SOLD FOR: $2850.55
Make: International Harvester Corporation (IHC). Built on a Springfield Armory made Gap Letter receiver.
Model: M1 Garand. The rifle’s action uses all International Harvester parts. The Line Material Company (LMR) barrel is factory original.
Serial Number: 4655308
Year of Manufacture: 1953-1954. Barre Date: July, 1953.
Springfield Armory provided receivers to International Harvester beginning in 1952 to help increase M1 Garand production at IHC (page 500 of Bruce Canfield’s book, The M1 Garand Rifle).
Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
Action Type: Semi Auto, Fed by En Bloc Clips
Markings: There is no import mark.
Receiver: “U.S. RIFLE / CAL. .30 M1 / INTERNATIONAL / HARVESTER / 4655308 ” – The serial number is in the correct range for a Springfield Gap Letter receiver (page 501 of Bruce Canfield’s book, The M1 Garand Rifle).
Trigger Group: “IHC D6528290” – An International Harvester part (page 90 of Joe Poyer’s M1 GARAND 1936 to 1957, 6th Edition).
Hammer: “5546008 IHC”– An International Harvester part (page 98 Poyer).
Safety:”F” – An International Harvester part (page 103 Poyer).
Follower: Unmarked – Used by International Harvester and others (page 83 Poyer).
Receiver Leg: “IHC” and “F 6528291” – Correct for a Springfireld/IHC Gap Letter M1 Garand (page 501 Canfield).
Op Rod: “D35382 IHC” – An International Harvester part (page 72 Poyer).
Bolt: “6528287 IHC / U” – An International Harvester part (page 52 Poyer).
Barrel: “P”, “LMR” (Line Material Company of Birmingham, Alabama), “D6535448”, “7 53 A16”, “P” and with a partial “crossed cannons” stamp – LMR provided barrels for International Harvester (pages 63 – 65 Poyer). LMR barrels of this date were used for Gap Letter Garands (page 500 Canfield).
The stock and sights are described below.
Barrel Length: Approximately 24 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade set between two protective wings. The rear sight is a fully adjustable aperture sight. The windage knob is marked “LEFT arrow” twice and “IHC DRC”. The elevation knob is marked from 2-12 in increments of 2 as well as “IHC”.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The left side of the stock, above the trigger, has been restamped with a Defense “Eagle” Acceptance stamp. The face of the grip is marked with a “circled P” proof.
The three piece hardwood stock has a pistol grip, metal nosecaps, stacking loop, two sling loops, and a metal buttplate with hinged metal door for storage in the butt. The refinished buttplate shows small light scrapes. The wood shows several scrapes, scratches and compression marks. The most prominent are on the left rear of the handguard. The LOP measures 13 1/8 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good Plus overall condition as refurbished.
Type of Finish: Parkerized
Finish Originality: Refinished
Bore Condition: The muzzle and the grooves near the muzzle are light gray. The remaining grooves are semi bright. The rifling is deep. There is erosion near the muzzle and light erosion in the remaining grooves. The bore shows an M.E. of 2.3. The throat shows a T.E. of 4.
In this writer’s opinion, this bore rates a 7 out of 10.
Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide. For example, the U.S. used corrosive ammunition throughout WWII. The U.S. military did not begin to phase out corrosive-primed ammunition until the 1950’s.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 98% of its metal finish as refinished. The metal shows scuffs, light scrapes and a few small scratches. The bottom rear of the receiver has a small amount of surface erosion showing through the new finish. The bolt shows light operational wear. The markings are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good Plus to Fine condition as refinished.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle has an unmarked green canvas sling attached. The rifle has cleaning gear stored in the butt. The cleaning gear includes a plastic oiler, a combination tool and a 4 piece cleaning rod & loop.
Our Assessment: The M1 Garand had garnered a well-deserved reputation as the best standardized service rifle of WWII. At the end of WWII large numbers of Garands were in inventory and it was assumed they were sufficient to meet future military needs. That all changed when the Korean War broke out. Springfield Armory ramped up its Garand production line as quickly as possible, but additional sources were needed. On June 15, 1951, the Ordnance Dept. granted a contract to the International Harvester Co (IHC). International Harvester manufactured half-tracks, trucks and tractors during World War II. The firm had never made firearms. One of the major reasons behind the government’s selection of International Harvester was its location. Springfield Armory and Winchester were about 60 miles apart which was no longer desirable in a nuclear age. IHC is over 800 miles from Springfield and could continue production if there were a nuclear strike on the eastern seaboard.
In order to augment Springfield Armory’s and International Harvester’s M1 rifle production, a contract was also granted to the Harrington & Richardson Arms Co. on April 3, 1952.
International Harvester had a number of production issues which led them to subcontract the production of barrels to the Line Material Corp. It was soon widely acknowledged that the company’s barrels were of the highest quality. The high quality of the LMR barrels and their availability were among the few things to go smoothly with International Harvester’s M1 rifle production program.
IHC received production assistance from both Springfield Armory and H&R during the contract.
The International Harvester M1 Garand has since become one of the more popular M1’s due to the number of receiver variations and their relative scarcity as compared to Springfield Armory Garands of the same era.
This International Harvester Corporation (IHC) M1 Garand is built on a Rare Gap Letter receiver made by Springfield Armory. Springfield Armory provided receivers to International Harvester beginning in 1952 to help increase M1 Garand production at IHC. This rifle falls within the proper serial number range for an SA/IHC Gap Letter Garand. It is also marked correctly on the receiver leg with a Springfield Drawing Number and uses a correctly dated Line Material Company (LMR) barrel. The LMR barrel is factory original. The rifle’s action uses International Harvester parts and the rear sight is IHC marked. This M1 Garand looks impressive and is highly collectible.
For more detailed information see pages 500 to 501 of Bruce Canfield’s book, The M1 Garand Rifle.
…Now go shoot something!