Fulton Armory


by Robert Gibson

Here are a few odds 'n ends about IHC Garands you might like to know.

IHC Garands are all Korean War and post Korean War rifles....the records show there were 337,623 IHC M1 rifles built during the production runs. All IHC M1 Garands met the governments specifications, regardless of when they were made during the production runs....early, middle or late.

International Harvester Inc. built their M1 Garands in a plant located in Evansville, Indiana. This location was quite famous and has a rich history from the World War II era....the plant was owned by Republic Aviation in those days and was where the IHC stepped into making M1 Garands cold with ZERO experience making firearms....they made household goods, refrigerators, etc....and experienced numerous start-up and organizational problems switching to M1 production.

LMR (Line Material Co. of Birmingham, AL) made their barrels and shipped them to Evansville to be mated to IHC receivers. LMR barrels were good enough that Type 1 NM rifles built by Springfield have been found with them. Springfield Armory had to lend IHC a hand on several occasions by making Garand receivers with IHC markings, as did Harrington and Richardson (the latter at the very end of the IHC contract). Without this assistance the IHC Garand effort probably would have failed sooner or later. Not due to a poor product, IHC's are rated ahead of WWII era Winchester M1s in overall quality, but because of very poor management decisions and policies...they were still learning the ropes of firearms production. On the other hand, Springfield Armory and HRA had been making arms for scores of years....they had a great advantage over IHC.

Many argue that in overall quality Garands are rated: 1st-HRA, 2nd-SA, 3rd-IHC and 4th-WRA....naturally partisan owners of a particular brand will argue pro and con endlessly....and with almost religious fervor. (I'm partial to them in part because of those superb LMR barrels!--Fulton Armory WebMaster)

The complete history of the M1 Garand is a subject that can....and does....fill a book, or several for that matter. Just the WWII history by Scott A. Duff fills a 315 page book....Jerry Kuhnhausen's very detailed Shop Manual on US .30 Caliber Service Rifles goes 463 pages.

The Garand is a fascinating weapon system....possibly a bit long in the tooth in these days of "spray 'n pray" sub-caliber assault rifles & SMGs, but it's still a mighty fine rifle that can reach out 1,000+ yards and do the job it was designed to do....to place well-aimed hits on a specific target, be it paper....or otherwise.

Robert Gibson