No, not guns made to shoot tractors, or shoot from tractors...guns made by a tractor company!I love M-1 Garands. I really do. And these two, just a couple of the Garands that I've acquired from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) over the years, are among my favorites. As rifles go, Garands were some of the finest combat arms ever fielded by the US military. Winchester repeating Arms Corp. and the government-run Springfield Armory made a bit over four million of them for World War Two, but when the Korean War broke out five years later, we needed more, so the fine folks at the International Harvester Company made another 337,623 of them at their Evansville, Indiana plant between 1951 and early 1956. And out of that number, after decades of military service and storage, these two eventually became mine.IHC did not make the barrels for their rifles, however. That job was subcontracted out to the Line Material Company in Birmingham, Alabama. Their barrels had a reputation for being the most accurate of the M-1 barrels, and while many of the IHC rifles out there today now sport replacement barrels made by one of the other manufacturers, both of these rifles still have their original Line Material (LMR) barrels.(Click on the pictures for more detail.)This one shows the LMR stamp and the December, 1954 date of manufacture. Both of these rifles had relatively little wear on the barrels when I got them and this one in particular had almost no detectable muzzle wear or throat erosion.
Both of these rifles are fine shooters, fully capable of holding the nine-ring of the standard SR target at 200 meters even with forty-year-old military surplus ammunition, and one of these rifles--probably #5095202 here--will probably be accompanying me to one of the bigger Garand matches at Camp Butner or Camp Perry in 2010. I have a feeling that we'll be coming back with a medal or two, at least if I do my part. I have no doubts about either of these rifles.