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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me the story behind the British proofed Garands? I found one in a local shop in excellent condition, but they want $2k for it. Seems steep, but since I don't know enough about them the price may/may not be right.

Thanks.... alb67
 

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Allegedly 30 000 plus were sent over as part of lend lease during WW2. There was also an RM Commando (Battalion of very light Infantry) issued with US weapons for work in Pacific (WW2) and No 41 Commando (disbanded in 1980) were part of the US Fleet assault troops during the Korean war and completely equipped by the US, many thanks folks!
 

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There are two types of "British Proofed" Garands that I am aware of, so buyer of the story beware.
1st type- These were "lend lease" Garands sent to the UK for British Army/ Home Guard use during WWII and should be early WWII made rifles with early features and usually have a red painted front handguard to let the using Brit soldiers know it was NOT a .303 rifle. These rifles have proof house marks applied to the barrel area as they were tested by Brit proof houses. Most were not used much at all and if you can find a early sn# Garand that "feels right" then it is a fair/good market price. Refer to one of Duff's books on this subject.

2nd type- These were Garands that simply passed thru England on the way to somewhere else. These can be early, late or post WWII rifles. British law required/s a proof house "proof" each firearm that shows up in the UK. This said, these had no special meaning as a footnote in history and should not command a higher price just because it has "ENGLAND" and or "NOT ENGLISH MAKE" and some TON marks on the receiver and barrel. These are just much like a US import marked Garand. This is not to say this group could not contain a rifle worth that price on its own, but the "British Proofed" notion should not be why you pay that price.
I should think you would want to really look it over if the sn# is in the 2 million or higher range and the parts do not match. Just my .02

Good luck
 

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Sounds sensible

for those requiring proof look 41 cdo RM up on google, there are some good pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies.

This Garand does not have a red handguard, but if I remember the Springfield sn# is in the low 2m range.

Would the Commando issue Garands be stamped with a specific marking or cartouche? I suspect this may be a great way to sneak a Garand into my British Enfield collection.

Thanks again ..... alb67
 

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If it was issued for WW2 British service it may have a red band painted around the small of the butt, it may not, I doubt the rifles used by British troops would have any particular stamping at all. If sold commercially to private buyers then they would carry a proof house mark, either London or Bimingham but nothing more!
Remember up until 1988 we could legally own and shoot them!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So unless there is a red band of paint somewhere on the rifle, a BNP mark alone cannot help me determine if this is an issued Lend-Lease\Commando Garand or a non-issue British import Garand?
 

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If it was lend lease, it would have an inspection mark not necessarilly a proof mark from one of the 2 houses unless it was sold outof service.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
24626151 (or anyone), do you have or can you direct me to any reference as to what that inspector's mark should look like?

Thanks.... alb67
 

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A lot of the English Garands did have painted red bands but the paint wore off-that explains their absence.
 

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The red bands is something you see on the M1917 and the occaisional BAR in the museums.
 

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The serial number of the rifle rules out it being a lend lease rifle... the highest serial numbers in the lend Lease shipments were in the 600,000 range. I have 4 Lend Lease M1 rifles, and they are in the 300,000; 400,000 and 500,000 range.

Walk away from this one.
 

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My British-proofed Garand

Here are some pics of my British-proofed garand...not sure what significance, or value the marks have exactly, but I think they add a "coolness" factor to the rifle, so I am glad they are there.

The serial number MAY actually fall into the range of Lend-Lease guns, but the rifle has been re-arsenalled, and has a 1965 dated barrel, which is marked with British proofs, so the gun somehow found its way BACK to England, after 1965..

...also...I am curious about the brass number tag on the stock...has anyone else encountered these on their Garands ?
 

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Brass Tags

Tags or butt discs went out with the SMLE but the tag is the same number as the painted one on the Butt which has long been a British Military practise. The acceptance marks for British service would look similar to the Govt ordnance inspection marks, crossed flags perhaps that look like lances. If it was issued to say 41 Cdo for Korea straight from US stores it wouldnt get that inspection and wouldnt be stamped. If it was then brought back and sold it would require proof marks similar to the ones you have. In the same way as if it was bought here privately it would be submitted for proof before cash changed hands. I have paid deposits on Rifles without proof marks, an M10 Ross springs to mind, the shop had so many that if it failed I could select another at no additional cost from the same pile. It went for proof, passed and received hidden stamps, not visible without stripping etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks All.

I called the store and the owner told me the following:
The Garand is in the 2.6M range and the owner was told when he purchased it that it was for special commandos in the 50's or 60's. It has all correct WW2 Springfield parts except a 1960 dated barrel. It has the correct Springfield stock and has British proofs on the bolt, receiver and barrel like Drazil's.

So are the non-lend lease British Grands worth $2K.

Thanks again,
alb67
 

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Is it worth the price tag as a rifle let alone what may or may not have happened to it. If it was made for the UK it would have had inspectors crossed flags stamped. If it was issued from store to 41 in Korea it wouldnt. It also wouldnt be specially made then either and definetly not BNP stamped. It wouldnt have been issued in the 1960's as we had no need for a .30 06 self loader!
It is probably a private sale with BNP Brummy proof house stamps that made its way home before the 1988 SLR ban made it into a drain cover! International Arms in Manchester used to sell SLRs before the ban and this may be one of theirs!
I suggest you value it for what it is on face value and then attempt to research it.
 

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Agree. Buy the rifle not the story line.
With what you know, I do not see how you would pay 2k for this rifle. CMP offers M1s for a lot less.

Sum up:
*lend lease- no, made too late in the war.
*Doccumented Commando use- no, has a 1960s SA barrel, so was rebuilt at least in the 60s at a time the Brits used the L1A1.
*Made for the British Govt- no, it is a rebuild.
*has BNP proofs- so? Just means it was in England.

For less than 2k get a Correct Grade or similar from CMP.
 

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Identifying Lend Lease Garands.

The Lend Lease Act was enacted on March 11, 1941 and with regards to M1 rifles, we supplied Britain with 38,000+ Garands. This may have ended with the U.S. entry into WWII. It appears that all were Springfield Armory manufacture as, I believe, no Lend Lease Winchesters have been reported. The only marking applied to these M1 rifles were a 2" wide red band painted around the front hand guard with .300 stencilled in black within the red band. This indicated that the rifle was chambered for a cartridge other than the standard .303 British service cartridge. It is possible that over the years since the war, some Lease Garands will be found with the paint having been removed by individuals believing the paint detracts from the rifle's appearance. This mark is easy to fake, so assume the paint alone doesn't make a Lend Lease Garand. When the British decided to sell these M1s on the commercial market, law required these Lend Lease M1 be proofed. It is believe Sam Cummings, owner of INTERARMCO which later became INTERARMS, purchased all of these rifles using Cogswell & Harrison as his agent. To establish a Lend Lease M1 rifle, we need to examine the British proofs found on the barrel visible with the operating rod locked back. There are two proof houses in England, the Birmingham Proof House and the London Proof House. It is believe that all Lend Lease Garands were proofed at the Birmingham Proof House. So, looking at the proof marks, on the left is a crown over the letters BNP indicating Birmingham Nitro Proof. This proof mark has been in use since February 1, 1955. The second marking is .30/06 which is the cartridge. The third mark is 2.494" which is the cartridge length in inches. The fourth mark is 18 TONS PER SQUARE ". I use the word square but it is actually a four sided box. This represents the working pressure measured in British long tons which translates to 40,320 pounds per square inch. The final mark is the "private view mark". It is two crossed lances with letters on the sides and a number beneath. The letters indicate the year the M1 was proofed. It is believed all Lend Lease Garands were proofed in 1955. The letters FB which is 1955 establish a Lend Lease Garand. All other British proofed M1 rifles were Garands Sam Cummings purchased throughout the world that were brought to his warehouse in Manchester for refurbishing. British law required the proofing any firearms even if it is only for refurbishing before being exported. I can supply the year of proofing to anyone with a British proofed M1 rifle if they can supply me with the two letters previously discussed.
 

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British law required the proofing any firearms even if it is only for refurbishing before being exported
Not quite, British proof acts only govern sale inside the UK. The law does not require arms to be submitted for proof if they are to be sold outside of the UK. However there is a common acceptance of UK proof marks by European Countries and the Commonwealth or Empire as was and vice versa. Ergo if the arms are to be sold outside of the UK it makes commercial sense for them to be submitted for proof. The normal practise for arms to be sold to the USA is to submit for proof unless the transaction legally takes place outside of a reciprocating country.
Great info though, I had forgotten they were called interarms, the building has been demolished for a road (quite sad as I always wanted to visit as soon as I was old enough):(
I always thought that the private view mark was for Govt inspectors.
 
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