The CMP Store personnel were kind enough to open it just for the class before opening to the public at 7AM. We of course went!
Yes, that is correct. 2.5K for a Garand! They are National Match Grade though. I now know what that means =).
Then after the store, we go back to the Armorer's shop for final preparation for test firing. One of the Armorers is giving my rifle the once over and declared that the first stage of my trigger was "mush". He suggested I get another trigger and hammer and try again. This of course meant I also had to do the "trigger job" over. I hesitate to use that term. The purpose of this activity is to retain the proper two-stage trigger yet remove the creep in the second stage and retain the spec of at least a 4.5 pound trigger pull. Luckly I had time to do that and the Armorers had enough time to offer tips and other guidance to the other 19 students before we went to test fire. It is obvious that they want us to leave here with a "Special Grade" rifle!
So right before lunch we travel to the test fire facility. A heavily modified shipping container with all the stuff on it.
Oh, I also got the cool T shirt you see here on other students.
The head Armorer performed the test firing of 8 rounds. He hands the rifle back with the first casing fired from it. A nice touch. Then back to the shop for a class photo. It will be emailed to me.
Then lunch and after that we talk about the stuff that requires attention that has a tendency to loosen up over time, lubrication, and other items related to keeping it running.
Then, a glass bedding demonstration:
The idea behind this is to fill in the gaps between the wood and metal with epoxy to insure a repeatable relationship between the two during a course of fire. I will probably never do this as I fear the rifle will shoot better than me right now anyway =).
After that, the formal portion of the class was done, but the Armorers said they they were at our disposal for the remainder of the afternoon! I dropped off an M-1 Carbine for a complete technical inspection and 100 yard sighting in.
Then I placed my rifle in a hard case and shipping box for the ride home. I COULD have taken it with me, but the sales tax in AL is higher than my home state and the 24.95 shipping rate was agreeable.
I received an e-mail Monday with the shipping number from Deshay at CMP and the rifle arrived Tuesday.
I of course had to forgo the canvas sling supplied and go with a Turner 1907 leather sling.
Above: CMP Service Grade M1 Springfield. Name is Charline!
Below: CMP Special Grade M1 HRA. Name is ??? I think it looks like an Emily, what say you?
I cannot say enough about the class. My thanks to the Armorers John, Ryan, and Chris. My thanks as well to the person that herds the cats around the Custom Shop and made sure our paperwork was in order and all the other ancillary tasks that made sure the class went well, Deshay. The entire organization treated us with the utmost respect and made sure that we were completely happy with our rifles and the class.
There is no way you can pick up John Garand's masterpiece of design and not feel the history behind this storied rifle and the people that carried them into harms way. If you desire to own one and learn more about it, I cannot say enough about this class or the CMP. They have both the passion and the knowledge of these tools and it shows. It is one thing to be a subject matter expert and another to relay that knowledge to others. They have that down pat too. I was not expecting that pleasant surprise.