I've wanted one of these for years, and so I up and ordered one from the Civilian Marksmanship Program. CMP is an interesting program: it is chartered by Congress to provide DoD surplus rifles to the American public. They get rifles from DoD (these days there are not a lot coming back from overseas Allies; I think mine may have come back from South Korea but that's just a guess). CMP armorers refurbish the rifles so you are guaranteed to get a functioning weapon. Pricing is good (I paid $750 and it came with a nice hard case and free shipping), but what they have is what they have. Mine is a Springfield Armory Service Grade model (which means that it has some wear) manufactured in October 1943; personally I think that the dings in the stock add to its charm.
It does have a rather mysterious stamping that I haven't had time to research yet. If any readers have any hints I'd be mighty obliged.
Now this isn't really a range report about the rifle - I posted one quite some time ago and so will just point you to it if you're interested. Today is about how I sighted it in. You see, after the armorer is done you have a fully functional rifle; you may or may not have a rifle that hits where you aim - at least out of the box. You need to zero the rifle yourself, and that's what yesterday was about.
Now unless you have your own private range, you need some sort of spotting scope to look at your target after you fire a shot. If you're at a public range (as I was) you can't just traipse downrange to get a closer look at your target when the range is hot. Besides, it's a hundred yards away so that would be a lot of walking. A scope (or binoculars) is better.
The M1 has a pair of knobs that move the rear sight either right or left (windage) or up and down (elevation). You can see the knobs on the picture below, one on each side of the peep sight.
The process of sighting in goes like this:
- Fire a single shot.
- Look at the target through the spotting scope. There will be a hole in the target (c'mon - you're shooting at 100 yards off of a bench rest. Of course there will be a hole in the target). If the hole is to the right or left of the bullseye then you need to adjust the windage knob. It if is above or below, you need to adjust the elevation knob.
- My hole had the right elevation but was to the right, so I worked the windage knob. If both windage and elevation are off you probably should adjust one first until it's right, and then work on the other (e.g. windage first until you have it dialed in, then elevation). This way you only have a single variable that is changing between shots.
- Go to 1.