Long time reader and huge fan of the blog, it's literally been part of my daily read for several years now. I referenced this great blog since the very beginning of my personal preparedness journey. Quite a bit has changed for me as my life and preparedness goals and life skills have developed. One of my earliest consultations I had with you guys was regarding my initial choice of a battle rifle in the M-1 garand, and your opinion on some accessories for the kit I would put together for it.
Since that time, I graduated from College and my wife and I moved home to Texas where I became a Police Officer. My wife finished nursing school and now we live a comfortable life in the City's suburbs. Like yourselves my values over the years became less focused on gear and the pending choose-your-own adventure apocalypse scenario, and more on financial security and adjusting my immediate family's paradigm towards preparedness.
My profession has given opportunities to me for more training and skill development and real world experience(this being the most valuable) than I could have ever afforded on my own. I have access to gear and weapons that are far more in line with practical real world preparedness. Having rifle vests and gas masks and city issued M4s round out my personal survival arsenal of .22s, Remington 870 police magnum which goes with me everywhere at work, baby glocks for my BUG and wife's concealed carry, P226 with TRL-1 light on my gun belt at all times.. the point is, I discovered that as I placed myself on a career path that helped focus myself on personal development of skills, physical fitness and financial independence all the great gear and gadgets and everything else fell into place on their own. As I continued to grow, I realized that all the gear and panic buying in the beginning was simply an attempt to fill my own insecurities with a cheap, rushed sense of peace of mind.
So all this time, I have this beautiful hardly-used M1 sitting in my gun locker. I have purchased a wonderfully made grab-and-go pouch, butt-stock pouches, and hundreds of dollars worth of surplus 30-06 rounds and enbloc clips. However since the '08 election and the great ammo dust-bowl that it brought, I have always been hesitant to bring it out to the range with me. As my combat training became more focused on pistol and CQB shotgun techniques, I focused my spending and ammo purchases towards my 9MM and 00buck, and now with the acquisition of my city issued M4, .223 rounds. It became obvious that the M1 because of its gas system is limited to the type of 30-06 rounds you can fire, which directly impacts the amount practice and range time with the weapon, which is the most important aspect.
I was inspired by Ryan's quest to simplify his collection and refocus it towards functionality and redundancy. The historical allure and once rock solid devotion to the rifle slowly began to fade as I realized that its' cons outweighed its' pros. However, I'm not sure if I'm at the same point as Ryan was and wish to sell the rifle, accessories and ammo that took such a large investment of time and money outright and refocus the funds towards other endeavors. The other day a friend sent me this link.
I really like the idea of bringing the Garand into the world of the carbine in terms of handling and capabilities, which seemingly fixes many of its' current short-falls. Plus with the modification, the rifle's gas system will be able to shoot modern loads of 30-06. This process also opens up the weapon for more Texas focused hunting scenarios…boar/deer hunting.
So to get to the point of this super long email, I would very much like to hear your opinions on the modification process, whether you believe it's worth the $525 and change price tag. Or should I sell the weapon and kit and move the funds towards purchasing and building my own m4.
Also, one final element to my decision process, over the past year and a half I have interviewed, tested and accepted a conditional letter of appointment to joint a federal law enforcement agency. Which is why I was hesitant to purchase and carry my own personal m4 in the field like I do now with my 870. It is my understanding that during training I will become familiarized with a whole new set of weapons and training, which includes the M4 and MP5. So with my work providing the necessary tools of my trade, I can’t quite make up my mind on what to do with the Garand. Sell it, customize it, or leave it as is which is an occasional shooter/heirloom.
Well, thanks again for the patience it took to read this manuscript of an email. I do very much appreciate the blog and yalls' opinion on the matter.
Happy Thanksgiving from Texas-
TOR here: Putting my money where my mouth is my Garand has been sold (actually sitting in my safe while the guy makes payments). I sold it because the rifle, while cool, didn't really have a purpose. It is not high on my list for defensive weapons, is relatively expensive to shoot so plinking is out, and is worth enough money that at this time I cannot justify it being a collectible safe queen.
I would not go with that conversion for a host of reasons. We buy common guns from major manufacturers for very good reasons. I just envision an endless problem with the thing. If you want to own a semi auto .30 caliber then sell the Garand and use that money to start an FN-FAL or PTR-91 fund. FWIW I have heard of folks hunting with a Garand using those Hornady TAP rounds. Heck the old school FMJ will probably work just fine.