from the editor
Keefe, Mark A IV
“Here’s an Augusta!” said the excited young collector squatting down amidst a rack of M1 Garands after he smeared some cosmoline off a grimy stock looking for cartouches. I was doing some background work for 2004 “American Rifleman Television” feature stories on the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and NRA Highpower Rifle shooting at Camp Perry, Ohio. I was among about 50 or so shooters looking over the hundreds of M1 Garands, Model 1903 Springfields and an assortment of .22s at the CMP Store in Camp Perry, and that collector/shooter was about to add another M1 rebuild to his collection. Most M1s-whether imports or non-imports-were rebuilt at one time or another. With so many rebuilt M1s out there, we asked Contributing Editor Bruce N. Canfield to tackle the subject of M1 rebuilds (p. 46) and explain the how, where, why and when of the process. As Bruce told me while we were working on this story, “Martial arms collectors typically prefer unmodified rifles and have traditionally looked down their noses at rebuilt rifles. However, arsenal overhauled M1 rifles are beginning to be recognized as legitimate collectibles in their own right.” As well they should, as the price of an all-original Garand these days can be daunting to a beginning collector or shooter. With the influx of M1s available to qualified civilians through the CMP, there is more interest in John Garand’s grand old rifle than ever before-including the rebuilds. As a matter of fact, the CMP’s requirements have changed, making M1s more available than ever to qualified shooters and collectors, as well M1903s and other guns. If you’ve always wanted to get an issue M1 or M1903, go to www.odcmp.com for more information.
Speaking of Camp Perry, our abbreviated coverage of the National Matches will appear in the January 2004 issue (more detailed coverage may be found in NRA’s magazine for competitive shooters, Shooting Sports USA), although there is a story about a very special group of young shooters in this issue. During the NRA Smallbore phase this year, for the first time in the history of the National Matches, a junior team beat out all adults-including the top smallbore shooters from the U.S. Army. That team is the Acorns, a group of young people that often shoots right here at the range at NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Va. I met briefly with the Acorns and some of their parents during a photo shoot here, and they are as impressive in their daily lives as they are on the range.
This month we welcome a legend to our pages-Grits Gresham. Grits has had a life and career that most of us can only dream about. From his work as a top writer in just about every major outdoor magazine, to his television work-especially his long tenure as host of ABC’s “American Sportsman,” which landed him a spot in that Miller “Lite” commercial-Grits has been among the leading outdoor writers for decades, and he has no less than seven books to his credit. For more than 40 years, he has been in print and on the airwaves telling stories and informing people how to be better, more ethical shooters and hunters. All the while he has entertained generations with his everyman’s touch and quick wit. While Grits has written for us here and there in the past, from now on he will be contributing a few stories that are uniquely Grits, every year, to the Rifleman. It’s not often that you get to work with one of your boyhood heroes. One that, face to face, not only lives up to the legend, but surpasses it. Welcome, Grits.
Mark A. Keefe, IV
Copyright National Rifle Association of America Dec 2003
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