Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1807: Springfield Armory National Match 1959 M1 Garand John F. Kennedy

Auction Date: September 11, 2015

Historically Significant, Documented U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy U.S. Springfield Armory National Match 1959 M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $100,000

Historically Significant, Documented U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy U.S. Springfield Armory National Match 1959 M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: M1-Garand
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 24 inch
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 43556
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 334
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is probably the most historically significant U.S. Springfield M1 Garand rifle that has ever been for sale. This Springfield Armory M1 Garand rifle was originally issued by the Director of Marksmanship to then Senator John F. Kennedy in October 1959, who later became the 35th President of the United States. Since this rifle was issued to Senator Kennedy in 1959, well before he was elected to the Office of the President of the United States, this rifle could very well have accompanied him directly into the White House. During this time period, the DCM was issuing rifles based on a lottery system with between a few hundred to a thousand rifles sold yearly. Usually you had to wait years for one. In an article in the American Rifleman Magazine based on this rifle, Master Sergeant Parkinson (who performed the work on this weapon) alluded to this rifle as being a basic rack grade M1. However, and to no ones surprise, upon closer examination of this rifle it is actually a very early 6 million serial number range Type 1 NM M1Garand. The rear of the receiver is marked "U.S. RIFLE/CAL 30. M1/SPRINGFIELD/ARMORY" above the serial number and the barrel is correctly marked "SA F6535448 3 56 A2263" with the correct "P" and "M" proof marks with a partial DOD acceptance proof. The front left side of the exposed section of the barrel is correctly stamped with the "NM" and Star proof indicating that the barrel was star gauged. The right side of the barrel behind the operating rod has also been correctly stamped with the "T" proof indicating it was targeted. The stock and hand guard set are all correctly walnut with a DOD and circled P proof cartouches. The front hand guard has been unitized and the stock has also been glass bedded. It is fitted with a complete NM rear sight set and we assume that the operating rod is also an early NM version that is probably marked SA 6528287-SA (without the NM markings on top of the cocking handle). The top of the bolt is also marked "6528287-SA" over "YO1", which would also lend credence that this was a new Type 1 NM rifle. All the metal surfaces of the rifle have been hand polished and nicely blued by MSG Parkinson, and the stock and handguard have also been hand sanded with a high luster sealer applied (typical of presentation rifles issued during this time frame). This rifle is fully documented with a copy of the original DD1149-6 noting that it was shipped to Senator Kennedy in Oct 1959; a copy of a Memorandum of Record that was provided to Senator Kennedy by the Dept. of the Army detailing the additional upgraded work that was performed on the rifle; a copy of a Letter of Appreciation (signed by Senator Kennedy) that was sent to MSG Raymond Parkinson, thanking him for the additional time and care that he took in accurazing and test firing this rifle, along with the actual 200 yard test target shot by MSG Parkinson (ten shots at 200 yards, approximately 2 inch OAL). Also accompanying this rifle is a letter from the NRA Museum dated Sept 1970, indicating their desire to obtain and put on a permanent display this very rifle (by serial number), along with a hand receipt dated Oct 1970 taking title to this rifle and an unmarked, hand-made shipping case, reportedly fabricated personally by MSG Parkinson. This rifle was briefly written up in the May 1967 issue of the "American Rifleman" which also depicts the letter of appreciation noted above. It is complete with an original Boyt 44 marked leather sling, the 1959 NM handbook, and the original wooden shipping/storage box that was hand built by MSG Parkinson.

Rating Definition:

Excellent overall with 99% of the original hand polished and blued finish still remaining with just some minor wear on the right side receiver rail, from the limited test firing it has seen. The stock and handguard set are all in mint condition with 99% of the original hand rubbed finish/sealer with no handling marks or dings, with just visible cartouches. The sling is also excellent with sharp markings, intact stitching with some minor age cracking, but still very pliable. Case is fair. What a historical, "One of a Kind" rifle that transcends collector interest on both the U.S. military and the U.S. political side. The historical significance of this rifle can only be matched by the importance of the position that President John F. Kennedy played throughout his life and in the position of the President of the United States, as well as in our own hearts and minds. Certainly everyone of our generation remembers his service during WWII as well as his public service as a U.S. Senator and President of the United States. No one will ever forget where they were at on that fateful day in November 1963. This is your chance to actually own and hold a personal possession of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (then a Senator) and is certainly only for the super advanced collector who is looking for the ultimate in historical U.S. military rifles.

Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot