Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 475: Early Four-Digit U.S. Springfield Gas Trap Garand Rifle

Auction Date: June 5, 2020

Extremely Rare Early Four Digit U.S. Springfield Armory "Gas Trap" M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle, Serial Number 2838

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $35,000 - $55,000

Extremely Rare Early Four Digit U.S. Springfield Armory "Gas Trap" M1 Garand Semi-Automatic Rifle, Serial Number 2838

Manufacturer: Springfield Armory U.S.
Model: M1-Garand
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 30-06
Barrel: 23 inch round
Finish: parkerized
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2930
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 262
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Manufactured circa June of 1938, this is a very rare, early production "Gas Trap" M1 Garand rifle. Developed beginning in 1936, the Gas Trap Garand was a critical step in the acceptance of a semi-automatic battle rifle for American use and an important phase in the refinement of John Garand's famous rifle. A strong front runner in automatic arms development during the 1930s and 1940s, the gas trap system had the virtue of not needing to tap directly into the barrel, instead using a muzzle device (the "trap") to catch surplus gas to cycle the action. While this system saw some success, and was adopted for field use by the Germans, the virtues of the gas port system led to its adoption, not just for the Garand; while the gas trap lives as a historical curiosity, porting has become the de-facto standard for gas-operated firearms clear to the current day. Most of the "Gas Trap" Garands were subjected to arsenal overhaul or wore out during use; they are difficult to find in any condition. The barrel is marked with only a "P" proof on the right side of the chamber towards the front. It has an early production gas cylinder that is marked on the top of the rear barrel ring "D 28289", and the right side of the front sight is marked "B 8882" with grooves on top of the sight protectors. The operating rod is marked "D 35382-0" on the top and does have the modified cutout, the recoil spring is an original style square edge "Keystone" spring, and it has a correct style square comp spring with the early long type operating rod guide with serrations on the side, without rivets. The bolt is marked "D 28287-1/J 3 B". The trigger housing is numbered "D 28290" without pad, small hole, hammer number "C 46008" (on the side) with hole, safety "C-46015", blue hammer spring housing, trigger guard "C 46025" with rings. The rear sight assembly is marked "B-8868-1" on the rear sight aperture, "B-8872" on the sight cover, and the windage knob is an early checkered pattern (unnumbered) marked "LEFT" and "LEFT" with flared arrows. The elevation knob is also the early pattern that is marked "UP" and "DOWN " and "BATTLE RANGE" with the pointer triangle, closed arrows, and is checkered around the edge (also unnumbered). The middle band is grooved and notched at the bottom (C-46000), the rear handguard clip is grooved, the milled bullet guide is marked "B-8875", and the follower arm is marked "B8869" with 2 bevels. The follower and clip latch are both unnumbered. The stock is an early version with a faint circled "P" proof in the pistol grip. The butt area has 2 unequal holes (one large, one small) without modification under the buttplate and the buttplate is numbered "C-46012" ("B8881-6" on the lower screw, upper screw not numbered). The stock ferrule is numbered "B-8899". The receiver is the correct unmodified style that has not had the seven shot conversion; very rare! Includes a leather claw sling.

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine with 85% plus parkerized finish, showing some mild spotting and handling marks overall, along with bright edges and a bright stainless gas cylinder. The stock is fine as sanded and reoiled, with a three inch long crack running forward from the left front corner of the magazine, and some cracking on top of the handguard around the bands, along with mild scratches and dings. The comp spring is cracked through near one end, but appears to be all present. The sling is excellent with some minor wear. Mechanically excellent.

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