Barrel Usage on New M1 Rifle Production 1952 – 1957
Harrington & Richardson Arms Company – Part 3 of 3
Harrington &Richardson Arms Co. had a barrel contract that predated their rifle contract. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find original HRA riles with early 1952 dated barrels. The vast majority of Harrington & Richardson manufactured M1 rifles were assembled with HRA barrels. However, research indicates that H&R used LMR barrels, at least to a limited extent, throughout their entire production of the M1 rifle. Some periods saw heavier usage than others. The earliest H&R M1 rifles from serial number 4660000 through 46625xx were generally equipped with HRA barrels. Only a few rifles with LMR barrels have been recorded in this range.
In the 467xxxx through 479xxxx serial number range, only a few original rifles have been observed with LMR barrels. The next serial number range, 548xxxx through 572xxxx again includes only a small number of original rifles with LMR barrels. However the next serial number range of 572xxxx through 579xxxx is an entirely different story. Based on a large database of tens of thousands of H&R rifles over half had LMR or SA barrels and many had 1952 dated HRA barrels. As H&R neared completion of their rifle contract they used a lot of barrels from LMR and SA as well as from their early barrel contract to assemble rifles.
The takeaway of these three articles is that your post World War II rifle may not be what you thought it was. The 1950s is a very interesting period in M1 Garand collecting.
More information on collecting M1 Garands may be found in our books “The M1 Garand: World War II” and “The M1 Garand: Post World War II” available from our website.