The M1C Sniper Rifle
by Scott A. Duff
Two telescope-mounted versions of the M1 rifle were developed at Springfield Armory for use by snipers. They were designated the M1C and M1D.
The M1C was adopted as standard on 27 July 1944. A Lyman produced M81 or M82 telescope was mounted with a two-piece system consisting of a mount bracket and Griffin & Howe telescope mount. The mount bracket was aligned to the left side of the receiver by two taper pins and attached with three socket head cap screws. Therefore, all M1C rifles had five holes in the left side of the receiver, three were tapped, and two were not. The mount, with attached rings to secure the scope, locked onto the bracket utilizing two clamp-locking screws. Receivers, which had yet to be heat-treated, were sent to the Griffin & Howe Company in New York for installation of the bracket. The receiver/bracket assembly was then returned to the Armory for heat treatment and assembly of the rifle. This procedure precluded production of M1Cs anywhere other than at Springfield Armory.
The M1C was produced in limited quantities during World War II with, according to Ordnance Department records, only 7,971 completed rifles delivered by war’s end. In addition, numerous receivers were in various states of completion when production ceased in August 1945. It is believed that they remained unfinished until the outbreak of war in Korea. The start of the Korean War resulted in Springfield Armory rebuilding 4,796 M1Cs between July 1951 and June 1953.
An original World War II M1C would consist of a 1944 or 1945 barrel and all other period SA components. Those rebuilt during the Korean War may have World War II era SA or WRA (only a few observed) barrels or early 1950s dated SA barrels. However, a few M1Cs have been observed with LMR or HRA barrels. A mixture of other parts are expected.
All legitimate Springfield Armory produced M1Cs are of SA manufacture with serial numbers in very specific blocks in the 3 million serial number range. Some of these serial number ranges are quite small; others are fairly large.
The small production quantity of M1Cs has caused it to be highly sought after by collectors. As a result, M1Cs are relatively expensive. Unfortunately, this has resulted in counterfeiting by unscrupulous individuals. Through the use of a large database of verified M1C serial numbers, legitimate M1Cs can be identified with over 95% certainty. This service is offered free of charge to members of the Garand Collectors Association (GCA). Before purchasing an M1C, the serial number should be checked out through the GCA. This service alone is worth the price of membership. An application for GCA membership may be found by visiting www.TheGCA.org and downloading the membership application.
Additional information on this most interesting M1 rifle variant is contained in The M1 Garand: World War II by Scott A. Duff. An autographed copy of this book may be purchased through this website’s Scott Duff Publication Books section.