M-1 Garand tips & tricks: Part 2 - Cleaning, lubrication, ammo & spare parts

This is the second article in a three-part series on tips and tricks for the M-1 Garand owner.

The first article, Tips and Tricks for the M-1 Garand - Part 1, covered the best owner's manual for the M-1 Garand, how to load the M-1 "en bloc" clips correctly for proper function, and how to avoid the dreaded "M-1 Thumb."

Cleaning the Garand

More rifles have been damaged from improper cleaning than any other cause. To avoid damage to the bore caused by segmented cleaning rods always use a one-piece Teflon coated cleaning rod instead of a multi-piece rod. You also want to use muzzle guide for the cleaning rod to avoid damage to the crown.

The surplus GI M-1 Garand combination tool is a must-have. This tool features a chamber brush, gas cylinder lock tool, and bolt disassembly tool.

When cleaning make sure to periodically take apart the bolt and clean out the firing pin channel. Any debris in firing pin channel can cause the firing pin to get stuck forward. This can cause a slam fire when the rifle is loaded.

Proper Garand Lubrication

Always use grease, not oil, to lubricate your Garand. Oil isn't viscous enough to stay in place during the cycle of operation. You can use either the old GI grease available in little pots at gun shows, Lubriplate (same stuff essentially) or a modern synthetic/silicon grease. I like Tetra gun grease myself, but I've also used the WWII stuff with no problems.

Apply the grease on the bolt locking lugs, the op-rod channel, a bit on the op-rod itself, and generally anyplace where you see shiny metal from two surfaces rubbing against each other. Do NOT put grease on the hammer hooks or the bearing surfaces for the hammer and trigger.

A properly greased Garand will run smoother, be more reliable, and be less likely to suffer damage from loads with an inappropriate burn rate for the powder.

Ammunition for the M-1 Garand

Don't buy "off the shelf" commercial .30-'06 loads without first making sure they are appropriate for a M-1 Garand.

The Garand was designed to use loads with bullets weighing from 150 to 180 grains and propellants with an intermediate burn rate. You need to use the correct type of powder, and to a lesser extent bullet weight, to maintain the proper gas port pressures. If the pressure curve isn't right, the rifle can be damaged. When in doubt, stick to US or Greek mil-surp ball loads. If you reload there is lots of Garand specific load data available.

Spare Parts for the Garand

Because Garand parts are still readily available I dont recommend stocking up on a lot of spares. The parts you are most likely to need are the op-rod spring, firing pin and extractor. My advice is to buy those and only purchase other parts as needed.


This concludes the second article.The third article is "M-1 Garand tips & tricks: Part 3 - Malfunctions & accuracy improvements."

Here are all my other M-1 Garand related articles.

The M-1 Garand brought semi-auto firepower to U.S. troops in WWII

How to purchase a M-1 Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP)

A look at the best CMP M-1 Garand choices available

Tips and tricks for the M-1 Garand - Part 1

M-1 Garand tips & tricks: Part 3 - Malfunctions and accuracy improvements

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