I am one of those gun guys that is constantly fascinated by both the new and different and the old and classic. As result I have an eclectic mix of firearms that I’m constantly refining, like a golfer that tailors his club selection to his playing style and favorite courses. The ultimate goal isn’t really as much a “completed” collection as it is enjoying it in it’s present state, whatever state that may be.
At one point I went through a handgun-heavy phase where my interest was service-size military pistols, and then I became enamored with Com-Bloc military semi-autos, and most recently I went through my “tacticool” phase, from which I now seem to be emerging. As a result, I’m paring down and looking to trade one of my ARs and several little-used rimfires for more conventional rifles that would see more use.
My involvement with the Appleseed Project over the past 5+ months has changed my perspective yet again, I find myself interested in developing my shooting skills as a riflemen, including shots out to the fabled “rifleman’s quarter mile.” My declining interest in “tacticool” firearms and my growing interest in precision shooting has me considering trading in some of the menagerie of firearms I presently have for an mix of the old and the new.
At the top of my list is a Civilian Marksmanship Program M1 Garand, somewhere between “Service” and “Correct” grade. Several the my fellow Appleseed instructor shoot Garands in CMP matches, and have become skilled enough with these service rifles to effectively engage “D” targets out to 400-500 yards with iron sights. There is something fascinating about having that level of mastery, and my interest seems to be drawing me to this WW2 and Korean War classic.
I’m interested in a shooter instead of a safe queen so I’m not specifically concerned with getting a mint-condition rifle with matching serial numbers. I want one that shoots consistent groups, and if I can accurize it enough to shoot 1-2 MOA that would be all the better.
The other option I’m considering is an enhanced to custom grade semi-auto 10/22 variant, again inspired by Appleseed. the bulk of the shooting and teaching during a weekend Appleseed session is done on the 25-yard range, and I’ve seem quite a few lightly modified to heavily tricked out .22LR rifles on the firing line, and even have had the good fortune to shoot one or two.
I’m not ready to drop $1,200 on a Volquartsen, but a Magnum Research (pictured above) or a similar semi-custom Ruger is something I’m considering that is assured of seeing a decent amount of use by myself, family members, and the occasional Appleseed student as a training rifle, and it would be a nice small game rifle as well.
The question is: which should I get?