The trigger guard pins on an M1 Garand need to be “round” for proper stock fit, much like the late production SA stamped trigger guard that came with my Winchester rack grade.
However, this part was designed to be softer than the receiver legs for good reason so often the pegs become flat on one side which can cause the trigger assembly to fall out of the stock.
This picture of some old manual seems to be floating around the Internet indicating that worn out pegs can be peened to improve lock up.
A friend of mine gratuitously sent me a proper WRA milled trigger guard. Here is the “before” picture.
As you can see it’s not that bad but I can’t stop myself from fiddling with it.
You will need a 1/2″ piece of wood to support the ears, American made ball peen hammer, and a shim.
I used my big vice and supported a 1/2″ piece of plywood with some scrap wood so I didn’t hammer the wood out of the vice.
There isn’t much to it after that. I carefully whacked ball peen hammer in the middle of the peg until the peg seemed a bit “rounder” You may consider using a wooded or rubber mallet and tapping the ball peen hammer.
This seems to really just roll the edge back down and doesn’t reshape the entire pin however it should help with fit.
A loose gas cylinder on a Garand can cause poor accuracy. Before trying to peen your barrel first see if you can just tighten up the gas plug. Use the fancy wench numrich sells here they are handy to have around.
IMPORTANT: do not grip your rifle by the front or top hand guards as they can easily break when twisted hard.
If that doesn’t do the trick you will need to peen the barrel splines. Before you take my advice you should read CMPs article here
I picked up a beat up rack grade Winchester “grenadier” that I intend to fix up a bit. I’m working on cleaning up the stock (more on that later) and while I still may get it re-barreled I thought I would see how it shot after peening.
I already had my rifle completely stripped so I clamped the barrel between a couple of boards in my vice. Don’t do anything crazy like sticking the stock in the vice you will break something. A vice might not be required you could probably get away with just laying it on the bench and have someone hold the receiver but be careful as there is hammering involved.
You will need:
– a hammer
– a socket … I used a 1/2″
– a beer (recommended)
Note the holes in the stock for a grenade sight disk.
Line up the socket with the spline. Leave a bit at the front so later you can get the gas tube started.
Give the socket several wacks with the hammer. You should eventually see the marks.
I did it just until the cylinder doesn’t slide down with gravity. Like so…
I used a board and a hammer and just gently tapped the gas cylinder down. There should be some resistance but don’t bring it down so far that it makes contact with the front hand guard as there should be some play. What I did was leave it out just a little and tightened the lock down until it pushed the cylinder down until it I was at the right spot. Then it is just as simple as tightening the gas plug. Again be careful not to twist anything wooden while doing this.
Alternatively you can use ball-peen hammer place the hammer on the splines and give the hammer a whack with a rubber or wooden mallet (not another hardened steel hammer hammer).