaining internals and learn about bolt timing. Bolt timing is the proper release at the right time of the bolt forward when a clip is inserted. Timing of this is accomplished by lengthening the tab on the bullet guide or shortening it. As the instructor said, the bullet guide has nothing to do with guiding the bullets, but sounds cooler than "L shaped piece of metal."
We are now ready for some wood. New Walnut stocks and hand guards await. The rifle is assembled and ready to be mated with the wood.
This required some work on the wood as the trigger group would not close. You want a tight fit, but not so much that you damage the trigger group lugs or the stock.
If you look to the right of this picture you can see the lead Armorer using a fabricated jig to facilitate the removal of wood on the bottom of the stock where the flat part of the trigger group mates with the stock. Oh, of some interest to me in this picture as well is my rifle!
We proceed with function checks in preparation for test firing on the last day of class. We were supposed to go to the CMP store today, but they just released some International Harvester M-1's for sale to the public today when they opened. Just like a new iThingy, people were lining up overnight on Wednesday for that and we did not want to get anywhere near it!
My rifle is complete and I can proudly say I built it!